For much less money I would rather use a BAT VK-500, I know more then one person who love the sound of BAT ss with planer/electrostat type speakers. Not many people here consider Krell to be "on the level" of other high end gear, coincidentally the other gear tends to be much cheaper. If you really feel like spending that kind of $ on an SS amp I would also consider trying the BAT VK-1000 mono's, Jeff Rowland Design Group model 8, Cello Duet I am sure others will give you more recomendations. Just so we know what are you using now?
The Magnapans need the warmth of tubes but they also need a lot of power which gets very expensive with tube amps. Krell class A amps can give you the best of both worlds. I have a pair of Krell KMA 100 amps that would be perfect with your speakers.
I agree with Tireguy. Jeff Rowland would be a much better match than Krell if you are going the transistor route.
VTL, BAT, Atmasphere or Wolcott would all be great choices in tube gear. A friend who is a reviewer has done a lot of listening tests with Maggies and among the better known amps choose VTL as his reference. I personally prefer the Wolcotts, but among the brands listed there are many excellent choices.
I dont know who tireguy hangs with but in my two cents worth are as follows. The BAT is a fine amp but in my house it is not the most nutral amp ive heard its a matter of taste. I think the Krell KSA&KMA amps sound better than the FBP. The Roland is a good amp as is the Levinson. In solid state these are the ones i would buy. I would look hard at a KSA 200 or a Mark Levinson 23.5. These can be got at great prices with a little shopping on the net.
I too like Tireguy's suggestion for solid state. For tubes, I would highly recommend the Wolcott's (Albert's choice as well). I heard the Wolcott's on the Maggie's and do not know that I have ever heard the Maggie's sound better. I was SHOCKED!!! I have heard them with Krell's, Classe, ARC, etc and the Wolcott's did something none of the others could. It provided a really focused soundstage as well as suprisingly great dynamics and bass. If you are interested in the Wolcott's, call Duke at AudioKinesis, a great dealer and a great guy!
I agree that tubes sound a lot better with his speakers but I was trying to compare apples to apples(well sort of any how). I use a BAT tube amp and am enamored with its sound. I have yet to hear a Krell set up that sounds good, to me any way, I know many feel the same way, but this is not a Krell vs. the world thread(again). All I am trying to say is do yourself a favor and check out some other stuff. Best wishes,
You may want to try Bryston 7B's, Legacy Audio Monoblocs, and Rogue Audio 120's. I have tried all three and they all sound superb with the Maggie 3.6's.
well.... I have used KRELL/Magnepan combos before. One thing I have learned. More power=better for magnepans. My suggestion is to go for more power for your money. Sunfire sig works well. Bryston 7b. If money is nothing to you get the big mono block Krells. 600 watts each is my suggestion.
If anyone flames me for the sunfire comment, you are a snob and have not listened objectivly.
Your new here, aren't you?
I've heard the magnepans sound 'ok' with krell's and monster classe amps. I owned a set of 1'6's (the set jtinn heard with the wolcotts actually!), and found that solid state amps ran a distant second to tube amps with them. My little tiny, twelve year old conrad-johnson mv-50 sounded better than any solid state amp with the magnepans. Not a little, a lot!
I concur with jtinn on the wolcotts. They are head and shoulders better than any amp I've paired with the magnepans. They completely transformed the speakers from very good to world-class. The vt100 came next, but didn't have a hint of the wolcott's power.
If you can, try a Pass X series pre-amp & X250 or X350 amp.
In my opinion, they are much less forward than a lot of other solid state. On par with the Rowland Model 8....
FYI... Jonathan Valin in TAS #124 recommended two Maggie (1.6) systems with Goldmund SR/M2 amps, that he claims Magnepan's Wendell Diller thought was the best set up he'd heard.
The tube comments are valid. I use ARC tubes in my Pre, Bryston SS for power. (2.7's) Seems to provide the best of both worlds. But then I don't have the $$$ for tube POWER.
Thanks for all your responses. From the comments it seems that tubes would mate well with the 3.6r's, unfortunately I need to stick with solid state. I'll be looking into the amps recommended by the writers, namely the Bryston, Rowland, Pass. Thanks once again.
You owe it to yourself to include the FPB200 or 300 on your shortlist. Don't listen to the Krell Bashing Brigade. Listen to those Krell models instead, compare them to the other products that were mentioned as supposedly superior alternatives and THEN decide for yourself. I honestly doubt if any of the above have actually heard a Maggie/Krell combo like the one you proposed.
The partnership of the 3.6 with an FPB will not sound bright at all, provided you use excellent upstream components and choose your cables carefully. Capaudio was correct when he stated that the Krell will provide the current that the Maggies need in order to give proper bass performance, while its extended top end that will bring out the best of the ribbon tweeter. But a mediocre source component has nowhere to hide in this system and then sure enough the result will sound bright and awful.
Just wait until Jonathan Valin reviews the new Maggie 20.1 for TAS (which I'm sure he will do one day, being the Maggie lover that he is). My bet is that he will absolutely freak out when he hears them with the FPB650m, his current reference solid state amplifier. As a slightly scaled down version of that system I'm sure the 3.6 will sound terrific with either the FPB200 or 300.
This opinion is not based on hear say, shows or dealer demos, but on longtime personal experience with a comparible set up of Maggie 3.3's (with rebuilt crossovers) and the FPB200, using Transparent Super speaker wire.