If you would like to try something in the tube and single driver speaker direction:
Njoe Tjob CD ($600)
Jolida 302b ($800)
Omega Super 3 ($550)
Acoustic Visions MRS-10 sub ($450)
Speltz Anti-cables ($80)
Incredible fast and tight sound, great open and coherent midrange. And it would be right in your budget. Alternatively you could look into getting a different CDP like the Jolida 100A or Audio Aero Prima.
If you want to go high effiecency, look at the Cain & Cain Abbey (wife will like them too), and one of the low out put Antique Sound Lab amps. Use the rest on a Pro-ject, VPI or Clearaudio turntable set up. Cool.
I urge you to reconsider selling the 2.7's, at least until after you try to make them work for you. You don't give much detail about what you don't like about the sound of your current system, or what you want to find in a new system. I think you can upgrade around the Maggies and get a system that will sound much different(better), especially if you can spend $1000-$2000 around them. Earlier this year, I thought about selling my maggie 1.6's because my system produced pretty severe listener fatigue. I decided to try to a few things before selling, and I am very glad I did. I put about $1000 into various upgrades, and it has made all the difference. I'm still contemplating some upgrades, but my Maggies aren't going anywhere. This is what I did, in chronological order:
1. Room treatments (Auralex foam in corners behind speakers glued to foam insulation panels. I spent $100 and got a $1000 improvement. Best money I ever spent!
2. Sold Adcom GFA- 5500 and bought a McCormack DNA 0.5 and PS Audio Statement power cord. This cost about $500 net. Again, a major improvement. The 100 wpc McCormack with the statement power cord is a huge improvment over the 200 wpc adcom. Much better and tighter bass, much smoother treble.
3. Signal silver speaker cables (biwire) replaced AQ-4's. Again, much improved base, and significant reduction in grain. This ran about $270.
4. Replaced Kimber PJM with Signal Silver Resolution between Denon DCD 1650 cdp and McCormack TLC-1. This cost about $130, and took the last bit of grain out of my system. They need a lot of burn in time!
Seems to me like your Maggies might suprise you with a better supporting cast.
Here you go. This is the best system for the money I have heard. Dont think you can do any BETTER.
Ack dack (Version 1) $400 here on the Gon new.
Good used transport like Theta Basic or Universal II ($350 used)
Cardas Lightning 15 digital cable ($130 used)
Cayin TA30 tubed int amp ($600 used on Agon)
Paul Speltz anticable speaker wire - $10 foot new
Good IC's from DH Labs or Z Squared for less than $100 each
Green Mountain Audio Europa speakers used for $650 on Agon
Cain & Cain Abby speakers ($1100 used)
ASL Tulip 2a3 SET amp ($750 used)
Ack dack or Scott Nixon DAC
Used transport like Theta I mentioned above or Parasound belt drive or Theta Pearl
Paul Speltz anticable
Perhaps mpre "musical" than the above system on jazz,accoustic, female voices.
Well one more, since you already have suggestion for the Cain Abby's: if you like more power and dynamic the Sophia Electric EL34 tube amp sounded great with the Abby's when I listened to them at Sounds Real Audio in Denver. Certainly you have many amp options open, if you go with more sensitive speakers (ASL Tulip, Bottlehead S.E.X, etc.).
I have listed a system of new components, as I am extremely hesitant to purchase any components used. With that said, I have owned the components below for a while and they sound the best of any system that I have owned in the past 35 years. What's even more interesting, is that this is my secondary system and I have enjoyed it so much that I have sold my $3000 solid state Musical Fidelity A300 CR power amp to buy another Prima Luna for my main system. Rather than keep on ranting, please see the review of the Prima Luna that I wrote here in the Audiogon Review Section.
The system that I recommend is as follows:
Prima Luna Prologue 2 tube integrated amp($1345 list)
Omega Super 3 Loudspeakers ($540 list)
Music Hall MMF CD25 CD Player ($540 list)
total: $ 2425
My friend has the 2.7QRs...runs them with a Bryston 4BST...the status lights on the Bryston blink red at peaks on rock material played at average (certainly not deafening) sound material. I'm not sure what your listening habits are or what you listen to, but I think you are SEVERELY limiting the potential of the 2.7QRs. They're absolutely fantastic speakers, but they really need muscle to get going. You will also be amazed at how revealing these speakers are, but a bigger SS amp would be a necessary starting point, at least in my experience with these speakers.
Keep the Maggies + get a better amp+CD, Your Maggies will light up with an amp with lots of current.
One additional point ... I thought that you were looking to scrap your current set-up and I pointed you in the way of a tube amp and high efficiency speakers. They have their own magic just like the Maggies do. If you do decide to keep your Maggies, you really need a much more powerful amp to do them justice ... like the 225wpc Musical Fidelity I just sold. Something to keep in mind ... Maggies need a lot of juice ... your 60wpc Rotels are not capable of getting the job done.
Keep your Maggies and get a high-current amp.
The Maggies are some of the best values in audio and have been for over 25 years now. I assume that you like their overall sound but feel that they are not dynamic enough--my guess--you just need a different amp. Financially, it is always best to keep what you already have.
