The only amps in that price range I can think of that can drive that very tough load are a used Innersound ESL, if you can find one or a Wyred4Sound amp.
20.1's are some of the finest speakers ever made, period. But one of the problems with that, is that they reveal the limitations of the equipment upstream of the speakers like few other speaker in the world. You will usually see someone spend, estimated, quite a bit more on the amplificatoin with Magnepans (especially the 20.1's) than they do on the speakers, usually by a multiple.
I have never heard the big Maggies with anything less than about 800 clean, clear expensive watts in a 4 ohm load. They usuallly match really well with the big Bryston Amps (7b sst2, or better the 28's), or big Pass amps (sweet). You need a lot of current to move the bass panels on those speakers.
Good luck, great speakers.
With your budget I would say the D-Sonic Class D 7 channel amp will fit the bill very adequately. These amps have been reviewed favorably so do a google search and you will find out more about them.
How about the Wyred 4 Sound MC-7 7 channel power amp?
It has 500 watts in the front three channels and 250 watts in the four rear channels.
I'm assuming that if I used this amp I would be able to bi-amp my Magnepan 20.1's using two of the three front channels and two of the rear channels which would allow me to use the remaining front channel for the center channel speaker and the other two rear channels for my surround sound speakers.
Has anyone else used a Wyred 4 Sound MC-7 power amp to drive the Magnepan 20.1 in a 5.1 HT set up?
20.1 s could be driven well with any (decent power delivery) very expensive amp around.
So do not be disappointed with your little amp. keep the speakers, and someday you can power them with the sort of amp and electronics they deserve. THEN you will really enjoy your Magnepan 20.1s.
I use a Bryston 4B-SST2 for my 3.6s.
I've taken the plunge and am getting a D-Sonic Magnum 3500-7 power amp which will give me 1,000 watts per channel at 4 ohms.
I will be bi-amping the front speakers so I will then have 2,000 watts for each of my Magnepan 20.1's. That should be more than enough power to make the Maggies sound their best.
That will also give me 1,000 watts per channel for my center channel and two surround sound speakers.
I'd be interested to hear what that would sound like. I have not liked many of the ICE amps that I have heard with Maggies, with Wyred being an exception, the BelCanto's were pretty good, but niether was in the same league as a good high powered amp. As I've said, I like Bryston, as does Magnepan obviously, with Maggies. Pass to my ear is the best match, but not cheap.
For my rig, my Cary's are the best I have tried, followed by the Bryston 7sst2.
Good luck, let us know how it sounds.
Agree with Mac . Iv'e heard the 20.1's in many different systems , The Pass Labs XA160.5's were the only amps that made 20.1's sound right , to me .
In all honesty I don't think you'll hear what the 20.1's have to offer with an amp anywhere near the price you mentioned .
No way to get 7x1000 out of an amp on a single powerline connection.
Any channel 'one-at-a-time' will meet spec, but not all channels driven.
The hi-efficiency rating of ICE modules is only at full power. Efficiency drops from that peak as output drops.
You should get a power meter like the Kill-a-Watt and watch your line voltage sag when you crank it up.
Outlaw makes a nice mono amp which when buying 7 of 'em comes in under budget.
Outlaw also makes a 7 channel monster for just a few bucks more.
part of your improvement plan should include at least a PAIR of new 20 amp lines for just amps.
You know, the really big older Parasound, I think it's a 3500, might fit the bill. I agree with Magfan, you won't get what you want from the amp you are contemplating.
I've already purchased the D-Sonic and will have it next week.
I feel confident that it will be more than adequate for my purposes.
For the record I don't tend to play my music or movies at the same high levels as most people and in the 15 years that I've been listening and watching movies just using an A V receiver I've never once hearddistortion and that was just at 100 watts per channel.
I appreciate all of the help and advice that everyone has offered.
Some of the power amps that were suggested are simply too expensive for me. I don't have $5k plus to spend on an amp. The D-Sonic amp that I bought is a custom version that originally sold for about $3800 and I was able to get it for about $2700 so that's pretty much all I can afford to spend unless I hit the lottery at this tIme.
Compared to just using an A V receiver I would expect the improvement in sound to be quite substantial in my case.
Given your (now) disclosed playing habits of no excess loudness, the outlaw monos make even more sense......and take the extra cash and invest in a bank of outlets exclusively for the amps.
I, too, am not an overloud listener. That being said, I have ICE power to my 1.6 panels and rarely tap it heavily. At about 500x2, I don't suppose I use more than 1/10 of that 'continuous' even when playing loudly.
I can't think (offhand) of ANY AV receiver capable of driving the 20.1s Not to say that one doesn't exist.....an old Sunfire?
I think we are on the wrong topic here. Let's look at the front end, especially if you play softly: You are NEVER going to get full sound from 20.1's without a ton of current. They don't work that way, and it's got to be clean current.
Since you have about $9000 worth of front end (20.1's are approx $7k in the secondary market, and you said you had $2k to spend on an amp), I would suggest you sell the 20.1's and your amp, buy some 3.6R's($3k) with Mye Stands ($500) and a Bryston 7 Bsst monoblocks ($5K) and you will get a much better, richer fuller sound than you will ever get from the 20.1's with an amp that does not match their capability.