Planar Magnetic Loudspeaker Aficionados!


They are not speakers for those who enjoy slam. But they are great at transient reproduction.

I particularly like their sound driven by a good powerful tube amp.


Thanks Paul, and everybody that responded. I do have space to have Maggies well away from the wall behind them, a suitable (Bryston) amplifier and a good (Ultima Sub30) subwoofer. I also have an as yet uninstalled DSpeaker Anti-Mode, ready to press into duty, and ASC treatments designed for the room, including a pair of the big Tower Traps in the corners. I have certainly enjoyed the Ultima Studios, but feel like they try to bring the soundstage into my room, rather than bringing the listener (me!) into the performance space. If that makes sense.


It absolutely does make sense. Maggies (the bigger ones, anyway) are known for creating a sense of transporting you to the venue. Especially in the case of (well-recorded) large-scale orchestral works.


Three years ago my son and I flew to MSP to tour and listen to the Maggies. Our local dealer didn’t seem that interested in selling the Maggies and was pushing Wilsons or Sonus faber.I had already decided to purchase but needed to compare 3.7i to the 20.7. Wendall was gracious and the tour of the factory impressive . We then went to the listening room to audition the 3.7i. They were set up as three channel with Bryston amps( I think). We were not impressed. I have owned small Magies in the past and lived with Sound Labs for years, but this set up was not to my liking. It could be room or more likely the 3 channel setup. I still live with my 25 year old Thiel 2.2, but they are slowly falling apart. The Magnepan challenge is finding a dealer that will rise to the challenge of showing the capabilities of these speakers.


I have 3.7i driven by a BHK250 and a REL S/3 in a 18x24 room. If you put in the effort to meticulously set them up the results are SPECTACULAR! If you don’t have the room or a big amp you won’t be able to get the best out of them. They are also very sensitive to tweaks of room treatments, cables, etc.


Thanks for the response. I already know I like the 3.7i, so the Maggie sound is “my cup of tea”. Curious about your experience with the 3 channel configuration, which may be what they tout as Tri-Center, which also requires a software modified Bryston SP3, which I happen to have. The articles linked online indicate that it’s a meaningful step up in soundstage, and Wendell llike it, but it seems to use modified Dolby Prologic decoding which I’d have to know a lot more about before I’d be interested. Like the 20,7, there’s nowhere for me to audition that setup as they don’t even have it at HQ (I’m local to the Twin Cities).


I’ve owned both the 2.5R and 20 speakers.

I now have smaller Focal beryllium dynamics, Between the 2.5R and 20 units, I had Martin Logan Quest Z.

I can;t imagine anyone not liking any speaker from this legendary maker. Like all of this high-end, high-dollar stuff, it is all taste. You would think that speakers would be converging on some sort of common good but no way.

For me, Magnepans are far superior to anything I have ever heard or owned. You know all the issues about placement… you dick with these things for years until you get them perfect or you just give up. Either way, you will be encased in beauty.

Moving to the 20 … what I got… I got more. I did not get more brightness… the ribbon in those early 2.5s were first gen and could be bright. The 20s were lush, B-I-G soundstage and just wonderfulness.

Regarding a subwoofer… yes that is what everyone says, but I never cared. Powerful, high current amplification will get you half the way there, placement the other. The remaining low frequency issues … well I just didn’t care. All the love is in the upper lows, midrange, and lower treble. Beyond that, I don’t care much.

Now I have Focal dynamic speakers… like Steve Gutenberg says about some speakers… these Focals are FUN. Pow! Bang! Boom! Talk about dynamic. I am having a blast revisiting old rock records. But … the Magnepans were beauty.

I switched due to life style. I moved into my office where I spend most of my free time on my computer either working, processing photography (my blog below). I just don;t sit in my big room in the sweet spot anymore. I just could not justify the cost of two systems. I gave up on the Magnepans, and moved my system into my office with the smaller Focals. I don;t get the imaging due to my listening system… something I truly loved with the Magnepans… but… the room with my desk and professional graphics monitors is just too different.

