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I would just call/email Magnepan directly, and get the dope from the horse's mouth.
If you don't want to do that, PM Audioconnection (John Rutan). He sells Maggies and knows just about every amp out there. He would be able to tell you if your friend's
amps are up to the task.
He can also give you some pointers on placement.
Some years back I had a set of Maggie 1.6QRs that I drove with a pair of refurbed Dynaco Mk III mono amps which were 60 watts apiece. They did very nicely and I had no problems getting good volume (85 dB average) in a room that was roughly14 X 25. Maybe not the arrangement that a headbanger would want, but then the Maggies themselves would be an unlikely choice for that type of listener.
Don't have the 1.7s but had the 1.6 and now have MG12 with highly modified crossovers .
Maggies have come a long way from their beginnings .
Maggies have to be at least 4.5 to 5.0 feet from back wall . At least 3 feet from side walls . They like asymetrical positioning . Spacing the speakers depends on sitting position . You open them up you get a marvelous big soundstage but with less focus images . Get them closer and images are better focus with more specificity .
Having said that maggies don't focus as boxed speakers . Image outline are a bit more homogenous .
One thing which is extremely important and seems to be a caracteristic of all the models I've had is that moving them around seems to deterioate one aspect of performance while getting another aspect better . You get them closer and you get the bass punchier and impactful but will lose spaciousness or focus
Maggies are speakers that dictate where they want to be and always need space to sing . The difference can be stunning . Take care and stay safe .
I had the 1.7's in two different rooms, one larger and one smaller than yours. In the smaller 13x15' room, they were nearly half way out into the room and I sat right against the rear wall. Great imaging with bass reinforcement. In the larger room room they were roughly 1/3 out from the front wall, I sat 2/3 from the front wall. Equilateral triangle arrangement. Worked very well also. The critical thing is getting them off of the front wall (the front wall is the wall you look at)
I doubt you will be lacking for power nor do I think you need esoteric cable to get fine results--I used Supra Rondo 4x4.0.
Have 1.7’s in a room slightly larger than your friends with a vaulted ceiling. I played around with positioning for about a month and landed on 32" from the front wall (measured from the tip of the foot closest to the wall). Any further and the bass dropped way off. Place tweeters to the outside. I would start by spacing the speakers 60% of the distance your friend is sitting away from them. This is stated in the Magnepan manual and I ended up pretty close to that after the month of playing around.
THANKS to all for the feedback. Very helpful and saved valuable time.
Appears the 4ohm 86db 1.7s might be a bit much to handle for my buddy’s smaller EL34 tube amp, in a tad larger open room setting. While he does not crank it up much, he and his wife also do a lot of "walk around" listening adjacent in the kitchen just behind the great room area, not always seated directly in front of the speakers. He tried some lower cost horn speakers for 30 days and was not thrilled having to consider upgrading brand new speakers, so he sent them back.
To get by for a few months while looking, he’s now experimenting with updating and modding some older Vienna Acoustics Mozart 2.5 speakers he received from a family member for free, for now. Will keep looking. Thanks!
I have the original 1.7s driving them with a Krell400 xi 400 very clean watts great sound quality positioning is very important I have mine tilted in so the tweeters cross in front of my listening chair also pull them out at least 3 to 4feet from the back wall.My room is 18 by 22 ft 8 foot ceiling good listening.
Both 12s and now 1.7s. Laid out along the long axis. Three feet from sides, four from front room. My couch is about six feet from the back wall, so about 11 feet from ear to speaker.
Slightly toe'd in. Tweeters to the outside.
I used to run them with 90w Pass Aleph 5s ( clone monos )... now I use a pair of cloned 200w Pass Aleph2. As backup, I got a Conrad Johnson MF2100 200w solid state amp.
The one thing, besides getting them off the wall is to give them LOTS of clean power.