Best to you Randy,
Sorry Randy. I bought three of them about 6 months ago and I haven’t seen one for sale since. The "Fifteen" is also one of the best amps ever from Classe and within your target price range. May be easier to find and is superb. Current out the ying-yang to drive those Maggies and excellent tonal balance. Not dark-sounding like the DR-15/25. Just right. Must run SE (RCA). Using the XLR inputs hurts the sound of the early Classe amps.
Just found this:
Remember, these amps double down as impedance halves just like a great amp should. Way outperform their specs.
Best to you Randy,
Odysseyaudio has stereo and mono amps tha would fit your needs nicely.
Stereophile or TAS did a nice review of there amps using Magneplan 1.7
I just included a few of there products (above) read through there site, each model also has available options
Wired4Sound SX1000R monoblocks, 570wpc, on sale for $1399/pair.. They double down to 1140 wpc driving your maggies.
Edited: If these piqued your interest, note the voltage sensitivity of 2.95v to make sure you have a matching source/preamp to get a decent listening volume. Good match with a McIntosh tube preamp.
randy-11, you have some good suggestions above, and I particularly like the Classe suggestions. However, i would like to offer some thoughts for a different approach which is the route that I took over the many years that I lived with MG3A’s; some here will surely disagree with this approach:
There are different ideas on what constitutes "great" sound. For my idea of what "great" sound from Maggies means one needs a tube amp. To my ears Maggies with anything other than the very best solid state amp tend to sound lean and dry; deal breaker for me. Additionally, the ribbon tweeter in the 3 series is ruthlessly revealing of any problems with your amp’s high frequency performance which can cause an audible discontinuity between the tweeter and mid panel. A good tube amp gives the Maggies a sense of fullness and dimensionality of individual images that eludes most "affordable" ss amps as well as tending to have a more "friendly" high frequency character. With a decent tube amp Maggies can produce sound that is remarkably like the sound of live acoustic instruments and voices IF THAT IS YOUR PRIORITY. The downside is that your maximum volume levels MAY be somewhat limited and ultimate bass response and extension will not be on quite the same level as with a good ss amp. This was never a problem for me and while I listen primarily to acoustic jazz and classical I also listen to pop and rock.
When I read you OP, my first thought was, of course, tubes. But, for $1000? No way. I did a search of used offerings here and to my amazement there are two great options that I owned before settling on the Manley 100W monos that I still own. Both are fantastic amps for the money (no affiliation with either seller):
The Berning will give you more output, is fast and is the least "tubey" tube amp that I have ever owned. Because of the design tubes will last a very long time. The Quicksilvers have a midrange and dimensionality to die for (in this price range) and are classics. Don’t let the Quickie’s 60W rating scare you if you listen at moderate volume levels; it is a very solid design. I fully expect some will write that 60-100 watts is not nearly enough for these speakers. It all depends on the size of your room and listening habits. I have a soft spot for the Quickies but the Berning is probably the safer bet with a bit more power....but that Quicksilver midrange! If you can stretch the budget a bit, this would also be a great choice and is what the original owner of my Maggies used for great sound:
Good luck and Happy New Year!
I demoed 1.7s at Audio Connection, where Johnny had them hooked up to NAD amps. Don't remember the model number, but from my familiarity with the NAD range I was able to tell it was a bit older but was not one of the big boys (i.e., it was smaller than a 218thx). But I thought they showed really well and there was no shortage of headroom. If you can find a NAD S200 (225 x 2 into 8 ohms, and doubles into 4), I think you should try it.
This all being said, I ended up buying Vandersteens after that demo. :)
I agree with frogman's post. I've been listening to Maggies since I bought my MGI Imp back in 1980 ( still own that pair) but currently listening to 1.7's. I have owned and used a variety of high power SS amps ( Yamaha, Emotiva, Conrad Johnson) but my favorite by far is my current Jolida 502p with Tungsol KT 150 output tubes. It just sounds more realistic and full bodied than the SS amps I've tried and with 60 watts per channel is quite sufficient for my listening tastes. I've owned for 2 years now and frankly I have no desire to look elsewhere.
