Anyone here with Magico A3 driven by Bel Canto Ref600's?

Contemplating the A3's and would like to know if the REF600M will drive them properly. Currently using Martin Logan Montis and these aren't a great indication of what these amps can and will do.
The amplfiers will drive them but they would not be a good match. 

The A3 will show all the deficiencies of the Bel Canto's class D technlology.  The Bel Canto's are powerful with good bass and great dynamics, they are howerver very dry and a bit mechanical sounding.

We did have a set in the shop for evaluation and that was our experience with them.

The Martin Logan's are a bit more shelved in the top end and do not have the resoloution of the Magicos. 

However, you are also not mentioning the rest of your system and if your have a tube preamplifier or a tube based dac it is possible that the combo will work with the Bel Cantos.

If you perfer the Magico's then you should get them try them with your current setup but you must realize that when ever you change loudspeakers  you are going to need to revoice the system.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

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Yes EBM we have over 30 years of professional experience, what's yours?

Your quip seems to bemoan the fact that the OP is wrestling with this issue, it is not cut and dry for so many people, hence what seems obvious to you is not to the OP hence the question asked?

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Audio Troy does not like anything they do not sell.  The REF600M are great amps and will pair well with Magicos.  
Thanks for your insight Audio Troy but I've also been in the industry for awhile (45 years). My question really comes from the fact that the 600M's are currently driving the electrostatic panel only (340Hz -up) and are certainly not taxed in any way under these conditions. 

I'm running a PSA BHK preamp with the PSA Directstream Memory Player and PSA DAC. The combination is heaven with the Bel Canto's.
If anything, the Magico's will improve upon the strengths of this combo rather the opposite. 

Coming from PBN Audio Denali monoblocks, which had tons of power/reserve, I was curious to know whether the Bel Canto's had the "guts" to drive a non-ported 88db speaker.

FYI - I never thought I would own a Class D amplifier, however, these are pretty incredible sonically.

aka Docaudio1
Tgun, as we speculated you are running tubes and a softer sounding digital front end which adds a sense of body to the amps.

Personally we do not like Ncore or Hypex, the only Class D we have found to be decent is the Nuforce Ref 9Se V3, the Nuprime STA 9 for a cheap amp, and the Nuprime ST 10 for use with certain warmer sounding speakers. 

We have tested $12k Ncore based amplifiers and they were clean, fast but lacking in the magic of a Class A/B amplifier.

The Bel Cantos are decent amplifiers but we think you would be much happier with the BHK amplifier.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Most 600M reviews, and I would disagree with you. While they are not class A/B they have a magic of their own. What shortcomings that have, which are few, can be tamed or enhanced, whichever it may be, with the correct interconnect, power cord, etc. etc. I find that they sound better using balanced in, but then, isn't this the case with all SOTA products? I'm not talking about balanced vs unbalanced. I'm saying it takes time, effort, and experimentation to tweak out the very best of components in this class.  

I owned a high-end store for 15 years so I am well aware of and have owned some of the top amps in history. I could give you a laundry list as well but I won't.

To disparage an amp that has this few shortcomings is ridiculous. I believe your viewpoint comes from the fact that you just don't like Class D amplification. I get it. I was there once. 

One more positive......I now don't have to turn my air conditioner on high prior to listening because my room is 100 degrees due to my amplifiers. LOL
No Tgun, we don't like Bel Canto's Class D, don't like Hypex nor Ncore, 

We have heard some Class D amplifiers that were decent, the fact that you owned a high end store 15 years ago doesn't mean anything, almost all of the modern amplifiers around today will run rings around amplifiers from that time period. How do we know that, used to work in Sound By Singer and Innovative Audio two of the largest High end Audio stores in that time period and  opened up our own store right after.

In our tests the Bel Cantos were wonderfully powerful, had great bass and dynamics, they failed to be involving, and did not have the magic in the midrange that really good Class A and A/B amplifier produce. 

If you notice from our first post with you we did say that matching with a tube preamp and a warmer dac might help compensate guess what you have those. 

In our tests switching out amp for amp the Bel Canto was good but not magical. 

Today we sell many amplifiers that do not run as hot as space heaters that are truly magical. 

The Bel Canto's are great if you need the power, for the same money a 600 Watt Anthem STR power amplifier would probably run rings around it.  The Anthem is a Class A/B is reasonable in size and weight and it doesn't run hot. 

Just one example. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Thanks EBM.

