i'd opt for the 3.6--it's a helluva speaker at a great price. i personally didn't hear a huge difference between 3.6/3.7, though more informed folks advise that the 3.7 is better; it all comes down to how much more you'd spend for what measure of sonic improvement.
I was offered a good deal on a demo pair of 3.6's and bought the 3.7's for full retail. If you can pick up 3.7's for $4K do it now. Too me, the 3.6's suffered from some of the same limitations as my 1.6QR's. The 3.7's are just way more speaker in some important ways. As you see from Loomisjohnsons post above, many people, whose opinions are just as valuable as my own, just don't hear the same thing I heard. I guess the good news here is you can't go wrong. You are being offered good prices on both speakers.
"Smart" depends on what qualities you value as 'smart'.
Leaving the definition up in the air is a hazard.
If 'smart' means best deal, the $2,000 Magnepan 3.6 is the better deal if you are not so well off.
And would not be kicking yourself for not getting the 3.7's next year.
If MONEY is not a big issue for you in this deal, then Damn, get the 3.7s ... You will NEVER need to worry about it again.
So: be cheap or 'frugal' and buy the 3.6s. IF you really are a frugal person, then you will be very happy with them.
On the other hand if you are just asking because you really do not want to pass up the 'best deal' And 'best deals' are something you cherish.. if the money is not a big deal... Then the $4,000. 3.7s are "THE BEST DEAL" because no one is getting that price on 3.7s.
They are a better speaker, and newer. and cooler.
Now if you could buy a pair of 20.7s for $10,000. .....
I owned 3.6s and 3.7s.
IMHO 3.7s are quite dramatically improved over 3.6s in every way.
if the $4k for the 3.7s are within your budget, I would strongly suggest going with the 3.7s.
couldn't help it went w/the 3.7's.
by the way have any of you felt the 1.7's sounded a little peaky on the quasi ribbons as opposed to the full ribbons on the 3.6 or 3.7?
p.s. now i'd like to find that hypothetical deal for some used maggies. i realize it will cost me more than i could justify paying but, as i said, i was truly wondering about the wisdom in spending basically double the price of 6's for 7's. ty everyone for current or any future input on this thread. i believe i could be more than happy with either choice. i obviously am a maggie fan. 2 weeks ago sold my IIIa's after & going thru maggie withdrawals. to tide me over i purchased inexpensive, but not offensible, box speakers to resell when my quest is realized.
You realize of course, that unless you buy the 3.7's you will forever be guilt ridden, have sleepless nites and many bouts of high anxiety. Just go for the 3.7's and put yourself out of your misery. As all audio people know, compromise need works.
reading through the above responses, i'm prepared to change my earlier vote and make it unanimous--go with the 3.7s. if you're as obsessive as the rest of us, it's worth the extra bucks to get the new-and-improved model (although, by the same logic, you should step up to the $14k 20.7s, which are even better). seriously, years ago i cheaped out and bought a car without the leather seats and upgraded stereo and spent the next five years wallowing in regret and self-loathing.
Kingmacaw, yes, I believe that that both the 1.6 and 1.7 are not as well balanced overall as the 3's and 20's; to me the top-end has a little too much energy on the 1.6's and 1.7's. They are still great transducers but I think they require a little more effort to get just right. I ultimately went with the 3.6's over the 1.6's; to me the 3's are just way more speaker in every way.
I recently went to Magnepan and auditioned the new 20.7's; very, very, impressed so I took the plunge and ordred a set! The 20.7's sounded even more balanced and cohesive than my 3.6's (I could never hear any of the individual drivers in the 20.7's, they sounded like one large panel), I heard more detail, more powerful and snappier base, and an even larger soundfield...now all I have to do is wait SIX months until Nov to get them.
I've heard the 3.7's in a few different systems and thought they were pretty fair. Never liked the 3.6's. No matter what was driving them they always sounded like metal on metal.
Stickman, Will you please stop that? You are making me crazy. Now everytime I listen to my 3.7's I'll be lusting after her sister.
I guess I should have waited, and I would have if Magnepan had been transparent on their plans to release the 20.7's.
I lived with the 3.6 for 12 years. Have had the 3.7's for the last 7 months. The 3.6 was an outstanding speaker....but not in the same league as the 3.7. I heard a major improvement before the first song was half over. If you can buy 3.7's at $4000 a pair, buy all you can possibly get. Then sell them for $5000 and use the profits towards 20.7's. I will be trading my 3.7's for 20.7's very soon.
quest complete, got my 3.7s.
Got my 20.7's two months ago and I am EXTREMELY pleased with them. I spent several weeks moving them around looking for the best bass balance per Jim Smith's excellent recommendations. It was worth the effort! The new 20.7's are far superior to my old 3.6's in every single way. Very happy with this purchase.
I agree that the Maggie X.7s are the way to go whether 3.7 or if you can the 20.7s.
I kept my MGIIIAs forever, the final configuration witch used 2 Audio Research amps to bi amp with a Marchand XO and a pair of Velodyne subs
I did audition later "3 series" as well as 20.1s but did not pull the trigger until I heard the 3.7s. Just a better speaker, more cohesive I think.
Having said that, I upgraded to the 20.7s after a few months and have never regretted the move. I seldom if ever use the subs with the 20.7s
Long winded way of saying "GET THE 3.7s!!!"
Remember value it not what it costs, it is what it is worth,