Magneplanar 1.7i Instruction Manual

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Quick Step-Up Instructions

Remove the steel magnetic strip from the front of the speakers. If the fabric sticks to the diaphragm, use a high tack tape to gently pull the fabric loose from the diaphragm.

The 1.7i has exceptional phase characteristics that are accomplished without the use of compensation networks. To realize the optimum phasing, the 1.7i should be angled inward as shown in the diagrams in the manual. (Do not place parallel to the front wall.) For a larger "sweet spot" and multiple listeners, place tweeters on the outside. Single listeners may choose to place the tweeters on the inside. If you do, cant the speakers inward sufficiently so that the tweeter is not ahead of the bass/midrange in time as shown in the diagrams below .

Tweeter attenuation may be necessary for rooms with hard, reflective walls. See Section 14 below.


Congratulations on your purchase. The Magneplanar 1.7i loudspeaker was conceived and designed by perfectionists, for perfectionists. Due to the elegant simplicity and ruggedness of the design, the Magneplanar 1.7i loudspeaker will give many years of trouble-free service.

General Description

The 1.7i is a 3-way, full-range, quasi-ribbon design with a quasi-ribbon bass/midrange, tweeter, and super-tweeter.

Carton Contents
  • 1 pair 1.7i loudspeakers
  • 4 each feet
  • 4 long bolts in plastic bag for tilt feature and 4 shorter bolts in back of each speaker
  • 8 each plastic washers
  • 2 each 1 ohm resistors
  • 2 each Magneplanar logos
  • 1 each Allen wrench
  • 1 instruction manual

Save all packaging. If you need to transport the speakers, they can be shipped safely only in the original packaging. You may never have to return your loudspeakers, but should the occasion arise, they should not be shipped in any packaging but the original. Should you discard it, packaging is available.


The terminal plate states a maximum fuse value of 4 amps Type 3AG ("normal" or "fast blow"). The bass section does not require fusing protection. This fuse value should never be increased or bypassed. Do not use slow-blow fuses. BURNED OUT TWEETERS ARE NOT COVERED UNDER THE WARRANTY.

Speaker Placement

Proper speaker placement and room acoustics can have a greater effect on a music system than upgrading one of the components in the system. Unfortunately, there is no definitive guideline which will cover all possible listening rooms. Some experimentation is required for locating the optimum position. The following are a few general guidelines:

Bass Response

Play a CD with repetitive bass. Try the speakers in several possible locations in the room. Begin experimenting with the speakers about 3 feet from the front wall. Try moving the speakers forward or backward in increments of 6 to 12 inches. One position in the room should be noticeably better than others. A lso experiment with your listening location to avoid standing waves.

Need more bass?

Most of the area of any full-range Maggie is devoted to bass reproduction. (In the case of the 20.7, 76% of the total radiating area is devoted to bass.) The Magneplanar Bass Panel offers you the flexibility to add bass diaphragm area to fit the needs of your room. From the $600 pair MMG to the 20.7, the Maggie Bass Panel can get the bass/midbass "just right".


The 1.7i's are matched pairs and mirror-imaged. The serial number for each speaker in the pair is the same, except for a "1" or "2" following each serial number. As you face the front of the speakers, the speaker with the serial number ending with the "1" after its serial number has the tweeter near the left edge, and the speaker serial number ending with the "2" has the tweeter near the right edge.

Stereo Width and Imaging

Once you have located the best position for the speakers and your chair for bass performance, separate the speakers by 50-60% of the distance from your chair to the speakers. For example, if your chair is 10 feet from the speakers, move the speakers 5-6 feet apart. Now, move the speakers apart in increments of 3 or 4 inches at a time, listening carefully at each position. At some point you will start to hear two separate speakers instead of a stage effect or continuous image. When this occurs, your speakers are too far apart. Begin moving the speakers back in small increments until you notice a point at which you achieve one cohesive sound stage.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

The Magneplanar 1.7i has superior phase characteristics. We suggest you resist the tendency to place the speakers so they are parallel to the front wall. For optimum phasing, the speakers should angled as shown in Figures 1 or 2.

Depending upon the acoustics of your room, the imaging and sound stage may be better with the tweeters on the inside for listening only in the "sweet spot". For a larger audience and listening further off-axis, try tweeters on the outside. Angle the speakers as shown in Figures 1 or 2.

Once you have located the ideal speaker position, a mark is helpful for quickly replacing the speakers. A small tack, yarn woven into the carpet, or piece of tape can be placed on the carpet so your ideal listening spot can be easily relocated when the speakers (or chair) are moved for cleaning, etc. In the event your ideal listening spot is inconvenient from the standpoint of the room layout and decor, simply slide the speakers wherever they look best. For background listening the speakers can be placed close to the wall and it will make little difference.

Room Acoustics

The judicious use of damping material can improve the sound. Acoustical damping can be achieved with household items or wall hangings. A word of caution--when audiophiles discover the effectiveness of damping material, they sometimes overdo it (on the premise that if a little is good, more is better). Before making a permanent change to your room, experiment with the positioning of the damping material. Usually a portion of one or two parallel walls should have some damping. However, it is a trial-and-error process.

An over-damped room will provide very precise imaging, but the sound will seem "dead." An under-damped room may heighten the illusion of being in a concert hall, but the imaging will seem imprecise with all the instruments mixed together. "Hardness" or over-bright sound is usually the result of a room with hard surfaces (glass, hard paneling,etc.). Moderation is the key.

Diffusers are also helpful to improve the acoustics of a room. Contact your Magnepan dealer for more information on the proper use of diffusers.

Optional Tweeter Attenuation

There are two principal reasons for needing to attenuate the Magneplanar Quasi-Ribbon Tweeter and Super Tweeter:

  1. Pop or rock recordings often exhibit a pronounced rise in the treble region.
  2. The Magneplanar Quasi Ribbon Tweeter is very efficient in its total energy dispersion. If the surrounding walls are exceptionally reflective, the overall perceived acoustical balance will be tipped towards a "hot" high end.

Attenuation is performed through insertion of a resistor in place of the jumper. The pair of 1.2 ohm resistors will attenuate the tweeter 1-2 dB. Other values are available from your Magneplanar dealer.


Light vacuuming of the grille cloth is possible.

System Description3-Way, full-range, quasi-ribbon speaker.
Frequency Response40Hz--22kHz" +/- 3dB
Sensitivity86 dB, 500Hz, 1 meter, 2.83V
ImpedanceNominal 4 Ohms
Dimensions19-1/4" X 64-1/2" X 2"
WarrantyLIMITED. 3 Years to Original Owner
Shipping Weight95 lbs.

* Because there are no universally accepted methods for loudspeaker measurements, frequency response specifications may be stated by most manufacturers without reference to measurement techniques and/or specific locations in rooms. Magneplanar loudspeaker frequency response specifications are average performance levels that may reasonably be expected in normal installations.

Revised- 2-1-15