Amplification Recommendations For Magnepan .7


I am new at this and I am hoping I can get some good advice.  I listened to the Magnepan and fell in love with them.  I've been gearing up to buy them over the last three weeks.  I started reading about them online and I'm seeing that good, powerful amplification is very important to get them to really perform.  At the stereo store I know they were powered by a top flight amp.  So now I have to get an amp/preamp and DAC, integrated amp with DAC or with a separate DAC. I listen to Tidal a good deal.  

The problem is that my budget is limited to around $1200 so I don't know if that can make the cut to get something that can do the speakers justice.  I'm open to buying used.  I would be grateful for any recommendations.  

amritash
I was a Magnepan dealer for many years and have personally owned almost every model they've made.  I have also tried many, many amps with them.

For your budget, (used) I would recommend:

Odyssey Stratos Plus or Extreme.  You might be able to find a pair of the monos for maybe a little more.

Belles 150A Reference

Emotiva XPA-2 or if you can find a pair, the Emotiva XPA-1L (Class A) mono amps are incredible.

There are a lot of others too.  I'm sure you will get many recommendations.
Bryston 4bst will be in that range . Tried and true synergy with Maggies . Bryston is the ying and maggies the yang . Effortless , Black backround , great decay of notes . Put on short list for sure .
You may consider hegel amps with or without the dac. The h160 would do the job while the 200, 300 or 360 would do it with some more power. lots of great options out there. Keep us posted. 
This is so awesome.  Thanks guys.

I would need a preamp as well and squeeze it into my budget.  You are giving me possibilities.  Can you sneeze that into the recommendations? Thanks again
To get you started listening to music try to incorporate a SM Nano patch passive volume controller $60 new $40 used . I am listening to one right now with Magnepan 1.6 qr , Bryston 14bsst2 . Just did a comparison with a Bryston bp26 and to my ears it sounds better . Assuming you have a digital front end . If not i have no recommendations 
I don't know what that means a digital front end but I can look it up. 
It will only work with a good dose of a signal from say a cd player , standalone dac , dvd player ect... . It has it's limitations as far as what cables can be used without getting adapters . It is 1% the cost of what pre i just did a comparison with . LOL and i prefer it by a big margin . There are other passive volume controls geared to the audiophile as well . Those will have standard rca connections making it easier to incorporate but i have no experience with those . By no means is this a recommendation that will work with all systems . With the Bryston Maggie combo it does though .
Amirtash - What gear did you hear the maggies with?

 A fool proof way to get started is buy a preamp from whatever amp maker you choose to start with . It will give you a good baseline if you decide to venture out into the rotation of gear . They will be a match with each other . That is huge . I have experienced a small percentage of synergy between amps and pre's over the last five years . 


Maplegrovemusic - That SM Nano patch passive volume controller is very cool.  I have no idea how it works but I get what it does.  But would it work with Tidal?  Secondly, I don't understand what you are recommending that I do with a preamp?  I believe that you are saying get a preamp before the power amp?  Then what do I do?  Can you dumb it down?  Pretend I'm using a crayon to write this.

Thanks everyone
Oh yeah, I called and left a message at the stereo store asking what amp they were using.
amritash - How do plan on turning the volume up when you buy an amp ? Do you currently have a stereo ?
Greetings Future Maggie Owner!!!
My first Magnepan was the MG12 ($1100), which was kind of replaced by the .7 model. I upgraded the crossover network parts and the sound was DRAMITICALLY improved over the stock parts! I decided to buy the 1.7 model and I am in the process of doing the same with them. The improvements I made in my MG12's made them every bit as good or better than my 1.7's except the 1.7's (due to larger panel size) will play louder and have more bass slam (but NOT better bass articulation). That's how much improved the better crossover parts helps!
But first, for source and amplification: Over buying is going to be hard to do and under buying in this area is likely going to be more of a concern. Maggies are VERY power hungry. Get a POWER AMP that comes the closest to doubling the wattage with 4 ohm loads. Meaning get one where at 8ohms it is rated at 200 wpc and at 4 ohms it is 350 or 400 wpc. Consider using an affordable receiver (as much power as you can get and one that DRIVES 4 OHM LOADS well) that has PRE-OUT jacks on the back, and then later you can use it as a pre-amp to feed a power amp later, then later still replace the receiver with a really good pre-amp.
I started with a Music Hall Maven receiver, then added a Musical Fidelity A308cr power amp ($1500 used) then later still replaced the Maven with an Audio Research LS26. Heck, a LS2 would be pretty good too, and you can get them here on Agon for a song. The .7 model should do justice with up to $10,000 worth of two channel gear wired up to them. At THAT point you can then start thinking about taking them to the next level with better crossover parts. Have fun with them, I sure am with both pairs of mine.
I hadn't even thought to use my receiver.  Will it work with what I'm trying to accomplish?

