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  1. #1
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    Amp suggestions for Magnepan 1.6

    I am looking to upgade my amp in my current 2.1 audio system. I listen to a lot of singer songwriter stuff, avett brothers, dylan, waits and a lot of 50s and 60s jazz and blues, and am almost always listening to vinyl these days.

    Currently looking at:
    Bryston 4B ST
    Parasound Halo A21
    Vincent Audio SP 331

    System:
    Magnepan 1.6qr
    Adcom Gfa 555 II
    Outlaw RR 2150 (using as preamp now, was using as stand alone receiver before i picked up the adcom)
    Velodyne DPS 12
    Pro-ject debut III with acryl it platter, speed box, denon dl160
    Marantz CD 5001
    Blue jeans cables and interconnects

    I am open to any suggestions, integrated, go tube preamp rather than amp? I am open to anything that will keep the maggies composed, not so in your face at louder volumes, warmer. Id like to stay under 2000 if possible. Can I even get a significant enough sonic improvement, over the current amp/preamp combo? Budget 2000 or less.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I have a pair of 1.6's and run it with a Parasound A21 amp and an Van Alstine hybrid Tube preamp. The A21 is a good match but the 1.6's really shine with a tube amp and preamp. I think that the Vincent would be a good match but I would give serious consideration to this Van Alstine Synergy amp which is a SS that was built with the goal to sound like a tube amp and it definitely does. I got to do an in studio audition of the prototype and it has since been improved- They are nothing special to look at but the money goes into the electronics. They come with a 30 day money back guaranty. And the customer service is second to none. The owner Frank Van Alstine always answers the phone and his emails. Go for the double die option which increases the current. These amps will double their power at 4ohms. You can get the Synergy 350 with the double die ( twice the Mosfets) for $1599. I am eventually going to buy one of the Synergy amps.


    Audio By Van Alstine (AVA) Synergy 450 Power Amplifier Blockbuster performance for only $1999! Review By Anthony Nicosia

    avahifi - Power Amplifiers Comparison Grid

    Take a look at his T-8 tube preamp as well. You could go with the tube preamp and a SS amp.

    avahifi - Preamplifiers Comparison Grid

    Another amp to consider is this Peachtree 220 digital am which is tube like-
    http://www.audioemporium.com/Peachtree_220.pdf

    Peachtree220 Power Amplifier | Peachtree Audio
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  3. #3
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    From the three amps you have mentioned I would think that either the Parasound or the Vincent would be the better choice over the Bryston since most of the people I have talked to that have tried Bryston say that they are detailed but lifeless and dry sounding compared to other amps. I have heard a couple of Brystons and to me they seemed to lack musical emotion and while they do have decent bass they can seem in your face. You are using a Adcom right now and so am I as I have went back to it after trying a class d audio amp and it not working in my system. I am also on the lookout for a amp but I think I am going to try to stay in The Nelson Pass camp with a Threshold or a Pass labs amp because it seems that his designs have more musical presence to them than others.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  4. #4
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider after upgrading the amp is to up grade your Cd player with a better one or stand alone DAC. My AVA DAC added much more detail, resolution, depth, warmth and transparency over my $1300 Cambridge Audio 850c CDP.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    Another thing to consider after upgrading the amp is to up grade your Cd player with a better one or stand alone DAC. My AVA DAC added much more detail, resolution, depth, warmth and transparency over my $1300 Cambridge Audio 850c CDP.

    Thanks guys for all the great feedback! Im leaning away from the bryston and parasound, as while both are superior in sound to my adcom, also a lot more $$$$. Like what im reading about van alstine line and peachtree. Also like the idea i can keep the alstine amp for 30 days and return if i dont like it. I think i can demo the peachtree at my local hifi store, Hanson audio. Anyone famaliar with them, in dayton oh.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    You will find that the Van Alstine amp is smoother and more liquid than the Parasound. I brought my A21 to Mr Van Alstine's house and it went head to head with the Synergy 450, while the A21 held its own in some respects, the 450 just sounded better.

    By the way, audioadvisor also has a 30 day money back deal with its Parasound gear.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  7. #7
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    Van Alstine

    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    You will find that the Van Alstine amp is smoother and more liquid than the Parasound. I brought my A21 to Mr Van Alstine's house and it went head to head with the Synergy 450, while the A21 held its own in some respects, the 450 just sounded better.

