Integrated or Amp/Preamp combo for Magnepan 1.7


Hi All - currently using a W4S 250W/channel integrated amp with fairly new Magnepan 1.7s and thinking I can do better. The sound is a bit bright and I'm wondering if a different integrated or amp/preamp combo would help. I've searched the forums and haven't found a lot of specifics. I'm considering, thanks to a fellow Agoner, something like an older Audio Research Pre or CJ pre with a solid state amp (Pass or others). I would prefer an integrated amp, but separates may be the way to go. Hegel, SimAudio or tube integrated are under consideration. I have a small square room ( roughly 11 x 11 ) and I mostly listen to classical, jazz and classic rock. Budget would be around $3000. Thanks for any suggestions.
shaksfan
I had the same experience with the W4S STI-500. Did lots of things well but had glare or hardness in upper mids with my Usher Be-718's. I switched to NAD M3 which cured it but also lost some detail and space around instruments. The M3 did sound very powerful and substantial and I would've kept it except I couldn't see the smallish display from my chair. Now using BAT VK300xSE with AZ Adagios so I have the tube pre/SS power combo like you mention above. Works great and I can't wait to listen after work every day.
Some suggestions after having been through a year of breaking in my 1.7's

1) start with interconnects and power cables... they can contribute to glare which is commonly what people are reacting to when they say bright. I use the PS Audio jewel power cables, they do help improve bass and clean up grunge. Interconnects are harder to pigeon hole as source-pre electronics interaction varies. Try some place like Wireworld that will let you try before you buy.
2) turn your speakers backwards... the vertical magnet strips on the front panel side create a Fresnel lens like effect that reduces off axis imaging.
3) you don't mention your source, so that makes me wonder if the source is possibly the origin of some brightness.
4) maggies take about 60 days to break in... during which time they aren't yet at their best bass or transparency because like new shoes they don't have enough wear to be fully supple.

I suspect that you may be disappointed if you don't sort through these first... the problem may still be there after buying new amplification.

Very happy with Prima Luna Prologue Premium integrated vs
my prior solid state amplification... but that was more of an oil color vs water color tonal color change ..improved vividness, not a change in tonal balance. If better tone color does matter to you, $3K gets you their Dialogue Integrated which is even better in the bass..
Thank you both for your response(s). Davide256 - Source is either a Clearaudio Concept with Jolida Phono Pre or MacMini with Eastern Electric DAC. I notice glare/brightness using both. I've tried swapping the maggies, but not turning them backwards. I will look into both of your suggestions. I'm considering an Odyssey for the SS amp, but not sure that is the way to go.
Sounds like you are worried about wattage... don't be. In your price range consider the Rogue or the Prima Luna integrateds. Tube amps rarely irritate like solid state amps can and can help tame irritations from other components. I don't miss the greater wattage my Musical Concepts modded Hafler had... I hear more interesting things with tube amplification.
I am a Magnepan and Hegel dealer. We have recently set-up over ten systems pairing the 1.7's with the Hegel H70 or H100 integrated amps. At $3k, the H100 would be at your price point. It is quite a step above the H70. It will not clip, even driven wide open, due to its "Sound Engine" technology. Just thought I'd chime in and let you know what I believe to be a great combo at a nice price point.
Thank you Everestaudio for your thoughts. I see a H200 on Agon now, just above my price. Might be a good option as well.
I am about to purchase new Mag 1.7's ....
Right now, I am considering the modified Jolida hybrid tube DAC for $750 ...
I am seeking bang for the buck tube preamp ...
I have a 25 watt Class A tube amp ...
1> Is the Jolida DAC a right choice for the Maggies?
2> What is the best sound per dollar tube preamp for the Maggies?
3> Do I need a power source such as the PS-1?
4> What cables are the best bang for the buck?
5> Do I need to modify the Maggies with better fuses for the tweeters like some recommend?
I am about to purchase new Mag 1.7's ....
Right now, I am considering the modified Jolida hybrid tube DAC for $750 ...
I am seeking bang for the buck tube preamp ...
I have a 25 watt Class A tube amp ...
1> Is the Jolida DAC a right choice for the Maggies?
2> What is the best sound per dollar tube preamp for the Maggies?
3> Do I need a power source such as the PS-1?
4> What cables are the best bang for the buck?
5> Do I need to modify the Maggies with better fuses for the tweeters like some recommend?
Shaksfan, If you do a bit of a search in the forums you will find that many people like the solid state Cary amps with Maggies. Full disclosure here, I will have a pair of CAD 500's MB's up for sale in a couple of weeks, having just purchased a pair of CAD 500.1's. That said, you may be fighting a loosing battle with Maggies in an 11x11 room. I'd think about some serious dampening in the corners behind the speakers, at the very least.
Go find yourself the PASS 150 intergrated or Musical Fidelity A5.5 both have enough power and sound very nuetral
I had the Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated amp and didn't like it. I now have the Prima Luna Prologue 3 pre and a pair of Bel Canto REF 500M amps, my MMG's are sounding much better to my ears.
If it were me, I would consider a used Accuphase or Mcintosh integrated. These two will sound very different; which one sounds better will be up to your ears. I'm not a Mac guy, but when I have heard Mac integrated models w/ autoformers and Maggies I thought that it was an excellent combination, IMO.

The Pass unit mentioned above would also be a great choice.
I love my magnepans 1.6`s with the Music Fidelity A5.5 sounds very good.
You need to get them into a different room.

I have Magnepan 1.7i and McIntosh MAC6700 with Rega RP40 Turntable and Simaudio Moon 3.3 cd player, The turntable sounds ok the cd player sounds much more dynamic
The receiver sounds great but can run out of steam quickly once pushed, but for average listening levels its very good, I hate to sell the Mac but I may have to investigate Bryston as I have had a few 4Bst's and their  BP25 pre, The maggies need gobs of power.

Any suggestions ?

A friend of mine uses a Vincent SV-236 with his 1.7s. He swapped out the stock tubes with Telefunkens. Sounds great. Never seems to run out of steam at louder levels.