best amp for a Maggy 1.7i

I am looking for the most detailed amp for a 1.7i under $1,500.

The amp will be between the 1.7i and a Topping d70s. I use the d70s to control the volume.

The d70s is fed by a Bluesound Node. Or, sometimes, directly by a CD player.

I have a fetish for detail.

I’m thinking NAD 268.

Currently using a B&K EX-442 Sonata and not satisfied.



There is no $1500 amp that can drive 1.7s effectively. The only thing near that price is a Musical Fidelity M5si Integrated. What your system needs as it stands now is a good preamp.  I cannot under emphasize this.  

There is no $1500 amp that can drive 1.7s effectively.

i think this statement is too strong... depends on room and volumes desired of course, but if both are fairly standard, here are some to consider that should do the job fine - these are integrateds so bypasses the need for preamp - might be able to get it down close to 1500, if budget allows for preamp in addition to 1500 for the power amp, then this can work - exposures are quite stout - ditto above... very capable unit

for power amps, these will do very well imo

(no affiliation to any of the above... op should do all normal due diligence)

Some interesting discussion here. "I've run my 1.7s with as little as 75wpc tube amp and currently use a 125wpc tube amp. I can easily hit +90db before any tube glare / compression with the 125wpc one. So I'm a doubter of the necessity of megawatts amps with Maggie's - but I'm in the minority."

i think this statement is too strong...

New retail is what I was referring to. 

thanks everyone.

I am totally willing to buy used if I feel confident of the seller.

@russ69  got it

btw, i re-read the op's saying he wants more detail, despite using a b&k 442...  might simply suggest getting a schiit loki/loki+ and turn up the treble

a nad will NOT be the answer

Magnepan is a great speaker with amps of sufficient current. You may find that the amps which have the muscle, great current and enough WPC will ALLOW the speakers to sound their best. And why wouldn’t one want a speaker this good to sound the best? Also I think of inefficient speakers as not hard to drive.... rather they demand too much from amps which were not designed for them. It really is a matter of the speaker pulling too much from the amp.

As far as the 1.7, I would either go with a really good integrated like the Musical Fidelity M6500i or a pair of quality mono blocks like Parasound JC1. 

Parasound A23. Plenty of power and around $1,000 in the used market. The A21would be better if you can find it for $1500.

The 1.7i needs lots of hi current power.

Good luck and enjoy the Maggie's ride.


Use no tubes!! Look for a secondhand musical fidelity A5 and recap him.

Or buy a secondhand kinki audio you needs a amp with minimum of 500w amp at 4ohm.


jros,    I received my 1.7i s in June of of 21.  After a year of listening to all types of music, I am very satisfied with the current system, all digital amps.

Digital Amp Co, 4800A 200wpc, sent back for a new transformer due to tranny buzz.  Up graded power supply and power rails.  Now called a Megaschimo 265wpc.  This powers my 1.7i s and DWMs   Very black background, music seems to boil up out of nowhere.

Peactree Audio, AMP500 250wpc.  This powers my swarm/DBA sub system from 40 hz  on down.  The swarm is 3 10s in three large boxes, a pair of tens together in smaller box 23x10x13, last 12 woofer in a large box.  These are seldom needed.

Dac Maraschino w/ 60 volt power supply 200wpc for side channel MMGs.

2 MiniGan5s for rear channels and Atmos.

1.7i s use magnarisers airborn stands, best spent money anywhere.

2 DWMs wired to Megaschino also used.  DWMs are 200 to 40 hz, not much, together a nice full bottom end.  DWMs use Mye stands

Marantz AV8801, Panasonic BDUP9000, ZU  speaker wire and Audio Envy ICs, DBX XLR223.  Questions PM me. 

My friend used a NAD integrated amp and I am impressed with the sound per dollar of his system. 

I recognize that an improve from end can let Maggies shine; I disagree NAD isn’t a nice match at the Op’s budget 


I have been using my AGD Audion and Gran Vivace to drive my Maggie 1.7.

Several friends have reached Nirvana too with their 30.1 and the Audion.


I think you will get the detail you want with a high-current tube amp that you will have to buy used at your price range.

Unfortunately, most of those are about twice your budget.  Maybe save up for a while and get what you NEED.  You have the best speakers money can buy.  Don't short-change yourself with a less-than-ideal amplifier, please.


A PS Audio Stellar S300 at 140 watts @ 8 Ohms and 300 watts @ 4 Ohms, should drive those Maggies.  It sells new for $1650 and can be found used for $800 to $900.  PS used to offer discounts with a trade in, although I'm not sure if they still do that.

