I think there are many good choices out there but if I had to pick one I would suggest that you try out a pair of Bryston 7BST monoblocks. These coupled with a nice tube preamp would do the 3.6s justice...
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I used to own a smaller pair of maggies and have been in love the sound ever since. I plan to own them again and read most web sites with info on them. I have read more than one reviewer talk about the match between Simaudio w3 or w5 and the maggies. Simaudio products/www.simaudio.com/are not a lot of watts but very high current which is of course what maggies like. Simaudio products, like Classe are made in Canada which makes them a good value on your side of the 49th.cheers steve
As a follow-up to a fellow Albertan, I too have heard the Sim W-5 and loved it. Was it worth twice the price of my 4BST - not to my ears with my 1.5's. I think as a stand alone amp it would do a nice job on the 3.6's and would give it serious consideration if found used at a good price. It's my opinion that a pair of 7BST monoblocks would provide more current and better control of the planars than the W-5. The Sim might "sound" similar to the Classe as it has been my experience that both are "warmish" in comparison to the Bryston amps. Bryston IMHO offers less of a sonic signature - they just seem to amplify whats provided and therefore may be subject to revealing system flaws and considered to be less forgiving...
I disagree with Leafs about the quality of sound that you get from a Krell amp. I own both a Bryston 4BST and a Krell KSA 200S. There is no doubt that the Krell has more drive capability for low impedance loads. That said I find that the Bryston 4BST sound as good (not better) with my speakers which are 6 ohm nominal. As far as cost there is no doubt that the Bryston is a much more cost effective approach. That combined with a 20 year fully tranferable warranty makes Bryston a best buy IMHO.
Rgd I agree the Bryston mono s would be a good buy and I well may go that route when I have my maggies. However SGR did not state a budget and I found when you're at this level of sound quality it takes some serious bucks to make the upgrade worthwile.I dont think its ureasonable to have to double the cost to make the next step up . It really depends what you can afford. I have also heard SimAudios monoblocks marketed as I think a W10 . They are very tight and if you ever got them broken in they provide a hugh surplus of current. chers steve
the classe' s are the smoothest, most musical of the group, IMO. they'd be my choice if i couldn't afford accuphase or boulder. a big problem with the krell gear, among many, is how quickly it becomes obsolete through the intro. of ever more models, nos., styles & names. hasn't been true of the classe or bryston. BTW, there is a huge difference between the lower end classe (much more like bryston) and the upper-range models like the cam and omega.
Best I've heard 3.6r's sound has been with Levinson 336 or the big Plinius in Class "A" mode. I've got 4 friends with these maggies and they all ended up with one of these amps or the other. Runner up: Hafler 9500/9505. Short money maggie solution not many folks are aware of. Great synergy between Hafler and Magnepan. Good Luck!
Cornfedboy is right about the stinging depreciation that you will experience buying a new high end amp. Krell's propensity to add new models has to hurt the resale value of the older models. This can be a plus if you are a buyer. You should be able to find a good deal on one of the KSA series if that is what you decide to get. You might want to go to a few dealers to demo the different amps suggested by the members. Buying makes a lot of sense from a value standpoint, but you are stuck with what you buy.
Thanks for all the advice. I have had the Classe Monoblocks at home and they sounded real nice, very musical but it sounded like the Bryston 4B has more slam. I'm puzzled about the Krell though, are they really that cable sensitive? A friend has a KSA -250 and it sounds great. I'm budgeting about $5000. toward an amp and cannot afford expensive cables for quite a while. Also I'm using the Adcom GFP-750 preamp. Has anyone heard the Marsh amps with Maggies? Thanks for all your input.
All of the amps you mention are great. Classe is definately smooth, but is a tad laid back. Bryston is super strong, but lacks the rythm and can seem hard edged by comparison. As for Krell you pay a lot for an amp that has neither the refinement of the Classe nor the value of the Bryston. To add to the comments made by others I would deffinately try Sim's W-5. I have found the W-5 to be every bit as good as the Classe in finess, but not as laid back. When compared head to head with Bryston Sim has much better rythm and is more involving. Also, If you like the Sim sound and want more grunt you can always have it converted to a W-10 and purchase a second W-10. While the W-5's and 10's are basically the same amp (bridged) the 10's offer significantly more current 35amps continuous (20 in the W5).
Davewavaolcom: sorry, i don't get the point of your post. perhaps you might benefit from a spellchecker or grammarchecker? with what speakers did you audition these amps? did you like or dislike the bryston or krell? did you even hear the pass x-600's or just figure they'd be better that the 150 based upon the size of cajones?