Manual CC5

Magneplanar CC5 Instruction Manual

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction/General Description
  2. Carton Contents
  3. Packaging
  4. Amplification
  5. Hookup
  6. Installation and Placement
  7. Phasing
  8. Bass Management and Processor Settings
  9. Tweeter Attenuation
  10. Full-Range Operation
  11. Service and Shipping
  12. Specifications

The CC5 is not a "plug 'n play" center channel speaker. We are here to help if you find the instructions confusing. The enclosed Magnepan Test Disk is a "pass/fail" test to confirm that the setup was done correctly.

  1. Introduction/General Description

    Congratulations on your purchase of the Reference Magneplanar CC5 Center Channel Loudspeaker. The Magneplanar CC5 is modeled after the technology of the CCR with a 2-way, quasi ribbon midrange/tweeter and quasi ribbon super-tweeter. The performance is appropriate for use with either the 1.7 or 3.6.

  2. Carton Contents

    • 1 - CC5 Center Channel Loudspeaker
    • 1- Magnepan Wide-Band, Center Channel Pink Noise DVD Test Disc
    • 1 - 4 Amp Normal Blow Fuse
    • 1 - Hex Wrench
    • 1 - Speaker Logo
    • 1 -Owner's Manual
  3. Packaging

    Save all packaging. The CC5 can be shipped safely only in the original packaging. Should you discard it, packaging is available from Magnepan.

  4. Amplification

    The CC5 is a 3 ohm speaker and should be used with high current amplifiers that are stable with low impedances.

  5. Hookup

    The CC5 employs a unique, high-current connector. To install speaker cable, simply strip approximately 1/4-inch of insulation from the speaker cable end, insert the cable and tighten the set screw. Cables terminated with banana plugs or pins may also be used. For cable terminated with spade lugs, spade lug adapters are available from your Magneplanar dealer.

    Connect the output of a high pass crossover (such as the Magneplanar DWM Woofer) to the input of the CC5 (observing correct polarity). If the CC5 is connected directly to the center channel amplifier, the processor must be set on "small" center channel speaker. (See Bass Management and Processor Settings section below for correct settings of the processor.)

  6. Installation and Placement

    The CC5 can be mounted in or on a cabinet or on credenza or shelf. The CC5 is a "small" speaker. Like all Magneplanars, the CC5 is a dipole speaker. We recommend 12 inches clearance, measuring from the back of the CC5 to the surface behind the CC5.

    Wall Mounting-- Two vertical wood supports on the back of the speaker allows the CC5 to be mounted on the wall (typically below a video monitor) utilizing a small omni-mount cantilever. Install with four 10x3/4 inch wood screws. When in operation, the CC5 should be extended from the wall to the maximum distance.

    For installations that require custom mounting of the CC5, 1/4"-20 T-nuts are built into the bottom of the CC5 that can be utilized for different installation requirements. A diagram of the T-nut placement is shown below.

  7. Phasing

    Correct phasing between the tweeter and midrange is accomplished when the speaker is angled relative to the listener as shown below. Correct phasing between the midrange of the CC5 and the bass augmentation provided by the left/right Maggies is described in the Bass Management and Processor Settings below.

  8. Achieving center channel bass

    The CC 5 is called a "small" speaker due to the limited mid-bass response. The least complicated way to achieve true Maggie sound is with one or two DWM Bass Panels. (The more complex method of using the processor's bass management system is explained below.)

    The DWM Bass Panel is 2 "voice grids" and crossover within one panel. Wire the amplifier inputs in parallel (plus to plus and minus to minus). Wire the CC 5 to the "high" output of one of the DWMs (Do not use both "high" outputs). Note-- The resultant impedance will be a nominal 3 ohms. This requires the use of a high-current amplifier.

    The DWM Bass Panel should be placed close to equi-distance to the CC 5. It is not essential that it be the exact distance, but as close as is practical.

    To prevent over-driving the Bass Panel with movies, it may be advantageous to cross over the center channel bass at approximately 40-60 Hz for home theater.

    If two Bass Panels are used, the unused sections of both Bass Panels may be used in the same manner as described above.

