Solid state amp recommendations for Maggies?

I am looking for another amp to drive my magnepan LRS, looking for a solid state amp to deliver more detail than my current tube amp, but don't want to give up (much) of the soundstage and depth.

I have a small listening room with a near field set up, so I don't need a ton of power for ear piercing volume. I listen mostly to acoustic rock, acoustic jazz and female vocalists.  I want more the guitar on Keith don't go and hotel canifornia intro from hell freezes over to  to sound... better...

at the risk of sounding stupid, I am driving these $650 speakers with many thousands of dollars of electronics.  The amp is a Primaluna HP (80wpc using 4 EL34s per channel), CJ ET7 preamp, PS Audio Direct stream DAC and a Naim digital source. All with MG audio silver interconnects and speaker wire. Even the interconnects cost more than the LRS.  

I am very happy with my current set up, but would like to grab another amp to a change of pace.

My budget is $5-8K, used or new.  My room is such that mono blocks set up well, but that is not necessary. 





I can think of four very good options that I think will give you great performance:

Bryston.  It is a brilliant match with Maggies and for a long time has been at the top of everyones list to pair with these speakers.  It is definitely worth considering.  Not sure bets Model 

Chord Ultima 6 - This amp is going to be tonally similar to Bryston but with monster power reserved and runs cool.  I think it is Class G or H as it has switching rails.  List is a little high at $9.2K but is worth stretching for.  The eTude at $5.8K has less power using the same tech.  

Hegel H20 - A bit warmer than the Chord or Bryston but as clean and clear as them.  This lists for $6K

These three will all deliver a big, clear and engaging sound. but it will lose a touch of the tubiness that you get with your Primaluna.  

The AVM MA30.3 monos (half width units) use MOSFETs in th output stage and have a softer sound to them than the other amps listed here.  There list for $5.3K.  

I am a dealer for Chord, Hegel and AVM.  I have no relationship with Bryston.  I do have this exact model of AVM availabe for demo in-home.  

Having owned Maggie 3.4Rs, I think you will be blown away with a LSA Voyager 350 GaN amp. Available now for ~ $2500 stock or modified by LSA for $500 more, including a real nice power cord

I'd strongly consider McIntosh there are new and used options at your budget.

Sanders Magtech

Pass Labs XA60.5 (smaller room)

Pass Labs XA100.5

Anthem Amp2SE (if you could find one)


Also, Magnepan never made a 3.4 model.  I was a Magnepan dealer for many, many years.  

In another forum Jim Smith wrote:
2 - "Having worked at Magnepan, I still have some friends there. I know for a fact that some folks at Magnepan think that this X series - including the 260.8 & 350.8 - may be the best sounding amps that they have heard with their speakers. Of course, ymmv - but I doubt it."

I have had 3.7s and now 20.7s, I moved from Pass X350.5 on the 3.7s to Bryston 7BSST2 and was very happy.  Now have Bryston 28BSST2 and am very happy with them on the 20.7s.  The newer Pass models might be even better, but you can buy used Bryston and still have a much longer warranty than Pass

I use my Thresholds on my Maggie .7's at different times with great success.  Models are SA/3, SA/4e, S500 II and S350e.  Smaller room.

I used a Parasound Halo integrated with 1.7i and it sounded fantastic have since moved to 3.7i using a Pass 250.8 which is a great combo. I sure most Pass or Parasound amps will get you there.

A great amp with the most current of Any amp even at $10 k 

is the coda  you can get this for around $5 k  

with 3 power choices, 120 short term amps on tap, none are even close 

and a Huge 3000 Va. potted transformer  and sounds great 

even has meters ,made in the USA   10 year warranty 

if you don't know Coda ,they have been around over 30 years 

these are all the engineering team That worked with Nelson Pass

before he went on his own . Call Mike at Audio Archon , very informative and 

very good dealer.


very happy with LRS and  Odyssey Cyclops Extreme SE Integrated, which I believe has same amp as Khartago Extreme SE...Odyssey can upgrade it even more if you wish...while the Pass amps and Gato Amp 150 sounded great, I felt they were wasted on the LRS...


as usual, scott (@verdant) provides good input

i would only say additionally that in my travels, i can confirm that maggies are one brand of speaker (atc from the uk being the other) that are seemingly modestly priced speakers, but they are truly highly engineered, exacting (and very demanding) devices that call for amplification that is both very strong/powerful and very good sounding, to bring out the best of the speaker’s ability (and driven properly, they are superb)

think higher end solid state, higher up pass, hegel, chord, and several others scott and others have mentioned - you can go for lower priced, high watt per $ ss amps, but with these speakers, you will hear the ill effects

good luck in your quest for the right one -- it is normal (and necessary) that you drive these sub 1000 dollar speakers with amps that are multiples of that cost - if you are committed to that speaker, you would be doing it right, imo

Bryston. Talk to the factory for factory reconditioned pieces - they pack a 5 year warrantee on top of anything remaining from the original sale.

