For this year, Magnepan updated their 3.7 model to 3.7i. This caused some wondering amongst planar lovers. Why so soon after launching 3.7 and what i-model actually is? The changes are said to be listening based and technically subtle. The rest is a secret. In Finland, MG-3.7i was officially demoed first time in Tampere Hifi & High-End event. But, just a little after that, the speakers were presented at HifiGuru open doors in much more favorable circumstances. This short writing is from this visit.
I have launched several writings about carefully constructed Magneplanar-based setups and have always liked the sonic world of them. In certain features, MG-20.7 is still one of my reference speakers. MG-3.7 comes close to it in many manners, but still one will have more with the flagship. Instead of going very deep in my analysis, I will concentrate on finding out the differences of i-model.
|BelCanto CD2- VBS-1 CD-transport|
|Devialet 400 amplification, including DAC and RIAA|
|Magneplanar 3.7i loudspeakers|
|Transparent Reference AES-EBU digital cable|
|Transparent Music Wave Super MM2 speaker cables|
|Transparent Power Isolator Reference power filter|
|Acapella Fondato Silenzio base for Devialets|
A little after the arrival, I managed to stay plenty of time at the sweet spot. Guru had carefully placed the speakers and the listening chair and I had nothing to complain on this. The listening results reminded a lot of those of the previous visits, in which MG-3.7, 20.1 and 20.7 models were demoed. That is to say -- excellently. With its front end, MG-3.7i delivered music surprisingly effortlessly and harmonically correctly. So, Magneplanar lovers can certainly be relaxed with the new i-model. The traditional Maggie goodies still exist, naturally.
Guru played a wide variety of music, covering all main genres. The music flowed continuously in a fascinating and credible way. Instruments sounded natural and there was great coherency all through the audio bandwidth. Treble shined, midrange made me impressed and there was also adequate bass. So, there were no real surprises.
I tried to restore my memorials of the 3.7 performance, for a comparison, but I was in a quite hopeless situation. I just could not resolve surely if there were improvements at all. I had a couple of suspects that there might be slightly better articulation (attack-release faithfulness) in certain parts of music samples, but naturally could not verify that. Finding a reliable answer to this, needs a direct A/B comparison or better ears and memory than mine. Anyway, the sound was very enjoyable and very well in balance.
I did not expect big differences and there surely was not them. The improvements must be more or less developmental and concern only certain sonic features. If you already have 3.7, you can well keep them without any strain. But you can also make an upgrade and have the promised tiny improvements into the sound. For the first time in their history, Magnepan offers upgrading at the factory for a $500, and this is not much in the area of high-end. One thing is even more important than thinking about upgrading. The owners of Maggies should do burn-in process well enough. The Maggies, especially 3.7i, sound light and restricted at first, but after plenty of use, dynamic contrasts begin to open. Caring this rewards!