Plus! I wish all speakers sounded focused and transparent like LS3/5a’s or vintage Quads. I also want them to be uncompressed and play large, with window-shattering power and floor-shaking bass. And while I’m wishing . . . I’ll take a little glow and sparkle and voodoo magic as well.
Unfortunately, few loudspeakers do all that. And the ones that can cost crazy cash.
But there might be hope. I have discovered a radically engineered floor-standing speaker that maybe, just maybe, does a lot of all that—for a lot less than crazy cash. That speaker is the Manger p1, manufactured in Mellrichstadt, Germany. It costs $14,995/pair to $18,995/pair, depending on the finish.
The Manger sound transducer
1925: General Electric engineers Chester Rice and Edward Kellogg introduced their radical “Hornless Loudspeakers,” which featured a conical paper diaphragm attached to a coil of wire energized by a large magnet structure.
1968: Vexed by what he perceived as the inherent limitations of loudspeaker cones, Manger Audio’s founder, Josef Manager (1929-2016), began developing a new coneless type of loudspeaker driver. His first finished design—a flat, low mass, wide-bandwidth, multilayered, impregnated-textile disc—appeared in 1974. Manger described this membranelike disc as “highly elastic in its plane but inelastic in bending.”1 Unlike most loudspeaker drivers, the diaphragm of the Manger Sound Transducer (MST) does not operate historically. Instead, voice coil excitations generate transverse waves along its flat surface, like ripples in a pond.
Manger described the goal of his research as “[minimizing] time-delaying energy storage during the transformation of the electrical form of energy into the mechanical form.” His daughter, Daniela Manger, who now serves as Manager Audio’s chief engineer and CEO, explained via email that “the rigidity of this thin flexible diaphragm decreases from the center to the outside at an equal ratio, similar to the basilar membrane in our ear. High frequencies expire quickly in the inner area of the membrane, while lower frequencies move concentrically to the edge; where they encounter a matched termination and, a star-shaped absorptive damper; which, prevents reflections from returning from the edge.”
The Manger website claims the MST’s bandwidth is 80Hz–40kHz, with a voltage sensitivity of 89dB/W/m and a rise time of 13μs. The website also suggests that the MST “represents a frequency-independent impedance for the driving force. . . . It behaves like an ohmic resistance in a power circuit.”
After pestering Daniela Manger to tell me exactly what the MST’s membrane is made of, she sent an explanation: “It is a three-layer sandwich, two very thin outer foils and in between, there is a plastic with special properties. The recipe was developed by my father and we manufacture the plastics in our own factory.”
The Manger website describes another interesting Josef Manger innovation: a single voice-coil that is really “Two voice-coils (on one former), mounted mechanically in series and switched electrically in parallel.” According to Ms. Manger, this produces a long but “extremely light” 70-mm driving coil capable of ±3.5 mm of displacement, with a total weight of only 0.4 grams. Manger’s dual-coil voice-coil is energized by “no less than 15 neodymium magnets concentrating their magnetic field of 1.32 Tesla on an air gap of only 0.95 mm width.”2
According to Ms. Manger, “My father realized about 50 years ago, that a musical instrument reproduced by a cone loudspeaker does not sound natural. The Manger driver was developed because he realized: the problem is not in the frequency domain but in the time domain.”
The Manger p1 loudspeaker
The current Manger lineup consists of three two-way floor standing models: one active (the s1) and two passives (the p1 reviewed here and Manger’s flagship passive, the p2). The company also makes two stand-mount monitors, one active, one passive.
In the slender p1, the MST is loaded by an 8-liter sealed sub enclosure and is crossed over at 360Hz to an 8" carbon fiber/paper sandwich bass driver, residing in its own larger sealed enclosure. The p1 cabinet measures 44.8" tall by 10.6" wide by 8.4" deep and weighs 61.7lb. It is available in an almost infinite variety of colors and finishes including various shades of matte or gloss finishes or wood veneer. My review samples were in a Makassar ebony matte finish.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Forget about the sound of the recording.
MY BACK PAGES
Monitor Audio Silver 500 7G
“MUSIC WAS MINE TO EXPERIENCE.”
FOR ALL ITS GHASTLINESS and heartbreak, the COVID-19 pandemic has been good to Keb’ Mo’. When the virus hit the US, it forced the cancelation of a string of his concerts. “I was getting a little burned out on touring,” he confesses.
Turntable setup is a diagnostic exercise
Riviera Audio Laboratories Levante
Joe Henderson: Blue Note and Beyond
Fyne Audio F500SP
GERMAN WATCHDOG PUTS GOOGLE UNDER CLOSER ANTITRUST SCRUTINY
Germany’s antitrust watchdog paved the way this week for extra scrutiny of Google by designating it a company of “paramount significance,” the first to get that label since regulators got more power to curb abusive practices by big digital companies.
‘THE BIG DELETE:' INSIDE FACEBOOK'S CRACKDOWN IN GERMANY
Days before Germany’s federal elections, Facebook took what it called an unprecedented step: the removal of a series of accounts that worked together to spread COVID-19 misinformation and encourage violent responses to COVID restrictions.
Homeopath, heal thyself
Natalie Grams believed—really believed—in the healing power of homeopathy. Then a health crisis of her own forced the German physician to question her faith
MAUSER MODEL 1898
Fighting to Be More Than A Cog in the Machine
A German auto parts maker seeks to engineer itself a future for the post-Merkel era
GOOGLE TO INVEST $1.2B IN GERMANY CLOUD COMPUTING PROGRAM
Google said that it is investing 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) by 2030 to expand its cloud computing infrastructure in Germany and to increase the use of renewable energy.
Who Comes Next?
The race to succeed Germany’s Angela Merkel pits caution against boldness
Auf Wiedersehen, Klimakanzlerin
As she leaves office, Angela Merkel, hailed for her pioneering global leadership on climate change, stands accused at home of not moving fast enough
German Sniper Rifles
In the run-up to World War II, military planners in Germany expected a fast-moving mechanized war. They considered that a sniper firing one well-aimed round at a time was a holdover from trench warfare. On December 6, 1934, the German Army’s High Command ordered all “Telescope Sight Rifles” to be turned in by the 15th of that month. There was no plan for their replacement (from Sniper Variations of the German K98k Rifle by Richard D. Law).
DAYS OF OUR LIVES
James Reynolds (Abe)