Newbie With Magnepan 1.7is


Hi all,

My name is Peter and I recently purchased a pair of year-old Magnepan 1.7i speakers from someone local after hearing them in person (he was running a PS DAC Directstream + pre-amp + amp, playing DSD files from computer + could change songs via Wi-Fi on his phone--with no sub, stuff was awesome!).

I’m looking for some advice on what to get for my own set-up. My room will be a 17’ x 16’ living room with wood floors, and 10’ of the 17’ side will open up to a dining area. The corner on the far side of the same 17’ wall will open up about 3 feet along the 16’ to a long hallway. I would like to set up the Maggies for music, and the occasional movie (maybe 2-5% of the time). Would like to be able to play music via Wi-Fi and be able to change songs on my computer and/or phone. (My computer is really good already since I built it for photo-editing purposes, but would I need a dedicated sound card?) Also would like to be able to add a subwoofer down the line (maybe in 3-5 years).

So far, I have:
- Magnepan 1.7i (pair)
- PeachTree 220 Amp

Trying to keep my budget for pre-amp + BT bypass + cables under $1,200. Am OK with used/older equipment here. The guy who sold me the Maggies told me I could do a receiver + amp. Can make me some recommendations?

Thanks in advance!
mazerunner
Hi mazerunner,
kind'a in a similar situation to yours, I recently bought a pair of 3.7i's and decided to go the separates route.
Looking to add an Esoteric Sacd player, and a preamp to my levinson amp.
for speaker cables I saw a few people recommend Nordost blue amongst others, but I went ahead with Wireworld eclipse 7.
As for a sub, Magnepan has it's own DWM which works almost like a sub and Many recommend it; so if the time comes that you feel you need more slam look into these.
As for the occasional movie watching, I dont think you'd need a center chanel as that would require the addition of another amp...perhaps just the right left chanels through your existing amp will carry you, if not then down the road add a center speaker (Magnepan has a few different ones) and look into the possibility of adding a couple of rear speakers at the same time to get a 5 chanel system (you'd need another three chanel amp then...), MMG speakers might be a good match for the rear.
BTW Chris Martens on hifi+ praised your peachtree se220 amp driving the 3.7's.
lastly get a nice rug for your wooden floors... 😉
best of luck
One thing I can recommend is to position the Maggies, if possible, no closer than 5' from the wall behind them. If that's not possible, slide them out for serious listening. Any closer than about 5', the back wave coming off the wall will interfere with the sound from the front of the panels. You'll want a good high current power amp and a sub.
@lucidear: Don’t think I’ll be doing a 5.1 or 7.1 anytime soon. Think it’ll just be a 2.1 down the line. Read the Chris Martens on HiFi+ and that’s why I bought the PeachTree 220s. But am wondering on the cables + pre-amp or receiver right now. Does the receiver have to provide a powerful enough signal to the amp? Or does it really not matter since the amp provides the power to speakers?

I was eying a Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A2050 but wasn’t sure if it’ll go with it. Sold though. =(

How much should I spend on cables? Saw one at https://www.audiogon.com/listings/speaker-magnepan-speaker-cables-silver-teflon-3-meter-2016-05-14-c... and am thinking about them. Seller says they’ll work for the 220 to 1.7is.

@bdp24
: Thanks! I saw that in several mentions about the 1.7is. Will mark off floor with a small piece of gaffe tape or something once I figure out the rest.

*****

Still open to advice from anyone who could point me to a receiver or pre-amp (can be more than 1 part) set-up that'll allow me to play stuff off computer via Wi-Fi! :)

I can answer anything photography (I do weddings + events) if anyone wants to PM me! :D
Peter,
Don't know about the SC you linked, worth a try I guess...
keep in mind that if you wanna go with major brands the cable co. Has a prorgam where you can rent cables from them and the money you pay for each rental is then given as credit for a final purchase.

If not going for a 5.1 or 7.1 and you're using your computer as a source, then why go for a multichannel receiver when you already have an amp?
have you looked at Oppo 103d or better yet 105d as a preamp?
they play cd,sacd,BR dvd and high res downloads as well as being a preamp, and with both getting great reviews.
to my thinking you have the amp, just get one of these and good RCA Interconnects and speaker cables and you're set...
Don't know if they are Wifi capable though, but here is a good review for the 105:
http://www.dagogo.com/oppo-digital-bdp-105d-blu-raysacd-player-darbee-edition-review
I also have 1.7's....and Mye Stands were a real improvement. 
look for a used 5 channel Sunfire amp like the Cinema Grand - set it up to bi-amp your Maggies

it sounds like your room configuration is unbalanced with a big open area on one side - you'll just have to suffer with it like me
Mazerunner, you have made a superb choice in Magnepan. You have obviously used your ears to guide you to the best choice for the money. I suggest that you continue in this wise.

