Can Magnepan survive Wendell Diller?

I bought my first set of Magnepans in 1976, and I currently have a pair of 1.7i's.

It is difficult for me to upgrade to the 3.7i's because their are so many things that the company can do to improve their product that they simply won't offer; upgraded crossover components, a solid wood/rigid frames and better stands are examples.

Other companies are now doing this, but Magnepan always says Wendell doesn't think that is a good idea.

Can a man who suggests using lamp cord for his speaker line really have that much control over an otherwise unique technological approach to speaker design? I must be missing something obvious when a product is hand assembled in MN and any of these upgrades would, in my mind, warrant factory upgrades. Who wouldn't spend an extra $1k for a 1.7i with a hardwood frame and an upgraded x-over? Adding a ribbon tweeter to the 1.7i would warrant an additional $1k, still bringing them in $2k under the 3.7i.

Is it common for one person to hold an entire company back in high end audio? 
<<Is it common for one person to hold an entire company back in high end audio?>>

I get it. I have talked to Wendell and I was fully blown off. However they have been in business a long time and they do offer a good product for the price so it's hard to argue with that.

How did Wendell blow me off? My six-pac amps didn't play well with my MMGs. I had a buzz at one frequency but it wasn't a panel buzz, it was an amp/loudspeaker interaction that occurred right at the crossover point. He blew me off and said that's just that crossover BS talk (I never heard or read any of that). I used 3 different amps but only the six-pacs had the issue. No issue for me really I put them on another amp, problem solved but Wendell had no interest in my problem. 
I hear this over and over about him. I contacted them a few years back about something they may have wanted to consider, and it was "hey, not invented here, go away!" 
I guess this is why my next chunk of change is going to a pair of Zu's. They let me spec the caps, wire, wood and color. Maybe it's a generational thing?
I worked my way up the Magnepan line to 3.6's before I switched to Thiels.

The Maggie's are wonderful speakers just like they are.

Could they be made with better parts? Sure. Is it necessary? No.

In my opinion, they easily blow away half of what is on the market today and are affordable. 

Why mess with that?

Thanks for listening.


He is old and tired and should retire.

Magnepan has gone downhill since Mark Winey took over from the old man.

Wendell is just the marketing man and answers the phone.

He does not design anything at Magnepan.

Why do we never hear from Mark the president? He is absent?

The 30.7 was a total flop as they sold less then 50 after showing at 50 stores with 75% of the demos having poor sound per Wendell !


"Why mess with that?"
Because that is what speaker design is all about? 
Continually refining and upgrading components to create the best sound you can make with your product.

It is as if they have the head of Ford automotive design running Porsche. And Ford has all but given up making cars, lest the Mustang, because they can't compete. 
They can't compete because they are making the wrong choices, they can't blame who they hire on someone else; they don't see it as their failure to make their car lines profitable as a process that they would have to change to compete at something they practically invented.

Why doesn’t Magnepan incrementally improve their product by adding a rigid laminate to the MDF frame to tighten up the middle of the frame instead of wasting money on the 30.7?

I get what you are saying, I bought the 1.7i's based on a brick and mortar demo session. They beat everything on the showrooms floor for anything near that price range. 
But I have to say that once home and listening the upper mids and treble sound seemed muddy, sort of like they have a slight head cold. No other speaker in a line of products suffers from that the way the Maggie’s do. My KEF R 300’s have the same midrange tweeter combo as their big brother the R 900's had. So the only thing that suffered in the line significantly as you got smaller was the bass response; just like practically every other speaker line on the market.

Again, K-mart design parameters in an high end market. 
To my point on the 1.7i's I messed with some complimentary drivers to incorporate with my speakers, something that has mega definition.

I bought some Fostex FE168EZ 6.5" drivers and Fostex pots from Madisound and made some thrown together boxes that I placed behind the Maggie's with just enough volume to add definition to the mids and highs. What an amazing difference!

I would add them as dipoles but I can't figure out how to do so without making them incredibly ugly, as mounting them to the top of the frame looked horrible. 
Because of this I have decided to go all in on their rebuild with all new X-over components, binding posts and pulling the fuse from the design. (I removed the fuses and replaced them with solids but the gain was not significant compared to what the Fostex drivers do for the speakers performance.)

Once I get my "Maggie’s little helpers" final boxes built and mounted  I'll post a picture of them.

