((((my Adcom 50 wpc thang is not gonna cut it))).So isn't it fair to say that you haven't even heard what your Vandersteens can do either?
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Hi there, I use crown 1 xls 1502 and crown xls 2502 x 2 and 1 crown xti 6002 which is the best one out of them but it costs a little over 2,000 usd at 2,100 plus tax, the xls series all fall under 1000 usd from the 1502 to the 2502 the only real difference is the power output. There is a hum or a buzz or whatever you may want to call it from the speakers and a noise from the amp more from the 2502 than the 1502. The 6002 is silent everywhere except from the fan that it uses to keep airflow and help cool it down. Also the 6002 can output 6000 watts in bridge or 3000 watts per channel if you run 2 ohm speakers and 1200 watts at 8 ohms, this amp has much more power and sounds cleaner and louder than all the rest.
The amps he talks about are out of your range, but this might make you think twice about going with the lowest option:
My experience with the Magnepan LRS speaker. Did it live up to my expectations? - YouTube
I have 2 crown XLS amps, the fans are obnoxious at low levels. I would recommend either a Digital Amplifier Co. King version of any, I have 3 different ones and they are quiet and very capable of running Maggies, also use a Peachtree Audio amp. I run DMW and MGM Maggies on either an STM or Mega Cherry DAC amplifier. The Crowns are gathering dust, the DACs bring it home for me, whether soft or loud. Just another opinion. I use the Peachtree 500 for a sub swarm, 4 10s and a 12. I use a DAC King DTM for my center channel a Magnepan MGC I.
I use a Crown XLS 2502 on my 1.7i and the sound is absolutely fine. I have other amps, A/B Rotel RB 1090 that works great also but get super hot if you play them long enough. Also have a Denon optical class A amp that works just wonderful with my Maggie's but despite what others say about the Crown XLS amps they work perfectly fine, I have never heard the fan run ever and quiet enough background but if you wish you can drive the hell out of your Maggie's all day and the Crown never breaks a sweat! Uncolored sound, honest sound it just amplifies what is there and sounds perfectly pleasing at a fraction of the high dollar amplifiers new or old. Just saying...the 2502 is about $649. Plenty of amp on the cheap that plays Magnepans just fine.
I just grabbed a Nad c298 power amp. It replaced an adcom gfa-545. I loved the way the 545 sounded. The older adcom power amps lack a speaker protection circuit though. I just got the klh model 5’s and didn’t want to take the chance with an older 545 even though I loved the sound. It’s rare, but they can fry speakers. The c298 is at the very top of your budget at $1999, but it uses a newer class d module that sounds amazing, very detailed and tons of power.
If you don’t care about the speaker protection circuit. The older adcom gfa-555/555II have 200 wpc, and would suit your purpose. You can find ones in great condition for sub $500 easily. I don’t know much about the newer gfa-555se, or if it has speaker protection. Love the older adcom sound.
If you’re interested in some of the newer class d amps though. I’d recommend investigating. I’m happy with my c298. You can find many that are plenty powerful for cheaper too. Look for amps that use ice power, hypeX, ncore, or purifi modules. If I hadn’t gone the separates route, I’d have probably gotten the rogue audio Sphinx, which someone already recommended. Tubes plus 100wpc of class d 👌.
I currently feed my LRS's with a Parasound Hint Integrated. As mentioned above, a sweet combo. It has plenty of current, John Curl design and is a virtual Swiss Army knife of an amp. I decided to consolidate gear awhile back using the Halo INT as the centerpiece and have't been disappointed. A solid DAC, Bass control (I run 2 Speedwoofer subs) and phono section makes this a quality one stop shop.
Personally I would not buy the Maggie I owned several
the parts quality is Horrible ,just look at the connectors Pathetic
still holes and fuses ,the worst possible connections
the Xovevpure cabbage 50;cent crap resistors capacitors on same level and the frame flexes like a sale ,save your money .unless you want to completely rebuilt it correctly ,you would think in 20 year they would ,Nope mThe panel is power hungry , Elac has several
Jones designed speakers that are excellent products ,
even SVS , in this day and age ,nit even a normal connector on a speaker simply pathetic, and if you use spades Too Bad buy a cheap adapter ,to plug into a nickel steel connection full of resistance and noise, and who in their right mind want to add more distortion with a fuse to the signal path ? Not Me ,I learned the hard way .
Parasound A23+. Well within your price range new, so you get a warranty. Parasound owns the not expensive lower price range on quality high current amps for Maggie’s. It is the power end of a Hint integrated, and if you need a good pre / DAC to go with your setup, a used Hint is the easy choice for all three.
