Its about power. The speaker mfgr gives a range recommendation. There is a concensus that if you go a little above the minimum recomendation it can offer a sense of 'ease' at higher levels of playback, but do not get too close, or for sure exceed, the maximum.
Otherwise, expecially with the very accurate maggies, the most distortion free amp you can find/afford. The vintage Hafler DH-200/220 can consistently be found for $200. The Muse 160 for $6-800. Also if you can find a BEL 1001 (?)
Probably the best value (distortion free/build quality) is the ATI line, but Jeff Rowlands also makes a comparable amp, but it is so beautiful you can hang it on the wall ($8k though).
Dipole: ELS, planer/ribbon, or especially open baffler speakers, with a distortion free amp is going to make the selection of recordings an issue since you will then hear how poorly so many are made (grrrr).
For a list of tested and proven sonically superior CD's, in a variety of genres, see the MUSIC link at www.linkwitzlab.com It is encouraging to hear how it can be, and free you from the intimidation of poorly produced source material that can make you feel there is somethig wrong with your system/setup.
I would not recommend using that combo. You'll think you have good sound but you really won't have a clue how much information(music) your really missing. In that price range- maybe a little high on your budget but worth looking into- check out the Bryston 4b-st. Its not the best out there but for its price it offers a good value and lots of power which will bring your maggies to life.
My room size (24' X 14')is similar in size to yours. In your price range I would listen to an Anthem MCA-20 ($950 new), a used Odyssey Stratos with cap upgrade or extreme version, or maybe one of the Carver ZR series amps. The ZR1000 and ZR1600 amps including the neccessary mods are in your range. I have used these in the past as well as a few others with my 1.6QR's and I thought they offered pretty good performance for the money.
What is the power rating of your amp at 4 ohm impedance? The amp must also be STABLE at 4 ohms. I used a Spectron 1 with a Sonic Frontiers Line 3 tube preamp. The Spectron 1 is a class D switching amp, so it produces 500 wpc at 4 ohms, is VERY small (about the size of a thick laptop computer), and only draws 20 watts at idle, so it can be left on permanently. Remember, the chief complaint against the Maggie 1.6's is a lack of base, which usually results from inadequate power. The 1.6's need mondo power to achieve good bass! Use a tube preamp as well with the Spectron 1.
As for integrates go.. Musical Fidelity A300 will drive the 1.6s very well.It drove my 2.5Rs without problems.The amplifier was just barely warm even when pushed half volume(this is well above my normal listening levels).You also have the Portal Panache(Normally sells around $900 used ).The Carver ZR series amplifiers are worth a try as well.There's plenty of amplifiers in your price range on Agon that will drive the Maggies without difficulty.It is more about the sound your looking for.
Yes indeed, as to the used Bryston 4B. Twill do the job. I used that for my Magnaplanar Tympani 1-Ds years ago. They sounded even better with bridged Brystons. Maggies need oodles of watts. Quality watts come with a price. Forget the Creek. For your Maggies, it'll be like running the hundred yard dash breathing through a cocktail straw. You'll be one unhappy customer.
I used an Anthem MCA-2 channel for about 2 years with my 1.6's and had plenty of power. Smooth sound very good low end a solid performer. Use a good solid strand power cord like a Virtual Dynamics and you could live with it for a good long time.
You can find them for about $500.00 on this site.
I now use a Sim W-5 but is a little pricey for you just now.
Remember.,,get the best possible component you can afford even if you can't cause you'll just end up trading anyways which is also part of the game .
One thing about the Maggies the better the gear up front the better they will sound.You'll never outclass them except maybe the 3.6's or 20's
Peter, just curious: how many watts is an anthem mca-2 channel?
Warren, I am pretty sure 200 watts per channel.
There is also a 3 channel and 5 channel. And all use the same transformer so all the sections are the same and are interchangable. They also have a trigger on to save power when idling.
200 watts: there you go. 'tis what you need for Maggies. The more the merrier with Maggies....
