Budget AV Receiver with Magnepan

I'm looking to build a 5 channel home theater/music system using Magnepan MMG-W's and CC2 (or possibly MC1's for FR and FL) with a Monitor Audio sub. Now I'm looking at inexpensive used high end AV receivers to tie it all together:

Rotel - 1055 75x5

NAD - T744 (can be had refurbished with warranty) 5x50W, not sure if this is enough to drive the Magnepans?

NAD - T754, a bit more power, can be had with warranty

B&K AVR 202 - 105 x 5, I've heard one of these and liked it, it's a bit older than the rest

Cambridge Audio 540R - 80 x 6, nice looking unit but haven't heard much about them compared to NAD/Rotel/B&K

And advice/experience on any of these would be greatly appreciated. I'm happy with 5 channel DTS, don't need HDMI (although would be nice), want something that can drive the small Maggies without struggling (don't need ground shaking volume here), and I want something that sounds *good*. I'm coming from a small Denon 75w x 5 Dobly Digital surround receiver (driving Monitor Audio Silver 5i's). I know seperates are better, but I'm trying to keep the wife happy ($$$). Thanks!

I haven't found Maggies to be as difficult to drive as they are reputed to be, at least the smaller models anyway. My guess would be that any of the receivers you mentioned, except for the NAD T744, would be adequate.

As far as sound goes, MAYBE the Cambridge and Rotel could produce a somewhat bright presentation. The NAD would probably be the most laid back. I don't have any experience with B&K stuff.

Finally, why not keep the Denon you have now and see how that works before investing in a new receiver? Denon's stuff is generally very good, even the entry level models, especially when it comes to powering what amounts to satellites. And the slightly warm sound of the Denon might make for a nice balance with the Maggies.

Finally, if you feel you do turn out to need a new receiver, don't count out Onkyo and Yamaha. Some of their latest models in the $500-$700 range (brand new) are surprisingly good, even with 2-channel music.
That's not a bad idea actually - I guess I'm sort of getting all worked up in upgrade mode, but who knows - maybe the Denon is better than I am giving it credit for. It's old, model number AVR1700, and is actually 70x5 instead of what I thought was 75 x 5. My only concern is the Maggies are rated at 5ohm which I thought might be a bit much for a receiver I bought for $250 on clearance some 8 years ago! That is also my concern with the Onkya and Yamaha units. Less so for the models I listed, including the NAD, as I know they all have relatively high current power supplies. I know the MMG-W's are frequency limited which eases the load a bit, but I also know they are quite revealing and will benefit from better amplifiers... especially ones that aren't working so hard to keep up.
I highly recommend against driving any 81 to 83 db, difficult 4 ohm speaker load on ANY receiver ever built, personally! Not only will the sound be rather flat in spots, but you'll likely be cooking eggs on top of the receive unit.
I say, no go...
Here's one: Go on line and find a bunch of Maggie retail dealers, and give em a call! Say you are considering buying some Maggies, and want to know what you should drive them with. Any sane dealer should tell you pretty much the same
All the more reason to try the Denon first. Who cares if it blows up? Better to use it as a guinea pig. See how hard you need to run it, whether it heats up, blows up, whatever, and then use the results to help choose how much power (and transformer power) you need if you decide to upgrade.

I found some technical analysis of the AVR-1700, which was a mid-end model actually from what I found online:

"In the lab, the AVR1700 delivered technical measurements typical of a low-to-mid-priced receiver.

The maximum power output at the onset of clipping was measured at 86.19W RMS into 81/2 with a THD of 3.07 per cent. Denon quotes an output of 70W with no more than 0.5 per cent THD.

Yet 0.5 per cent THD might be considered a tad high in today's age of ultra-low distortion amplification. Employing HCC's unique Fidelity Firewall (a measurement showing maximum output and low distortion) we can reveal the AVR-1700 delivers just 60.8W at 0.118 per cent THD.

We were more worried by the overall frequency response. In stereo mode a 30-point sweep from 25Hz to 20kHz at the Firewall Output revealed a 0.5dB peak around 150Hz and a droop of 0.3dB from 200Hz to 500Hz, bottoming out at 800Hz.

