Magnepan Sweetens the Dealer-Direct Deal

by Marc Mickelson | August 1 , 2012

ersonal listening may be one of the fastest-growing segments of high-end audio, but Magnepan hasn't seen this translate into sales of its Mini Maggie system ($1490), which combines a textbook-sized version of its 3.7, right down to the ribbon tweeter, with a DWM bass panel that extends the system's frequency response and makes it appropriate for use in smaller traditional listening spaces. "The biggest problem we are having is tempting customers to try the Mini Maggie," said Wendell Diller, marketing manager at Magnepan. The Mini Maggie System is sold through Magnepan's Dealer-Direct program, in which a Magnepan dealer takes the order and Magnepan handles the shipping to the consumer, who gets 30-day money-back return privileges.

But with the Mini Maggie system, Magnepan didn't take into account what potential buyers may not own. They often haven't purchased the electronics needed to drive desktop speakers. "We knew the amplifier and source would be an issue, but we didn't know they would be that much of an issue," Diller said. With this in mind, Magnepan will begin offering Wadia's compact 151 DAC/integrated amp ($800) along with the speakers, comprising a truly miniature high-performance system. Like the Mini Maggies and DWM, the 151 will also be available via Dealer-Direct's in-home trial. "If they try it on their desk, very few send it back," Diller offered.

The 151 is a six-pound remote-controlled unit and the mate for Wadia's i170 and i171 iPod/iPhone docks. Its small 8" x 8" footprint and 75Wpc output make it ideal for use with the Mini Maggie.

"Do we have to pay people to try this system?" Diller asked rhetorically. Stay tuned.

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