Thinking of Magnepan ... finally!

Until recently, most of my amps have been tube-based with the exception of a few great SS integrateds thrown into the mix for fun. That's probably the main reason I have stayed away from Magnepans (or other speakers of its ilk) thus far. Now that I have an Aavik U-280 integrated amp that can do 300 watts @ 8 ohms and doubles to 600 @ 4, I would love to scratch that itch finally. Keep in mind that I do not intend to get rid of my other speakers (Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene, Harbeth SHL5+, Fritz Carrera BE) since I love them all for different reasons. The Magnepans will be rotated in the main listening room with Joseph Audio Perspectives. One thing I like about Maggies is that they are relatively lightweight so I can move them to the closet without breaking my back when not in rotation.

Since I've never owned Magnepans before, I have a ton of questions and doubts. So here we go ...

Bass (or the lack thereof) -- I've been told that the Magnepans are very light on bass and definitely require at least on subwoofer. Is this true in all cases? Anyone using them without subs and happy with the performance? TBH, I really would prefer that I don't use subs but not set in stone for sure.

Breathing Room -- my room is 20' x 15' with 12 foot ceilings. The speakers will be placed along the short wall (15'). I can pull them out by about 4.5 feet from the front wall and 3 feet from the side walls. Seating distance will be approximately 8 - 9 feet. Is this good enough or do you think more distance, especially from the front wall, is required to truly enjoy the speakers?

Mods -- I've also heard that the stock components (crossovers, fuses, etc.) and stands are suboptimal. Is this true? If so, what are the minimum requirements to bring the speaker to a higher standard and at what cost? 

Value -- For someone who is just starting out with Maggies, which model is a good entry point? I know that LRS+ is a good value, but my other speakers are very very good, so I want to do justice to the Maggies as well. But at the same time I don't want to spend more than I need to. Where do you think the sweet spot lies, i.e. which model(s)? I will be looking for used only since I've already spent way too much on other speakers.

Imaging -- I've also been told that imaging on Maggies is not that great. I have never heard Maggies before so I have no idea if this assertion is true or not. Your thoughts?

And finally, I want to hear from folks who love their Maggies. What is that you love most about the speakers? What qualities do they bring to the table that no other speaker does? Are there magnetic planar speakers from other brands that I should also be considering? Keep in mind they have to be readily available in the used market. So please don't suggest something that doesn't meet this requirement.

However, to bring some balance to the feedback, I would also love to hear from those who tried Magnepans and moved on to something else. Why? What was it that you didn't like about them? What did you move on to?

Thanks in advance and a sincere request: Please keep it civil ... no need for haters of Magnepan to use this as an opportunity to diss the brand.


I would urge you to listen.  Totally different presentation from conventional speakers. 

I had some 3.5R's and loved them.  I found them as power sensitive as a rock.  You are right about the power.  As such, there is a definite improvement with these speakers with as good of speaker cable as you can afford. 

Bass - I ran mine with a sub and found them a bit bass light without.  I believe this is a personal opinion. 

Breathing Room - my room was smaller than what you are running yours in.  You have ample space.  The more you can pull them from the back wall the better.  My sweet spot was about 4' from the back wall. 

Mods - I ran their crossovers and found them good enough for me.  The big improvement I found was with heavier/better speaker cables.  These are power hungry speakers that have to be fed. 

Value - have you considered used?  I believe there is a long waiting list for the LRS.  You might find some 3.6 or 3.7.  Even 3.5's if they are mint.  The large wear piece is the ribbon tweeter, that can be replaced.  The ribbon tweeter can take you places that I don't know that the LRS is able. 

Imaging - once positioned correctly, these can take you to places of audiogasm.  You can close your eyes and they can be very 3-D.  They are very exact and play everything.  You can hear people talking in the background of recordings.  Piano becomes a real audio treat.  Of all the speakers I've had the Maggies went to a whole new level with Dire Straits Love Over Gold. 

I sold these speakers about 10 years ago.  I do miss their sound but moved a different direction about as 180 as it gets.  Maggies play everything and I found this can be fatiguing.  All speakers have a certain sound that they do well.  What I now listen to is, low wattage SET with high efficiency Altec Lansing 16 ohm, VOTT's.  These were true NOS as I bought used, but unassembled  in boxes as they sold in 1959, when the person originally bought them.  The enclosed wire, to link the horn tweeters to the crossover was a very light gauge 3 wire.  While I did upgrade from the factory original, I have found that speaker wires play virtually no roll in driving these.  Very opposite from the Maggies. 

