It had a modest beginning with the 1.7. ("Okay, that worked. Now, let's try it with the 3.7.") New ideas don't necessarily have to start from the top and trickle down. In the case of the 20.7, it was "trickle-up".
The Maggie 3.7 continues the tradition established by the venerable 3.6. The Absolute Sound reviewer Jacob Heilbrunn owned 20.1s for 10 years and went on the record to assert that the new 20.7 is the rightful heir to the 20.1.
Jonathon Valin, of the Absolute Sound magazine, is a demanding reviewer of super-expensive speakers. (For example, his critical CES coverage of $25,000 pair speakers (and up) in the April issue of The Absolute Sound.) The 20.7s got the same treatment. But, in the final analysis, he said in his blog on www.avguide.com--
"The listeners for whom the 20.7s are idealfor whom Magneplanars have always been idealare absolute sound types. This Maggie’s magical ability to transport you to a different space and time and to there realistically recreate (with lifelike scope and size) the sound of actual acoustic instruments is extraordinaryand, of course, the very definition of the absolute sound. Indeed, the 20.7s come as close to achieving Harry Pearson’s goal of reproducing the sound of real instruments in real space as any speaker I’ve heard. I love ’em, but then I’ve loved and owned more Magneplanar speakers than those from any other manufacturer. If the sound absolute is what you crave (and you can live with the 20.7s’ sundry demands and peculiarities), Magnepan’s new flagships earn my highest and warmest recommendation. It almost goes without saying (since these are Maggies), but the 20.7s are also incredibly good values. Now hie thee forth and give them a long listen, and see if you don’t fall in love with them too."
Perhaps you have owned Maggies for many years. Are you considering something even better? Typically, you are not rich--nor do you care about status. The music is what it is all about--and your older Maggies have served you well. Now you have the means to consider what you have always dreamed about.
But, is there value at these prices? We are like you. We are middle-income and frugal. The price of a 3.7 seems like A LOT of money. We can't relate to some of the equipment in Stereophile or The Absolute Sound. We would prefer to buy a new house for that kind of money. So, what is the justification for a speaker as expensive as the 20.7? Good question. You really need to hear them for yourself.
How do you make buying decisions? On the one hand, there is more information and reviews on high-end audio than ever before, but the opportunity to experience these products has become increasingly more difficult. Audio specialty dealers are becoming an "endangered species". Regional audio shows have increased in response to this dilemma.
So, what will you do? Even if you have a Maggie dealer within reasonable driving distance, most likely they do not have 20.7s on display. Dealers have limited space and many product lines to support. Custom and 2-channel all create demands that the stereo stores in the Old Days did not have to consider.
What can you learn by traveling to a regional audio show? Experienced reviewers know that disappointing sound in a hotel room does not necessarily mean that the products are substandard. However, good sound at a show is pretty good evidence that the products are superior. That is not an ideal way to make a buying decision. But, it is better than nothing.
The solution for some customers was to visit a Maggie dealer in another city where the 20.1s were on display (usually when they traveled on business or pleasure). How do we say this nicely? It didn't work for anyone, including Magnepan. The dealer knows that an out-of-town customer is not likely to buy the speakers from them. Consequently, we heard reports that the experience was disappointing. That is no way to make such an important decision.
Since you probably are not rich, purchasing 20.7s is a major decision. There is one place we can guarantee that you can hear the full potential of the speakers. Instead of traveling to a regional audio show or a dealer in another city that has 20.7s on display, visit us in Minnesota. We will play the same system that so impressed Jacob Heilbrunn. You can audition the 20.7s, have a tour of Magnepan and be home on the same day.
Please make arrangements with your nearest Maggie dealer. We do not have a room set up as a showroom. Our lab can double as a showroom if arrangements are made. Of course, your dealer would love to sell you a pair of 20.7s. For customers that are seriously considering 20.7s, helping you to visit Magnepan may be the best solution for everyone. For you, a trip to Magnepan is a question of time, money and hassle-factor. Your dealer and Magnepan have some solutions.
As Jacob Heilbrunn wrote in his review-- " I defy you to find [a speaker] at up to five times the cost with the scale and realism of the 20.7." A day of your time to visit Magnepan could save you thousands of dollars.
Like Jacob Heilbrunn, this 20.7 customer also owned 20.1s for 10 years.
Trim options- (Wood) Natural or black solid oak, dark cherry. (Aluminum) Silver or black. Up-charge for dark cherry. Call Magnepan for details for custom finishes.
Fabric options- Off-white, black and dark grey.