Integrated amp recommendation for Maggie .7's

As the title states I'm looking for an amp recommendation for my Magnepan .7's.

I'm currently using a Belles Aria Signature pre with a pair of Signature monos.

@jjss49 recently described the Belles sound thusly:

"i have owned the belles aria (twice), along with numerous hegels, ayres, some upper older musical fidelities

david belles’ aria is a nice integrated, powerful, very stoutly built, nice phono stage in it too (the remote control is downright cheap though)

sonically, i found the belles to have a little more of a brash personality - more treble energy, some sizzle, a little grain, compared to the more refined hegel and ayre sound... so it depends if you want that or your speakers benefit from a little more sizzle up top...

the ayre, hegel and top flight retro musical fidelity amps (a308, muvista etc) provide a degree of treble sophistication of even higher tier solid state amplification (ample detail and soundstaging free of attendant electronic harshness)"

This seems to jive with my own feelings as well. I've owned probably a dozen different pairs of speakers and the Belles gear has always been the common denominator. 

I'd love to keep my budget to $5k new or used. I don't think I can get an Ayre that will mate well with the Maggies at my budget. It's possible that I can get an Aesthetix Mimas used around the $5k mark. 

Hegel is a brand I have absolutely no experience with. 

Much appreciated!


@audionoobie -

        Were you to add a simple Bass array (ie: four Subs) to a pair of Maggies and the STR INT*, mentioned above; I’ll bet the combo would sound outstanding.

                                You WILL want woofers (imo)!

                              *NICE Bass Management System

I love the STR. I've used it with Maggies.

I also have the older Anthem 225i that worked beautifully as well.

Post removed 

The .7’s don’t really need a lot of watts,  what they need is a stable, high current amp.   Also, you might think about a small subwoofer (or 2). Once you take the bass from the speakers, 40 watts is more than enough.

All the best.

 @audionoobie -

     How big a room?

     How big do you like your sound?

     Asking because: the presentation you're describing could be the onset of the Belles' power limit and distortion.

                    Or: is that the case at all volume levels?

     My Maggies always loved all the clean juice I could feed them.

     Especially, when I was trying to get the smaller ones to sound big.

I have .7i’s and employ a Hegel 190. It’s a handsome beast with plenty of clean power and current.  I also like it has a good streamer built into it.  Save yourself a grand and put that savings into some Audio Quest cables.


- room is 11' x 13'
- i like it to sound as big and full as possible
- i think i only notice the brashness at high volume levels ~85db

Also I do have (2) Rel T5/i subs that I employ occasionally. Sometimes I just like to listen to the Maggies on their own. 

I appreciate everyone's recommendations. However I'm not interested in the Anthem STR. I had that amp for a while and found it to sound slow and sluggish.

I am however intersted in hearing something that's a tad more refined. I'm not sure if the Hegel is the answer to that but I'm intrigued. Also, interested in finding out more about the Luxman. It's a great looking unit.

Thanks all!

My room is nearly the same size as the OPs, but a different shape.  I own a Belles amp (150A "Hot Rod"), and have Magnepan 1.7i in my main system.  The Belles is in the bedroom.

I can't recommend any integrateds but I'm sure the biggest Hegel you can get would drive them.  What I like, you may not.

I've run the Maggies with as little as 25 watts of tube power but IMHO they like big SS power.  My current setup has monos rated at 850 watts into 2 ohms.

I don't find the Belles hard or grainy, but neutral/mellow.  It would probably run out of steam driving the Maggies based on its performance with some inefficient bookshelf speakers.

If you can, audition the new amp in your room (nice room BTW).  I wouldn't recommend a brand since we all hear something different.  Just get good, clean, power rated down to 4 ohms, or lower.


My Maggies sound Fantastic with Audio GD tube pre and Peachtree GaN 400 watt class D amp.....Great synergy and sooth as silk. 

However I'm not interested in the Anthem STR. I had that amp for a while and found it to sound slow and sluggish.

I am however intersted in hearing something that's a tad more refined


Audio Research i/50 is at the top of your price range, but would be a classic pairing with the maggies.

I had 1.7i in a 12 x 15 room powered by a Parasound Hint and the sound was magic. 

Have you tried using the resistors to tame the top end or moving up a bit in resistor value.





