Best Multichannel Amp for MG1.6/QR's

Category: Amplifiers

I am upgrading my 5-ch HT system and started with a pair of these Maggies that sound good on my old Denon AVR 2600 @ 100W/ch. I know they have a lot more potential to sound great. I listen 80% HT to 20% music. Which amp would be best. I'm looking at the following new/used amps in this order up to drive these 4 ohm quasi-ribbon speakers (QR) but other suggestions are welcome:
Parasound A51 (THX)
Sunfire TGA-5200 or 5400
Sherbourn 5/5210A or 7/2100A
B&K 200.7 S2
Arcam FMJ P7 (THX)
ATI 3005
Anthem A5 or P5
Bryston 9BSST (THX)
Lexicon LX7 (THX)
I to have maggies 1.6.Iam currently running them with a mccormack DNA125 , running the back channels from a Harmon Kardon HT reciever and they sound excelent.But if you must select from the list you published I must way that the bryston would be your better choice followed by the Parasound A51 and Anthem.Ive heard the Anthem A5,P5 and the Parasound and both are excelent choices .I havent heard the bryston but taking into consideration that the bryston is almost always reviewed as an excelent choice for maggies and that magnepan uses them to display their speakers in shows I would have say their the top choice in your list.
Make sure to consider the Theta Intrepid. It outperformed the ATI/Outlaw in direct comparison and has a more neutral nature then Bryston equipment in my experience. Good luck!
Thanks for your replies. While I like the Bryston and Theta Intrepid, I was shying away from them due to their low power output of only 200 watts at 4 ohms and concerned that while it can work well for music, it might be too "light" for HT.
Sauceman: I have owned both MGIIIa's and a surround system with two pairs(front and back) of MG1.6's. Granted I powered them with a 800watt a channel 4ohm EAD powermaster. In the past I used a Hafler DH500 (400watts into 4ohms) on the less efficent MGIIIa's. I had a B&K1403 and it was worthless and lifeless on the Magnepans...

I have to agree with Rkeman about the Theta (or get a Theta Casablanca with two 200watt channels and upgrade later as needed...) This is a strong amplifier and doubling power only gets you 3dB.. The 100watts of the Intrepid can't be compared to your reciever...

The real tricks with Magnepan HT's
1) Subwoofer (ideally two one for LFE, and one for rolled off bass off the main speakers) The subwoofer has to be fast and tight to integrate, but home theater eases that up as quality of recording and accurate are not in the HT vocab.

2) Center Channel Speed and Air to match the Left/Right Magnepans... but if you are sitting in the sweat spot only and not off the center nevermind this point.. but if people are off center and you care about them.. you need a center channel speaker otherwise you are better off without or if you can afford the amplification get a Mag center channel.. and power it!

3) 3 Feet or more space behind the front speakers! Key to getting good base and creating a soundstage.. also try running the speakers with tweeters on the inside versus the tweeters on the outside.. whatever one sounds better to you ..USE IT!

4) Quality Power and detail... I perfer the Theta sounds compared to the Bryston... warmer with better bass.
Has anyone bi-amped their MG1.6/QRs? If I used a Bryston 9BSST, I could use two of the channels to bi-amp each speaker and get max power for HT. I'd appreciate anyone's opinion about this kind of setup.

I would spend the money on the Bryston 4BSST or a pair of 7BSST's before bi-amping (twice the cables and interconnect costs) on the magnepans.