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  1. #1
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    Magnepan Recommended Amps - at least my picks

    Lots of interesting threads here..... I've only had a few maggies.... MMG's, then on lend 2.8's for 6+ months and now I live with 1.6QR's... which I've had since thier introduction.

    I've found that you need a strong amplifier capable of handling wider impeadance loads these speakers can present. I've tried too many to mention (freinds wanting to see what their amplifer sounded like ;-) ).

    I would not suggest any 8 OHM only amplifier. My best success has been with the Rotel RB-990BX (single or bi-amped - this is a brute affordable amp), MacIntosh MC-2255, and the old but mellow MC-2500 (500 Watt/Channel RMS) which I currently drive the 1.6QR's with (Mac's tapped at 4 Ohms).

    I have never blown a fuse with any amp, and the MC-2500 has seen the limit light lite on occasion.

    My over the top cobination is having two (because I fell into a deal - and they barely get drivin) JBL-B460 subs, now being driving by a single RB-990BX, via a Heathkit AD-1702 crossover. This is my Maggie combo - it's just not right but my better half lends me the room for all the "music stuff" ;-)

    Keeping the drive low to the subs is most pleasing. They will make various things fall down if driven hard - JPL rate them at 600W/8ohms.... a piece. and yes I bought a picture frame or three.

    I have an AV setup... HK AVR8000 - B&W CDM-CNT, and 2x B&W CDMZ + ASW 1000 with an Optima H79 projector - NO SURROUND ( Yep I need to work on it ) but it looks and sounds great for video.

    While I love the B&W's for video they don't touch the Maggies for stage....

    Enjoy.

  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    What?!? No responses?

    Quote Originally Posted by jammin2night
    Lots of interesting threads here..... I've only had a few maggies.... MMG's, then on lend 2.8's for 6+ months and now I live with 1.6QR's... which I've had since thier introduction.

    I've found that you need a strong amplifier capable of handling wider impeadance loads these speakers can present. I've tried too many to mention (freinds wanting to see what their amplifer sounded like ;-) ).

    ....

    Enjoy.
    Here's what I'd like for my own Magneplanar 1.6QR's: a Pass Labs XA100.5 Pure Class A, 200 wpc @4 ohms.

    Edit: Opps! the picture is actually an XA30.5; the XA100.5 is the same only a llttle taller.
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Magnepan Recommended Amps - at least my picks-passlabsxa100.5.jpg  

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammin2night
    Lots of interesting threads here..... I've only had a few maggies.... MMG's, then on lend 2.8's for 6+ months and now I live with 1.6QR's... which I've had since thier introduction.

    ...

    Enjoy.
    Do you play the maggies full range? or do you high-pass them?

  4. #4
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Here's what I'd like for my own Magneplanar 1.6QR's: a Pass Labs XA100.5 Pure Class A, 200 wpc @4 ohms.

    Edit: Opps! the picture is actually an XA30.5; the XA100.5 is the same only a llttle taller.
    ...
    I had nothing to do so I read the manual. Interesting

  5. #5
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Then again ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Here's what I'd like for my own Magneplanar 1.6QR's: a Pass Labs XA100.5 Pure Class A, 200 wpc @4 ohms.

    ...
    What I'm actually powering my 1.6's with is a pair of these Monarchy SM-70 Pro's. Pretty darn good and small fraction of the cost of an xa100.5
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Magnepan Recommended Amps - at least my picks-monarchysm70pro-700.jpg  

  6. #6
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I'm using an Adcom GFR-700 AVR rated at 268wpc at 4ohms. It does a great job and plays real loud and clean. I am intrigued by the Emotiva 2ch amp coming out soon rated at 500wpc at 4ohms. Maggies love power and will take as much as you can give them.

