Mcintosh 501's with Magnepan 1.6 QR

Wondering if anyone has heard this combination? I am currnetly using a Parasound Halo a21 with a Parasound halo p3 preamp and the Maggie 1.6's. Sound is WAAAAAY to bright for me? Wondering if the Mcintosh amps would be better?

Dan in Los Angeles
Hi Dan I have not heard your exact combo but did own Maggie 20's and did try my Mac 501's on them and it sounded marvelous so I could only imagine with yours. No brightness the you refer to having with your current set-up. If you can get a pair to demo I would recommend you do so but so far anything that I have put the 501's with the sound has been great, bonus no heat from them so they don't heat up a room, the build quality is great along with their looks.
I think the Mac would be a step in the right direction. I have 3.6's and have used their MC500 and still have the MC1000 monos. A while ago I used their 352 with the 1.6, nothing bright at all. If you get a chance to demo, see if you can try a different pre also. It's about steps. Maybe one is all you need, maybe two. The room is always a factor. If it's hard and reflective you might try deadening it. I'm assuming you have already tried the tweeter attenuators. They are the first thing that should be tried, that's why Magnepan supplies them with the purchase. The 1.6's are great speakers, worth trying everything you can. Good luck.
Until I hooked up the supplied resistors my 1.6's were too bright with any and all amplifiers. With the attenuators they sounded great with the same amps.
Thanks for all the input guys...I have tried the attenuators but not seem to work. I called magnepan and they are going to send me a 4db attenuator. Someone suggested I try a tube pre-amp. Any suggestions?

Hi Dan,

I just changed my system to include a pair of 1.6's and a Mac MC 402. Now both the amp and speakers are new so they are alittle active on top. But I get a good feel that once the components settle in, all will be very nice. The Maggies take a long time to break in all on their own. The Mac amp has plenty of balls to drive those speakers no problem. I don't think you would need to get the 501's, but hey, if the pocketbook is willing then why not. For what it is worth, I am using an Aesthetix Calypso for my preamp, and a Lynn Ikemi as my digital source. The Calypso is a stone cold bargain! You can not go wrong with the Mac gear. Have fun.
You did not mention how long you had the 1.6's. If they are "new" or have not broken in yet, the bass is pretty much absent in my experience. I have 1.6's connected to a McIntosh MC300 with 300 wpc. It took a year and a half of what was for me, a lot of playing, before the bass came in beautifully and balanced the mids and highs. I have dismissed the idea of adding a sub because the bass is definitely fully there (to my ears anyway). You will get your money's worth from any MAC amp that puts out at least 50 wpc. However Magnepan told me their speakers perform well with more current, so I purchased an amp with more power.I agree generally with everything said above, especially taking an opportunity to test a new amp in your system. McIntosh can be expensive. If that is a consideration, be sure to check out Audiogon. I got a great deal there.

I recently switched to McIntosh gear myself with my 1.6's. My 1.6's are well broken in so you need to take that into account when reviewing my comments. I now have a MC402 amplifier and C45 preamplifier. I have had a fair amount of quality and well reviewed preamps and amps, in both tube and solid state designs. The C45 and MC402 now provide me with the smoothest, most dynamic sound so far without any loss of detail or extension. I do use a REL B3 sub to handle the low lows but otherwise the Mac gear is outstanding. I listen to almost exclusively vinyl now and the phonostage in the C45 is excellent as well.

As far as your brightness, try some fake ficus trees (6' tall) behind your Maggie's. They will act as diffusers and may tame some of the brightness (I once used these with excellent results). Also make sure that you eliminate any pictures or tv screens between the speakers.

Good luck!
Hi Dan,

I am a newbie but I have been reading a lot about the 1.6s and here is what I have discovered - The 1.6s do not go well with tubes (and I think Magnepan themselves say this). I have read this on many discussion boards.
Also, John Valin, a very highly respected reviewer in TAS was reviewing your A21 and at the end of the review he said something to the effect of "Oh, wow, what a magical combination this amp would be with a pair of maggies." From what I gather you can't go wrong if John Valin makes a stement like that.

I think you may be more than fine with what you have and based on my research, in fact I have a pair of 1.6s, an A21 and a Jc2 coming this week.

Anyway, you might find me on here next week asking some set-up questions when my gear arrives, but I feel pretty confident that the gear combination is right, just got some tweeking to do hopefully.

Good Luck
I have the MG3.6r and they can be even brighter than the MG1.6 with their true ribbon tweeter.
The key for taming the highs is power and current which my Classe CA400 provides.
I would suggest a tube/hybrid preamp, diffusion behind the speakers, absorbtion on the other end.
Make sure the quasi tweeter is further from your ears than the mid/bass driver.

From what I've been reading, the parasound amps deliver a pretty smooth sound and have good current requirments for planers.
Search under Audiogon member"Macdadtexas" and see what amps he's been through to give you an idea on amp choices.

I tried a older mc7200 Mac amp with mg1.6's before and the sound to me in my room was lifeless and very laidback.

If your using digital for your source, try a NOS tube dac (mhdt Havana, Audio Note)to tame the highs.
And above all else, play vinyl.
How old is your Halo A21? You may want to give it some time to break in.