The mighty Magnepan 3.7i hath descended from the heavens to grace us the grandeur of planar music done like never before. We thought the 1.7 was an amazing upgrade over the 1.6, well we hadn't heard ANYTHING yet! The 3.7's are here and their level of improvement is absolutely unbelievable. To me they are now fair and square competitors to anything at any price. In many ways they supersede the performance of any speaker at any price. The reason is quite simple: technology. A dynamic driver verses a planar driver. The first weighs a few ounces, the second a few 1/100's of ounces (my science teachers are shuddering). Much like a 20,000lb semi trailer truck verses a light 2,000lb sports car, the latter can start and stop on a dime. No matter how much engine you put into the truck, no matter how large the brakes, it will never be described as 'agile'.
What's better with the Magnepan 3.7 verses the 3.6? Fine detail at low levels, integration, and bass performance. Three things? Fine Detail, Integration, Bass? Yup. I've summarized for you! Just three things? Uh huh, but read on to see how much these three little items mean!
The improvements have brought them to a realm of fine detail at low levels that is squarely in camp with the likes of the best dynamic tweeters we have heard. By best, I mean tweeters like the Dynaudio Esotar2 silk-dome tweeter. Read the reviews if you don't believe me, but Magnepans have always had a very slight slight 'noise' in their background. You can hear this when you listen for it, especially in our Cardas reference room with its 13" thick suspended walls. That's been vastly diminished. The result reminds me of the color picture analogy where you've always looked at great oil paintings made with paint colors that had been mixed-in with gray paint. Now imagine said paintings redone with no gray paint mix-in. The colors have more pop and vibrancy because they don't have any additives. Sound-wise, imagine driving along with a great Jazz CD playing, hearing the fine nuances of a master bass violin player's hands sliding over the strings with a little, subtle sliding bend that communicates the message of interpretation and masterpiece. Now imagine arriving home, turning off your car's engine, taking the CD into your home and listening to that same track on your Pearl Audio system. Fine detail at low levels.
The integration is the part that many reviewers have raved about. This means that the bass, middle, and high frequency all blend together to produce sound from one seamless 'sheet'. For the opposite imagine listening to a sub sat lifestyle system. You are acutely aware that the bass is coming from the little box at your feet and the high frequencies from the small high treble speakers with a big hole where the midrange never was. From our upright bass example, a poorly integrated speaker delivers the thump of the bass, but the just shovels out a coarse disconnected glob of unrelated sound coming from the wood in the bass body. The wood sound, we've all heard it. It's why we love upright bass. It's the magical sound from a giant fifty year old tonewood violin that shakes and creaks all kinds of fascinating low tones begetting overtones, begetting harmonics. It's the wood that's good and the 3.7's communicate this.
The bass performance part is easy: the new Magnepan 3.7 has another hundred horsepower under hood. In addition to detail and integration, the 3.7 has more low range muscle to work with so you hear lower, stronger, more room filling bass. That aforementioned upright bass now has some serious drive to it. You can feel more of the low level rumble exciting the room and filling it will bass energy that you can 'feel'.
Price shown is for Aluminum/Oak finishes.
The Magnepan 3.7i is on display at Pearl Audio Video.