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Magnepan Bass Panel Woofer DWM

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Magnepan Bass Panel Woofer DWM

Need more bass?

Put a big speaker in a small room, too much bass. Put a small speaker in big room, too little bass. Everyone knows that. In general, it is true. There is no one-size-fits-all.

Most of the area of any full-range Maggie is devoted to bass reproduction. (In the case of the 20.7, 76% of the total radiating area is devoted to bass.) The Magneplanar Bass Panel offers you the flexibility to add bass diaphragm area to fit the needs of your room. From the MMG to the 20.7, the Maggie Bass Panel can get the bass/midbass "just right".

The Magneplanar Bass Panel (DWM) is a dipole, thin-film, planar/magnetic bass panel. It is two bass drivers in one panel. Two "voice coil" grids drive one bass diaphragm. The Bass Panel is essentially a small section out of the 20.1 and 20.7 bass drivers. But, please don't call it a "subwoofer". Subwoofers are a separate category from woofers. Subwoofers are intended for below 40 Hz and are known as "slow" and "muddy" when used above 40 Hz.

Subwoofers can be adjusted higher than 40 Hz, but you will achieve better sound by using the Bass Panel to optimize the bass of your Maggies. The DWM Bass Panel has no problem integrating with a full-range Maggie because it is "all Maggie".

But, the Maggie Bass Panel affords far more than increasing bass/midbass output. It is common knowledge that multiple subwoofers can be used to fine-tune and smooth the bass. What is not common knowledge is this technique can be used up to approximately 200 Hz. Through trial-and-error, the position of mobile bass panels can smooth both phase and amplitude response for the preferred listening position.

Often the ideal listening position for imaging is not the optimum position for the smoothest bass/midbass. Standing waves can be trouble-some, creating peaks and dips in the bass response. The Maggie Bass Panel can help fine-tune any of our models, even our flagship 20.7s.

Chris Martens, editor of The Perfect Vision, put the Maggie System (including the Maggie Bass Panel) "under the microscope", here is his follow up review...

Follow-Up Listen: Magnepan DWM planar magnetic woofer panels. Chris Martens, May 27 2014

Chris went on to say about the DWM Maggie Bass Panel--

"Let the Maggie Woofers carry most of the Systems Bass Workload. With typical speaker systems, its normally a good idea to hand off much of the systems overall bass workload to a powered subwoofer, but with a Magnepan system this is not the approach you'll want to take at all. The reason is that Maggies are so fast and so pure-sounding that they make most subs sound thick, slow, and sluggish by comparison".

"DWMs are designed with dual, interlaced sets of 'voice coils' so that the DWM can be run either as a two-channel or single-channel woofer. When measured in isolation, the DWM's bass extends only to about 40Hz, but when coupled with larger Magnepans an interesting phenomenon occurs; specifically, the low-frequency outputs of the DWM and of the main speaker couple with and reinforce one another such that bass response extends considerably lower than either unit used individually. Just as importantly, the DWM is perfectly voice-matched to the larger Magnepans and is likewise a dipole radiator.

I wound up using two DWMs with our 3.7i's, using beefy Magnepan-supplied 1400 mH inductors to roll-off unwanted and unnecessary mid-bass, while taking advantage of the extra low-bass power and extension the DWMs provided. The results were well and truly spectacular, yielding very low-frequency (think mid-20Hz) weight and authority, yet without muddying the inherently transparent sound of the 3.7i in any way."

If you have a high-current amplifier, adding the Bass Panel is easy and inexpensive. Better bass for those difficult rooms and no subwoofer discontinuity issues. (link below for instructions.)


DWM Specs

  • Description: Planar-magnetic dipole bass panel.
  • Freq. Resp. Frequency Response: 40-200 Hz*
  • Rec Power Read Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sensitivity Sensitivity: 86 dB @2.83V/1 Meter/50 Hz
  • Impedance 4 Ohm
  • Dimensions: 19.25H x 22.5W x 1.25D (inches) 

Customer review



Thanks very much for the time spent yesterday listening to the DWM panels with your 20.7 setup. It was very interesting to see how the two DWM panels added to the performance of the 20.7's and of course, it was enjoyable as well, being immersed in and listening to the music. I thought I would offer a few comments on what I took away from our session.

We listened to various musical tracks with the two DWM bass panels either in the system or turned off to get an appreciation of the effect of the panels and in doing so, we did not adjust their position in the room from where you had them setup.

We started off with a track by the Cowboy Junkies with which I must admit I was a little unfamiliar. There is a lot going on in the musical arrangement in terms of instruments and other things which the 20.7's resolved extremely well. With the DWM panels turned on, there was more weight to the music and the imaging was to the front. With panels off, the imaging appeared to be more centrally concentrated and recede behind the plane of the 20.7's.

We then moved on to some music that I am quite familiar with starting with the Charlie Haden/Pat Metheny album Beyond the Missouri Sky and the first track Waltz for Ruth. Some nice acoustic bass playing interspersed with acoustic guitar. Again, there was more weight but it was not a huge difference with the DWM panels on. What surprised me was that I felt that the detail was improved. For example, the scraping of Charlie Haden's fingers on the bass strings appeared more detailed with the DWM panels turned on.

I am a big fan of a lot of what John McLaughlin has done collaborating with several musicians in the band Shakti, a fusion of Indian themes producing some beautiful music. The track Lotus Feet from the Remember Shakti album The Believer, recorded live in Europe in 1999 is no exception. There are a number of acoustic instruments being played on this track and the quality of the recording is excellent. What I felt with the DWM panels turned on was that the imaging was still pinpoint but spread slightly wider than when they were off. There was slightly more weight to the music and the sound of the tabla was improved.

