What's Up with Magnapan at Shows?

Years ago, Magnapan presented an amazing 5.1 classical music presentation with Audio Research. Beautiful music, awesome sound, no gimmicks. Now every show they play the Wizard of Oz game with something behind a curtain.

I don't get it....just play music and let the consumer decide!
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Magnepan is a little different. They have a vision and are hard nosed and driven with respect to implementation of their vision. That has worked well for them so far.
I got my first pair of Maggies in 1990. I'm now on my third pair. Last time around I spent two years trying to find something else I could live with. I could, for 2.5 x the cost of my new 3.7R's. End of story.
I was at the CES last week and I found them very rude. They really seem to have an attitude. I don't know why because there sound at the show is just average. If you need a panel speaker try dealing with Sanders sound. They were very friendly and accomodating at the show.
Their closed-door approach to regimenting demos at the shows just isn't worth the trouble, IMO-- and I once owned 3.3s.
What does wizrd of oz ehind a curtain mean ? Are they not showing the gear used for the demo ? or is it something else you are trying to get at ? Please illeterate .
They literallty have a mystery speaker behind the curtain that listeners are supposed to guess what they're hearing....i assume because the logic is beyond me.

I would like to meet ANY company that "has enough orders!" If they had the all the business they needed, then why attend the show?

Logic people...that's all im searching for....
The easiest solution to your problem would be to ask the Magnapan rep at the show what they are trying to accomplish with their demonstration and where you can hear a straightforward demonstration of their speakers in a 5.1 configuration.
Magnepan has reached the limit of design and technology without significantly increasing prices which they cannot do without sacrificing their major sales pitch---value. The only thing left to do is develop low cost tweaks and variants on the basic theme. They may be rude or aloof at shows because once they came out with the .7 series they have nothing more to say. I am a long time Magnepan owner so I am just stating what I have observed, not bashing.
I am going to Axpona in March. I will ask and post a reply in this forum.

If I get the run-a-round or encounter any "rudeness" I will organize a "Sit-In" on the spot!
I assume the speaker-behind-the-curtain is the old trick to suprise you that the less expensive speaker behind the curtain is playing, not the more expensive one that you can see and think is playing.

If that is not clear, I don't know why the Magnapan rep would be offended if someone asked. Likewise, I don't see the problem with asking where a 5.1 demo is available.

I don't get to attend audio shows, so I'm not familiar with the etiquette, but if these questions would cause a problem, I think I know one of the reasons why the high-end can't reach a larger market.
I'm not privy to their R&D department's doings but the .7 series is pretty darned good.
The demos at the shows are timed so they don't keep the next group of people waiting which would be rude.
The dealers have the luxury of handing you the remote control and letting you take your time, shows are different.
According to Wendell, the goal of this demonstration wasn't just to sell speakers, but to introduce a concept -- that of using the DWM woofer to match bass panel area to the acoustics of individual rooms. This concept is still unfamiliar to most, and dealers expressed concern that customers would think the DWM meant that the 3.7 didn't put out enough bass, when in fact like all speakers it's tuned to an average room and may need more or less output to fit a particular acoustic. So Wendell is doing his best to get the concept of room matching out there, and judging by the glowing press reaction, the demo seems to have gone over very well.

I guess I should add that Magnepan believes very strongly in the value of blind listening. They use this for effect at shows, but they also use it in their own speaker testing -- they won't make a change unless a listening panel prefers it in a blind A/B test. This is an excellent way of circumventing expectation bias.

Finally, regarding dissatisfaction with the closed demo format, Wendell explains that they have a limited number of good seats and that while he'd like to accommodate requests such as listening to a specific cut, listening without the center and so forth, to do so would be to deny others a chance to listen to the demo. He says that he was doing 15-20 minute demos for four days without a break for lunch. Because they knew the room would have to be in use full time for the demos, Mark and Paula were in the hall to answer questions.
At this year's CES, Magnepan showed how their smallish bass diaphragm panels could serve in place of the larger Timpani panels from years back. The presentation spoke to customer concerns (well, mostly customer wife concerns) about adding additional large panels into a room to improve low frequency balance. The bass diaphragms were on display, not hidden behind a screen - you might have overlooked them as one was disguised as a small side table.

