Yeah, hook 'em up and have a listen. Keep the volume moderate for a while to make sure everything is working properly. Then crank it a bit and see how they sound with some juice going thru them...
I had a pair. It was a love/hate relationship. Vocals and acoustic stuff was good, but they remained docile when something really needed more dynamics. At the time, they seemed to mate best with a behemoth like a Levinson 23. Magnepan came to fame as a combo with Audio Research tubes. Probably the worst combination is with a low current, low power solid state amp, which can make them Walter Mitter-ish.
There's also the issue of the glue holding the wires to the mylar deteriorating and requiring a refurb. Not sure if Magnepan still offers help.
Just to follow up on this - we hooked them up the Maggies yesterday and they work fine. They throw a much bigger soundstage in my room than my Verities, though at six times the frontal area I would expect them to. This is the first time I've ever heard a pair of Maggies and I wasn't sure what to expect. Consistent with their reputation they are very sensitive to small changes in placement, but I didn't find them especially difficult to position for good imaging. They have more bass than I was expecting, though with no physical impact. I've kept my sub in the system and it blends in nicely. The treble seems a little rolled off, and not as detailed as my Verities, but very pleasant nonetheless. The mids are gorgeous, very, very natural sounding piano. On the whole, though they do not have the detail and image focus of my Verities they're lovely sounding speakers. For 31 year old pair of speakers they sound remarkably good. I'm impressed.
As for driving them with tubes, the amp is definitely working harder to drive these speakers and I'm using more of the volume knob, but they seem to be pretty happy together. I haven't tried anything really loud or bombastic, but with the small combo jazz that makes up most of my listening they seem to work very well together.
I owned a pair of mama's from 1986 through 2000 and you have described them perfectly. I found that upgrading the caps in the crossovers and internal wire to have a tremendous effect and greatly improves their positive attributes.
I ran them with Adcoms 5555 and Classe' amps...The Seventy, 101 and 150. I much preferred the Classe ' s over the Adcom. Even the Seventy sounded better than the 555. Since 2000 I've been running the 3a's, which fills in what the 2a's lack. I also use subs and find it is not hard to blend them in.
Adding a super tweeter would go a long way. It would give you more up top and provide some air.
Buy some Moloxyn from Magnepan and you have a totally self maintaining speaker. Have fun.