You do not necessarily need a lot more power, just a high current, class A/AB amp with a stiff power supply. They don't come cheap though so you must buy them used. You can get a Threshold S150 or S200 for about $500-700 or the newer series T50-T100 for $800-1,000. Those or any amp of similar design will make your Maggies really come to life. You'll be shocked by the change. The Rotels are not the right amps for your Maggies.
If you are adventurous, you may look into the new digital switching amps, the perfect amps for the Maggies in my opinion. They are the most dynamic amps extant, with great bass/treble and a sweet midrange to boot. Many of the less expensive one WILL have a hardness in the sound but that will not show up at all on the Maggies.
If you get a conventional amp, make sure you have plenty of power and/or a stiff power supply.
consider the Rega Planet 2000 over the Ah! cd player.
Frankly, it's more tube-like sounding, and with better resolution than the Ah!
To get into tubes, I'd recommend getting tube preamp coupled with plenty of solid state amp power for Maggies. I'm using the Rogue Magnum 66 tube pre with excellent results, abo. $700.00 used. Make sure you get what you need, line stage or phono stage-they're not the same unit. The line stage is for those who don't want to do phono, and comes w. remote. The phono stage unit will not have remote.
Your amp isn't even enough to blow the dust off the 2.7's grill material. Up the power substantially. IF you can find a used Outlaw multichanel amp, go for it. Economical and built well. AT LEAST 100wpc. Then biamp the speakers. If you can find it, get multichan. amp w. at least 150wpc and biamp. Then, you'd be hearing things.
About the Music Hall CD-25 I was looking for a used one for around $350 and have a hard time finding it, then 3 weeks ago I did some search on AV123 web site there is the ONIX-88 CDP is identical to the Music Hall CD-25 for $299 brand new. I ordered one and very happy with it.
I thank all of you for your responses. I did want to add a little detail that may help.
I want to get rid of the maggies only because my wife hates their size and because of the power needed to make them come to life. I know the maggies are awesome sounding. If it weren't for my wife, I wouldn't even consider selling them. Also I am leaning towards Tubes and heard tubes and maggies aren't the best combo.
Also, the maggies sound great if you have them turned up a bit and have some high current going into them. I live in a condo so I don't really play anything at extreme volume levels.
I am just ready for something new. I have had this system for around 7 or 8 years, time for a change.
Not into LP's anymore, so no need for phono inputs or turntables.
maggies love tubes ,,I know i used 25 watter audio innovations that sounded sweet but not deafening,,I herd the primaluna 2 with my 1.6 maggies and they sounded the best i ever heard them ,,plenty of power there and that was only 40 watts,,[cayin t30 good too]
if your going to go with boxes,,i really like the focus audio 688 bookshelf,
you can feel air around musicians
,or aurum cantas leisure 3,,
and the cheapest believe it or not,,mission m71,,or m73or these
Try www.carolinaaduo.com for the single driver Jordan with transmission line for deeper bass. Ronnie's a great guy to talk to.
The single driver route is the way to go . If you want the speed of a planar without the size.
Ming Da MC-88 tube integrated (true active preamp stage, not a cheap passive volume pot, UL 50w/triode35w/ch): $800 used @ www.responseaudio.com ("specials" link). I own Ming Da preamp and monblock amps and have dealt with Bill Baker of Response for mods on both. He is an authority on Ming Da products and will back what he sells;
Usher "U2.5" speaker kit: $1000 @ www.zalytron.com ("Usher Kits" link) - buy the kit WITHOUT crossovers and email the crossover diagram to George Short @ www.northcreekmusic.com for him to assemble boards with his "mid level" parts: about $300;
The North Creek crossover modules will come with wires and slip on connectors so all you need do is stain the boxes, attach the crossover boards to the inside of the boxes with a $20 hot glue gun, slip on the connectors to the driver and terminal cup tabs, screw in the drivers and terminal cups and you're done. Takes about 4 hours and ANYONE can easily do the final assembly - NO soldering iron needed! The Zalytron boxes are 1.5 inch MDF. Line the inside walls with Black Hole 5 adhesive-backed sheets and you have nearly full-range loudspeakers that cost aboout $1200 and sound as good or better $3k range commercial offerings. I built a variant of the Zalytron "Phenomenal 3" kit and had North Creek build the crossovers. I will never part with these speakers - they are that good.
You now have spent $2200 and need a CDP and ICs/speaker cables. Choose your CDP wisely (I've heard the Music Hall CD25 @ about $400 new - fine for its price and Sound Odyssey on 'Gon offers nice mods when you're ready...) and you'll embarass many others with far costlier systems.
Gmood1, Ronnie mentioned how many people with Quads have switched to his single driver speaker. Those Clari-T mono-blocks sound real interesting. Let us know how they work out.
Hi Cdc I really enjoyed the ClariT on my Omegas. I decided to scoop up a used pair of FTA 2000s with the Fostex 200a drivers. I'm really looking forward to hearing a single driver speaker that gets down to 30 Hz! It should be fun! I'm still waiting on the modded version of my amplifier to be finished. I hope it won't be much longer.
I have talked to several owners of single driver speakers. All of them owned a planar or electrostatic speaker at one time or another.
I wanted to hear those Carolina Jordan based speakers. But when I got to the dealer he had sold his last pair.Maybe next time I can catch them. I read nothing but good things about this speaker.
My humble suggestions would include used Vandersteen 2's and a McCormack power amp. These pieces will allow you many options up stream. Good luck.