Thanks for the advice. Looks like I will need to start over with amplification if I want to go with the Maggies.
I do not think it is wise to go by what you hear on a forum. Notice the varied and conflicting opinions. Very little, if any, concensus on anything.
A majority of 'audiophiles' are out of their tree, I don't care how much they spend. A total lack of science is the first clue. We are talking about electronics here. There has to be some, if not mostly, science, which is provable, right.
Otherwise its just sorcery. And how subjective is that.
Find a low distortion 100-150w amp (Hafler Dh-200/220, Musie 160, or any ATI or the pricy Byrston. Maggies, or Martin-Logan ELS, or even better active EQ/CO open baffle design will perform with significant realism.
The top end gear, cables and tweaks, are insignificant by comparison to the speakers/amp/setup --and source material. That is how you get to 'the last speakers you will ever buy'.
Didactically, you state,
"A majority of 'audiophiles' are out of their tree, I don't care how much they spend. A total lack of science is the first clue. We are talking about electronics here. There has to be some, if not mostly, science, which is provable, right."
Are you implying that there is NO difference in I/C's, speaker cables, and power cords? Are you also claiming that the amp with the lowest distortion specs is the best sounding one?
Didactically, I don't have a clue what you are talking about? Obviously, neither does Fatparrot. Would you try again?
Are you implying that there is NO difference in I/C's, speaker cables, and power cords?
No. I am saying that any 'sound' a component has is distortion. Even it is a distortion that 'sounds good', or is pleasing, to the listener.
The 'sound' of a cable does not get you to an accurate 'true to the original' playback of the music.
I traded in several thousand dollars worth of cable for RadioShack products fully expecting an audio train wreck. But all that happened was the system sounded a little more real. I had to laugh at myself for being so gullible.
Audio Aristry 'Dvorak' 2-way active EQ/XO open baffle speakers. Two pairs 12" woofers in push-pull (also open baffle) configuration.
60w ATI amplifier to each driver.
Top end gear is not significant, nor are cables, or tweaks. But I have spent great effort in the best setup to get the most out of the system in my room.
Of course with dipole (ELS, Planner/ribbon, and open baffle) designs, acoustic room treatment devices are hardly needed since their approx 30 degree radiation pattern does not excite those pesky room modes like the 360 radiation pattern of the enclosed cablinet designs.
Plus, with open baffle, you do need a vice for your head to not lose the sweet spot as it is quite wide and deep. Setup is not nearly so finicky either.
Define 'sounding'. Any 'sound' a componnet makes is distortion. The degree of distortion of an amp is measurable. Those with low enough distoriton tend to publish the specs that reveal that quality.
Those with higher degrees of distortion tend not to, and like to play to, 'its how it sounds to you', for their more gullible potential buyers.
Anyone aspiring to 'true to the original' in their playback system that has ever hooked up dipole speakers to a low distortion amp will attest to the high degree of realism they experience in music.
Audiophiles, like anything else I suppose, can be divided into two camps. The one, those who for some reason have been persuaded into using their playback system to mix and modify the music they play. Ever searching for that 'sound' that is supposed to be better than some other sound that is the specific quality of their system.
Of course they never really get there, because after a while they become like Robert Frost's 'Searcher': who is always searching and can never find because it would end his search. The industy loves this type.
The other, are those few who aspire to 'true to the original' in an electronic playback system to hear muisc as live, and life like as possilbe in the pricacy and comfor of their own home.
This type is duly angered at the arrogance and conceit of engineers who presume to 'improve' the music the artists create with their room size 1/4 million dollar mixing console toys, or are just incompetant at placing a mic so the bass gets realistically recorded, etc.
And are grateful for those few engineeers and producers who put the music first and also aspire to 'true to the original' in what they record for us.
BTW there is a list of tested and proven sonically superior reference quality CD's at the MUSIC link at www.linkwitzlab.com in a variety of genres.
