Earlier this year Chris Martens published a favourable preview of Magnepan’s new top-of-range loudspeaker in Hi-Fi Plus (issue 157). Now, as the 30.7 nears full production, he revisits the flagship ‘Maggie’ in view of an important change to this “remarkable design achievement”.
You can read Chris Martens’ earlier review in full online at www.hifiplus.com. In it, he concludes that the 30.7s are “a landmark design” and “deliver sound quality competitive with (and in some respects superior to) loudspeakers ranging from two to nearly ten times their price”. Why, then, has Magnepan opted for a design edit before going into full production? Not least since the 30.7 was already awarded ‘Overall Product of the Year 2017’ by The Absolute Sound magazine (issue 279, January 2018).
In recent months, Wendell Diller, the company’s sales and marketing head, has been touring many of Magnepan’s North American dealers to deliver demonstrations for salespeople and prospective customers. “Along the way, Diller has gathered experiences from setups in 31 different rooms,” reports Martens, which is what prompted the change.
“The results were ear-opening, to say the least,” says Martens, following a private audition at Magnepan’s Austin, Texas dealer.
The 30.7 is a four-way speaker, a stereo pair of which comprises four panels in total, each standing just under two metres tall. “Obviously, this is a big loudspeaker system by any rational standard,” writes Martens, “though Magnepan’s Diller insists that despite its size the 30.7 system can be made to work extremely well in relatively modestly sized rooms.” One of the reasons it can, is that the 30.7 features adjustable high frequency and midrange levels. Achieved by the selective installation of high quality resistors on the rear of the speaker panels, this gives the listener a wide range of setup options for a variety of room sizes.
However, during his dealer tour, Diller discovered that even more adjustability was needed, particularly in terms of matching mid-bass output to the requirements of various listening rooms. The 30.7 was originally designed to have enough low- and mid-bass output to sound fully balanced even in very large rooms. But for those with medium-sized or smaller rooms, this could result in the mid-bass sounding somewhat overblown. And so, this was the most significant change that was incorporated into the full-production design: the addition of even more adjustable mid-bass levels.
For Martens, the update is bang-on. “If I could only point out one of the 30.7’s virtues, the one I’d choose would be the speaker’s midrange. It’s fast, highly transparent, and extremely resolving and yet somehow manages to sound effortless and natural at the same time.”
“The 30.7 now gives its owners the tools necessary to achieve a well-balanced sound in rooms of varying sizes and shapes. In fact, Diller estimates that the 30.7 could now be used in rooms as small as 14 feet by 17.”
To read Chris Martens’ update in full, grab a copy of the September 2018 issue of Hi-Fi Plus magazine