Letters • October 2014

3.7i upgrade particulars?

October 27, 2014


Did Wendell Diller by chance mention anything about the damping tape behind the 3.7i's midrange? The tape was there on my 3.6 but gone with the 3.7 -- and back on the 3.7i. I wonder if that is the upgrade. At least its the only thing you can see that has been changed.

I suppose changing the tensioning of the mylar that has been mentioned as the "i" upgrade would cost more than $500. The upgrade would unfortunately cost me a lot more here in Sweden -- about the same as if I trade in my 3.7s and buy the new 3.7i's.

I can fully understand why you think the Lamm hybrid amps are a great choice with the Magnepans. A guy here in Sweden decided on the M2.2 monoblocks over the Audio Research Reference 250 on his 20.7s.

Your input would be much appreciated.

Hasse Jerresand

I asked Wendell about the tape you mention, and he wasn't sure what you were talking about. Wendell is not one to be coy, so I suspect that this is isn't part of the 3.7i upgrade package. Retensioning the mylar would definitely cost more than $500 to do. It would involve disassembling both speakers, probably replacing the panels, and reassembling.

I suspect that Magnepan is keeping quiet about the 3.7i upgrades because they aren't that extensive in terms of parts, but modifying each speaker is. There is also the matter of the sonic change wrought, which may be greater than any physical change to the speaker. As upgrades go, $500 for two speakers seems pretty reasonable, especially for a speaker that is as good as the 3.7i. -Marc Mickelson

Venture speakers and Atma-Sphere amps?

October 20, 2014


Though I’ve never crossed paths with them, for me, too, there is something seductive about Venture speakers that beckons to me. I really hope to audition the Ultimate References at some point, or even a pair of their little brothers.

I have to ask, though, by any chance did you spend any time listening to them paired to the Atma-Sphere MA-2 amps? I would think this combo could really sing, provided the amps are capable of adequately controlling the four pairs of woofers.

Alan Trahern

Unfortunately, the Venture speakers and Atma-Sphere amps weren't here at the same time, so I wasn't able to hear them together. I agree with you that this is an intriguing speaker-amp combination -- a potential sum greater than the considerable parts. -Marc Mickelson

Which protractor?

October 14, 2014


I attended Roy Gregory's seminar at this year's RMAF and thoroughly enjoyed the presentation (as well as last year's equipment-setup seminar). My question is about the protractor that he used. I cannot find it on the web, primarily as I can't remember the name or who manufactures it and in the equipment credits for the seminar it is not listed. Help please and thank you. Also, would the Feickert Alignment System also work?

Jeff Harris

The protractor Roy used is the Acoustical Systems SMARTractor. You can read more about it here.

You can certainly use the Feickert protractor to set up your cartridge, but there are some advantages with the SMARTractor, including the UNI DIN geometry, which is unique to it and what Roy and Stirling Trayle talked about in the seminar.

I'm glad you enjoyed the seminar. I did too. -Marc Mickelson

Five years of The Audio Beat

October 7, 2014


Congratulations on TAB's five-year anniversary. I'm proud to say I follow TAB. It's always a pleasure reading your work. Wishing you continued success.

Sheldon Simon

It has been invigorating and fun, in addition to a lot of work. My only regret is that this isn't the site's ten-year anniversary. -Marc Mickelson

"Add me"

October 2, 2014


Please add me to your reader e-mail list.

Tim Grindell

You're added! For others interested, e-mail rl@theaudiobeat.com and you'll be added to the list, which means you'll hear about all new articles first. -Marc Mickelson


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