Any Magnepan 1.6 owner who upgraded to 1.7?

Magnepan 1.6 owners, Is the improvement worth upgrading to 1.7?
Have you tried or thought about modding your 1.6s?

Even something as simple as flipping them around so the pole piece is facing you, the listener makes a big change. I think it's for the better, but you can decide for yourself. The simple rotate puts the tweeters 'in', but you can fix that by swapping 'em L/R. Experiment.

Others do extensive crossover mods. OR reframing with hardwoods. OR adding the Mye stand. OR go biamp / active / passive crossover...take your pick!

Nope, Unless I had exhausted some options, and I haven't, I'd stick with the 1.6s for now.
Magfan is correct about turning them around.Makes a big difference.
I have had both in 1.6 and the 1.7 in my system and the 1.7 is much better. If you do the stand upgrade, cossover and frame modification mentioned in the prior post the 1.7 will kill the 1.6s further. I drilled and tapped the stands and put spikes on both the 1.6s and the 1.7s and that was a huge improvement. The 1.7 has better everything. Once the 1.7 breaks in you cannot believe they retail for $2000.00. Do not get me wrong the 1.6 is very good but the 1.7 is better!
Some would contend that swapping the 'dead' MDF for real wood makes the biggest difference possible. Others have redesigned the crossover and claim great help.
Personally, I'll stick with the stock crossover design with improved parts. Aircore inductor and a 'premium' cap...maybe Clarity SA, which is supposed to be good for the $$s.

For the 1.6 owner without DEEP pockets....say ME, for example. The trade up becomes money limited. IF the net trade up costs 1000$ I've got to look at what that amount in mods buys me.

Sound, what mods had you applied to your 1.6s?

I'm taking a woodshop class at the local JC. I'll eventually be able to reframe my panels with something nicer than the fabric currently installed....Maybe Sapele?
I'd like to hear a side by side comparison between the 1.7 and a pair of "gunned" 1.6's. Has anyone actually heard the two, in the same room with the same equipment?

Here is the info on Peter Gunn:
Now 'yer talkin!

FWIW, PG was not in love with the 1.7s......just FWIW.
The answer to Mofimdaness yse I did a side by side comparison the 1.7s are much better!
Thanks everyone, I think I'm ready to order a pair of 1.7 My local dealer said 3 to 4 months or maybe longer. Thesoundhouse, How long did you wait before you get your 1.7?
I would like to modify the cross-overs on my 1.6 but I donot know how to remove the cover. Could anyone help? Thanks, Cyrus.
Short Answer::
Go to MUG.....'Magnepan Users Group' or Audio Asylum....planar division

Long Answer::
Place Panel on table, connector side up.
Remove stand. Save the 4 screws and any spacers.
On the bottom of the panel there will be hundreds of staples. Best of luck removing them
Carefully pry the wooden side strips up.....BE CAREFUL. there is a tack every couple inches. MARK 'em and Save 'em in a safe place. You might want to do this with the panel still standing?
Unscrew the connector panel.
Pull up the sock......
You should now be able to get to the crossover.
With the sock up higher, carefully note where EACH wire goes. and from WHERE. Take a couple of pictures. More pictures. Have somebody proofread what you just wrote. Speakers are L/R pair...CAUTION. Schematic is on MUG and should be checked against your speaker as you take it apart.

What is the plan? Rebuild with stock design using better parts? Total redo? Go active? Change some values?

Any idea what you're letting yourself in for?

If you have confidence in your amp and listening habits, you may want to bypass the fuse. That is the first mod you should do and can be done without any of the above gymnastics.
Buy a pair of used 3.6's; they are even better...
Thanks Magfan, if I knew that it was so complicated I would not ask for help. I suppose it is better to exchange for a1.7 unit. Thanks again, Cyrus.
It ISN'T complicated. Just take it a step at a time, be careful and you'll be OK.
What's the problem?
Most people report the bleepin' STAPLES are the single worst part of it.

But, that being said, crossover upgrade is not a trivial operation. You will end up with better=larger capacitors. Than you will be into it for an external crossover box, like many other Magnepans. Inductors? Well, you COULD wind your own, but that requires a learning curve and several online calculators with a healthy dose of theory. If you go wacky and use 12ga wire, it CAN be tough to bend and you end up with a pretty good size inductor. The 1.6 stock crossover uses ONE inductor of 3.5uh(?) and .40ohms DCR. Changing DCR, usually to a lower value, results in a trivial change in crossover frequency. 14ga would be fine while my plan, using 13ga is large, but not weird, a theoretically perfect square coil cross section and 0.38ohms.