There is also a review of reference earphones (Shure ER $100) for anyone who wants to hear the source material as it was recored, then compare to how it is affected by their system, setup, and the room. Very useful in evaluationg components, and conditions in the goal of achieving realism.
come on, now! You are just having a bad day, right?
I have learned that in discussion forums when comments become personal the discussion usually comes to a bad end.
It coming to an end then is good though because if the issues raised, and the opionons expressed are not addressed it just becomes a bore anyway.
Even now, attempting to take the high ground here, notice, this is not going anywhere. Oh, well. Way to go.
Sorry Didactically. I was rude.
Accepted. Were you having a bad day :-)
thin skin in this thread. Apology? come on you guys. Didactically, when you accept an apology: the "were you having a bad day" is uncalled for. from your other threads, you appear to be one angry guy...Tim, your comment was cool; and would need no apology from me...
When it gets personal... it always comes to a bad end. It is a downward spiral. Lets get back to judgementaless free expression, and learn to enjoy each other's differences.
Hint: consider your own attitue before judging what other's is. Especially in print, which is lacking the 80+% of communication that is non verbal.
I believe 'having a bad day' was taken for the humor intended (by the person it written to, hint, hint :-)
For about $800 you can get a CarverPro ZR1600 (digital) amp that puts out 600 watts/channel into 4 ohms, and is designed to work with 2 ohm loads. My MG 1.6 sound great with them, and others have had the same experience. I am sure the Spectron would also sound great but the price difference is absurd.
My dealer has the Bryston b-60/Maggie combo...used it would be in your price range...and very good bass response from the Bryston...
Point of order. You get bass response from the speaker drivers, not the amplifier. What you want from an amp is power sufficient for the drivers, but not such much to risk damage, and the minimal distortion. If it is low enough, like say ATI <0.005% over a 5hz-50khz frequency range, and the lower frequencies got onto the source material, then its up to your speakers to reach down that far and accuratly resond.
Do you know the degree of distortion of the amp? Is it <0.1% over a 5hz-50khz frequency range. There are amps with way less (ATI for instance is <0.005%), but anything more and I think you are pretty much out of the 'hi-fi' catagory.
What do you mean by 'good'?
Can't have too much power for the Maggies. Infact, I really don't think you can ever have too much power. Maybe too much zeal with your volume control. Prudence with the volume knob= healthy speakers.
If you put more power into the speaker than they are made to stand damage will result. That is why the mfgr gives minimum power requirement, and Maximum to protect them.
I am curious why Magnapan so sidesteps the power issue unlike any other mfgr. Even if there is no concensus among the users how much power they 'like' for them to 'sound' a certain way. Perplexing though that notion is.
It is rational to provide a little more power than the minimum requirement for a sense of ease at higher playback levels, which is subtle. Any other 'sound' issue, other than the degree of distoriton inherent in the amp, is mysterious to me.
But then audiophilia is not without its sorcerers with aversion to any kind of science even in this electronic playback media. (he says 'in jest', warren :-)
Didactially- Its clear you have NO experience in this matter and should NOT be making assumutions- they clearly hold no weight. I know of folks who have/are using amps in excess of 2400 watts per channel with superb results and have experienced ZERO damage to the speaker. In fact the only time you will damage the speaker is when distortion is introduced, a huge killer of magnepan tweeters is when an amp clips(inadequate power). I don't know anyone who is using magnepans who has experience driver failure with to much power, however, the same is not true of those who use lower power amps.
Personally I have been running 600 watts of high current power(per channel) for close to 6 months with great results. One of my friends has been using 800 watts of high current power(per channel) with his magnepans, no problems at all. I am running between 2-3 fold the recommended power! Try and get bass out of these speakers with any 200 watt amp! its a joke.
How much experience do you have with magnepan's again?
You are not going to get 'bass' out of a Maggie. It takes sub woofers (hybrid) to get to the lower frequencies. Even then, frequency integration is a challenge with those designs. The 1.6 only goes to what 40hz? No amount of power is going to change the frequency response of any speaker.
