BelCanto is a great match!
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I loved the classe amplifiers with the 1.6's. If you are going for just a single amp get the CA-201 as it will have all the power you need. If you want to get more out of your 1.6's, then remove the internal crossover and build a custom line level passive crossover. Then just buy two used CA-100's (about $600 each) and use one per speaker. What you will do is use one channel for the bass panel and the other for the tweeter panel. I did this (but with different amps) and it takes the 1.6's to a level more on par with the 3.6's but with better integration of sound.
I used a Plinius SA100 MKIII with my 1.6s and the bass is hard to beat, addictive really. I would not recommend a subwoofer which would be hard to match with the excellent bass the Maggies already have, if you heard that setup I think you would agree, as it was very balanced and detailed with a beautiful midrange. Some people use 2 SA100s and report it wounds even better and would have all the power you would want.
Maggies require lots of power to satisfy their hunger. Two amps that I can recommend are the VTL MB250 triode monoblocks and the Spectron Musician II.
First off, the VTL's made for a great full-bodied sound that had good extension on both ends. The bass performance gave the system plenty of "dig". The only problem was that I would blow B+ fuses. The Spectron has 650 wpc of digital power and good extension at both ends. You just never seem to run out of volume with this one. It gives the system a musical-rightness that neither sounds like tubes or solid state. I continue to amaze people when I reach for the volume control to play up loud material that is appropriate. Who says Maggies can't rock when you have ZZ Top playing in front of you? Then the amp can transform the system into a great orchestra when you want it. "Where are you going today?"
I have owned 28 different amps over the years. The Spectron takes care of my bias. It was rewarding even more so when I moved into the 3.6's.
Do your thing, have fun, and try out all the recommendations you think might be your bag. What I say doesn't mean I am right but, you can't go wrong by an audition.
The Maggies definitely perform best with tons of current. I have heard most of above suggestions and if you can afford it the Bryston 7BSTs (or SSTs) are definitely the way to go. A notch down but still very good would be the Bel Canto Evo4 in stereo mode or two Evo2s, a Bryston 4BST or SST, Belles 350A, and now that they are going cheap maybe the Aragon Palladium 1K monoblocks. I have not heard the big Pass X350 or X600 with the Maggies but if you have very deep pockets that might be a interesting combination.
I'm at the low end of this economically, and I'm using Outlaw Audido's 755; I've got four channels at 200 wpc biamping my 1.6QR's. Tons of power and detail for about $1,300.
But, I do wonder if it could be improved by moving to another amp. Problem is...cost. Any recommendations on Multi-channel amps in similar price range used that would best the Outlaw?
Appreciate the info.
One more comment; I agree wholeheartedly with Kinsekd above, and recommend a quality sub. I had good, but not great bass with stand alone 1.6's. I craved more low end. So, I added a Vandersteen sub. I understand that unofficially, the Vandy is the sub of choice for Magnepan. The Vandersteen takes it's signal from the amp and utilizes a crossover to feed only signals above 80hz to the mains (relieving 1.6's from trying to reproduce the lower frequencies). I believe this is explained on Vandersteen's website. You won't lack for bass with a pair of subs! I built HT this year, and added second Vandy sub; awesome low end!
Of course, amplification will partially dictate quality of bass.. But what everyone says is true, give Magnepans Power Power, Power and Whoa! Great sound!
Using a DVM which I know is not the best method, I've never measured more than about 8vac at my speaker terminals. Give it 20% bump for latency and you've got 10vac.....at the peaks. That works out to what.....about 20 watts at 2.2 amps? That is using 4.5 ohms in the calculation.
Double up and add a fudge factor and you've got 50 a side. Double again, JUST to be SURE and 100 a side should 'bout do it.
My amp? ASP500 modules in a PSAudio integrated. 80vdc rail and a claimed 45 amps. One day i'll 'redline' it and see if I can even stand 20 or 25 vac at the speaker terminals. That's gonna be LOUD.
As for sub, I run my panels full range with the cross set for about 35hz. No midbass bloom or wrong sounding 'thump'. I don't change anything between music OR movies.
Also, my panels are 'backwards' Maggies come setup to have the mylar side face the listener and the tweeters on the outer side. I just rotated them in place, putting the pole pieces facing the listener while the tweeters are now 'IN'. This made a dramatic change for the better. Try it and see. You may agree. Years ago, Magnepan CAME the way I now have it and I haven't heard a good reason for the change.
i have the Classe CA400 power amp @200rms per side. With the Audio Research LS 17.
Used a Chord Cobra interconnect between pre & power. Cable suffered a fracture. Now using Synergistic Research Alpha Sterling with XLR's.
The magic seems to have dissapeared
Wonder what went wrong??