But this is an awfully long way to go in time and expense to do something that I should be able to buy from the manufacturer, don't you think?

It's something I'm thinking about now that I'm retired. But do I want the headaches of running a company again? No, I don't think so. And I don't view myself as an audiophile as much as someone who loves music and wants the best reproduction I can afford, and you need the personality of a sales person to successfully run a consumer product company. ps audio and Zu have that in their owners. 

Since I already have accepted the size tax on buying the current ones I have, it just makes me wonder why they don't go the extra mile by letting the customers decide how much better their sound should be for the package they buy, and by extension, how much they would pay for for the deluxe model.

I used to do product design and development, you would always logically extend something to the nth degree when you have a unique product. I just read something about the Maggie 30.7 for condos, and that isn’t a bad idea. But why reinvent the wheel when you could improve the sound of the existing product by 15-20%? Marketing should never wag the dog, but it often does; Klipsh is an excellent example of not installing great components so that you can upgrade the line in 2-3 years, based on marketing considerations thinking. Why not just put in the best components and let the market chase you while you look at advances in technologies and materials to refine your design based on research? 
If Maggie’s came in a box, I wouldn't even have bothered posting this, cause it's just another manufacturer implementing their design philosophy on that medium, but Maggie’s are different, and that is something that should be capitalized on, IMHO.
But you know it would be a whole lot easier if they would just finish what they started. No spending my retirement savings on my part, and a lot of happier Maggie owners on their part. 
I wish  Musk would take on audio, he is not afraid of upsetting the market by innovation.

And If I get a windfall of money maybe then I'll ask Mark if he want's to sell. 😉

Having own numerous monkey coffins (box speakers) my first foray into OB was with Accoustat 2 + 2s. I had both the interfaces and the servos, to which overtime I did some upgrades. The servos were great, but too many times I experienced cherry red tubes. Long after selling them someone figured out how stabilize the servos. Eventually,  I bought a pair of 3.5Rs but by themselves their sound got lost in my big room, so I added 2 SVS powered subs, but couldn't get them to blend seamlessly. I then tried multichannel W4S amp, then replacing the OEM XO with active, which was getting closer, but the cheap Behringers and DBXs kept blowing up. A couple years ago I sold them and bought Emerald Physics KCIIs with $1000 worth of upgrades, but they did not match up with my subs. About 6 months ago I got a pair of EP 3.4s, which are magical if your room isn't as big as mine, but my subs match up pretty well. The 3.4s are ~ 99dB efficient (no complex load here) with a concentric polyester tweeter, and sound amazing. A big benefit is they are only 40" tall. And since the line was discontinued you can find them damn cheap

I found Wendell to be the opposite very willing to listen and offer solutions, he is almost always available when in the office and his interaction on road trips is fantastic.
Magnepan like any company has to weigh cost vs sonic gain for any upgrades. 
I haven't noticed any problems with the rigidity of 1.7 or now 3.7i as they are.Magnepan is offering a hell of a great product at their price point I auditioned lots of speakers and none cane close.
I know some are frustrated by their not recommending amps but if you stay with a high current  non class D amp you should be fine.
Thanks Tweak1. There are so many more speakers out there that I don't know exist anymore since moving away from Boston. 
And as you say, with Emerald Physics they let you mod up to the level you want to pay. Heck, if Magnepan did that, I wouldn't have even bothered with this post.

Anyone Else with other ideas in this size range are welcome to chime in, it is the size that is the limiting factor for me with the 3.7i's. Well, that and knowing that they can be better if I just want to pitch my warranty out the window when I buy them and know that they will need new caps and inductors.

What I would wish for is a "2.7" with additional width for a ribbon tweeter. Why not that for $4k?
"... What I would wish for is a "2.7" with additional width for a ribbon tweeter..."

I was just going to post this. They would not be perfect (nor are the 3.7s) but they would be damn good enough with the right setup.  
I agree Russ. One of the mods I tried on my Maggie’s was a rear facing tweeter crossed over at 5khz with a 12db slope. I used the Eton 29HD2 Magnesium/Ceramic 28mm Dome Tweeters from Madisound and it added a lot to their tweeter that just isn't possible with their design, but I think a dipole AMT like one of the Mundorf makes would be better. Trouble is their over $600 apiece now, and ideally you’d have three per side in an array. (This is why I would prefer Magnepan make the 2.7 with a ribbon tweeter.)

