Magnepan 3.7

Looks nice, link below.

“the 3.7 is a 3-way, full-range ribbon speaker with a very ‘fast’ quasi-ribbon midrange and true ribbon tweeter.”

"The 3.7 is available in new aluminum trim or our traditional wood trims of oak and cherry. Fabric options are off-white, black and dark gray. Suggested list pricing starts at $5495/pair for aluminum or oak versions, or $5895/pair for the dark cherry versions."

Magnepan 3.7
The best thing to do is a search on the older model and if you like what you see, then buy one of the many pairs that will be sold for those who have to get the latest edition. The difference between them, for you who may not have heard the earlier model at length, may not be all that meaningful.
The search BTW will reveal all of the issues conerning these speakers. Examples such as how much power you need, i.e. which amps people seem to like, placement, cabling, etc
I am not in the market for a pannel speaker.... I just like reading the news. I have heard the entire magnepan line at length. I like them but could never get over the iffy build quality. Hopfully the "ribbon" helps reduce delaminating issues (more surface area per weight to glue).

With that being said I think the 3.7s have potential
01-07-11: James63
I am not in the market for a pannel speaker.... I just like reading the news. I have heard the entire magnepan line at length. I like them but could never get over the iffy build quality. Hopfully the "ribbon" helps reduce delaminating issues (more surface area per weight to glue).

With that being said I think the 3.7s have potential

Exactly why I sold my Magnepans and lost interest. They sound incredible, but the delaminination is rediculous. I am well aware how to repair these, but I shouldnt have to. Magnepan needs to find a way to bond to the mylar. I am sure there is a much better way then glue.

I would only buy Magnepan if they could ever fix this. Just my opinion.
I've always like the Magnepan sound, and especially the 3 series, even though it differs quite a bit from what I typically like. The idea of Magnepan going to an all ribbon(?, what the heck is a quasi-ribbon anyway?) seems like a major change and possible advancement for Magnepan. I'm curious.

they fixed that delamination issue with a new 3m glue about 10 years ago. In the market for one now?
A quasi ribbon is something that resembles a ribbon but is not a ribbon. In essence I agree with your question W*F is that. They really owe their die hard loyal followers a better description and stop the silly marketing jargon.
My 3.6's are coming up on 11 yrs old. No delamination/no buzzes or anything funny has happened to them.

The 3.7's do have my interest.

I don't think you have ever taken a serious look at Maggies. If you had, you would know that they have been using a ribbon tweeter on their high end speakers for more than 30 years (see the MG-III, MG-IIIA, 3.3, 3.5, 3.6, Tymphani, MG-20, MG-21, and MG-2.5). Similarly, the Quasi Ribbon has been a part of the Magnepan design for more than 20 years. The only change in the panel design of the newer speakers is going to the Quasi Ribbon for the midrange driver.
01-07-11: Chadeffect

they fixed that delamination issue with a new 3m glue about 10 years ago. In the market for one now?

Not true at all. I have owned many later (even 2006 and newer) models, and they still have this issue. I dont think many people even realize it. I have personally caught two pairs of Magnepans making noises that the owner never even picked up on. The issue is still alive and well.