    By the way, audioadvisor also has a 30 day money back deal with its Parasound gear.
    I think the Vincent Audio 331 is out, I was reading that the tubes are soldered on, which is a concern for me.
    I may go with the Van Alstine, I didn't notice the Synergy 350 model on the website, saw a Synergy 300 and 450. Is that a new model, I'm guessing?

  8. #8
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    My mistake, there is no 350 only a 300 and 450. The Synergy 300 would be fine with the double die (mosfet option) for the 1.6's. But I always like more power with the Maggies.

    If you decide to go with the Van Alstine amp, give Frank and call and tell him Larry from Woodbury said hi!
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    My mistake, there is no 350 only a 300 and 450. The Synergy 300 would be fine with the double die (mosfet option) for the 1.6's. But I always like more power with the Maggies.

    If you decide to go with the Van Alstine amp, give Frank and call and tell him Larry from Woodbury said hi!
    Will do! Probably no chance of coming across one of the amps used? I did see that they were selling some used gear on their website but no synergy 300 or 450.

  10. #10
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    For used Alstine keep a look at Audiogon or AudioCirle in the sales area. I don't see much AVA on Audiogon but it's not unheard of.

  11. #11
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    Pulled the trigger on a pair of vincent audio sp t100 mono blocs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    For used Alstine keep a look at Audiogon or AudioCirle in the sales area. I don't see much AVA on Audiogon but it's not unheard of.
    After much debating over Brystons 4b st, Parasound A21, Vincent Audio sp 331, Vincent Audio sp t100, and Van Alstine Synergy 450, I finally settled on a pair of vincent sp t100 mono blocs. Im pretty pumped especially for what I paid for them. Anyone ever paired them with Magnepan 1.6qrs? I read one review of a really satisfied owner of the pair. I think they will be a great match. Im not really worried about the 200 watts of power. I drove my maggies with my outlaw rr2150 at one point 160 watts a channel at 4ohms and was more than pleased.

  12. #12
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    Looks to be a good choice, let us know how they work out. The Vincent amps are supposed to have tremendous bass response.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Looks to be a good choice, let us know how they work out. The Vincent amps are supposed to have tremendous bass response.
    Will do, Im hoping i am pleased. I got them used for 1100 for the pair, 300 hours on them, so just broken in. I couldnt pass them up for that price. Hoping to get 350 or 400 for my Adcom gfa 555 II, which I will be somewhat sad to part with.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Pair those amps with a higher resolution DAC and preamp and you will have a kick'n system. Nice score on those amps!
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  15. #15
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    Yeah im thinking my preamp (Outlaw rr2150), will be a little exposed here and probably the weak link in my system, now. I will probably be looking at upgrading my preamp in the next year or so and maybe look into a DAC down the road. I pretty much listen to vinyl, almost exclusively these days, except at work, when I listen to tunes via my iphone 4s paired with a Nuforce icon ido and Grado SR125s.

  16. #16
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    My Vincent SP-T100s' finally arrived today! I will be posting a review shortly, after I get a chance to know them a bit and listen to some of my favorite LPs. I'm pretty pleased with my decision, thus far. I really took a chance, in that I had not been able to audition the monoblocks before purchasing. This kind of made the entire purchase a little nerve racking, but exciting. The T100s' replaced my Adcom GFA 555 II. The bass extention and spacing between insturments were the first noticeable things that stood out at first listen. I will be shutting down the thread shortly. Thanks to all who provided feedback!

    Audio System
    Vincent SP-T100 Tube Hybrid Monoblocks
    Outlaw Audio RR2150
    Marantz CD 5001
    Pro-Ject Debut III, Acryl it, Speedbox II, Denon DL160
    Magnepan 1.6 QRs
    Velodyne DPS 12
    Blue Jeans Cables and Interconnects

    Home Theater
    Harman Kardon AVR 555
    Panasonic Blu-Ray DMP-BDT110
    Toshiba 51H84
    B&W DM602s
    Acoustech PL-28 Center
    Athena AS-R1s
    Velodyne DPS 12

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewburgh View Post
    ...I think i can demo the peachtree at my local hifi store, Hanson audio. Anyone famaliar with them, in dayton oh.
    I may have driven past it when I was visiting my friend in Dayton in 2001 but I do not remember the name. He also lived a walk's distance away from another nice hifi shop but that place closed down a couple years later.

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