What the Fostex does that the tweeter did not do is add the feathery effects to instrument and crispness of certain voices to the sound that only a lightweight paper cone driver can achieve. I'm designing a ported wedge with a surrounding flare around it and incorporating a stand to lose the feet. I can  eliminate some of the noise bleed from that driver onto the wall behind the speaker, and by having the flare  shorter on the inside it enhances vocals for movies.  
I'm sure that once I've removed the "sock" from the speaker to upgrade the x-overs I'll try some lateral bracing in the middle of the panel to resist flexation too.

All things being equal, I would prefer that the factory just offer these upgrades so I didn't have to waste 100 hours on doing the modifications.
The Quasi ribbon tweeter is just OK and it holds the whole speaker back from what it could be.  
I've heard that. The 3.7i's sound so much better than the 1.7i's that I would have to live with them to nitpick that aspect of their design. 
I'm simply looking to find out how many flat panel fans would pay for the upgrades if available from the factory?
The 30.7’s are a great sounding speaker, IF-- you have a big enough room for them, you have amps that can drive them ( probably at least 250 watts/ch) and you have room acoustic treatments to buttress them,.
When I heard the 30.7 demo, Wendell had set them up so that they were ok, luckily he let our club adjust them and agreed to a different placement, which let them really shine. I suspect most folks who have heard the 30.7’s have unfortunately never heard what the speaker can do, which is a real shame.

I did not go to the demos because buying those speakers would have required me to add an $80k addition on to my house.

I’m glad Wendell was accommodating to your club. This is my Wendell story: Wendell says don’t waste your money on speaker cable, 14awg spool cable is "adequate". It is hardly that, once I started reading what NASA has to say about cable, RF interference and a side by side configuration. You just don’t do that in long runs. Minimum the cable has to be twisted so that the ground interferes with the positive sides ability to amplify extraneous background noise RF noise. Then when you look up neurological experiments that require an RF cage, they still use multistanded cables in a woven configuration to maintain the almost imperceptible impulses from neurons.
So I used Audioquest side by side cable, and it sounded thin. Then I read about the twisting and twisted the side by side cable and set it with a heat gun, 8 rotations per foot. Better sound, but my amp was still overheating. AHB2.

Then I bought Benchmark's star quad cables with Neutrek spekons for the amp and bananas for the speakers. The difference blew me away. And the amp runs 7 degrees cooler and never overloads.
So do I trust the ear of a guy who can’t hear the difference between lamp cord and bespoke speaker cables? No.

And you prove my point by being able to set his new speakers up better than he can.
@william53b Wendell is all about saving hobbyists money. I like this approach! He once told me that he likes the fact that Magnepan builds its gear for the less well heeled enthusiast, and not for the mega millionaire who buys with his eyes and wallet only. I agree that he misses out on cables, as we both know they do make an enormous difference, but his philosophy is admirable! IMHO we need more like him in this hobby, although this is probably not a popular stance given the current state of the audiophile world.
Wendell is literally now hard of hearing and generations behind the times, I have had 1.6,and 3.6  just look at these horrible Junk steel Nickle crap bananas and jumpers = to a bent nail. The Xover parts pure garbage I rebuilt these $40 cent crap ceramic resistors 
and everything else  including the capacitors and junk $5 inductors I would not put in a $800 speaker never mind $1,000s . The frame and feet  is about as solid as a 🪁 and literally flex which = distortion  magnestand did a great job rebuilding Maggie’s ,stock 
totally worth less, their upgrade was just changing the Xover point 
save your money ,they are power hungry 🐷 s and need tons of space here is solid advise save for Spatial Audio labs open baffle speakers ,excellent build quality and sonics ,very efficient, and 
don’t require a lot of space . That is why I refuse to waste my money on them any more ,the whole speaker has to be rebuilt just to make them the way they should have been .in 20 years same old crap quality nothing more to be said , the smaller ones with a sub a good buy forthe money , other then thst save your money for a company that truly cares. The proof is in the build , or lack of. P.s the fuses are another thing just to create another bottleneck nice move 👍.been there done with that !!

Wondering why all the Magnepan haters even bought them. As for the OP, sounds like “I like this but dammit, make it better!”

