Which Preamp will go well with Mag 3.6R ?

Hello, newbie here...

Pretty much set for speakers and Amp. (Magnepan 3.6R is set.)

1. Amp - Between Bryston 4B SST, or Classe CAM 350 - which amp would YOU choose? (I'm 80% leaning toward Bryston)

2. Should I go with tube or solid for preamp? (I am leaning toward tubes though...) Which preamp will match well with above set?

3. While at it,,, Which CD player do you recommend?

4. Due to limited budget, I am thinking about buying used equipments.
What sould I look for ? or be careful of in buying used equipments?

I've set $5000 budget for CD and preamp

Thanks in advance.

Tube preamps are great with Maggies and a high powered amp, that's exactly the set up I have.

I would suggest buying a good DAC (Benchmark, Bel Canto, Bryston, PS Audio) instead of a CD player to start, and use it to decode lossless files. An AppleTV or SONOS are great ways to start. You download your music once, then only have to search for it with the remote. If you spend your money on the DAC, I believe you will get much better sound, unless you move WAY up the CD foodchain. That's my experience at least. If you are not going to play vinyl, then the good DAC-Music Server is the best reasonably priced option.

Preamps, there are many excellent choices, I would start with used ARC, Conrad Johnson, McIntosh (I love the sound of the C2200), Cary, and Rogue.

One last thing, the Bryston 4Bsst is probably not going to really wake up your Maggies. I would cut your budget on the front end and start by looking at the 14 Bsst, that will make the Maggies sing. I had the 7BSST's (really the same thing as the 14bsst) previously and they were some of my all time favorite amps with Maggies. A very good match.

Good luck, and let us know what you get.
Oh No Mac, 14 Bsst ?
Are you trying to kill me? (Ha ha, if my wife finds out the revised budget, I'll might not live to enjoy my Maggie ^^)

Hmmm, thought 4B was enough... back to drawing board...

My first reaction was... "What the heck is that?"

I've had MG 1 about 25 years ago, enjoyed it very much.
Then with the marriage and kids and all that basic needs... forced me out of audio world for past 20 years.

Now I'd like to claim my hobby back.

Back to DAC...I've researched a bit... (Benchmark DAC1 HDR/USB looks good, what ya think?)

So I can play back my music in Apple computer with DAC?
Could you explain little bit more about how DAC works please...

Thank you SO much,,, your input was very helpful.

The 4b is not enough power to get the best out of the 3.6's. (I had one on my 3.5's-just not enough in any decent sized room. It just won't get the low end going IMO) I have not heard them with the classe cam 350's however.
jonk - About the DAC, I would recommend a tubed version. I have a Scott Nixon tube DAC that I think is a wonderful piece of equipment. Mdht owners also rave about their DACs.

OK, I sure want Maggie to fully come alive,,,
14 Beast it is !! (Glad I asked...)

I need to learn more about DAC...where is the good place to start?
I agree w/the MHDT tube DAC, I loved the Havana that I had. Just connect this to your Apple computer, Toslink better than USB, and play LossLess files. This will make you very happy.
Google "Digital to Analog Converter" There is plenty of info on the web.
I'm not clear. You say $5000 for CD and pre - how much do you have budgeted for an amp? or is that included in the $5000?

I have allocated $2500 each for Preamp and CD. (If I can save some here, hope to get a good cable set)

$7K for speaker and amp (used). So 12K for 4 components.(plus cable if I can squeeze it in.)

Out of hi-fi world for 20 years and so much has changed...
especially the new digital technology.

DAC, toslink, lossless files... all greek to me :0)
I've been using a 4BSST for 3 years with my 3.6Rs and couldn't be happier. I'm running a CJ Premier 17LS tubed preamp, and think it is a great combo for my 14w X 23l x 13h room. Rich and lush. Bass response depends a lot on the room and how bright/reflective or carpeted/upholstered/absorptive it is. Everyone's listening room differs, so be cautious about advice from me and others.


Good to hear someone is happy with 4 BSST !
(Well, I thought 4B was enough...wish I could hear them both. )
Unlike 4B, it's a bit difficult to find a used 14 BSST.

CJ Premier 17LS... Hmmm I'll keep that in my preamp list.

The thing to keep in mind with Bryston amps is that their input impedance is on the low side. This makes picking a tube preamp more work than otherwise. You'll need to determine the worst case output impedance of the preamp; it will likely be in the bass region. Search the archives on the Stereophile web site. The ARC SP16L is one that has a low enough output impedance to work well with Bryston amps.

