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Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!

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Posted on August 1, 2021 at 14:31:48
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
Hello everyone,
I'm planning on buying my first pair of Magnepan. I still haven't heard neither the 1.7 nor the 3.6 but will soon (in different setups/rooms unfortunately).
I have a Mark Levinson 23.5 and unfortunately a small room 13x15 ft. I would place the speakers on the long side (asymmetrically) at about 3-4 ft from the back wall, about 5-6ft apart (no more), and with at least 4 ft from the sidewalls. The main problem would probably be listening position at about 6-8 ft with the wall behind.
I would go for the 3.6 but am worried about the soundstage. deep and threedimensional soundstage is really crucial for me, if I can't get that I will not love the speakers. that's why am seriously considering the 1.7, that might work better in my room.
By the way, the 1.7 would be with external high/quality crossover and Mye stands and 500$ cheaper than the 3.6. The 3.6 would be late production and supposedly in great shape.
Thanks everyone for your feedback!

 

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RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 1, 2021 at 15:33:12
66mgb
Audiophile

Posts: 224
Location: Neskowin Oregon
Joined: November 8, 2009
I have 3.6's in a 12x18 room with vaulted ceilings, they are fine but were better in my previous home in a 17x 45 room

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 1, 2021 at 15:53:43
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
What is your listening distance? What do you mean by fine, especially in relation to soundstage?
Thanks

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 1, 2021 at 16:29:25
pictureguy
Audiophile

Posts: 15448
Location: SoCal
Joined: October 19, 2008
Even my MG1 from the stone age were MUCH better in VERY large rooms.....I'd estimate 5000 cubic feet at least. A huge 2-story space with a few features making maggies an incredible choice.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 1, 2021 at 16:33:39
66mgb
Audiophile

Posts: 224
Location: Neskowin Oregon
Joined: November 8, 2009
The depth in the larger room was better, the low end in the smaller room was as good l to R sound stage in the smaller room was as good. Did not need as much volume in the smaller room so the Pass amp stayed in the class A mode more

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 1, 2021 at 18:19:11
Mike K
Audiophile

Posts: 13267
Location: 97701
Joined: September 23, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
May 7, 2000
In a room that size, I would go for the 1.7s. Besides which, the 3.6s are
somewhat "outdated", and have been improved up by suceeding generations of
the 3 series.
Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed. - Albert Einstein

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 1, 2021 at 19:03:54
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 16031
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 17, 2003
Personally with the money for a 1.7 I'd start with the LRS along with two subs and a pair of ficus trees.

For the money of a 3.6 I'd get the 1.7"i", sub and room treatment.

I once had a pair of 1.6's in a similar sized room and although the sound was superb, I felt too enclosed and unable to spend any extended amount of time inside it.

But that's just me. Good luck in your endeavors.


 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 2, 2021 at 02:30:06
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
thank you all for the advices.
Consider that here in Italy prices are much different for both used and new: a used 3.6 costs 1/4 of a new 3.7i. A 1.7i costs 1000€ more than the used 1.7 with Mye stands and external crossover. Plus, I'm not sure I want to play with subwoofers for now.
That's why for my budget I limited my choices to the used 3.6 and 1.7. Almost impossible to tell which would sound better in my room unfortunately

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 2, 2021 at 08:07:06
Roger Gustavsson
Audiophile

Posts: 1850
Location: Huskvarna
Joined: February 12, 2010
I have a pair of 3.6 with an active crossover in place of the external passive crossover and of course, 4 channels of amplification. My room is 410x515 cm. I have the 3.6 on the short wall, rather close to the side walls. No problems with having them 30 cm away from the side walls. Tweeters in, about 250 cm between the speakers that are angled inwards, axis crossing in front of the listening posistion. Although I have a wall rather close behind the listening position, the soundstaging is very good.

I have compared the 1.7 and 3.7 in a similar room - 3.7 was really on a different level, especially the soundstagin. My 3.6 does benefit from the active crossover/double power amplification but they do not have the mids of the 3.7.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 2, 2021 at 13:27:26
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
Thanks. Compared to the 1.7 are they significantly better?
I have listened to a pair of 3.7 with a sanders magtech amplifier and didn't like them, particularly there was no soundstage at all..obviously it was due to positioning/room, but that makes me worry that I might not be able to setup correctly the 3.6s in my room...

 

Have 3.6Rs in a 13' X 14' room, with vaulted ceiling, and they sound great. nt. , posted on August 2, 2021 at 14:41:00
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 1294
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
Nt.
Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

That room is big enough, plus the true ribbon tweeter is a game-changer. , posted on August 2, 2021 at 14:48:56
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 1294
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
It's just simply so much better than the QR tweeter. I've had both, and could never go back to the QR.






Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

Certainly. Biamp capability is another advantage of the 3.6R. nt. , posted on August 2, 2021 at 14:53:25
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 1294
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
Nt.


Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

RE: Certainly. Biamp capability is another advantage of the 3.6R. nt. , posted on August 2, 2021 at 20:42:46
shumi
Audiophile

Posts: 122
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 11, 2020
Stefano,
not an easy decision. I have the 3.6s with 2 subs in a much larger room and I love them. Front wall is diffusive, back wall is absorptive. Lots of room treatment across all 4 walls and ceiling. I actually agree with Green Lantern. The LRS with a couple of subs may be a very good solution for your application.
Ti auguro buona fortuna anche io.

 

Would agree. Sure wish they'd bring back something like the 2.5R!, posted on August 4, 2021 at 06:14:01
David S.
Audiophile

Posts: 3504
Location: Mountains of WNC
Joined: August 31, 2000
Always thought the 2.5R was just the perfect size for so many small to medium rooms, and it gave you a true ribbon. :)

 

There's been a fair bit of discussion about the subject on this forum..., posted on August 4, 2021 at 08:07:09
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 1294
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
and others, but I've thought for quite a while that something like a 1.8R would be perfect. Five-foot, three-way model with QR bass, QR midrange, and true ribbon tweeter. Not holding my breath, may well never see such an animal.


Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

RE: Would agree. Sure wish they'd bring back something like the 2.5R!, posted on August 4, 2021 at 09:22:09
Roger Gustavsson
Audiophile

Posts: 1850
Location: Huskvarna
Joined: February 12, 2010
I think the 1.7 and 3-series will fit the same size of rooms. The 2.5 is as large as the 3-series and is very similar in terms of what room they will fit.

 

+1. Nt. , posted on August 4, 2021 at 10:06:25
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 1294
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
Nt.


Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 5, 2021 at 08:13:28
FX35
Audiophile

Posts: 104
Joined: March 6, 2020
Hey Stefano, 1.7 or 3.6? the 3.6 is the better speaker, hands down. Will it work in that room? need more feedback..... is it typical European with stone floors, walls + ceiling? is it a living(family) room or dedicated listening room with total freedom for room treatment? is it a closed room or is there a open side somewhere?

If it's a typical stone(cement) closed In room then the biggest problem with a 3.6 will be clean bass reproduction. Depth +3 dimension imaging is a question of proper positioning, that won't differ much between a 1.7 or 3.6. In that room, depth + 3 dimension imaging is easy to achieve. The real question you should be asking yourself is, can I achieve a clean bass response with 3.6s in that room? 3.6s beat 1.7s in most areas, but also produce significantly more lower energy.

On the other hand, if depth + imaging is your thing, then I would grab the 3.6s any day over 1.7s.

My advice for that room would be, Maggies on the short wall, Tweeters 5ft from front wall, ears 5ft from back wall, tweets out, Maggies close to side walls(8-10in), tweets firing at ears, dial it in with a mono rec. That should get you going, then its down to room acoustics, treatment, equipment + cabling.

Good hunting!

let us know which way you go........


 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 5, 2021 at 12:17:03
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
Thanks, that was really helpful! The room has wooden floor and stone walls and ceiling. It is closed and not dedicated for listening. Unfortunately speakers can only be positioned on the long side, slightly asymmetrical. The room has a natural good sounding acoustics with other speakers I've had, including Elac FS409 which despite the two 18cm woofer did not produce invasive bass at all, rather very controlled bass.
The thing is I will be changing of place in about 6 months but I don't know we're exactly, but so can assume listening room will be as big as this one or slightly larger but not by much, and most likely it will not be a dedicated room.
Definitely realistic soundstage is more important to me than clean bass. Given your feedback I would tend to go for the 3.6, but the visual impact of such a large speaker in a small non dedicated room has to be considered as well.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 5, 2021 at 14:42:46
Norman M
Audiophile

Posts: 1387
Location: NYC Suburb
Joined: December 9, 2012
You might want to consider 'near field' listening, where room size is not very important. That Mr. Cardas brings it up is strong recommendation in of itself: http://www.cardas.com/room_setup_near_field.php
(However it could be a problem in a room which serves for other purposes.)

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 6, 2021 at 08:29:44
FX35
Audiophile

Posts: 104
Joined: March 6, 2020
Ok, that clears things up a bit, it doesn't really matter what room you end up with, for optimum depth + 3 dimensionality you need room behind the speakers, you also don't want to be sitting close to a wall, to avoid room reflections.

My experience is that most small to modest sized European rooms benefit most from the 1/3, 2/3 distance set-up( say the room is 15ft long, place speakers 5ft from front wall, listening position 5ft from back wall, leaving 5ft in between) This provides maximum cancelation of room influence and a nice deep soundstage. Funny that Norman M referred to a "near field" set-up, I totally agree, it's the only way to go in small rooms. I've always preferred the intimate, detailed, uncolored sound of a near field set-up as compared to sitting further away in a larger room.