Did you notice from our first post we said that those amps with a tube preamp and a warmish digital front end that such a combo could sound good.

The later post from the OP showed exactly that combo was what he was using.

Kind of verifys that we really do know what sounds good doesnt it?

We have tested a lot of class D amps and they can sound good yet to hear one yet we would use in any of our reference setups and we have a few currently on display.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Same crap, different post. I ask a simple question that only required a simple answer and the wanna be expert chimes in with opinions. I don't care what your opinion is on ANY equipment as I'm confident in my own. Audio Troy, you own neither Bel canto not Magico A3's so you bring nothing to the table.

Stay out of the conversation

Sorry Tgun 

If you owed a store for any length of time you would know the answer.

If you want the A3 you would bring in a pair and try them out with your system.

Unless anyone here has exactly the same setup and your tastes the answer is of very little value.

Will the ref 600 drive them of course it will most class D amplifiers can push power easily no matter the load.
To answer your direct question, yes the REF600 will drive the Magico A3, but I agree with Audio Troy's assessment regarding the dry sounding nature of the REF600 which may become more evident with the hyper detailed Magico. 
Audio Troy - again, listen please. Simple question.....does anyone one here have both and can give me an assessment. READ the original post header!

You are too busy trying to share your vast audio knowledge which is not helpful to me. 

And....I must have touched a nerve as twice you mention I should know better as a previous industry member. 

I can tell you this. In my vast experience as a business owner, I would never engage a potential customer on this level. 

Nothing will transpire from this useless arguing  so I'm done with this post
Whoa! Can we return to civility here? Opinions are just that -- opinions -- no need for personal insults.
On to the question. I have Magico A3's, which I drive with a Krell FPB 300 cx, a Class A amp. Have not heard the Bel Canto Ref 600's, but years ago had a Bel Canto Class D power amp but did not find the sound natural at all; it was cold and "steely." I cannot comment on current (no pun intended) Class D amps, other than to say I have never heard one that sounded natural or musical. I love the A3's and the Krell works perfectly with them -- more than enough juice and a slight touch of warmth. I suspect similar amps like Pass also would work well.
To also chime in on your original question, I would classify the Magico A3 speakers as a moderately difficult load to drive. The specs on the Ref600M (600W into 4 ohms, 27A peak, 2 ohm minimum) indicate it should be capable of driving the A3 just fine. I have not heard the pair myself though.

We currently have the Magico A3's paired with a Bryston 4B3.
+1 nglazer

Wouldn't surprise me if no one has used that combination before.

I recall hearing two pairs of Magico S3s at an audio show in two practically identical hotel rooms a scenario I've experienced a few times before with other highly regarded speakers. What was so incredible about the Magico's opposed to the other speakers in the same scenario, was how different they sound using similar quality electronics. The amplifiers were both double downing high current amplifiers. 

Personally, I'd pay for retail just to be able to put the retailer through the hoops of satisfying me. I'm guessing nglazer is on to the general direction.

Have fun with it.
The REF600M was Absolute Sound’s 2017 product of the year. It is NCore based, not ICE based. It has a magical midrange and smooth top end.  Did any of the amps audiotroy recommend earn any similar recognition?
Mark Larsen sorry to disagree but look at a few other reviews on this amp.

Another reviewer prefered an Anthem M1 which is an okay sounding amp at best

Nor did we recommend any amp in our previous posts we did say the Anthem STR was similarily priced and is 400 watts and that amp might sound better.

From the Absolute Sound review

 Its mid- and low-bass response was not as vibrant and impactful as several of my reference power amplifiers. While not soft or overly fluffy in a tubey way, the REF600M did not produce the same amount of dynamic punch or bass slam as either the April Music Eximus S1 (used in bridged mode as dual mono amplifiers) or my freshly refurbished Pass Labs X150.3. 

Gee a Coda .8  a 250 watt 12 watts Class A a krell 175xd  or an Anthem Str  400 watt  Class A/B  want  to see which amplifier would really make those A3 sound great all of these amplifiers are not that much more expensive. 

The new Krell and Coda amps are stunning.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Yes, audiotry’s opinion trumps all of the Absolute Sound editors and writers.
Mark larsen we know many of these reviewers do you honestly think because someone writes for a magazine they know more or can magically hear better?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Ncore and Hypex based amps. They will mate with a wide variety of loudspeakers.
To answer your question audiotroy, all of them apparently hear better. It is not necessarily hearing, but in your case, bias founded in financial self-interest. For $5K, and I have owned them, the REF600M are terrific, award-winning amps at a great price. So we all disagree with your opinion. 

