Magnepan's new MG 3.7s have generated a lot of enthusaism - especially in the pages of TAS. I wondered if anyone had the opportunity to compare them to Magnepan's longtime flagship MG 20.1s?
Probably not much point in investing a lot of time in that endevour as one would expect the 20.2 to be Magnepan's next significant release. Though it would be fun! What will be interesting to see is if Magnepan can continue with the "all ribbon" (true and quasi) design of the one and three point seven and still have the bass impact of a 20.1 - which employes planar magnetic drivers for the bass.
That's the logical assumption (a 20.2) but I have seen people quoting Wendell Diller (of Magnepan) to the effect that an upgrade on the 20.1 is not in the immediate future as it was considered that making significant improvements to the 20.1s would be quite difficult. That is, of course, only hearsay. Nevertheless, I am interested in the here & now - how the 3.7s compare to the existing 20.1s.
Here's Wendell's original remark:
"After 12 years, we came out with the 1.7. The following year, we came out with the 3.7 (after 12 years). We understand the speculation that there will a successor to the 20.1 during CES 2012. But, what seems like a logical progression isn't necessarily so. We will not 'sprinkle some magic dust' on the 20.1 and call it a 20.2 just to bolster sales. The 1.7 and 3.7 were selected in blind testing with their predecessors. The 20.1 is a tough competitor."
So he seems to be saying don't count on an upgrade in the near future, but he doesn't seem to be ruling out the possibility, if they can figure out how to make a big enough improvement.
I would go with the new 3.7s. From what iv'e read and heard, its the most coherent Magnepan in their entire line. Also, if you decide to go with the 3.7s you could put some money towards better electronics to drive them to their true potential. Also, the 20.1s reguire a much larger room than the 3.7s would (just something to keep in mind). I'm 19, and i love my 1.7s.
Thanks for your thoughts folks - no-one able to offer a comparative take?
I've listened to 20.1, 3.7 and 1.7 .... all in different systems, but 1.7 and 3.7 in same dealer room. I heard the 20.1s driven by high powered hybrid tube ARC gear. Huge sound, great low end extension and presence. A little forward for my tastes. I heard the 1.7s driven by McIntosh and Ayre hardware. Airy and fast etc, but etchy and aggressive on top for my tastes...center of gravity in the upper registers. I heard the 3.7s driven by a simple 150wpc Ayre stereo amp. Amazing. Dynamic, coherent, musical, balanced, fluid, a wall of sound but with instruments and voices to scale, super good at lower listening levels. 20.1s are hard to beat for pure dynamics and low end extension but they are mighty big and require a big space to breathe. For my room, my tastes, etc I could not be happier with th 3.7s (driven by VAC 300.1a tube amp 150wpc). I voted with my wallet and bought them. Replacing a pair of Esoteric MG20s which I think are great for box speakers.I also have a Velodyne DD+15 that pairs well with Maggies...adds all the low end, fast sub 40hz presence I need. In my room the 3.7s measure pretty flat to 40 and even show extension to about 35. On many tracks/albums I don't need a sub. When I auditioned them, I asked them to turn off their JL Audio subs.