I attended Mr. Diller’s Magnepan 30.7 demo in Indy a few months ago and those speakers are excellent but are priced at about $30K. I asked Wendell if he ever thought about combining and offering a 4-sub distributed bass array system (DBA) with a high quality pair of Magnepan panels for the mids and treble for a more reasonable price.
Unfortunately based on his reaction, I don’t believe he has ever heard of the DBA concept and how effective it has been proven to work in virtually any room both scientifically and anecdotally.
I knew at the time that I didn’t need to wait for Wendell to become enlightened to the DBA concept with Magnepans because I’d already been using an Audio Kinesis Debra 4-sub complete DBA system kit with an older pair of Magnepan 2.7QR speakers for about 4 years with excellent results; providing bass that is powerful, dynamic, smooth, fast, seemingly effortless that seamlessly integrates with the main speakers.
The $3K Swarm or Debra kit consists of four relatively small 4 ohm subs (14"w x 12"d x 24"h and 44 lbs that each contain a 10" aluminum long-throw driver and four port plugs for the choice of either ported or sealed sub operation) and a 1K watt class AB amp/control unit for powering all four subs in mono and setting the volume, crossover frequency and phase of all four subs as a group.
Knowing a mini Magnepan 30.7 system was a very good concept and for anyone else who thinks they may want to approximate this type of overall sound quality in their home, I believe I’ve discovered a method to achieve this; I replaced my older pair of 2.7QR with a preowned pair of Magnepan 3.7i speakers and combined it with my AK 4-sub DBA system. I’m using a Synology 20 TB NAS feeding a Lumin D2 dac/streamer a combination of FLAC, WAV and DSD music files with the output sent via balanced cables to the balanced inputs on a Levinson 326S preamp and on to the balanced inputs of a pair of D-Sonic M3-600-M class D mono-blocks. The D-Sonic amps provide 1,200 watts to the 4 ohm 3.7is which drive them very well.
The 3.7i have more midrange and treble energy than my former 2.7QR, with a much newer and improved quasi-ribbon mid-range section and a true ribbon treble section that allows for a very smooth, detailed, neutral and natural midrange/treble presentation that’s never harsh or bright and has a very high quality sound. Combined with the near state of the art bass performance provided by the AK’s 4-sub DBA system that seamlessly integrates, the result is an overall high quality sound from top to bottom that I perceive as very similar to a mini version of the Magnepan 30.7’s traditional open, natural Magnepan sound but with significantly better bass quality and a more dynamic quality overall.
But hey, we all know how subjective this whole home audio hobby can be. My main point is that the combo of a pair of 3.7i with high quality mid/treble and imaging performance paired with a 4-sub DBA system with high quality bass performance, in my opinion, already represents a legitimate mini 30.7 system at a fraction of the price. I paid less than $7,500 for a preowned pair of 3.7is and a new AK 4-sub DBA system.
I can certainly confirm that my custom mini 30.7 system combo sounds spectacular and definitely exceeded my expectations.