Employing a multitone (22 frequencies applied simultaneously) at the industry 1W/8ohm level, confirmed this mid-band muzziness with a measured variation of 0.8dB peak-to-peak which (if you have keen hearing) may just about be audible, especially on music recordings."

And here's an excerpt from the HCC review:

"I was actually rather impressed with how this Denon performed both with music and movie material. Musically, the AVR-1700 has an open, inviting character particularly suited to solo vocalists. I listened to, amongst others, Paula Cole's This Fire (Warner) and Rebecca Pigeon's The Raven (Chesky) and apart from a slight restriction in terms of image depth and width was surprised with the results.

The Denon isn't shamed by a high-quality pair of loudspeakers and is equally at home with a modest home theatre package, but a little extra spent on speakers isn't going to be wasted. I couldn't find much to complain about when it came to bass-heavy material either; unlike some previous Denons, the AVR-1700 can pump out a forceful bass line such as that during Yello's The Rhythm Divine.

The six DSP modes are moderate, the best being 5CH stereo, and should be used judiciously. Turning the rear and effect levels down from the defaults helps a great deal. Experiment for the best results."
Aren't some of these high end receivers (Rotel and B&K particularly) supposed to be more of a merged pre-amp amp combo and less your typically compromised receiver?

I want to go with the mini-Magnepans, so that's that. I *am* unfortunately severely budget limited, $500 or maaybe stretch to $800. So I'll always be compromised in some way.

As far as seperates here's a challenge- can anyone conceive of a pre-pro/amp seperate combo that could be in that budget used? Old B&K maybe? Requirements are 5 channel, at least Dolby Digital or DTS, and I would like at least component video switching if possible. Oh and it has to sound divine :)
I have an NAD T742 and I'm not sure the T754 you are looking into would hold up to the task.

I helped a friend setup an all MMGW and MMGC driven by a Marantz 8001. I was very impressed! The Audessy room correction made a huge difference and sounds as warm and transparent as the NAD but more dynamic. Plus, it has more bells and whistles than the NAD. I now use my NAD only as processor. I orginally had it driving the center and rears, but the NAD ran out of steam for the center even when not driving the rears. Got an Adcom 2545 for a cheap price and it did the job. My wife was happy with the sound and the price I paid.

I'm thinking of borrowing my friends Marantz to see how it holds up to my NAD/Adcom setup. If you're interested in the Marantz there is an authorized online dealer that sells the refurbs for a good price. That is where my friend bought it.
I've tried Denon, Yamaha and Marantz. I like the Marantz the best by far. Pick up a used one off Ebay any model SR-8000 or above is my recommendation.
At the amount you want to spend I'd stay with the Denon. Not my favorite receiver but good none-the-less. That 70w x 5 rating is probably at 8 ohms. The Maggies are quite resistive for a speaker...which is a good thing. At they're 4 or 5 ohm rating your Denon will easily average over 100w to 140w with no problem. I have a Marantz surround and use the internal amps for the back MG 10.1QR's and my center ch. Roger Ls3/5a's. [neither made anymore, unfortunately] and the Marantz does well, rated at about what the Denon is. Marantz has a slightly better power supply. Also, if you use a sub, you can set the speakers to 'small' in the processor program and that cuts out the bottom 80 or 100 hz to any pair are all pairs of speakers and sends that info to the sub.
If ya just gotta buy something new, price vs. power, I'd recommend either the NAD mentioned above or a Marantz. After that the Rotel and then the Yamaha. Many others to name.
p.s. I sold a set of Little MG.5's to a couple once [in the 80's, selling mid & hi-end ]. They really liked the clean sound but then they brought their Yamaha in to hear it hooked up before buying. Big disappointment! It just had no bottom, no meat, no life. So...they bought a Marantz & we were all happy again.
By the way. Sound may double every three db. but it takes 10db for the ear to perceive a doubling of sound. It's just the mother nature made us.
I did some searching online, and found that the Denon AVR-1700 has preouts for the front speakers. You might consider putting your money instead into a budget multichannel amp such as an Adcom, Emotiva, or Outlaw. Then hook up the preouts of your current receiver to the outboard amp to let it power the main L/R and center speaker and let the receiver take care of the surrounds. If you desire an upgrade further on down the road, upgrade to a HT receiver that has full 5.1 or 7.1 preouts and run all speakers off the multichannel amp.