I am currently using a 4SST for a sub and a MP woofer in the HT - and it's very, very good.


Agree with Maggie's needing some serious current and voltage.   Watts per dollar. Bryston. parasound.   Perhaps some older McCormick dna was a great combination.  On the higher end spectral 150/180 but you need their wire and preamps.  

Although it’s a hybrid, I’m using a PS Audio BHK 250 with my 1.7is and it sounds wonderful. Retains the definition & tight bass of solid state while adding the warmth and complexity of tubes. Upstream I’m using a PS Direct stream & a PS BHK Preamp. Simply stunning & engaging.

I have been driving a pair of 3.6 Maggie's with McIntosh MC501s for 15 years of magic.  You need more quality watts with the current of one of the amps like Bryson,  McIntosh, etc.  Lots of good choices at your price point.  

one thing about used McIntosh gear, it holds its value over time in case you change your mind.  I could sell my MC501s for what I paid 15 years ago.

This advice is worth what you paid for it, like all the other posts.  Let your ears decide if you can listen to your choice first.

I have LRSs with a Parasound A21+ and the combo is really good. If you went that route, you could get 2 and run them as monoblocks and would come in near the top of your stated budget range. Another option with plenty of current and watts and stable down to 1.5 ohms is the Parasound JC5. It has a bit more grunt than the A21+ and I think is around $6000. 

I’ve got very demanding Apogee Duetta II Signature Series full range ribbon speakers and have always been very happy with the combo of my BAT (Balanced Audio Technology) tube preamps with BAT’s solid state amps. They are built like tanks with massive transformers and a lot of quality current (essentially 2 mono blocks in the same chassis), particularly with an SE model that has the BAT pack or super BAT pack that give you a massive of amount of extra power when you need it. Even though they are solid state amps they have always been known for imparting a lot of what listeners love with the tube sound. I recommend talking to Victor Khomenko. He’s designed their gear for decades and is happy to answer all of your questions.

I recently upgraded my phono stage for a mc cartridge and chose a Hegel V10. While at the shop to give it a listen and pick it up the owner ran my TT, cartridge, and phono stage through a Hegel H20 solid state amp. I also have been looking at some other toys and auiditioned a few tube and SS amps. This Hegel is amazing. I am of the mind to sell one of my MACs to fund adding it to my stable of amps. It is $6K so falls in your price range.


A pair of Schiit Vidars in balanced mode as monoblocks is pretty phenomenal clean  toroidal AB power (for under $1500).   



+3 Bryston 4B3.

I run a tube pre and with my maggies the result is exceptional. 

Instead of buying another amp, build a new crossover for this speaker.

The stock capacitors/inductors/wiring are laughbly bad.


There is really only one that I believe is a perfect match.  "PASS LABS".  Class "A" high current output if you can afford it, partnered with one of their spectacular preamps.


There is really only one that I believe is a perfect match.  "PASS LABS".  Class "A" high current output if you can afford it, partnered with one of their spectacular preamps.

Kent English at Pass recommends their X.8 series for Magnepans.

The Belles Virtuoso amplifier is an outstanding match with Magnepan speakers. The Audio Connection demos it with the the 1.7's and 3.7's if you are nearby NJ. Good Luck!

I have tried various amps and preamps with my Maggie 1.7s over the years. 
I agree that high current is important as is high wattage.

I moved from 300w McIntosh to Musical Fidelity M6 500i rated 850w & 100amps (peak). Fed by a Prima Luna preamp. The sound is sublime. 

From the several people recommending the Pass Labs amps, is there a strong preference for their class A versus their class AB amps?  Also- the pass amps are quite monstrous in size. Do they kick off a lot of heat? I recall hearing that class A amps tend to run hot.

You can buy another amp just to buy another amp but don't be supprised when you don't hear what you discribed you want to hear better. In you intro what you are asking to hear is not there. A new or different amp will not change the way the recording was produced. Good equipment only makes bad recordings sound more bad. The Eagles have some of the worst sound production in existance. They were penny rich and dollar dumb business people. They cut every corner they could out of greed for green and their record production took the bigest hit.

If you can find an Audio Research DS225 or DS450 you'll be in good shape. So much of the Maggie sound was developed with ARC gear.