As a long time Maggie user, I can say that much of what is said about them, at best, exaggerates their supposed "weaknesses". Your room is probably great for have more than enough power.....if you want them that far out in the room, fine, but that's more than necessary.  And imaging? Anyone who claims that to be a weakness has NO idea what they are talking about. The bass issue depends (as always) on placement and also what you listen to. If you want to rock out, a sub or two is great. (The integration issue is also overblown). There is almost no sidewall interaction with planars, so you can use them to your advatnage regarding bass. If you listen to more acoustic music...acoustic bass on Maggies is absolutely superb. Piano also.

I recently changed my room around such that my Maggies didn't work so great, so I boxed them and put in something else. But I am not selling them because I know I will eventually want them back in the system. As much as I like the MUCH more expensive speakers I am currently using, Maggies make an unforgettable imprint on your brain.

As someone else said, listen for yourself.

Good luck!


despite my often finding @secretguy 's commentary here cynical, spiteful and crass, in this case i agree with everything he is saying about the maggies

as you know, there is much much written here on a-gon about maggies big and small, old and new - i trust you have read through those posts carefully

my short advice is you must try them in your home, as much as share my thoughts here, i would be the first to admit that others’ words cannot convey what these speakers can do, especially when one’s prior reference are speakers such as harbeths fritz's other nice box speakers...

maggies are very very special speakers when given a room environment (and amplification) in which they can shine -- they have a level of beauty, fullness, coherence, wholeness and purity/clarity of sound that is a simply level (or two) above

i would say start with a nice used set of 1.7i, get them on magna riser stands (many used sets are sold with them) outlay is quite reasonable,resale not difficult,  try with and without subs (which i think you already have) - done right current gen maggies do not lack bass... though they don't produce the kind of pistonic woofer midbass in your chest 'punch' that some rock/edm listeners want

... and like pretty much ALL speakers extant, a pair of rels underneath bring them to a significantly higher plane of performance

get the speakers don’t worry about trivia like mods etc etc (those are minor and easy).... you’ve got a good amp for them now, as impassioned as i know you are in this hobby, experiencing maggies is a bucket list thing for you... one which might open a door to a new level of musical pleasure


Room treatment makes or breaks any listening room. 

Audio Research Uses Maggies in the room they use to verify all is well with every item they build. See the youtube video where Michael Fremer takes the tour.

Room treatment will allow you to use Maggies.

My room is treated all four walls and the ceiling.

It sounds fabulous. See my pictures.


I have found replacing the jumpers and fuses to be quite helpful and inexpensive..Magnepan is now offering upgrade stands for some of their models ...

3.7s have a tweeter to die for. It's a big panel and can push some air. Sub or no sub they sound great.

I own a pair of 1.6 Maggies.  Imaging is gorgeous when placement is right.  Spend the time to tweak the placement and you'll be happy.

Bass might be a tad light, but not overly so.  As someone else stated, unless you're looking for that "pistonic" bass, the Maggies are very realistic in the bass.

Mine are powered by a pair of Schiit Vidars in monoblock mode (Freya S preamp, balanced out to the Vidars) and I can get them to levels that are uncomfortable to listen to without problems

I'm not a big Maggie fan but I had a friend who was involved in speaker design including the Pipe Dreams speakers who I trusted alot. And he told me he thought the Maggie real ribbon tweeter in the bigger Maggies was as good a tweeter as there was. And he would have liked to have been able to use it in his speakers.

Everyone should at some point in their lives own a Porsche, preferably a soft top. Any one, doesn't matter. Then, drive it as intended. Use good fuel, don't lug it. It's not a Mustang, not a throbbing V8 Corvette. But until you own one you can't understand the attraction. Magnepans are the same. You have the room, the power, so go for it. Depending on your budget, the 1.7i is the sweet spot in the line. For some, $3k a pair is aspirational, for others, entry level. Nevertheless all Magnepans are capable of things no box speaker can do. And like Porsche owners and boat owners, if you sell them, you will always say "I'm between sets for right now." I've had Magnepans since the mid -70s, and right now have a pair of LRS I cycle in place of my Monitor Audio S300 7G and Kef LS50/Sub setup. My room is not 'Maggie Fiendly' - I can't get them out far enough - but I can still appreciate what can do in that space. Maggies demand more than most speakers, but return it with interest properly set up. But you must find out for yourself.