We will find out about the 1.7's, and 3.7's....but if they are just glued on...there will always be some cases of delam. They need to find a way to get them bonded(melted or between two layers) into the Mylar IMO. But I dont understand the physics, or "engineering" of this.
Sthomas, they don't normally delaminate for many years, if ever (they don't like moist and damp). Most of the stories of delamination are from people who are buying and refurbishing very old ones. Old dynamic speakers require repair work too, generally it's the woofer surround that goes. And if they do need work, the repair is fairly easy, you can do it yourself or send them off to Magnepan. Most other speakers of the same vintage can't even be easily repaired, because the manufacturer is out of business or no longer supports them.
Unsound, a quasi ribbon is a ribbon that is attached to a mylar backing. A true ribbon is just the foil, without a backing. A planar dynamic is wire attached to a mylar backing. Early Maggies were all planar dynamic. Then they went to a true ribbon tweeter on the most expensive models -- that's indicated with a /R. Then a quasi ribbon tweeter on the less expensive models, that's a /QR, and also quasi ribbon midranges on the more expensive /R models. But they were all still planar dynamic (wire) in the bass. Now they're going to quasi ribbon in the bass, too. So either you have all quasi ribbon models like the 1.7, which is a three-way with a quasi ribbon woofer, tweeter, and supertweeter, or on the higher end models a true ribbon on the tweeter and a quasi ribbon on the midrange and woofer, like the 3.7 (at least, that's what everyone assumes, I haven't seen specs yet).
Josh358, thank you! If the only difference is the shape/thickness of the wire/ribbon, and assuming the "quasi-ribbon" acts more like a planar dynamic than a true ribbon, the "quasi-ribbon" label seems to be a bit misleading.
Josh358 is correct. The difference is they have glued on a foil instead of gluing on a thin wire/coil.

It should make the "driver" lighter and faster. It should also give the radiating area a more consistent (pistonic) movement. All of this shoud translate to a more controled detialed sound.

On a side note for those that argue magnepans are built well should take off the sock and look at the bent over staples that hold the driver to the MDF, or the tention screws (wood screw with plastic button) strianght through the Mylar, or the degraded glue (very moist and tacky) that hold on the coil.

Anyway sorry to be negative. I am actually excited to hear the new model. I like the sound of the 3.6 and 20.1 pretty well and 3.7s are cheap (as they should be).
There's a lot of slop in the use of these terms. Some manufacturers refer to quasi ribbons as "ribbons," which really is misleading. Sometimes they just say "planar," which could mean anything. Also, quasi ribbon drivers cover the gamut. You have quasi ribbons that are basically true ribbons backed by plastic -- some of the Apogee mids, for example, which consist of three ribbons with side-by-side magnets (like a true ribbon), joined together with plastic. Then you have quasi ribbons in which the foil covers most of the surface area, like Magnepan's quasi-ribbon tweeters. Finally, you have Magnepan's new quasi-ribbon woofers, or at least the ones in the 1.7, in which the foil traces aren't much wider than the wires they replaced.

Still, however they're made, quasi ribbons seem to be effective at bringing the sound closer to the true ribbon sound, by controlling more of the diaphragm area and reducing diaphragm resonances. Since it isn't possible to make a true ribbon woofer and true ribbon midranges are marginal (Apogee used them and at their best they were wonderful but they had amplifier-destroying impedances and tended to twist at levels above 100 dB SPL), they're the best that can currently be done with planar magnetic/ribbon technology.

I think the screws have to go through the mylar, their purpose is to compartmentalize the membrane so that the resonant frequencies are dispersed. Also, the Miloxane or NDF-30 coating shouldn't be tacky, if it is, it's deteriorating and the speakers will eventually delaminate.

Anyway, no argument that they're put together with glue and string. I just haven't noticed any real problems as a result, the only thing that happens to them is that they sometimes delaminate after many years and have to be refurbed, and the true ribbon tweeters will eventually sag and need to be restrung. From my perspective, the question is whether I'd rather have a speaker that looks beautiful inside or one that's equally functional but $1000 cheaper, but of course others may differ. I don't think it affects longevity, though, since the Miloxane goo is needed to damp diaphragm resonances. AFAIK, there's no material, however expensive, that would stand up longer, given the stresses to which its subjected.

Some people do upgrade their Maggies to higher standards, with exotic crossover components, better binding posts, and wood or metal frames.

I think you and I are on the same page. I guess I am more disappointed with the build quality than anything because I would like to own a pair. I would buy the 1.7 because they are only a few grand but once it clears five or more I really want them to look nice and hold up. It is really the only reason I do not own a pair of 3.6 or 20.1s.

Just think of what a high-end Magnepan could be in an aluminum frame with dove-tails attaching the mylar, with different sections for the mid/bass (rather than screws separating them), and a bonded ribbon/mylar rather than glue.

