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Original Message

REVIEW: Magnepan Magneplanar MG3.6 Speakers

Posted by Emmett on August 21, 2001 at 20:22:21:

Model: Magneplanar MG3.6
Category: Speakers
Suggested Retail Price: $3750 ($3950 w/Cherry Finish)
Description: Planar Magnetic Loudspeaker
Manufacturer URL: Magnepan
Model Picture: View

Review by Emmett on August 21, 2001 at 20:22:21
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for the Magneplanar MG3.6

This is a review for Magnepan MG 3.6/R speakers;

Let me start by saying, over the years that I have Listen to different types of music (and still do), which has given me the ability to listen, not only to the music, but the sounds of each and every instrument the recording has to offer. However, my love is and always has been "Jazz".

Over the past 25 years or so, I have had a variety of equipment and speakers. This is my first set of maggies.

I have spent a lot of time on the final setup that I'm about to base my review. Setup can only be achieved and quality sound derived from trial and error, and has taken many countless hours in doing so.

Also, I may add that optimistic setup of components has been achieved. I can no longer achieve greater sound qualities, without additional tweaks, and/or additional acoustical room treatment (s) that may or may not work.

It has taken a long time (about 400 hours) for the components to break-in for the end and final result to come full circle, I'm sure the electric company loves me.

I started my setup with the speakers firing down the length of the room. I positioned and re- positioned, over and over again. The sound had magnificent imaging and the tremendous depth was astounding. But the sound was missing one very crucial effect, there was no width to the music. I needed the “width” for my maggies to capture the realism of the music.

After very careful listening, I decided to scrap that setup and start over.

In doing so. I discovered that placing the speakers to fire across the width of the room rather than firing down the length of the room. After playing around with placement and repositioning a few more times. I was rewarded with a much wider sound stage, greatly improved imaging and of corse, much greater depth, and that is what I was trying to achieve, “width of music”.

I like speakers to disappear within the listening room. Musical instrumentation sounding as, not coming from a physical surface, if ya know what I mean.

The treble range is silky, airy and opened sounding to the point of being almost analytical in it's sound characteristics and qualities.

The articulation in the mid range of the speakers has the ability to produce voices as if the singer was in the room with you, very aliveness.

I have read many post as to the inability of the MG 3.6/R to produce sufficient amounts of bass. Nothing can be further from the truth (within there respective bass range) the bass is very tight and powerful, quick and precise when called for.

The bass abilities are quite evident when playing Janet Jackson's CD "Go Deep" from The Velvet Rope (very complex recording), and the inner detail of the recording by "Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny" Beyond The Missouri Skies, The reproduction delicacy is very pleasing to the ear.

Overall the maggies has no listening fatigue, I can listen for hours on end. The sound is completely seamless.

I normally wouldn't run the Plinius amps bridged, but the maggies sound so much better, and seem to be more at ease with the extra amount of horse power that the Plinius amps can provide. “I do not detect any graininess in the sound of these amps as I have heard in other similar quality amps”.

I truly have come to the conclusion that the more clean power these speakers have, the more open and revealing they sound. I'm not talking about the 200 to 300 watt range, but ranges around 400 and above watt per channel.

To sum things up, if you have the a lot of clean power, and willing to spend a lot of time with speaker placement. You can achieve an extremely good sounding system.

A word to the wise, if you have a rectangular room and your speaker setup is firing down the rooms length, and space permits, you need to rethink your options IMO.

P.S.: Some friends of ours has a set of 1.6's, they want to bring over to hear what they sound with my equipment. So, when time permits, I’ll give a review on the 1.6's ver 3.6/R’s.

Product Weakness: Well I gotta tell ya, as with all audio equipment, we'll never get the real thing. But we keep tryin.
Product Strengths: Soundstage, width of music and transparency. For the money ya cant go wrong with these good looken ladies.

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: 2 Plinius SA 250 Mk IV bridged
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Plinius M-16P preamplifier
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Meridian 588 CDP
Speakers: Magnepan MG 3.6/R Biwired
Cables/Interconnects: Analyst Plus Silver-Ovals Interconnects, Analyst Plus Oval 9's for bass, Analyst Plus Oval 12's For Highs
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Jazz
Room Size (LxWxH): 32' x 36' x 12'
Room Comments/Treatments: Walls were constructed using a special mixture of fiber with plaster, then wallpapered. Concrete floor covered with a high density 5/8" thick padding and thick carpet.
Time Period/Length of Audition: 90 days
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner