You're going to need something pretty beefy, they're not an easy load.
Saw a pair of VTL 225s advertised here yesterday, that would be a sweet match.
BAT or Audio Research monoblocks would also be great.
It all depends on your budget. Many solid state options will work for less money. I love tubes, and prefer them in most cases, but it will cost you. How much are you thinking of spending?
Maggies are great. Tubes are great. The combination is problematical.
Maggies like lots of power. My MG1.6 sound better than ever with CarverPro ZR1600 digital amp, and the cost is minimal.
A number of people run the Maggies with Rogue Magnum M120's or the New M150's. Jim
Maggies require some serious watts for them to bloom. Tubes? You'll need deep pockets to get what you need...That Bryston is a beauty with Maggies.
I forgot--- what about a tube preamp?
I am using an Eastern Electric Mini Max tube pre amp going into a 25 year old GAS Ampzilla II that feeds my 3.6's.
I have been through thirty amps in the past 15 years and that does include the VTL MB250's. The Ampzilla comes so close to the VTL's. None of the other amps has all the things the Ampzilla does. And, you won't have to worry about tubes in the power amp to get great sound (some call it tube sound).
Sad thing is, I started off my audiophile passion with the
Ampzilla. Little else measured up.
Warren- The Shanling has a tube output, which you can bypass fwiw, a great looking unit that sounds pretty good for the money and can be run in several different configurations. Pretty neat how it works even if your not interested in the unit its worth looking into.
As other's have stated if you go with tubes you will need powerful tube amps which are a lot of $$$, if your willing to spend it some feel it is the way to go. The reason I did not run tubes was the heat they would generate. Even with central air cranking during the summer months I had a tube amp and it got really warm- with a pair of large monoblocks you would be uncomfortable. Other shortcomings: tubes need replacing and on large amps that can be expensive- tube rolling will eventually tempt you; you will not be able to leave them on all of the time and increase your cold/hot cycles which is harder on everything- not to mention you need to wait for them to warm up; big tube amps need each output tube biased and this will take a little while to get the hang of. The flip side of this coin is that tube amps produce midrange that no ss amp can, always trade off's.
As another member asked what is your budget? We could make suggestions both SS and tubed from that.
My experience with using tube amps with Maggie 3.3 and 3.5 is that you need something in the 200w+ range. The 110w ARC VT130 was absolutely spectacular in the midrange at medium volume levels but quickly ran out of steam. I then tried the older ARC Classic 150 monos. Much of the VT130 magic was gone but I did gain a little more dynamics....but it was clearly not at all enough.
I have since gone with the Counterpoint NPS400 and now things are working mighty well. This amp was so vastly superior to the CL150s in every way. I truly have no idea what all the hype was over the CL150s a decade ago.
If you are an ARC fan, I suspect the old D250 or the newer VT200, VM200 models might be worthy of an audition. But I think the VTL 450 or 700 is what would really do it....or maybe the big Melos mono amps or a mono pair of the Counterpoint amps.
Once I heard the incredible magic of the Maggies and tube sound, it was mighty tough to go with solid state....and the Counterpoint allows for a good compromise with its hybrid implementation. This could be a super match with the 1.6s.
I agree that it costs too much to use tubes. I had Rogue Magnum 120s with my Maggie 1.6s and they ran out of steam pretty quickly. In comparison with 3 other amps that were all solid state, the Rogues sounded lifeless. This was with Rogue 99 Magnum pre, Sony 9000ES CD player and AZ wire.
2nd the Rouge Magnum 120's
I have both and perhaps with the right tube amp--- but for me toobs can't pull it off with maggies.
I am now running an Odyssey Stratos Extreme amp that has totally awoken my 1.6 QR's. Unbelievable! See my system. I believe that a tube preamp contributes greatly to the overall sound. It doesn't hurt having a Cary 308T as a source either! Life is good!
Solid state for tube lovers? Perhaps a Pass Labs single ended amp or a Sunfire amp(those have two sets of outputs; one of them has a tubey flavor to it), these are worth checking out, if you don't want to a pair of room heaters. Sounds like the consensus is that a smaller tube amp won't get the job done.
The combination of the Maggie 1.6es and the Music Reference RM-200 is mightilty synergistic. A high-power tube-solid state design, the 200 offers the clear, vibrant portrayal of voices and instruments typical of tubes, combined with the unrestrained high frequencies and great bass extension often associated with solid-state. This combination sings!
Siliab, I like your suggestion. The RM-200 is a powerful beast. Good value, too.
Thanks to everyone for your responses and time. Looks like I have some more research to do.
Save yourself a fortune and get a luxmam r-117 receiver and use the cd bypass. Plenty of clean, smooth, tube like power and stable to 2 ohms!. If you don't listen to very loud rock/pop or orchestral music try a nakamichi sr-3 stasis receiver. These are out of production but can be found on Audiogon and Ebay. If you must have separates, these speakers really open up with lots of power. There are good reports using innersound amps and rogue tube amps. Good luck with your search..
I use a Innersound esl amp with my 1.6's and was surprised how well the amp controls them and doesn't compress the sound like a few other ss amps that I have tried.