You might give some thought to a pair of Parasound JC-1 monoblocks instead of the 14B SST. Or the A21 instead of the 4B SST. Parasound amps have a higher input impedance.

I also suggest you consider using balanced connections between the preamp and amp.

BTW, I'm a big fan of Bryston; I owned their 7B SST amps for several years before going to active speakers.

>>> 7BSST's (really the same thing as the 14bsst) >>

I jsut noticed this,,,
7BSST is almost same as 14BSST???

I can get 7B at half the price of 14B. (actually the 7B is the same price as 4B !)

So 7BSST will do fine?
Bass response depends a lot on the room and how bright/reflective or carpeted/upholstered/absorptive it is.
Actually, bass response is a function of the room dimensions. Treble response is determined by the items mentioned. Bass will be rolled off early by pairing a high output impedance preamp with a low input impedance amp. Thus, choosing the right preamp for Bryston amps is important.

For example, the CJ 17LS (http://stereophile.com/tubepreamps/370/index5.html):
The output impedance was below a lowish 800 ohms in the midband and above, but rose to 1.6k ohms at 20Hz, due to the presence of a finite-sized output coupling capacitor. The C-J should therefore be used with a power amplifier having an input impedance of at least 22k ohms if the bass is not to sound a little lean.
I have 3.6s and recently upgraded my amp to Parasound JC-1 monoblocks which have been a great improvement over my Levinson 334. You can get them for under $4,000 used. There are numerous reviews on the JC-1s in the audio pubications and all are very positive. As for pre-amp, I am using an Audio Research LS-15 with some Amperex 7308 tubes from the early 60's which really make the LS-15 come alive. The LS-15 can be found for under $1500 and top flight NOS tubes (4) can be found for under $500, leaving you $3,000 for a CD player. Good luck in your search.

>>> 7BSST's (really the same thing as the 14bsst) >>

I jsut noticed this,,,
7BSST is almost same as 14BSST???

I can get 7B at half the price of 14B. (actually the 7B is the same price as 4B !)

So 7BSST will do fine?"

The 7BSST amp is a monoblock so you will need 2 of them so I highly doubt you will find a "pair" priced lower than a 14BSST amp or the same as a 4B amp. You are probably looking at the price of a single 7B amp (where you will need 2 of them)...

The 14BSST is pretty much 2 7B amps in one chassis although given it is a single chassis it does not have the total capacitance that 2 7BSST monoblocks will give you but that may not matter in your application. I have a 14B-SST amp mated to my 1.6 Maggies and it does a great job and can confidently advise it will do the same with a pair of 3.6's.
ONE more dumb question :

Then, can I use TWO 4BSST instead of ONE 14BSST?

Can I use two 4Bsst to double up power?
I tried a 4bsst with my 3.6r's and the sound in my room was a bit bright and lacking in bass.Not enough power.
Along came my Classe CA-400 that puts out 800w at 4 ohms and all is well.Used prices for these are in the low 2K range.

The Classe CAM350 as you listed would be an excellent match for a smooth sound.
Agree with Bob reynolds and Ackman00. You should audition the Parasound JC 1's. They great sounding amp's. Check out Stereophile January 2010 issue. M. Fremer compare them to Bryston 7Bsst'2, he likes the Parasound JC 1 better. According to John Atkinson's measurement test. The Bryston's has low input impedance that may be problem matching with preamp specialy tube pre and in his measurement into 2-ohms load the Bryston 7Bsst'2 didn't do as well as the other amp's tested.
I had the Parasounds in my system a few years back, I really loved those too. Excellent choice. I don't know that I liked them better than the Bryston's, because they were a couple iterations of amps apart, but I did really like both of them.
Guess I should check out parasounds, too.

I listened Mag 3.6R with Ayre MX-R, which was nice... but a bit too expensive.

Yesterday, I learned that Magnepan and Bryston will exhibit at T.H.E. show in Las Vegas (Yes, in same room, I think that means they'll pair up each other...)

Think it will a good chance to compare Mag with 4B and 14B.
(And perhaps chance to listen to many other sound systems)

I'll try to give ya'll a full report after I come back :O)
Report: My first piece of the puzzle !! - Cary: CAD 500 MB
whcih was MacDadTexas's #1 recommendation.
(But only 1/2 of the amp... the seller already sold the other half)

I guess I can still test with this...
Hope to find the other half soon.

(If i can find a good deal, I'll probably get used 4BSST or 14BSST later.)
Jonk78, not sure how u going to find a used one. u may end up buying a brand new second mono.