3.6, it's not even close. Deeper, wider, and much louder.
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Elizabeth, It could be the reviewers who claim to hear this discontinuity are too close to the speakers. With large speakers it is important to create some distance to get a proper blend of the drivers. Big speakers are made for big rooms. They are not near field speakers. This is also true of speakers like Dunlavy SC-IV where drivers have a 6' span across the front baffle.
I have owned the 3.6 for 5 years and sold it to a friend. Have 12's now and will look at getting the 1.7's. Would consider the 3.7's but room size of 13'x28' is too small.
As I stated, some can and others don't experience that, which could also be base on differing equipment. Making an absolute statement about others experience is not cool, lots of 3.6's for sale here over the years for different reasons while others think they are keepers.
I like both the 1.7 and the 3.6s. I believe that the 1.7s have this smoothness and coherence that I do not hear with the 3.6s. I got to audition the new 3.7s and I found that same smoothness and cohehrence that I heard with the 1.7s but much better. The 3.7 have much clear midrange than all the previous magnepans along with better frequency extremes than the 1.7 and the 3.6s. For difference in money buy the 3.7s They are a giant killer.
Well insofar as the reviewers are concerned, the comments on the 3.6s lack of coherency surfaced primarily in the reviews of the 3.7. Since it's introduction in 1999 the 3.6 was heralded by these same reviewers as among the best speakers produced, and certainly among the very best speaker values. With the very best front end equipment the crossover of the 3.6 reveals itself to be a weak link in the speaker design; however, what most people describe as incoherence or discontinuity in the speaker is the inability of their equipment to drive the 3.6 w/sufficient high current wattage. The ribbon will then scream, squeal, and buzz while the other panels will try to avoid bottoming out against the magnets.
I have the 3.6's and I have heard the 1.6's in my own room and auditioned the 1.7's several times at various shows; I like the 3.6's better by far. I think that the 3.6's are a major step-up over both 1 series.
I've never understood why J Valin hears a discontinuity issue with the 3.6's; I've never heard it... I think that the Magnepan 3.6 is one of the finest speakers I've ever heard at any price...
However, I have also heard the new 3.7's (only under show conditions) and my initial impressions are that they are even better than the 3.6.