I’m very jealous you have such a great diversity of wonderful speakers to listen to, and adding the Maggies seems like a no brainer.  This doesn’t pertain to Maggies but more to making your life easier switching them with the awesome Perspectives.  These Herbie’s Gliders not only will make moving the Perspectives much easier, they may actually improve the sound versus using spikes — win win!  And they’re relatively cheap so surely worth a try.  Just an idea FWIW…

Hope this helps, and best of luck with the Maggies.  

$.02 maggies a virtually always presented at shows with tube gear powering them.

Having owned several , here is  why I had to rebuild them 

junk connectors , fuses = bottlenecks ,Xover well below average in quality ,you would think after 30 years they would build a solid frame that doesnot flex like a sail  which = distortions 

sound labs are much better in every facet , yes they are large and not cheap but Sound labs make the  best sounding stats !!

Do you live in Washington?  I have a pair of 3.7 you can try.  Magnepans are awesome, I have always loved them.  You need two good subs, but you have that covered already.  Oh yes, and you need a kick ass amplifier like a Parasound JC5 or similar.


I have Herbie Gliders on my Skylan stands that hold up my Fritz Carbon 7's.

It makes moving them around the wood floor so easy and allows my to swap out for my LRS's really without much trouble at all.

I agree with what others have said here...It's definitely worth owning a pair.   Maybe you'll like or  maybe you will pass them on...but they are a unique experience.  My room is not ideal either...and I'm new to Magnepans.  I have enjoyed their more diffuse yet detailed presentation as compared to my box speakers.   Some say they aren't very dynamic, but I think they are , at least for me.  There are moments where the dynamics are startling when listening to well recorded music.   Currently the only amp I have that can drive them well is my 120 watt into 4 Ohm AVA Set 120.  It does a marvelous job but can get hot.  I'd love to jump up to their new Set 500 stereo amp to pair with the LRS's.  

I also don't find them as fussy as some people say they are.  Yes they need room but not a crazy amount.  I essentially place them where I place my Fritz speakers which are about 3' from the wall behind them.  You'll have more interesting results from playing with toe-in.  

Currently using them with Magnarisers "slim line 2" which come with replacement jumpers.  I haven't done anything yet with the fuses.

If I had the room I'd seriously consider getting the 1.7's but as it is, the LRS are a perfect thing to have tucked away that I can pull out when the mood strikes.


I first heard Magepan in 1973, the Tympani 1A's. I was hooked and blew 70% of the budget on them. Since then I have had SMG's,  IIIA's, and now I use 6 x MMGW plus two DWM's and a Quad 2905 (centre) in the HT. Also I use two DWM's to complement my four modern Quad ESL's in the analogue room, all Magnepan powered by Bryston.

You may infer that I like planars. IMO Magnepan are the most cost effective, and compete with anything - they just sound like MUSIC. Resolving, not fatiguing. 

For heaven's sake don't spend money on cabling. Spend it on a better Magnepan. I've tried a lot in the last 50 years, but Quad ESL's for analogue and Magnepan for digital can't be beat. IMO.

As to bass, Magnepan sells small-fish bass panels to augment the bass, which is usable down to 35Hz in my room. Yes, I miss a two or three notes on every 20th record, but the rest is sublime. I would try used Magnepan 20.7's, if you can find them - your room is big enough to profit.

Good luck!

I own the 3.6 , 1.7 Mgmc1 and the LRS+ . They are all very similar but the LRS+ with the magnariser stands are an amazing value and the one that I recommend for you in that size room. 

