I'm kinda new to the plannar/magnepan world, but I am really interested in trying out a pair after all the reviews I've been reading. From what I understand these speakers are quite power hungry. What is the minimum I need to properly drive these? 
I currently have a VAC Avatar integrated tube amp. These are the stats:
Type: Integrated vacuum tube amplifier with MM phono stage and home theater (direct power amplifier) mode.
Tube Complement: two 12AX7 low noise (phono), two 12AX7 (line stage), three 12AU7/6189A (power amplifier), and four EL34 (power amplifier)
Options: Remote control for volume (motorized direct control) & mute
Power amplifier ("Home Theater" direct mode):
Output matching: 4 or 8 ohms nominal
Power output: 60 watts/channel ultra-linear; 27 watts/channel triode
Frequency response: 9 Hz - 35 kHz +0 / -0.5 dB, 3 Hz - 71 kHz +0 / -3.0 dB
Power bandwidth: 11 Hz - 63 kHz + 0 / -3.0 db ref. 50 watts
Gain: 25 dB ultra-linear; 23 dB triode
Residual noise: 1.5 mv at 8 ohm output
Channel separation: -72 dB @ 1 kHz; -60 dB @ 10 kHz
Line stage preamplifier:
Gain: 24 dB
Maximum input signal: Infinite (attenuation precedes line stage)
Noise contribution: Approx. 0.1 mv at power amplifier output 
THD contribution: Approx. 0.04% 
Tape output: Unity gain from selector, non-inverting 
Phono stage preamplifier: 
Gain: 37 dB (measured at tape output)
MC phono stage in place of the MM optional 
Residual noise: 3 mv at output (S/N ratio approx. 69 dB) 
Overload: 117 mv @ 1 kHz = 8 volts RMS output, 460 mv @ 10 kHz 
Frequency response: RIAA +/- 0.25 dB 
Notes: Does not invert absolute phase. 

Anyone know if these will do or if I'll have to upgrade? Love the tube sound . . . will I need to go solid state for Maggies? Thanks for putting up with the noobie question :) 
Post removed 
I think he meant $500 on top of the cost of the speakers, if that's the case then I'd recommend either Mye stands or sound anchor stands and good jumper cables.
To be more specific:

Current speaker budget ($1500-2000) 
Speaker Mod Budget: ($500ish) 
AMP budget (about the same as speakers)
Apologies if i seemed a bit dodgy on the budget question, but my budget is somewhat fluid and i did not want to pin myself down to a specific parameter. If I find a setup that's $10,000 (amps and speakers) that's above the budget I just listed, but if it's something that completely is gonna blow me away I could consider going for it. Plus there could be people looking at this thread that are willing to go into the $20k and $40k range that could find the info useful as well. 
So . .. any recommended mods? Fuse bypass seems to be very highly touted in the Maggie circles :) 
Hi natureboy,

     I understand your reservations about committing to a budget but I think you'll be glad you did since members can now offer more specific options knowing they'll be financially acceptable to you.

    I'm going to start with some general advice rather than specific options:

Speakers ($1,500-2000 budget):
      Before you decide on a specific Magnepan speaker model, I think you should do some homework by listening to them in person.  Hopefully, there's a Magnepan dealer within a reasonable driving distance from your home.  Magnepan's website offers a dealer locator tool to assist you at www,

     You should at least be able to audition and compare the 1.7, 1.7i, 3.7 and 3.7i.  Listening to the 2.5R may not be possible unless there's a seller of a used pair near you.  
    In 2004, I was in a similar situation.  My aging Magnepan IIBs were starting to de-laminate and I was looking to update.  I auditioned the 1.6QR($1,700/pr. then) at a local dealer and was trying to decide between these and a used pair of 2.7QR ($2,200 new in 1994 but seller asking for $1,200 used in 2004) from a seller about 250 miles away.  I liked the 1.6 but thought they were a bit bright in the treble (possibly not completely broken in yet) and weak in the bass.  I bought the 2.7qr for $1,000 without even hearing them based on owners' reports that the treble was smoother and sweeter than the 1.6 and the fact the 2.7 were 3-ways and had a large panel section.devoted exclusively to bass frequencies. I really wanted the 3.6R but they were way outside my budget at that time.  In retrospect, I made the right choice but know I took a big risk and was a bit fortunate, too.

     I think you 're likely to prefer the 3.7 or 3.7i to the 1.7 and 1.7i and will need to decide if the difference is worth the difference in price. From what I've read from owners and professional reviewers. however, the 1.7i is extremely good and may offer the most value for the price and be the biggest bargain.  You need to decide for yourself and you could always plan an upgrade to the 3.7or 3.7i at a future time.

Amps ($1,00-2,000 budget):
     The most important thing you need to determine is whether your VAC Avatar tubed integrated can properly drive Magnepans.  I believe the only meaningful method for doing this is trying it and for you to judge for yourself.  

     I don't have any experience with tube amps driving Magnepans so I cannot give you much assistance but others who do have basically stated "maybe" and that more wattage may be required.  
     However, I do have substantial experience driving Magnepans with solid state amps of various types and various wattages.  My advice is that high current amps (those that double their wattage going from 8 ohm to 4 ohm speaker loads) perform very well on Magnepans whether they're class A, A/B or D and that performance improves progressively as wattage increases.
      The most impressive improvement I experienced on my Magnepans (2.7qr that are 87db efficient) was moving from a 400 watt/ch class A/B amp to 1,200 watt/ch class D mono-blocks. It resulted in attaining the best performance from my speakers I've heard thus far, especially in the bass, an effortless presentation overall  and an obvious increase in dynamic range.

     Another  option would be to use your VAC Avatar as a tube pre-amp and pair it with a high current, or at least higher wattage, tube, class A, A/B or D amp of your choice.   Or sell the Avatar and do the same with a tube pre-amp of your choice. I am very confident that this option will work no matter which Magnepan you decide to purchase.  Based on my experience, I would strongly recommend a powerful class D amp would work best. 

Speaker Mods ($500 budget):

       If you wind up buying the 2.5R, 1.7i or 3.7i, the only mod I can even think of be Sound Anchor or Myestands for them to help make them more rigid.  However, I view these as refinements that are not initially required and can be added later if at all.


the_nature_boy,  I strongly disagree that you have to have high powered ss to drive Maggies well; personal opinion based on many years of owning MG3A's with a variety of ss and tube amps.  I would suggest that you first try your VAC before changing anything else; you may find that 60 quality tube watts is more than enough for your listening habits and room.  For some recent commentary on this topic:

re mods:

****Unless it's something that was gonna push this speaker to a significantly superior level. ****

Personally, I would not worry about mods before getting a handle on what the stock speaker is capable of.  Having said that, and depending on how far you want to take things, it is most definitely possible to push Maggies to a significantly superior level.  I (and many others) took my Maggies to a level that was well beyond what the stock speaker was capable of.  Good stands for greater rigidity are great; but, in my experience, upgrading the xover components and the internal wiring (and jumpers) can yield amazing results.  Many possibilities in that dept.  If we acknowledge that good interconnects and speaker cables make an important difference, imagine what replacing the 6'+ piece of decent but basic wire that connects the top of that very revealing ribbon tweeter to the internal section of the xover at the base of the speaker with something of really good quality can do; and that's just the beginning of what's possible.  Quality caps and coils are even more crucial.  If you are not familiar with this site, poke around a bit in the "Tweaks" page:

Good luck; fantastic speakers that are great as is and benefit greatly from intelligent mods.