Planar Magnetic Loudspeaker Aficionados!


Had an opportunity hear the AlsyVox Botticelli full-range ribbons at the recent RMAF:


Italian design, built in Spain. These were S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G , but you need to have $87,000 laying idle to pick up a pair (and this is the next-to-smallest model they build, with two larger versions available). for those interested or who just want to drool.


You are right about placement being key. In my listening room, I got decent bass if I placed the 3.6Rs closer to the side walls; unfortunately, with this setup, the speakers were too far apart to create a proper stereo image. Moving the speakers into a position where I got a perfect image – no bass.

The second set of Maggies allowed me the best of both worlds. The IIIA bass panels are perpendicular and against the side walls, while the 3.6Rs are out in the middle of the room (4.5’ from the back wall, 2’ from the side walls).


Yes, absolutely incredible! All of the Apogee magic camera without their occasional shortcomings. They really seem To have nailed the product.

The problem is, at that price point, depending on if you’re willing to put up with shortcomings, it would be significantly less expensive to buy a used pair of Apogee Divas and have them completely rehabbed and updated by someone like Rich Murry at True Sound Works.


Or even a set of FullRange for that price.
I’ve got Duetta Signatures upgraded by Graz and recently by Rich Murray, and they are still remarkable 25 years later.


I’ve heard Apogee’s back in the day and they were remarkable, indeed. Unfortunately, to get the best out of them, or any large planar design, I’d need to rent one of these first to make some modifications to my current listening room and start over.



So I am not getting the issue, why have you delayed demolition? What is important to you?

Bruce in Philly


Alas, I would need a van to make Divas, let alone Full Ranges work in my room. A moving van, they’re not working in my current house even with the bulldozer.

The Full Ranges hold the distinction of still being the best sound I’ve ever heard from a speaker, and that includes speakers such as the Wilson Alexandria XLFs. By far the most beautiful, the most resolute and the most “you are there.” I heard them in Rich Murry’s living room. :slight_smile:

I long ago replaced my beloved Caliper Signatures with other speakers, but haven’t ever been able to let the Calipers go, so they are a second system in a different room. :smiley:


Planars are my life.


:smile: LOL.

Mainly 'cuz I’m retired and can’t print money like the Fed, and can’t borrow like the gov’t. That $1B lottery ticket didn’t work out so well, either.

Although, what is possible is to downsize a bit to a home with an unfinished basement that could be built out to suit the purpose. A pain in the butt, maybe, but very do-able. And in the long run probably more cost effective than throwing money at hardware, traps etc, that will never completely fix fundamental problems with room geometry.

I’m definitely not in a completely bad spot, mind you, but having owned Tympani 1D’s and 4A’s back in the day, I do miss the option of being able to host large planars in my space. There is nothing quite like them.

And I miss guests asking: “Are those room dividers?”


Do these count? A pair of Quad ESL63, new panels rebuilt by Quad in June and the electronics were checked over and all OK. May get light grey covers fitted, Quad will do while I wait, they are only an hour away. They sound sublime. I’ve heard the $41,500 Piega at a local dealer, these are up there and cost $40,000 less. They do need low impedance cables, so I took out my Audience cables and put in my son’s $50 Black Rhodium Twist. The lowest impedance cable is Nordost, but QED XT40 does the same job for 2% of the cost, so I shall be ordering some tomorrow.


They’re even elegant to look at.


For classical and jazz the ESL 63 are arguably the best of the lot. The last serious listen I had before buying these was with a pair of ESL 2912, which are very large, but I don’t recall them being any more
pleasing. At my listening levels these are all I need. Listening to Herbie Hancock “Gershwin’s World”.

These are very easy to drive and I have limited the amplifier to half power, 130w into 6 ohms. Even that is plenty. 30 or 40w is enough.


@terryakhan - Are these speakers Analysis Audio Omegas with JL subs?