I used to have an NAD T760 driving some PSB speakers, and it sounded just OK. When I added an outboard amp (Sherbourn 5/1500A), though, the performance up easily a couple full notches.


Hey great ideas! I didn't even think about the preamp outs with an outboard amp - that way I can stage going to seperates over time. Not a bad idea at all. I'm also interested in looking at the Marantz av receivers, as I've heard good things about them but never really considered them. The thing about reading reviews about A/V receivers is that there is a sliding scale - one person will say X receiver is amazing, because they only have used low end receivers. Another person will say X receiver is trash, because they usually use high end seperates. It's a sliding scale :)

Eventually I plan to retire the Denon even as a preamp, because I want at least component video switching (just grabbed a new Samsung 42" plasma) if not the new fancy HDMI stuff. The guy at Circuit City poo-pooed component and said HDMI was the only way to go for HD, but I'm not so sure I believe him.
My Blu-Ray player only outputs 1080p through the HDMI, and I think that's the case with all players. So if you want HD, you have to use an HDMI connection. Otherwise, you'll have to live with 480p.
Yeah as far as HDMI goes, my new Samsung has 3 HDMI 1.3 inputs. Instead of going with a switching receiver as a central hub, I'm just going to connect direct to the TV (though it's a little more complicated for my wife to udnerstand :) ).
Component video connections CAN transmit HD signals; they will easily to 1080i and 720p. I'm not sure if they're do 1080p, but on my Samsung 1080p LCD, I cannot tell the difference between the HDMI and component video inputs. Of course, if you want to decode the AUDIO HD signals from a Blu-Ray disc, then you will need to use HDMI connections.

It's my understanding that component video goes up to 1080i, and can't do 1080p. I can also see where this might be hard to detect on a 1080p flat panel display, because flat panel displays don't interlace. Ever. So when they see a 1080i incoming signal, they automatically convert it to 1080p so they can display it. If a 1080p display receives a genuine 1080p signal, there should be some improvement in tracking fast-moving action, however.

The only true 1080i displays are CRT-based, whether a direct-view tube or CRT-based front or rear projector. All DLP, LCD, and plasma-based displays are progressive.

For example, my LCD-based rear-projection Hitachi will accept a 1080i signal, but the TV's native mode is 720p, and it downconverts a 1080i signal to a 720p display.
"Component video is capable of carrying signals such as 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p, although many TVs do not support 1080p through component video"
"...I *am* unfortunately severely budget limited, $500 or maaybe stretch to $800. So I'll always be compromised in some way" (BFrank1972)

Yep, I recommend this route EVERY TIME, BTW, over an all-in-one receiver route for your maggies: Some $400-$600 range newer Denon, Yamaha, Harmon Kardon receiver on the net at slashed rates in the $400 price range - THEN ADD A 5 CHANNEL USED HIGH CURRENT OUTBOARD AMP!!
Several amps come to mind on the used market. However, you can probably find a great deal on some a Beefy Parasound HCA-1205/1206 for $500 range. Cheeper option would be Some Adcom or Rotel piece for $400-$500.
Either way, this option would be a much better combo approach than simply the receiver, IMO.
Old school tech, used would be to at least recommend an older Acurus Act 3 at $300, and adding an amp to that.
I like either of these older and newer tech routes over what you are attempting. (I speak from 20 years of pro and hobby experience in this)
Of all the receivers you mentioned, I like the B&K option the best with your maggies (but it has no newere codecs, Room DSP, EQ, limited bass mgmnt, likely, etc). Still, I could NEVER get my self to drive any Maggie (I've sold em in two high end stores, thus far) with a reciver - NO!
Hah well I was actually looking at the option of my Denon with the Parasound 1205 (a couple on Audiogon for sale), but then I stumbled across a Rotel RSX-1065:


at a price I couldn't turn down (<$300). It's a receiver yes, but this thing looks more like Rotel crammed one of their preamps and amplifiers in one box - I'm sure there are plenty of compromises but it does everything I need and has plenty of power (peering through the top grille I see the thing has a good size toroidal transformer sitting in the middle)... all in one tidy and inexpensive box.