  9. Bass Management and Processor Settings

    The CC5 is called a "small" speaker due to the limited midbass response. Getting the midbass/bass for the CC5 adjusted correctly is the single most important part of getting the most out of your CC5's performance. As an owner of a higher quality system, most likely you own a processor with adjustable crossover points for "small" speakers. Set your processor for "small" center channel speaker. Set the center channel crossover point at 200-250 Hz for optimal frequency response or as low as 150 Hz if your processor does not provide up to 200-250 Hz. You will be instructed to turn the subwoofer "off" on your processor. After reading all the instructions below, play the Magnepan Wide-Band Center Channel Pink Noise DVD which is included with your CC5. If the correct procedures are followed, your CC5 will give the illusion of a large Magneplanar in the center. If your processor does not have flexible crossover settings, DWM Bass panel may be the best option to achieve good center channel bass/midbass.

    There is a lack of flexibility with the majority of processors on the market. In the "small" center channel mode, most processors automatically route the center channel bass to the subwoofer. This will not give satisfactory performance with your CC5. The solution is simple; however, this part of the setup has confused a lot of customers. Even if you don't understand initially, go ahead and do as we instruct. And if you need some help, please call. Even though you will probably be using a subwoofer, set your receiver or processor for "no subwoofer." This may seem illogical, but it is necessary for the proper integration of the center channel midrange and bass.

    In case you missed it-- Set your processor for "no subwoofer" and leave your subwoofer turned off until you have completed a successful test with the Magnepan test disk.

    Here is how it works -- If you set the processor for "no subwoofer," there is no option for routing the center channel midbass and bass. The processor must send the center channel midbass and bass to the "large" left/right Magneplanars. That is exactly what we intend for you to get the best possible performance from your CC5. Your full-range, left/right Magneplanars will provide the center channel midbass and bass, thereby giving the illusion of a large Magneplanar in the middle. The definition of your left/right Magneplanar bass/midbass is vastly superior to the bass that can be achieved if the center channel bass were routed to the subwoofer.

    The usual practice of routing the bass to the subwoofer is less than satisfactory in most installations with Magneplanar center channel speakers. Often there is a significant "hole" in the center channel midbass response when higher crossover points are used. In addition, subwoofers are best suited for augmenting "large" speakers below 40 Hz and are considered "muddy" or of poor quality when higher crossover points are used above 40-60 Hz. At a crossover point of 150-250 Hz, the discontinuity between the CC5's "fast" quasi ribbon midrange and the relatively "slow" subwoofer becomes very obvious. Of course, you probably plan to use a subwoofer for home theater.

    To drive your subwoofer with this configuration, install a Y-adapter on both the left and right preamp outputs of the processor. The subwoofer and the power amp will be driven by the same left or right full-range signal. Use the electronic crossover in the subwoofer to set the low pass frequency. Be sure that the left/right "large" Maggies are set for "large" with no roll-off of the bass. Since the signal from the front left/right pre-amp outputs is "full range" (down to 20 Hz), the subwoofer will receive all the deep bass information. When the processor is set for "no subwoofer", the bass from the .1 (LFE) is routed to the "large" front left/right Magneplanars. The LFE bass which is sent to the left/right "large" speakers is in mono. If your subwoofer has only one input, it is not absolutely necessary to drive the subwoofer with both the left and right signal. (Note- The .1 or LFE bass information will NOT damage your left/right Magneplanars.)

    The benefits of achieving the illusion of a full-range Magneplanar in the center channel with this hookup technique will be appreciated 100% of the time. But, what about the absence of the .1 channel? All the same bass from explosions, etc. from the .1 channel are on the "full range" or "large" front channels and will be sent to the subwoofer with our recommended hookup.

    To prevent "muddy" bass, adjust the subwoofer crossover point and level so it does not overlap with the "full-range" front left/right Magneplanars. The goal of a Magneplanar home theater system is quality over quantity. Excessive deep bass does not enhance realism.

    The final steps in checking phase and center channel bass response is to confirm that the front left/right speakers are in-phase with the CC5 and that the center channel bass/midbass is in-phase with the CC5. (Again, this can get a little confusing.)

    First, using a standard test DVD, confirm that the CC5 is in-phase with the front left/right speakers. When in-phase, the audio test signal image will appear between the CC5 and either of the front left/right speakers. Then, using the Magnepan DVD test disc, check the phase between the CC5 and the center channel bass/midbass provided by the full-range left/right speakers. Intentionally reverse the phase on the CC5. In some cases, especially if the CC5 is not equal-distance to the front left/right speakers, the frequencies between approximately 100-200 Hz may increase with the phase reversed and it will be necessary to operate the CC5 in an electrically out-of-phase condition.

