Magnepan LRS too much for BHK250?

I recently purchased a pair of Magnepan LRS (Little Reflex Speaker) after reading several great reviews for them and because of their really low price of $650 a pair. They really do sound fantastic and I was very happy for a couple of weeks until I decided to play loud music. I then starting getting a frequent problem with my BHK250, which at 500w at 4 Ohm should be more than enought to handle them. My amp craps out when I play loud segments of musical pieces. I then have to go turn it off and on with the back switch, to reset it, and turn it back on with the front switch. I am thinking of returning the speakers for my money back since I dont have the funds for any amp upgrade at this time. I can play ridiculously loud music using my Merlin VSM’s, which are quite sensitive by the way, and easily driven by the BHK250.
Has anyone had a similar experience with these Maggies?

I was considering buying these speakers as well to just try out with my BHK250. Following this thread. I would assume the BHK is up to the task?

Something is wrong with the amp or the speakers. The 250 is overkill for those speakers power wise. No way it would “crap” out. They’re the easiest in the Magnepan line to drive and the 250 can drive them all with ease.

what do you mean by “crap out”?

The BHK250 stops playing and the light on the power button starts flashing fast. This has to be reset with the power switch in the back before ai can play again. Sorry for my “crappy” language…

Call the factory

JA tested that speakers as having a sensitivity of 80 db and an average 3.3 ohm rating though Herb Reichart drove it with both a Prima Luna 35 wpc and the Pass XA-25 though not to “insane” levels as it’s not intended to be that type of speaker. So you have a problem somewhere as other members here are driving much larger Maggie’s with BHK amps.

I owned BHK250s for some time driving Tyler Acoustic H2s (big speakers). The only time they crapped out was during a big party in the summer: hours of playing at high volumes. Daft Punk, with 50 people dancing did it. 5 minutes, a reboot and slightly lower volumes and the party was back on.


Something is wrong with either the speakers or your amp. You should not have these problems. I have the 20.7s and the bhk 300s aren’t having any difficulty driving the larger Maggie’s.

My BHK250 comes back on without problems immediately after I reset it with the back switch.

Oh, goodness yes! They would be a great match for your BHK.

I am happily driving LRS with 2 REL Ti/5 woofers with the SGCD/Stellar M700 combo. Sounds great!

Before I purchased the above electronics setup (which I had planned before ordering the LRS), I was breaking in the LRS by themselves with a Sprout100 and they would play better than I expected at reasonable volume levels. I think most folks could happily live with the LRSs with the Sprout, although I prefer the KEF LS50s with the Sprout in a secondary system.

Yes. My brother drives a pair of 20.7s with his BHK, with no issues at all.

I’ve had less of a problem since I changed tubes but still, if I am hearing to some musical piece that has a sudden loud dynamic segment, my BHK will turn off and its power light starts blinking fast. A power off (back switch) resets it without problem and it plays fine again when I turnit on. This does not happen with even louder levels using my Merlin VSM’s which are much more sentitive.

Check for a short somewhere

Why would you think there is a “short” when it plays fine 99% of the time

Shorts can be intermittent, e.g. when a voice coil with compromised insulation heats up and rubs or touches. It can also happen when wires are close and the voltage gets high enough that you get an arc.

The size of the speakers is probably irrelevant. For box speakers, for example, bigger means more efficient bass production, which is where most of the power tends to go. In the case of these speakers, tests have indicated a sensitivity of 80dB. 500 watts into these speakers will produce the same max loudness as 5 watts into 90dB sensitive speakers. Furthermore, these speakers are down another 3dB at 50 Hz, so if you’re trying to elicit loud, deep bass, you might as well be using a 2.5 watt amp or less with 90dB speakers. My point is that there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with the amp or the speakers. I suggest getting a subwoofer with a crossover that will relieve your amp of trying to get below mid-bass from the LRS. Remember, bass is where most of your power goes anyway. I’d love to hear from somebody who found a good sub lash-up for them. For me, Maggies have midrange magic.

I did get a subwoofer and I am using a Bryston 10B active crossover. The Maggies are sounding great with the sub and I am very happy with the setup. There are times that the BHK250 still clips when I go a little too loud and I need to reset them so they play again. Thanks for your reply!

And thanks for your reply. Sounds like a superb combination. I’m taking notes.