$.02 maggies a virtually always presented at shows with tube gear powering them

this is incorrect (at least for the last 15-20 years)

maybe maggies have tube amps driving them in some room demo’s, but those would not be in the proper room that wendell demos his maggies as the principal exhibitor

maggie/wendell used to use bryston amps, then more recently switched to pass labs... neither are tube amps

in most recent shows where wendell is showing the little ’secret weapon’ dipole bass thingies....  he is using a schiit vidar to prove his point with a very cost effective amp... but once again, solid state

Hello arafiq!  I have owned 3 sets of Maggies and love them dearly. Properly set up, Maggies have bass, but a subwoofer is always a good idea. Cross it over around 80 Hz.  If you think of your walls as mirrorr, you will get the idea: angle the maggies toward the listener, the space between them 8 feet apart in your room.  Try to angle the speakers 30 - 45 degrees to the back wall and about 2 - 3 feet out.  The idea is to bounce the back wave off the back wall and onto the side wall, where it bounces again, lengthening the path of the back wave before it gets to the listener. Also the inevitable cancellation that wil occur around the sides of the speaker is upset by the differing distance from the speaker edges to the back wall, and minimized (due to the angleing of the speaker to the back wal).  I recommend the 1.7i as your first pair.  As a test, I pulled the plug on the subwoofer, and on most music (not pipe organs) there was very little loss of bass, and it was tighter. Use heavy gauge speaker cables as the Maggies love current. Happy Listening!

I have found open baffle speakers to offer a similar imaging magic as a magnet pan, and yet can’t be ever so much less demanding in terms of amplifier choice.

Good results with Mye stands and REL subs with Maggies.,goal%20of%20improving%20the%20performance%20of%20Magnepan%20speakers.


I owned the older LRS and currently the 1.7i I usually listen around 80 dB with peaks to 90+ Eclectic music taste. Rock, classical, some country, bluegrass, zydeco, organ, etc.

Imaging is what they do. Sound appears to come from far beyond the speaker’s physical location.  The speakers disappear.

The LRS+ has a several-month or more lead time and few on the used market. The LRS+ and the larger Maggies are not the same speakers. Less bass than the larger versions but IMHO tone is better with the smaller panel.

Bass is good enough for me. I also own two REL subs. Not necessary with the 1.7i They sound fine without the subs. That’s personal taste. Not the easiest speaker to integrate subs.

4.5 feet out is about where I ended up with both the LRS and the 1.7i I have them closer than 3-feet to the side walls. Dipoles are not as sensitive to sidewall reflections.

I’ve used a 25-watt tube amp and 850-watt mono-blocks and stuff in between. I prefer the big SS power. You have plenty.

The stands are cheap. I have not sprung for Magnarisers or Mye Stands. They are what they are. Can one hear a difference?

The crossover components are cheap, binding posts are steel. Oh, well. Plenty of expensive speakers use inferior crossover components.

The 1.7i sounded good enough to beat out the other speakers I was using, albeit older models (Infinity RS-II, Klipsch Chorus II, Infinity RS-III/a, KEF 104/2).  Of that group I liked the KEF 104/2 the best.  May give some hint as to my taste in speakers.  

Forgot to mention I’m using an unconventional diagonal placement where everything including the listening position is oriented into the corner.

my room is about 12.5’x17.5’x8’ but because of they way two of the walls are big openings to other rooms and the fact that there’s both a radiator and a fireplace along one of the short and long walls respectively I had to search for other arrangements.

This set up has been really good with both my Magnepans and Fritz speakers. It’s a slightly different setup for each.

Also, I’m definitely engaging room nodes with that corner as the bass is prettty great with these little LRS’s. But not too much or out of control or boomy at all… just a slight bump potentially making up for where the LRS’s are deficient.
I do have 2 Omega ”deep hemp” subs but they are out of the system for now and low end is great.



Agree the 1.7i is the best value in the product line. My issue with Magnepan is the fit and finish and lack of an SE model(on all models).The SE model(s) would include proper stands/WBT speaker binding posts and top level crossover parts. 

I have the 3.7's and use 12" sealed box sub.  Wonderful upgrade from the planar-magnetic panels.  Plan on spending time on placement, listening position, etc.  Subwoofer settings are crucial to good sound.  What I like about Maggies is they are non-fatiguing.  They are true to the source and will point out any flaws in the rest of your kit.


Life is too short, get them and get it out of your system, or keep them…lol. 
All jokes aside, consider Alsyvox and Wolf Von Langa to your must audition list before you buy any speakers.

