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  1. #1
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    Integrated amp for magneplanar 1.6s

    Any recommendations for a used integrated amp for magneplanar 1.6s for $500 or so? The NAD C372 comes highly recommended, but I haven't seen many for sale. Other options?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG
    Any recommendations for a used integrated amp for magneplanar 1.6s for $500 or so? The NAD C372 comes highly recommended, but I haven't seen many for sale. Other options?

    Thanks
    The Magneplanar MG 1.6's are great speakers, IMO, but I'm biased.

    I would look for 100+ wpc with these speakers, though a lessor rating might work if you listen only at moderate volumes. $500 is a challenge but there are a few options. Check out Audiogon for used equipment. Here, for example, are links to some amps currently available on that site that might serve, (you might have to bargain):

  3. #3
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Get a used Adcom GFA-545II and a GFP-555 from Audiogon. Total cost less than $500.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
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  4. #4
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Like Feanor said, if you like to listen to music at moderately loud levels then go with an amp with 100+ wpc and make sure it is rated at 4 ohms. Used adcom separates as mentioned previously are the way to go as are used NAD.

    You may want to take a look at used Cambridge Audio 740A and 840A integrated amps as well.
    Last edited by blackraven; 04-15-2011 at 09:16 AM.
    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
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    I'd add the Marantz PM8001 or Rotel 1080 (used) to the audition list.
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  6. #6
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    You can also take a look at the NAD C370 which have plenty of power, easy to use, remote, well built etc.
    They are around $270 on ebay.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    You may also want to consider this emotiva amp and then look for a used preamp. There are several Adcom, B&K, NAD preamps for sale on audiogon.com

    http://emotiva.com/upa2.shtm
    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

  8. #8
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Second the emotiva. Maggies love lots of available power, even at moderate levels.

  9. #9
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    Followy amp for maggies

    Thanks for everybody's suggestions.

    I should have added more info about my setup. I'm currently pushing the 1.6s with a BK ST-140 amp, which supplies about 105 wpc into 8 ohms (no stats on 4 ohms). For quieter music folk, jazz, solo piano), it's fantastic, but it seems underpowered for certain "busier" music, for lack of a better word. I lose that wonderful maggie clarity and spaciousness. So, how much of a jump in power do I need to hear a noticeable difference. Something like the NAD C372?

    Thanks again, Gary

  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG
    Thanks for everybody's suggestions.

    I should have added more info about my setup. I'm currently pushing the 1.6s with a BK ST-140 amp, which supplies about 105 wpc into 8 ohms (no stats on 4 ohms). For quieter music folk, jazz, solo piano), it's fantastic, but it seems underpowered for certain "busier" music, for lack of a better word. I lose that wonderful maggie clarity and spaciousness. So, how much of a jump in power do I need to hear a noticeable difference. Something like the NAD C372?

    Thanks again, Gary
    Your BK has 105 wpc in to 8 ohms and possibly more into 4; the NAD C372 is spec'd to give 150 wpc into 8 or 4 -- this isn't a big difference and isn't likely to give a day<=>night difference based on power only.

    I'm assuming the BK ST-140 is an integrated, (can't find it on the BK website)? Does it have Preamp Outs? If so, use it for a preamp and get a ClassDAudio SDS-258 power amp which does 300+ wpc into 4 ohms and sounds great -- much, much better than NAD. (You will need to put it in a case, though.)

  11. #11
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    the st140 is a standalone amp... I have a BK preamp that has many issues, so basically i have to update the whole setup. I figured an integrated amp would be more cost effective. In any case, you're basically saying I should double my wpc? Thx

  12. #12
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I went from and adcom 225 wpc amp to a Parasound 400wpc amp with my 1.6's and the difference at loud to moderately loud volumes was dramatic to say the least. The Maggies just became way more dynamic and smooth with more depth to the music. There are plenty of decent used preamps on audiogon in the $150-250 range to pair with an emotiva amp or used amp like an adcom 555 or B & K reference 125.2
    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

  13. #13
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG
    the st140 is a standalone amp... I have a BK preamp that has many issues, so basically i have to update the whole setup. I figured an integrated amp would be more cost effective. In any case, you're basically saying I should double my wpc? Thx
    Yes, you'll need to at least double your power to get dynamic improvement. Bear in mind that doubling your power is actually only a 3 dB increase in volume.

