Magnepan 1.7 & Amp Power - Sanity

flawriter -- Sun, 06/24/2012 - 21:35

 I did a great deal of research regarding my recent purchase of Magnepan 1.7 speakers.  While the magazines seem to reign in the required power for this Model, I've read some outragous statements regarding just how much power is required to happily drive these speakers in many a blog.
I'd like to let potential purchasers of the 1.7's know that I have chosen to mate mine with an NAD 356 BEE integrated amplifier and find that 80 watts is more than necessary to drive a medium sized room (with hard wood floors).  In fact, I come no where near stressing this amp and have seen no idications of clipping, even when letting things fly on Beethoven's 9th - 4th movement.
I hope this helps those that have set their sights set on the 1.7's but were less than confident about how many watts it would take to happily drive them.

rileyne -- Mon, 07/30/2012 - 02:33

indeed, i run my 1.7s with a 9 watt 300b amp most of the time, it clips at moderate levels and then a flick a fusion switch thats increases current to the speaker by five fold. Can run it very very load with no problems. To me the 1.7s are massively better with tube amps. I have a sanders ESL which has 600 watts into 4 ohms, frankly its no where near as good as the tube amp. For the first time in 25 years of this hifi hobby i can trully say im happy with the sound. I listen to mostly studio recorded rock and roll and it sounds fantastic

Zach -- Wed, 08/01/2012 - 13:49

 Just don't try a larger, more powerful amplifier, say a Pass Labs X150.5, lol. 

flawriter -- Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:42

I hear you Zach - but the point I'm trying to make is that even if you don't have a Pass Labs X150.5 available, you can still get tremendous enjoyment from Magnepan's brilliant design. And down the road, funds permitting, you can always check out the Pass Labs website - or Audio Research - or Conrad-Johnson - or...well, you get the point. These speakers will handle whatever you bring and will never be the limiting factor in your system. A wonderful investment.

ilxman99 -- Thu, 08/16/2012 - 10:03

As per usual with these forums, we would all do well to recall JV's taxonomy of typical audiophiles. The facts are that Maggies, relative to typical cone speakers, are very current hungry and need more power to coax the best dynamics they can muster (which will be somewhat less than good cone speakers). These are simply characteristics of panel technology. If you are an "as you like it" audiophile, then that 9 watter will make you swoon--since this is about pleasure, that's a great thing. But if you are a "fidelity to recording"/"absolute sound" type, then heed the overwhelming wisdom of Maggie owners (I'm one of 'em) and reviiewers: audition with high quality, high current amplification. I have no idea where the dividing line is, but there is no scenario under which the latter audiophile will be satisfied with low-power amps. Bottom line for fidelity/TAS types: audition with your preferred amp--if not possible, then get the most powerful quality amp you can afford (you can't give Maggies too much power).

flawriter -- Thu, 08/16/2012 - 22:04

Ah....well said Mr. Obvious. We already knew all this. The actual point that was being made was that if someone is assembling a system with limited funds, they would achieve much enjoyment from a pair of 1.7s driven by a well designed but inexpensive amp (as the NAD 356 is). And then down the road, more funds permitting, they can buy a more Herculean amp. And I know from what I speak because I own that NAD 356 but auditioned them with a Mark Levinson. And yet, when I set everything up (with my Synergistic Research actively shielded interconnects and speaker cables and a Wadia front end) I was compelled to revisit my music collection until three in the morning that first night! By-the-bye, my goal for that "Herculean" amp down the road is the Audio Research Reference 150 - only 70 watts more than my NAD. Not exactly an arc welder by any means but I bet it will make beautiful music....and isn't that what it's all about?

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