Right now I'm going with the MMG-W setup, which are small and hopefully easier to drive than the full Maggies - and I've always liked Rotel equipment. So we'll see how this setup works and if I'll feel the need for a seperate amp down the road.
Holy you-know-what. If you found a Rotel RSX-1065 for less than $300, you got the bargain of the century. You do realize that a new one was over $2,000, right? Anyway, I'd say your done shopping. The 1065 is actually overkill for your setup. Enjoy it.
Yeah I know! It looks brand new and I felt like a thief walking out of the store with it - it's a local hi-fi shop as well who said they'd give me 14 days if anything went wrong with it. Mission accomplished ;) Thanks for your help!
I think you can find a Denon AVR 3806 (which does have HDMI switching) in your price range, and it will definitely drive the Maggies. I owned this reciever, and loved it. I have had some very serious problems with NAD recievers and would never buy one again.

I have never owned one, but have heard and been impressed by the Marantz recievers over the past few years.

Good luck.
08-04-08: Bfrank1972
Hah well I was actually looking at the option of my Denon with the Parasound 1205 (a couple on Audiogon for sale), but then I stumbled across a Rotel RSX-1065 ... at a price I couldn't turn down (<$300).
Dude! Score!

I hadn't thought about Rotel in your original post. Based on listening auditions I've done, Rotel is one of the few receivers that should make your Maggies sing. And at $300? Good gawd!

I heard a 70wpc Rotel AV receiver absolutely humiliate a 100 wpc Sony ES. The Sony had no grip on the bass. The Rotel drove the pair of B&Ws like high current separates would, and had both greater clarity and musicality. And you don't want to move up in clarity without accompanying musicality!
Thanks! I'm feeling very lucky right now ;) I haven't even hooked the beast up yet - I'm waiting to get the Maggies. BTW I'm coming from a Monitor Audio setup, Silver 5i's (which I really like) and an ASW-210 - I'm hoping the sub will blend ok with the MMG-W's. I have always loved the sound of the planar dipole speakers (my friend has a lovely pair of ML SL-3's) but these will be the first Magnepan speakers I will have owned so far!
"has plenty of power (peering through the top grille I see the thing has a good size toroidal transformer sitting in the middle)... all in one tidy and inexpensive box." Bfrank

"You do realize that a new one was over $2,000, right? Anyway, I'd say your done shopping. The 1065 is actually overkill for your setup." ekobesky

Lol - just know this. Yes, the receiver will drive the speakers. Just like a Honda Civic can get up to 120 miles per hour (much faster than any sane human would ever need to drive - So you won't ever be using that top gear to the fullest, right!?!....?). And, as $2k receiver goes, yes, it has descent power.
Actually, the old $3600 Denon AVR5600 and Yamaha DSPA3090 at $2700 had large power transformers too. And yet, they didn't even have adequate power to drive smal B&W DM601's (let alone larger Mirage M5's and M3i's) full range with any body, snap and power!!!
Yes, I've sold the Rotel products, and they offer good value, indeed, for the money. No doubt. Otherwise, it's good product, I agree.
Still, to be accurate, so you know what you're dealing with - the limitations, potential, down-sides, short-comings, and benefits - I think you should know what you're getting.
You will have overall "cleanish" sound, as the receiver is descent, and the speakers are rather clear and detailed, if a bit limited in macro dynamics, comparatively. They are low low low sensisitivity speakers, that dip in the impeadance - meaning they suck juice. Since the receiver IS NOT SEPARATES, it will not deliver the goods like a dedicated power amp (note: Your modest 100w/ch $1k Rotel 5 channel power amp will deliver much more snap and control to the sound, comparatively). I KNOW you would still get better performance adding an outboard amp. Just try, and consider...that's all I'm saying.
Sound will be much more dynamic, 3 dimmensional, wider sounding stage, more musical, and full bodied sounding with better amplification. That's just the way it is.
Anyway, good luck. There's always more to tweaking your ride that can be done. It's just thoughts, perspectives, and suggestions.
"Anyway, I'd say your done shopping. The 1065 is actually overkill for your setup" (Ekobesky)