Imagining otherwise is just nonsense.
If you want the advantages of dipole in the upper bass, mid, and treble freqency, i.e., pristine accuracy, yet without the frequency integration problem associated with adding dynamic drivers for the lower bass, and the ELS/planer inherent setup difficulties, and their need for a vice to keep your head in a very narrow sweet spot, consider the open baffle designs: www.audioartistry.com, or www.linkwitzlab.com for a couple sources.
The AA 'Dvorak', for instance, only needs 100w for the main panels (2-10" mid, and tweeter), and 50w for the sub woofer pairs (2-12" also open baffle, in push-pull configuration).
All with an active crossover with equalizer capability for the woofers. Achieving seamless integration throughout, a wide and deep listening position, and ease of setup. With the active EQ/XO making them probalby the best speaker design extant for accuracy and 'true to the original' playback throughout their range capability.
Also room treatment devices are probably not called for, since the dipole drivers radiate off axis only about 30 degrees, as opposed to the 360 degrees of the enclosed cabinet designs. They tend not to excite those pesky low frequency room modes, which therefore do not need to be tamed with bulky, very expensive, and relatively ineffive devices.
The Dvorak in my 12+'x24' space are astonishingly accurate and 'live' like down to the lowest frequency the space is capable of: 24hz (565 divided by longest dimension, 24).
I wish I was smoking what you were, however, I live in the real world(yes that's a joke so don't get bent out of shape). You sure can get great bass out of maggies, I have measured response to the high twenties @ +/-1dB. My friend has measured to 24hZ @ +/-0dB, the speakers are crippled by there inferior crossovers. Active crossovers will ruin the magic in the mids/highs if you strip the signal before it gets to the speaker- you lose musicality. Though I suspect you won't believe this because you can't measure it.
Imaging otherwise is nonesense
Says enough about your inexperience with the matter- Until you start sharing your magnepan experiences I am going to ignore you pathetic attempt to justify your bogus folk lore because quite frankly that's all it is. Magnepan's are very different creatures then ESL's or dynamic type speakers- I wouldn't believe it myself if I had not tried it myself.
I have noticed a few posts from you in the last few days(you seem to be new here) and you have dropped the dipole speaker issue, open baffle and www.linkwitz...... et al links several times already. Can't you listen for yourself and see what sounds best? You seem to feel there is YOUR way or NO way to achieve good sound. Open your mind a little bit, either you are right and 98% of the folks here are wrong or there are MANY ways to reproduce great music. I am not saying your approach does not work for you, but it clearly is not for everyone- don't kid yourself into thinking it is.
Tim, I could not have said it better. You right, on, with this. peace, warren
I had Maggie IIIA's and 3.6R's(3 pair) and had awesome bass
with my Spectron digital amp. Tight & fast!! Never felt the need for a sub! (I did not do HT)
I guess you do not get it. The music that was recorded on the source cannot be changed, or made good, or bad.
You can aspire to a system that will reveal the condition and sonic quality of the recorded material, or, lets see, what is the alternative.. oh, yea, or not...and rather distort it further, as the 'connoisseurs of coloration' declare is audiophilia.
Any 'sound', whether characterized as 'good', or 'best', or bad, that is of any component is distortion and will only degrade and/or corrupt the source signal. Regardless of its specific quality.
It is enlightening to listen to the source with reference earphones (like the SHUR ER2 --$100) and compare to what you hear in your room. Then attempt to discern what is the room, and what is the system. Then which of the system is the culpret.
I recommend beginning with the speakers, the primary component. Then their setup. Followed by the amp, and its level of distortion (most are excessive, at least compared to the few relativly distortion free amps). A guide is <0.1% THD (and IMD) over a 5hz-50khz frequency range. The few I have mentioned are more like <0.005%
Once there, what can be done about the room. Its back to the speakers. Maggies are revealing, as are most ELS, and planers. Realistic and integrated bass is the issue with them. A solution is open baffle designs.