Back in my Maggie days I used a pair of slightly modded Adcom GFA 555s in mono. Maggies love power. If you could find a pair of 555s I would highly recommend them. If not, Parasound would be a good option. Too much power isn’t enough.

@meiatflask Yes, class A amps do tend to give off some heat. That's why most of them have significant heat sinking as part of the design. My Krell FBP300 gets warm, but not too hot to touch. Nonetheless I'd think twice if I had toddlers around. 

If it were my money, for SS amp, the older Krells designed by Dan D'Agostino or the Pass XA series would be at the top of my list. Bryston and Coda are also solid choices. 

Honestly, with your Maggies, I'd stick with the tube amp and move up to Maggie 1.7is or consider a different tube design like Atma-Sphere M60s, a BAT 6C33C-based amp, or an 845 or GM70-based SET. You could alternatively upgrade your DAC, but that won't make as signifcant a change as amp or speakers, given what you have now. 

You haven't specifically defined what "sound better" means to you...IMHE, EL34s can rock really well, but many of the other tube topologies can provide more nuance, transparency and delicacy that for me, bring small scale acoustic music and other stuff you described to life. Cheers,




I have a pair of Magnepan 3.7i speakers and landed on a pair of D-Sonic M3a-1500M Mono amps and I am very happy with the performance of the combo. 

From the several people recommending the Pass Labs amps, is there a strong preference for their class A versus their class AB amps?

Unless you move up to the most powerful

XAs I don't think they have enough juice for

the 86db Magnepans. As I wrote, Pass

recommends the X-series (ab) for Maggies.

For speakers with higher sensitivity I

would choose the XAs.

yes hegels are well known to work exceptionally well driving maggies, and their sound is uber pure and sweet, tremendous imaging

i don't own maggies anymore but am a big big hegel fan 

Hello meiatflas  Right now (11-21-2021) the Stark Sound AD4-320 is on a "Black Friday" sale at just under $1100 with free shipping. I have LRS and use this amp to drive them with excellent results. This amp comes from a Pro Sound company is is not a gleaming piece of audio jewelry. It is getting excellent reviews and is even smoother than the Purifi Audio modules used in the best NAD and LKV amps. I know that because I own the Purifi amps as well. This amp will outperform just about anything out there at any price anyone would consider reasonable  (Three "any"s! That's a record for me.) . It is as big a bargain as the LRS. 

I think a Ga class d amp with 500 watts per. I would modify the crossover too. Something with an impressive damping factor. I always wonder what the Technics feedback system would be like with Maggies.

+1 Sanders Magtech. Will be the last amp you ever buy, power, headroom, clarity, massive sack!


Odyssey kismet mns. Great bs of current to keep the mags fed properly.

or themJC-1 monos will drive anything like the Sanders. Sanders will be revealing, bt that s what u want!


Odyssey audio orbSanders Magtech!


or search for a Carver Sunfire 300 or 600  both will drive ur mags to ear bleeding levels




Prior to getting a Voyager 350 (GaN amp) I had a EVS 1200, based on dual IcePower 600/1200 modules, which I purchased because the other class D amps I tried (W4S, Emerald Physics 100.2SEs, PS Audio M700s) simply did not couple/energize my large room. I was skeptical that dropping back in wattage would be countrproductive, but it is far more potent than the ~ double the power class D and way better sounding to boot



You may want to consider the PS Audio M1200 monoblocks. I don't own them myself, but I have a close friend who has larger Maggies and pairs them with a tube pre and the result is a sense of immediacy and effortlessness dynamics that is very impressive. YMMV. 



The Pass X250.8 I'm using very really goes out of class A unless I'm cranking the volume on heavy organ or bass material. I don't think your ears can tell when it moves from A to A/B it's only by watching the front meter that you'll know.

Wow, lots of ideas here. Thanks to everyone for your input.  Hopefully I will have time over the holiday weekend to do some research, look at company websites for details, read some reviews, identify local (chicago-Milwaukee) dealers, and look at the various sites for used candidates.  

The Pass amps intrigue me as I recall loving the Threshold stuff in my youth. But the Hegel, Bryston (another brand from my youth), and parasound will be on the "look into" list, as well as the PS Audio (because I enjoy their DAC). There were several other brands that I have never heard of, so that is always fun to discover new stuff.  And while several mentioned lower cost stuff, I really plan to spend $5k+, so I will pass on them.

And perhaps the most interesting suggestion was upgrading fromLRS to the 1.7xx or larger Maggies.  Yep, this is on my radar, probably a couple years down the road when we move south, and I can have a larger listening room.

But for now THANKS for all your input.