I would disagree wholeheartedly with this statement from my years of experience selling the Magnapan products, among others. Even the reviews on Magnapans website on the MMG's state that the speakers are a challenging load for receivers, even substantial ones!
Yes, they can drive them. But again, it's like the difference between a Porche that does 120mph, and a Honda Civic that gets up to 120mph! - The Porche does 120 RIGHT NOW, with torque, and lots of control and dynamic power, while the Honda eventually gets there, but with less performance. Same basic analogy I think.
So, as long as you are a casual, "soft listener", who doesn't care so much about dynamic realism, maximizing micro dynamics, weight, and efficiency in your system - but settles for a flatter, less audiophile sound. Than, I would say the reciever will "get by" for you. It will not perform to any pinnacle, if that's where you're leaning. I'm just saying.
So to say that it's "Over-kill" - I would rather say it's not even remotely the case, even if you never crank the volume, you're dealing with other factors, like current delivery, and refinement into the mix. And those speakers need all the help they can manage!
I personally would be looking to do something like a Parasound HCA1205 with those, MINIMUM!...and preferably more wattage - closer to 200watts! But, that's me.
I'm simply saying I've experience with teh Maggie line-ups over the years, and I know what they like.
To be true, they're a bit on the shy side of dynamic prowess and impact, if a bit delicate with power. DEFINITELY don't run em bellow 80hz, or full range! You'll be likely getting em repaired or replaced if you "push em". Otherwise, can't knock the clarity, detail, and soundstage they throw.
Good luck
Wow, don't go scaring the guy, Iplaynaked.

On Magnepan's own website they quote a reviewer stating:

"Using my Sony receiver, I was able to drive the speakers to satisfyingly loud levels, but I had to crank the volume control higher than usual. My receiver displayed no signs of distress during the auditioning; I’m confident that if your receiver puts out enough current, you shouldn’t have any problems."

I just got the new Absolute Sound and one of their recommended systems has a budget 100wpc integrated amp driving big Maggies. I think he'll be okay for now.

Remember...the guy was originally looking at sub-$500 receiver models of the sort you'd find at Best Buy. Now, he's driving $949 worth of speakers with a $2,000 receiver. We can sell him some Musical Fidelity Superchargers later. Let's let him enjoy what he has for now.
In Bfrank's own words:

"want something that can drive the small Maggies without struggling (don't need ground shaking volume here), and I want something that sounds *good*.

He's done shopping.
Hehe don't worry Ekobesky, I'm not scared :) I couldn't pass on the Rotel, and some day I might just try an outboard amp... but for now I think I'll see how it all sounds. I think I'll be pretty happy compared to my little Denon. I think everybody has very valid points, they're just from different perspectives. There's plenty of time in the future for me to go down the 'slippery slope' - I'm just taking 'baby steps' right now.

Oh and one last question - I have decided to go the route of having two MMG-W's flanking my flat panel instead of one center channel above or below the screen. It's sleeker and I hear it works pretty well - only caveat is I will be driving two 5 ohm speakers with one channel. That's supposedly a nominal 2.5 ohms in parallel, or 10 ohms in serial (and if in serial I'm not sure how one speaker will affect the other). I know the MMG-W's in particular have a pretty flat impedance curve (no crossovers). Anyone have recommendations on how to handle this? Should I wire in parallel and adjust the center channel down to match the others? I plan to call Magnepan but I thought I'd throw it out here first.