Never the less I hope these sound good. The dark cherry model in the picture looks very nice. Does anyone know if they improved the quality of the crossovers?

I think if I got panel speakers (I am not planning to) I would keep my current box speaker setup and use the back of the room for the panels. I would put my chair on casters and just turn it toward whatever system I wanted to use.
People also replace the 3M glue with Gorilla glue. Sticks like crazy and delam problems are history.
Check out the (Extensvie) DIY crowd over at Audio Asylum....the Planar Asylum, at that.
Many discussions have been had about the cost/ benefit of Magnepan speakers. Definitely built to a price, the question becomes one of 'Would they sell at 2x the price with 'perfect' build?' That would be real wood frames, no staples and upgraded crossover components.
If my 1.6s had cost 3K$ when I looked for speakers, I'd be listening to Vandies.
The new 3.7s use as you stated the aluminum ribbon foil in the tweeter, but the quasi-ribbon is used only in the midrange. The bass panel still uses the planar magnetic driver.

The 20.1 has a simillar configuration, except both the bass and midrange sections are push-pull.
Since 1977 I've owned three sets of Magnepans, MG-1, 2.5R, and now 3.6R and never had any problems. Jim Winey's formula has worked since 1969 and has satisfied many hundreds of owners. If the speakers do need service they can be sent to Magnepan which is located in the USA, not China, for repair. Certainly one is entitled to one's taste in music and music reproduction, there are many fine choices among loudspeakers besides Magneplanars, but as far as product value and performance are concerned, our country would be in far better shape if our corporations were as reliable and focused as Magnepan.
Maggies are very good value, the 1.6 and now the 1.7 are really good value and with a few mods they step up to another level, not so much for the 3.6 or the 20.1.

In all my magnapan experiences i have never heard better performance from 20.1's. nor 3.6 over the smaller less costly models. I have heard 3.6 sound better than 20.1 and i have heard 1.6/1,7 sound better than the 3.6/20.1

The 20.1/3.6 has a better tweeter and hence better top end, but poor xover /build quality i have never heard them fully better the smaller speakers and at a 1/10 of the cost, the bigger models don't fly in my books.

Ohhh i have a few friends currently with 20.1's I'm still waiting for them to finish their "mods" and then the "phone call" to prove me wrong , at 5+ times the cost of a 1.7 i find it absurd, but they are having fun and it makes for good entertainment value ..... :)

Josh358 wrote :
Unsound, a quasi ribbon is a ribbon that is attached to a mylar backing. A true ribbon is just the foil, without a backing.

Hello Josh,

The magnetic assembly is what determines if it is a true ribbon or not , not the type of diaphram, FWIW all foil diaphragms will have some sort of mylar backing, it reduces ringing.
Do Ribbons use 'foil'? I would expect the driver portion to be thicker than foil. Maybe .050" or so. No?
Isn't the driver portion of a ribbon under some tension? (pull)

The difference between QR and 'regular' panels is that the QR uses foil. The weight / area is about the same as the wire, but being flat is sticks to the mylar way better.
I, too, think that 'QR' is slightly misleading.

Wesixas, when you say 'all foil diaphragms will have some sort of mylar backing' are you referring to Magnepan style ribbon drivers? They have mylar and a conductor laminated together? Then stretched or at least put under tension?

Is the ringing you refer to out of band hi or lo? Or perhaps just poor damping? The mylar would than make sense.
Magfan, there are three types of drivers Magnapan employ in their speakers. First is the true ribbon tweeter. This has a thin aluminum foil that is suspended on its ends (top and bottom). The magnets flank the tweeter foil so there is nothing to get in the way of the sound front and back of the tweeter foil. Note there is no mylar in tweeter, just aluminum alloy.

