Magnepan 30.7’s

Just received an RSVP invite from my local dealer to hear the 30.7’s. Wendell is stopping in to demo them June 16 so those questioning if they’re really coming out I’d say the answer is yes. Can’t wait.

Has anyone else heard of Wendell’s travels with the 30.7’s?
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Forgot to post my opinion on the 30.7’s from my local store demo. First I should note that our local Magnepan dealer over the last several years has decided to chase home theatre over two channel and because of that they really don’t have the components on the floor to do the 30.7’s justice. I think for them home theatre made sense so I’m not knocking them on their decision - it was smart for them.

Wendell brought in an amp they’re working on producing that may or may not be a good amp, but with everything going on with the large open floor plan of the store it just didn’t do it for me. I don’t know what was going on but I’ve heard the 3.7i and 1.7i’s sound better in the same space so I think it was just the room and associated equipment that just didn’t work.

I won’t say if I was going to spend $30K on a pair of speakers I would pass on the 30.7’s but I will say if I had to make a decision immediately I would run out the door with a pair of B&W 800 D3’s in a heartbeat, which I’ve heard in another local store on worthy equipment. Actually it might be a little difficult running out the door with either speaker.

I’m sure the 30.7’s are very nice speakers and probably good value; saying that because I feel Magnepan has always made speakers that perform well above their price point but like any revealing speaker they need quality equipment and cables upstream.

Not sure about the PBR blue side rails they are using to showcase these... with white cloth. I think if they’re hoping to get preorders something like walnut with dark gray cloth may be more pleasing. I didn’t hate the palette but of the thirty some people at our demo pretty much everyone question the combination.

Living Sound in Wichita hosted Wendell Diller of Magnepan and the new 30.7 speakers July 23rd. In the interests of full disclosure, I was involved in arranging the event, but as an interested and potential customer and friend of the owner; I am not an employee of Living Sound. They were shown in a room approx. 20'x 30', and were driven by PS Audio M700's, with both digital and analog sources.

My dominant impression is that these speakers present a gigantic soundstage, both wide and deep. It felt as though I could walk into it. Throughout the demonstration I found myself closing my eyes, to fully appreciate the size of the soundstage. My own system is Infinity IRS Betas, and so I expect good bass reproduction, and these speakers delivered all of the bass I could want. In contrast to my Betas, the integration across the frequency range was quite seamless.

A variety of music was played, chosen to demonstrate the capabilities of these speakers. Our host, Thomas Shafer, prepared a very informative discussion, with carefully chosen selections to illustrate the capabilities of these units. (Contact Thomas at Living Sound for a copy of the outline--it was interesting and very well done. Particularly impressive, to me at least, was Josh Turner's "Long Black Train". You don't have to be "country" to appreciate this sound. He has a BIG voice, with the usual high-quality session men behind him. The 30.7's filled the room with this sound, without losing the detail of the musicians behind him. These speakers can boogie. Also memorable was Lyle Lovett, "North Dakota",from "Live in Texas". You had the clear sense of presence at the show,  and could easily picture the stage and musicians.

Chad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds in Salina came down and played some vinyl he's about to introduce. The recordings were extremely silent, and you could hear Dean Martin breathing on one of the cuts. Vinyl at its best.

The 30.7's are not plug-and-play. Positioning can be varied with respect to room boundaries, and either bass/low midrange or upper midrange/tweeter towers can be placed on the outside, with different effects on the imaging and soundstage. Wendell also tuned the midbass by installing inductors or resistors, which can be optionally plugged into terminals on the back of the speakers.   The consumer should expect to experiment with placement and tuning for optimum results, which is the case with any top-level speaker system.

One common misconception needs to be addressed, which concerns the size of the room required. Although Living Sound's room was 20'x30', it effectively "played" much smaller, given the encroachments of displays and furniture from the side walls, and the depth of seating provided for the audience. A room 15' wide (the size of my music room) should be quite adequate. I would have no concerns at all installing these speakers in my music room.  I don't expect that you'll need to rob the bank for amplifiers to drive them; the M700's did not seem to be overly taxed.

There has been a lot of discussion on the 'Net about whether these speakers did or did not sound good in a particular environment. In the Wichita demo, they sounded great--detailed, accurate, and "big". In particular, I think Wendell is to be complimented for hauling these units around the country and offering to demonstrate them in any and all conditions, with a huge variety of equipment. The fact that they show extremely well in a diversity of environments (I also heard them in Denver at Listen Up) makes an important statement about them: the consumer can be confidant that they will perform well in their particular configuration.

If you're comfortable with the size, you need to listen to them. I'm glad I did, and the audience was as well. Good show!