Guess Testpilot also feels the same

To answer your direct question, yes the REF600 will drive the Magico A3, but I agree with Audio Troy's assessment regarding the dry sounding nature of the REF600 which may become more evident with the hyper detailed Magico.

I will admit that I was angry a few posts back and apologize for that.

Thanks to those who have posted relevant and interesting posts since. I agree that it's unlikely someone here will have the combination - I just gave it a shot. We all know how difficult it is to hear product these days with stores being so far apart (or non-existent). 

My disappointment lies in how some here use their agenda to answer posts. The very first response I received was to tell me my amps weren't sonically adequate among other issues. NOT the information I asked for. Then, I have to read sentence upon sentence about the vast knowledge he has. Blah blah blah blah.......

I can guarantee everyone here that the Bel Canto Ref600m is ANYTHING BUT dry and mechanical sounding. 

Tgun you are using a tube preamp and a dsd based dac your results are going to be different than others using these amps with different gear also Martin Logans are shelved in the extreme top end.

We are delighed you love your gear many people have different experiences.

From the same  review 

REF600M did not produce the same amount of dynamic punch or bass slam as my freshly refurbished Pass Labs X150.3.

Gee if the Pass x150 sounds as good in the same areas, but beats the Ref 600 in dynamic punch and slam,  and costs nearly the same which is the better choice?

Unless you really dont have the space or need the extra power, what is the appeal again with these Class D amplifiers?

We will put a 250 watt Coda .8 amp vs any Class D amp. 

We have tested many Class D amplifiers Hypex, Ncore, Ice, Pascal havent heard one yet that made us want to jump ship. Each one has some flaw.

There are many audiophiles who agree with us. 

Dave and Troy 
Audio Doctor NJ

I'd expect these to be a very sound combo with excellent detail yet minimal fatigue.
Marklarsen and Tugen5 please have your class D, rules party.

One thing was fascinating that in the very review we found prasing the amps the reviewer also found a whole bunch of areas where a conventional amplifier was far better sounding that was in terms of bass slam and punch.

Again, unless you need the size and light weight, and low heat generation of these types of amplifiers or great amounts of power per dollar, why wouldn’t you just use the tired and true amplifier design of a conventional class A/B amplifier which to most people still sounds the most musical?

It is not that the Ref 600 are so much less expensive they are still $5k a pair and that puts you close to some of the best sounding conventional Class A/B amplifers out there.

For edification we have tested Auralic Hypex amplifiers, Merrill Veritas, Nad M10, Devialet, Nuforce and Nuprime amplifiers, Mytek and a few others.

The only truly magical sounding Class D was the original Nuforce Ref 9 Se V3, the new Nuprime ST 10 is very nice but still sounds too much like an amplifier, the very inexpensive STA 9 from Nuprime sounds great for a $700 amplifer but we are willing to forgive what that amplifier doesn’t do because we are expecting different things from a $700 amplifier vs a much more expensive one.

We haven’t tested the lastest Nuprime reference amplifier but the word on the stree is that one does sound very good.

Most Class D lacks the magic in the midrange whcih draws you in to the performance, what you get is clean, clear power and generally  good bass and dynamics.

The Pascal amp modules do tend to sound warm but still lack the articulation and  presense of a good conventional Class A/B amplifier.

Go listen to a Coda, a Krell, a Naim, a Pass,  and go see if you are still in the class D camp.

Here is the real question if it wasn’t for the light weight, compact size and low heat, and high power for low cost, would most of the guys who switch to Class D still be using them?

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

Again ....still spewing your crap about class D. Let me make it as clear as possible. This ain't about class D or you opinions. It's your need to continue an argument that has long since been over. It's your need to take a simple question and turn it into "I've got a better solution for you" I told you in unequivocal terms that I don't care. I love the amps. 

I've got a friend that recently put an ad on audigon selling his Calypso preamp. He received a call from a guy in New Jersey identifying himself as a dealer. He just called to tell my buddy that his opinion was that he should be selling his Plinius amp rather than the Calypso. I would bet money it was you. 

My friend was taken back by the whole thing. "Who would have the audacity to do such a thing?" He said.

And this is my point. Don't enter conversations just to just to sell your agenda or show how intelligent you are. I find your posts belittling.

This really is the last post I will make on the subject. Feel free, however, to waste more time trying to sell me an amp.
Tigen, Sorry to disappoint, you but we are not trying to sell you anything!