Overall, they took more of a conceptual perspective on bass response and room integration rather than a product-selling focus. While Magnepan like to give a focused rather than free-for-all presentation, I had absolutely zero sense of rudeness - quite the contrary. And the sound was excellent.

Magnepan CES 2013
@ Josh358

The 3.7 does not put out as much bass as the previous models!

Look at Magnepan's published specs:

MG IIIa 32Hz to 45 KHz +/- 3 dB

Mg 3.6 34Hz to 45 KHz +/- 4db

Mg 3.7 37Hz to 45Khz +/- ??? Hz

That says it all, the 3.7 bass response is not as low!

Probably due to back EMF interference in the series crossover.

Google Series Vs Parallel Crossover for info.

Mark Winey wanted the crossover small enough to fit inside the speaker, and
eliminate the external box, and that was a design tradeoff!

There are many posts and reviews on the internet about lesser bass on the 3.7.

Now they want to sell another panel to bring back the missing bass.
The difference in the published specs between the 3.7's and 3.6's are I'm sure accurate, and the difference may well be in the crossover. I can tell you that I am most happy to give up a little between 37 and 34 hz in order to receive the benefits of the new crossover. The new series crossover is much smaller, but it is a much better crossover in many ways. In either case, if you want to fill out the 20 to 40 hz region you are going to need a sub.
Sounds like there are some axes to grind in this thread. Kind of weird, in an industry of manufacturing components in China, you have a company that has refused the temptation for big profit increases to stay in the US. Haters gonna hate I guess.
Getting the low end response of the six foot Magnepan's does not usually happen in the many systems I have heard. The room and objects in the room must be just right. The 3.7's in Valin's and Hp's rooms do not do much below 45 Hz! The IIIa's and 3.6's do go down to 30 Hz in most properly setup rooms. 10 to 15 Hz is a huge difference!

How many other speakers manufacturers use a series crossover? It is a poor design choice.

Box subs with Magnepans never give coherent low bass, that is no solution.

Bass reproduction below 30 Hz is a mess in the home, due to uncontrollable peaks and dips! A flat response is not in the game.

Besides there is not hardly any missing musical info below 30 Hz! So just avoid the inevitable frustration, and only go down to 30! The IIIa and 3.6 will, and the 3.7 won't. Why is the 3.7 better? I do not buy the Hype!

The little, extra, bass panel attempt at improvement is BS!
Donc55, It is interesting to observe the bewildering array of reactions to the 3.7's. I have done nothing special in my 15x19x8 listening room. Maybe I just got lucky. On the other hand, when I auditioned the 3.7's before purchase, the room was a completely different room. Larger, with the Maggies along the long wall instead of the short wall. The salon had gone to a great deal of trouble in setting up the room. Of course they sounded good in that room. But other speakers, not so much. Including the highly regarded Aerial 7T's, which certainly go much deeper than the Maggies. In my humble opinion, the 3.7's are better than the 3.6's by a wide margin. More musical, certainly more coherent. The crossovers in the .6 series speakers could sound pretty awful sometimes especially with french horns and female voices. Ice picks in the ear drums bad. Sorry man, its not hype. I've been living with Maggies for 23 years. The 3.7's are the best Maggies I have heard without going into the tympanis or 20.'s. I never heard the IIIa's or 2.6R's, but I certainly know the 3.5's, 3.6's and 1.6's. The 3.7's are better than the 3.6's to my ears.
" The crossovers in the .6 series speakers could sound pretty awful sometimes especially with french horns and female voices. Ice picks in the ear drums bad."


That is your digital recordings reproduced accurately !
Look at Magnepan's published specs:

Mg 3.6 34Hz to 45 KHz +/- 4db

Mg 3.7 37Hz to 45Khz +/- ??? Hz

That says it all, the 3.7 bass response is not as low!

3.7 specs say they reach down to 35Hz.

