New Magnepan 1.7 R


Did anyone else see the CNET article about the new Maggie's? It's a true ribbon 2 way speaker, wow. I had not heard anything about these anywhere before, or seen them at a show. Was the whole mini Maggie testing last year really about these?

I may have to break down and try these.

Any thoughts, or better yet, anyone on here who actully heard/saw them during the testing??
macdadtexas
Sorry, article actually said a true "3 way" speaker not 2 way, pretty exciting for Magnepan.
Here's the "Enjoy The Music" post about these:

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/ces_2010/preview/
Here are additional news reports on the launch of the MG 1.7:
http://www.avguide.com/blog/more-ces-excitement-magnepan-introduces-the-mg-17
http://www.theaudiobeat.com/news/magnepan_mg17.htm
Woohoo! This is indeed pretty exiting. I took delivery on my 1.6's 11 years ago yesterday and have only very recently got the itch for an upgrade, although every other component in my system has been replaced several times since then. You have to expect this to be something quite special, given that it will replace a speaker that has been so well received. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
Its good to see a manufacturer introduce a new product at a down to earth price.Looks an exciting additional to their range of speakers.
The 1.6 was the bane of my existence for 8 years. I switched every component around them thinking my lack of enthusiasm for my system couldn't possibly be the maggies. I use to constantly be moving them around, toeing in, toe out, install resistors, tilt them back, forward you name it. They just never sounded very engaging. I was even starting to question if my stereo sounded any better than my neighbors cheap best buy system. Anyhow, I finally sold them and bought some Usher CP-6371's which completely smoke the maggies. I also have some Proac 1SC's for nearfield listening, something the maggies were not very good at either. After that experience I think I'll pass on the 1.7.
Really, are you comparing Usher's to Maggies?? Dude, that's brave. A legendary, universally revered spearker like Maggies and a generic drege like the Usher?? That's bold.
I've always been amazed by the design of the Maggie speakers. I would actually like to try a pair but I am not sure of placement issues.

The Maggie website indicates that you can place them in the same locations as any other speaker but that doesn't seem to be the opinion of anyone on Audiogon.

I presently have one speaker placed near a sofa. The front of the speakers are about three feet from the rear walls. The side wall is about thirty inches from the speaker near the sofa.

Would these real world living conditions work with the Maggies? Also, my room is about 24 x 15 x 8.
Darkkeys, I have mine five feet out into my room and 2.5 feet from the side walls with a bit of toe-in. My room is 17x25. I drive them with Portal Paladin monoblocks. I think they sound great. I never found setup that difficult. Planars simply sound different from dynamic drivers. One either likes the sound or they don't.

Wendell
Darkkeys, I looked at your system pics and if you're speaking of your living room system and would have part of the speaker firing directly into the side of your sofa, then no, I don't think that set up would work very well for Maggies. Since the actual driver extends close to the floor, it would be putting an acoustic attenuator on one side.
Plato, That was my reasoning also. The info on the Maggie website contradicts this reasoning. Thanks.
Darkkeys

I always found 5 feet out from the wall to be the magic number for Maggies, any less and the bass draws attention to itself. fwiw the rooms I had them in were smaller than yours...

ymmv

also fwiw, if the new 1.7 is as good as they say it seems they would eliminate the need for the 3.6 - (or else they will come out with a 3.7!).

I really look forward to hearing the 1.7
I think we will eventually see a “trickle up” effect with the 1.7s. By that I mean the 3.6 and 20.1 will also be put out to pasture by new models eventually based on the 1.7 improvements. Magnepan’s market research probably reveals that the 1.6 is the best selling and most profitable product in their lineup. Accordingly it makes sense to upgrade this speaker first and then follow with newer models later on for the rest of the line. As good as the 1.7 is likely to sound; I doubt it will sound more realistic than the 3.6R. Especially given their relative price points.
01-01-10: Macdadtexas
Really, are you comparing Usher's to Maggies?? Dude, that's brave. A legendary, universally revered spearker like Maggies and a generic drege like the Usher?? That's bold.
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I don't care how revered Maggies are, the ushers flat out smoke them. I have no reason to lie about it. I had them both at the same time and ended up selling the Maggies. I enjoy my system EVERY time I listen to it now whereas with the 1.6 I would OCCASIONALLY enjoy it. I spent more time jerking around with placement than listening.
The wonderful thing about our hobby is that our ears refine beauty for each of us on an individual basis. Telling someone else that our personal idea of aural beauty is better that their concept strikes me as somewhat arrogant. While I happen to love my 1.6s, I would not deny that to others, their idea of musical nirvana might be entirely different. Let's pour some wine and enjoy the music..
The wonderful thing about our hobby is that our ears refine beauty for each of us on an individual basis. Telling someone else that our personal idea of aural beauty is better that their concept strikes me as somewhat arrogant. While I happen to love my 1.6s, I would not deny that to others, their idea of musical nirvana might be entirely different. Let's pour some wine and enjoy the music..
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That's basically my point. I realize that others may love magnepans, but I don't. I was hung up on the fact that they must be good because they are so revered. I changed every other component only to realize I just didn't like the speakers. I could care less what people think of Usher speakers, I am happy every time I listen to my stereo. It's better than jerking around with placement every single time I sit down to listen.
BTW. If you discount the Usher because they aren't revered, I also have Proac 1SC's that I personally find much, much more engaging than the Magnepans. Just my personal experience though. I do believe Proac has somewhat of a good reputation.
Fruff1976 says; "I also have some Proac 1SC's for nearfield listening, something the maggies were not very good at either."

