Class D vs Class AB - Looking for best used budget amplifier for Magnepan MG12

I am in the market for a budget used amp for my Magnepan MG12.

I tried Parasound classic line, model 2125 and currently using Parasound model 275. Both amps can easily drive the maggies up to 90db without any audible distortion.

I am considering a budget class D amp like Crown, Behringer etc. or a class AB amp with MOSFET output stage, like B&K or other options like, Parasound, NAD, Anthem, Sunfire etc.

Price range $300 - $600 for a used unit.

What I’m looking for is an improvement in power, soundstage and detail to get best performance out of the Maggies MG12 compared to current setup with Parasound 2125 or 275.

Amps came into my mind in that price range so far:

B&K ST125.2

Parasound HCA 1500A

Crown Pro XLi1500

Crown XLS2502


1- Can Crown modern Class D-Drive Core Technology like Crown Pro XLi1500 or Crown XLS2502 with lot of power sound as good or better than a class AB amp with maggies?

2- Is B&K ST125.2 a good match or better than Crown XLS2502 - Crown Pro XLi1500 for the MG12? Which one does sound better with the Maggies?


This is an interesting question.  I have had a Marantz four channel Class D 450W amp on the four subs in my system for some years now.  I often wonder if the sound would be better with a good quality 250 to 275 W Class AB amp.   One of these days I will try swapping out amps and see if it is worth the upgrade cost.
Whatever the amp type the maggies will benefit from as much clean power as you can throw at it. Current not as critical with Maggies in my experience. I’d just throw the most powerful good quality amp you can manage at them and tweak from there as needed.
Possibly a Class D Audio SDS amp with the highest wattage you can find. I saw a used one advertised on another major audio site.
I have the Magnepan 1.7s, currently driven by an HCA 1500a. I have directly compared the Parasound to a single Crown XL1500, two Crown XL1500s run in mono mode and a single Crown XLS2502. I also tried a B&K st50 just for giggles knowing it was probably under powered. There was an integrated Rotel in there too at some point.

The Parasound was clearly superior to my and my listening partners' ears, especially at lower volumes. The overall presentation, particularly in the higher frequencies, was significantly more musical.

At high volume the Parasound has plenty of juice.


If you really want Class D, get the most recent iteration. The technology has been improving by leaps and bounds in the past few years.
If Atmasphere finally gets one to offer, I will be one of the first adopters.
Rogue audio has several digital amps with a Vacuum Tube preamp stage that are very respectable.
A. OR A/AB.  
mess with D and be disappointed

 don’t be fooled by the hype. 
 There is no substitute,,,,,,,,,
There are some used Acurus amps, used to be made by Mondial (?), out there on a couple of the used sites, pretty reasonable prices. These were popular back in the day and seemed to get good reviews. I think the Acurus brand had a re-launch a few years ago. Just a thought.
Those crowns are industrial sounding.     If you listen to speed metal you might like them.  If you listen to any other kind of music it will sound like a PA  amplifier.    The paramount or rotel or adcom amps of the 90s should be in your budget maybe old Aragon or soundcraftsman would be a little more rare to find but sound pretty darn good  on your budget 
A. OR A/AB.  
mess with D and be disappointed

 don’t be fooled by the hype.
 There is no substitute,,,,,,,,,

<< cough >> Haha!

I have a pair of ICEpower 250 ASP based monoblocks. You could not tell them apart from Parasound A21s of similar power with most speakers.

We are 20 years into the 21st century, it's time to step up.
There are some excellent Class D amps out there.


The majority of Class D Amps will sound better in that price range, except in the low level highs. The current state of design will result in the choice of distortion, roll off, or cover up with even order distortion to deal with distortion created by the high frequency switching.