There is no frequency response spec. from Magnepan on the 3.7, just a range!

Which is meaningless!!!

You need a measurement with +/- dB.

The older models also state "minimum average in a typical room".

Jim Winey was more of a "fanatic" than his son Mark, I have met them both.

I live in Saint Paul, and know people that use to work at Magnepan. It is a nice very small, family operation. They are good honest people.

Why did Mark Winey refuse to submit the 3.7 to stereophile for testing, saying the the frequency response was proprietary? LOL! Because it sucks for a speaker priced close to $6,000! That's Why!

Do not argue!

Just rent a professional, calibrated SPL meter, use the Stereophile test CDs, and find out for yourself! If you want them setup right, in your own room, that is necessary! I own both the IIIa and 3.6 and have done that, in several rooms. I have done a quick check with a hand held RTA on the 3.7 in different rooms, and they do not go as low.

As far as the 3.7 suggested better "COHERENCE" goes. What is that??? And how do you measure that???? Every Magnepan from 1970 on is "coherent", and I have heard most of them.

IMO Magnepan reached the end, with the previous models. Now the reviewers bring up "problems" with the old models (that they never mentioned before) to make the new ones appear better and increase sales! It is an old trick! And it has been repeated by every audio company and reviewer forever.

If you like the 3.7 that's fine, good for you.
Any chance you could contact me? I have some questions regarding the XA-amps you are using.
I also use the Stereophile CD and the radio shack meter. They are very helpful and informative. As for things like coherence, use your ears. That is what I do. Not everyone hears the same thing. That is fine. I don't tell other people what they will or won't hear, but I don't mind telling people what I hear. I just suggest people listen. The good thing here is that no one is forcing sales on anyone. Before I bought I listened to a lot of well reviewed speakers that cost a lot more than the Maggies and I didn't like them. I could care less how they measured or that they were flat down to 27 hz. They weren't as musical as the Maggies, in my opinion.

I don't think a 3 Hz difference in the the -3 dB point is going to make much of an audible difference. Any speaker design consists of numerous interacting tradeoffs. The 3.7 is a radical redesign from the 3.6, with different tuning, conductors, and crossover. I don't know what accounts for the difference but I do know that the bass is tuned differently. Among other things, according to what Wendell told the magazines, improved midbass performance was a priority, with the midbass of the Tympani IVa the ideal.

I think it's worth noting to that the DWM isn't a subwoofer. Its 3 dB point is something like 40 Hs. There may be some mutual coupling with the baffle of the mains depending on room arrangement, and this could potentially extend the bass of both by increasing effective baffle size and lowering Fequal. But Wendell stresses that the purpose of adding the DWM is to tune the 3.7 to a larger or bass-shy room. As of course you know bass is extremely room dependent and Magnepan can only tune a speaker to an average room. The DWM can be used to match the 3.7 and other models to the room where that's necessary.

This was a big part of why Wendell chose to do this demonstration -- he's trying to explain that it's a matter of tuning diaphragm area to a specific room.

I don't know about you, but I was very impressed by the bass of the 3.7. I know Wendell says that the quasi ribbon foil doesn't make much of a difference in the bass, but it seemed to me anyway to be cleaner than the wire bass, which is already unusually clean at moderate levels.

I really did find the 3.7 an improvement over the earlier versions, BTW. The quasi-ribbon mid makes a difference, IMO. Part of this I think is also due to the new crossover design, which along with other changes improves driver blending. Single pole crossovers have distinct technical advantages, *if* your drivers can handle that range. Judging by a picture I've seen of a naked 3.7, Magnepan has done some clever design to allow the drivers to work over the full range.

Series crossovers have their own tradeoffs. The back EMF which you (or someone) mentioned on the Planar Circle is a drawback. Amplitude response immunity to driver impedance variations is an advantage. There are other trades as I'm sure you know. Why wouldn't Magnepan would have gone with a parallel crossover if performance had been better?

