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  1. #1

    My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Here is my take on Magnepan speakers.

    I have been through the exercise of comparing several models: 3A, 3.6R, 20.1, and 20.7. I have owned all of them.

    Never owned the 3.7/3.7i but I listened to the 3.7 before deciding that it was not worth the upgrade from my 3.6R at the time.

    First of all, let me say that these models share the EXACT SAME ribbon tweeter. You can switch the ribbon tweeter from one model to another with no problem!

    The 20.1 and the 20.7 are the SAME size. The 20.7 uses a different tech for the mid-range (same tech as the x.7 and thatís where it gets the .7) but they have the same SIZE for everything height, width, midrange AND bass panel areas.

    The 3.6R and the 20.7 have the same size mid-range panel but use different tech. The bass panels for the 20.7 are wider (that is why the 20.7 is wider and why it puts out more bass)

    I have played the 3.6R and the 20.7 side by side. I was totally amazed at how good the 3.6R sounded. Depending on the music material, they both sounded so good that it was hard to tell them apart. The main difference was when playing bass-heavy tracks and that is where the 20.7 really sounded better.

    Then I compared each using a sub. With a sub, the bass advantage of the 20.7 went away and the 3.6R got even closer on all music material.

    I considered the 30.7, but never listened to them. Based on what I had read, I concluded that 30.7 had the exact same ribbon tweeter AND midrange as the 20.7. The only difference from what I could tell was the bigger bass panels (in a separate enclosure). So to me that was no different than the 20.7+ Sub which I already owned.

    If I were in the market for a Magnepan speaker today, based on my experience, the latest iteration of the MG 3.7 plus a subwoofer should equal or better a 20.7 w/o subwoofer.

    Here are my 3.6R and the 20.7. Even though the 20.7 is about 6-8 inches taller, the tweeters and midrange are the same size!


  2. #2

    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    THX for your report.


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  3. #3
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    My brother upgraded to the 1.7i from the MMG. I absolutely love them.
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  4. #4

    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    My brother upgraded to the 1.7i from the MMG. I absolutely love them.
    IMO, Magnepan offers one of the best bang for the buck in audio. They should be touted a lot more in high-end circles. If fed the right power, they can fight WELL above their division.

  5. #5
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Thanks for your post. The 20.7 is my favorite Magnepan. I prefer it over the 30.7. It just sounds more coherent to my ears.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
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    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000ís with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  6. #6
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    First of all, let me say that these models share the EXACT SAME ribbon tweeter. You can switch the ribbon tweeter from one model to another with no problem!
    Nicoff, it should hardly be surprising that a manufacturer uses same drivers throughout lineups. Especially when they make said drivers! The latter being far rarer than believed.
    Do you still own any Maggies? (Have MBLs in main sys IIRC?)

    cheers,

    AJ

  7. #7

    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post

    ...
    Do you still own any Maggies? (Have MBLs in main sys IIRC?)
    Yes I still have the 3.6R. I am using them for surround in a multichannel/home theater set up. The MBLs are now the mains (Front/Left) in a multiple use room (stereo and multichannel/home theater).

  8. #8
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Very nice! You must have a biig room

  9. #9
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    If I were in the market for a Magnepan speaker today, based on my experience, the latest iteration of the MG 3.7 plus a subwoofer should equal or better a 20.7 w/o subwoofer.
    agree completely , having owned and or listened myself over the past 35 plus years to all of them, I think you're 'spot on' !

    last years gather @ Overture in Wilmington, De
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Cheers ! Ö. Dave

  10. #10
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    My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Thanks for the report. I have owned 5 pairs of Maggies. They are definitely a love/hate relationship kind of thing. They need a lot of power, but canít play super loud. The sweet spot is the size of a pea. Move your head 2 inches and you lose the image. But that can be said about a lot of panel speakers.

    The original Tympaniís are the best Magnepan speakers Iíve ever heard. Just glorious. The 30.7ís I heard were not impressive at all. Letís just chalk it up to a terrible demo. The 20.7ís are superb. Really nice. I always liked REL subs with Magenpan.
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  11. #11
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    In my family, we’ve owned 4 pairs of Maggies - 2.5R, 2.6, 3.7 and 20.7. My favorites have been the 20.7. Like Mike, I was not impressed at all with the 30.7 demo.
    _______________

    Mike

  12. #12
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    I wonder how the newest version, 30.7 for condos?, sounds. Looks like a slimmer version with dsp subs I think. They look more room friendly, but probably not wallet friendly.
    Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

    Luxman 590AX Mark II, Job INTegrated.

    Conrad Johnson GAT2, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2, Misho Myronov Wooden pre.

