fwiw I used to have Maggie 1.6 and drove them with Manley Stingray (40 watts) and Rogue M120 (120 watts) and the Stingray was more lively and robust.
I am not bashing Rogue but there is something in the design of these two that made the Manley more alive.
Maybe some of the gurus around here could explain but worth looking into I think.
A little help on the type of music you listen to might help. But Philjolet is right, there is more to this than WPC. You can have a system that is very musical and satisfying, but may not offer the last word on dynamics. I really like what I have heard of manley, though I have not heard them drive Maggies.
Sanders Magtech Amplifier. Buy one and be done with your amplifier search.
Music listened to will be varied but mostly blues and rock. My previous system had Quicksilver silver mono's and preamps driving a pair of Vandersteens. I loved the sound. The reason I asked about the Maggies is because I knew nothing about them. I have heard they were power hungry. Even though I have been into audio a long time I never had planar or ribbon speakers, but everyone sings the praises of the1.7's.
Just read up on the Sanders amp....looks like that will drive anything.
That Stingray uses the EL84 tube. They can make the larger, more powerful tubes sound sluggish and plodding by comparison. Don't know how they accomplish this. It's "the little tube that could". I used them with MG 111A's years ago, no problem. Note however, I believe the 111A's were actually more efficient than the smaller 1.7's. Tubes and Maggies can be heavenly with the right choice of components. Don't blindly believe others that will tell you you only need high watt solid state. Do you want beautiful, in the room presence, realistic timbre music, or rock-em-sock-em HiFi. I know, I know, we all want both. I'll admit then that lower powered tubes may limit the rock-em sock-em side. Not sure if you can have both without spending alot of dollars or happening upon the perfectly simpatico amplification. Don't forget also, that your source and/or preamp can have alot to do with perceived power regardless of the watts at hand. Cable choices too will come into play.
I will go with presence,realistic timbre every time. That is the reason I enjoyed the Quicksilvers. The output tubes in my Quicksilvers were KT88's. Between guitar amps and audio amps I have gone through a lot of tubes. I have never owned a solid state amp....although the integrated Krells look intriguing.
I would not pair Krells with Maggies. It will give you an ear bleed. The Magtechs are a good suggestion, but both the old Cary 500MBs and the newer 500.1s are also great with Maggies. HIfiharv got to what I was trying to say. Tubes and Maggies can work. Israel Blume said he has customers driving maggies with coincident tube amps. Tubes should not be ruled out, but it may involve a compromise. If its a compromise you are willing to make, there you go.
I'm quite happy driving my 1.7's in similar size room with a Prima Luna Prologue tube integrated. Using Kt-120 power tubes remedies the low bass criticism's of the amp reviews of 2 years ago. The pre tubes used will matter... its worth it to dish out for Telefunkens and Siemens. I also considered the Rogue Chronus when buying the PL but found it to be to slow and soft on transients. If I were in the market now, I would gravitate to the Dialogue Premium at the $3k price point.
Not a fan of SS amps as they generally bore or fatigue me with their sound.
I'm about to make a lot of people mad. The only reason I'm even posting here is that I've had Vandersteen's as well and did a direct comparison. I was always curious about Magnepan so I went out and bought a pair of 1.7's and had them for about a year. During that time, I moved them in and out of my main system that has a pair of Vandersteen Model 2's. I really didn't know what to expect. The only thing I can tell you is that after a lot of listening, I couldn't come up with 1 thing that the 1.7's did better than the 2's. They weren't bad speakers, they were just outclassed by the 2's.
What I liked about the speaker the most was the bass. I thought it was excellent compared to most other speakers in this price range. It was very realistic and musical, not like that one note theatre sound that most speakers produce. The highs are what really turned me off. There was just too much sibilance. Also, the ribbon/tweeter covered most, if not all of the mids. I just didn't find that setup very natural sounding.
As far as driving the speakers goes, I didn't think they were too bad. You don't want to use a pair of SE triods, but as long as you don't need to play them too loud, in your 20x18 room, you shouldn't have too much trouble.
I know A LOT of people like the 1.7's. I think thats great. I've no problem with that whatsoever. My opinion is just my opinion, and nothing more. I'm not trying to put Magnepan down in any way.
funny, when I bought my Maggie 1.6 I compared them to Vandy 2e Sig and easily preferred the Maggies. Way more open sounding.
Using Wyred4sound on my 3.6s and MC1s.
Using Yamaha P5000S on Magnepan 1.7s:
700wpc into 4 ohms. I think the room is about 12'Wx18'Lx8'H
I had an ARC VS-110 powering my 3.6R's back in the day. I'm thinking an ARC-55 should do just fine.
I drove Maggie 1.7's with a Krell 300Si at 300 wpc into 4Ohms.
Not enough omphh to really get them going.
Upgraded to W4S at 1000 wpc into 4 ohms. It was like listening to a whole different - better - set of speakers.
Have since sold the 1.7's and using the W4S with Maggie 3.6's and no complaints.
The OP said tubes but how about a tubed preamp or tubed CD player?