Yamaha RX-V675BL 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver
Channels
7.2
DAC Type
192 kHz / 24-bit Burr Brown DACs (for all channels)
Rated Power Output
Front L/R: 105 W + 105 W (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9 % THD, 2 ch driven)
Front L/R: 90 W + 90 W (8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.09 % THD, 2 ch driven)
Center: 105 W (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9 % THD, 2 ch driven)
Surround L/R: 105 W + 105 W (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9 % THD, 2 ch driven)
Surround Back L/R: 105 W + 105 W (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9 % THD, 2 ch driven)
Dynamic Power
Front L/R (8 ohms): 130 W
Front L/R (6 ohms): 170 W
Front L/R (4 ohms): 200 W
Front L/R (2 ohms): 240 W
Audio Delay
0 - 500 ms (for adjusting Lip-Sync)



Oh, and thanks for the tremendous greetings
If your receiver has preouts (they will be labeled that way on the back of the receiver) you can use it . That would be a great way to start . Maggies are a speaker that is so inexpensive that you should actually spend more on an amp than the speakers .They sound ok with subpar amps driving them , but to fully appreciate them get a powerful amp .
No luck.  The RX 675 doesnt have the pre outs whereas the 775 does.
Does that shut down the possibility that I can use my receiver?
You can't use the RX675 as a preamp, but you could sure try it as a receiver.  The amp in it, isn't that beefy, but it won't harm anything to try it with the .7s.

You won't get the full sound quality benefit with the .7s using the RX675, but it's a place to start.  Might as well try it since you already own it.
I don't know what your budget is, but I've owned a pair of Magnepan 1.7s for over two years. Although I use a different rig at home, the unit I auditioned with (and showed off the Maggies' strengths very well) is the NAD 375BEE. It had plenty of power, but most importantly, it was smooth, musical, dynamic, and had an unexpected and involving level of detail. If you can't swing the price, you could go with the 356BEE, but of course, the more power the better. 

Without getting into serious money, the NAD BEE series is an excellent match with the Maggie .7 and 1.7s speakers.
another great option is class d audio. They custom make high quality very powerful class d integrateds at a very low price. You coukd then spend the remainder on a dac. 
The Parasound Halo A21 is superb driving Maggie's... As is the "Class D Audio" brand amps (SDS-470C).
Get 2 Crown xls 1500, use them as monoblocks, upgrade fuse and use good power cords, use balanced xlr source - the very best you can afford !!! 
... the crown has a volume trim, you can finetune with digital volume control on your source and avoid the preamp. Usb audio is not good unless you spend $$$. Look into a logitech transporter or cambridge sm-6 network player. If you have a mac look into a thunderbolt device like universal audio apollo solo and upgrade its external power supply.
I am a big Maggie fan too.  I have a pair of Maggie 20.1s.  I just significantly improved the sound of my system BY DISCONNECTING MY PREAMP!!  If you just listen to digital sources (DAC, CD player, Tidal, etc) then you don't need the additional amplification of a preamp.  A preamp could even hurt the sound your DAC is producing.  Save money by not getting a preamp, and get a passive preamp, or a DAC with volume controls.  A passive preamp is like a nice quality signal level attenuator.  It takes the signal from your DAC and attenuates it for your power amps.  Even better, a DAC with volume control will allow you to go directly from your DAC to your power amp(s).  I significantly improved the sound of my system by going directly from a Berkeley Alpha DAC (with volume control) into my Manley Neo Classic 250 amps.  It sounds amazing and saved me thousands on a preamp.  Take your time and do your research.  That's half the fun, for me anyways.
rvyne - +1   Yesterday i picked up an Apogee Duet 2 Audio interface . It is used by people who want to do mobile recording . Short summary it can be used for digital playback as a feature . Has a volume knob, USB 2 input , 24 bit DAC . And 1/4'' output . Price used $325 . It was very easy to install . All i needed to do was plug in the usb cable in my macmini and in my music program Audirvana select the audio device (which showed up without installing any drivers) .Sound is stellar . Anyone using these Audio interfaces ?
This is great everyone.  Thank you.

I am almost entirely wedded to the Bryston 4B-ST.  
Buying the Magnepan .7s and the Bryston amp won't leave me much left to handle the preamp or other device that fulfills that function. And a DAC.  And airplay.