The ARC I-50 is a simply stunning amp. I was listening to one recently, while other (more expensive amps I was listening were good)… my eyes closed and I just fell into the music with the I-50. Really musical and beautiful amp.

@ghdprentice I have to agree. 

I have an i/50 at home on loan at the moment, playing it for my wife the other night she looked at me and said "does this mean we can get rid of the big system?"

May have gotten myself into some trouble with that.



@ghdprentice @skucie I've spied that unit at AudioConnection in Verona, NJ. I think I actually heard it with a pair of VLR's. Musical and beautiful amp sounds good to me....

@ditusa I would consider the Pharaoh. I've heard it a bunch at Quest for Sound in Bensalem, PA. 

Another thought are your Maggie's fully broken in, I know mine sounded harsh on the highs until I had about it 300 hours on them.



Well the solution is simple… go get yourself a ARC Ref 6se preamp and Ref 80s or 160s. You get your “big system” and she gets natural - musical sound. Win, win. That is what I have… I can attest to its efficacy. Although I have been running REF 160m monoblocks for over a year.


a few points back to you

1) my comments on a bit brightness/brashness/harshness from the belles aria refers to my experience with the aria only -- i have kept in my stable of amps my beloved belles sa30... yes it is a little bright, but silky smooth (zero harshness or grain), utterly refined... not enough power to push maggies though...

2) if you have had great experiences with belles, maybe try the aria signature model?  i’ll bet the sonics are a step above the regular aria, more in line with david's better power amps over the years 

3) i very much believe the path to happiness with the .7’s is to use the rel sub pair in concert with them, well placed, using high level inputs, crossover around 70 hz - this will make more a sonic difference to any change in amp over a belles aria -- also, do you have the .7's on proper stands (magna risers)?

4) audio research is indeed a lovely lovely match to maggies but one must deal with the expense and the whole ’experience’ of running a high powered tube amp....and i would submit the i-50 may run out of juice even in a modest room if music is played to reasonable volumes (90 db peaks)

5) for 5 grand you have a lot of excellent choices -- ! i would direct you in the direction of pass labs, upper odyssey, hegel h390/h20/590, you can pm me i can provide some other 'sleepers' .... otoh all but the more expensive upper model ayres are a little too relaxed/refined to drive the maggies in experience...

good luck and have fun

@ghdprentice Funny you should suggest that.  My big system consists of a CD9, Ref Phono 3, Ref 6SE, and '160S.


It's hard to put a number on it but I really feel the i/50 gets me 80% of the way there or even a little more.

No plans to downsize my system but it's got me thinking about diminishing returns more than ever.


Your point is valid.  I know the maggies are a tough load to drive and I haven't heard the .7s with an i/50.  I will say that I've got the i/50 in a fairly large room (17x35) hooked up to a pair of Snell k.5 monitors (same 86dB efficiency as the .7s) and it drives them splendidly.  I have gotten close to maxing out the volume control on very quiet recordings but haven't found myself wanting for more power.


I've heard an I50 drive Maggie 1.7i two times now and that combo sounds awesome.  

Try the Plinius Hautonga integrated, should be able to drive anything or the BAT VK-3000SE.

I guess there's a reason the STR remains on Stereophile's CLASS A list years after introduction. But I will believe the guy with the entry level speakers instead.

I am a Maggie dealer so familiar with the different models. They are not a traditional speaker so asking a .7 to produce music at 85+ db's is not realistic. They are not designed for that which is why they are sounding grainy etc... If you want high levels for rock etc. look at different speakers, the amps you have tried are quite good and can easily power a traditional cone speaker to 90 bd levels. Happy listening.


Allow me to second the recommendation of The Rogue Pharaoh II. More than enough Class D power with the taming of a Tube Pre-Amp. Feel free to call Nick or Mark directly if you want a straight opinion, but you won't be sorry. BTW, it also fits very comfortably in your budget. Absolutely love mine.

When I auditioned my 1.7i's which I eventually bought, one of the amps I auditioned was the Hegel. It sounded very flat to me, Maggies are such beautiful sounding speakers and the Hegel just did not have it. Eventually bought Conrad-Jhonson separates and still have it, still love it.

