I've reviewed a gazillion speakers, and I can't remember more than a few dozen of them. They're just a string of big and little boxes; some sounded really nice, most were merely OK, and surprisingly few were truly awful.
Magnepan's speakers stand out from the crowd first because they're so thin, the MG 3.6/R is 1.5 inches thick, and standing 71 inches high, it's really tall. But it was the sound that blew me away. It's an incredibly clear, high-resolution sound, and sounds decidedly unspeakerlike. That's why it's the Audiophiliac's Speaker of the Year.
As I said in my Home Entertainment magazine review "That's why the MG 3.6/R will sound like a revelation to first-time listeners; the gap between the sound of real, live music and recorded music feels a whole lot smaller. The speaker projects a more full-bodied, three-dimensional soundstage than any box can; correction, the MG 3.6/R's sound was bigger and deeper than I've ever heard from a speaker retailing for less than $50,000. With the MG 3.6/R instruments and voices emerge closer to their real-life scale and size. Clearly, Magnepan engineers changed the way speakers move air."
Instead of the usual woofer and tweeter, the MG 3.6/R uses three "planar-magnetic" drivers: a 55-inch tall aluminum foil "ribbon" tweeter; a 199-square-inch 0.5-mil-thick Mylar midrange diaphragm; and a 500 square inch Mylar woofer. The speaker is essentially a panel that moves air, and projects sound from its front and rear surfaces. The drivers are Magnepan patented designs, all manufactured at the company's factory in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. American hi-fi at its best.… Read more