Musical Fidelity A300 or VTL IT 85 for Mag 1.6QR

Ok, another Maggie question. I scanned the threads for the 1.6, but wanted to get some comments regarding a couple of specific integrateds with the 1.6QR. Specifically the MF A300 (solid state 150wpc) or VTL IT 85 (tube 85 wpc). I lean towards tubes, but don't know if 85 tube watts into the Maggies 4 ohms will drive them well, and price IS a consideration for considering more power from tubes.

Comments, suggestions? I do listen to most everything - Classical (both chamber and orchestral), jazz (acoustic to contemporary electronic), pop/rock (well, just a little).


I tried the A300 with my 1.6's and it did sound very nice but had a forward sound. Coronets sounded like you could crawl into it the sound was so big, I do not want to sound negative because the TONE was very sweet on that same Coronet. Piano had a full sound that was nice also. Hi Hats sounded 4 feet in diameter and 2 feet in front of the speaker. In some ways I miss that amp, it was super detailed (something that worked nice with the Magnepans). I have also tried Rogue 88 amp with 70 watts which was enough for a small room but you could not rock out by any means. I did prefer the sound of the Rogue with the 99 pre amp to the MS A300, At more than twice the price as well. Bottom line, if you get the MS you will want a well dampened room and smooth source and wire. I bet you would be happy (it has an airy sound as well). I have not heard the VTL but it would probably be my choice, but I like tubes. good luck I hope this helps
The Vtl is a 60W amp

Not a powerhouse by any means.
Consider the Creek 5350se as a musical choice with solid drive. Remember many things can cause a forward sound, the least of which being a cd player. The A300 may yet prove to be a good choice as well.
to clarify my first message, My CD source was a Rega 2000 and turntable was LP12 with K9 cartridge, wire was Kimber 8TC and interconnects were older Tara (I forget which but has been smooth on other items)
I have tried the MF300 with my 1.6 QR and was awed at
the fact that it made the maggies so full.Sounded like
a dynamic,electrostat,and planar all in one .But it sounds
as philjolet above is that it is forward and very sybellant
ah ssssss sounding .It also colored the mid range and
removed the exquiste transparancy that the maggies are made
to do . I almost bought one however until I tried out the
Sim W-5 . You know as they say in the Stereophile mag
and gave it a "A" rating . Not one to believe all that I read,however this is true to form .A endlessly powerfully
amp with all the intimacy you need. Clean,clear,accurate,
dymanic and especially clean when you load them up.
Fantastic! You all have been extremely helpful. I was able to hear the 1.6QR with the VTL at a dealer showroom, and of course I liked it (I love music, and rarely find anything that I actually don't like), but also listen enough to know that some things do sound better.

So, if you will, let me throw one more contender in the loop. Due to some of the comments about the A300, I have been investigating the Classe CAP 151 as an alternative, and gotten good responses (opinion that it is a little more relaxed or "tubey" than the A300, but same power rating). Unfortunately for me, I have no way to audition the A300 or the 151 without borrowing one from a dealer. Since I don't think I will buy a used one, I feel it improper to do so. So, I don't mind taking my chances, knowing that I can sell it and try it again. But, I would like to get it right the first time.

So, how about it. Any comments on the 1.6QR, A300 versus CAP 151?