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Magnepan

20.7

In-store purchase.  

“…fully competitive with some of the most expensive loudspeakers on the planet, for a fraction of the cost.”-Jonathan Valin

"..the dynamic contrasts and detail resolution of the 20.7s are so good that the only speakers that could possibly give them a run for the money cost many multiples"-Don Saltzman Magnepan 20.7 review

The big Magnepan 20.7's serve as a benchmark for their price and performance. They do ask that you have a big room, they do ask that you set up and tune the system to the nines, and lastly they need good high-end electronics, the kind that cost a lot more than they do.  Put all that together and you have a marvelous system that in the arena of soundstaging, resolution and realism can claim the highest of honors. 

Here in our store he larger Magnepan speakers are generally considered alongside speakers, ones actually in our store, that cost multiples of their asking price.  The only bugaboo is that you really need to have the room, space, setup, and electronics in order to get the world-class performance they are capable of.  Put them less than ~8 feet from the wall, you lose the football field depth and orchestra sized soundstage. Put a less than silent preamplifier and low-current amplifiers and they lose their snap and bass while ruthlessly revealing harshness and low level noise. In a way, you can think of a 20.7 as a speaker that belongs in any system that its much more expensive performance-par speakers belong in. 

Put all these ingredients together and the 20.7 is truly world-class.  The huge soundstage, the unbelievably fast sweep of transients that are fast across the entire frequency range, and of course the natural timbre of instruments and voices. Sublime.  With sufficient power the big 20.7's actually do put out some serious bass and of a quality that is quite unique. The bass is amazingly fast - similar to live music.  Related to this, the Magnepan 20.7 can actually image an upright bass. We've all heard other speakers imaging singers, guitars etc, but the big Maggie can actually image double-bass instruments as well. 

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