Warmer class D amps for magnepan?

I am planning on buying a pair of lrs+, and i need a poweramp. I am well aware that class D is despised in the magnepan community, but its unwarranted. Nuforce and the new purifi amps are designed to handle 2 ohm loads, and have been used to power Maggies without falt. My only concern is they will kinda rip my head off if i play any less than perfect recording on them. I’m aware that all modern magnepans are unforgiving, but can be tamed with a smoother amplifier. So why not class A or AB? Unfortunately, i simply dont have the space for the ones that are actually rated at 2 ohms (the lrs is around 3.5ohm, but dips to 2.8, it MUST be able designed to handle a 2 ohm load). Also, any one of them that does go up on sale, the owners almost always refuse to ship them, and want you to pick it up in person (for which i dont have the resources to do so). So I ask if there are any smoother, more forgiving class D poweramps (not intergrated models) that you are sure will power magnepans correctly. They can be discontinued, as i will be buying it used regardless, so anything from 2008 to 2018 would be preferable and my budget is around €2000, so say $2500. Thank you.


I am using a Crown XLS 1502 with my original Magnepan LRS’s.

This combination works surprisingly well.

Review of Maggie’s and Crown XLS amps - Audiophiliac


Use a tube preamp in front of this amp and it will put a smile on your face and keep some $$ in your pocket. 

i haven’t tried them all, by a long shot, but my suggestion would be to try a well designed gan-fet based power amp, rather than typical class d ones using ice purifi or hypex modules

in my experience the good ganfet amps sound much closer to top flight class ab

Warm-sounding Class D amps in your price range is a tough ask.  My first two recommendations would be the AGD Tempo or Atmasphere GaN amps, but even used they’d both be above your price target.  You might consider used Bel Canto amps.  While not “warm” per se they certainly aren’t “digital” or harsh sounding.  I heard BC electronics driving Joseph Audio Pulsars at a show and it sounded absolutely sublime.  Here are a couple examples…



You might be better off considering a Class A/B amp in your price range.  Best of luck. 

I use the Rogue Audio Pharoah 2 with my Magnepan .7 speakers. The combination works well.

I use the Rogue Audio Pharoah 2 with my Magnepan .7 speakers. The combination works well.

I like this idea.

I have Crown  XlS 2502 which doee sound decent to drive my passive subwoofers.


But Starkrimson Ga D amp sounds more refined within your budget.



Maggies need juice, don’t waste your money and time with crown or devialet class D tripe!


class A or AB,  they need headroom and 300WPC RMS, MIN!!


D is for subs and people who don’t know better, and think they are amazing,….nope,..you may think it sounds great, compare with A or AB, HUGE DIFFERENCE

OP you are over thinking this. Any decent amp with run them just fine. And don't listen to the overblown power requirements.

I don't know about Maggies but I have a Nord Purifi amp driving ML Vantage speakers that go to 2ohms and the combo is fine. It's not tube level warm but getting there and you could buy new with your budget. From what I have heard the Starkrimson Gan would also be a good match.

I use a Hypex NC502MP based amp, a March Audio P502. It's been awesome for me, 500 watts into 4 ohms. Just tremendous drive along with great definition and clarity. Drives my old MMGs and they've never been driven so well or sound so good. I found March to have great build quality though Audiophonics is good too. The P502 is discontinued, if you can find one snatch it up but you can't lose with their current Purifi amps as well. I can actually get my little Maggies loud and dynamic with both analogue and digital with both sounding warm to me (with a sub). Happy Class D user here.

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Unfortunate integrated amps are not on your radar.  The Marantz KI Ruby would fit the bill perfectly.

I use a Rogue Sphinx 3 with LRS+ and it sounds great, really good synergy and many reviews (and the current Maggi demo room at Axpona right now) use Rogue with Magnepan. 

@secretguy Wrote:

 @arcticdeth  More nonsense about Maggies.

I agree! My Crown Studio reference one amp on Maggies is sublime! The Crown amp is class AB. 😎


I have used the class D, PS Audio Stellar M700 mono blocks with the LRS for two years now. Never a problem driving the speakers. They sound fantastic.  I listen to Jazz, Classical, Classic Rock, Female Vocalists and lots of acoustic stuff.

The M700s are well within your budget.

Whatever you get - best of luck and enjoy the music first.

If you want a warmer amplifier just preheat your oven and shove it in. It will get as warm as you want it to be.

The Orchard Audio class D amps work well with Magneplanars. The Absolute Sound has a video using them together. Orchard Audio is running a tour on another forum. Listen to the amp a week for free. Then pay to ship it to next person on the list. Highly recommended.



A friend uses Maggies (3.6, I think) with an amp based on PuriFi 1ET400A modules and says it's the best sound he ever has got out of them.

I have electrostatics and run them with a PuriFi amp, and it's the best sound I've ever got out of them.

If you find the sound irritating, maybe consider one or more of the following: a tone control (the Schiit Loki Max is dandy), improving room acoustics, or turning down the tweeters on the Maggies.