First you state that you have your own opinions and then you throw out to the floor as it will with your questions to see what other people think of the pairing of the Magico A3 with the Bel Cantos.

Either you have your opinions and convictions, or you don’t.

To which we replied the only way you will know if the combo would sound good would be for YOU to try it for yourself, which is pretty sound advice.

Come on man if you owned a store for 15 years you would automatically know that the only way to reliablly predict the outcome of a pairing of a set of speakers and an amplifier is to try that combination and also know that once you have paired amp with speakers you might also need to change cables, or source components or both to create the sound you are looking for.

We told you that unless the other person has the exact same pairing of components and your taste the reply other than "sure it sounds good" is meaningless.

Also as noted the rave review on these amplifier basically stated that a pair of other amplifiers and an older Pass Labs amplifier outperformed this amplifier in certain areas we would guess than that bass control, and dynamics mean much less to you as the reviewer certainly prefered his other amplifiers in these areas.

Then we mentioned a few examples of non Class D amplifers that would give someone fantastic results that were not gigantic space heater amplifiers. 

The T+A 2500R is a very compact 140 watt integrated and it runs cool and sound amazing. The Coda .8 runs warm and sounds amazing, even the Anthem STR runs pretty cool and sounds really good, no the Krell 175XD doesn't run that cool but does sound really, really good. 

We then said unless it is size, power for dollar or lack of heat why would anyone choose such an amplifier?

As per your friend guess what is wasn’t us, we have not talked with anyone with a Calypso preamp nor do we generally call random audiogon people.

We might ask someone why thy were sellng a product if it is something we think is really good to understand their reasoning and experience considering we no longer sell Plinus and we don’t sell the Calypso preamp therefore why would we call this person?

Also we have had a tremendous amount of experience with Ncore, Hypex, Ice, and other Class D amplifiers.

Good luck Tigen and let us know just how magical the A3 sound with a set of Class D amplifiers.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

Good salesman do not attack potential customers. Good salesmen are not rude and sarcastic.  Good salesman know what they are talking about. 

I really feel for you man. You asked for help and got an endless, condescending, arrogant, unwanted diatribe. This retailer will not back down even when ask to. Out of the 38 responses, he represents approximately 1/3 of them....unbelievable! My advice is to delete this thread and start a new one. In the new thread heading I would also include 'NO RETAILER COMMENTS PLEASE'. If he continues to invade your thread you might get admin to step in and help....Good luck.
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 I promised I wouldn't post again but you finally have won me over! Your arguments are compelling and this is a compilation of what I heard from all of your posts:


Your amps stink

 Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

 I'm an expert

 Blah bubba blah blah bub blah blah blah bub blah blah blah blah blah

 I know everything

 Blah blah blah blah bub blah blah blah bub blah blah blah blah

 I won't stop posting

 Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

 Your amps stink



Ok, I'm ready to concede. I'm selling my whole system and will be buying everything you recommend to replace it. Things are indeed looking up! Thanks for your help.


Back to the topic, Stereophile rates the Bel Canto REF600M as Class A with $$$, meaning they are an excellent buy. They have an iron grip on bass, and smooth and silky midrange and top end. 
AudioTroy's principles:

1. Never apologize.
2. Always attack.
3. Be as opinionated as possible.

Remind you of anyone else?
Class D and Magico - no thanks. I recently had the A3s here and they sung as much as every component ahead of it allowed. They were absolutely beautiful with a Diablo 300 - a synergy I'd match against just about anything I've heard including several rungs up the Magico lineup. Have had Magico S3s with Devialet briefly and they were horrible. Literally ear bleeding sterile fast and powerful horrible. Don't have experience with the Bel Canto amp  so take it FWIW but just wanted to share that experience. Bel Canto is a great name so I don't know, but if it was anything like what I heard on my S3s, the friend who brought the Devialet over sold it literally that week.
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We have a room fulll of amplifiers and have yet to find an amplifier that breaks the addage that you get what you pay for.

Could be but it would be high end armageddon for sure were a dealer to find that.

Most people want value. Having been to various high end audio shows and shops over the years, I’d say that gets harder to establish with certainty with many more costly products.  YMMV.

Nice 😎another hot discussion around class D amps 🍿🍿🍿
btw, after reading so many reviews of Magico speakers, went to hear them for the first time in 2016( don’t remember the model number but it was a big one) and become totally disappointed, IMHO totally overrated!