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Not sure what your budget is but electrostatic speakers usually equate to dips in impedance throughout a song. Look for amps that can go down to 2 ohms (or 1 ohm) and remain stable with no meaningful increase in distortion.
I'd suggest the new Bel Canto REF1000 II, Spectron MK2 and I'm sure there are others that can meet the 2 ohm spec.
Perhaps the imedance characteristics are also challenging, but Magnepans are planar speakers, not electrostatics.
For a bargain basement solution, I had success driving Apogee ribbons and Martin Logan electrostatics using an Aragon 4004 MK II.
Curious you are not happy with your Bryston as I believe the Magneplanar factory uses Brystons, although perhaps the higher powered monoblocks.
Many also suggest there is nothing like Magnepans with tubes, but high powered tube amps can obviously be very expensive, both to buy and to run and maintain. Audio Research has several to choose from.
Biamping is also highly recommended, where I understand the factory also uses Bryston crossovers.
Perhaps the ultimate would be huge amounts of solid state power on the bass, and tubes for the mids and treble.
For a less expensive solution with my Tympanis, I have been using a Mark Levinon 23.5 with great success for a few years.
This was also recommended (albeit off the record) by someone I knew at the factory.
I would opt for a Hybrid like a Moscode 600 @300w per channel in 8 ohms. The Moscode tubes/mosfet output 150w/chan 9 ohms and I believe they double in 4. If you find one with the George Kaye mods Kudos for you. Mates well with many preamps. Very quiet and reliable too.
They make Electrostatic and Planars sound wonderful. Excellent bass too.
A very robust subwoofer will help them tremendously. If set up properly they let the amp
push the Maggies and the sub takes over from there. There are crossovers available to help you too. Tom Tutay custom makes tube crossovers for the 20.1's and I think the 3.6's too.
I am using the Wyred 4 Sound MC 250/500 biamping my 3.5Rs. The W4S is a balanced design but can be run SE, though I don't know why. Of course your source would need to be balanced to appreciate the huge benefits of a balanced system. I augment the bass with a SVS powered sub. I use a an inexpensive Behringer CX 2310 XO, but am looking for one with better pots.
Hello again to all.
I hooked my 3.6 Magnepans to a Classe CA-300.
Sounds good but I keep blowing the ribbon tweeter (but not the 2.5 fuse) and the mid fuses. I am not sure why this is occurring - does anyone know how to test the amp - I would rather not haul this beast anywhere but I am not knowing much about electronics. I would biamp in a heartbeat if it would solve me the pain (in the wallet) of the destroying of numerous ribbon tweeters. The last ribbon tweeter lasted about 15 hours over 5 weeks and blew at volume level of -12 on a scale of -30 to + 30. definitely not loud. Thanks.
Magnepans with ARC are a match made in heaven.
I had 3.6rs with many amps. The Plinus SA ref was the closest SS amp to the ARC sound I found on them. But ARC has extra soul and could help with the bass foundation into the mids. Especially if you are finding bass quality between recordings shifting a little too much. i.e heavy bass on one record and thin sucked out bass on the next.
Personally I am not a Bryston fan. I have used them many times on B&W 801d and PMC transmission lines. I know some people love them. Try some ICE power maybe. It will tidy things up. The BC ref 1000s monos will take you there no problem.
The Magnepan is not that hard to drive compared to some. But if you listen to a lot of dance music which normally has the hell squashed out of it plus the fact the Maggie cannot really do large dynamic swings (well you think it can until you find something like a AG horn...) you may be compounding the problem. You can help the situation with some mods in the xover to a point.
If you are thinking about changing speaker and are in love with planars, find a good Apogee. With new ribbons/xover it is a more refined speaker than the maggie. I would steer clear of the Diva with dance music. Power will be an issue then though.
Electrostats have their own problems IMHO. You gain some speed but could end up with bass and loudness limiting issues. The best heavy weight Electrostat I have heard was the big Soundlab.
But I have to agree with Cw London, the music you listen to is mainly recorded badly. Some horns could bring it to life. After all that is probably what you heard the music on first in the club anyway!
From what I know, when an amp goes into clipping is when the drivers and fuses in the Maggies start to blow up.
For a few years, I've been using the Spectron Musician III MK2 mono-blocks with Bybee purifiers. These amps have lots of headroom, so I've never blown a fuse, even though they output 2400 watts of power into 4 ohms. A single amp in stereo model can output pea current of 65 amps.
Something to keep in mind with the new generation of high power amps is that you should choose a set of speaker cables that can transfer all that power without much loss. I'm currently experimenting with my own built, 7 gauge (aprox), good ol' copper cables (two sets, true bi-wire) and it's amazing how good they are.
In the past, a high-power amp used to cost a fortune and the cable designers developed their hi-priced cables for these amps. Nowadays, there are a few audio cable companies that are making speaker cables suitable for high-power amps at reasonable prices.
My main suggestion is to look for a high-power, high-current amp and then revise your speaker cables if you need to.