The Official Magnepan Owners Thread - Page 140 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4171 of 4172 Unread Today, 12:04 PM
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Back when I was first getting my old IIIa's I was looking at them, the 20's, and B&W 801's (not sure what flavor back then). I had ruled out Quad for various reasons, most of the other ESLs I liked were out of my price range, and there were few "box" speakers I really liked. After going back and forth I had the bad feeling I was going to have to step up to the 20's as they sounded significantly better even with the same electronics. Even had my wife bless the extra $$$... Then, fool that I was, I got the IIIa's in the same room as the 20's and the vast majority of the differences went away. I was surprised at how similar they sounded, and of course reinforced my belief in the importance of the room.

That said, the difference from the I's that I had, and the II's that I had in my system for a while, to the III's was not small even in the same room using the same electronics. The 3.x is IMO the sweet spot for overall performance without completely dominating the room (relative to how much any panel is going to look) and it is hard to justify 2x the cost for the 20's. Especially in my current (fairly small) room. But, the Sanders will fit just fine, as would a new pair of 3.7's, hmmm... Just need my lottery numbers to hit!

IMO! - Don
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post #4172 of 4172 Unread Today, 01:26 PM
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I consider the 3.7 the best speaker value in existance. You lose a lot by spending a little less, and you have to spend a lot more to get a little better. I don't know how expensive box speakers sell in view of what the 3.7 offers at it's price, except to people who don't have enough room for big panels. But all the big box speakers need to be out in the room to sound their best too. But there is the power needs of the 3.7, which is considerable, and adds to the system price. IMO the only thing Wilson's (other than the big one's, which I've heard a few times and have to agree are really something, which they had better be at their price!) have going for them is their sensitivity. That is nice, but low sensitivity is not a deal breaker for me.

I wanted to stay with tubes (I already use them on my Quads), which is one reason I got the ET's---the x/o from the M-P panels to the dynamic woofer is at 180Hz, which is at the top end of the bandwidth of the Rythmik/GR Research OB/Dipole sub. I simply use the OB sub in place of the ET's 8" woofer (which I disconnected from the x/o), which reduces the speaker's power needs while increasing it's nominal impedance, from 8ohms to 12, which the tubes appreciate. My 100w/ch Music Reference RM200 (the best value in a tube amp, IMO) is enough for the ET's, but I don't think would work with the 3.7, at least in my room (10'H, 13'W, 19'D, carpeted and tube-trapped). I wonder if the RM200 is enough amp for the Sanders!
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