The quasi ribbon driver is not a true ribbon driver as defined above. This driver has flat ribbons of aluminum that has been bonded to mylar by glue, and the driver is attached and tension on all four sides, not just the top and bottom as in the true ribbon tweeter. Also, the magnet array is located either on the front or back (or both) of the driver, not on the sides like the true ribbon tweeter. The sound comes out of slots between the magnet array. So the magnet array does get in the way of the sound to some extent. It is still a planar magnetic driver and can be used for tweeter, midrange, and bass applications. The quasi ribbon should be less prone to delamination and is essentially the same as the driver used in Eminent Technology speakers.

The traditional round wire bonded to mylar planar magnetic driver is their oldest technology driver, and has been known to delaminate. It too has magnet array either in front or back (or both) of the driver. It has been used for tweeter, midrange, and bass application as well. But the wire is heavier than the ribbon foil used in the quasi ribbon drivers. Whether wire driver sound better than the quasi ribbon driver is still up to debate if you search the forums. Some feel the wire driver is better for bass application.

That's interesting and a bit surprising! I think everyone was expecting the 3.7's to use foil in the woofer.
"That's interesting and a bit surprising! I think everyone was expecting the 3.7's to use foil in the woofer."

Yes it is, I thought they would be a full foil/"ribbon" design. I would still like to see an official overview. Magnepan's comments don't really talk about the bass at all just the mid and tweeter.
Hello Magfan,

Maggie is not using a foil backing on their tweeters,they are using corrugation to move/control the resonant freq. Some do it this way, others use damping. IMO corrugation works on the tweeters ( which maggie do ) but have found that damping the foil is much better sonically than corrugation. They use mylar with foil elsewhere and describe the 20.1 as,

"3-Way / Ribbon Tweeter - Planar-Magnetic"

Mylar is necessary if you are running foil traces. On ribbons with more than 1 foil trace, you have to use some kind of backing , mylar is used when this is necessary, if running a straight foil then no mylar backing is necessary unless for sonics.

Extra foil traces are necessary to make the impedance more realistic to the amplfier ( 3 or 4 ohm vs .25ohm) Maggie apparently is running there ribbon direct
(.25ohm) and is then compensating in the xover, 99% of ribbon speakers are built with multiple foil traces and mylar.

IMO direct ( no foil traces) is the best way, a direct ribbon ( my choice also) is the correct approach unfortunately it does not lend itself readily to most amplifiers and efficiency is lost in the xover.

3.6 description:

Description: Three-way, floorstanding, planar dipole loudspeaker. Drive-units: 500-in2 planar-magnetic bass driver, 199-in2 planar-magnetic midrange driver, 0.16" by 55" ribbon tweeter. Crossover frequencies: 200Hz and 1.7kHz. Frequency response: 34Hz-40kHz, ±3dB. Impedance: 4 ohms nominal, constant, resistive (4.7 ohms bass, 4.2 ohms midrange/tweeter, 3.3 ohms tweeter only). Sensitivity: 86dB/2.83V/m. Recommended power: 75-250W.

Making only the tweeter a true ribbon ....
If they were to use a straight foil for the woofer, a transformer would be necessary due to the impedance.

Yankee Ribbon used a push pull ribbon for there speakers all other magnostats that i'm aware of use planer bass units
( maggies , apogee's , et al). The Yankee approach is better as the planers tend to be one legged and do not have a linear field.


Yeah, I'm leery too of initial reports since in the case of the 1.7 there was a fair amount of misinformation at first.

BTW, I see from the Planar Asylum that the first review is in:

The Maggie tweeter ribbon is actually 3 ohms, owing I think to its length and thinness. Here's a schematic of the 3.6:

I think Apogee's ribbon mids had such a low impedance because they were 3" wide.
>Josh358, Yankee ribbon has a true "ribbon woofer" ....

That's interesting. How did they do that?

>The magnetic assembly is what determines if it is a true ribbon or not , not the type of diaphram,

You have a point, though I'm thinking that technically it's based on whether the diaphragm is shaped like a ribbon or not (attached at two ends rather than at all four sides). So the Apogees mids mylar backing would still be considered true ribbons, even the ones with three traces.

