It doesn’t always pay to be different. Well, I mean sometimes it does, but when you’re on to something that works, major course corrections seem foolish. Which is why the New MMG from Magnepan is both a refreshing surprise and as comforting as a clean breath of mountain air.
What’s new? A new crossover. Improvements from the dot-7 line. What’s not new? Total value and awesome sound.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a fan — and in the spirit of full disclosure, I own a pair of Magnepan 3.7s.
Back to RMAF: $595 get’s you a pair of loudspeakers that are visually more streamlined than the upscale loudspeakers that this pair is derived from. But they aren’t obviously audibly different from the 1.7 at first listen. I mean, yes, they’re different — the 1.7 go lower. But! And this is one, big, hairy butt of a but — in just about every other way that matters, they’re more alike than not. Instantly, I recognized the uncolored, open and seamless sound quality. Quite frankly, coming from systems that cost 10x to 100x more, I was a little stunned. Not only that Magnepan can pull together a great sounding loudspeaker for, frankly, peanuts — but also that they keep doing it.
If you have the space and the cash, you owe this to yourself. MMG: it’s outstanding, and at this price, it’s almost silly. They’re really good. So much so that I almost hesitate to encourage you to travel up the product line. You really may not need to.
What else was here? Bryston electronics! And a $1,100 Magnepan CC5 center channel, to “widen the sweet spot”, paired with an $800 DWM woofer module to add some more heft in the down-low. Not sure most of us would need or want the CC5 for their stereo systems, but I tend to find bass support very helpful.
However you cut it, this is crazy value — my wife would be all over that bit — and, honestly, I can count on one hand the loudspeaker manufacturers that can compete at this price point with this level of sound. Okay, that may be four too many fingers, but the point is this — this is what value is about. With the MMG system, you’re not getting the cast-offs or after-thoughts from a premium brand. This is a serious system — I challenge you to do better for the same or less.
Which leads to the problem. If you’re curious, that next step may be problematic. Especially for those of you near absolutely nothing or no one. Which, if I may be so bold, I think was the point of this little demo. From Magnepan:
We’ll tell you right up front— The 3 MMG models we offer with a 60-day money back guarantee are the marketing equivalent of those tasty little morsels handed out in high-end grocery stores. You won’t see many Magneplanar ads in audio magazines. They are expensive and they are not as effective as they were 40 years ago. And you won’t see Magneplanars at Best Buy or other “big box” stores.
We had a better idea. Now, most consumers do their research on the internet. That’s probably how you found us. Or from one of our thousands of happy customers. This MMG, 60-day, money-back guarantee “appetizer” concept has proven more successful than any other marketing idea. Only a very small percentage of customers return their MMG models because they didn’t like them. And most eventually move up to our better models. So, warning is fair, you might get “hooked”.
I have to say, the drug-dealer economics model (your first taste is free!) is pretty slick. It’s also pretty much pain-free. If you’re seriously, get yourself a pair to try out in the only listening space that matters — yours. $600 bucks isn’t nothing, but in the ultra-high-end, it’s usually not even an option. And again, I can’t think of a less expensive way to put your first foot on the path to that nervous breakdown we cheerfully call “being an audiophile”. Anyway, once hooked and you want to build it out, $800 adds a seamless bottom-end. Got more to play with? Luckily for you, so does Magnepan.
To find out more about the in-home trial opportunity, check with Magnepan.
Wendell Diller is one of the good guys in our industry and it’s always a pleasure to see him. Magnepan enjoys one of the highest re-purchase rates in the industry (people buying-in at more entry level models and then trading up to more sophisticated versions). Speed, clarity and air, these speakers have it all. Just be sure to throw nice amplification on them. Even at the high-end of their lineup, the speakers can easily be the cheapest component in the system but fully able to rise to the occasion with very lofty electronics.
That’s just my two cents worth.