Especially with cables. Try before you buy. Every time. What I have always done is to buy ultra cheap, generic cables for a few bucks. Consider these as disposable. Hook them up and get used to the sound.

Then challenge a vendor, and yourself, to get a better sound. You may find that you get more bang for the buck anywhere but with cables. I draw your attention to the Maxwell Equations which govern electromagnetic physics. A consequence of these equations is that low inductance / high capacitance is desirable in speaker wire, and high inductance / low capacitance cable is desirable for interconnect.

As a practical matter, that means two speaker wires placed as close together as possible, and the two conductors of interconnect as far apart as possible (but there are limits: it depends on how intense the radio frequency field is in your area). You can do pretty well yourself as a DIY project. If you want to try this, start with a good quality microphone cable (with woven shield), for a buck or two per foot, and non-magnetic phono plugs (that is, buy a small rare earth magnet at a dollar store and take it with you to buy phono plugs, and if they attract, don’t buy them).

If you don’t solder, there are lots of people who are not opposed to making a few bucks on the side.

Yeah, I know, some people say it’s a good idea to spend big bucks on cabling, and maybe it works for them. But I have a high end system, mostly DIY, and I last bought ready made cables 20 years ago - and don’t use them now. My mileage has differed. So may yours.

Just a cranky old goat’s opinions, nothing more. YMMD.

Good luck !! You’ve made a very auspicious beginning.
I’ve never heard Peachtree drive Maggies adequately, although the amps might.......but if it were me, I’d start over, sell the Peachtrees and go integrated with either Bryston 135 integrated or the excellent Parasound Halo integrated........You need something with good current to drive Maggies, especially with 1.7s which are severely bass challenged..........
I have 3.7s and I drive them with Bryston 28BSST2’s......
I too drove Magnepans with Bryston, which sounded very good.
Hi all,

Thanks for all the comments!

I might just stick with the PeachTree until I test the difference with the Brystons later on. But if I get a separate sub down the line, would it matter (switching to a Bryston)?

I bought a Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A2050 receiver. Hoping it'll suffice for the Wi-Fi capabilities and A/V while pumping out enough power + all for now. If not, would it make sense to have the Yamaha + [buy-a-pre-amp] + PeachTree 220 to 1.7is? Do I lose anything by adding an extra component?

For cabling, someone recommended Blue Jeans Cable. Yay or nay?

The Mye stands look nice! Might order those as well in a month or so.
Hello,

I'd like to add my 2 cents if I may... the preamplifier of an audio system is what passes ALL the sources on to the power amp. Too often the focus goes heavily in the direction of the power amp, and the preamp choice process is neglected.  In the case of Magneplanars, the power amp choice is a more delicate balance than with the majority of other speaker types, but the preamp should be at least of equal quality. I'm not sure what made you decide to use a home theater receiver as the sole "preamp" of your system, but I urge you to explore high quality preamp models to compare with the sound you are hearing as you route your music through the Yamaha. I'm sure what you hear sounds nice enough without having anything else to compare it to, but I've been the owner of several Maggies over the past 30 plus years, and I can assure you that they will reward you for every improvement you make in the chain of components, and source material you use. Btw, I think the 220 is a fine amp to use with those speakers. 
A receiver with Magnepans is just wrong. The Magnepans are more of a music speaker than home theater speaker, ihmo.
This has been argued before, rehashed many times about the power-current needed for good sound from the maggies.
I have the mmgs and have powered them with an integrated tube amp at about 32wpc and alternatively the Parasound A21, which is a ss amp with tons of current at over 400wpc on a 4ohm load
Hands down the mmgs sound much better with the A21.

Using a receiver with 1.7s will not bring any good sound with the Magnepan speakers. It will simply strain the receiver IMHO. I heard the 1.7s with a very large McIntosh amp and they sounded larger than life.
Very, very sweet.

If I had the 1.7s I would think about a dual-mono design amp or just 2 mono amps. Maybe Musical Fidelity or Pass. Perhaps two JC1s would sound great.
I use a 2.1 system in my living room for music and movies. I believe that a multichannel HT setup best delivers when used in a room dedicated to that purpose. Given that in your case music is primary and you are placing a system for a multi use room,  I believe you would get the greatest enjoyment from a 2 (or 2.1) channel system.  I am with those who encourage you to consider the purchase of a quality 2-channel preamp. I am not familiar with the Peachtree amp however know the Maggies do like power.  Also, given that your room opens up to additional space, you have a large volume to pressurize.  I understand  wanting to try your current amp, however be careful to not stress your amp or speakers during the trial period. What are the power ratings of your amp into 8, 4,and 2 ohm loads?