Brute power cheap?? Adcom Vs. Rotel vs. NAD

I my never ending neurosis about what to reccomend to my buddy (you guys know I am even worse about my own rig) who has Maggie 3.6's.Yes Yes Bryston,Sim,Bel Canto they all seem appetising but he has a limtied budget.Rotel 1090 would be good with 380 watts but used prices are too high at $1500.So two NAD 218THX's bridged to give what is it 700 wats (1100?) or go with Adcom GFA 5802 at 300 watts.Impression is that (without bridging) the NAD has more bass but a thicker sound.My tendency is towards an Adcom 300 should do it, amp remains balanced (NAD when bridged becomes un-balanced)and i think the Adcom has a warmer character.Thoughts gentleman?
Aragon 4004MKII more than capable and there is one listed today at $850.00 here. I have 4 of them.
I have owned a Hafler 9500 Transnova for the last 8 years or more. These amps were designed by Jim Strickland based on technology originally designed for Acoustat planar speakers. I have owned both NAD and Adcom amps over the years and feel the Hafler is a far better amp. The soundstage is huge. The amp can be a bit lean. I use a C-J tube preamp and find the pair to be very enjoable. I believe there is one on A-Gon for $595. They are rated at 250 wpc and can be bridged if you need more.
They may not have the SNOB appeal, but the newer Adcom gear is truly outstanding.

My good friend is using an Adcom 5802 to drive his Martin Logan CLSs. The sound is breathtaking. Smooth and powerful with plenty of finesse. Even at the new price of $1800, it's quite a deal. But used for ~$900 - it's an outright steal!

You'd have to spend a WHOLE lot more to do appreciably better. You've summarized it quite well with regard to the NAD products. They're very thick sounding. I think the MOSFETs of the Adcom coupled with the ribbon tweeter on the Maggies would sound terrific. The next best thing to a high-powered tube amp with the Magnepans is a nice MOSFET amp to smooth things out.

Others will recommend the usual suspects; Bryston, Aragon, etc. I wonder how many have actually listened - objectively - to the Adcom. Don't get caught up in the brand hype.

(BTW - I DO NOT own any Adcom gear, so there's not hidden agenda.)

Good luck to you!
Hafler is another good choice. It, too, is a MOSFET design. I used to own an Acoustat TransNova Twin 200 which, I believe, was made by Hafler and was designed, obviously, for use with the Acoustat speakers.

Great recommendation.

I've owned both NAD (still do) and Rotel. When deciding on an upgrade several years ago, I auditioned NAD, Rotel, B&K, Hafler, and Adcom. I preferred them in this order: Rotel (bought), NAD (2400 a close 2nd, great bass, but the Rotel's highs were better), Hafler (Transnova) and then a tie at the bottom between Adcom and B&K. I don't remember what I didn't like about the B&K or the model I listened to. I do remember thinking that the Adcom sounded lifeless to me, but I don't remember what model it was.
I have a set of smaller Maggies in a second system that I replaced amplification for about a year ago. I did mucho auditioning and will give you my impressions.

1) Rotel 1080 was precluded because it doesn't like low impedance loads.
2) Adcom amps struck me as having a bright top end, not to my liking.
3) NAD 218 has a solid bottom end, but not as much detail in the high frequencies.
4) Parasound HCA 1500A has great mids and smooth and detailed top end, but a little soft in the bottom registers.
5) I've not auditioned the Hafler 9505, but the amp I replaced was a 20 year old DH200 still in fine working order. I do like the Hafler sound.

I chose the Parasound and have been pleased with it.

P.S. Regarding bridging, I ruled it out as bridged amps don't do well into low impedance loads and bass can get sloppy. I would consider two amps in vertical biamp over bridged mode. Two NAD 218's or Parasound 1500A's can be had used in the neighborhood of $1,000 total.
Why you need 900 watts with Maggies?? Get a used Muse 160 and matching 3 pre used for about 1600. This combo will be musical and far better than anything you mentioned.Fully balanced 160 per.
Try to find some of the older Threshold gear. The S series was built like a tank. Plus do not get caught up in the watts. Amps or current is what you should be concerned with. Designing for watts is cheap but not for current.
The Aragon 8008BB cannot be beat at its current price point for the power and musicality it can offer Maggies. Their is a new model coming out and dealers are selling new Aragon 8008BB amplifiers in the 1600 dollar range. This amplifier was a bargain at 2750 and cannot be beat at its current price point. Unlimited power with a laid back signature that mates well with planar and electrostatic speakers. The others mentioned are, in my opinion, not in the same class as the Aragon.
Dennisj gets my support. Maggies will not like cheap solid state and the Muse 160 is one of the very few that has a midrange worthy of panels. You could also look at getting a Plinius 8200P directly from NZ - stunning after 4 months of run in - a bit hard and dry up till then - round about USD1,000 plus freight.
The really brute cheap power comes from these guys:

Crown, BGW, ATI. Crown is probably the biggest amp maker, they even can custom order their proprietary MOSFET for their own usage. Said to pass a short circuit test for 30 minutes before leaving factory says much about thses macho machine.

BGW can basically get for a song from Ebay. Talking about real power, like 300W/ch, 750W/ch, that really drives the speaker with some gut wrenching low ends. A passive ATC in the Audiogon for $2K (cheap!) would have been ideal.