    Despite recommending the ClassDAudio amp, I also tend to agree with those who recommend Adcom separates. As Blackraven and maybe others have mentioned, the Adcom GFA 555 or better yet the 555II are great amps for the money.

  14. #14
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    Don't maggies love push pull tube amps?


    http://cgi.ebay.com/YAQIN-MC10L-EL34...item4aaa46c151

  15. #15
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    Don't maggies love push pull tube amps?


    http://cgi.ebay.com/YAQIN-MC10L-EL34...item4aaa46c151
    That Yaqin is a very pretty amp and with 52 wpc would probably do for most of my own 1.6 listening -- but for somebody like the Tube Fan likes to listen at 100 dB ... the Yaqin might work in a bi-amp system powering the QR tweeters.

  16. #16
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    I would argue that you don't need a ton more power so much as just a better amp. John Atkinson wrote that the 105wpc version of the BK ST-140 incorporated changes (from the original 70wpc version) that removed some of the qualities they liked so much in their original sample. He also said that the changes made it not well suited to speakers that drop below 8ohms impedance. (which the maggies obviously do) It's also worth noting that despite the lack of manufacturer ratings, Stereophile listed them at no higher into a 4 ohm load, which may be partly why they suggest you should use it with easier loads only.

    Either way, Magnepan recommends 100wpc and I'd probably try to stay at or above that number, but you don't need 250+ or anything like that. (not that a ton more power is necessarily bad if you happen to find a good deal on it) You could probably be happy with even a little less than 100wpc if you went to tubes.

    There are any number of good options, including most suggested here. (UPA2 with preamp, NAD C372, etc.) I have an open box demo Onix XIA-160 dual mono integrated that does 160wpc into 8ohms and 220wpc into 4 and would probably be a nice match to the maggies, but even at nearly half off it would be several times over your stated budget.
    Last edited by woofersus; 04-19-2011 at 07:18 AM.
    Tim Evans
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    Onix, Melody, & ACA

  17. #17
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Woofersus, I agree with what you have to say applies to low to moderate volume levels (where most people listen) with Maggies and the type of music played. But at louder levels the Maggies really benefit from higher power, especially with very dynamic music. Extreme transients really benefit from the power. The sound is smoother with more depth. For most music that I listen too at low to moderate volumes, I can't really tell the difference between my 2 amps (except for things like overall tone and resolution). But when I crank it up and play certain classical, jazz and blue's music the difference is night and day. Even when I auditioned the 1.6's at audio perfection here in Minneapolis they benefited from higher power.
    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

  18. #18
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    Well I guess there's always the question of volume. Admittedly I rarely breach 100db and it's not all that big a room. (not that I own maggies - I just mean in general)
    Tim Evans
    East Street Audio
    Onix, Melody, & ACA

  19. #19
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    I don't understand the fascination with inefficient speakers/high powered amps. The best high power amp by nature of it's complicated circuit design will produce more grain and worse imaging sound stage than the best low powered amp. Low powered amps paired with high efficiency speakers also offer superior dynamics.

    It's all about that first watt.

  20. #20
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    I tend to agree with that viewpoint, but I don't swing all the way in the other direction either. I think there are also usually compromises involved with super high efficiency speakers that I'm not willing to accept, so I don't usually dig 2w amps with 110db efficient speakers There are lots of good designs on the market that have easy loads and can be driven plenty loud by amps anywhere from 20w-150w.

    I do think the 1.6's are good speakers though in general, and 86db while not exactly high efficiency, isn't terrible given the relatively flat impedance curve at 4 ohms. I suppose not every speaker is for every set of listening preferences though.
    Tim Evans
    East Street Audio
    Onix, Melody, & ACA

  21. #21
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    I don't understand the fascination with inefficient speakers/high powered amps. The best high power amp by nature of it's complicated circuit design will produce more grain and worse imaging sound stage than the best low powered amp. Low powered amps paired with high efficiency speakers also offer superior dynamics.