Really, saving me money? 
Has Magnepan ever offered a better crossover to see if I would willingly pay $2,500 instead of $2,200 on the 1.7 series? We are talking about a discretionary income purchase here, not a necessity and the convenience of getting this upgrade is more than worth the extra dollars to me. 
I'm not alone in this opinion as people that are inveterate tinkerers make YT videos showing us how cheap the stock product is made and what can be achieved with modifications, and some people take the time to record comparisons that a good dac and headphones will reveal a demonstrable difference. And some people make a living off of the modifications, either completely or as part of their line of upgrades to a number of speaker manufacturers.
If Mag can make a 15-20% better sounding speaker how many more people in this hobby would pay what some people consider an inadequate amount for speaker cables or interconnects to have "the only reasonable choice" in a price segment? There are only a handful of "full range" speakers in this price range that have adequate low level bass where a sub is not needed to have satisfactory bottom end, so whether they are smaller boxes or smaller panels, the person interested in the quality of sound is going to have to lay out at least $1k per side in addition to the speaker pair price. 
Wendell reminds me of an senior engineer I worked with at Polaroid back in the 90's who said that ccd cameras will never be inexpensive enough for the general public because $165 was the cheapest we could buy an LCD display to put in a camera. Because of him and his lack of understanding of what was going on in the markets and the offshoring of manufacturing, and others like him at that company they didn't jump into that market with both feet where other photography companies were, and they missed the digital boat and went out of business. 
Of course I could make a more convincing argument to that point by discussing their marketing department, but that would just be cruel in this context.

I don’t hate them, I bought them back in the beginning when there was more attention to cosmetics, and I have the current model.

I’m pointing out the fact that when someone has a question as to why the current models are underbilt, the answer is always "Wendell says...". And I know that to be true because I talked to him 3-4 years ago about my homemade Maggie’s Little Helpers, he was totally dismissive, insisting that the current product line is "good enough".
Since he’s a marketing professional, where are his side by side comparisons to prove to us that he is right?
Make one as well as it can be made with current technology and let the market give feedback on what improvements they would and would not pay for. Because now that I know what an upgraded crossover can do for my speakers I am compelled to buy the parts and install them myself. However, I am on the fence about the frame material and it's lake of resistance to torsion until I remove the grill cloth and see what can be done with lateral struts to improve rigidity.

Let me frame this another way, since the topic has expanded.

Do you feel bilked when paying audiophile prices for a speaker that uses consumer electronic grade parts?

I'll check out the Spatial Audio speakers when I get a chance.

You make one point for me: Is Magnepan competing with itself, or other speaker companies? They seem to be operation on the assumption that if you want a better speaker than the 1.7i you’ll buy their 3.7i; but there are more than a thousand other companies making high end speakers out there, so why not take business from them, and not the next level up in your line? 
I really like my 1.7i's, but now I have to upgrade them after hearing the moded ones. Making me do that is the quest to have the best product for me in this package. There is a rational reason to do this in a market based on taste and audio acuity, and every other hobby like this, from performance cars to instrument manufacturers companies of a performance version to the person that can appreciate those improvements at a higher cost.
@william53b I think you are missing Wendell’s point about affordability. I believe what he is stating is that Magnepan could make more complex and higher quality speakers, but that is not where they want to go, as the price points that they would have to charge would not allow them to be affordable to a majority. He believes ( as do I guess the rest of the folks at the factory), that what they are making is good enough for the job that their followers are expecting. I would suspect that this would be hard to argue with, given their success.
I used to own Maggies, way back in the day, I owned them because as a newbie in the hobby I thought they were great sounding and their price was easy on my pocketbook. I still think this appeal works for a very large number of folks who really don’t want to fork over mega bucks to get good sound. IF you want a better speaker with better quality and parts and maybe better SQ, there are a lot of more expensive options to choose from, but I see no reason to dump on Wendell, or Magnepan.
Post removed 
fwiw i find it hard to rag on a company that is backordered on some models for months. they’re doing something right.
i’ve  owned many expensive box speakers over a long period of time and find the .7’s with a perfectly integrated subwoofer to be sonically competitive with box speakers that I’ve heard in the 20k range. the key is the sub which must have a lot of setup flexibility and be of high quality. it’s going to cost more than the .7’s for sure. i use a b&w db1 to darn near perfection. 
The .7’s in my room with no sub is not workable for me. You have to get around the relatively low price of the maggie’s because they can and should be used with high quality components. 
I am amazed at my $5900( db1 and .7) speaker system. I look forward to every listening session. ymmv
There are so many cheap audiophiles, they would lose a lot of their customer base if they changed. I venture to guess a quarter of the community is playing the "giant killer" game as their big method for setting up rigs. I used to, and I used Magnepans. 

