Magnepan 3.7 Speaker System Review

“Awesome speakers? Yes... Perfect? Of Course Not!”

There are rumors going around that the Magnepan 3.7 has much more bass output than the 3.6. This is basically untrue. In fact this has been the primary complaint about any planar speaker.

They just don’t have much truly deep bass. Even the 20.1 from Magnepan, which does have excursion down into the 20’s, cannot match a piston type speaker system for punch and pitch definition in the bass. I love Magnepan speakers. The last paragraph may make it look like I do not care for them. The truth is that if you are a bass freak, they just don’t get it done. I am a bass freak. So, I will probably never own a set of these speakers. But, I do love them. They do sound better in many regards to any other loudspeaker I have tried. Are the 3.7’s better than the 3.6’s? You bet. Better in every conceivably way as far as I could tell. And, the 3.6 was no slouch. Paired up with a set of Macintosh MC2301 tube mono amps, these things are absolutely stellar. The Magnepan 3.7’s are just a bit better than the older 3.6 model. I’m not going to say that they are worlds better than the 3.6’s. The midrange is a bit more fluid and clear. The treble a bit more airy… And the bass does have more impact from the redesign, but they are still cut from the same cloth, which is a good thing. Like I said the 3.6’s were good. So I’m glad that the new model carries on where the old speaker left off.

Bass freaks need not apply:

If you are a true bass lover, I doubt these are going to get it done. Also, don’t even think about slapping any subwoofer in a system with these. I think you will definitely need a sealed subwoofer with very quick and agile transient response.

A sub with a lot of amplifier power too would be a good thing to really control the cone. Think a JL subwoofer like the JL Audio Gotham if you can afford it. The Magenapan 3.7 needs this much speed and control. The JL Gotham has the speed and control to work with this speaker.

What you want to stay far away from are ported designs that are slow and lethargic. You will know what I mean if you try one and the bass does not keep pace with the panels of the Magnapan.

What they are good with

The Maggies are quick, make no mistake about it.

This is where panel speakers really shine. They have to move very short distances, and in so doing get to where they are trying to go very quickly. This is why they are remarkably transparent as sources. Lots of power + short distances to travel = very fast arrival times. This transient speed is what makes music sound transparent, coherent, tuneful, and musical. And, this is what Magnepan 3.7 speakers do very well.

The big Magnepan 3.7 speaker is one of the best I’ve heard in this regard.

So, while I would probably never own a set of these speakers it is not because I don’t like them. I’m just too much of a bass freak.

Also, the Maggies really do their best stuff on vinyl from what I can tell and I am personally too much in love with my digital setup. So, they really wouldn’t work for me over some of the better dynamic driver speakers that I like such as the Rockport Altair. (Although, I cannot afford the Altair even at 1/4th the retail price)

Is the Maganepan 3.7 speaker a bargain?

In my opinion; this speaker is an absolute bargain. At around 5500.00 USD these things can beat the band where they are strong.

And, you can add a subwoofer and get the best of both worlds. But by the time you add a sub, you might be into the 15k to 20k per pair territory where there is some very stiff completion from the likes of Magico, for example.

Still, if you love symphonic music, jazz, live recordings, or acoustic music you will love the 3.7 speakers. They are very, very good speakers for the money, and offer state of the art performance for transparency and clarity without sounding harsh or tiring.

They make beautiful music most importantly, and unless you are a true bass lover they will make you more than happy with their stellar performance. Highly recommended, with the caveat for deep and gut wrenching bass, of which they just will not do.Excellent speakers.


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