Just getting into Hifi, help guide.. (component recommendations)

And/or seduce me into a good choice. :slight_smile:

First, I’d like to say that it’s Paul and his youtube channel’s fault for getting me into this. :wink:

I have my eyes on the Magnepan 1.7i. I just heard them at a local dealer, and they sound wonderful. They might be a little light on the bass, but man they sound crystal clear and crisp.

I was originally looking at Peachtree nova150 integrated dac/amp/phono, then I read how power hungry the Maggies were and have drifted to the nova300 (450 W at 4 ohms), at $2200. At this point, i’m not far off from a PS Audio Stellar DAC/AMP combo! So, what the hell? Why not?

Will I really be served by putting in the extra cash for the components to drive the Maggies? Will the Stellar Amp do these speakers justice? Also, will 300 W be enough to drive the Maggie DWM bass panel as well, should I need it?

If it was me, I would go with the PSA gear. Although the all in one integrated amps are gaining popularity, if you want to upgrade in the future, not only will the PSA gear allow you to do one component at a time, they have a really good trade in policy. If you have any stereo equipment that works take a look at the trade in policy. You or someone you know might have a couple of components that you could trade in. I am not familiar with the speakers, but if you want to add bass panels, and come up with some trade ins I would shoot for Stellar 700s.
If you go with the 300, then instead of bass panels, look into one or two powered subwoofers.
You will need cables, consider Pangea from Audio Advisor, they give you a 30 day trial. Another addition that you should consider is a Pangea rack that sells for $100. That I am familiar with, my friend bought one.
Hearing music you really like on a decent stereo allows you to hear more detail and with a Stellar preamp/DAC and a computer, you can get Tidal, giving you access to so much music in one place, it really is quite amazing.
Keep reading, and asking questions. There are a lot of good people here that will be happy to help.
I have suggested things that you can do in the future. All you need is the speakers, Stellar components, cables, and a computer to get started.

Whats your source?

Howdy tensor, welcome to the forums :grin:

A dealer of ours in Kansas, Living Sound, held an event recently with the Maggie 30.7s and drove them with Stellar M700s monos. As they put it, the Stellar stack did shockingly well with the speakers, which is certainly saying something given that the 30.7s run around $30k.

With that in mind, I can’t think of any reason why the Gain Cell DAC and S300 wouldn’t pair beautifully with the Maggie 1.7is.

I would second jeffstar’s opinion of going for more traditional subs with the Maggies if you want more bass. Something like a Rel or SVS would serve you well.

Here’s some eyecandy from the event :grinning:


It will be a computer. I’d like to find a WiFi adapter that actually physically connects to the DAC so that I don’t have to deal with computer electronic noise. I’m having a hard time finding that doesn’t downconvert everything though.

I wouldn’t worry too much about computer noise, at least to start.

You can get lossless WiFi streaming through Chromecast Audio (probably the most affordable way to do it), though it’s a bit of a hassle. You have to use Foobar2k and Bubble UPnP. You can read more about it here. Other options quickly get much more expensive. A Bluesound Node 2 would be another option, though it chalks in at $499 compared to the $35 for Chromecast Audio.

I’d recommend starting with USB from your computer to your DAC (make sure your cable is shorter than 15 ft, otherwise drop outs might be an issue), and if computer noise interferes with your listening (which it shouldn’t) you can counteract it by going for something like an Uptone Regen or a Jitterbug from AQ (or a streaming option).

I would recommend giving Audirvana a try. Especially the on the fly DSD upsampling :slight_smile:

I use Roon and stream Spotify direct USB from PC to DAC. If you need a sub, I recommend REL. Also, if you can swing it, go M700s. They will power whatever you buy today or tomorrow - no issues in my experience. GREAT value and performance.

Also, there was actually a Maggie 30.7 event at my local dealer, and I missed it!

Never really impressed with the Maggies (vs traditional floor standers) but they sure have a following. Best I ever heard though was the 1.7. I imagine those 30’s would be something and I would love to hear that demo.

They have a distinctive sound which works very well with some instruments. For example, piano reproduction can be superb. I am not otherwise swept away, but understand how others can be drawn to them.