I agree with DWMAGGIE.  Magnarisers are the best upgrade you can do for the price.  I have the 3.7's, they ran out of power with 150 watts.  250 watts drives them well.  [Hegel].

As you continue your Maggie journey, after finding the right amp (I went thru a number before finding the right ones for my 3.6s), get Mye stands.  Long time Maggie owners swear by them as the biggest bang for the buck mprovement.  I have had my current configuration over 10 years and smile every day when I hear them.

Currently running my 1.7i with a pair of restored Adcom GFA-365 mono blocks.  Finding a restored pair isn't impossible, but $1500 may be tight.


I have run them with as little as a 25 wpc Cary SEP and a 50 wpc Jolida JD-302b.


My ATI 1502 (150 wpc @ 8 ohms, 225 wpc @ 4 ohms) drove theme very well and can be easily found for under $1000.

I use an Odyssey Cyclops Extreme SE Integrated, which I find excellent; I believe the Khartago Extreme SE is the identical amp version...Cyclops only has one input, but I use my DAC, and through the DAC a CD transport, a CD changer and a streamer...

I currently (pun intended) have 3 amps (2 for sale) that all drive them effortlessly. 1 is a tube amp (100wpc) and the others are higher power SS.

I wholeheartedly agree with the poster who said the need for megawatt amps is overblown. But then, there are SO many fallacies about Maggies.

like anything else, it is useful to understand what we are dealing with factually - and in specific terms -- when it comes to driving speakers, and here, specifically maggies

maggies, big and small, are 4 ohm, purely resistive loads (meaning there are not torture chamber drivers/crossovers with their difficult electro-mechanical resonances that an amp has to deal with - large doses of inductance/capacitance - i.e. phase angles the amp must see and deliver its modulated energy into)

as such, the megnepans are not particularly 'difficult' loads to drive (impedance does not fall well below 4 ohms, amps sees a pretty simple resistor ahead of it) but the amp does need to deliver alot of current (flow/volume of energy into that load) into it to activate and control the substantial mylar panels

there are (and have been) famous torture chamber speakers like big thiels, focals, acoustats etc where impedance drop to 2-3 ohms in the bass region, and with great reactivity - magnepans pose none of these challenges -- but maggies do need strong current delivery (and thus excellent power supply design/strength and control on the part of the amp) into their purely resistive 4 ohm load 

it is helpful to know what one is dealing with, and then get the right tool built for doing that job

A used bel canto amp might be the best for your price point. Magnepan's mate well with Class D, maybe it's the damping factor or the Mag's stable 4ohm load? Please don't expect perfection for around $1500.

Schiit Vidars in Mono mode, but it will require balanced output.  Plenty of current, plenty of power for a room that's an appropriate size for the 1.7s.

On the other hand, I've had folks recommend the Crown 300A with a recap job for the 1.5 and 1.6 Maggies.

My Vidars should be in service  with my 1.6 QRs soon.

I've had good results with a Class D Hypex based amp, the March Audio P502 (discontinued), driving my MMGs.  It puts out 500W per channel and enough current with I believe 27A.  I think the NC502MP module is a good match, so offerings from VTV, Audiophonics, or Buckeye Amps should do nicely.  Even better is the NC1200 module, VTV offers a stereo version at under $1500.

I had used a 7 channel NAD to drive my 1.7s.  The sound was OK.  I then bought an Emotiva XPA3 and that definitely sounded much better than the NAD with much more clarity and detail.  Was thinking of trying VanAlstine monoblocks next.  These would be above your price point but they also make a 60Wx2 channel for $1000.

Never owned ML’s or Maggie’s, if they are at all bright, those emo amps would not fit well. They are overly bright in treble, mid and have high gain, which promotes tweeter hiss, but you don’t need worry about that. 

To the OP and many others about the out of budget amps I had suggested JC1 and Musical Fidelity. My apologies for not staying within budget. If it were me, I would get a used amp that is dual mono and high current and use those until my budget would allow the bigger amps. Parasound, Adcom and Aragon are all older units that one might get used within the budget. I have heard the 1.7 with amps that sounded ok and amps that were high current and the speakers always sounded better with the higher current. I have MMGs that are driven by a Marantz receiver preamp and Adcom dual mono amp in my bedroom and it sounds pretty good. Just my two cents...

((((Currently using a B&K EX-442 Sonata and not satisfied.))))

 Take the digital out of the Blue sound in to any pre owned Bryston Dac that you can afford. This will be responsible for another level of realism and detail improvement and then plug the BK 442 right into the wall.

 Best JohnnyR Magnepan Dealer NJ