M700 with Maggies 1.7i?

Greetings everyone. I’m new out here but active on other audiophile sites. I have two questions. I can see that both have come up before but without the specifics that I’m looking for. I’ve done searches and I apologize if I’m missing an obvious thread–in which case, please redirect me!

I have a pair of 1.7i’s that I’m driving with an ancient but up-to-spec Bryston 3B. Although there is disagreement about the power that Maggies need, I’d like to try an amp with more oomph (watts, current, into 4ohms). My gear is Bryston and of course I’ve eyed the 4B3 but it’s out of my price range for now. The M700 intrigues me and the reviews are very positive. I would appreciate hearing from anyone using the monoblocks with the 1.7is, especially if you’ve tried other amps (4B3, Hegel, Parasound, etc). I’ve read Paul say on this forum that it’s an excellent combination, and I trust him, but I’d like to hear from owners of this combination of amps and speakers.

Second, and of considerable interest to me: does anyone have a sense of how the M700 amps would play with a Bryston pre-amp (BP17)? I also have a Bryston DAC and DP.

If I’m understanding it correctly, PS Audio has a ridiculously generous trade-in program AND a generous trial period, and I’ll probably get the monoblocks and listen for myself. Still, I’d appreciate any thoughts on their “synergy” and how the amps do with the Maggie sound.

Thank you!

Edit: PMs welcome

I run ML Panels. Personally, I would not think of using anything but A/B but that’s just me. Can the 700s run them well- depends on how well the handle loads i.e. 4ohm (maybe lower)?

From a 1.7i review:

The low sensitivity (86 dB) and 4 ohm impedance means you will need a good amplifier that is rated into 4 ohms. Don’t even think of using these with an inexpensive receiver. You don’t necessarily need a lot of watts (75 is enough for average listening), but the amplifier does need to have that 4 ohm rating.

Maybe someone out there has 700 with panels and can help you out with firsthand knowledge…?

I run M700s with my Maggie LRS’ (according to some an even more demanding Maggie) with absolutely no problem.

I’d be curious to pair Maggie’s with NAD c298. It has a crazy high damping factor! :laughing:

Here’s a comparison review between the NAD c298 and the M1200.

C298 modules were designed by Putzey and Risbo, but it doesn’t have Gan Fets…

I’d like my next amp to have a damping factor of over 10,000!

I powered my Magnepan 3.7is and DWM bass panels with M700s for a couple years and was very pleased with the sound. It was a big step up from an Adcom GFA-555. When the M1200s came out, I couldn’t resist and I’m glad I didn’t.

Thank you, everyone. I’m glad to know that the M700 can drive Maggies–especially the 3.7is AND the DWM panels. I’d still appreciate any insights on how the amps would compare to some of the other brands popular with Maggie owners, especially the Bryston 4B3, but this is a very helpful start. Thanks!

Currently I feed my Magneplanar 1.7s with PS M700 mono blocks. I previously powered them with a Bryston 4B/modified. I am delighted with the sound quality! Used the PS Trade-In program to make it more affordable. I don’t feel like I am listening to a D amplifier. I am listening to music with an expanded soundstage.

The key to powering Maggies is current. Wendell told me personally, that many well-regarded amps over 100 watts 8 ohms will work fine PROVIDED they do high current. That requires an amp with a large, high-quality transformer. The test is whether the amp almost doubles its power output at 4 ohms. Few receivers do this. That is what you need to look for (assuming a well-designed amp in other respects). If the amp can almost double output into 4 ohms, it will drive a Maggie. Then it becomes a matter of personal sound preference and how much wattage you want. That is why they refuse to suggest specific manufacturers. The M700, in addition to great tonal balance, doubles output into 4 ohms.

All that said, had they been available at the time, I would have purchased the M1200s. Not for the additional power, but for the upgraded sound. But those cost more. If you do not wish to spend that much, do not sweat it. Go with the M700s. I have been happy for years, you probably will also. Upgrading them is at the bottom of my list. I will probably go for a Bryston CD player next. Also, as you said, you have 4 weeks to listen. I doubt you will return them. They brought springtime (openness) to my listening.

Finally, I do not know how old you are, but lifting and moving a Bryston 4B (battle tank) is backbreaking. I used to have to schedule 2 visits from my nephew- once to move it, then after I fiddled for a week, another visit to move it back into place. Not with the M700s!

Good luck. Let your audio family in this thread know what you do.

  • Jeffrey in Philadelphia
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Jeffrey, this is exactly what I was hoping to hear. You nailed it. I’ve owned Maggies on and off for thirty years, and I do understand what you’re saying about watts/current and the 8 > 4ohm doubling. I admit that I’ve never owned a class D amp, and that was part of my hesitation.

I’ll add that another part of my hesitation is just what you say: the weight of these things. The 4Bx is bad enough, but looking at something like Pass or Parasound is just out of the question for me. I’m sure they sound great, and should for that price, but anything over 55lbs or so is … not going to happen.

Again, thank you. Your experience is very helpful to me!

Damping factor isn’t always measured the same from manufacturer to manufacturer, my adcom amp had a higher damping factor then my krell amp, guess which amp had more control and drove my speakers better.

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I’m only joking about damping factor

:smile:

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I’ll never hear Maggie’s in my house. They were vetoed by family members who care about aesthetics… :frowning:

They are right, apogee’s look better.

You are welcome Borealism.
About this Maggie aesthetics/WAF thing: Most of us have our system in a living room. Many spkrs that are only, about 8-12" wide, are also 18-24" deep. So, as you or your guests move about the room, you are seeing a good deal more mass than 8-12". My 20’ wide 1.7s are only 2" thick and a light wheat color, rather than the room-dominating black. So, from the sides they practically disappear. Also, like most spkrs, they sound best 2-3’ or more from the front wall. Because they are so thin, I can walk behind them to open cabinets or select a CD from a rack. From many angles- both standing and seated -you can see the room behind them. If the spkr was 20" deep that wouldn’t work.

My wife preferred these spkrs. For an extra 10" of width, there is virtually no depth. Obviously, they do not disappear, but with their simple, light color they allow the fireplace centered behind them to dominate the room instead of taking over completely.

And our guests do not stop marveling at the sound from these 2" thick panels. They don’t understand where the music is coming from. It can be hilarious how quickly non-audiophiles ignore the panels and keep looking around for the speakers with a confused look on their face! They are magic.
Just our viewpoint. - Jeffrey in Philadelphia

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My experience is almost entirely the opposite. When I got my first pair of Maggies some thirty years ago, I assured my wife that no one would notice them. Literally every person who walked into the living room said, “wow–are those speakers?” After we moved, I eventually gave up on them and turned to stand mounts. When my daughter moved out to college, I took over her room and bought the 1.7i’s–and so I’m lucky enough have a dedicated room. Better yet, it seems to be a good match for the speakers, despite its long, narrow shape and sloping walls. The bass especially is tighter and stronger than I’ve heard in some other rooms.

And this is also why the weight of the amplifiers matters: when my daughter comes home to visit a couple times a year, I move everything out. So a lightweight amp is most welcome!