Best Amps for Magneplanar 1.7i Speakers

I have a new pair of Magneplanar 1.7i speakers. Source material is CDs played on an  OPPO 105D disc player, and Qobuz streamed through the OPPO. Current amplification is Rogue Audio Sphinx (version 1). I have an old B&W powered subwoofer (ASW2000)  connected to the subwoofer outputs on the Sphinx. Listening room is about 15’x14’, ceiling height 9’. The sound quality is reasonably good but at times it feels a little underpowered. I’d welcome thoughts  on whether the Sphinx is enough amplifier for the speakers and what other amplifiers (integrated or pre- and power-amp combinations) might work well? Especially interested in views regarding tubes versus solid state. Budget for the amp or amp combo is $4,000 to $8,000. Thanks in advance!


Atma-Sphere  Class D drives them with easy. Grabs onto the and makes them do as they what’s being asked from them. Excellent amps for those. No heat, great soundstage, very detailed and attack and decay is excellent. You won’t need your subwoofer anymore. Seems to be a great match. Only Class D I’ve liked in my system to date. 

note to newbs to this forum

search bar above is very useful, if one considers this forum has been here for 20+ years and if the question in mind might have been asked before

My old Anthem integrated was feature in an article (I'll never find it) as being a superb match with Maggies. And it was. So much so that I upgraded to a new Anthem.

I may have already commented about the Voyager GaN 350 amp. I just one FS on USAudioMart at a terrific price. He's in IN. Also saw a Project- RS2 dac/pre that should be a great match

Forget the amp. Change the crossover first.

The crossover is complete junk, it’s the choke point in your system.

Use quality caps and a 12 gauge foil Inductor.

Ditch all internal stock wiring as well.

Bryston is reputed to be a good match with Maggies, and this 4B-SST2 has ample power to drive your speakers…

Matching the Bryston with this excellent LTA ZOTL tube preamp I’d think would produce glorious sound along with just a bit of that tube magic…

Or you could go with a Bryston BP26 preamp for synergy with the amp…

Hope this helps, and best of luck.

Not sure about the use of tubes with Maggies. I had a pair of Magnepan 1.7i and I used the usually recommended Bryston Class AB amps with them. During a period in time I used a pair of Bryston 4B3 amps with great success. But you can likely do well with just one of those amps run as a stereo amp. I do not recommend Schiit Vidars, as with loud music and in my experience, they go into thermal protection. Maggies need lots of current and power. They are also great when you add a pair of subwoofers, which I have found easy to integrate, as opposed to what some others have stated on this topic. 

I did use tubes for about a year....Rogue Cronus Magnum. It sounded fine and had ample power, but the excess heat wasn't acceptable in my hot climate.

I can't recommend the Anthem STR enough. A superb piece. There's a reason it's still on Stereophile's Class A list years after introduction.

I’d consider getting a couple of small subwoofers and an active crossover and keep your amp, buy if you want more power,  Check out Hegel. A used H360 can be had for around $3200ish. Class A/B Dual mono 250 watts X 2 into 8 ohms. 

This was published quite recently.

The Music room compared sound using 3 different amps. The differences noticed between different types of amps could be useful. 



fyi magnepan, at the start, jim winey used big audio research tube amps at shows showing off the speakers

over time, they switch to bryston solid state, then about a decade ago, switched again to pass labs solid state being used pretty much exclusively

hegel and other serious solid state amps with a natural smooth refined sound such as upper krells, upper musical fidelity, gryphon, classe, coda, boulder all do very well and show off everything the speakers can do - generally speaking, 100 wpc in 8 doubling into 4 (the maggies’ impedance) is a good rule of thumb

on the value end of the spectrum, odyssey and better van alstines do quite well

tube hybrids can do well too, so long as the solid state output stage is stout

I sell mine VAC phi 300.1 poweramp. (150 w.) i think , it will be a very good match ! Tube amp will be better than a transistor amp.

I have a pair of the original 1.7 and a pair of LRS+ . The system that I use for my Magnepan speakers has a Peachtree Gan400 power amplifier and it is a very good match. 

I've used a mc250 ss ,Mc275  tube and now a parasound p5  pre with a parasound A21+. Very happy.


How does an amp "feel underpowered"?

200 watts into 4 ohms is plenty. Just admit you're itching for something new and call it a Christmas present to yourself. 

Whenever I’ve had Magnepan, I’ve ended up with Bryston. Very easy to listen to, very clear, family business, 20 year warrantee, best customer service in the industry. Sane prices. Perfect for HT. What’s not to like?

Sanders Magtech amp hands down. I had 1.7 I 's and 3.7's and it powered them with ease and great finesse. Maggie's need CURRENT and the Magtech has loads of it  runs cool they are extremely overbuilt. 

You want a minimum of 150 watts to sound decent.  More is better.  Like 250.

The Peachtree GaN 400 watt amp is class D Ganfets. They sound very tubish but have the guts to run those Maggies. I’m picking up a pair of LRS+ today..... Enjoy the music...not the equipment.

Has this question been asked before?? : )

I have the Magnepans. 7’s and drove them with my VAC PA 100 100 tube amp and ARC LS15 tube pre amp It was acceptable, but felt the Maggie’s just wanted more watts/current So out came the VAC and in went my Spectron musical MK lll

500watts@8ohm 650@4ohms and 1,200 watts@1ohm

65 amps for 500 milliseconds Now my Maggie’s beg for mercy!

So give them as much watts/current as possible


Lots of ideas here, and thanks to all of you! There is something to mrskeptic’s observation that maybe I am just looking for a Christmas present for myself. Still, with that volume knob well past the halfway mark I do wonder whether the Maggies need a little more juice. 

