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!

@elizabeth Thanks for the info of how long these panels take to break in - I was told 200 hours... but I definitely won't be changing up any gear until at least six months from now. Even at six weeks old, I can see how much they've changed. --cheers!
SO PLEASED that you are a Maggie fan.  As I have posted many times on this forum, until I opened my shop in the early 1970's, I thought as a person who played in various bands--marching, rock, jazz, etc.  (NOT a real musician) that I knew everything there was to know about how music should sound.  HAH! 

After setting up 25 different brands of speakers in the showroom, I started listening to them one at a time after closing.  Everyone's fav back then, Advent (thank-you Henry Kloss), was pretty bad when compared to others, but still better than some.  Speaker after speaker tried and evaluated against my live bass, guitar, trumpet, and several woodwinds (not me, a buddy who played them), against every source in the shop (Nakamichi, Sequerra, Thornes, Transcriptor (remember that hot mess??), Linn-Sondek, etc., etc.  We used SME arms, Thornes arms, cartridges from Supex, Satin, Dennon, Decca, Audio Technica, the entire B&O line, the entire McIntosh line, Phase Linear, on and on and on.  As a "high-end" shop we were able to try pretty much everything on the market back then, including Audio Research and Magnepan.

It was only when we paired those items with a quality source that it all came together for me, and these were Tympani I through IV models mostly.  While setting these up in a customer's home was a real challenge for us in some rooms (this was when things like traps, room acoustic products, etc., were just coming out) but when they were right, nothing was even in the same universe, including the Levinson HQD system that we made stands for at some point.

This does not mean nothing else sounded wonderful. MANY speakers were just fine and some very good--Bose direct reflecting a major exception--and many sets of electronics were just fine.  BUT, like first time I put on a REAL suit, the differences were so obvious that there were no disagreements.

Obviously, life has changed a lot in the last 50 years, and MANY quality electronic and speaker products are available now that were never considered back then.  SO, buy what sounds best in YOUR ROOM and enjoy.  I think over time you will love your Maggies more than any other speaker you have owned.  I do suggest changing your amp.  Back then, Mc amps were built like tanks but sounded pretty bad.  I would assume all that has been corrected by now, but when you are ready, try out a bunch of new amps and see if you find one you like better.  You may, or you may not.  As long as YOU are pleased, your dealer will be too!


I’ve been scratching my head and just can’t get over the idea that the manuf. would put taps (4 & 2) on an amp where in reality you wouldn’t need them, in other words if the 8 ohm tap is not only sufficient but actually provides more current/power than the 4 ohm tap then why spend the money to put those in the amp?
And wouldn’t they state that somewhere in their literature? Something like :" hey you got 4 ohm speakers? No problem just use our 8ohm tap, it provides 80% more power than the 4 tap!"
This just doesn’t make sense...

in fact there is a chart in your amp’s manual which specifies different gauge and legnth requirements for speaker wires based on the speakers impedance, which I believe indicates manufacturers intentions plainly-> 4 ohm taps for 4 ohm speakers etc. ...

if you look at the measurements for the 3.6 in Stereophile, and the 20.7 in hifinews these drop respectively to 3.5 and 2.0 ohms at certain points...
my "uneducated guess" is that this is where you’re hitting problems, where the speakers dip low and the 8 ohm taps are not sufficient.

I’m sure you know of the minimum 3-5 feet (some say 7-10) distance from the walls behind them...
and I was gonna tell you that they’d need 300-500 hours to settle down, now Elizabeth’s experience is apparently something like 1000-1500 hours...
good luck
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