"...My receiver displayed no signs of distress during the auditioning; I’m confident that if your receiver puts out enough current, you shouldn’t have any problems." (Ekobesky)

Yeah there's simply no doubt that the receiver WILL MAKE THE MAGGIES PLAY SOUND. I have no doubt of that.
However just listen to the tone of your comments, regarding how there's simply "no signs of disstress", it will put out "enough", etc!
For the record, i'm not saying he won't get enjoyment out of the system. Maybe he will. However, FOR A FACT, you will not be getting even 50% off the performance that's capable, with only a little extra help in the system! That's all I'm saying.
I would say, if someones simply trying to get the speakers to play volume up to a certain point, than just plug a boom box into the speakers!!!
Like I said, it's a matter of Honda vs. Porsche. And, in this case, for very little money, you can get much closer to the Porsche's performance, if you want it. It all comes down to CHOICES here. Actions and consequences/results.
All I'm trying to do is offer a little informed education, and some suggestions on how to PROPERLY DRIVE those speakers! I know, I've dealt with them and installed them, for years now!- if that helps you.
Simply stating that you could HEAR NO SIGNS OF DISTRESS, does nothing for me as an audiophile who would rather be hearing ACCURATED, DYNAMIC, CONTROLLED, WELL DEFINTED, SOLID, IMPACTFUL, REALISTIC, FULLBODIED SOUND! -even if that' means low volume level, casual listening.
Not making a deal of it - not at all. But if you are interested in the same level of flat, un-dynamic, un-realistic, blasse, "nothing special sound", than I suggest just getting any recevier that will simply put out "ENOUGH" power to make sound through the system!
Again, if you're buying Maggies, you're obviously after SOUND QUALITY! I say, why feed it 87 octane, junk gas, when you can fill it with 112 octane, racing fule, for a few nearly the same money?! The performance level will EASILY BE 100% BETTER!!!! Otherwise, don't have your friends all over, and say to them "listen to my system...isn't it great sounding?!" Because you're not going to impress anyone. Of that, I garantee it! Been there, heard that - basically.
If this extra level of sound quality doesn't matter, I say, why even bother? Just get home theater in a box...I say.
I mean, if someone's going out of their way to educate themselves enough to "hunt down" Maggies in the first place, then they obviously care about performance and sound quality -or at least it matters to some significant degree, agreed?
So I say why are you falling short on the end that needs the most help, the amplification?!
I guess I speak from years of selling, auditioning, using, and installing even the biggest Denon AVR5800 level receivers, and knowing what they DON'T DO, compared to even modest separates systems! I would ANY DAY, buy some small, otherwise clean sounding processor, and add a modest, used, $300-500 multi-channel amp on the market, before I ever plunked down thousands for an otherwise sonically compromised receiver! But that's just me.
All I'm saying is that you should DEFINITELY give an outboard amp a try in your system. My guess is that you'll never go back! There's simply that much more performance to be had, with little effort.
So, for the record, what others here are suggesting, and what you are obviously agreeing with, is that "enough", is good enough for your otherwise VERY INEFFICIENT speakers, which will be STARVING FOR MORE POWER, to otherwise "play right"!
So, just be informed that you have more options, and likely advantages than what you're getting. And I say this from someone who's worked in and around high end audio since the early 80's! In short, I know my audio.
Hope this helps. And, no I'm not offended. Just trying to help you CLEARLLY SEE THE OPTIONS, so you can make your best decisions. Otherwise, we are all just talking to kill time here
I didn't say "no signs of distress." A reviewer did. And Magnepan chose to display that quote prominently on their website. Because they know that asking someone to drive $949 worth of speakers with $9,000 worth of amplification is insane.

And as for your "Honda vs. Porsche" analogy...you've got it backwards. The particular Maggies he's buying are Hondas, not Porsches.
Iplaynaked - don't worry, I understand everything you're saying. I'm not an experienced audiophile, and I like wine that some would say is not very good. I even drink Budweiser every once in a while :) I think you're maybe making some very broad statements though - the Rotel 1065 is a receiver yes... but I tend to think it's a wee bit more on the side of a pre-pro/amp combo than a mass market machine with big watt numbers to 'look' impressive. A compromise? Sure, but isn't everything? You could argue that a 'cheap' B&K Rotel pre-pro/amp combo is 'inadequate'. That's where the slippery slope starts, and I'm trying to avoid it as much as possible. On my budget, I'm willing to accept compromise. Home theater in a box? C'mon now. I tend to think of the Rotel as a BMW 328i. Not as fast as a Porsche, but a great all-rounder and plent fast enough for me! I am an avid Porsche/BMW fanatic and participate in local track events, karting, have done spec miata events, etc. If you put 112 octane in a car that's not designed for it, it will do no good at all. The baby maggies are bass limited so without a doubt they are easier to drive than the big sisters - so they take 93 AKI instead of 87, but the Rotel is no lo-test unit in my book. How's that for analogy?