I'm not aware of any problems with the performance of the 3.7. It's a wonderful sounding loudspeaker, based both on my own listening and that of lots of people I know, including people who have upgraded from the 3.6. The worst I've heard is that it wasn't enough of a difference to justify the upgrade. That was what one person said here. Most people seem to think it's worth the upgrade, but, of course, that's subjective.

I suggest you talk to Mark and Wendell about why they didn't submit the 3.7 to Stereophile. There has been a lot of information and speculation, including my own, that according to them was incorrect.
Someone once said: "we teach people how to treat us". Seems as if we have taught Magnepan.

The reason Magnepan refused Stereophile's testing, and review of the 3.7 came from a post on AA from John Atkinson of Stereophile!!!

It is no rumor!
Maggies, no not for me. Find them: 
A to big, and, well ugly
B to power hungry
C no bass

To each their own
Lots of manufacturers go for the wow! Factor when demoing their products.  The big sound (or big bass) from a small speaker probably accounts for the curtain trick.  Bose used to do something similar at CES.  The fact that Magnepan does this at audio shows may say something about who Magnepan thinks they are demoing to.

BTW, MBL and its ear-splitting SPLs at shows are another example of the phenomenon, IMO.
This thread started over three years ago. Back then Maggie was stirring up interest for their Mini-Maggies and DWM bass panel. The demo I saw had three pairs of Mini-Maggies with a lot of power (150w per speaker) plus the DWM. 

They were using the basic demo method of Bose's introduction of the Acoustimass system years before, but where the Bose demo was "meh" the Maggie demo *was* astounding. I remember hearing the demo before the curtain was dropped, and it was some of the most realistic-sounding reproduced percussion I'd heard (I've been playing drums for over 50 years). The rest of the demo with curtain down was equally impressive.

In spite of the negative talk on this thread about Mark Winey, Magnepan has become a more interesting company since he took over. The 1.7 was introduced in 2010, replacing the 1.6 after 10 years. Soon the 3.7 replaced the 3.6 which . Not too long after that Mag introduced the 3.7i and a few months after that came the 1.7i.

Since then we've seen the new .7 and more imaginative implementations and package deals for panels plus the DWM. 

I've had my Maggie 1.7s for 2-1/2 yrs and I *love* them. I think overall the changes have been positive.

Magnepan is one of those companies that make a product that people either Iuv or hate.
I have the MMGs and about half the people who have listened to them in my home have been astonished at the clarity of the sound. For some who don't think they have enough bass I would ask how many have heard a pair with the mid bass panel(s)? Also with a fast servo sub, like the Rythmik subs Maggies can really sound even better. Yes some subs can integrate with them!
But there are so many speakers out there, one is bound to find a model that suits them. I also have a pair of Vandersteen which give me many hours of enjoyment.
I'm one of those guys who pay more attention to the sound of the speaker than the measurements. I like to listen to music, I don't really like to do math problems.
Many people, esp. non-audiophiles, are so used to the artificial 5-10dB "hump" around 100-200 Hz built into many speakers, radio broadcasts and also TV broadcasts that the honest humpless bass of the Maggies sounds thin by comparison. I totally grant that Maggie bass below 40 Hz is MIA, but I'm talking about excessive bass in the upper bass region that creates the illusion that the bass response is better than it really is. 

Even after extensive auditioning and eventually coming home with a pair of 1.7s, I was unprepared at how "quiet" Maggies are--that a lot of what I was previously hearing on playback was enclosure resonances, which the Maggies don't have. 

I do have a pair of small high-powered subs to fill in the 35-45Hz range. It adds oomph and dynamics to the presentation, while not adding a hump to that upper bass range.
I went to two Magnepan exhibits last year in Newport. The first one was the best presentation I heard at the show. The host was surprisingly rude, pushy and had a ridiculous if not pretentious manner about him when presenting music. When asked about the subs supporting the BIG bottom end I think he simply didn't answer. The other room sounded horrible. Seemed like they weren't prepared even after the second day.

Regarding actually asking Magnepan what they're doing, plans are etc etc ... I listened for an answer to a question just like this, and the answer was so obfuscatory that i exited the room bored and wanting music elsewhere.