A friend uses the Audio Research Ref.3 with Mcintosh 1201s and Maggie 20.1s. One of the nicest systems I have heard.
7 responses Add your response
I used the BAT with Maggie 3.6's and thought the sound was very sharp. One dealer told me the BAT sound was solid state sounding, and then said, " Thats Not a Compliment" In addition, I had to run the volume setting on the BAT to very high levels ( 95+) to achieve 85 db SPL on my Maggies. I changed to an Audio Note M3 pre-amp with the tube rectified output stage and was very happy. FWIW: I was using a Classe CA 400 amp with the Maggies.
Hi, I had that exact combination (MG 20.1's;Bat VK31SE; MC501's) and while it sounded good, it got better when I put in a McIntosh C500t (I found it used, for less $$). I am a huge McIntosh fan, but I did not think the MC501's did as well with the 20.1's. If you have the Mc402 you could bi-amp the Maggies which makes a big difference. I hear that the McIntosh C2300 is an excellent Pre-amp and it has 3 sets of balanced outs to help bi-amp. Hope this is helpful.
ARC Ref 3 or Cary SLP05, both will work extremely well. Giving you a very open soundstage and excellent bass. I think that Cary is slightly warmer than the ARC. I have never heard the BAT's or VTL's.
I have the 3.6R's and have tried both the 501's and the 402 Mac's and never gotten good results. They are great amps which sound fantastic with other speakers, and I am not sure why, but they sounded muddled and weak with my system(s). I love the Cary MB500's that I have, and I have tried many amps with my Maggies. Then probably the Sanders Sound ESL amps (formerly Innersound). VTL amps sound sublime too. I love the previous generation of them, especially the aesthtics.