Head over to the Planar Speaker Asylum and MUG (Magnepan Owners Group), where there is a lot of discussion by longtime Maggie owners about your very topic.
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Good decision! The forums mentioned will tell you all you need to know, but here’s my take.
To the best of my knowledge the loosening wire issue was solved with the introduction of the 3.5, when they changed the glue. So you shouldn’t experience this problem with the 3.6.
My first Maggies were a pair of 3.3’s that had this issue. Thankfully the wires gradually loosened on both channels, so any loss of sensitivity (or volume) wasn’t noticable. And it could have been easily fixed, but I decided to move on when I came across a similar choice as you do: either go for the than newly introduced 3.6 or a used 20 for about the same price. I chose the latter and never regretted it. The basic rule with Maggies: get the biggest ones your wallet, room size and amplifier can handle.
Going from the 3.3 to the 20 was a giant leap. Much bigger than going from the 20 to my present 20.7, which will likely serve me to the end of my days.
So IMHO the 3.6 will be the better buy. Just make sure your amplifier is up to it, but that goes for the 1.7 as well. All Maggies adore lots of current. Whatever you choose, enjoy!
I have owned a pair of 3.6 Maggies for about 12 years. They are amazing and I woukd highly reconmend a lightly used pair over the 1.7s.
What is absolitely critical is the have a atout amp for them. I wenr through a number of amps until I acquired a pair of MC-501s that made them sing!
Others have found the Byrston amps are more to their taste. The Key for Maggies is enough current.
They will sound OK with less power, but the magic happens when they get the juice they crave. Ask any satisfied Maggie owner and see what they say.