A lot of us listen to Maggies in the near field, I'm in the very near field and don't have a problem. They actually work very well up close, you just have to be in the right position. I agree that most Maggies are not the holy grail but their strengths outweigh their weaknesses.

Thanx, Russ
I for one am looking foward to hearing these, but I have to mention, I have owned MMG and MGIIIA and MG3.6's with mye stands. I also have owned Usher CP6381 and thought they they offered more impact and slam, with excellent imaging and top end. The MG3.6 had a bigger sound stage...Both exellent speakers but do diferent things, Just my experience
>>01-01-10: Fruff1976
BTW. If you discount the Usher because they aren't revered<<

Most listeners discount them because they suck.

Being revered has little relevance.
Bill, diplomatic as ever. :-)

I actually think their $350 speaker is pretty good. The rest of the line, not so much.

Wendell
01-03-10: Audiofeil
>>01-01-10: Fruff1976
BTW. If you discount the Usher because they aren't revered<<

Most listeners discount them because they suck.

Being revered has little relevance.
---------------------------
Look, the point is, I could care less what you, a reviewer or anyone else says. To my ears, they sound much better than any other speakers that has been in my house, with the exception of the Proacs which sound as good but in a different way. That's one of the reasons I kept the 1.6 so long is because everyone was saying how great they are so I figured it must be me. I've learned to judge components based on my own likes or dislikes and not because someone says they suck.
Fruff,
just curious if you used a sub with your 1.6's?

Thanks
Then again, if truth be told, the same speakers can sound either truly wonderful or truly terrible in the same room depending on their associated components and how well (or how poorly) they are set up (positioned within the room)...
01-03-10: Sthomas12321
Fruff,
just curious if you used a sub with your 1.6's?

Thanks
-----------------------------
I did. I have an REL Strata III that I used with them.
I just checked this thread, and I must reveal that my last post on this was at my house about 10:30 pm on New Year's eve, after about 10 glasses of the best Sangria I have ever had.

I don't know why this is, but a friend from the neighborhood, who is a CardioThorasic surgeon makes the best Sangria on earth, and even though I never drink that stuff, his recipe is highly addictive. I think he tosses in some other phamacuticals.

Anyway, I will blame my condemnation of that post regarding the latest Chinese made box speaker on my inability to hold my liquor. It's a curse and a blessing. It keeps me from drinking too much.

Anyway, I'm not going to argue if the Magnepan 1.6qr was better than some generic box speaker someone bought, or probably sells, what model and brand was that? Oh yeah, Bose 601's, or something like that.

I don't dislike box speakers per say, and some versions such as higher end B & W's, Wilson's, Harbeth's, Paradigm's of all level, and even the Definitive Technologies, and many others not named do their jobs incredibly well. I actually love horn speakers of all kinds as well. But since the first time I heard planar speaker I thought, and still do, that they reproduce music much more realistically than any box speaker can.

The statement that any speaker just blows away another, especially one of the seminal models of all time such as the Magnepan 1.6qr, not just my opinion, is ignorant at best. I don't really care about how they were set up, or what the circumstances, I don't believe that.

Also, hijacking a thread regarding a specific item like this shows a certain insecurity. I don't know of any Maggie owner/fan who would read the post regarding some generic Chinese made speaker announcement and comment how Maggies blow them away. One reason that would not happen, and is telling of not just the status, but the ability of the generic speaker, is that it is not any type of event when they come out with a new speaker.