    It's all about that first watt.
    That, sir, is merely a prejudice. Granted, those low power SET's, OTL's, etc., have a unique sound, but that sound is not synonymous with accuracy.

    And acknowledging that powerful amps can sound fine, there is no reason to accept the compromises of high efficiency speakers.

  22. #22
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    I don't understand the fascination with inefficient speakers/high powered amps. The best high power amp by nature of it's complicated circuit design will produce more grain and worse imaging sound stage than the best low powered amp. Low powered amps paired with high efficiency speakers also offer superior dynamics.

    It's all about that first watt.
    The other point of view is: who cares whether a speaker is able to produce 100db with 1 Watt, if it sounds like crap?

    So unless you find a High efficiency speaker that you like, then whether a SET amp sounds better than a megawatt SS is irrelevant...

    Many persons don't like the sound of high efficiency speakers/set amps... Just like high powered amps/low efficiency speakers, they have their own set of compromises...

    So the "fascination" is because persons have different tastes than you.
    Last edited by Ajani; 04-19-2011 at 07:11 PM.

  23. #23
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    Here's an interesting read on the subject of high power amps/low efficiency speakers vs low power amps/high efficiency speakers.

    http://www.decware.com/paper43.htm

  24. #24
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    Here's an interesting read on the subject of high power amps/low efficiency speakers vs low power amps/high efficiency speakers.

    http://www.decware.com/paper43.htm
    Thanks, Poultry. This article is a very good summary of the conventional arguments in favor of SET's and high-efficiency and single-driver speakers. Anybody unfamiliar with these arguments should read the article. But these conventional arguments include a various truths and a good many half-truths.

    One of the truths is, "Not all solid- state amps sound bad."

    On the half-truth side is, "A Single Ended Triode is the simplest circuit design there is, using the least number of parts." Yes it is a simple circuit but the tube itself is a relatively complex device that requires precise manufacture. This manufacturing precision is rare today and a lot harder to achieve than with, say, an opamp -- not to mention capacitors and resistors.

    Then there are assertions of belief such as, "A good SET amp combined with a single full range driver with no crossover or a simple 2-way using minimal crossover parts on the tweeter only, has a purity and depth that you simply donít find in more conventional systems. It is a benchmark for coherency, and noted for its ability to create hauntingly real holographic sound stage." The fact is that the a full range dynamic drive cannot deliver the flat reponse, dynamics, or freedom distortion that a limited-range driver can. Ribbons and other planars are definitely capable greater "stunning clarity and detail" than typical dynamic drivers and, certainly, full-range dynamics, yet they usually require high power or are limited range, or both.

    The suggestion is made, "The problem here is resolution. If you canít hit a listening level with the 1st watt, youíre not likely to hear whatís happening in that 1st watt." This is implies that the first watt is necessarily the best and that 100 watts must poor, this just isn't true. It's cetainl not true in case of class B solid state, though of course nobody makes pure class B amps for hifi. But more importantly decent solid state can deliver hundreds of watts with less distortion -- not excluding 3rd and 4th order harmonics -- than those 3 or 8 watt SETs.

    More half-truth regarding feedback: "Negative feedback is used to lower distortion specs and in the case of solid state devices it is often the only thing keeping the transistors from exploding all over the inside of your amplifier. Feedback a problem? If you donít mind the time smear it creates and the resulting 2 dimensional sound stage, then no I guess itís probably not." Feedback is necessary in the case of solid-state though controversial. Feedback tends to create high-order distortion harmonic distortuion which might sound worse than lower order, but when feedback is used right, (i.e. limited and locally), the higher order distortion is vanishingly low -- not to mention that the harmonics mostly beyond the audible range.

