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Magneplanar 1.6QR Speakers Review by Rich Monk

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Model: Magneplanar 1.6QR
Suggested Retail Price: $1500
Description: Planar Magnetic Loudspeaker
Manufacturer URL: Magnepan
Model Picture: View

Review by Rich Monk on September 27, 1999 at 14:28:41
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for the Magneplanar 1.6QR

The Magenpan 1.6 QRs have top to bottom cohesiveness, with no impression of individual drivers. Midrage and treble seemingly very accurate. Female vocals reproduced very realistically. On Diana Krall's "Love Scenes" album, on the selection "Peel me a Grape" the 1.6's provide the illusion that Ms. Krall is in the room, singing about about mid way between and 6 feet behind the plane of the speakers. The Krall illusion is one that I enjoy a great deal, thanks to the 1.6's tremendous ability to reproduce music, not just sound. Resolution of individual instruments is outstanding. Placing a performer in a specific space is also an illusion that is well executed. Layers of depth are easy to detect, while overall depth of soundstage could be greater. Dynamics are improved over prior Magnaplanar designs, in my opinion. The Magnepan 1.6 QRs are an exceptional value, and can function well in a sound system with components which cost much more than the price of the 1.6's. My CD player costs $1995, and I think the 1.6's are fully up to the job of reproducing the signal the CD player puts out. I am not aware of any other speakers near the price of the 1.6's which reproduce MUSIC as well as the 1.6's do over all. With the exception of limited low bass output (below 40 HZ), I think the 1.6 can offer the most music for under $1500, and possibly the most music for under $3,000. While other speakers under $3,000 can do one thing or another better than the 1.6's, the 1.6's do the best job overall. They have the best balance of tradeoffs at their price level, to provide the most realistic music reproduction, for accoustic jazz at least, of any competitive speaker I am aware.

Product Weakness: Lack of deep bass reproduction and lack of soundstage depth.
Product Strengths: Reproduces realistic impression of MUSIC. Very well balanced strengths, weaknesses well concealed. Transient response incredible.

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Adcom 550 II
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Creek OBH 12
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Audio Note CD-2
Speakers: Magnepan 3.5
Cables/Interconnects: Belden wire
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Jazz
Room Size (LxWxH): 27' x 17' x 10'
Time Period/Length of Audition: 8 months
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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