I recently passed the 200 hour break-in of my new Maggie 1.7's using all sorts of different mid-fi SS amps and am now trying to decide which hi-end amps to pair with them.
My room is relatively small, 12' x 14' x 10', and I listen primarily to acoustic guitar, female vocals, jazz etc at what a friend refers to as polite listening levels, usually no more than 85db. I've read many threads here as regards the "best" amps for Maggies, and it's come down to a decision between these two.
I love the midrange purity of class "A" amps, but also crave deep (for Maggies), tight and controlled bass. Thus my choice of these 2 amps. I suppose an amp that combined the best of both would be ideal.
While my room is air-conditioned, I sometimes close the door to keep other household noises to a minimum, and wonder if either or both of these amps may put out too much heat, making the room uncomfortable. I live in Dallas where it routinely is 100+ degrees in the summer, but the air-conditioning keeps it a comfortable 75 degrees indoors.
As for sonics, I know Macdadtexas favors the Cary's, and Teajay the Pass. I'd especially be interested in the opinions of anyone who might have heard both of these amps with Maggie's. And certainly any opinions on either of these amps is welcome.
I haven't heard both amps, but I've used the Cary 500 MBs for a couple of years with my 1.6QRs. The Carys run cool. They don't put out nearly as much heat as my McCormack DNA 1 monoblocks did. I would describe the Cary/Maggie midrange as heavenly. I just love those amps and I expect to keep them until death do us part! For me, they are the "stop looking" answer. Before I bought the Cary's I also had a strong interest in the Pass amps. I decided to go with the Cary's and have never had a moment of regret. I don't doubt the Pass amps are also a good match. They good thing is that resale of either is no problem, so experimentation is not that painful.
Thanks guys. Appreciate the input. Yes, the Pass XA60.5's are expensive, so I'll need to find a good deal on a used pair. I'd prefer to go with monoblocks, and love Class A, thus my preference over the X150.5.
The Cary's seem to be hard to find, so that's the downside there. However, I think I may just wait for a pair to come up on Agon, unless a really good deal on a pair of XA60.5's presents itself.
I do love my Cary's, but....I think Pass Labs makes about the best sounding amps there are period. With almost any speaker.
That said, for the 1.7's I would look at the new Sanders Sound (or an Innersound ESL 300 if you can find one). I had an Innersound ESL with my first pair of Maggies (1.6's), and then used it with a set of 3.6R's and that is one great amp.
There is a great synergy with the Sanders/Innersound amps and Maggies. I would try that before I ponied up for the Cary or Pass. But, you can't go wrong with any of those great amps.
Keni, I think that is a sound approach (no pun intended). I spent a good long while deciding on the Cary's, then waited another good long while for a pair to show up on Agon. In the end, we listen to a whole system, so Cary/Maggie may be better for one source/preamp/room/listener preference situation and Pass/Maggie may be better for another. When I bought the Cary's, I expected to rotate through a few other options before I reached Valhalla. If you find a good buy on the Pass, go for it. If the Cary's come up, that's great. You can resell either without any issues if you want to continue exploring.
Hasse - thanks for the link. How do you get to read stuff? Do you have to buy the print magazine, sign up fo ronline subscription, pay to read, what? If you do sign up or somehow get to read the articles online, do you get lots of emails / spam from them and their sponsors? I guess I've become an out-of-touch old fart who doesn't understand the new way of doing stuff. Thanks again for any info.
Honest1 - just click on one of the links next to the cover image at the top of the page to download either the standard or high resolution versions. The standard version is fine to read the review, while the high res version provides much better images but in a significantly larger download.
Both are great amps I would say the Pass would match best with the Pass solid state Pre amps and The Cary would run its best with a tube pre amp. In any regard check out this awesome Pass Labs/ Magnepan video and how its owner of this Magnepan 1.7 /Pass Labs system is in a blissful state of mind. Cheers Johnnyr Audio Connection
Thanks everyone. Earlier today I purchased the pair of Pass XA60.5's that have been listed here on Agon. The seller made me a very good deal, and I'm picking them up on Wednesday. I'm really looking forward to hearing them in my system. I just wish I had a room like that in the video. Cool set-up.