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Magnepan 1.7 vs. 1.7i vs. 3.7i

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  • Magnepan 1.7 vs. 1.7i vs. 3.7i

    I know there are some other Maggie lovers on the forum so thought I'd share my experience yesterday comparing the 1.7, 1.7i and 3.7i. I've had the 1.7 with Mye stands for 4 years and have been toying with upgrading, so arranged an audition at my dealer to compare the 1.7i and 3.7i. For me dealer auditions are always a bit of a crapshoot since there are so many differences to my home environment; from equipment to room shape, size and treatments to listening position. So better (or worse) sound at the dealer doesn't always translate to the same experience at home and is only a proxy that helps me form a directional opinion.

    First up were the 1.7i. The mid bass seemed a bit better than my 1.7s, but there were other aspects of my system I preferred. However, given that all reports indicate the 1.7i betters the 1.7 in every aspect, I put this down to room and system differences. Next up were the 3.7i. Same equipment, same room, same listening positions, so barring room size synergies, the differences were down to the speakers. Although the 3.7i did sound a little better in the bass and treble regions, the changes were far more subtler than I expected and for me didn't justify the cost or size delta. My fear was that I would hear the 3.7i and leave thinking I had to buy a pair regardless of what the stock market recently did to my discretionary spending fund, so I was happy to find that I didn't crave the bigger Maggie.

    Since I had the time, I decided to take the 1.7i home and plug them into my system to see how they compare to the 1.7. Although it wasn't a completely fare shootout given the 1.7s have Mye stands and the back panel is rewired to remove the resistor connectors from the circuit, those factors didn't influence the outcome. Much to my surprise there was a noticeable tonal difference between the speakers. The 1.7 frequently sounds a little thin, which is something I've chased from day 1. By contrast, the 1.7i borders on the dark. The midrange is so much fuller and richer that the highs seem a little reticent by comparison even though the share the same tweeter. Vocals were fleshed out and sounded as real as I can recall hearing in my limited experience and the bass had more prominence. They also sounded better at low volumes and were more forgiving of bright recordings. One interesting note is that while the 1,7 sound better in my room with the tweeters out, the 1.7i benefitted from the tweeters in. I'm sure more experimentation with placement would swing things even further in the 1.7i's favor.

    I have an email out to my salesperson to discuss placing an order.

    -John
    VPI Classic Signature w/3D arm and VAS Nova Signature, CIAudio PEQ1 MKII phono w/AC15 MKII power supply, Oppo 105, ModWright SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition, CIAudio E200S, Magnepan 1.7 w/Mye stands, Clear Day Double Shotgun and Audio Sensibility Impact SE cables.

  • #2
    John, how big is your room and which amps are driving your maggies I've been looking at the 3.7's for a 25x17x10 room, but the WAF is going to be difficult.
    Chris
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

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    • #3
      My room shape is extremely odd and hard to describe in words, but this diagram explains it (note: ceiling heights are to drop ceiling. Drywall ceiling is actually 8" higher). I am using a CIAudio E200S amp which is 200W @ 8 ohms doubling to 400W at 4 ohms.
      VPI Classic Signature w/3D arm and VAS Nova Signature, CIAudio PEQ1 MKII phono w/AC15 MKII power supply, Oppo 105, ModWright SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition, CIAudio E200S, Magnepan 1.7 w/Mye stands, Clear Day Double Shotgun and Audio Sensibility Impact SE cables.

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      • #4
        My 1.7i speakers started making a rattling sound in both panels in the bass. Reading several forums it seems to be a known issue - any Maggie owners here experience this and did you get yours repaired with a good outcome? Mine are out of warranty (5 years old). In troubleshooting I hooked up several amps and the rattling was persistent so I’m certain it’s not a clipping issue with an amp I’m hearing.
        Magnepan 1.7i, VMPS Large Sub, Belden 5000 Speaker Cable, Synthesis 510 AC Integrated Amplifier, Adcom GFA 555 II Power Amplifier, QED passive pre-amp, Celtic Dragon & Grover EX+ Interconnects, Crown SX 722 R/R, Nakamichi RX 202 Cassette Deck, Fosgate Signature Phono Preamplifier, Clearaudio Solution Turntable, Clearaudio Satisfy Tone Arm, Clearaudio Concerto V2 Cartridge, Clearaudio Smart Syncro, Belkin AP41300 Power Conditioner/Surge Protector, Transparent Power Cables

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JohnCh View Post
          My room shape is extremely odd and hard to describe in words, but this diagram explains it (note: ceiling heights are to drop ceiling. Drywall ceiling is actually 8" higher). I am using a CIAudio E200S amp which is 200W @ 8 ohms doubling to 400W at 4 ohms.
          That is an odd shape room. The room I was going to put maggies in is 18w x28L x10 h
          Chris
          ----------------------------------------------------------------
          Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

          Comment

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