Magnepan MG 3.6 Planar-Magnetic Loudspeaker Reviewed

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High Points
• The MG 3.6's ribbon tweeter is quite possibly the best high frequency transducer in the market today. It is so quick, airy and natural that it may turn you off traditional dome tweeters forever.
• The MG 3.6's midrange is open and uncolored by boxy resonances, allowing vocalists, especially female vocals, to simply appear in your listening room for a seemingly live performance.
• Spatially the MG 3.6's throw one hell of a convincing and enveloping soundstage provided you've set them up properly in your room and have quality source material.
• For such a large speaker the MG 3.6's can "disappear" like a pair of small bookshelf or monitor speakers, which is quite a feat given their size.
• You'll be hard pressed to find a speaker costing less than $5,000 that can do what the MG 3.6 can. It's a true high end, audiophile loudspeaker, that doesn't carry an over-the-top price tag.

Low Points
• The MG 3.6 is such a pig when it comes to power that the total cost of ownership can't simply end with the MG 3.6's asking price. Budget at least an additional $2,500 or more for quality amplification if you don't already own a good amp or two. 
• While the MG 3.6's can do bass and go quite low, if you want hear and feel those lower octaves, plan on buying a good subwoofer or two. 
• I know Magnepan offers a variety of finish options but the MG 3.6 has been with us for a while now and looks rather dated and more like a speaker from your father or grandfather's era than a speaker designed in the mid-1990's. 
• The external crossover and binding post box is a joke and about as flimsy as they come. There are some third party cables out there that will allow you to place the outboard box on the floor versus hanging off the back of the MG 3.6 as instructed by Magnepan; that should yield better results. Otherwise, those of you with children or pets will live on edge every time either of them approaches your MG 3.6s for fear of snapping the crossover clean off the speaker. 
• The feet that keep the MG 3.6 upright are also a joke, which is probably why so many enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to hot rod their MG 3.6s starting with more robust and stable feet.

Conclusion

For roughly $4,500 the MG 3.6 from Magnepan is one of the greatest high-end speaker bargains of all time. Hell, the MG 3.6 itself is one of the greatest high-end speakers of all time, regardless of price. Its midrange and treble is sublime and its sheer musicality is addictive. That being said, it is not a perfect speaker by any means and has it share of ergonomic foibles as well as shortcomings in the low frequencies. It's not a loudspeaker for everyone, but if you can accommodate its quirks and needs it may just be the best and last speaker you ever purchase.


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HTR Product Rating for Magnepan MG 3.6 Planar-Magnetic Loudspeaker

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

3.5

Overall

4

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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