Magneplanar Listening Comparison 1.7 vs. 3.7 Speakers


Has anyone auditioned the 3.7's against the 1.7''s side by side?

i am interested in your comparisons - thx.
randy-11
I have quite a bit of experience with the 3.7’s versus the 1.7i’s and the 3.7i’s and the 1.7i’s in my own system. I bought the 3.7’s and sent them to be upgraded after 3.5 months and owned the 1.7i’s for a little over a year before that.

The 3 series is a pretty big step up from the 1 series. Bass will be noticeably better and the transparency will be higher. The 1 series is still a great speaker for the money and is arguably the better buy.

How big is your room, and how far off the front wall will you be able to position the speakers?
I have. Save yourself a headache and get a pair of Vandersteen Model 2's. Setup properly, and matched with the right electronics, you'll have a much better sounding system.
I have. Save yourself a headache and get a pair of Vandersteen Model 2's. Setup properly, and matched with the right electronics, you'll have a much better sounding system.

Vandersteens are great, but I don't think the 2 series will match a properly setup Magnepan 3.7i system.  My brother has the Treos, so I have quite a bit of listening time on them.  He also owned the 1c.
I have . Not sure what your looking for . The 3.7 is better . Buy what your budget will allow .
I previously decided on Maggie 1.5QR and somd my Vandie 2c (or 2ce?). That was 21 years ago, and I am now planning an upgrade.

I’ve spent about 3 hours listening to the 3.7i vs. 1.7 (no i) at a dealer and the 3.7i’s do sound better to me; maybe significantly better but not hugely better. I’m not sure what to get -- or what specifically to listen for during comparisons.

I will not be able to audition the 3.7i’s at home, but he will let me demo the 1.7s at my house for a day.

I can sit them 5 ft. or more away from the back wall in a large room - fairly wide (13 ft or more), high ceilings (9 ft at speakers slanting up to 12 ft) and very long (22 to 27 ft).  It is asymmetrical in several ways. The only bad thing is a large picture window on the LH side of the room. The RH side is fine. This doesn’t seem to affect the highs so much as the soundstage.

https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/6248
shows a diagram and am trying to figure out how to upload a pic...
I think your room’s width is the most limiting factor. My room is a little less than 15’, and I think it’s the limiting factor. The length is 35’ but there’s a kitchen counter than runs across half the width of the room at 24’. The height is 10’.

It should still sound good though, and I agree that the 3 series sounds significantly better but not hugely.
I should also say the comparison at the dealer's was less than ideal:
- time required to swap speakers was too long to get good comparisons    (where you really have just a few seconds)
- non-blind -- I could see the speakers, so the bigger, nicer looking ones     would be preferred 
- SPL levels not matched exactly (tho I tried with a free phone app) &        also tried to make the 1.7's a bit louder to help them out
If you get the 1.7's if your like me you will want to upgrade two hours after setup . Get the 3.7 if money is not an issue . 1.7 v.s. 3.6 would be a good shootout too .
Everything sounded better to me here in Maggie land MN . Bass , mids highs . Volume speakers can be played at before distortion . A subwoofer (rel) was a nice addition in the demo too . 
the big space you can see on the RH side extends into a kitchen - so the room is about 30 ft wide at the speakers; but is about 12 ft wide at the listening position (not counting the cavity in the chimney created by the firebox - the smney stack itself must act like a port (!))

Wendell at Magnepan says the 3.7 is acoustically SMALLER than the 1.7, even tho it is physically larger (different design internally)


Did Wendell elaborate on that term ? How did he describe that one ?
Are you planning to setup against the short or long wall?
On the short wall.  The pic shows where they would go - on either side of the TV just like the 1.5QRs.

I asked Wendell if the internal design differences were the reason the 3.7 was acoustically smaller than the 1.7 and he said yes.  The stmt may also be on their web site.
What does "acoustically smaller" mean?
3.7 owners are going to love this discussion. ;) 

There are many justifications for audiophiles opting for the lesser speaker, and this is one of the most obtuse I have seen. :(






who advocated the smaller speakers and what reasons were obtuse?
I've always felt that the 3 series Maggies were the sweet spot in the line up. The smaller one's sound a bit bright to me. If your budget and room can handle them, I'd suggest going for the 3's.
In my experience, for a given manufacturer and model line, a bigger - and naturally more expensive model, will always sound better given enough room to breathe and fed by the appropriate amplifiers. You clearly have enough room so it's a no brainer that 3.7i is the better choice if cost is no object.
I've spent an hour listening at the dealer's with his music, and about 2 hours with a test CD I made up.  Not against a 1.7i, but against a 1.7.

The 3.7i does sound better to me, but even if the improvement is not due to visuals (the bigger speaker, known to cost nearly 3x as much _ought_ to sound better), I am not really hearing $4,000 worth of improvement.

In my room the difference may well be less, but there is no way to test them both in my room, or even to hear  the 3.7i at home without buying it outright.

That's why I'm interested in hearing other people's impressions of particular qualities to listen for next time I try them out.
Priced just slightly higher than the 1.7i, the Eminent Technology LFT-8b Magnetic Planar speaker ($2499 retail) is not only considerably better than the 1.7i imo, but some feel also better than the 3.7i in some ways. Worth endeavoring to hear.
Well, time for another POV.

I've owned both 1.x and 3.x in the past (in both cases, it was roughly 10-15 years ago, so I don't want to swear to the specific generation).  I liked both, but the threes eventually ended up in a difficult room where they weren't doing what they're capable of doing. 

These days, I digitally cross room corrected subs to MMGs.  There's no doubt that - to my taste - this is the best sound that I've gotten out of Maggies at any price.  A DSpeaker, a pair of SVS sealed subs, and a pair of MMGs runs about $2400 right now (Underwood is selling the DSpeaker at $800) - and I believe that all come with an in-home trial.  I'd strongly recommend that you think about this set-up, especially if you use only/primarily digital sources.

NOTE -  This involves ADC/DAC for analog source material, so it may not work for LP types.  Either way, it's another Maggie based option to consider.

If you love it, you've saved a bunch of $.  If it's not your cup of tea, box it up and send it back.
I have compared the 1.7, the 1.7i and the 3.7 and the 3.7i before purchase. I really believe that both, 1 and 3 series the I-s are better. In fact I almost did not like the 1.7 and the largest difference I found was between the 1.7 and the 1.7i. The 3.7i was all around the best sounding speaker particularly for bass. Soundstage was not a huge difference but perhaps noticeable. Clarity and detail was much the same in all of them. I have a room that is 14 x 19 and it has vaulted ceilings to 16 feet high. I purchased the 1.7i thinking that it still leaves enough space in the room to walk around them and if I wanted more bass I could perhaps add the DWM panels. in the end I found the 1.7 i delivers tons of clean tight bass and I cannot say how happy I am with the setup i own now. No matter how tired I am at night I still have difficulty leaving it all behind and go to bed. It is that nice.