    On the other had SETs and tube in general generate substantial 2nd order and 3rd order distortion. According to most investigators, 2nd distortion sounds pleasant. Personally I strongly suspect that this extra distortion is the principal reason people like sound of tube equipment. It is most likely the reason for the "holographic soundstage", "depth", "presence", "organic wholeness" often attributed to tubes.

    IMHO, (one man's opinion), this tube "holographic soundstage" is an artifact of tubes' distortion. The remark, "Feedback a problem? If you donít mind the time smear it creates and the resulting 2 dimensional sound stage, then no I guess itís probably not", is actually the reverse of the truth which is that tubes are artificially creating an effect that isn't on the recording. See my recent thread, here. If you like the effect, fine: who can argue with personal preference? On the other hand if you believe that you're interested in HIGH FIDELITY, maybe you're kidding yourself.
    Last edited by Feanor; 04-20-2011 at 06:00 AM.

  25. #25
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Thanks, Poultry. This article is a very good summary of the conventional arguments in favor of SET's and high-efficiency and single-driver speakers. Anybody unfamiliar with these arguments should read the article. But these conventional arguments include a various truths and a good many half-truths.

    One of the truths is, "Not all solid- state amps sound bad."

    On the half-truth side is, "A Single Ended Triode is the simplest circuit design there is, using the least number of parts." Yes it is a simple circuit but the tube itself is a relatively complex device that requires precise manufacture. This manufacturing precision is rare today and a lot harder to achieve than with, say, an opamp -- not to mention capacitors and resistors.

    Then there are assertions of belief such as, "A good SET amp combined with a single full range driver with no crossover or a simple 2-way using minimal crossover parts on the tweeter only, has a purity and depth that you simply donít find in more conventional systems. It is a benchmark for coherency, and noted for its ability to create hauntingly real holographic sound stage." The fact is that the a full range dynamic drive cannot deliver the flat reponse, dynamics, or freedom distortion that a limited-range driver can. Ribbons and other planars are definitely capable greater "stunning clarity and detail" than typical dynamic drivers and, certainly, full-range dynamics, yet they usually require high power or are limited range, or both.

    The suggestion is made, "The problem here is resolution. If you canít hit a listening level with the 1st watt, youíre not likely to hear whatís happening in that 1st watt." This is implies that the first watt is necessarily the best and that 100 watts must poor, this just isn't true. It's cetainl not true in case of class B solid state, though of course nobody makes pure class B amps for hifi. But more importantly decent solid state can deliver hundreds of watts with less distortion -- not excluding 3rd and 4th order harmonics -- than those 3 or 8 watt SETs.

    More half-truth regarding feedback: "Negative feedback is used to lower distortion specs and in the case of solid state devices it is often the only thing keeping the transistors from exploding all over the inside of your amplifier. Feedback a problem? If you donít mind the time smear it creates and the resulting 2 dimensional sound stage, then no I guess itís probably not." Feedback is necessary in the case of solid-state though controversial. Feedback tends to create high-order distortion harmonic distortuion which might sound worse than lower order, but when feedback is used right, (i.e. limited and locally), the higher order distortion is vanishingly low -- not to mention that the harmonics mostly beyond the audible range.

    On the other had SETs and tube in general generate substantial 2nd order and 3rd order distortion. According to most investigators, 2nd distortion sounds pleasant. Personally I strongly suspect that this extra distortion is the principal reason people like sound of tube equipment. It is most likely the reason for the "holographic soundstage", "depth", "presence", "organic wholeness" often attributed to tubes.

    IMHO, (one man's opinion), this tube "holographic soundstage" is an artifact of tubes' distortion. The remark, "Feedback a problem? If you donít mind the time smear it creates and the resulting 2 dimensional sound stage, then no I guess itís probably not", is actually the reverse of the truth which is that tubes are artificially creating an effect that isn't on the recording. See my recent thread, here. If you like the effect, fine: who can argue with personal preference? On the other hand if you believe that you're interested in HIGH FIDELITY, maybe you're kidding yourself.
    All good points, but one correction... Naim makes pure Class B amps for HiFi... So at least one company does...

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