I have a local Magnepan dealer and this is what they carry to compliment the lower mid end for Maggie’s. Yamaha is the base unit they sell.
I have the Maggie.7's and have had 3 amps on them, they like a lot of current, my experience anyway. I wound up with a Parasound A21, used in your budget. They sing, didn't like the class d with them, no flames please, just my personal preference. Had an Emotiva, nice amo but not enough.
Reiterating, they like big current and power, it's crazy how much they can use but man are they magical.
Phil, I think that you have done very well to avoid higher priced cables and interconnects. Wait until you're well into 4 figures before you even think about it again. Spend on what makes the biggest difference, like better speakers and better amps.
Cables and interconnects offer the least bang for the buck, IMO. YMMV.
I agree with the previous comments on Bryston Amos. The work well with Maggie's & you can find a used one in your price point. Yes, Magnepan used to demo their speakers with Brystons a while back. Another GREAT amp for the Maggie's is a used Aragon 8008bb. Great build quality (mil spec) and put out 400 wats into 8ohms. I had one driving my 1.7is for a while until I upgraded to a PS Audio BHK.
THANKS to all of you for your thoughts and targeted steering. I've had a good time researching all of the leads mentioned here. Crown amps have prompted the most comments, and are the (controversial!) value choice! In a middle price range, the Bryston and Oddessy offerings make a lot of sense- and look to be a good match for the quirky Magnepan load. If I decide to splurge, the Parasound Hint Halo or a Hegel integrated look really attractive too . . .
Today, I'm leaning towards the Odessey Stratos (150wpc at 8 ohms): Love the reviews, the 20 year warranty, the long term manufacturing experience on their product line, and their focus on made in USA. At $1,400, it leaves room for some decent cables.
Currently using a Hegel H360 with my LRS and it makes them sing very nicely. High damping factor, 250 wpc into 8 ohms and 420 wpc into 4. Super smooth character and well balanced. Over your budget used but try and audition one of their less expensive models. My Rogue Atlas Magnum 3 tube amp and Rogue tube pre sound great also. Just don't get quite as loud/dynamic.
I have the LRS’s being driven by the Rogue Sphinx ver 3 (tube preamp stage and Hypex Class D amplifier modules with MOSFET output devices. High speed switching the output devices is the secret sauce) in very small room (9’1” x 11’5”). They are set up on the short wall with tweeters on the outside toed in, so that the tweeters are aimed just on the edge of my ears. The speakers are 39” from the front wall and 15” from the side walls. The seating position is the same distance as the speakers are apart forming an equal lateral triangle. In other words it’s set up for near-field listening. Also they are mounted on Sound Anchor LRS stands at the highest mounting position, allowing the top of the speaker to reach an elevation of 57.5” in an almost vertical position. These stands tip the speaker about a 1/4” forward when measured from the top of the speaker to the back wall. Bass is better, the vertical sweet spot opens up, and the sound stage gets bigger vertically. This makes near-field listening not only possible but incredibly good! For room treatment I use ASC’s newest (most absorbent) 16’ tube traps, but not behind the Maggie’s, as they’re too absorbent at 39” from the speaker. They’re placed 1/4” from the inside edge of each LRS with the metal rivets on each tube trap directly facing each other. If the edge of each speaker were a knife it would be dissecting the tube traps in half right between the double rivets. This results in well defined bass, better low level detail, and in the near-field setup most of the reflected sound doesn’t come into play anyway with Maggie’s since their wave dispersion is way more direct than dynamic box speakers, that have a reflection dispersion close to 360 degrees vertically and horizontally.
I’ve had Maggie 3.6R’s in a larger room with class AB amplification and loved it! And while the high end was more extended in the 3.6R’s and the bass deeper. The speed, driver coherence, transparency and over all balance top to bottom of the LRS’s being driven with the Sphinx ver 3 was preferable. The tube preamp allows for more roundness and body to the music, especially with voices. And with the amplifier’s Class D MOSFET output providing a firm grip with a damping factor >1000, the amp sounds like a tube amp with balls!
Herb Reichert of Stereophile reviewed the first version of the Sphinx and now the Sphinx ver3. In his review he used the Sphinx to drive Maggie .7’s. Here’s what he said, “The Sphinx V3 made the modest .7 Maggies sound like the best speaker ever. What more could I want?” “The V3 was always more exciting and engaging than its now-classic forebear. I promise, you have my word: The Rogue Sphinx V3 will someday be remembered, like the original NAD 3020 integrated amp, as one of the greatest high-value audio products of all time.”