I'm using an Cambridge Audio Azur 840 integrated, which seems to be doing fine, but I have upgrade-itis. I don't necessarily want to spend more than I did on the Azur 840 (ca. 1500, or maybe it was less), but I'm open to suggestions.
Have you seen THIS REVIEW?
Excerpt from further comments:
Jonathan Valin -- Mon, 03/22/2010 - 20:41 from the 1.7s!
There are plenty of tube/tube-hybrid amps whose costs are MUCH more in line with the 1.7s than the 610Ts . My point wasn't that you needed a $39k 610T to drive them, just that they are good enough to pair up beautifully with the best tube amplification I've heard.
If I were shopping for a tube amp to go with the 1.7s, I'd consider numbers from Vincent. T.A.C., Audio Space, Antique Sound Labs, and PrimaLuna, as well as somewhat lower-powered and far less expensive numbers from ARC, c-j, VTL, McIntosh, and Manley. You don't have to spend tens of thousands to get great sound
Well if you can't or won't spend more than your original* purchase you might not get BETTER sound, just DIFFERENT sound. Do you dislike your current amplification enough to spend money to move sideways?
*Unless many, many years have elapsed and technology and parts quality have significantly improved.
Some good suggestions. Recognizing that he's (JV) the authority, I see a lot of postings from people who've got MMGs -- the mini-Magnepans -- which say that they are hard to drive with valve amps, like the Prima Luna Prologue.
I should have specified in my post that my upgrade-itis was all about tubes. My other respondent (I'm not sure whether his post will appear above or below this one) asked the good question about whether I wanted to move "sideways," to get something different, if not better. Well, I think the answer's yes. I'm just fearful that, for example, an amp like the Cayin KT88 won't control the Maggies.
Maggies very much like the power when I sold audio I worked with the brand extensively. Unless you have a really big budget, or find a killer deal on the used market tubes aren't the way to go because powerful tube amps (100 watts or more) are expensive. Maybe a tube-like solid state amp might be the way to go. I'm thinking B&K new or used. One of the other forum members, JIMV tried the MMGs with a small tube unit and was really unhappy.
I think you're right, at least for my price range. The tube units that I thought might work, like the ARC 60 watt integrated, or prima luna monoblocs -- which would entail getting a preamp -- all add up to a lot more that $2000. The impression I'm getting from this thread is that I should just sit back and enjoy the speakers and not get into the upgrade or sideways-grade game.
Perhaps look for a nice used tube amp?
I have two different amp setups I use with my MMGs.
The first is an ARC VT-100 mkIII. I think you can pick these up for around $3k used. Sound is wonderful! This amp puts out 100watts at 4ohms.
The second is a pair of Outlaw m-2200 mono amps. These cost $350 each new and they put out About 300watts at 4ohms. The sound is very good for the money. Really a great value. I bought these because I did not have the confidence that the ARC would have enough power for the maggies. But it does in my room.