    I would also like to have the Parasound Halo A21 with 400wpc at 8ohms with 1.5dB headroom.
    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
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    I await your review

    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    I'm using an Adcom GFR-700 AVR rated at 268wpc at 4ohms. It does a great job and plays real loud and clean. I am intrigued by the Emotiva 2ch amp coming out soon rated at 500wpc at 4ohms. Maggies love power and will take as much as you can give them.

    I would also like to have the Parasound Halo A21 with 400wpc at 8ohms with 1.5dB headroom.
    BR, I'm looking forward to your review of the Emotiva with the Maggies.

    Magneplanars benefit from finesse as well power. This was my point mentioning the Pass Labs XA100.5. I shouldn't think my Monarchys are in the Pass Labs league, but they do have the edge over many more powerfull amps.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I would like to know if the Emotiva really excels in detail, clarity, resolution and imaging before I purchase one. The specs look great and the power is spectacular but I find it a little hard to believe that an $800 500wpc power amp can compare to a $2K amp, but the mark up on audio equipment is tremendous, so who knows! The reviews on their multi ch
    amps have been excellent! Emotiva claims that their up and coming 2ch amp the XPA-2 is very dynamic but doesnt have as much finesse as the 7ch amp.

    If I decide not to go with the Emotiva, the Parasound A23 will be my choice. Its reviews have been excellent.

    That Monarchy amp looks great!
    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
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    i use an adcom 555II

    along with a hsu sub and i am quite happy. i run out of neither volume or power. this is with MMGs. soon, i plan to try my dyna st70.

    unlike electrostatic speakers i have heard, i dont find it necessary to be locked into the 'sweet spot'.

    my other speakers are spendor s3/5s, and infinity primus 150s. they are ALL fun to listen to for different reasons.

    for now i am wallowing in the maggie sound and loving it.
    ...regards...tr

  10. #10
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Tommy, jump up to the QR1.6's if you can. They are in a whole differnt league compared to the MMG's. Even the MG12's are a big improvement in sound.
    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

  11. #11
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    my friend has both

    and yes, they ARE better but size constraints are in place. i have a 52" tv and any more width would obviate my access to the back part of my audio rack.

    the 12s are amazingly good and the 1.6s are more of the same.
    ...regards...tr

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifitommy
    and yes, they ARE better but size constraints are in place. i have a 52" tv and any more width would obviate my access to the back part of my audio rack.

    the 12s are amazingly good and the 1.6s are more of the same.
    Wait until you listen to a set of 3 series Magnepans with the true ribbon tweeter. It gets better going up their line.

    Slbenz

  13. #13
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
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    I've been using ICEpower Class D amps on my 3.6Rs for quite a while now, and I love them:

    http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatur.../icepower.html

    I'm actively bi-amping them: 1000 watts on the bass panels, and 500 watts on the mids/ribbons. The bass is outrageously tight and full. Highs are velvety sweet, not the least bit harsh or fatiguing.

    Amps with these modules can be found relatively cheaply. They are small, cool, and extremely efficient. Perfect in every way.
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

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  14. #14
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    ICEpower

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Anderson
    I've been using ICEpower Class D amps on my 3.6Rs for quite a while now, and I love them:

    http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatur.../icepower.html

    I'm actively bi-amping them: 1000 watts on the bass panels, and 500 watts on the mids/ribbons. The bass is outrageously tight and full. Highs are velvety sweet, not the least bit harsh or fatiguing.

    Amps with these modules can be found relatively cheaply. They are small, cool, and extremely efficient. Perfect in every way.
    Hi, Mike, nice to hear from you.

    I guess your profile needs some updating: still says your using an MF amp. What are you using for a crossover for the bi-amping? Still Behringer, or have you stepped up to DEQX, TacT, or Lyngdorf?

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
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    DEQX, I love it.
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

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  16. #16
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    I drive the Maggies full range ;-) and run the sub + amp through the crossover. I chose 70 HZ @ 18db/Octive. (A simple resister substitution in the AD-1702)

    The AD-1702 does have the capability to apply active curve's to the upper end sp eakers... the last time a played with that (with a set of Infinity RS-6's and the 2.8's ) it wasn't that usefull. I found a better blend between sub-woofer and speaker without the additional higher octive crossover. Yes this is all very subjective - YMMV.

