Ordered in late April, I took delivery of my new Magnepan 3.7s last night. Tom Unger, of The Gifted Listener out in Centreville, VA very kindly drove them up here, braving DC traffic, country roads, and idiot drivers. We had them out of his van and set up in all of 30 mins. Sweet!
I ordered mine with the textured aluminum trim. Its kind of hard to see — but then, that’s what macro lenses are for, now innit?
This is utterly fingerprint-proof and from more than 5′ away, looks utterly smooth.
While I have ordered some Mye Stands from Grant VanderMye, the stands that come with it aren’t really much of a problem. The speakers, perhaps because they’re the aluminum trim, feel very robust and rigid. I’m not feeling any sway — or even any vibration in the speaker trim while the speaker is playing. Of course, I’m not using anything but my calloused fingers to test this, so WTF do I know.
Ok, so that’s not the best pic. Sue me.
One of the things I wanted to see when I was shopping was the back panel. Here it is:
There’s two attenuators that you can add, one for the midrange and one for the treble. I’ve opted to use the stock attenuator for the treble while the speaker is breaking in. Tom suggested that “that’s what most folks do”, so I didn’t argue, though I’ll probably be pulling this in about a month. There are stock fuses in there now and a stock jumper pin in the slots for the midrange attenuator. Yeah, I’m already thinking about swapping those out too.
I’m currently using a set of WyWires speaker cables. so you can see the beautiful Xhadow bananas coming out of the amplifier terminals. Speaking of which, the terminals are banana-only. So, if your cables are spaded (spayed? spaid?), you’re going to need some kind of banana-to-whatever adapter. Oh, and a screwdriver to get those little screws out of the way.
Despite my wretched attempts at photography, the speakers sit straight up. No tilt at all. And thin is still “in” — we’re talking 1.5″ tops. And they’re every bit of 6′ tall. The sound stage doesn’t really “do” anything when I sit or stand — it’s all right there, wherever my head happens to be. Just like in real life. 😉
And no, that’s not a crossover box sitting on the floor. That’s my AR-T Legato.
Here’s a side view, showing the ASC Tube Traps in the corner and a couple of Alan Maher Designs plug in filters sitting on the floor.
Nice carpet stains. Now you know why my wife was okay with my claiming this corner of the basement.
Here’s the other side.
I’ve been playing music through them pretty much non-stop since Tom & I finished setting them up. The sound is, in a word, fantastic. Bass is still a bit light, but imaging is great — perhaps even better than they sounded at The Gifted Listener on that first visit back in April. I’m thrilled.
Very nice. When you get a chance, I suggest that you replace the “sand block” resistors with the better low-inductance type – especially on the tweeter circuit.
Again, nice kit!
Thanks for the writeup and the up close pictures. I wish more companies would take the time to showcase the back panel and terminals on their websites to give a heads-up to the consumer.
I first heard the 3.7’s a few weeks ago and ordered them on the spot. As someone still “new” to the audiophile world, I’d been surviving on inherited equipment for quite some time. (It’s really about the music anyway), but I couldn’t believe what these speakers could do for the money.
I now have a Cary SLP 03 Pre paired with the Cary SA-500.1 monoblocks to power these, though have not yet spent time upgrading cables, not that what I have is tin wire, but let’s say it’s nothing spectacular and must go… When I heard these, it was on Audience’s top of the line stuff, beautiful, but pricey. (I’m fine with a reasonable price as long as an audition can prove their merit).
My questions are thus: any thoughts on cables I should audition? I really need to go from source to amp to speakers (Balanced from source to amp, then a good speaker cable with some type of bananas) I’m familiar with Kimber and Audioquest, and of course the Audience I first heard them on, but not much else. And with the attenuators, what did you end up deciding to do and what are your results? I’m just trying to figure how best to tie this system together.
Also, with these speakers, I was thinking of adding a sub at a later time (within the next year) for some additional depth to open up the soundstage and wondered how that would all play into the cable conundrum. There are far too many options out there…
Thanks for any thoughts.
Other than remembering to stick to bananas on the speaker-ends, no, no special cables are required. I’ve had good luck with WyWires, if that helps. MG Audio Designs is also really interesting.
The after-market tweaks I tried were inconclusive, but I liked the chokes. You will most likely need a resistor for the tweeter, but there’s no need to go bananas with it, just shoot for “well made”.
Thanks and congrats on your new gig!
I really liked your write up. I am curious ..you mentioned that you are using plinius gear. Would you be able to share some of you impressions with the gear and the maggie 3.7’s? I am on the verge of asking Scott to send me a 301 b Mk2 but I have always wondered if maybe an Ayre amp might not be better. So any thoughts you might have on the synergy between the plinius gear and the 3.7’s would be appreciated,
Thank you for your time.
I first heard the 3.7s with Ayre gear, an Ayre KX-R and MX-R pair, actually. The sound was … very … good. Ahem.
I think the Ayre gear is really linear and nearly without color. It’s really tremendous stuff and if I had the almost $40k for the matchup, I’d consider it strongly. For about half that, the Plinius combo is extremely compelling, and in the case of Maggies specifically, might be a better match. Tonally, my Plinius combo hangs a bit more meat on the bones than the Ayre pair (har har — it rhymes) did. With panels, this is really welcome. Also, nothing can touch a Plinius when it comes to the lowest registers — and again, this is really beneficial with panels where the bass is somewhat challenged as it is.
So, in short, I love my big Plinius pair with the Maggies. But it’s a bit absurd. My Tautoro pre amp costs over $8k. The SA-Reference is twice that. And the 3.7s are $5,500. Gah. Total mismatch there.
Anyway, I have to caveat any comments about the SB301 or SA103, neither of which I have, have had, or heard — much less tried out on the Maggies. I’m guessing that they’re close to the SA-Reference, but that’s just a guess. So, I fully expect YMMV.
For another take, Steve Guttenberg uses Pass Labs amps on his 3.7s (another price mismatch) and he raves about the combo — you might want to drop him a line.
Based on nothing but hearsay and innuendo, I suspect that Ayre and Pass might be a bit closer in sound than either are to my big Plinius, but again, YMMV.
Congrats, I have 3.6s and love them. Im looking to do some modding to them and when Im done with that Im sure Ill be up for an upgrade to the 3.7s. Nice looking setup.