Of course, since true ribbons are narrow, the magnet assembly changes too, since a side-by-side arrangement has a field that's more linear with displacement. As I understand it, 3" is the maximum you can do that with practical magnets.

Also, as I understand it, at least some ribbons have low tension to put the vertical resonance below the driver's frequency range.
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I know the feeling, but at times like this, it's important to remember that despite the raves that accompany any new model, improvements in speakers are incremental! After all, there are still a lot of people enjoying IIIA's. Which is why they hold their value so well, there were a lot of 1.6's for sale after the 1.7 came out but the used price dropped hardly at all. Hell, my 1D's now go for more than I paid for them in the early 80's!
The only difference between QR and 'regular' maggie driver is foil vs wire.
Some picture of the show.

"the MG3.7 didn't disappoint, offering midrange clarity that speakers ten times their cost can't equal and a much-improved bottom end with some real power and heft."

The Audio Beat
Here is another quote below from The Audio Beat. The comment makes me wonder if the bass is actually a quasi-ribbon. Some of the post above commented that only the mids were quasi-ribbon on the 3.7. Does anyone know for sure?

"This time I was able to play music from my own CD-R, and the speakers, which even I could dream of owning, grabbed me by virtue of their coherency and, surprisingly, near-prodigious bass. Finally, a planar speaker with slam -– all without losing the glorious midrange and creamy top end that were hallmarks of the Magnepan MG3.6."

The Audio Beat
Just what I've read here. Always lots of misinformation floating around at this stage, it takes a few weeks to figure out what's true. I've seen several references to better bass on the CES 3.7's, though.
Another capsule review:

And also at TAS:

(Is that clarity to which he refers the Brystons, or the Maggies?)

And finally, more from Audiobeat:
Another review from Audioreview:

Sounds very interesting.

When will Magnepan update the webpage? The show is over.
Agree with Weseixes that the smaller Maggies are in the sweet spot of the product line. At CES 1.7s sounded remarkably good with Rogue electronics. 3.7s with Bryston at T.H.E. Show were relatively congested and dull. I lean toward blaming the 3.7s, as I've heard Bryston sounding great with Janszen stats. The bargain in planars these days is Kingsound-- which at CES were superlative with VAC.
Agreed with DG, mostly.
As you go up the Magnepan line, you get 'more'. But, the quality that involves you with panels remains constant. You can ALMOST buy them without formal lengthy audition...if you know you like them at all.
Some people simply stop at MMGs and maybe modify them.....wood frames and new crossovers.....
It appears they are Planar magnetic in the bass

"true-ribbon/quasi-ribbon/planar-magnet dipoles."

Jonathan Valin
3.7, Avguide
All you need to know is that the top speakers at magnepan,
the 3.6/7 and the 20.1 are both true ribbon above the 2nd crossover.

Below that? Well the difference between QR and planer is negligible, consisting of wire vs 'ribbon' glued to the mylar. The 20.1 adds a true push/pull magnet structure on BOTH sides of the mylar.
The official info is up on Magnepan's site now and it seems the woofer is quasi ribbon, as on the 1.7.
That should take care of future delam problems.
Now, just keep 'em out of direct sun and away from smokers.

"the difference between QR and planer is negligible"

How much difference to you think there is between the push-pull type midrange and the regular single-ended magnet type of the others?

If you can get ahold of the reviews of the 20.1, either the TAS or Stereophile review compares the sound of the single-ended midrange 20 and the push-pull midrange 20.1, don't remember which one it was at this point (maybe both?).
I went and heard them, great sound on a sublime system. That said, when I got home and listened again to my 3.6r's I had no desire to sell them and buy the 3.7.

I will say, that I specifically went back and forth between the Magnepan demo and the VMPS "live" demo since I got trashed on here when I said no way did their speakers image better than Maggies.

I was right, no one who heard both speakers that I spoke with picked the much more expensive modified box over the new Maggies.