Best amp for $2000-3000

I have finally saved enough money for a new system. I think I'm 99% decided on the Magnepan 3.6's as speakers. I am looking for recommendations on the following:

Amp - $2000-3000. I like the Odyssey Extreme Mono's or the Innersound ESL.....but I'm open to suggestions.

Preamp - I currently have an old Perreaux SM2 Preamp -- is this good enough?

CD - I currently have a Sony CDP-990 with an optical out. Should I just add a
DAC to this?

DAC - Looking at the Benchmark DAC-1 or a used Muse 2

Sub - narrowed it down to REL, Sunfire or Velodyne.

Speakers - Maggie 3.6's -- unless someone can twist my arm to listen to something else.

Any thoughts are welcome!!


I don't have Maggies (used to though) and I have heard good things about pairing with Innersound amps. I would also look at the latest incarnation of Ampzilla amps. Check in with Al Sekela over at Audio Asylum for more useful commentary than I am able to provide.
I owned a pair of Maggie MGIIIa speakers, the predecessor to the MG3.6. I loved them, but you need the right (preferrably large) room, and an amp with some real muscle. You really don't need a subwoofer either. If you have a large room and have the speaker placement and listening position right, you'll get plenty of bass extension. You'd be better off applying the cash to a better amplifier or front-end gear instead of a sub. I believe that the manual for the speakers even states there is no need for a sub, and that one may actually detract from the overall sound (at least the MGIIa manual stated that). I had excellent results with a Mark Levinson No. 27 (100 WPC), but would have preferred a little more power. 200 WPC would be better. You can also bi-amp these speakers, I believe. You could probably find an ML No. 23 or 23.5 in your price range on the A-gon if you're into solid state electronics. These amps would pair very nicely with the MG 3.6s.

Hope this helps and good luck!
Try a modded amp from Mike Elliot,at altavistaaudio,talk to him,good luck,Bob
I have 3.6's. I use a Spectron Musician II. It delivers plenty of clean power. Your 3.6's will demand good,clean power. Another added feature is the remote sense ability of the musician. However I have found that the Q-10 cable is much better than the cable sold by Spectron.
Take a look at the Mcintosh Amp. You can find one MC352 used below $3000. You won't be disappointed.

I think a great choice would be a pair of Bryston 7b's 400wpc should really get those maggies cooking....If you dont have adiquite power you will never experience all the maggies can give
Forgot to mention the ICE based amps such as the Rowland 201.

EVS is bringing an amp to the market that should be good as well.
Try a used Mark Levinson 23.5 / tons of power-current - warmer sounding than most SS amps.
They drive my quite inefficient Sonus Faber Extremas extremely well.
You should be able to find a 23.5 in great condition for around $ 2,500.00 on audiogon. It was truly one of the two best amps that Levinson ever made (the 20.6 being the other). I would not consider any of the more moder Levinson amps (300 series and higher).

used Threshold S/500 for around 1500...250 watts, stasis topology, wonderful product assembly....

hard to beat when the Levinson 23 goes for another 800 or more...the threshold can probably be had cheaper

great amps that will drive just about anything
I have the Odyssey Extreme Mono's and could not be happier. They even at loud volumns don't break a sweat and am using with Paul Speltz's Zero's which help alot.
2nd to Bryston 7BST monos