 Speaking as a 3.7i owner …. and 1.6, 1.7i, .6. They have been the most frustrating speaker I’ve owned. Everything said about them can be true but doesnt need to be. There will be a sweet spot in your room where they come alive and image quite well. Mine are currently 9 feet into the room. Amp quality first then power. Mine are underpowered with my Audio Research Ref 75 SE but sound sweet with good image at around 80db. Really Sweet! Fuses, crossovers, stands all need replacement to get that nth degree out of the speakers. With the right juice and location bass is tight and articulate but not heart interrupting so a sub will add some foundation but be prepared for further frustration getting it to mate with the panel. Get it right and the speakers really unfold. The speakers are all a great value in sound quality but are a commitment. Nothing less than the 1.7 is my opinion but that said a friend owns the LRS plus with two subs and exposure amp and it sounds quite good. Will it compare to your Joseph set up…. probably not even close.

I found 20.1s right here on Audiogon for $5,500 (originally $12,500) and snatched them up instantly. As others have said, add a sub if you want some real bass slam because Maggies don't do that, but they do reproduce bass well. I don't have them away from a sidewall because I don't think that matters, but I do have them 3 feet out from the back wall. As far as imaging, it's my opinion that for the money, nothing else compares, Maggies are simply the best. Of course that means sitting in the sweet spot to hear the imaging properly.

DWM bass panels use magnets on BOTH sides of the vibrating mylar film. This results in the very linear push-pull effect, which gives minimum distortion. The 20 series does that too for the bass panels IIRC. That’s why the best panel bass is qualitatively better than, and qualitatively different from, bass from enclosed speakers.

a few additional comments on what has been said

I have owned 3 sets of Maggies and love them dearly. Properly set up, Maggies have bass, but a subwoofer is always a good idea. Cross it over around 80 Hz. If you think of your walls as mirrorr, you will get the idea: angle the maggies toward the listener, the space between them 8 feet apart in your room. Try to angle the speakers 30 - 45 degrees to the back wall and about 2 - 3 feet out. The idea is to bounce the back wave off the back wall and onto the side wall, where it bounces again, lengthening the path of the back wave before it gets to the listener. Also the inevitable cancellation that wil occur around the sides of the speaker is upset by the differing distance from the speaker edges to the back wall, and minimized (due to the angleing of the speaker to the back wal). I recommend the 1.7i as your first pair.

@boomerbillone’s description above is terrific, very well said

other points

-- sub integration, if you use rel’s and their high level connection, is not any more difficult than integrating them with any other serious speaker - and in absolute terms, not hard, but you have some patience and rigor in your approach - current rels certainly have the speed to keep up with the maggies

-- better jumper and fuse bypass are easy and make a small but noticeable difference... outboard crossovers usually aren’t worth it, just buy a better maggie!...

-- i versions imo add a noticeable degree of warmth and weight to the sound that my ears very much appreciate

I really appreciate the input and feedback from everyone. This is exactly the kind of input I was hoping for. It will be difficult for me to address and thank each one of you individually but please know that I really appreciate the detailed, high quality responses. Regardless of the outcome, the advice to try it in my own system is on point!

I think buying a used 1.7i is the right path for me at this time. If the sound appeals to me then perhaps I can think about upgrading in the future. If not, as mentioned earlier, it should not be difficult to resell it without incurring a major loss. 

Also, thank you for the placement tips. Based on what I'm hearing I have enough amplification and room to allow the Maggies to shine. I will, of course, tweak with placement as that's part of the fun anyways. Unfortunately, I ended up selling my REL subs to make way for another purchase. I might have to buy another pair some time in the future, but only if I decide to stick with the Maggies. The Aavik and Joseph Audio combo really made the subs redundant, but who knows I might get one in the future.

As someone with cats in the house, I am a bit concerned of the damage they can cause. I usually keep them out of the media room but it's impossible to always keep an eye on them. My fear is that they might scratch and tear the front fabric. Not sure how costly it will be to replace the fabric just in case.

Lastly, I looked at the Soundlabs suggestion by another poster. Definitely looks like a higher-end and possibly better built version of the Maggies. But they are a bit outside of my budget (new) at the moment. Plus, I don't see anything in the used market. But it's good to know that an alternative exists.

I will be on the lookout for a used 1.7i pair to show up in the local market (Dallas, TX). Kinda weary of buying it unheard from the online markets.

