Upgrade to Magnepan MG 3.6?

Steve A -- Sat, 12/20/2008 - 11:45

I'm wondering if I should upgade my speakers to Magnepan MG 3.6. My current system consists of a Marantz TT-15S1 Turntable with a ClearAudio Virtuoso MM Cartridge, a Sony DVP-NS3100ES DVD/SACD/CD Player, a Benchmark DAC-1 D/A Converter, a Jolida JD-9A Tube Phono Preamp, an Audio Research SP-16L Preamplifier, a Vincent SP-331 Amplifier, Magnepan MG-1.6 Planar Speakers. I'm using Kimber Kable Hero Interconnects and Kimber Kable 8TC speaker wire.
My current system is very musical.  Ugrading to the Magnepan 3.6 would provide more detail, resolution and deepen the bass response.  I just don't want to lose the musicality of my system by upgrading to the Magnepan 3.6 where the increase in resolution highlights weaknesses in my current components. Will my current system support the upgrade to the higher resolution MG 3.6s?

Barry Diament -- Thu, 01/15/2009 - 16:04

Hi Steve A,
I'm not familiar (i.e. haven't heard) the Vincent amp but the rest of your gear sounds like a good fit.
I went from 1.5s (and 1.6s) to 3.6s and I'm thrilled with them.  
By the way, they are my studio monitors.  (see photo in second link below)
Best regards,

Cemil Gandur -- Sat, 01/24/2009 - 10:52

Also not familiar with the Vincent amp. The 3.6 is a superb speaker, unbeatable at theprice IMO. However, it needs a fair amount of power - I would recommend 200 quality watts to deliver its best. I would not recommend it to be used with anything less than a 100 W amp.

Steve A -- Sun, 02/15/2009 - 19:23

Thanks for the replies.  The Vincent SP-331 amp sounds great  with the Magnepan 1.6s.  Has anyone heard the 3.6s with the Vincent SP-331 amp?

Yuri (not verified) -- Fri, 05/29/2009 - 08:25

Just a contribution : I have a Maggie 3.6 feed by a Gamut D200mkIII. Sounds wonderful !

kenowine -- Sun, 08/09/2009 - 00:02

I was thinking of the same upgrade - I am using the Vincent a331 amp with the a31 preamp - my dealer said my amp would easily handle the upgrade. I haven't done it because of a questin of my rooms size - 12 x 22 - and I am getting such good sound now!

don murdza

CometCKO (not verified) -- Fri, 08/21/2009 - 12:03

As a fellow Maggie 1.6 owner, I've looked at this upgrade too.  I've listened to the 3.6's in other environments, but not in my own.  They do take up a LOT more room, and just like the 1.6's benefit from having a lot of space around them (esp to the back wall).  Do you have the room for them?
Also, you may not yet have plumbed the full depths of capability for your current speakers.  If you wend your way over to the MUG (Maggie User's Group) on AA, you will find a lot of opportunities for upgrading the crossovers with higher quality parts, adding more rigid framing/speaker stands, and bi-amping your 1.6's.  One advantage the 1.6's have is better coherency between the quasi-ribbon tweeters and the bass/mid panels.  The ribbon on the 3.6's generate much nicer high-end (with the right system etc), but at some loss of coherency IMHO.
About 2 years ago I went to actively bi-amping my 1.6's with a Linkwitz Labs MT1 crossover using the original factory crossover points for both sets of drivers.  This turned out to be a MAJOR improvement in sound from a speaker I already liked a lot.  For a lot less money, I think you can find something close to sonic nirvana, without destroying a sound you already like.
Hope this helps!

kenowine -- Fri, 08/21/2009 - 20:06

Thanks for the info - I'll have to check out your bi-amping with the Linkwitz. Over a year ago, I asked my dealer (Definitive Audio - Seattle) about bi-amping and they said there was no advantage - they got their info from Wendell Diller who said they ran all sorts of tests -but they include that capability becaause many audiophiles demand it. However, I do have a rich, harmonic sound - alot due to the input from Jeff Wells who owns Audible Arts in Campbell, Calif. He was sold on hybrids - why I bought the Vincents (to replace my 20 year old Tandberg integrated!).  Jeff also sold me a Music Hall DAC 25.2 - that appeared at the CES in Las Vegas in Jan. But he replaced the original cheap Russian tube with a $150 Siemens - a big improvement in the sound. Also required was a $200 Ixos Exotica interconnect from the Rega Apollo (now a transport) to the Dac. I ab ed this two other interconnects and it definitely had a richer sound. Next the speaker cables (Signal) were replaced with JPS Labs Ultra conductor 2s - another improvement. And last - a Chinese power cord called ACT (Advanced Cord Technology) - that I ab ed with two other power cords (JPS and Signal Magic) - Eva Cassidy (Songbird) - had richer, smoother  highs - for $350 - the Chinese cord was a no-brainer. I did add a Tony Gallo subwoofer - Jeff recommended it - so I had more of a bass foundation for classical orchestra - but I had to order a 3 ft section of JPS Labs speaker cable to connect from the amp to the sub - as there was a degrading of the sound when I used the Signal. Now that I have a rich, coherent sound - I hate to change anything - Diana Krall's "Live in Paris" and "When I Look Into Your Eyes" are very realistic (with the lights off) - the sound washes over me like a warm shower! Jeff thinks the next good upgrade would be the ModWright preamp replacing the Vincent A31 - but that's four times the price. We haven't had any high end hifi in Spokane for over 20 years - without the internet, I could never have put this system together. This is my third system - and last - I built the previous two using hifi technicians. I will definitely take a close look at your info on the stands and bi-amping.

don murdza

D110 (not verified) -- Thu, 12/03/2009 - 15:38

I'm just debating the 3.6 vs. 1.6 and will be very interested in what you decide... might be interested in buying your 1.6 if you do decide to move up. I haven't heard the 3.6s but did listen to the 1.6 at Advance Sound in Tacoma and was impressed - my main concern is filling my room which is 36' x 24' with high ceilings... can you do this with the 1.6s? It's for music only. Thanks!

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