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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) 


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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