I do not see what any of that has to do with anyone's subjective interpretaion or taste in 'sound'. You either hear the source with some accuracy, or you do not.
Then you are left with selecting source material of some degree of sonic excellence, and compentent engineering, that has not been over mixed. Or, is 'true to the original'. Or not.
How about the not so great. Does your system go silent if you put in say mediocre music?
You are right, the truth is not for everyone: audio, or otherwise. In fact there is not even a majority, or the world would not be as it is.
Plese tell us where you come down on the issue. Oh, wait, you (and warrenh) have.
We are getting to know each other. That is good.
OK. I admit that my MG1.6 (set of three) rolls off at about 40 Hz (measured in my room). To play organ music with trouser-leg-flapping authority, I have an elaborate subwoofer system.
However, for most music, when driven with a powerful amp like the CarverPro ZR1600, the MG1.6 has subjectively excellent bass response, so that the 40 Hz rolloff would be hard to believe if I had not measured it myself. I think that the reason is the extreme smoothness of the bass response, and lack of room resonances: the result I think of the large area diaphragm sound source
You are right, the truth is not for everyone
That BLOWS my mind that you call it the truth. What are you using as a "reference" system? And you STILL have not shared your experience with magnepans with me- I asked a real question and you ignore it- that's in bad taste.
Would it be possible for you to make a post with out mentioning open baffles, <0.005 THD(which is INAUDIBLE, BTW) or any other components of "the truth"?
Didactically is (from his other posts, as well) into numbers. Stats. Especially the ones that go where no human tympanic can. Go figure. I miss my Magnaplanar Tympani 1-Ds to this day. I would get a pair of 20.1s in a flash if I had the space. HUGE space. And then, some very serious wattage to drive those babies. Have to settle for my Caravelles. High class problem, indeed.
When distortion gets below about 1/2 percent, its significance is small compared with other amp specs. The kind of distortion matters too. IM is the worst, and is usually the one quoted. Harmonic distortion can be indistinguishable from the harmonic overtones that musical instruments produce. Any THD spec better than 0.1% is just playing a numbers game.
All equipment specs are insignificant compared with the characteristics of microphines used to make the recording. I have a test recording where Julian Hersch reads one of his columns using several dozen different microphones, all of them well-regarded models. The differences are astonishing. And it is really hard to say which model is "best".
The reference for 'truth' in audio is, 'true to the original'. That is, the more a system will reveal exactly, truely, the sonic character of the source material, the closer to the truth.
Producing the recording itself is on them to provide, as closely as possible, the 'sound' the musicans created in making their music, in the environment in which is was made. For instance a well produced, and engineered recording will reveal, not only realistic detail, such as vibrato, breath, fingers squeeking on strings, and other subtlties that are smeared by over-mixing, and distortion noticable, but the acoustics of the hall itself in playback ---system permitting, that is.
But of course, if systems to not reveal such realism that may be in the recording, the listener will literaly, 'not know what they are missing'. Ergo, a method to discover the 'truth' in audio playback, is to use reference earphones (SHURE E2 $100) to first hear the sonic quality of a recording, then compare to what degree the system, setup, and room are distroting that truth.
Then, of course, it is evident the significance the quality of the recording itself plays in this discovery of audio truth. So I refer you to a list of tried and proven sonically superior reference quality CD's at the MUSIC link at www.linkwitzlab.com
While offering at the same time a short cut to getting to that truth in one's system. The suggestion that those concerned about the accuracy of playback in their systems tend to end up with dipole speaker designs, and a low distortion amp to power them. Whether reference quality recordings are played, or not. At least then, the audiophile can 'hear' the 'truth' of the quality of the recordings played.
BTW, <0.005% THD being 'inaudible' is the whole point. The only good distortion is 'inaudible' distortion. Otherwise it mixes with the signal from the recorded material and it becomes very difficult to hear (discern) truth from the musical fiction that results. Or at least the sonic quality of the recording itself.