The Focals are more fun… Magnepans are way more emotional but you need to have the proper room and sit in the correct spot. If you can’t do this like me, go for dynamic speakers. If you have the room and love to sit in just that spot… you would be a fool not to go back to them.

Bruce in Philly


I agree with you on the Maggies. I also found in smaller rooms subs really weren’t needed and can be overkill. They really do make a emotional connection like few other speakers I’ve heard – even if it’s only for 1 at a time.


It’s a real shame that Magnepan didn’t have a better demo. The number of competent dealers in the country are diminishing like clockwork and that leaves a lot of customers scratching their heads what to do.

You might try and find a dealer that will let you audition at home.


Loss of dealerships … ugh…

I purchased the Magnepan 20s totally on faith… the Dealership, Ovature in Delaware, did not have them in stock. I forget why, but he said he just didn’t stock them no more. Really odd… they are a true high-end dealer.

Back when I did buy them, Terry said Magnepan may not even been able to ship them… demand fell off so much due to home theater, that Magnepan laid off many of the old timers building them. YIKES! I had to wait a few months for Magnepan to build them. Now demand has returned and they re-hired many of the old folks and are back in full swing.

Bruce in Philly


I can understand most dealers (the ones we have left) will not stock but so much. The price of gear is so expensive that one needs to have a huge pile of cash to support having inventory. I would thinking selling 20K+ gear is few and far between these days. Like you I hate it.


Wonder why (or when) Mangnepan doesn’t offer a direct to customer model like they do with the MMG?


The dealer bruce-in-philly mentions, Overture AV, has upgraded it’s listening rooms and has the complete Magnepan line on display, including the 30.7’s. I dealt with them when I lived in NY State, and they were excellent. Maybe the last of the really good dealers. Our mega-dealer in the Denver area only has the 3.7’s on display (no 20.7’s).

just my personal experience, mind you.


I visited Overture years ago. They are one of the few mega dealers left. I wish they were closer to NC as I would love to spend some time in their store.


-Probably off topic, but I think my Wisdom adrenaline dipole line sources are planar magnetics. They came with dual subwoofers crossed over at 115 hz and an adjustable active crossover.
It’s nice that I don’t have to worry about floor, ceiling or sidewall reflections. The system is 20 years old, but it would cost a lot to better it.


Definitely not off topic. Planar magnetic drivers are what the Wisdom Audio speakers are comprised of and one of the reasons I started this thread. Different strokes for different folks. You have a great set of speakers much like the Genesis, Apogee, Magna planar, etc. No matter which speakers you prefer to listen to, it’s still “all about the music” to quote David Graebner and Tom Bohlender. We are all here in search of our"perfect sound reproduction".


Thanks, Fedreams.
I got my Wisdoms from a dealer who was folding up shop, -cheap.
Tom was always willing to talk to me and advise me on the crossover settings. I was very sorry when he retired. Did you know those guys?


Yes, Tom is a good friend of mine and I was able to meet David through him. David, actually reconed one of my subwoofers. I was lucky to meet him before he passed on. They are both high end audio giants in my book, like Paul. Just being able hang around people like this makes me feel smarter. But that probably would be the case for hanging out in this forum with most of the members.


My Wisdoms were supposedly state of the art when I bought them, but there were improvements which I couldn’t afford. The price kept climbing, and I just settled for what I had. Nevertheless, Tom was always willing to help me get the most out of them. -What a nice man.
Recently the local Audio Club had a demo of a $ 1.2 million system with very large VonSchweikert speakers and VAC electronics. It was OK, but didn’t make me feel bad about my system. That’s a tribute to Tom and his speakers.


You have a great set of classic speakers! Like the ones in the PS Audio Music Room One! No one makes anything close to these without paying the price of a small house in California. Consider it as a classic Porsche which you can enjoy everyday. Especially, since you got them at a deal. I really miss my Adrenaline Rush system.

I heard a million dollar system that Wisdom did at a Reno Home Show in 2006. You could hear Top Gun playing anywhere in the convention hall. The crowd it drew was in awe, at the sound and price. The system was the Infinite Series (triple smart planar magnetic drivers) and Adrenaline series as the surrounds in a 5.1 configuration.