How much power to drive Maggie 1.7 or 3.7?

barondla -- Thu, 09/01/2011 - 22:05

My room is 17x13x8 ft. Listen to all kinds of music. Peaks are never higher than 94b. My amp is VTL ST150. 150 watts rms per channel. Is this enough power to make the Maggies sing? Had MG2's long ago and they were fine with 200 watts per channel from a transistor amp. Unfortunately, didn't have tubes then. Would one model be a better match than the other for my room size? My Sound Dynamics 300ti can't last forever.

dpod4 -- Fri, 09/02/2011 - 18:08

I auditioned (and then bought) the 3.7s two weeks ago when it was run via a 150wpc Ayre stereo amp.  I will be driving it with a 150 wpc tube amp that can easily go to 2 ohms if necessary.  Some say maggies need 500-1000 watts to really breathe and show their dynamics, but I want to keep my hearing and not go deaf so listening at sane levels, 150 wpc will be sufficient.  The new 3.7s seem to play really well without having to crank the volume up. 

Josh Hill -- Wed, 09/07/2011 - 18:29

I think you'll find that most of us Maggie owners are in the 500-1000 watt category, although there are people who argue just as vociferously for small and sweet. Anyway, if your peaks really are at a max of 94 dB SPL, I'd say you're fine with 150 watts RMS. It's a straightforward calculation, you wouldn't even need 100 watts to do that (83 dB at 1 watt 1 meter, 10 dB is about 10 times the power, add a few dB from room reinforcement and subtract a few dB because you're listening further away, then add headroom). But most meters, e.g., the Radio Shack, aren't really peak reading meters so they tend to woefully under-report your actual listening levels.
The thing is, since we hear logarithmically, a subjectively minor difference in listening levels means a huge difference in amplifier requirements. Also, regarding dpod4's remark, it isn't unusual to find that acoustical music has a 20 dB peak/average ratio, so most of what you're adding is peak headroom. Subjective loudness isn't detemined by the shortest peaks, which is why VU meters, which were designed to correspond roughly to subjective loudness levels, aren't peak meters.

dpod4 -- Wed, 09/07/2011 - 18:43

Since maggies are so cost effective i am already saving up for a second vac 300.1a to run in mono config.

stereo -- Fri, 02/22/2013 - 00:40

I compiled, from Audiogon's member's systems, a list of Magnepan 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 owners and the amp/power they are using. It seems most Maggie owners are using less than 500 watts with their Maggies.

Audiogon | Magnepan 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 Amplifier Pairing | February 17, 2013

00-Member Speaker Amplifier Specifications

01-Ear Thunder __Magnepan 3.6 __Pass Labs Aleph 5 __60w-8ohms, 90w-4ohms

02-Casej __Magnepan 3.5 __Rogue Audio Tempes Ii Magnum __90w-miminum

03-Nils __Magnepan 3.6 __Quicksilver V4/bryston 7B-SST __180w-peak power / 900w-4ohm

04-Jimburger __Magnepan 3.6 __Classe Audio 25 __250w-8ohms, 500w-4ohms

05-Soundobsession _Magnepan 3.6 __Mark Levinson No.335 __250w-8ohms, 500w-4ohms

06-Socrates7 _Magnepan 3.7 __Plinius SA-Reference Amplifier __300w-8ohms, 450w-4ohms

07-Koryodell __Magnepan 3.7 __PrimaLuna DiaLOgue 7 __70w-8ohms, 70-4ohms

08-Wynnosu __Magnepan 3.7 __Audio Research Reference 1 __200w-8ohm

09-Brownsfan __Magnepan 3.7 __Cary 500.1 __500w-08ohms, 1000w-4ohms

10-Bmele __Magnepan 3.6 __Audio Research 100.2 __100w-8ohms, 200w-4ohms

11-Jtori __Magnepan 3.5 __Audio Research VT-200 __200w-8ohms-4ohms

12-Pummill __Magnepan 3.6 __Rotel RB-1090 __380-8ohms, 700w-4ohms

13-Dawkimi __Magnepan 3.6 __Threshold S-450e __200w-8ohms, (no 4ohm spec)

14-Lightminer __Magnepan 3.6 __Pass Labs Aleph 5 __60w-8ohms, 90w-4ohms

15-Graystar __Magnepan 3.6 __Audio Research Ref 210 __210w-8ohms-4ohms

16-Sdory __Magnepan 3.6 __Llano Design Trinity M200 __?

17-Ahendler __Magnepan 3.6 __Antique Sound Labs Hurricane __200w-8ohms-4ohms

18-Ackman00 __Magnepan 3.6 __Parasound JC-1 __400w-8oms, 800w-4ohms

19-Rfstock __Magnepan 3.6 __Plinius 9200 __200w-8ohms, 280w-4ohms

20-Macdadtexas __Magnepan 3.6 __Sanders Magtech __500w-8ohms, 900w-4ohms

21-Ictrader __Magnepan 3.6 __Cary CAD-280SA V-12i __100w-8oms-4ohms

22-Techsis __Magnepan 3.6 __McIntosh MC-352 __350w-8ohms-4ohms

23-Thinkat __Magnepan 3.5 __NAD 214 __110w-8ohms, 180w-4ohms

24-Isanchez __Magnepan 3.6 __Spectron Mono-blocks __2400w-4ohms

Ken -- Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:41

I'm using a Classe CA-2200 (200W/ch @ 8 Ohms - 400W/ch @ 4Ohms) in a fairly large listening room.  Sounds great and I’ve never felt like I’m running out of power. Hope this helps.

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