I owned two maggies in the past the last one was the Manepan IIIa. They do require a powerful amp that is very stable all the way to 2 ohms to make them sing properly. Once they are set up properly you'll be rewarded with a wide and deep soundstage that goes beyond the side and front walls. What I love about them is you can practically place them very close to the side wall and it won't affect the soundstage given that you give it ample space from the front wall to breathe properly.

The only minor pet peeve I have with them is that if you move your head from your optimal listening position in your listening chair the soundstage tends to collapse. Other than that these are excellent speakers as long as you feed them with proper ancillary equipment.

Anyway, a friend just bought a brand new 20.7 model that he waited patiently for at least 3 months before it was delivered to him. I was floored by how good they are when I listen to them for the very first time. The very first thing I noticed was their uncanny ability to disappear in the listening room and if you give it more power the whole listening room disappears that's how good these speakers are. 


I sold them in my shop when they were new and still have my Tympani I-C’s working perfectly.

If you set them up properly IN YOUR ROOM, you will never hear a more accurate speaker. ARC gear makes them sing, but whatever you like is probably going to be OK. I DO suggest an ARC pre-amp, and a NEW one is not required. I still use my SP-6B and have no issues with it.

Welcome to the world of accurate music reproduction (yes, I am very biased!)

SUGGESTION:  Try "Diamonds and Rust" for a nice demo...


I have a pair of .7’s, wanted to try their sound. Very nice with my Threshold SA/4e or my S500II. Small room-good sound.  14 X 14 feet-took some placement time and room treatment (LEGO)! Ha!

i think one of the most instructive things about this thread of @arafiq’s is the sheer number of magnepan supporters who have chimed in with their enthusiasm and suggestions for proper use ... owners old and new, of maggies old and new, the vast majority expressing their delight

in a forum where there are usually vastly differing opinions, widely varying suggestions, frequently diametrically opposite recommendations (topping d90 dac vs mhdt tubed dac, for instance, in another current thread, lol)... the sheer number of happy owners and supporters standing to be counted, many of whom are long tenured yet rarely post, speaks amply of the quality and value of this line of speakers 👍

I've read all the posts here and the statement that rings most true is from:

secretguy: As a long time Maggie user, I can say that much of what is said about them, at best, exaggerates their supposed "weaknesses".

Based on the prices of your other speakers, I'd recommend the 3.7i's.  Smaller models are great, but your room is more than ample.  Mine are in a room that is 13 x 16 and located 4 feet off the front wall on the narrow end with the back of the room open to the next level.  Quality power is key.  Other comments say they have less interaction with side walls which I've found to be very true - the imaging I've attained is fabulous and extends beyond the outer walls - and mine are within a foot of either side wall!  As with any speaker, placement is key with reasonable treatments for the room.  I run a sub and integrated properly quite literally "disappears".  Mods?  Decide that once you've used them a while, I've never tried any and really don't want to mess with the unbelievable sound I am getting.  I've heard many quality systems and have never been disappointed in what I've put together.  Have fun - I'd go for it! 

I've owned Maggies on and off for about thirty years, and as others have said they have a sound like no other. I think all the standard advice applies: more power helps, work with the room, consider a couple subs (I use a pair of small RELs), find the sweet spot. They DO take some time to find the right placement; I ended up with more toe-in in my current room than I would have thought. I have the 1.7i and they're lovely. It's not hard in the Northeast to find used Maggies since lots of people bring them home and realize they're not a good fit in their living room. 

Maggies are noted for acoustic, voice/choral, folk, jazz, etc, but they can sound fine with bigger sounds. One thing people don't talk about enough: if you have more than a few drams of whisky or glasses of wine, and you crank up something that's got a big groove, it's enormous fun to turn off the lights, stand between the speakers, and dance around that space. It's like you're in the middle of a cosmic nebula of sound, a cocoon of sonic pleasure. Maybe "Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley" or "I Wish" or "Hey Pocky Way" or some Little Feat. I wish I didn't have to work tomorrow...



+1 @bigtwin on the Sound Lab speakers. After electrostats you’ll never go back. You can find them used (I did) but not all that often. My wife, after hearing our 80 inch M1s thanked me for getting them. Bring lots of power…

+1 @jjss49 

The level of enthusiasm by Magnepan owners is commendable for sure. You can just sense how passionate they are about their speakers and how it connects them with the music first and foremost. Love it!