To short-cut the crossover process, a company called Skiing Ninja makes a duplicate-of-stock crossover using all premium parts. Expensive? Only if you think so. But a nice, real upgrade. I saw the unit for the 1.6 well before the 1.7 was even announced. The may have dropped the 1.6 mod?

What Don't you like about you're 1.6s? Upgrade fever? Some Joneses in your neighborhood need keeping up with?

Have you even TRIED flipping your panels around? You may even LIKE it!
Go to MUG and Audio Asylum. Look at the pictures. Read some of the nutty stuff people do. Read some of the nutty stuff people SUGGEST! The idea to upgrade to 3.6s for about the same (net) money ain't all that bad....if you've got the space.
Hi Magfan,thanks for the intrest you have taken in my attempt to get to the crossover network.I must tell you that I am not going to touch the network in anyway other than to fix it in place. In my left speaker the crossover is loose and and dangling inside being held up by the wires solderd to the back plate. It works fine ,however i am uncomfortable.I must be able to remove the cover and secure the unit once and for all. 3.6s are too large for the space available. Skiing Ninja looks good and I am sure that it will sound better than the existing unit, however I am I am biamping ( vertical) with a pair of tube amps that I likeand with Ninja it is not possible. As yet I have not flipped them, I am waiting for longer cables,as soon as they arrive I will do that and let you know. Thanks again Cyrus.
But to me the 1.7 is not better. It doesn't have the glare stock 1.6's have, and it's (very bizarre) XO artificially tilts everything from the upper bass up with an "edge" that makes it appear to be clearer and "brighter", only it's an incorrect illusion. I can see how it would appear better, but for me it has too many flaws stock, including 2 rather bad humps in it's XO.

Also, IMHO before and after modding it does not have better bass than the 1.6 does. (this was very clear after modding) It was also the first of all of them which did not gain a dbl boost. I attribute these facts to the QR foil which doesn't have the mass it needs to achieve those things.
Petergunn is not entirely right: It does have a bump (a treble/shout) in the upper midrange. Before modding (any of the previous speakers of the last 10 years)the 1.7's present the most dramatic represenation of music naked as they are opf all of them. But dramatic does not mean accurate. It is exciting speaker with all its falsities. It creates streams of sound and reminds me of the way John Coltrane threw out waves of music with its ability to make sudden powerful shifts. The naked , unmodded 1.6's or 3.6's were never intended to behave quite that way. The 1.7's are not fussy. I am sure the Audiogon and audio asylum crew will get to modding the 1.7 and correct its faults. It's ten years are not up yet.
Right on !!! The 1.7's are not a better speaker ,just different. In my side by side evaluation of both i found :1.7 soundstage smaller. Imaging was smaller-more precise. Which i did not care for .The bass did not blend with the speaker well. All being said ,If i had never heard the 1.6 i would be happy with the 1.7 .But i spent three weeks with both !
Were the 1.7's fully broken in?
Pinoy6 -Having owned and enjoyed the 1.6 myself, I am also curious to know if the 1.7 is "better" or worth the upgrade. My local dealer has a pair of each side-by-side, so I believe I will compare them. Although it is subjective, I doubt you will get a straight answer on the forum due to so many different opinions. I have owned and listened to Magnepans since the 70's (Tympani, MGI, MMG, 1.6) along with other fine speakers from Thiel, Vandersteen, Martin Logan, etc. One thing that amazes me about Magnepan - they are the only speaker I am aware of that has a small user group with some people who feel they know more about the speakers than the company that has designed and built them for the last 40 years?
Yes, i listened for 3-4 hours a day for three weeks. I have no regret on returning them .
Magnepan is THE dream DIY speaker.

Crossover? Active? Passive? All new design or with bi/tri amp? Upgraded parts like premium caps or aircore inductors?
Stands? Reframe with REAL wood? Aftermarket companies exist to service both those markets.
Rebuild kits and self repair of driver problems? Rewire to get rid of the jumper and fuse?

Now, what you need to know is Maggies are a value oriented company. To make a deal breaker speaker like the MMG and get it to your hot little hands for 600$ is quite an achievement. Going upline, you get 'more' with a house sound and presentation which grows on you. By the time you get to the top-2 models you get the ribbon tweeter tossed in for good measure. I hesitate to toss around words like 'the best', but it IS a very highly regarded driver.