    There are many great amplifiers out - I can't overstate how McIntosh and Rotel have overall been over and over excellent matches for challanging loads.

    --jammin

  17. #17
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    magneplanar versus quads

    Im having trouble finding somewhere to listen to the Magneplanar MG12's in England. Im very keen but nervous to buy a pair! I have a small room 5.5m x 2.6m and people talk about them needing larger rooms - is this to do with bass boom , imaging, or something else? Wife allowing - I could put them in my 5m square lounge. I am very keen to get back what I had with my old Quad ESL63's- transparency / ability to pick up very low level detail/ clean bass, etc - I had an underpowered Naim Nait 3 at the time so stupidly sold them - anybody able to advise on comparison of the 2 speakers? I hope my new Cambridge 840A verstion 1 amp is up to the Maggies - any experiences?

  18. #18
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    the MMGs would be better for you

    noticeably smaller and your room size is tiny. bass boom wont be a prob, and a small tubed amp would likely be a great combo.
    ...regards...tr

  19. #19
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    ...but they do have the edge over many more powerfull amps.
    Or the lack thereof.

    I heard a wonderful sounding pair of 20.1s driven by Joule Electra Rite-of-Passage tube monoblocks.

    rw

  20. #20
    nightflier
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    I know I'm late to the party with this post, but I had a bad experience with my MMG's and gave up on them - sent them to a friend in exchange for a pair of Quad M22s. Well he didn't like them either and sent them back so now I have them again (although I have not sent the Quads back yet as I do like those as well).

    Here's my dilemma, and I realize I'm talking about the least expensive speakers in their line. But they sound rather lifeless, the opposite of what everyone is describing and frankly it makes me wary of moving up the Maggie model number roller-coaster. So far I've tried them with a B&K Reference 4420 (350W into 4ohm), PS Audio Classic 250 monoblocks (400W into 4ohm), and now they are connected to a PS Audio GCC-250 (500W into 4ohm). Now none of these amps are short on power or finesse, and I'm increasing the watts each time, but I still don't hear what the Maggie magic is all about.

    Now the rest of the gear isn't top notch, but its OK and since it sounds OK with different speakers, I'm going to guess it's not the gear. Some of the possibilities that are running through my head:

    - Synergy with these amps?
    - I haven't tried any tweaks - suggestions?
    - Speaker cables? Currently using Kimber 4tc, but I can try others.
    - Speaker placement, room issues?
    - Need more powerful amps???
    - Power issues? Currently using Monster HTS-5100.
    - Mine are the older variety with the thick sides. Maybe the newer ones are better?

    Of course, I could also be dealing with the ones that "fell off the back of the truck" although I certainly don't notice anything unusual. Now the sound is not unbearable, but I get a lot more life, clarity, and depth out of several different box speakers, even the Quads, which I consider to be in the same price category and supposedly voiced according to their higher-up Quad electrostatics.

    Speaking of size, the MMGs aren't as small as one would think. I can't imagine what the larger speakers are like. And they aren't exactly light either. For those of us living in small homes (hifitommy, I hear you loud & clear), they are already a good size speaker. Yes, I know that box speakers can also tip the scales, but the thought that these are svelte because they are flat, is a bit misleading.

    In short, I've got these big black panels sitting in my room and I'm wondering why I bothered.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    I know I'm late to the party with this post, but I had a bad experience with my MMG's and gave up on them - sent them to a friend in exchange for a pair of Quad M22s. Well he didn't like them either and sent them back so now I have them again (although I have not sent the Quads back yet as I do like those as well).

    Here's my dilemma, and I realize I'm talking about the least expensive speakers in their

    ...