Your budget isn’t going to do anything until you start getting over $10-20k for better equipment. AGD makes great class D amps…their entry level one is 5 grand and a piece of meh-bad-bad.

in your price range, you’re not going to get proprietary parts are going to get junk buffers, industrial grade cheap caps and just off the shelf class D modules with inexpensive wiring.


See if you can find an Audio Research DS225 or DS450. ARC's own class D design and the Maggies were designed to mate with the brand.

Ive seen good reviews on the D-Sonic M3a-1200S It will do 800 watts @ 8 ohms I have the Magnepans 7's and I was feeding them with my VAC PA 100 100 tube amp and ARC LS15 tube pre amp  I'm very content with this combination but felt the Maggie's could use more watts/current  I found a used Spectron musical MK lll class D amp designed by John Ulrich  It's a 54lb beast 500watts@8ohm 650@4ohms and 1,200 wwatts@1ohm also 65 amps for 500 milliseconds I must say I'm very impressed with the sound stage and inner detail but particularly with effortless dynamics at any db level  I typically listen to music around 75db with peaks in the low 80's 


Maggie man Wendell Diller says "any amp that doubles it's wattage into 4 ohms will do just fine".  Makes sense.

I’ve been using Bel Canto REF500m monoblocks with a pair of Maggie 1.7i and a Primaluna tube preamp, have been happy with the power and sound, although it could be just a tiny bit warmer imo.

JJSS49 stated: i haven’t tried them all, by a long shot, but my suggestion would be to try a well designed gan-fet based power amp, rather than typical class d ones using ice purifi or hypex modules

Absolutely dead on correct!  My PS Audio M700s sound fantastic with my 3.7i Maggies and replaced my Bryston amps with zero loss in quality sound. 

Anyone who has not listened to like designed class d amps should not make any judgements regarding them!

When I had my LRS speakers, I tried a bunch of different amps.

One of the best was the CIA (Channel Island Audio) D200 Class D mono amps. Just superb. Pretty cheap used too.

(Big shout out to Dusty!)

further thoughts on this topic

- we know that maggies big and small are wonderfully accurate transducers, highly revealing of what is upstream of them, in this respect they are a superbly clear lens into the upstream system and the musical content

- we also know that maggies, at least most smaller ones, need careful work in terms of placement, and quite often, subwoofer support, to develop a truly full range response and presentation - from my own experience i would say this is true of all maggies below a 3.7/3.7i in a typical room

- also, older maggies (i still remember my mg iii-a’s in the 80’s) had even less bass and notably thinner mids (wendell and crew have smartly worked the newer products for a significantly richer tonality over the years, without sacrificing clarity, kudos to them for doing this)

- we also know that the better makers of class d amps graft nice sounding front ends onto the various pre-engineered amp modules or ’back ends’ and then voice the end product very very carefully, to achieve the sound profile they seek (i believe that most of this is trying making the treble and midrange have more texture, air, depth, dimensionality, and thus more ’lifelike’, and less like a bleached out 2d cardboard cutout of the musical performance)

all this said, i think the case is strong for trying various good class d amps on maggies -- the class d tech seems naturally able to provide tremendous bass energy and grip -- and if the gifted designer can sprinkle in 'the right stuff' on the amp front end to give the music the breath-of-life that many of us seek in the sound, then we can often have something that performs very nicely, and also be very green and conserving of resources, not mention small/lightweight and cool running

I just heard the LRS+ at the AXPONA audio show driven by a pair of Rogue Audio DragoN hybrid mono block amps. The sound was excellent, rich, very full and smooth.

The DragoN mono blocks are not out yet but they use the same topology in the DragoN stereo amp and also the Hydra. Based on the sound I heard these fit your expectations to a tee.

I’m using D-Sonic M3a-600m mono blocks to drive some MMGs (I have 1.7is on order) and they sound good to me. But to be fair I’ve not side by side compared them to anything.

The store where I auditioned the 1.7s ran through Rogue Audio gear and they sounded good, even in that small, untreated space.  I researched the Rogue audio stuff but it has tubes and I’m not interested in tubes for home audio.  I could always add a Freda+ later if I wanted to mess with tubes.

The D-Sonics replaced a Parasound HCA-1500a power amp that I’ve had for almost 30 years and used it with some 1.6s with good results. Unfortunately the Parasound broke (more specifically I broke it changing speakers without shutting it off). I did have the amp repaired but it never sounded the same.

it sounds like you want to use your power amp as a tone control?

Merrill Audio Veritas monoblocks sound very good with Magnepans (0.7s in my system). They have a robust power supply.

I’m Running the LRS + with Audio-GD Tube pre and Peachtree GaN 400 Amp...Class D and powerfull But Smooth as tubes and What a soundstage ($2500)....Superb...couldn’t be more musical for the $. Call Jose @ Peachtree....You will be in Hi Fi Heaven.