Answering a lot of questions, comments at once:

None of my friends who are well healed that are not audiophiles would consider buying a complete stereo for $2,200 let alone $6-12k for the better models. They’d rather go to Hawaii or Italy or buy a painting. I only have one audio friend that has spent close to $100k on his system, and I haven’t seen him in 10 years.
People are either sound freaks or they are not. Yes some rich people buy audiophile grade equipment to accessorize their home, wish I was them.

I'm sure there are a lot of us who have our equipment rather than a boat, horse or some other expensive hobby. That's me, no other expensive hobby to blow money on, just audio equipment.

Bose only charges a lot for junk, they are a unique demographic that sells embodiments of Ralph Lauren Polo shirts, with speakers. I know someone that worked for Bose, there is a reason they don't like to demo their products next to others.

Since I had the MGI and MGII's in the way back I had Maggie's that the company gave a damn about public perception, Hardwood and plywood frames, and at the time they were using almost the best electronic components you could readily buy. But technology has come a long way since then. Material science has become a separate science. I know, I have a Holman PreAmp that I'm rebuilding with current quality components* and since the design is solid, the specs that I'm getting so far are impressive. But it will never have a remote, so it's mostly a mental exercise that I'll get some use out of. *(Not Vishay $54 a pop resistors.)

So I'm going to take the bottom of the socks off of one of my Maggie's tomorrow, write down the specs and diagram the x-over as well as test the load of the wires and order better parts, resistors to chassis wire, and I’ll even build a box off frame for the new parts if I have to do that. 
I'll record the before and after with some wonderful quality recordings in my listening space with a high quality mic and AD converter that I have and we shall see if the effort is worthwhile or not, and if not would it still be worth spending more to have the company do it, or is it simply a fools game in total.

I like to put my money where my mouth is.

I don't get your point. Sure, no one is really advocating that the parts quality in Maggies could not be improved upon! ( and maybe vastly so); but what has this to do with your dislike of Wendell Diller?
My point was simply that he has a business plan that precludes wanting to charge mega kilo bucks for a product and thereby minimize his potential audience for said product...what is wrong in that?
If you are arguing that you are not getting your monies worth in the current Maggie line, then that is one thing; but it appears that you are arguing that Wendell is inadvertently behind the poor quality ( in your opinion--and I’m not disagreeing about the parts quality) of the parts and design, whereas I am stating that he is building the product to a price point, which you seem to fail to comprehend.

This is Wendell speak from Magnepans Website where Wendell says they are "Purists".

"How do Magneplanars produce bass? 

If you make it big enough, a full-range dipole speaker can equal the bass performance of a dynamic speaker. We could have gone the route of other companies and made a hybrid speaker that uses a dynamic woofer for the bass. We made some prototypes, but they didn't sound like a full-range ribbon speaker. Again, it was a choice. Should we stick with a purist strategy? Race car engines are not a compromise. But, there is a "price" to be paid for the performance — size."

Well guess what, most race car engines are smaller that their street car brethren because they use more expensive technology, not bigger technology. And a Purist would use audiophile grade components in their "race car". I do think that the design is worthy, but that came before he came along.

He can't have it both ways. Well he can, but some of us believe he is expressing false economy, and projecting that on Magnepan's customers.

As I said before, taking his word for speaker wire specs was a mistake, and I might as well confess that I also bought his line about subs, having never heard REL's, and so bought two DWM bass panels. What a waste of money. I can't even sell both for $500.

And this is Wendell dissing other manufacturers for using less expensive parts in their product. 
"A good receiver might produce 30-40% more power at 4 ohms. Most receiver manufacturers don't want to talk about 4 ohm ratings because they have cut the "guts" out of their products to keep the cost down."
So I must be missing something completely, right?
I don't think DMW bass panels were ever marketed as subwoofers but rather to reinforce the bass of existing Maggie's which go to about 30 or 35 hz.
If Maggie's sound could be greatly improved at a very reasonable price I'm sure they would be, or someone would be offering it as a service or a diy kit.
If you feel better buying a different speaker you think offers you more at the same price buy them.
I think Maggie's continue to be a terrific bargain in today's world for us who enjoy the sound after all every speaker is a compromise.

