Magnepan at T.H.E. Show
As they had at the 2011 Show, Magnepan's Mark Winey (left) and Wendell Diller (right) were demonstrating their system behind a curtain, so that listeners' preconceptions would not affect their opinions of the sound. It turned out that the speakers being demmed, driven by Bryston amplification, were a pair of the Minnesotan company's MMG planars ($599/pair), to which had been added a $5000 Tricenter center channel speaker. This seemed a bit odd to me, but Wendell explained that they were showing an unlikely combination that might be just what a specific customer needed.
Wendel went on to describe Magnepan's Dealer Direct program, which is intended to address the changing state of specialty audio retailing in the US. The idea is that some Magnepan models will be demmed by a dealer, who will offer their advice on what model best suits the customer's needs, but Magnepan will then drop-ship the purchase directly from the factory with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The dealer still provides his traditional role, but Magnepan now handles warehousing and shipment, thus saving the retailer the overhead in inventory.