The W4S will let you hear it.
funny, when I bought my Maggie 1.6 I compared them to Vandy 2e Sig and easily preferred the Maggies. Way more open sounding."
Its unfortunate, but I can definitely see that happening. I have no idea why, but most audio stores don't take the time to properly setup the gear they sell. This is almost always the case with Vandersteen. There's certain things you need to do if you want to get the best out of them. I've been to many Vandersteen dealers over the years and the only one that sets them up properly is Audio Connection in NJ. You can make a similar case for Magnepan. Even though they wouldn't be my first pick, with a little time, I got my 1.7's to sound way better than I've ever heard them in any store. I've never seen the logic in that. You would think that audio dealers would want to do everything in their power to get the best sound out of their own equipment.
Great discussion that I can relate to in many ways. I have had Maggie 1.6's for years and have used them with a Bryston 3BST which was very good. I upgraded to the ARC 150.2 Tripath Amp, which was a major improvement in almost every department. I have stayed with this combo, which also includes the Audibile Illusions M3A Tube Preamp. I feel no need to change. This is a match made in heaven. I also use a Vandersteen sub, very sparingly, mainly because it opens things up even more! Sound stage, imaging, etc, sublime. Incredible sound.
I also have another system with Vandersteen 3A Sigs driven by Red Dragon M-500 Mono Blocks. I tried them with Quicksilver V4's which were very nice and smooth, with a deep sound stage, but to my ears, too much of the same thing in both speakers and amps. The RD M-500's (Class D) bring more snap and punch to the party while also bringing out the beauty and finesse that the Vandy's have in spades. The RD amps are driven by an ARC SP16 Tube Preamp and SCE HRS Interface. Again, sound stage, imaging,etc, sublime! Incredible sound as well.
Vandersteen and Magnepan are both wonderful loudspeakers and when you take the time to feed them and set them up properly, you really can't go wrong. That's the problem with most demo's of them:improper set up and not the right synergy with front end components.
I've gotten almost all of my gear from John Rutan and the crew at Audio Connection in Verona, N.J. They know how to do it correctly with both Magnepan and Vandersteen, and can help you with set up in your own home. Your room is just as important as the gear so you'll have to take the time to see what set-up works best for you and your tastes.
I also might add that the Quicksilvers are sublime with an old pair of Snell E-III's. It's taken a long time and a lot of moving things around, but I've never been so happy with my audio systems. Good luck with your audio endeavors.
Odyssey Stratos sound wonderful with my 1.7's and 3.7's. Klaus is an awesome guy too!
I auditioned the 1.7's with NAD M3's too, which sounded nice as well.
I have a pair of Magnepan 1.7s and had run them with a Wyred 4 Sound STI-500. Unbelievable detail but over many months I became to dislike the very lean sound. I tried running a BADA Chinese tube preamplifier into the W4S STI-500 using it as just an amplifier. Much better results. The music took on a lifelike presentation with a much warmer and pleasing sound. It was an amazing difference.
Owning Magnepans for 30 years, I have found that if the amp is pretty good but lean sounding, a tubed preamp can solve the issues of warmth and three dimensional sound. This way, if you want to rock out, you can with a powerful solid state amp driven by a tubed preamp.
One thing that I have found with the Magnepan 1.7s is that you get amazing enjoyment out of the speakers at very low listening levels. Given a good DAC and clean sounding amplifier, the Magnepans sound terrific at low, medium and higher levels.
Magnepans are very unique where you get people saying they need enormous amounts of power while other say you only need a good 50 watt amp. Both are right in my experience. If, like me, you listen to a lot of acoustic music - classical, jazz and acoustic rock - I use less than 10 watts of power 90% of the time. So Magnepans do work with low power very well.
However, I notice as you turn the volume up, the Magnepans seem to absorb much more power to get just a little addition in volume levels. This is why I believe many Magnepan owners favor high to incredibly high power amplifiers. So based on how you like to listen to music you may be in the low, medium or high power amp range.
If you want to save money but have something that will provide a tube sound with 190 watts into 4 ohms, consider the BADA DC-225 hybrid integrated amp on Pacific Valve website. It is $1199 (less if you send a check).
If you are adventurous, take a look on the Cattylink website. I am considering the Bada Purer 3.3 or 3.8SE hybrid integrated amplifiers with more power just for those times you want to turn up the volume.
There are several other Chinese brands that offer hybrid integrated amps that would fit the needs of the Magnepans. Check out Shanling A300 integrated, as well.
Having lived with a BADA Amp and preamp in my system for several years I am quite happy with the sound and build quality. I had replaced the BADA combo with the W4S STI-500 for a year or two then sold the W4S and came back to the BADA combo.
I have a pair of Coda S-1 monos that I could make available. progressivefaith at yahoo dot com
Wifey away so having some fun. Unplugged my 700 wpc transistor amp for the day and hooked up my 5 wpc Dennis Had Inspire SE EL84 tube power amp and giving the Maggies a run. Can't hear any clipping and volumes are fine for condo living.