Can you guys give me some advice on that combo:

1.  There is a Bryston regular version and a pro version.  I read that the difference is the appearance and the gain control on the pro version.  Is one model preferable to meet my needs?

2.  It sounds like I can get the preamp/dac/airport function down to a minimum cost.  I can spend down the pipe. I know that there are nice devices that fulfill these needed functions in some combo and left alone I would pick the wrong one(s).  


Thus, given the Bryston Amp being decided upon can I ask what you think would be the good budget choice options to complete my setup?

Drinks on me.

Adam





Kudos , you are starting where many end with the Bryston . You can always try different amps in the future . The pro model is a little more flexible with the gain setting . Studios use more than one pair of speakers when playing back music , hence the adjustable gain is nice since they are likely to use two or more different speakers with the amp . Either one will work . Did you ever tell us your source ?
@Maplegrovemusic 

Funny that you should mention the synergy between Bryston and Magnepan. I say that because – and I'm dating myself – one of my favorite systems that I ever developed featured an original Bryston 4B and first generation Magnepan Tympani speakers. Great combo!
Can I use a headphone amp/dac/preamp to function as the volume control and DAC with the Bryston?  I have one.

http://en.auneaudio.com/index.php?s=Home/Article/detail/id/97.html

http://en.auneaudio.com/index.php?s=Home/Article/detail/id/97.html

If not, if you folks can recommend a DAC/preamp under $500 that would be great.

Adam
Yes, that would work.
I landed the Bryston 4b-st on Audiogon.  It's the home version and it's in NM condition.  I paid $950.  It popped up last night and I snagged it after it had only been posted for only ten minutes.

Mofimadness - you said that the Aune X1S can serve as the preamp to the 4B-ST.  Can I connect the SVS 2000 that I have to the Aune?  

If I can't connect the preamp to it then do I get a bonafide preamp?  

If that's the case should I look into a Bryston 0.5? Or another preamp that can do the job and used around $300 give or take?

You guys are great.

Adam 


Yes you can.  The SVS2000 only has line level inputs (no speaker level), but it also has an output.

You would run a pair of interconnects from the output of the Aune to the input of the sub.  Then run a pair of interconnects from the output of the SVS2000 to the Bryston.

The SVS2000 has a fixed 80hz/12db per octave high pass filter.  That should work pretty well.

You could also run a set of RCA "Y" adapters out of the Aune, one to the Bryston and one to the SVS2000.  This will work, but might cause some impedance problems.
The Yamaha X675 receiver I used had Airplay built in to it. It also had bluetooth. I used to use Spotify that could play through either bluetooth or Airplay. I switched to Tidal and I think it only works on Airplay.

I am going to use the Aune X1S headphone amp that I already owned as the preamp and DAC. Here's a link to the amp front and back.

I would like to know what I ought to get that will allow me to deliver Tidal from an iPhone to the Aune. I assume it's an airport express. Is the Aune going to be able to be my preamp with the sub and the Airplay? I would like to know if that's exactly right and if there are alternatives to the airport that could give me a better quality sound. The Tidal is supposedly lossless and CD quality. Would some of that be lost with the airport and is there better? I've spent almost all my budget on the amp and speakers. I would like to find an AE alternative that sounds great but isn't more expensive than $250-300.

Are the outputs of the aune fixed or variable? 
Okay, so I don't think that it's really that safe to use the Aune X1S amp/dac as the preamp.  If I have to use the source (computer or phone) to control the volume I'm concerned about blowing out the speakers if not careful.  I let my 13 yo daughter play her music and she's responsible but it's too risky.

That being the case can you recommend a DAC with volume control thats not too expensive?  I would want to be able to get a wireless receiver that I can use with Tidal.  Tidal is compatible with Sonos, Bluesound, or Squeezebox.  While I'm at it, is Bluesound and Squeezebox better than Sonos and which is preferred?

I now own two amplifications:
ARC LS25/II + 100.2
and
Accuphase E-360
I will have to make a choice between them in the future (it's more a choice between separates and integrated, actually).
I already drove MG12's with the 100.2 and I liked it.
so my question is:
what about the 0.7 with the ARC 100.2 ?
and what abvout 0.7 with Accuphase E-360 ?

I've never heard 0.7's, except for a very very very short listen in a shop; in that circumstance, power amp was an Accu A30, and I liked it, but listening time was really far too short to be meaningful.
So would it go like this? Tidal on iPhone to bluesound to Aune x1s to passive preamp to Bryston amp?