Magnepan 1.7 to 3.7i or Pass Labs XA60.5 to X100.5

I'm in the process of upgrading my system and facing a choice. Currently I'm using an pass labs amplification (XONO, X1, XA60.5) feed by Michell Gyro, SME IV and Shelter 90x and ending with Maggie 1.7 (mye sound stands).

I've listened to both 3.7i and Wilson Sabrina, Sashas, all of which could benefit from a bit more amp.

I have a dedicated music room (12x10) and listen to late sixties classic rock, country rock, folk as well as Cash, Owen country and vocal jazz.

I have trade-up value for the 1.7 at my dealer as well trade-up value on the XA60.5. I could probably stretch to a demo pair XA160.5 but am concerned without a dedicated power outlet I'm taxing the system. Also by the way, I don't tend to push the system beyond a bit past midpoint on the pre-amp, although the XA60.5 class-A meter dances about on complex crescendos.

Two question. Upgrade amp or speakers first assuming only one change for the next 12 months? If the amp, is the XA100.5 enough of a jump?
That is a small room. Stay with the 1.7. If you feel the amp is not up to the task of handling them.....try one with more current. If you feel it is an up grade, then you made your decision.

Since you are into rock, you might just consider a subwoofer. It might give you the omf you are looking for. Crossing over at 60hz or so will relieve the low demand from your current amp as well as free up the panel of the frequencies below 60....providing a possibly better sounding upper bass and mid. Not to mention that a sub can also seem to open up the sound stage, too.
Thanks for thoughts. I never thought of the room as small, but I guess it's all relative. Not that it matters, but I actually took the time to measure it. It's actually 18' x 15'. The only reason I was thinking of 3.7i rather than 1.7 was the added quality of full range ribbon.

I have considered adding DMW base panels or a powered sub as you mentioned.
In a smaller room like you have, you may have a difficult time getting your system to reproduce low notes. Have you compared how your system sounds when you listen with the door open and closed? If not, it would be a worthwhile experiment.

Also, I think you should list who your dealer is. There aren't that many good ones left, and the 1 year trade up policy is extremely valuable. The only dealer I know of that still does this is Audio Connection.
Keep the 1.7s, keep your amplification. If you really want to energize the room, improve tonal balance, and have a rig that sounds right on any kind of music, spend your money on one or two (preferably sealed) subwoofers.

JL Audio now has the more affordable Dominion and e-Sub lines. e-Sub also has a high-pass network which could reduce strain and increase dynamics in the 1.7s. They have been enthusiastically reviewed by TAS. I have a pair of Mirage MM-8s which are pretty similar in performance to the JL Dominion d108s. I can't *believe* what good sound I get out of my rig. It really popped into focus when I got the phase control dialed in right.

Anything from solo instrument or voice up through acoustic ensemble to classic rock to brash big band to full scale orchestra and chorus or opera, it just plain delivers, and the subs take care of the bottom octave while letting the 1.7s shine from 45 Hz on up.
Dealer: Audio Consultants

As for opening the door, the room does not have a door. The opening is essentially a double doorway.

Subs may be the way to go. Thanks again.

The Pass Labs XA60.5 should be fine driving the Magnepan 1.7. The Maggies are 4 ohm, the XA60.5 does not leave class A until around 120 watts. I would try one of the Magnepan bass panels. This can also make the speakers sound fuller.

I have a friend who has the 3.7i with 2 bass panels. He is driving them using a Pair of Pass 60.8 monoblocks. This is a very nice sounding setup.

Placement is very important with Magnepan speakers. I would get a setup disc that has a couple of mono tracks. This will help you check and fine tune their position.
I had the 1.7's and thought the bass was the best quality the speaker had. It was a quality over quantity issue. The only problem with that is that it makes it very difficult to integrate a sub. On top of that, your room is not that big. Will your dealer let you try a different amp, or even a sub?
I recommended the subs because I have successfully done it. The DOGMA against integrating subs with Maggies is that the Maggies' rise time (i.e., speed) is too far ahead of subs you'd put with it. That may have been true ten years ago, but there are many fast self-powered subs today.

