Anyone compared Sanders Magtech vs. McIntosh MC462/52 or MC611/01 with Magnepan 3.7/20.7?


I know a lot has been written about all of these amps with the 3.7 and 20.7 series Mangepan's, but I was wondering if anyone has done a direct comparison and can describe the differences in what they heard?

Yes, I know, the best way is to demo them myself, and I will be this coming October... but until then, I would be interested in getting other's opinions to prepare myself for certain things to listen for, think about, etc.

Contrary to all of the popular opinions out there on the net that you needs gobs and gobs of watts to make the Magnepan's sound good, that is not my total experience. I have a new pair of 3.7i's (one month old) and am running them off of the 8 ohm tap of a McIntosh 6700 integrated 200 wpc amp. It actually sounds fantastic with plenty of warm bass, and depending on recording, can be chest pounding - from either vinyl or digital. My audiophile jazz recordings with piano, guitar, vocal, drums, and upright bass are the most accurate (compared to a live jazz club) I've heard.

The issue is, I have to turn it up to a volume that would be similar to what you would hear live - which is fine when in the mood, but at times I would like to listen at a lesser volume. There seems to be a certain volume threshold that when crossed over, the speakers open up and do their magic / crossed under, they all of a sudden lose their good charms - dynamics and bass all but disappear. 

So, from what I've read, what I'm experiencing is from lack of proper wattage from the power amp, thus I'm on the upgrade path - I'm sure any of the above amps (in the title) would be an improvement as the least of them is more than doubling my current wattage - but I'm curious if anyone has compared any of these amps paired with the Magnepan's. If so, do they improve dynamics and bass? What did you like about one and not the other and vice versa, etc.? 

Thanks and looking forward to hearing your opinions --cheers!

Jimmy
7d04eaa2 2b5a 468a aea2 3e674548515ejimmy_jet
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I disagree about 'the Maggie mist' being unsolvable. If you work on the AC side.. the clarity can be astounding at low levels.(too).


@elizabeth So could you expand a little on "work on the AC side"? Do you mean just using a power conditioner for your amp? If so, what kind? Any particular brands/models? --thanks
I'd like to know where you read that..
@kalali Many threads out there on the www regarding that, e.g., one of many:
https://www.audioaficionado.org/archive/index.php/t-36171.html

FWIW here's my (limited) experience with one of Roger Sanders' amplifiers - my personal Innersound Electrostatic amplifier. This iteration dates from around 2000 or so, around the same time Harry Pearson wrote his brief but glowing writeup when he gave it his mid-year Editor's Choice award.

I have no experience with the Macintosh equipment you are asking about. Actually, the truth is I do not audition equipment very much. About 30 years ago I upgraded from a Luxman receiver to some Naim equipment. At that time I auditioned a lot of different equipment and chose Naim for the relaxing way it made me feel.

Five years ago I began to move away from Naim, starting with my amps. 
I use this amp with Quad ESL63 speakers. It replaced Naim 135 monoblocks that I had owned (and enjoyed) for many years. In the spirit of full disclosure I must mention that I bought the amp used about 5 years ago, and last year I had to send it in to Coda Technologies for a service. It came back sounding better than ever.

IMHO Roger Sanders is a genius and his amplifiers are astonishingly good and are a superb value. I encourage you to read his white paper on "Tubes vs. Solid State". 

Roger himself states that the Magtech is a better amplifier than the old Electrostatic. If money were no object, I'd have his new amp in my system; I trust his judgement and am confident in the performance of his equipment. Regarding the sound of my amplifier, I will say that I thought it audibly superior to the Naim monoblocks. My term for the differences I perceive is "performance transparency". It simply allows me to hear what is going on in the recording. Compared to the Naim amps all aspects of the frequency range are clearer, more effortless, natural, coherent and beautiful sounding. 
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