So keep your Bose 601's, I'm sure they sound great to you, I'll continue to be excited, along with many others in the audio community about the new Magnepans.
Macdadtexas, you must still be drunk. I owned Maggies for 8 years and I added my comments based on experience. I don't care if you or millions of other people like them, they were mediocre at best for me. Maybe I should rephrase my comment. "Usher CP-6371's do not smash Magnepan 1.6's" - But rather in my house, with my components, with my ears, they outperform the Magnepan's in every respect without any doubt. I'm not a dealer by any means, I can also tell you that my proacs are much more enjoyable than the Magnepans and also my Audio Physic are much more engaging. Again, not to get your panties in a bunch, but this is my personal experience. I also had Gallo ref 3's which got sold because they could not perform as well as the Ushers. For everyone out there that owns and loves Magnepans, good for you. The goal is to find components that make you enjoy the hobby (even if they are "generic chinese made speakers." One last thing about my experience with the 1.6.; rock music sounded extremely weak, even with a sub.
Fruff1976, it took eight years for you to decide the Magnaplanars weren't the speakers for you? I admire someone who doesn't make snap judgments. :-)

Wendell
01-03-10: Narrod
Fruff1976, it took eight years for you to decide the Magnaplanars weren't the speakers for you? I admire someone who doesn't make snap judgments. :-)

Wendell
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As you know they are one of the most recommended and highly praised speakers, period. When I bought them in 2000, I didn't know how long it would be before I could ever afford a pair of $1600 speakers again so I went with the extreme hype and bought them. It took a long time to get enough money to buy something new without having to sell the magnepans. Once I brought the new speakers home I finally realized what I was missing and sold the 1.6 without hesitation. I think I was more in denial for a long time thinking it was everything else in the system. Luckily I now have 3 pairs of speakers that I don't have to jerk around with placement all the time.
Never heard a Magnepan sound terrible. Maybe not optimum but never outright terrible. Also, the horror stories of placement and huge amplifiers needed for them are GREATLY exagerated in my opinion. They just need GOOD amplifiers.
As far as the new 1.7....wow, I can hardly wait to hear them
just like everyone else!

To qualify, I am a Magnepan dealer so have SOME bias but have enjoyed their unique and natural way with music for many many years before I had the good fortune to have them in my shop.
Realhifi, I've never heard them sound terrible, in any setup.
I do find setup critical but not difficult and they benefit from the best amplification one can afford.

Wendell
I love them, but I do think they need very good amps, because they are so revealing. If you had them for years and used cheap amps they probably wouldn't perform their best, and some generic box speaker that colors the music would appeal to you.

I would put my Maggies against any speakers as far as hard rock performance. They can make your ears bleed, and sound crystal clear, but I have what I consider great amps.
I'm a recent Maggie 1.6QR convert and love 'em over my past box speakers. They aren't exactly dynamic! or have bass! - but with voices, cymbals, etc they are very good. My friend with the Quad ESL-63s like 'em too - saying they are a more livable speaker with a varying range of music. Though they don't quite have the transparency or detail of a good 'stat, they are truly fantastic speakers - especially for the price.

A true taste of the high end on a not-so-rich man's budget. I run 'em with a big ol' Threshold S/500 amplifier and still feel that I could do with a bit more power(!). btw - Trying to run them with a SE 15W class A tube amplifier was an exercise in futility!

Anyways - I'm looking forward to the 1.7s. A true ribbon tweeter would definitely help.
Dividebytube,
With due respect, it's a misconception that Maggies don't have bass. They can do bass very, very well with enough high-quality power. Mye stands also make a huge difference in bass response and overall quality.
Enjoy.
Dordevic, I agree regarding the bass but planar bass is different from a dynamic driver. Some people simply don't like the way bass sounds through a planar. I hear the difference but can live with it considering all they do right.