    Misho Myronov Wooden amp, First Watt SIT-3 (x 2 - one as backup), First Watt F7, Job 250 Monos, Valvet E2se, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos. Absolute Audio Labs PCF 25 amp (improved First Watt F7 super clone)

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    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

  13. #13
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    In my family, we’ve owned 4 pairs of Maggies - 2.5R, 2.6, 3.7 and 20.7. My favorites have been the 20.7. Like Mike, I was not impressed at all with the 30.7 demo.
    I love the 20.7’s. They are amazing speakers. I went to 30.7 demonstrations at two different stores and was disappointed. They provided more bass than the 20.7’s due to larger bass panels but lacked the 20.7’s cohesiveness of treble, midrange and bass. The 20.7’s sound more refined than the 30.7’s to my ears. If I was buying Magnepan, I would purchase the 20.7’s and not look back. Put that extra money towards some powerful amps.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000ís with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  14. #14
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    I wonder how the newest version, 30.7 for condos?, sounds. Looks like a slimmer version with dsp subs I think. They look more room friendly, but probably not wallet friendly.
    Joe, as shown in post #9, the big Maggies need a big room. I thought they sounded fine but with a dozen people 'milling about' it wasn't an ideal demo. Regardless, given the moderate size room that I have (14'6" x 24' 4") they would be too big thus my preference for the 3's with sub(s)
    Cheers ! Ö. Dave

  15. #15
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    I would still take an ESL over a planer-magnetic myself. Must be a full ESL, not a hybrid. The KLH Model 9 (new version) looks interesting. Iíve been eyeing the 60th anniversary Quadís (when they come out). I saw them in Munich. Have no idea where I would put them, but gotta have them (or a steal on a pair of 2912ís).

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  16. #16

    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    ....
    They need a lot of power, but canít play super loud. The sweet spot is the size of a pea. Move your head 2 inches and you lose the image...
    .....
    Exactly. They canít play as loud as I would have liked to for certain kind of music without blowing a fuse or a ribbon! The next day after having a party, I had to check for blown fuses or ribbons. Unlike the other Maggies, the 20.7 usually blew a ribbon while the fuse remained unbroken! My previous Maggies would break the fuse only or both (fuse and ribbon), but never the ribbon alone. I could never figure out the purpose of the fuse in the 20.7; it seemed that the ribbon was the fuse!
    That said, in the very narrow sweet spot and with the right music/volume they were truly awesome.

  17. #17
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    I would love to hear a Magnepan with a crossover mod like the one skiing Ninja did several years ago. Unfortunately, at Magnepan, they do not use high end parts in their crossovers. They build to a price point.

    If I had the know how I would mod the XO's in my 1.6's.
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  18. #18
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    The KLH Model 9 (new version) looks interesting.
    Hmmm, has seen some "KLH" cone n dome boxes recently, didn't realize KLH was that much back. https://klhaudio.com/model-nine-electrostatic/
    Amplifier power requirement: 50Wpc minimum, 75Wpc maximum.
    That's a pretty tight window
    Nice to see such a classic resurrected.

    cheers,

    AJ

  19. #19

    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechnutt View Post
    ....

    If I had the know how I would mod the XO's in my 1.6's
    ...
    FWIW, I replaced several components in my 3.6R and it was great!

  20. #20
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Never been impressed with any of the 20 series Maggies , The 3 series is the sweet spot of the line and best with Subs , much better than going up to any of the 20 series panels ...


    3.6/3.7 hard to beat at their price points ...


    Regards

  21. #21
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    I own/have owned the T-1Ds, the 3.5 and 3.6s. The 3.6's transparency, bass, and imaging are it's limiting factors primarily due to its parts quality. The stands, wiring, crossover, and fuses are not top of the line. The speakers are still an amazing value.

    All of that is fixable, but for a price and you end up with a couple of extra crossovers, amplifiers and other stuff. Everything here is one-of-a-kind - I did it the hard way. The 20s or 30s would likely be a step back for me.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22

    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Love my Magnepan 20.7s driven by an Audio Reserach GS150 power amp and an Aesthetix Janus front end.

    IMG_3516.JPG
    Aesthetix Janus (also Aesthetix Calypso), Aesthetix Atlas, Red Dragon M500, Bel Canto Ref600 (presently on loan), Bel Canto S300, Bel Canto M300, Woo Audio WA2 headphone amp, Beyerdynamic T1 Tesla headphones, Thiel 2.4s, vpi table & arm, dynavector diamond, Bryston BDA-1 DAC, Bryston BIT-20 isolation transformer/AC line conditioner.

  23. #23
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by pwhinson View Post
    Love my Magnepan 20.7s driven by an Audio Reserach GS150 power amp and an Aesthetix Janus front end.

    IMG_3516.JPG
    I owned the 3.7’s for a few years and have listened to the 20.7’s and 30.7’s numerous times in different systems and rooms. IMHO, it’s not even close, the 20.7’s are the best designed, built and sounding speakers in the Magnepan line. It’s no contest.

    Enjoy,
    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000ís with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  24. #24
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Is the 20.7 significantly better than the 20.1ís ....?

  25. #25

    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    Is the 20.7 significantly better than the 20.1ís ....?
    I liked the 20.7 better compared to an un-modified 20.1.
    However the 20.1 could be bi-amped using an active crossover and the bass in particular improved significantly. But that required extra amps and equipment. OTOH The 20.7 cannot be bi-amped.
    The 20.1 that I had ended up having the ďdelaminationĒ issue (when the wires separate from the Mylar). I understand that this was an issue with the glue that Magnepan was using at the time. The 20.7 do not have that problem.

  26. #26
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    Re: My Take on Magnepan Speakers

    The 20.7ís are one of the greatest deals in high-end audio in my opinion. The fact that you can purchase a pair of six foot eight inch tall speakers that produce a huge wall of sound with amazing speed and transparency for under $15,000 is quite remarkable.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000ís with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

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My Take on Magnepan Speakers

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