I have a 12x13 room with. 7s.  I had a Rogue Audio Sphnix which sounded good but then I upgraded to a Mod Wright KWI-200. Big step up in performance. I only occasionally feel like I miss the tube front end.  But the fullness and slam are way better with more power.  The Pharaoh may be a good mix. I may try that myself. 



Excellent suggestions as above. If considering solid-state, Anthem or AYRE.

If considering Tubes, Aesthetix or B.A.T.


Happy Listening!

Why an integrated? As a fellow .7 owner, I can assure you that a pre-owned Parasound A21 and a decent SS preamp will perform better than any <$5K integrated. I used a Topping A90D with the A21 and it was far better than Hegel. 

i for one am a big fan of hegel - as amps for maggies they are superb for delivering the current and damping factor to get the best out of the speakers -- further, the hegels fully support the magnepan sonic ethos by not editorializing on the absolutely pristine, refined, tonally accurate sound the speakers can produce, which is beyond 90+% of the dynamic speakers out there - as such, the hegels are very close to straight wire with gain (and power), do not add sizzle, bloat or grain, and do not diminish the already limited bass output of the planars

often new owners of maggies use hegels and feel ’something is missing’ -- that something, in my opinion, is classic dynamic speaker distortion the user has gotten used to hearing...

if you want extra ’sauce’ delivered into the sound, do it at the source stage - one can credibly assert that that is not the power amp’s function

Rogue Audio amps marry well with Magnepan. I have been using the Sphinx with my .7s and am very satisfied.

I agree with those who have found that Rogue amps have a nice synergy with Maggies. I’d recommend either the Sphinx or Cronus Magnum. I’m currently running a Kinki Studio EX-M1 integrated with my 1.7i Maggies. An excellent pairing. Plenty of power and dynamics, and quite clean and neutral. Good luck!

+1 for the STR. I've had mine for 4 years and absolutely Love it!

Don't know about Maggie's but it is certainly not slow or sluggish with my Totem Forest Signatures!😎

Also, Anthem stands behind their products with great customer service and support.

The Rogue Pharaoh will be paired with Maggie’s next month at Axpona.  Wait a bit and see if there are any reviews about them being paired together. 

I had the Pharaoh in my system for a short time several year ago.  Being the “big brother” of the Sphinx I expected it to deliver substantially better performance. That was not the case in my particular context. I actually preferred the Sphinx. Your mileage may vary. As always, keep an open mind and trust your ears. They seldom lie. :)

Sphinx V3 on the way along with a pair of LRS.  I have an Audio Research VSI-60 that I didn't think would work but after reading positive results with the I50, makes be wonder since they are probably pertty similar, so I will be able to try both. 

I have a Musical Fidelity M6si, black, with all original everything available well below your $5k budget. Contact me through a DM.

Look for a used BMC s1 or BMC m1 monos (unfortunately used ones are quite rare). Or even M2. I have the s1. Close to 100 lbs. Perhaps the most beautiful amp I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Enough current to jumpstart a spaceship. I think BMC amps are a hidden gem in the audiophile world when paired with the BMC dac.

Avoid the c1. I apologize in advance for recommending power amp but if Maggie is your thing, this amp can power even bigger Maggies and is worth mentioning.

If integrated is a must, look for the c2 used

Just and update on my previous post, my ARC VSI-60 does great with my new LRS.  I guess there will be a Rogue Sphinx V3 up for sale shortly. 

I heard the i50 at the Florida Audio Expo last month and I knocked out by the sound. I was ready purchase the amplifier until I found out that amplifier’s balanced inputs are not compatible with a signal beyond 2 volts. Most every DAC that has a fully balanced design, sounds best from its balanced output and nearly all normally output voltages well over 3volts. According to ARC, normal balanced voltages will over drive its input stage. The i50 is not even compatible with Audio Research’s own DAC9 if balanced connections are employed. It was likely a design oversight to incorporate balanced inputs on the i50. This was disappointing news.

For a budget of less than $5k, unless you run into a wicked deal on a good quality class A/AB amp,  I would consider a decent class D amp. Preferably something that can put out at least 350-400 watts into 4 ohms. I run my LRS with a Peachtree Audio Gan 400. No problems, sounds great,  and run it direct from my source, Oppo 205 with no preamp in the chain.