We finished with an old favourite of mine, Keith Jarrett's Koln Concert, an ECM recording from 1975, starting with Part 1. It is a really nice recording of Jarrett's idiosyncratic piano improvisation which gives the impression of the large space of the Koln Opera in which the live recording was made. The piano is good, and there's also a lot of other low level cues in the background, a little bit of audience noise for example.

We listened with the DWM panels off and I was interested to hear how the sound of the piano was affected, if at all, and it started off sounding pretty good. Now, with the panels on, it was unmistakeable, it was as if someone had lifted the lid of the grand piano off and we were now almost inside the piano, the whole presentation of the musical image was improved, there was more background detail for some reason and the sound had a little more weight, a substantial improvement. My response ... better order these panels soon!!

One other thing that struck me was that at no time could I discern the DWM panels themselves, and for that matter I rarely felt I was listening to music that came straight from the 20.7 panels either, the panels just disappear. It was all pretty seamless, the music was just hanging there. So, in summary, it was a very useful session to get an understanding of the benefits that the DWM panels offer to even full range Maggies.

In almost all cases, I preferred the system when the DWM panels were turned on. The benefits seem different depending on the music and the recording, but surprisingly it's not just more bottom end, the DWM panels do seem to add to the sound all the way from the bottom end up into the midrange. I wasn't expecting the changes to imaging and apparent increase in detail which were surprising, but good outcomes. I definitely think I will be giving you a ring a couple of weeks for a pair of DWM panels. We also had a great conversation about how I might further setup my 3.7i's and DWM panels and some simple apps that are available to help in this regard.

Once again Bill, thanks very much for the time spent and the effort picking me up and returning me to the train station. Very much appreciated, it was a worthwhile session. Lastly, I note that I have already downloaded the Studio Six Digital App and am looking at getting an iTestMic2.

Kew, Victoria

(Thank you so much for your detailed feedback Malcolm, it really is very much appreciated, and, I’m sure that this will be of much interest to our Magnepan clients and prospects… Products discussed: See the Magneplanar MG20.7 Reference Loudspeaker here & the MG3.7i here.)

Custom woofer 

"Hiding" the Maggie Bass Panel.

For optimum time-alignment, the Maggie Bass Panel should not be placed off in the corner like a subwoofer, however, since it only produces bass and midbass, the design has the flexibility to be hidden or incorporated into furniture. For example, a cardboard cutout, the size of the Bass Panel, can be taken on a shopping trip for furniture. As long as the furniture piece is approximately 30% open space for bass frequencies, the Bass Panel can be placed behind the furniture. Another option is house plants.

In addition, Magnepan offers several optional cosmetic kits which allows the Bass Panel to be "hidden in plain sight".

An example of creative installation that fulfills the wishes of both audiophile and interior designer... a Maggie DWM system in the living room that is TOTALLY invisible.

Pictured with the MG1.7 & DWM woofer 'coffeee table' (P.O.A)

1.7 & DWM


How to use the DWM Bass Panel with full-range Maggies

(See MMG instructions for use with the MMG)

One (or two) DWM Bass Panels can be used with a high-current amplifier by hooking the Bass Panel(s) to the full-range model in parallel. For parallel operation, the amplifier should come close to doubling the power at 4 ohms (compared to the 8 ohm power). For receivers and amplifiers of modest current capacity, separate amplifiers will be needed to drive the DWM Bass Panel.

Large gauge speaker wire for the Bass Panel is not necessary. A resistor maybe needed to lower the output of the Bass Panel. Small-gauge, low-cost speaker wire can achieve some of the reduction in output.

For parallel connection, a method of attaching the plus (+) and minus (-) of the full-range speakers to the DWM Bass Panel plus (+) and minus (-) inputs will depend upon the type of speaker connection. For example, a double banana plug has a means of connecting two wires to the same terminal. It may be necessary to consult a technician for the best solution to your installation.


Imagine scribing a line on the floor at the same distance as the speakers by using a string attached to the listening chair. The Bass Panel can be placed anywhere on this equi-distant arc. However, this equi-distant arc needs to be 12 inches closer to the listening seat for optimum phasing for free-standing models such as 1.7s and 3.7s. For use with the on-wall models, such as the MC 1s and MMC 2s, try one Bass Panel 12 inches in front of the on-wall speaker and the other Bass Panel 12 inches behind the other on-wall speaker. This is a common strategy with subwoofers to smooth out standing waves. It may work in your room.

Bass/midbass fine-tuning

Each placement of the Bass Panel on this equi-distant arc will yield different bass/midbass response. It will require experimentation for best results.
The deepest bass response can usually be achieved when the Bass Panel is butted up against a side wall (or furniture) for improved coupling.

A faster roll-off rate of higher frequencies from the Bass Panel is usually desirable. This can be accomplished by placing the Bass Panel 90 degrees to the side wall and butted up against the side wall. This achieves an off-axis position relative to the listening seat--in addition to deeper bass response due to improved coupling.


It may be necessary to reduce the output of the Bass Panel by replacing the Attenuation Jumper with power resistors. If high power resistors in the value needed are not readily available, solder lower resistance (and lower power rated) resistors in series. (For example, two 1 ohm resistors with a 10 watt rating in series equals a 2 ohm resistor with a 20 watt rating.)

Caution-- Resistors can get hot to the touch when playing high-level, sustained bass. As a precaution, resistors should be suspended and off the floor for maximum cooling.


Scot Hull of parttimeaudiophile on "how Magnepan can do bass."

"...what doesn't seem optional, at least to my bass-addicted brain, is a 2+2 approach. Set up this way, with a single DWM coupled inline with each 3.7 channel, the sound was fast, immersive, coherent top-to-bottom, and had a dynamic wallop that I am entirely unused to out of the Maggies I have at home." 




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