So, the truth will not be revealed until the system gets out of the way, since it, and the room, is the biggest liar in the process.
That is all I am saying. All you can say is, either you do not care to hear the truth, but rather are interested in achieving that personal preference for what sounds 'good' to you, or that you too seek the turth in audio. I believe that is the qualification, or disqualification, for being an 'audiophile'.
That is my opinion, and I am sticking to it.
I believe the only reference for what is 'best' in recording and playback is the live music in the environment in which it is recorded, or 'true to the original'.
Too many in the recording industry are either ignorant of this principal, or do not find it worthing to pursue. As well as too many audiophiles who would otherwise have influence on the industry to make better recordings.
EVery aspect of recording, and the equipment used, can be referanced back to the live performance: studio, or auditorium. And should be. There are some few who do very well in producing 'live' like recordings. The trick is to find them, which can be all the more difficult with a playback system incapable of revealing the quality of the rercording, the good and the bad.
However if the system is designed to mask the all too numerous poor sonic qualities of recordings, it also masks out any possibility of hearing the 'live' like excellence of well produced, and engineered recordings.
BTW there is a list of tried and proven sonically superior, reference quality, CD's at the MUSIC link at www.linkwitzlab.com in a variety of musical genres.
THis thread is getting a bit heated which is fun!...at any rate...Maggie bass has improved over the years...does it rival convential cones,etc?...thats up to the beholder...and yes the 1.6s are rated to 40hz...but set up properly and in the appropiate room size....the bass is very satisfying...and the Bryston b-60 behaves like a more powerful amp...and can be used as a pre when doing the upgrading path...
I too believe that with Maggies and a Bryson one will be drawn into the music to forgot about how they got there. As with most ELS, planer/ribbion, and open baffle speakers (that is, dipole designs) driven by a distortion free amp.
At least until an inferior recording is played. Then, because of the excellent revealing qualities of such a system, only the mid-fi and better recordings are tolerable. But then the excellent, well engineered recordings are ...well, what its all about. As close to being there as you can get with electronic playback in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
Didactilly- I am confused you keep talking about true to the original- were you there? If not its hard to imagine how you would infer what true to the original in fact means. So all that we are really left with is- in the end- is personal preference which you don't accept as "audio truth". What a bizarre paradigm that leaves you in.
Also, my question(s) remain out there with NO answer- hmmm. What is your reference system and what are your personal experiences with magnepans?
"live music in the enviornment that it is recorded." I have heard systems costing upwards of $250,:. If I had my eyes closed, I could tell in a flash live from recorded. As good as audio is, it's not near a live acoustic performance. case closed. Didactically, I'm curious, as well, about your reference system and what Maggies you've (if any) listened to.
Hey Dictaphone, answer the freaking questions already. I'd really like to know what system your using to get you the "truth in audio"..........John
typo: that was $250k, mind you....
I agree that fidelity to the recording would be the result of a truly neutral system. I value that ideal above all others in audio, so I respect your point of view. I respect the fact that you want to challange people. Still, I think it would be more appropriate for you to do this by posting you own thread and to invite debate there, rather than to divert attention from the original poster and his question.I suggest that even as you are right- and perhaps you are, that you are being so at the expense of the original posters desire to procure a variety of opinions.
Didactically, this is just what I was trying to explain to you, perhaps poorly, in my email to you. Cat got your tongue? You're new to Audiogon and perhaps you're not familiar with the deal. Maybe some audiophool can lay out some of the unwritten "truths" about the 'gon. We're one big fat family, here. It helps to be teachable. NOt only here, but in life, as well. Have fun here. Just lighten up a bit. I've read your threads. New people stick out like a sore thumb, particulary when they have so much to say, so soon, without, first, reading the poster's thread. Relaz and enjoy the 'gon and happy listening. peace, warren