Magneplanar 0.7

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Magneplanar 0.7
Friday, September 18, 2015

What do you do if you covet Magnepan’s soaring loudspeakers but don’t have the largest of listening rooms? “We hear you”, said Magnepan. Enter the new 0.7 (‘point seven’), a scaled down version of the brand’s acclaimed 1.7 model.

Standing apart from the crowd, Magnepan’s loudspeakers (‘Maggies’ to their many fans) are tall, slender flat-panel designs which, unlike most standard cabinet speakers, do not rely on conventional cone and dome drivers. The Magneplanar concept is similar to an electrostatic speaker in that both produce sound by moving a thin film membrane. But in the Magneplanar design, the force is magnetic rather than electrostatic, generated by an array of closely spaced permanent magnets.

The 1.7's technology was unprecedented for Magnepan, being the company's first "full range quasi ribbon" design. Ribbon-based drivers are an evolution of Magnepan’s original planar magnetic technology. An ultra-thin ribbon of metallic foil carries the current from the amplifier, and is also the diaphragm that moves the air to create sound. No voice coil, no cone, no surround, no box. The quasi ribbon driver is a deviation from the true ribbon design in which a very thin film backing is used to hold the delicate ribbons in place. One of the advantages of quasi ribbon drivers is their extremely wide frequency bandwidth and high power handling, enabling their use through the full range of drivers.

Like the 1.7, the new scaled down 0.7 is a full range quasi ribbon design, American-made with virtually all American-made parts. The key differences lie in its slightly smaller dimensions and the fact that it is a two-way rather a three-way design. Because the 0.7 has a smaller bass diaphragm, it has less ‘bite on the air’ so the bass will be less than that of the 1.7 if it is used it in a larger room. However, Magnepan has this covered: their optional add-on Magneplanar Bass Panel offers the flexibility to add bass diaphragm area to fit the needs of any room. For those who have followed Magnepan’s recent ‘i’ upgrades to the 3.7 and 1.7 models, the enhancements applied in the 3.7i and 1.7i have been incorporated into the 0.7. The 0.7 stands 137.8cm tall (so that’s a big vase!) and is priced at £1,690 per pair, the DWM Bass Panel is £990. It’s available now in a choice of two finishes: off-white fabric with an oak trim, or black fabric with an oak, cherry, black or silver trim.