These are the Amphitryon model and subs are JL F110’s


any chance you could post a photo of your setup? The idea of putting the bass supplement panels at the side walls for reinforcement makes sense to me.


Looking for some opinions on Magneplanars. I had MG-2.6Rs over ten years ago, and really liked them so I’m not unfamiliar with the Maggie sound. I switched to Revel Ultima Studios (and the whole surround/sub thing). I’ve got a yen to update speakers and Maggies are on my list. I’ve heard the 3.7i at my local dealer, but am unable to audition the 20.7 anywhere locally. I talked to Wendell and their room is a war-zone, and the room that they’ve used at Audio Research (still friends after all those years) is in the process of getting 30.7s.

Does anyone have experience comparing these two? If it were simply a matter of a little more bass extension or max SPL, I’d probably be just as happy with the 3.7i, but I suspect there are other improvements in the 20.7, one of which I believe is push-pull on the midrange panel. I appreciate any opinions, experience and advice you can share. Thank you, and happy (Snowmass) listening!


Over the years I’ve owned Maggei IIa’s, Tympani 1D’s and Tympani 4a’s before switching to electrostats (Martin-Logan). When I last upgraded speakers I auditioned the 3.7’s and 20.7’s Same dealer but unfortunately not on the same day in the same room and with the same equipment. So take these comments with a large grain of NaCl (salt, that is).

Both are exemplary. The 3.7’s were driven by a McIntosh front end and monoblocks. The 20.7’s by Classe electronics. I thought that the 3.7’s were a bit “livelier,” but there was a definite bass roll-off starting around 40Hz, as evidenced by ear and the Studio 6 RTA app on my iPhone. They would definitely need a pair of good subs if the last octave on the bottom is important to you. From the midbass up, they were very similar to the 20.7’s in most aspects. I thought the 3.7’s were a tad more coherent (maybe due to the more compact size), although the 20’7’s threw a grander sound-stage and had that satisfying planar bass slam in spades. Nothing quite like it.

As you know, the issue with maggies is that you need to bring some serious amps to the party - moreso with the 20.7’s. I had to play the 20’7’s a good 4 db louder (again, as measured) to get the same “toe-tap” involvement compared to other designs. IMHO, maggies need to be “biased” (by playing at louder levels) into a range of linear response to get dynamic contrasts right. That, in turn, pushes a lot of energy into the room that needs to be absorbed or dealt with in some manner.

From what I can recall, this aspect of the design is less of an issue with the 3.7’s.

Lastly, your preferred music plays a role. I thought the 20.7’s excelled on orchestral recordings but were less nuanced on, say, jazz trios and solo acoustical instruments where lower level dynamics play a bigger role.

I ended up going with Martin-Logan Summit X’s in my final head-to-head comparison with the 20.7’s, partially due to my personal situation at the moment - knowing that I would be moving several times in the next 3 years or so until we were settled in retirement. The weight, size and room persnikityness of the larger maggies tipped the choice in favor of the more svelte 'stats with bass controls to help in room setup. This situation also lead me to rule out the 3.7’s as I didn’t want to deal with the complexity of subs during our transition years.

All that said, I think the 3.7’s are the most ridiculous best-buy in audio of all time. Crazy good for what they cost.


I owned a pair of 20.1 years ago and LOVED THEM. If you have the room and power you will not go wrong. I took a break from audio and sold all of my gear which is why I don’t own them now. If you are a fan of the Maggie sound the 20.7 will give you more of it.


I simply have never heard Maggies have anything close to actual bass except for the demo pair of 30.7s making their way around the country, and they had other bigger issues, like strange phasing on male vocals.

It’s not a planar issue, as all Apogee models except the Stages had outstanding bass as do the new AlsyVox speakers.


For what it’s worth I love Magneplanars as long as they have a good subwoofer attached to them. They do require being away from the rear wall and benefit from careful setup. Also, don’t expect tremendous dynamics, but what they do they do it well - and for the price better than most.