I had 1.7s and I REALLY miss them. I drove them with a NAD 372 and later an Anthem 225. Both drove them easily. I used a Gallo sub set at VERY low volume and crossed over as l;ow as possible. I really didn’t even need it.
I am seriously thinking of going back to Maggies. There is nothing like them.

You’re really not going to know until you can get them into your own room and listen for a while. Is there any way to camp out at the dealer for an hour or two and compare the Stellar to the Peachtree 300? (Better if you can take them home over a weekend, if the dealer will let you.) Just listen to one for a half hour, then the other for a half hour (same tracks) and see if you can tell any difference. Did one make you more/less emotional over the music than the other? Make sure you buy something from the dealer, though, to show how you appreciate his effort.

Ultimately if you get the Maggies then you’ll probably need a subwoofer to get the bass notes the Maggies are short of. But that’s another thread . . .

Best of luck!


This is just my opinion but I had the Peachtree 150 before my 700s. No comparison in my book. Now this is back when the 150/300 just came out. (if that perhaps made a difference) Also my PT 150 blew up 1 month in and had to be returned so I guess I’m bias. Many I’m sure have PT products and love them.

10 years ago when I bought my AudioResearch LS26 preamp to replace my PSAudio IVH it took me over 6 months to re-adjust my hearing to be able to fully appreciate what new information the LS26 was presenting to me. Yes, it took that long.

Upgrades have been more subtle (and costly) since, but give your ear time to acclimate, and in the meantime, enjoy!

As far as to which amp/DAC is better, I had a friend who had an interesting philosophy when it came to buying a motorcycle: Don’t waste time/money on a ‘beginner’ bike and then upgrade year after year. Rather, get the biggest bike you’ll ever want from the get-go, that way you don’t waste money on intermediate upgrades. (His first and only motorcycle he bought was an 1100cc 4-cylinder) Same can be said here, if you even think you’ll want to upgrade to a a better unit later, just buy it now and don’t ditz with the lower tier stuff because you’ll never get your money back from the ‘entry level’ gear.

But that’s just me.

Best of luck!!


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10 years ago when I bought my AudioResearch LS26 preamp to replace my PSAudio IVH it took me over 6 months to re-adjust my hearing to be able to fully appreciate what new information the LS26 was presenting to me. Yes, it took that long.

At the beginning of the year, everything BHK was backordered. I could not get a pre. So I tried a Cary just to see as I read numerous account of how a pre between say a Jr and M700 worked wonders and it did. fast forward a few months (still no BHK) and I had an opportunity to grab an LS-26. Holy smokes… Needless to say, it’s still in the system and is not going anywhere…

Congrats on the new addiction…

I have a pair of Magnepan 3.7’s, and I love them. Always have. They are power-hungry, though. And they sound better once you open them up a bit.

I’m currently with a Rowland Continuum S2 amp/preamp, and it easily bested several other amps that I trialed in-home, although I’ve never tried the PS Audio amps. The Continuum easily drives the Maggies. In order to flesh out bottom end, I had two Vandersteen 2wq subs, making it the most expensive octave ever.

My opinion is that you’ll be happy with the Maggies as long as the amp is sufficient to drive them.


Thanks everyone. I’ve basically decided to go with at least the S300/Stellar DAC.

I won’t be able to connect my PC directly to the DAC because they won’t be in the same room, so I’ll need a WiFi streamer. As far as a source, I think Chromecast Audio is the way to go. Tidal can now cast to chromecast directly, so I won’t even have to set anything else up. I think it streams anything up to 24/96 bit perfect. No DSD/MQA support though (I think), but at $35, it’s hard to beat.

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Sounds good! I’ve been using Chromecast Audio with my Stellar stack and it’s probably the best $35 I’ve spent in a good long while. Didn’t realize they added Tidal support, I’ll have to start using that.

Just a heads up, you’ll need a toslink to mini toslink cable like this one to get digital audio out of the Chromecast into your DAC (Chromecast only ships with an aux cable).

Good luck and enjoy your new system!

One thing that’s weird about Tidal chromecast support: you can only cast from the Tidal app (iOS/Android) and the Tidal website, but not from the Windows Tidal app.