THE Show Newport Beach 2016 • Hot Product

The front panel says Bryston, but this special-edition, co-branded SP3 surround-sound processor ($9800) includes a mode for . . .

. . . Magnepan's three-channel stereo configuration, which was once again on demonstration at THE Show. While using three Magnepan MMG speakers ($599/pair) with a nearly $10,000 processor seems odd, what's even odder is that Magnepan wasn't demonstrating this system with the goal of creating consumer demand for it. Instead, it was an aspiration, like a concept car at an auto show. The idea is to remind Magnepan dealers that they are "in the entertainment business," said Wendell Diller of Magnepan. And the concept won't end at THE Show. This summer, Wendell will be traveling around the US, demonstrating this system and talking to audiophiles with the goal of restoring the idea of "a listening experience" to high-end audio. Magnepan will also be emphasizing this message with advertising -- aimed not at consumers but rather Magnepan dealers and their salespeople.

Magnepan may be one of the oldest makers of audiophile speakers, but the company definitely isn't resting on its deep bed of laurels. As usual, three-channel stereo made a compelling case for itself, creating a vivid soundstage with great depth and a distinct center image from any seat in the room.

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