I have two very small (9" cube) Mirage MM8 subwoofers in stereo. They aren't the deepest, but I've had little trouble integrating them with the panels and adding nearly an octave of bass extension and in-room power response.

They really popped into focus when I used a mono source and tuned the subs' phase controls (a continuous 0-to-360 deg. knob), one subwoofer at a time, until the bass snapped into focus.

The other approach as Lostbears mentioned is the Magnepan bass panels. They are so fast their frequency response can extend up to 7 Khz, so there's no problem matching speed and rise time in the 40-80Hz region. If you have the room and placement options, they're a perfect augmentation to the 1.7s. You get a piece (or two) of the 20.7 bass panel but a lot more placement options and a lot less cost than upgrading to 3.7i's.

Finally, I agree with Zd542 that the 1.7's bass quality is excellent. However, unless there's a fluke in the room acoustics or a miracle in speaker placement, you may--as I did--ultimately find the overall tonal balance a bit thin and wish for more bass quantity. One or two DWM panels or small sealed subs (such as JL Audio's Dominion d108) will do the trick.

You still won't get subterranean bass, but you'll get good sub integration and a very engaging tonal balance. You'll no longer have to listen around the 1.7's quick rolloff that starts around 55 Hz.
Not many people seem to be aware that there is an Open Baffle/Dipole sub available from the two companies who developed it together, GR Research and Rythmik Audio. It has won "Best Bass at the Show" for many consecutive years at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. It is the Rythmik A370 plate amp incorporating a shelving circuit to counteract the natural acoustical low-frequency roll off resulting from the dipole cancellation of the two opposing GR Research 12" OB woofers which are installed in an OB H-frame. It works particularly well with dipole speakers like Maggies, having the same figure-of-8 radiation pattern and a very "quick", nimble sound, with none of the typical thick, ponderous, room-loading sound of both sealed and ported woofers. You can read all about it on the GR Research website, (in the product listing for the OB woofer) and in the GR AudioCircle Forum.

09-14-15: Russ69
No brainer, 3.7. They are a big step up from a 1.7.
It's a 10x12 room. Think small, the size of a fourth bedroom or "bonus room".

A .7 would probably be better than the 1.7 in a room that size. All the more reason for very small subs to fill in the bottom. Even one DWM may require too much space around it.
I have a friend who has the 3.7i with 2 bass panels. He is driving them using a Pair of Pass 60.8 monoblocks. This is a very nice sounding setup.
Would you say that the 60.8 monos have enough juice to Power the 3.7´s?
Other posters have mentioned that the X60.5 are sufficient to drive the 3.7. Phone calls with my dealer, pass labs and magnepan all seem to suggest the same. All they all said more is better.

As the prove of the pudding is in the tasting, I plan on taking my amps to the dealers and simply trying it out. The problem was the magnepan and pass labs dealers are different.
Thanks gonzales, I have heard the 60.8´s driving a pair of Dynaudio C4 Platinums (88dB), the meters stayed in the middle/never left class-A, but I have also heard Magnepan owners saying that even the XA100.5/8 is not sufficient.
Hasse: Thanks for the updated dimensions. I'd either missed or forgotten them. 15x18 is a pretty ideal size for 1.7s and possibly a bit of a squeeze for 3.7s.

Advantage of the 3.7: true ribbon tweeter section vs.1.7's quasi ribbon. You get faster more detailed treble and more bass with the 3.7i's, which shouldn't be surprising for three times the price. I'm pretty sure, however, that the 3.7s need more free space around them to "sing."

On another note, although the Pass's specs say 60/120 wpc into 8/4 ohms, Stereophile's measurements of the XA60.5 indicate that it's putting out 200 watts into 4 ohms by the time it reaches 0.1% THD.

Given that I have an old Perreaux PMF1150B making 100/200 wpc into 8/4 ohms to power 1.7s in an open living space, your Passes should give either 1.7s or 3.7s plenty of power to reach lifelike levels in your 15x18 room.
The best advice is to go with a good sub or perhaps a pair of subs. That is going to give you the best results.