    In short, I've got these big black panels sitting in my room and I'm wondering why I bothered.
    That's an interesting read Nightflier. Thanks for sharing. I was thinking of getting a pair of those over the Quads for my parents. I hope others will give a little input on their experience with the MMG's, as I know several members own a pair.

  22. #22
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Nightflier, I started with MMG's and moved up to the QR1.6's. All I can tell you is that there is a world of difference between the 2. Even the MG12's are much better. You get better imaging, resolution, detail, bass, larger sound stage and bigger sweet spot with moving up in size. They need to be between 1.5 to 3 feet from the back wall and about 6 to 7' feet apart. They also need a slight toe in.
    They actually sound better if you can tilt them foward a little. I have mine standing straight up. Also, they sound better with 10-12g speaker wire.

    The MMG's need a good sub with tight, "fast bass" to match the speed of the speakers. Placing the MMG's closer to the corners of the room will help with bass. They also need about 50hrs of burn in.

    The Magnepans are not for rock music and sound best with Acoustic, Classical, Vocal, Jazz and Blue's. Most rock is recorded poorly. They really will sound like crap with poor recordings because they dont color the music. They are an unforgiving speaker, especially the MMG's. They also sound better at moderate to louder volumes.

    As far as power goes, you have plenty of it so dont worry about your amp. What CDP do you have? I found that they need a good source to really make them sing.

    In short, the MMG's are what they are, a $550 pair of speakers that sound different than box speakers. (They were meant to draw you in to the Planar sound at a bargain price hoping that you would upgrade to the larger much better sounding models.) You will get more lively sound from a good pair of bookshelfs but with the right music the MMG's are hard to beat at that price.
    Last edited by blackraven; 11-12-2008 at 03:05 PM.
    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

  23. #23
    nightflier
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    Blackraven, my CD player is an Audio Refinement Complete CD. It's been an excellent performer. I have several DACs on hand, but frankly the player does quite well on it own merits. I've been eying that Benchmark DAC and possibly the Cambridge one - I need balanced outs - so there may be an upgrade in my future.

    Regarding the Sub, I have two SVS cylinder subs, but I don't think they would qualify as super fast. That said, the SVS techs say that sub speed is very much over-rated and that there are other factors that are far more important. Of course, these subs are very configurable and frankly, I've liked them so much I have two of them. You just can't get 16Hz bass, the kind that can move the couch, in pairs at that price-point anywhere else.

    But what I'm really struggling with is that the speakers have no life. They sound flat without much of a soundstage. They lack depth and they are rather clinical, for lack of a better term. So it's all right there in one spot and that's it. There is no warmth, no dimension, no flow. They play music just fine, but just about every box speaker I have easily out-classes them. It's almost as if the tweeters, if I can call them that, are anemic. I know it's hard to use words to describe the qualitative aspect of sound, but I'm just not as impressed like the reviewers and the forum-posters are about these.

  24. #24
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
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    Placement in the room is absolutely critical with Magnepans. Try moving them around, a lot. If they sound too clinical, it means they probably around interacting with the room optimally. It's the reflections off the wall that make them come to life.

    But yeah, the MMGs are limited. Don't get me wrong -- I started with MMGs myself, and they compelled me to go up the line -- but I couldn't be satisfied with them now. They just don't have enough bass, and the sweet spot is very, very small.

    Magnepans are awesome speakers, but you have to go for the 1.6's at least. Preferably the 3.6Rs, which I absolutely love.

    And they need to be driven with gobs of power, preferably through an active crossover setup.

    Then you're talkin' serious sound.
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

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  25. #25
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Nighflier, I hear what your saying about the MMG's. That's why I upgraded to the 1.6's.

    As far as speed of the sub is concerned. Magnepans need proper sub matching otherwise they sound like crap. Martin Logan subs and the higher end REL subs are a good match for them. Some of the higher end non ported servo controlled velodynes match well.
    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

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