I have thought about the 3.7s but I think 1.7 is a good introduction to the world of Maggies. I don't know how the wife will react if she walks in and sees the massive 3.7s in the same spot as my Joseph Audios. I think 1.7s can act as the canary in the coal mine so to speak, lol!

This discussion is good for me too as I am considering the same thing. I am thinking about getting a pair of .7 or 1.7 and then using a PS Audio BHK 250 hybrid power amp to drive them. I am wondering if anyone here has this same combo, or a BHK 250 driving any Magnepan speaker. I think the wife will be OK with these smaller panels in our room.

I would love hear input on whether the BHK amp is good sounding and can supply enough juice for the speakers. I have been really impressed watching the Youtube vids on the amp and the designer Baskom King who evidently also has recently passed away. Still the reviews on the BHK250 seem to be really good.

I will also mention here that I posted the same question in the amplifier/preamp section, hope that is OK.

I've owned the Magnepan 1.7i's for a year. I highly recommend them. Upgrading the fuses and tweeter attenuator to .999 silver parts had a dramatic improvement on sound quality. Tearing the entire crossover and magnetic steel binding post out and putting in the GR-Research crossover upgrade would be the ultimate quality you could possibly get out of a Magnepan speaker.

@troidelover1499, you might take a look at the forum on the PS Audio site. There are many threads about Maggies. They seem to have a good return policy and have often had fantastic trade-in discounts. I've never owned one of their amps so I can't comment on their "synergy" with Maggies, but lots of people love them. 

@arafiq , I have set up somewhere around 10 pairs of Magneplanars and own Tympany 3s way back. The sweet spot in the line is the 3.7i. It has significantly better performance than the lower models making it the best value. The 20.7 is by all means a better loudspeaker but it is not twice as good. 

Your room and intended set up are fine. You only need three feet from the wall. Tweeters should always be to the inside. I do not know where you heard they do not image. That is poppycock. Their image is larger more lifelike than point source speakers. It is crucial that you deaden the wall behind the speakers. I use 4" acoustic tile corner to the inside edge of the speaker, floor to the top of the speaker. Maggies are dipoles and this is much different and in ways easier than box speakers.

Maggies (3.7is) make bass down to about 40 Hz realistically. You do not need subs with them unless you really care about that bottom octave. You clean up the mid bass a little if you use subs. If you do not listen at high volumes I would stay away from subs. Doing subs correctly requires digital signal processing which many do not want to get into. Doing subs incorrectly is much worse than no subs at all. 

I own SoundLabs speakers. They are better than Maggies but harder to drive. It can't just be a powerful amp, it has to be the right powerful amp. Parasound JC 1+ and Atma Sphere MA 2s are known performers. You are usually looking for a huge Class A bruiser. The smallest model is about twice as expensive as the 3.7i and IMHO subwoofers and DSP are now mandatory for the best performance, more than tripling the expense. 

-- i versions imo add a noticeable degree of warmth and weight to the sound that my ears very much appreciate

@jjss49 How big would you say the difference in bass is between the 3.7 and 3.7i?


there is a subtle but definitely noticeable difference as i heard them ... non i sounds leaner through lower register of piano and male voice... mostly in the midbass/upper bass is the impression i get -- both are limited in true bottom octave - but the i has more ’bloom’ around bowed or plucked acoustic bass for instance

but not so much that amp choice, sub support and placement cannot bridge the tonal gap between the two i believe


knowing you through this forum, i would definitely start with 1.7i over 3.7i you can always go to 3.7i later if you fall in love with what maggies do -- 1.7i much less expensive, less imposing in the room, and if you get light colored cloth they are quite ’architectural’ and some think even pretty standing there - 1.7i set up right driven right will definitely give you the true maggie excellence and sonic experience from which to assess next steps (if any) - but be sure to have at least one rel sub to support the bottom end

As enticing as the 3.7 model is, I feel it’s prudent to stick with 1.7i for now. I have no doubt that the 3.7 is possibly the sweet spot in the Magnepan lineup. But considering that I’m only trying to explore the Magnepan sound signature at this time without a serious $$ commitment, 1.7 is the more suitable entry point for me. If I like what I hear, and knowing myself, I have no doubt that I will be moving up the chain soon after.