To build a Maggie with all the bells/ whistles I ref above would cost quite a bundle. The factory seems not to even consider building a 'cost no object' model at any level.

So, in conclusion, it isn't that the owners know more than the manufacturer, it is that we are willing to go to great lengths to work 'em over, customize and make them all they can be.

The lunatic fringe feels the modified (full-tilt boogie) 1.6 handily outclasses the stock 1.7.

Me? Glad you asked. I'm taking woodshop so I can do my own reframe with Sipo Mahogany. I've got a coil winder I'm working on to make a pair of AirCore inductors and have identified other parts needed for the mod. The banana plugs, for example MUST go and with them about half the internal wiring and connections. Crossovers will end up in an external enclosure and jumper'd to the panel. See 'ya next year at this time for a progress report. I'm planning ahead.
Magfan - With all due respect I believe there are probably modifications that do improve the factory sound. But unless there are associated measurements to verify the improvements, certain modifications could make the sound more appealing to what the individual user wants to hear, but it may also detract from the musical accuracy. Kind of like tone controls on a preamp. I have to believe Magnepan does careful research to make sure the stock speakers convey the music as accurately as possible with frequency response curves as flat as they are able to make them. All the Magnepans I have owned were left as stock and unmodified. I had a chance to hear a pair (won't name the model) that were stock, and then later hear them again after being modified (stands, active crossovers, etc.). The end-user thought they were the greatest thing ever in their modified form. I tried to listen in an unbiased manner, and to me the music had coloration and was anything but neutral. Maybe the modifications were not performed correctly, but to me they sounded much better (more neutral and musically accurate) in their stock form.
I just presented the list, 'J'.
I am only in favor of a very few specific mods.
and Bridgework stands aren't among them. I favor mods with little metal.

And while I'm reluctant to name stuff I haven't heard, seems that matching amps and Marchand crossovers have a following. Some prefer Bryston or some even Pass or Mac. This for the wealthier bi-amp crowd. If your friend used the Beheringer crossover, that may have been the problem.

Nope, I'm heading in a slightly different direction. Real wood reframe which has a good following and really improves the look. I simply can't imagine getting rid of the MDF to NOT help. Others install Dynamat, a CLD product, between frame and driver.
At the same time, all the wiring will be fixed in the form of removing all the 'extra' stuff like fuse and bi-wire fitments as well as changing to real binding posts. IF I ever do any crossover mods, it's likely the stock design will stay but a better grade of part substituted.

Magnepan, as I'm sure you'll agree, is built to a price. Given that people are invenerate tinkerers, it is logical that people will mess with 'em. How much do you think a 'cost no object' panel would cost?

A few overachievers have taken measurements. I have no conclusions about them, since the sample is small and technique unknown. Nobody has yet done any accelerometer readings on frame or stand.

Where do you stand on cables / interconnects / power cords? Isn't that a form of 'tone control'? I've seen endless posts with people arguing about Silver vs Copper and the characteristics of various insulators.

And finally, did you know that Magnepan changed direction sometime in the '90s? My original MG-1s came to me stock. And I listened to them that way for over 2 decades and a rebuild in White Bear Lake. They were even marked 'left / right' and worked best that way....except in 1 special case.
Now, I get my new 1.6s. I had a heck of a time making them right in my room. That is, until I simply rotated them in place. Now, i'm listening to the pole piece side, just like my original panels. The effect was a dramatic smoothening of output and less beaminess. I haven't touched 'em since the swap and setup. Magnepan has been shipping 'mylar to listener' now for probably about 15 years. And I can say my toe-in is just under 11 degrees and spacing from wall about 32".

Enjoy your stock panels. Trust me, You're better off that way. Some of the mod guys I've read about have become nutty / obsessed!
Yes the 1.6 was king for over 10 years BUT now make room for a new king the 1.7 BUT they can be made much much nicer just a couple of hundreds dollars, they are worth every penny they are the second best bargain in audio, i will let you guess wich one is number one!!!!!
Without having enough hours to know better - Golden Ears(My wife) was listening soon after replacing the 1.'6's with 1.7s and her first observation was better imaging and separation and placement within the sound stage. I left all acoustic treatements in the same position as with the 1.6's as well as speaker position. Next, we noticed some inner detail in the mid and upper frequencies that had been missing.
As an aside - I listened in the dealer showroom and those were not heard.

I'm driving it with the Cayin AT88 and mac mini with tranquility dac set-up.