As far as the race car comparison, that's nonsense. Passenger car and SUV engines are getting smaller and smaller. And, for production racing (by far the most common form) the size of the motors corresponds mostly to the size of the production car motor. Even true with retrograde NASCAR   With F1, it's completely at the mercy of the marketing and political whims of the FIA. And Motorcycle racing hasn't messed with the engine categories in over 20yrs. So it had NOTHING to do with audio, whatsoever. 
The guy sounds lazy.  Rather than cheap and greedy, like klipsch, as a corporate strategy.  But it’s working for him.  Until it doesn’t.  Fortunately there’s a lot of innovation going on with parts and designs for those of us who care.  Magnepan doesn’t owe anybody anything, so file your grievance and make the most of your own ingenuity.
I was an early Magnepan user in the late 70's and early 80's.  Somehow I moved away looking for better audiophile sound.  I moved up over the years to a full Meridian top of the line system.  Last year I chucked it all in and bought a big Classe amp and a pair of 1.7s.  After working with them for about a month, I had great sound.  This year I bought a pair of 3.7i's with Mye stands.  I just about have them dialed in.  I have only put in better jumpers and have replaced the fuses with copper tubing.  I love the sound.  I do not see any other speaker in my future.  Most speakers are flawed in some way.  I can joyfully live with the flaws of the Magnepans
William53b - Thank you for this thread. I have enjoyed all of the comments - I have been a Maggie owner since 1982, and have gone thru  the MG11s, 1.6qrs, and now own a set of 1.7is with a DWM base panel. I got my 1.6qrs modded by Peter Gunn - he puts the panels into a custom wood frame for you (mine are ambrosia maple with zebra wood trim. I then added the Audiokenesis SWARM subwoofer system to my modded 1.6s. Peter Gunn puts in his own high quality crossover network. The midrange and high end on my modded 1.6a is much better than my 1.7is. Vocals are amazing. I use the modded system in my Mancave and also run movies Thur the system - the subs do a great job with most movies soundtracks and I do not overstress the 1.6 panels trying to fill the room with strong base.

The only way I got my DWM panel to really work well with my 1.7is was to biamp it. Running it as Maggie  suggests in parallel with the 1.7s overheated my Krell integrated amp( Krell K300i). Once I biamped my system I got more bass into the room to where I am happy with this system.

per Peter Gunn - the change in manufacturing of the 1.6 panel (using copper wire for the midrange and bass and foil for the quasi ribbon tweeter) and the 1.7is (using all foil for the bass, midrange and tweeter) is a major limiting factor on the 1.7 design. After living with my two systems now - I agree with him.

. So I agree the Magnepan design can be improved - people are doing it.

This is the beauty of our hobby - for my home - for my budget - my two systems ‘knock it out of the park’ - if you are ever near Greenville SC come by for a listen!

The reason passenger car engines are getting smaller is the use of advanced technology in their design, and that has historically come from race car technology trickling down to the consumer market.

Race car engines, of any kind, have almost always been blueprinted.  And only the finest custom made components are used in them, even the casting of the block and headers, something that is cost prohibitive in consumer cars. In fact, most consumer cars are de-tuned to increase mileage.

Better tolerances equal higher hp per displacement unit. Smaller, lighter engines increase speed and response, just like light strong diaphragms increase speed and reduce latency in speaker drivers. 

Wendell was old when he worked for Bill Johnson in the 1970's.  I can't imagine how old he is today as I am pretty far along myself!  He was always kind of a mid-western-type nerdy guy, but pretty decent most of the time.  He had his moments--don't we all?--but his experience and age level today, I would guess, give him some gravity in the industry.

In the end, he is just a sales guy who luckily got to work with the two best companies in the business and has seen pretty much all of it over the years, I imagine.  The lamp cord comment was tongue-in-cheek, I would guess.  Basically, like many of us, he knows electrons travel on the surface of a wire regardless of what it is made of or encased in.  Are there wires that are not as "good" as others?  Sure.  Are they worth thousands of dollars a foot?  I doubt it, and I would guess after so many years in the business, so does Wendell, thus the throw-away comment.  