Anyway your input is definitely appreciated - and at this point is all academic as I plan to play with the receiver for a while by itself before thinking about upgrading.


Yeah, it's really just choices. I'm just killing time like the rest here, inputting for conversation sake. However, the points are worth considering - if not now, down the line, after you've added an amp, and tallied the total.
As for the $9000 amplification remark from Ekobesky, I wasn't suggesting anywhere near $9k. For $300, you can find a Rotel, Parasound, or Adcom 5 channel amp on the net, now and then, that will smoke a $2500 receivers amplification, for all practical purposes. YOU BET!! I encourage anyone to try using their receiver's "pre-outs" with an outboard amp sometime to compare!
And, as for the "reviewer making the statements about the adequacy of the receiver to simply drive the maggies. Well I think it would be rather irresponsible of him to say otherwise! First, receivers drive (no pun) the market when it comes to AV equipment sales! So, I think it was wise to say, "yes, a receiver can drive these speakers, sure."
However, magazine reviewers are motivated by many factors. I NEVER EVER lean on what a reviewer says as "Gods spoken truth", however. There are simply too many agenda's for magazines to shine good light on products, or to make statements that skew opinions in one direction or another, for many reasons - and one of these is money!
There have been dozens of audio/video products alone over the years, that have gotten "Class A" or "State of the art" ratings from magazines that they really didn't deserve, in my experienced opinion - only to see the same products slip down the rating scale later on, as they were going out of productions. Infact, I can think of several large scale company products right now, that always have 3, 4, even 5 or more pages of advertising in the "rags", that ALWAYS get ratings that put their products at the top of the ratings classes! You do the math. And we're most always talking about mid-fi products here - where all the money is, basically.
So, just because some magazine says "it's the best there is...go down and buy it today!", doesn't mean squat to an experienced audio guy like myself. We know how to make good soun - and that doesn't mean going down to the local AV store, and buying that top rated receiver, speakers and sub, hooking it all up, and expecting audiophile nirvana, that will blow your friends minds! - doesn't work that way folks. Sorry
Ive owned all the cost no object stuff, and for future readers, magnepan mmg, mmgw,mmgc's, will all easily run off a 100+ watt receiver easily. I tried my MMg's on a Onkyo nr906 reciver, and it played the mmg's at loud levels. Just as loud as my Bryston 9bsst did.

You could even drive the Magnepan 1.6 with this receiver, as this receiver lets you bi amp (using extra rear channels) in a 4 or 6 ohm load, and giving you over 160 watts to the tweeters, and 160 watts to the bass panels. This is plenty!!

Most of these new receivers are able to bridge channels, or bi amp. The days of NEEDING huge seperate amps are almost over. Power has been increasing every year in these receivers.
I haven't had them for a month yet, but my HT system of 2 pairs of MMgw and the MMGC driven by a Ymamha RV659 reciever is showing no signs of strain.I use a Paradigm sub of no special merit.

I used to own the EAD powermaster 500,perhaps I should have kept it from what I have read here.

Well I can always go that route and use the Yammie as the pre/pro.
Those are not as tough to drive as some suggest and here is why, they roll off at 100hz so add a sub and you can get away nicely with it. I powered them wall mounts with a 60w Rotel 6 channel amp driving all channels and never had a lick of trouble. I listen loud with movies too.
Is more power better? Always but I see alot of people cpeculating on what will work and what wont, just adding my real world experience and assuring you it can and has been done................and amp wasnt cookin eggs lol.