I have a Rogue Sphinx v3 up for grabs on US Audio Mart if interested. From what I hear, it is a great pairing to the LRS's, but not sure about the 1.7's. Thought it was worth mentioning.


Lots of ideas here, and thanks to all of you! There is something to mrskeptic’s observation that maybe I am just looking for a Christmas present for myself. Still, with that volume knob well past the halfway mark I do wonder whether the Maggies need a little more juice.

I think whatever the reason you’re not hearing what you want, and that’s the bottom line so maybe you could more fully communicate what it is you feel you’re missing and/or want to improve. It may not be as much a power thing as much as a character thing. The more you share, the better recommendations you’ll get here. Saying you think you’re underpowered just doesn’t do it in this context.  Need more please.


Still, with that volume knob well past the halfway mark I do wonder whether the Maggies need a little more juice.

don’t mistake volume knob position with amplifier power available to drive speakers

could well be you have a low output voltage source (or high input impedance at the amp input), leading you to need to open up the volume control on your rogue unit

just like a corvette may have a less sensitive gas pedal, need to step on it more to go... but it doesn’t mean it is less powerful than a honda civic with a touchy gas pedal

You say the speakers are new… I’ve owned several pair of Magnepan speakers over the years, and the biggest mistake I believe some owners make is judging the sound before the speakers break in. I’ve used dozens of different amplifiers with Maggies. In my experience, with my room, my listening habits, and my music, I’ve found that these speakers can sound great with far less power than many people suggest. Your Rogue should have enough power. However, you can always get a different sound with a different amp. As someone else mentioned, the position of the volume knob means very little, unless you’re still short on volume level when it’s turned up to near the end of its rotation. Your room is not very big, so that combo should play pretty loudly. Also, try getting used to the sound without the sub for awhile. You’ll be able to hear the low frequencies grow more extended as the speakers break in as well. This is just from my experience. Others have their own. Good luck 

@krelldreams Great post! One of the many fallacies about Maggies is their need for crazy power.

What everyone is saying. Let them break in. Spend too much time pondering speaker placement. Work on your room. Your room is close to square, which can be challenging; get them off the front wall as far as you can, 4'+ if possible. I've used single subs in the past but am loving two small RELs that keep up with the Maggies nicely--and I'll try the North Carolina four-corners (swarm) approach at some point. There are lots of threads here and on other forums-- the Planar Circle (Audiocircle) and the Planar Speaker Asylum (Audio Asylum), for example--that toss about amp ideas. Bryston comes up (I've used Bryston and they're excellent), Pass, Magtech (Roger Sanders is simply awesome), Hegel, etc. People use tubes as well; check out the comments on Atma-Sphere (Ralph is also simply awesome). Maggies don't present a complicated load but they do appreciate some power. Also, Lots of people put a tube pre-amp in front; I've got that happening now and enjoy it. Maggies are a bit of a project but when you get them dialed in, they're lovely. 

Like the others are saying, I think the Rogue has enough power for the speakers. Having auditioned a Rogue Sphinx v1 (with power hungry LS50's), I found that it had sufficient power for my speakers. However, I came to the conclusion that it played all the notes, but not the music so well. Maybe this is what is bothering you too?

Given your budget, you have endless choices. I would recommend buying separates, a good preamp might resolve a lot of your issues.


After a crossover change magnepans can run on 50 watts a channel.

All the power in the world is wasted if your crossover is complete junk. 


I would have never kept the magnepans as a long term, hell even a short term speaker with the stock crossover.


Address that before you do anything else.  👍

Agree with rebuilding the crossover. It is unadulterated junk. Asi Teknology rebuilt mine and put the crossover in an external box. Tremendous upgrade.  I also ran Canary monoblock tube amplifiers on them and they sounded great.  Tube power was 140 wpc.

lots of people use the odyssey kismet monos,

they really light em up with tons of current, which is what they need/


go with the Magtech by Sanders. never need another amp, will drive aany speaker.

stable to 1 ohm for the maggie dips

Magnepan 1.7 with the Bryston 4B3 & EAR 868

I quit looking for new gear a long time ago...sublime.  

Edit: It is far too easy to overlook the importance of the preamp and the combination of the 3 need to be right.  

i have felt that while sanders and bryston amps surely have the ’balls’ to drive maggies well, to my ears they lack the last desired dose of refinement, tactility and fullness/bloom that i feel is very beneifical for maggies (in this category i include amps from spectral, levinson/proceed, non class a krells and so on) -- we all hear differently, have different tastes, but this has been my own experience

that said, current gen maggies big and small are thankfully voiced sonewhat warmer/fuller than earlier ones from years ago, but are they remain quite demanding in terms of needing to be fed very pure treble and mids

i still prefer solid state amps from pass labs (ideally high class-a biased ones), hegel, ayre, accuphase and that ilk, that bring an exceptionally high level of treble purity and refinement to the sound (alternatively, tube/ss hybrids can often do very very well with maggies)

This may have nothing to do with OPs situation, but made a big difference for me.. When I started streaming with Bluesound Node 2i and Qobuz, the volume was much lower than my stand alone cd player and turntable.

After I added an external J2 DAC by Geshelli the volume increased alot. J2 has volume adjust and is too loud on high setting.

My 40 year old 200wpc Carver m400 puts out a good medium/loud spl at 10:00 volume position. For what thats worth.

Just unboxed my new Odyssey amp yesterday. Now for the long burn in period.

Yes, +1 on Bryston and Hegel. I had Maggie 3,6r for several years and drove them with a beautiful ARC VS-110. Plenty of tube power for those big beasts.