I know a set-up like this is hard to realize in a small family living room, the best solution is to leave the Maggies close to a wall and slide them out and in for serious listening, and if you can't leave your sofa/chair in place then move that out and in too.

It may seem like a lot of hassle, but if positioning is not optimal, forget it, it's just a waste of time and money.

Oh yeah, if your worried about the dominating presence of 3.6s, get the off-white cloth, up against a white wall you won't even notice them.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 6, 2021 at 13:32:27
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
Thanks, that was really helpful! The room has wooden floor and stone walls and ceiling. It is closed and not dedicated for listening. Unfortunately speakers can only be positioned on the long side, slightly asymmetrical. The room has a natural good sounding acoustics with other speakers I've had, including Elac FS409 which despite the two 18cm woofer did not produce invasive bass at all, rather very controlled bass.
The thing is I will be changing of place in about 6 months but I don't know we're exactly, but so can assume listening room will be as big as this one or slightly larger but not by much, and most likely it will not be a dedicated room.
Definitely realistic soundstage is more important to me than clean bass. Given your feedback I would tend to go for the 3.6, but the visual impact of such a large speaker in a small non dedicated room has to be considered as well.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 6, 2021 at 13:40:09
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 5978
Joined: June 15, 2020
'realistic soundstage is more important to me than clean bass'

you can't get one without the other no matter what type speaker is playing

just my experience of course, but it's broad and non-biased

regards,

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 7, 2021 at 06:53:00
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
Thanks, that was really helpful! The room has wooden floor and stone walls and ceiling. It is closed and not dedicated for listening. Unfortunately speakers can only be positioned on the long side, slightly asymmetrical. The room has a natural good sounding acoustics with other speakers I've had, including Elac FS409 which despite the two 18cm woofer did not produce invasive bass at all, rather very controlled bass.
The thing is I will be changing of place in about 6 months but I don't know we're exactly, but so can assume listening room will be as big as this one or slightly larger but not by much, and most likely it will not be a dedicated room.
Definitely realistic soundstage is more important to me than clean bass. Given your feedback I would tend to go for the 3.6, but the visual impact of such a large speaker in a small non dedicated room has to be considered as well.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 7, 2021 at 10:05:54
Roger Gustavsson
Audiophile

Posts: 1850
Location: Huskvarna
Joined: February 12, 2010
I have had my Tympani IIIA in room measuring 380x305 cm, height 215 cm. Tympani IIIA is about 300 cm wide, minimum. Had them placed in front of the long wall. Sure, there was a tiny sweetspot but it worked well. The four panels in the middle are for bass below 100 Hz. Very old picture:



 

Like the north star, posted on August 7, 2021 at 10:19:22
farfetched
Audiophile

Posts: 862
Location: Cleveland!
Joined: October 13, 2010
Green Lantern points the way once more.

Give it some serious thought if a) you got a sub b) you do not daily listen to Everybody Wants Some at actual EVH db levels.

I have LRS' in a 12x17, 8ft ceiling, complaint wood floor. ML Depth sub. Maybe once every month or two.

My joint is jumpin'. Those LRS' .... phew. They outpace my old mg12's.

Seamlessness, dude, seamlessness.




/ optimally proportioned triangles are our friends


 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 7, 2021 at 17:42:14
tortjohn@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 185
Location: MA USA
Joined: March 28, 2018
I have 3.7i in a 12x15 room and they sound great also had 1.7 in the same room and they sounded very good, the larger Maggie gives you more of everything. Unfortunately no experience be with the 3.6
Just make sure you have enough power and set the speakers at least 3 feet out into the room.
Happy listening.
Joto

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 8, 2021 at 02:01:54
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
Wow, that seems a little too extreme to me, but happy to hear that it worked well.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 8, 2021 at 02:05:37
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
Why is that?
Anyway I didn't mean that I'm willing to accept bloated and completely uncontrolled bass, simply the most accurate bass reproduction is not my priority. In my experience I doubt bass could be extremely bad in this room, given that it has for some reason good acoustics even though it's not treated.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 8, 2021 at 02:13:39
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
Thank you very much for your advices. Unfortunately the 3.6s I'm hunting come with the dark cloth, but I guess it could be changed if needed.
At this point given all the feedback received I will just listen to them and if I'm convinced will get them without worrying too much about my room.