Wendell
Sorry, I was trying to use 'bass!' in a sarcastic manner. They do have a different bass and I'm actually quite satisfied with it. And that's coming from my previous speakers (Altec 604 with an Eminence 15" woofer on the bottom).
Preference on bass may well revolve around one's preference for music, in my experience. If you are a hard rock fan that goes to live rock concerts and want to recreate the kind of sound pressure levels and bass you hear at rock concerts, then dynamic speakers tend to excel at bass impact over the planar speakers whose sound is more diffuse by nature than that of cone woofers. On the other hand, I believe that Maggie's bass response is more "realistic" than that of most dynamic speakers based upon my experience hearing low frequencies in classical concert halls. Thus, for jazz and classical music, I believe the planar bass (Maggie 20.1's in my case) provides "better" bass than the dynamic speakers I have heard. They also do quite well for rock music, but if that and other associated non-acoustic, amplified, loud spl music genres were my bread and butter, I might look elsewhere. As it is, I am quite happy with the Maggies. :)
Luvwine,
Good one...like the way you delineate between the two kinds of bass. Haven't thought about it exactly that way before. I too, think Maggie bass is exceptional...but there is no one perfect approach!
Thanks, Dordevic, but I assure you that I am not the first person to describe it this way. Most will agree that cone woofers "shoot" the sound at you and thus provide more impact. Planar speakers provide a more diffuse image, but with an inherently larger soundstage which I value highly. The impact provided by cone woofers is probably one of the more obvious differences between planar speakers and box speakers. The absence of boxy coloration in planar speakers is another. Some box speaker lovers never get over the lesser impact of the bass and don't understand what all the fuss is about and then some planar lovers can never again tolerate the boxy colorations and lack of openness and smaller soundstage of many or most box speakers. All speakers are compromises on some level and one most choose one's priorities and where one is willing to live with compromises.

All the best to you.
Anyone here heard the 1.7 yet? I saw a 'review' up(if you call it that) if you follow the preview link on magnepans website. To find the "review" follow the link psoted under the 1.7, scroll down to the bottom comment, and a man posted another link to the "review" posted yesterday. hope this helps.
I am so geeked about the new 1.7s. The promise of quality crossover components, and a frame that is not made of MDF has me through the roof. My only wish is that they have five way binding posts. Also to throw my two cents in about the bass, I have a pair of 1.5s and I listen to 90% rap/hip-hop music (50 Cent, Lupe Fiasco, Tech N9NE) which relies primarily on drum beats for rhythmic flow. I have heard no speaker which can match the timing and realism of bass like maggies. For a reference I have owned B&W 802s, Kef 205s, and Martin Logan Spires.
Where did you get the info that the frames were not made of mdf? The side trim panels are metal or you can get old style wood trim as an option.
I collect different technologies and what i discovered for myself that each technology has it's own UNIQUE capabilities. I just don't think in the 20th and 21st century you're going to have a total agreement on any loudspeaker design or any other component irregardless of price. I agree with many of the commentators that it's about INDIVIDUAL taste. Most audiogon members have experienced MANY loudspeaker design. That's why SOME purchase and KEEP various designs. For me, I love maggies or planars, I own the 2.5r, mglrs 1, sold my .05 and SMGC, have the eminent technology LFT 8A and will be upgrading to B tweeter which is the competition to maggies more like in between a martin logan and a maggie without having a step up transformer which my ACOUSTAT SPECTRA 33 w/spl subwoofer (huge electrostat). I also have and acquired the OHM 300 mk 2, ohm walsh 4x0, walsh 2x0, ohm pro 200 cylinder (using as a center for HT) srslabs klayman signature(discontinued) and yes I use subs, SVS and DCM subs. I also have klipsch, optimus/rca linaeum, whaferdales and started with BOSE 601 and 901 in the 80's! My conclusion is, NO one design is really superior to the other and if I had the wealth I would own ALL the members loudspeakers. I envy many of the members here, some own INFINITY RS series, MAGICO, DALI, B&W, avant garde, anthony gallos, GERMAN PHYSICS, MBL AND DUEVEL, mcCintosh,
Transmission audio, von schweikert, I could go on. BUT MY FAVORITE PERSON I ENVY is the one that BUILT his own multi ribbon TRANSMISSION LINE design for his HT setup, never seen so many ribbons and drivers in one huge speaker cabinet, and he bult five 7'6" cabinets and his own subs. My opinion is that the LOUDSPEAKER people like here I would enjoy personally irregardless of manufacturer and design. Dynamic, hybrid, planar, electrostat, coherent line, use of wave guide and most of all various TWEAKS are all great in my book. Been an audio enthusiast or audiophile for 32 yrs now. MAGGIES are not for everyone and neither is HORNS or any other design such as electrostats. Some loudspeakers are just not designed for certain room characteristics that's why they sound awful to the listener irregardless of equipment used to drive them. If loudness and heavy bass is all what makes someone happy , i suggest pro LOUDSPEAKERS like MACKIE, JBL, GEMSOUND, ALTEC LANSING, ELECTROVOICE and many others. I owned pro speakers too where imaging is not important in those designs made for dj and live music.