Founded in 1969, Magnepan is a Minnesota-based maker of critically acclaimed, high value dipole loudspeakers that are based upon planar magnetic and ribbon-type drivers (technical areas where company founder Jim Winey holds a number of core patents). Although Jim Winey retired some years ago, Magnepan is today lead by his son, Mark Winey, who works in concert with veteran marketing manager Wendell Diller to continue research and development efforts that help the company maintain (and extend) its technological edge. Not surprisingly, Magnepan loudspeakers continue to get better over time.
In recent years Magnepan research has led to a revamp of the firm’s entire product line, resulting in the introduction of a number of new models along with substantial revisions to acknowledged classics. For this review, we will focus on one of Magnepan’s most recently updated designs: the next-to-the-top-of the line 3.7i ($5,995 or £6,500 per pair). In passing, we will also take a look at the firm’s optional DWM planar magnetic woofers ($795 or £950 each), since we can envision applications where 3.7i owners might need or want to add one or two DWMs to their systems in order to tap their full performance potential.
Magnepan’s 3.7i is a roughly 6-foot tall, 2-foot wide, and 1.625-inch thick hybrid planar magnetic/ribbon driver-equipped, dipole loudspeaker. The perimeter frame of the speaker is CNC milled from a slab of MDF material, with large, elongated, rectangular openings for the planar magnetic and ribbon drivers, plus a small opening toward the bottom where the crossover network and speaker terminal panel are housed. Once assembled and tested, the entire speaker is wrapped in sonically transparent grille fabric, trimmed with either wood or aluminium accent panels, and then shipped with beefy pairs of bolt-on steel feet (each shaped like an inverted letter ‘T’, when viewed from the side).