Tube amps for Maggie 3.5 or 3.6


Anyone out there using tube amps with the 3.5 or 3.6's? I am considering Sonic Frontiers Power 3's but I am wondering if they will have enough power for the lower regioins. Any advise on amps for these speaker (ss or tube) would be appreciated.

Atma-sphere, Wolcott, ARC or VTL. The Wolcott's may be the best bet as well as the least expensive.
I have a pair of VTL 750's running Maggie 3.6. The sound is great. I tried the ARC VT100 and Atma-sphere MA-1, but liked the VTL's better. The right tube gear with Maggies is probably some of the best sound you can get in audio. I agree with Jtinn, the Wolcott would probably work well. Another idea is to get two used BAT VK60s for around 2K each and run them as mono blocks. That may be your best sound for $$$.
Look at Brian Damkroger's review in Stereophile, where he talks about being a tube guy, but advises, most strictly, against using any tubes with the 3.6. Go with a high-powered, ultra-fast power amp--Spectral, Classe, Levinson,Plinius etc.
Some of the best sound I have heard out of the Maggie 3.5's have been with ss gear. True, tubes do something magical, but the Maggies are magical in the midrange. What you don't want is brittle ss with them. The ss recommendations earlier were very good. I might add some budget ones I have heard that work well. The ARC D300, Bryston 4BST, Bryston 4BNRB(but a bit sibilant in the mids, and I would definitely use a tube preamp with a ss amp. Tubes are needed somewhere in there. With the D3oo and 4BST, the sound was magical. The preamp was an ARC or Sonic Frontiers SFL-2. I would use a ARC as a preamp, L15, 16, or Reference if you can swing the scratch. One tube amp I forgot to mention was the Music Reference RM9MKII with 6550 Svetlana tubes...glorious. You might even check out the new RM200. A good choice for low impedance speakers like the Maggies. Try both and see what you like best, jeff
I looked at the SF Power 3 and Wolcott mono's to power my Inner Sound Eros. The Eros are a ESL hybrid with a nominal impedance of 4 ohms. The Wolcott's won hands down exhibiting better bass control than my Classe CA-300. Bottom end in spades! These amps are also just superb in the midrange and top end as well. Far better sound and control on the ESL's than the Rowland gear I've used. I think the Power 3 amps represent a good value but the Wolcott mono's just sound so much better than anything else I have heard. If you audition them, I think you'll be reluctant to return them. Regards; -Jerie
Thanks everyone for your great suggestions! Steve
A friend that bought my 3.5R's is using a CJ tube amp and pre. They sound very nice with the CJ gear. In my opinion though the sound was a little better with my Levinson amp and pre. I would not attempt to steer anyone away from using one or the other though. Using good, quality tube or SS electronics will work well with them. Let you own ears be the judge. Good Luck, Doug
I've got an Audio Research Classic 60 driving my Magnepan IIIa's and it is truly an awesome combo with plenty of enough power with its measley 60 watt rating. It plays just as loud as it when I had an 200 watt Aragon push my 'Pans and it just sounds so much better.

A lot of cats will tell you that you need big ss watts to make the 'pans shine. This urban myth is one that must be put to an end. Tubes will do you right. You don't need a 600 watt Carver unit.

Don forget that the 'pans have very flat impedance curve and are 4 ohms throughout. As long as you have a 4 ohm tap and 50+ watts, you're in business. It's not like your trying to drive some Thiels with an impedance curve that resembles Dick Cheney's EKG. Some tube amps will have a problem with speakers that have jiggy impedances, that is what God created solid state for.

I've auditioned the 3.5's with an ARC VT100 and it was indeed a glorious experience.

Of course solid state will work too. If you do go that route, a good tube preamp from ARC with a Bryston amp mihgt just be what the doctor ordered.

I have used ARC amps with maggies with great success over the past 25 years: ARC D76A with MG2 and MGIIIA; ARC D115 MKII with MG 3.3/R and VT100 MKII with MG 3.5. Try using the 8 ohm tap with the maggies.