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After a 12-year history, reaching a near-iconic standing, the Magneplanar 1.6 has been improved with value engineering. No costly tweaks of questionable sonic value. Magnepan is all about better ideas which give verifiable, high-value sonic improvements. All members of a listening panel chose the 1.7 or the 1.6 in a blind listening test.
The 1.7 is a departure from Magnepan's 41-year history of using planar magnetic drivers for the bass or lower midrange. The use of quasi ribbon technology down into the lower midrange and bass will provide a new level of coherence.
What is a quasi-ribbon? The quasi ribbon driver is a deviation from the true ribbon design. A very thin film backing is used to hold the delicate ribbons in place. One of the advantages of quasi ribbon drivers is extremely wide frequency band width and high power handling. The result in the 1.7 is low distortion and seamless ribbon clarity--a sound so clear and effortless that it has changed the thinking of thousands of audiophiles about planar speakers.
The 1.7 also boasts a quasi ribbon super tweeter with a wider "sweet spot," and one step closer to the delicacy and detail of Magnepan's true ribbon design.
The 1.7 was subjected to "blind testing" by a panel of audiophiles and casual listeners. In addition to better sound, there is one more important improvement that you can test for yourself. If you have the opportunity to hear the 1.7s at your local dealer, try this experiment---Ask the dealer to place the speakers with the tweeters on the outside. Note how the imaging remains remarkably stable when seated far off-axis. With some speakers it is necessary to sit in the "sweet spot" for good imaging. If you are too far out of the sweet spot, you will hear predominately one speaker.With the tweeters on the outside, the 1.7 has the widest sweet spot of any of any previous Maggies. If you prefer to sit only in the "sweet spot", try the tweeters on the inside. Whether the tweeter is on the inside or outside, the tweeter should not be closer to the listener than the bass section. Measuring from your seated position, if the bass panel is 10 feet, 6 inches, the tweeter should be at least 10 feet, 7 inches (think in distance, not angles).
Then, the 1.7 became the 1.7i
In past model improvements, driver changes and factory retooling were extensive. It is rare when improvements can be made that are audible in a blind test and do not require a major investment. So, in view of this good fortune, we chose to pass on these small improvements rather than save them for a 1.8.
Will you be able to hear the difference between the 1.7 and 1.7i? Yes, in a careful A-B test, but we don't do sales hype. No, it is not a 1.8. It is simply "trickle-down" ideas that were incorporated in the 3.7i
If none of this has impressed you, take your Uncle Larry's advice.
A new, modern styling with wrap-around aluminum trim on the 1.7 is also a departure from Magnepan's more conservative cosmetic styling. The standard wood trims of the 1.6 (as shown below) are available upon special order and an upcharge. Aluminum trim is available in silver or black or primer coat for custom finishing. Wood trim is available in natural oak, black oak or dark cherry. Fabric choices are off-white, black or dark gray.
The total design concept for the Magneplanar 1.7 results in a speaker that measures exceptionally well by all the standard criteria, but more important, sounds even better.
The 1.7 is handcrafted in the USA and made with virtually all American-made parts. The suggested USA retail price starts at $1,995 pair. There will be a modest price increase for trim and fabric upgrade options.
Magnepan's Super Model-- Perhaps you have seen Sue's grand daughter in our ads. (Sue works in the Service Dept.) Men's Health Magazine reviewed the 1.7. Irina Shayk is not the kind of model that we would use, but we appreciate the left-handed compliment. After 45 years, Maggies are the new "cool"?
The 1.7i is not big.
What? You say.
The 1.7i is not big from an acoustical standpoint. However, the bass driver is big. If we sold the portion of the speaker from 200 Hz up, you could put it in the average apartment. Yes, it is tall, but very narrow. The ideal speaker would be a massless line-source that would look like a pole--from the floor to the ceiling. The 1.7i comes as close to that ideal as is possible with real-world devices.
The 1.7i bass driver is the reason it is big. Sorry, but that is what it takes to have high definition bass (We are not fans of hybrid speakers).
Need more bass?
Put a big speaker in a small room, too much bass. Put a small speaker in big room, too little bass. In general, it is true. There is no one-size-fits-all. In an ideal world, the bass diaphragm would be like an accordion which could be expanded to exactly fit the needs of your acoustical environment.
Magnepan now provides more options for getting the bass and frequency balance just right for your particular room. The relative levels of the bass and tweeter/super-tweeter can be adjusted. If that does not achieve a smooth balance in your room, bass diaphragm area can be added with one or more Maggie Bass Panels. Click on link below for more information.
If you have a high-current amplifier, adding the Bass Panel is easy and inexpensive. Better bass for those difficult rooms and no subwoofer discontinuity issues.
Prices vary depending upon trim and fabric combinations.