There is a couple discussions here on AG, that described the
Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II Integrated Amp Combined with the MMG's sounding very good. I would think this would apply to the 1.7.
I think this is within your budget ($2,400.00 New) plus the pre is integrated. There's a fellow member by the name of mapman who wrote hearing this system. You could PM him to see if he could provide further info.
You need the most watts you can (Maggies like power) get but luckily current does not matter so amp need not be huge and heavy. I found Carver m4.0t amp did quite well. Carver amps in general should provide great value for running Maggies if in good operating condition still. For something newer I’d look to some thing like Class D Audio amps perhaps. Or if higher SPL not needed a 60-80 watt tube amp like say Rogue is reasonably affordable and will also work well but with more limited SPL .
"You need the most watts you can (Maggies like power) get but luckily current does not matter..."
From Magnepan’s web site:
"What is the best amplifier for Magneplanars?"
"The short answer is direct-coupled, Class A/B designs with high current capability."
"There is a persistent impression that the larger Maggies require more power. It is true that most customers with the more expensive models have more powerful amplifiers. But, the popular assumption is not correct. They typically have a larger budget. If and when you upgrade your electronics is a separate decision."
I would assume that the manufacturer knows what works best, Randy.
I don't know what you call cheap, but I have had $300 qsc 1450 behind mmgs, and it put out clean, undistorted sound at concert level. The lights in the house were dimming with pounding bass drums. I had an adcom preamp between source and qsc. Mmgs were without fuse and sounding good, and the qsc was not even at 1/2 full volume.
It's cheap, something to try.
Magnepan like many less efficient speaker makers do not emphasize the benefits of more power with their products probably to not limit market or discourage customers. Less watts will work but you will run out of juice if the volume needs to go up. Current probably does not hurt but I did find Maggies not as needy there as with many less efficient dynamic designs. Tube amps even work well if powerful enough to get the volume you want.
My local dealer has sold Maggies for years and recommends Class D amps by Rogue for use with Maggies though they sell tube amps also.
A lot of good suggestions.
I would second two:
1. Parasound Halo A21 makes Maggie’s sing as good as I’ve heard them (except for the Halo JC1 monoblocks) - about $1500 used.
2. Classdaudio SDS 470C makes them sound as good, maybe better - about $700 new.
I’ve got all of these to drive my Magnestand 1.6’s (Maggie 1.6’s on steroids). They’re all superb.
Tube amps give them great mids, but struggle with bass and dynamics with Maggies (I’ve got some of the best - Atmasphere M60’s with Zeroformers). With Maggies, I prefer good SS amps with a good tube preamp - which gives you a great blend of both.
If your budget won’t allow the tube preamp right now - I’d be looking for a hybrid integrated (e.g. Rogue Pharoah, Peachtree, etc.).
At one point in time (5 years ago or so) I used a pair of the Wired4Sound SX1000R monoblocks with my Maggie 1.6's with good success. I also believe that the CIAudio would work well since I owned them also. I only suggest this to you because I'm trying to hold the cost down, especially if you can find them on the used market.
I do like several of the other options that others have mentioned.
"Do a search for any of the Nelson Pass Threshold Stasis series has worked for me for 30 years of Magnepans."
I have a set of 1.7s and drive them with a Carver AVR100 in a 20x25 room. I bought it new back in 1989 and recently pulled it out of storage (forgot I had it). Although it certainly isn’t a fully functional receiver by today’s standards, it does have a great amp, at 225x2 at 4 ohms. I think it’s a total myth that Magnepans "need" tons of power to sound good. I’ve never had more than 225w to them and only had 150w before I brought out the Carver. It’s far more important to have clean, constant power than to have tons of it.