Preamp for Magnepan

I'm planning on getting Magnepan 1.7s.
I have a strong, clean power amp to drive them, but I need advice on a preamp please.
1. Make and model recommendations
2. tube vs. solid state and why

thanks, Steve
what amp do you have?

how much will you spend?

do you want phono?
Keep an 'eye' out for impedance mismatch.
Some pre's may be higher than your amp will be comfortable with.

You can always add phono and an outboard DAC later, as funds and need allow.
I own new 3.6 purchased this year. I have a Bryston 4B-SST2 amp. I also have a Bryston BP26 which I would NOT recommend, unless you have a tube DAC. I also have a VAC Standard I just bought: a 4 tube pre which I would recommend. ($4K new, used from the goN' $1,500)
Or I also have a Audio Research Sp-15 bought here, (new $7K used $1,750.) They are here, but the folks selling are just asking too much and the two available have NOT sold at the $2,200 asking price The SP-15 is an SS with a decent tube phono.(aand does not sound too dry)
The VAC is the rarer of the two.
Buy a tube pre because you can hear the difference with a Maggie. The tube pre just makes the sound more realistic, if you buy a solid state, you may or may not have it be a little lean. It may be stronger bass with a SS pre, a bit, but not worth the lack of natural sound.
If you are buying maggies, you clearly want music,not just loud noise.
I owned a combination of Magnepans and various Bryston amps for years.I always used Audio Research tube pre amps,they were a perfect fit,LS 15 and later a REF 3.For more particulars and recommendations flip me a pm.
Joule Electra is my new favorite preamp. I have used a Sonic Frontiers Line 3 on a pair of Magnepans 3.6 with excellent results when I was auditioning speakers. I have since replace my preamp with Joule Electra which I like better. I may trade up in the Joule Electra line but I am sticking with their preamp.
i have maggies & they have loved my c-j (tubed) & mfa (hybrid) preamps. i echo tubes for preamps & ss for poweramps.
I have 1.6's. Try Audibille Illusions Mod 3a or Audio Research SP16. Great with Bryston and Maggies!
thanks everyone. I've heard from others that Jeff Rowland, Classe and McCormack would be good fits. Any further thoughts?
Never ignor the latest McIntosh tubed amps.
I hear so much about tube pre w/SS amps and Maggies that if I had the $$ and didn't think I'd drive myself and everyone around me NUTS with tube and cap experiments, I'd try it, too!
tubes for air & spaciousness & silky sound, matched w/ss for quick transient response = one of those rare, but oh so worthwhile, good marriages. tubes give you a movie w/a story to tell, ss the dynamics you get from rapid special effect scenes. (tube preamps - you'll change tubes less frequently & at a far lower cost then large costly power amp tubes.) by the way, i have IIIa's rebuilt to 3.6's but the old crossover.
which tube preamps do you recommend?
Go tubed pre.

What is your budget?

Audio Reasearch is what I have heard on them.
Maggie's always seem to be paired with AR stuff, but that's when both the pre and the amp are AR. If you're going with a SS amp (especially if it is a Bryston, which can be pretty dry) then I would suggest a pre that adds a more spacious (tubey) presentation that the AR's.
They where hardly ever mated with the AR amps. Bryston 95% of the time I went in there.
tubed preamp: i like the spaciousness + quiet + phonostage of my mfa magus a-2. (it's for sale but if unsold i'll continue using it in my main setup another 20 years. i don't feel compelled to buy anything new, just testing the waters. it replaced a noisy c-j i had had 11 years.
04-27-10: No_money
They where hardly ever mated with the AR amps. Bryston 95% of the time I went in there.

"Hardly ever"? - I think you can go back to the 1970s (and through every other decade) and find ARC electronics (not only preamps but also amps) and Maggies used together extensively.
That has always been my experience when doing the show circuit.Magnepan/Bryston/Audio Research.
They where hardly ever mated with the AR amps. Bryston 95% of the time I went in there.

HiFi, note the last bit "95% of the time I went in there" meaning my local dealer.. not the world.
Hey, has anyone tried running a DAC/Pre to SS amp to Maggies?
DACs such as the Alpha DAC, Bel Canto 3.5vb, Weiss ...

Keep in mind all responses refer to maggie 1.6's and magnestand 1.6's) Yes I have tried a benchmark DAC/preamp into a an Extreme Odyssey Amplfier; a Monarchy DAC 24/tube preamp into the same Odyssey amplfier and I preferred the Monarchy DAC 24/preamp to the Benchmark at least with the Odyssesy amplfier. Later I made a "sideways" amplfier change (Nuforce v2's) SOMETIMES I MAKE STUPID DECISIONS BASED ON WHAT TO BUY IN AUDIOLAND FROM WHAT I READ IN THOSE INANE AUDIO MAGAZINES ahhggGGGG!!!!! and the Monarchy DAC/24 was a WAaayyyy beter match for the Nuforces in comparisison to the Bencmark Dac/preamp combo. I have recently started the break in of my Magnestand modded 1.6's (crossover) and the Monarchy DAC is much better fit with the Magnestand 1.6's than the Benchmark product( keep in mind that this is all a very early subjective listening audition).
Also please keep the following in mind: I am really active in looking for a"new preamp" to match the extrodinary performance of the DAC 24 tube output with the Magenestand mod. My ears tell me that the Magnestand mods have really spotlighted the issue of amplfier/preamplfier/speaker interaction. My new speakers are now very revealing of whats upstream in my stereo system (that sucks). In other words if there is crap upstream you will now hear it with the mods. Also I am aware that for what ever reaason at least at this point in my crazy audiophile evolution that until now I would be reluctant (personal preference)to choose a solid state preamp with a solid state amplfier.

Best wishes


This weekend I listened to the Weiss DAC 202 and the Berkeley Alpha DAC, although not with Maggies. Each sounded excellent and, IMO, best when connected directly to the amp, rather than through either a SS or tube preamp. This was especially so with High Rez music, but with CDs as well. I will demo each at home when my Maggies arrive (hopefully) in July. The tube preamps seemed to my ears to muffle the sound. I preferred the definition from the DACs to the amps without any preamp.

Regards, Steve
Check out this user review of the Fire preamp:
Thanx for the link, Muralman. Just don't think I need a pre.
I'll report on this when the Maggies arrive and I have a chance to demo the DACs with them at home.