Hay guys. Thanks for all the suggestions, its really appreciated. Unfortunately rogue products are very rare in Europe (i live in Germany), and when i do find them, they are usally expensive (as in overpriced compared to their selling price in the states). In the interim i found that audio research actually made 2 class D models (DS series)! They are very highly regarded and and tuned like their other solid state products. There also is Auralic that makes class D monoblocks with class A stages. They are said to sound far more forgiving than the later generation of ICE amps. Lastly nuforces later generation products like the 9 v3 se are said to not be as harsh as their previous offerings. They all fit under my budget on the used market in Europe. I think i will go for one of them.

The CIA amps also look like a very good option, and are in budget. I would love to try the D sonic amps as they seem to be rated very highly with Maggies, but again, simply not available in Europe even on the used market (also, i apologise that someone already mentioned the AR amplifiers). 

I've used several amps on my Magnepan 1.7i's. I had the Bryston 4BST in stereo putting out 500 watts into 4 ohms on them and it wasn't enough power. I bought the Legacy Audio i-V2 Class D 1000 watt stereo amp and it's much better, more detailed, more bass. I'd highly recommend the Legacy Audio i-V2 for your class d needs. I'd also like to try dual 4B's in bridge putting out 1600 watts in 4 ohms, I really think that 1600 watt range is what you need to get the ultimate sound out of Magnepan's.

I’m using a Wyred4Sound STI-500 integrated amp to drive my Magnepan LRS speakers, and they sound awesome! I used to have a pair of Martin-Logan Requests driven by a Krell FPB 200 and a Pass Aleph P preamp which were both Stereophile Class A grade pieces, and were awesome, and I was recommended to try a Peachtree NOVA 200, which is a Class D integrated amp. 
I tried it and it sounded awesome……I learned that it all depends on the design of the electronics more than anything else.

D is for subs and people who don’t know better, and think they are amazing,….nope,..you may think it sounds great, compare with A or AB, HUGE DIFFERENCE

I've heard a number of class D amps that sound better than A and AB amps.

in your price range, you’re not going to get proprietary parts are going to get junk buffers, industrial grade cheap caps and just off the shelf class D modules with inexpensive wiring.

This statement is false. Cost has nothing to do with getting the input buffer to perform (and sound) really good. You certainly want industrial grade capacitors- that way they hold up. Nor would you be limited to off the shelf modules...

for those with interest in this subject here is a video worth watching

peachtree ganfet amp rated @ 400 wpc ... driving maggies, compared to hegel h390 class ab stalwart with 250 wpc rating


@woodsworld, I would guess that the W4S STI-500 would drive the LRS quite well and I use an STI-1000 on similar toned speakers.

But, I would highly suggest to our O.P. that he consider the Odyssey Audio Khartago (or Stratos) stereo amp at a mere $995 that IS stable into 2 ohms and will sound great. You can spend more and upgrade these amps if you want as well.

Look at other sites and you'll find a huge happy pairing of Magnepan owners that power those speakers with Odyssey amps. I do encourage you to check into these under-priced amps. Good luck!

Elac Alchemy DPA-2 is a Class D amp I have held onto. You should see the size of this thing lol. Balanced and single ended, has 2 gain settings switchable by a button. Class A input stage, based on the UcD Hypex modules...no change in frequency response with any fluctuating speaker load. I believe it's stable to 2ohms but the speakers I have it on only dip into the 3's. You can get 2 of them and try them as mono-blocks. These even have digital UV type meters for gimmick appeal. 

I have a Class D stereo amp designed by the late Tommy O'Brien which I've had for 2 years. I am not what very experienced with a lot of Gear and what they sound like. Having said that I home auditioned a set of LRS+ over a weekend. They probably only had maybe 35 hours on them. The Cherry amp with the Freya+ was I believe very nice. Big sound stage which was detailed, not etched. The LRS+ with Rythmik F12SE sub. GREAT. By the 400 watts into 4 ohm. 

I would just look for a used Classe amp...CA200 or Fithteen...

No Class D on my Maggie's 

I highly recommend the D-Sonic M3a-1200S.  It drives my Gunned MMGs quite nice.  I use a Don Sachs tube preamp and Audio Mirror tube DAC.  Very warm and no listening fatigue 

Atma Sphere Class D would be my choice. I've tested it with Sound Lab speakers (you'll find a video on youtube) and this combo works VERY nice. It will probably be your last amplifier as well. 

I use a Rogue Sphinx and REL 9x sub with my Magnepan .7s. Very good combo for the acoustic music listening I do 95% of the time. I really think the use of a tube input stage can be beneficial with Class D power. Several makers doing that now. But … . So many assumptions voiced here without much to support it. My first introduction to Maggies was the little MMGW driven by First Watt monoblocs, so maybe 40 watts a channel. Absolutely beautiful tone. The owner didn’t listen at loud levels and was drawn to the purity of sound. I now run a pair of MMGWs and sub with a First Watt M2 and a pass diy tube preamp. Lovely. Not loud, but as a secondary living room system just great. Yes, you’ll gain some dynamics (not much, that’s not something Maggies do well) with more wattage, and keep your amp well within its “just idling along” power level. But don’t get too hung up on raw power, unless you’re trying for rock concert sound levels. In which case I’d suggest another speaker.