    Further bass and midbass adjustments can be made to give the illusion of a large Magneplanar in the middle by fine-tuning the crossover point of the CC5 and by level adjustments relative to the level of the left/right Maggies.

    The Magnepan Test DVD (which is included with your speaker) provides wide-band center channel pink noise, but without the use of a real-time analyzer, most consumers may wonder if the pink noise has the proper balance from bass to mids to highs. However, by playing pink noise through one of the large left/right Maggies, a listener can hear what pink noise should sound like and then use that sound to compare to the pink noise from the CC5 to judge if the balance is correct. An instant A-B test can be conducted by switching the processor from "no center" channel speaker to "small center" channel. In the "no center" mode, you will hear the pink noise through your "large" left/right Maggies and this can be compared to the pink noise from the CC5. When the CC5 is playing the pink noise, put your ear next to both the left/right speakers to confirm that the "large" speakers are producing the bass for the center channel pink noise. To make an accurate comparison, when listening to the pink noise through the left/right speakers, it is necessary to disconnect one of the left/right speakers. Obviously, two speakers playing pink noise will not sound the same as one speaker. The speaker will have to be reconnected when the CC 5 is evaluated with pink noise.

    If you are having trouble getting similar pink noise sound from the CC5 as compared to the large left/right Maggies, the problem might be the level setting (with respect to the left/right speakers), or the crossover setting and the phasing between the CC5 and the left/right speakers. Turn the subwoofer "off" for the purposes of this test to allow concentration on creating a "large" Maggie in the middle. Keep in mind that due to the fact that center channel speakers are often placed in less-than-ideal acoustical environments, exactly duplicating the left/right Maggies is not possible unless the same acoustical rules are followed as the left/right speakers.

    To make a final adjustment of the center channel bass and midbass level, turn the volume of the center up or down. This may seem confusing, but, it works like this-- If you turn the overall level of the center channel up, the center channel bass will be reduced. To increase the center channel bass, it is necessary to LOWER the overall center channel level. You may wonder how that is possible. Well, it is a quirk of how the bass management is structured. Many consumers turn the center volume up because they have trouble hearing the dialog, the net effect is less center channel bass/midbass.

    You have control over 3 parameters to create the illusion of a large Maggie in the middle-- 1) Crossover point. 2) Level setting with respect to the left/right speakers. 3) Phase. You will need to remember all three as you fine-tune your CC5.

    We have had a number of reports that the automatic equalization systems built into some processors have had less-than-desirable results with Magneplanars. We are investigating this further, but, apparently the equalization systems are not compatible with our recommended hookup procedure. We recommend that you defeat the automatic EQ system and manually make any needed frequency adjustments.

  10. Full-Range Operation

    The CC5 is a "small" speaker and if free-standing operation is desired, the DWM Bass Panel can be used with the CC5 to provide full-range Magneplanar center channel performance. However, the best center channel bass and midbass performance may be obtained by using the Bass Panel to fine-tune the front left/right speakers and using your bass management system to send the center channel bass to the front left/right speakers.

  11. Service and Shipping

    In the unlikely event you should need service for your CC5 Loudspeaker, we recommend you return it through your dealer. He is experienced in providing service and can assist you if the speaker must be returned to the factory. If you determine you need to return it directly to Magnepan, call for a return authorization and ship the speaker freight prepaid to:

    Magnepan, Incorporated

    1645 Ninth St.

    White Bear Lake, MN 55110


    Include a note describing the nature of the problem. Please include your name, address, and a daytime telephone number.

  12. Specifications

    System Description: Curved, two-way quasi ribbon midrange/tweeter, with quasi ribbon super-tweeter.
    Midrange Radiating Area: 213 sq. inches
    Frequency Response: 200-20 kHz
    Recommended Power: See Frequently Asked Questions
    Sensitivity: 88 db, 2.83v, 1 Meter, 500Hz
    Impedance: 3 Ohms
    Dimensions: 36Wx10.5Hx5D (inches)
    Warranty: Three years to original owner
    Weight: 13 lbs.
    Revised- 1-19-15

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