As for Maggie components, if they want to upgrade them, they will.  The cost of those little items is minuscule when compared to the cost of running a manufacturing company that is making the best speaker on the planet. I would guess they tried everything on the market and if they heard a difference, they would make the change.

Don't let the personality (or lack of it) of a person decide what you buy.  Have your dealer correctly set up a pair of Maggies IN YOUR ROOM.

THEN, you too can enjoy the music, which is what it is all about, right?

Thanks for the info @tom8999. I agree. I love the presence of a dipole design, and I do like to tinker, so I bought the right speakers. 😉

Yes, I saw Peters web site, and I also agree with him on the foil wires in the bass part of the diaphragm, but that can be upgraded by adding another layer or two of foil tape over the existing ones on the surface of the diaphragm. Foil tape is the future of Maggie’s I think, because it transfers the electric signal so effectively, since the signal travels over the surface of the conductor, not through it, and industry has years of experience manufacturing thin film with a near perfect surface from the audio tape industry. 
I expect they will add multiple layers separated by thin film inside the diaphragm in the future. But this is something I don't expect them to do now as they are probably limited by a concern for deformation of the diaphragm material.

i have been experimenting with stronger magnets, neodymium, on the bass parts of the panel, especially near the center.

As for the De’WooferMagnepan panels, I have not tried them with serious speaker cables yet. But here is the thing about them. If I had bought decent cables when I bought the speakers I wouldn’t have thought I needed more bass from the main panel, in fact, this weekend, just for yucks I ran 8 gauge cable to one side, and this brought about better dynamics, just with solid copper 8-2wg, so who knows where this will go.

I have 2 KEF R400b subs that I bought with my R300's and they pair really well with the 1.7i's. But they are finicky so I have to move them out into the room and rotate them when I listen as I place them in unison with the panels phase corrected.

Thanks so much for the positive response, and if I am up that way I will contact you!

No, the lamp wire comment was from and interview or their website. 
  In fact my dealer lamented that this comment was ever published, that he in fact knew this was a Wendell quote when I bought them, as it hurt his cable sales. 
  And if he would have been able to convince me I would have never bought the DWM panels. Why? Because of the old audio ax of speakers in the showroom not sounding the same in your home. I assumed the lack of bass was because of all of our overstuffed furniture and lined drapes. 

  Yes, there is in fact tons of science and published research on cable quality and orientation, twist rates and basket weaving. I was dismissive about this until I did my own research on the matter not in audio circles but through research web sites, NASA, and neurobiological science testing of neurons. 
  As an example I did not know that the reason a conductor is called that is because the signal travels over the surface, so if you have multi stranded cables they should have Litz wire or at the least individually coated strands to prevent the signal from jumping from strand to strand and degrading the signal. Oxygen free equals a smoother finish, and you would preferably have a mirror finish on every strand.

  Also, there is no correlation between AWG for a constant state signal like the current that comes into your home and signal carrying, Audioquest's woven speaker cables are derived from the military, and theirs from the Apollo project at NASA. You will always see twisted pairs on signal cable in planes and rockets, someplace that a confused by RF signal cannot happen. 
Best bang for the buck I have found is Benchmark's cables, but I can hear a difference between them an $800 dollar cables as well. The Benchmarks are designed with conveying the dynamic range in mind, they source their wire from Japan. But, say Cardas? They source some of theirs from New England Wire.
Magnepan cost vs. sound quality is off the charts, sure they could build them to the 9th degree and charge considerably more for them, but they know who their buyer is and their niche in pricing that contributes to sales in an ever-swinking marketplace. I think they know who they are as a company, and if you want a better built higher price speaker they are out there for your consideration but say they build as good as Sanders Electrostatics, Quads, and other panel speakers, Spatial Audio OB speakers are well built, but not overbuilt and they also offer sound quality off the charts at a reasonable price. My view is to enjoy what they all do right and accept they build quality to their price points, but sound-wise for most us normal people they offer a huge amount of music enjoyment. 
@richopp PS
Yes, now that I've wasted almost as much as I spent on my system, I would never skip the setup part of the process again. But then again I see a new DAC in my system this year, so that ratio will change now that I'm on the right track! 😉
I have nothing but respect for Magnepan.  They offer high sound quality at reasonable prices and they have done so for decades.  Try and name another audiophile company that can make that claim.  There aren't that many.   That implies that despite the whining and complaining by some that Magnepan knows what they are doing.