By the way, I'm also considering as an alternative the Tuscanini Augetta, a planar speaker from a small Italian company based in Tuscany. They have the same technology as the Magnepan, just with better materials, neodymium magnets, two separate mylar membranes for mid-bass and mid-highs and better crossover components. No ribbon tweeter by designer choice.
I had a chance to listen to the smaller Idillia (as big as the Magnepan 0.7) and they were impressive in the bass, they went lower than my ELAC FS409 and were extremely dynamic, nothing Magnepan can compete with. Looking forward to listen to the bigger brothers.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 8, 2021 at 09:05:13
FX35
Audiophile

Posts: 104
Joined: March 6, 2020
Yep, the Tuscanini's are a serious alternative for you living in Italy, (repairs, parts, etc). Prices are comparative to Maggies in Europe.

If you consider the craftsmanship, materials and quality of finish, It's a no brainer, Maggies look like crap compared to these guy's........... unfortunately, I have never actually HEARD them, so I have no idea how they compare to Maggie's sound wise.

I always wanted to hear them, just never got round to making the road trip. Outside of Italy, hardly anybody knows of their existence.

Funny story......The designer actually only decided to build isodynamic speakers after he had repaired and listened to a set of Tympani 1D's, he had never heard of them and was blown away by their sound!

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 8, 2021 at 09:15:42
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
That's great that you know about them, are you Italian?
I have only heard the smallest ones, the Idillia, in a non-optimal setup. I can say the bass is impressive, they are extremely musical and make you enjoy music without even worrying at any audiophile stuff, which I consider a great quality in a speaker. Compared to the only Magnepans I heard (2.6 and a heavily modified/upgraded pair of 3.3) I missed a little bit of clarity and detail in the upper registers, but it's hard to say if it was the equipment/setup or not. I will be in Tuscany later this month to properly hear both the Idillia and the Augetta, and will be able to get a more precise idea about them.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 8, 2021 at 10:07:07
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 5978
Joined: June 15, 2020
IME realism is dependent on a balanced frequency response

bass and the lower mid-range are the foundation that imbue scale while the upper mids and treble provide spatial cues to the sound stage

when we listen to music and notice there's 'something missing' or conversely undue emphasis in frequency response it detracts from the realism of the presentation ... our attention shouldn't be drawn to any particular aspect other than what the performance includes

if you're asking why I'm not biased about what comprises those elements in reproduction it's because I've heard excellent renderings by a variety of speaker types

with regards,



 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 9, 2021 at 03:44:13
FX35
Audiophile

Posts: 104
Joined: March 6, 2020
Well, no, I'm not Italian LOL, but I wish I lived in Italy! been on a few holidays there........ love the food, coffee, weather, shops, designers, cars, women.........(you get the idea).

I live in The Netherlands(a major shit-hole), 9 out of 10 people here go to Tuscany when they visit Italy.

Have fun auditioning Tuscanini's, let me know how they sound, Might have to take that road trip someday!

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 11, 2021 at 20:11:15
BDP24
Audiophile

Posts: 1063
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Joined: September 12, 2013
I don't know what the situation is with the company's European distribution and sales, but the Eminent Technology LFT-8b is another magnetic-planar loudspeaker to consider. Check the ET website for reviews, including a couple in UK mags.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 12, 2021 at 04:50:51
Roger Gustavsson
Audiophile

Posts: 1850
Location: Huskvarna
Joined: February 12, 2010
There is a dealer listed for Italy, https://www.proaudioitalia.it/

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 22, 2021 at 12:56:48
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
Thanks, that was really helpful! The room has wooden floor and stone walls and ceiling. It is closed and not dedicated for listening. Unfortunately speakers can only be positioned on the long side, slightly asymmetrical. The room has a natural good sounding acoustics with other speakers I've had, including Elac FS409 which despite the two 18cm woofer did not produce invasive bass at all, rather very controlled bass.
The thing is I will be changing of place in about 6 months but I don't know we're exactly, but so can assume listening room will be as big as this one or slightly larger but not by much, and most likely it will not be a dedicated room.
Definitely realistic soundstage is more important to me than clean bass. Given your feedback I would tend to go for the 3.6, but the visual impact of such a large speaker in a small non dedicated room has to be considered as well.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 25, 2021 at 23:46:35
BDP24
Audiophile

Posts: 1063
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Joined: September 12, 2013
The Eminent technology LFT-8b measures only 13" and 5' tall, quite a bit smaller than the 1.7, let alone the 3.7. Deeper, but you don't see that. The LFT-8 is also a much easier amplifier load, not dipping below 8 ohms (the LFT drivers by themselves are an 11 ohm load, great for tube amps). $2499/pr shipped.

 

RE: Magnepan 1.7 or 3.6 -small room!, posted on August 26, 2021 at 00:59:37
stefano.cipo
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Joined: August 1, 2021
Thanks for the suggestion. How do they compare to the Magnepans? There's a used pair near me, might be worth a listening.

 

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