Maggie .7 and tube amps

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jaylevine

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Maggie .7 and tube amps
« on: 10 Sep 2018, 07:09 pm »
Getting ready to sell my Legacy Studio HD monitors and go shopping for a pair of Magnepan .7 (used if possible or new if not).

I have been using the Legacy's with a Bob Latino VTA 120 amp fitted with KT88s for about a year now--the Legacy's mated well with the VTA 120 given it is a fairly efficient speaker rated at 93db sensitivity with a nominal impedance of 4 ohms. Plus I'm a big fan of the AMT tweeter too -- a very tube friendly monitor overall.

Now that I think of it not sure why I'm selling....  :scratch: ....oh yeah now I remember -- someone approached me and offered to purchase the Legacy's for what I paid for them and to be honest, I miss the Maggie sound.

Curious how many folks own a mid-powered tube amp and run Maggies and what your feeling is about how they work together re: would really like to keep the glow of tubes in my listening room.....

Vedder323

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #1 on: 10 Sep 2018, 07:18 pm »
Getting ready to sell my Legacy Studio HD monitors and go shopping for a pair of Magnepan .7 (used if possible or new if not).

I have been using the Legacy's with a Bob Latino VTA 120 amp fitted with KT88s for about a year now--the Legacy's mated well with the VTA 120 given it is a fairly efficient speaker rated at 93db sensitivity with a nominal impedance of 4 ohms. Plus I'm a big fan of the AMT tweeter too -- a very tube friendly monitor overall.

Now that I think of it not sure why I'm selling....  :scratch: ....oh yeah now I remember -- someone approached me and offered to purchase the Legacy's for what I paid for them and to be honest, I miss the Maggie sound.

Curious how many folks own a mid-powered tube amp and run Maggies and what your feeling is about how they work together re: would really like to keep the glow of tubes in my listening room.....

Plugging myself but, this pretty much answers your question:

https://youtu.be/cJro26WxdaQ

Tyson

Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #2 on: 10 Sep 2018, 07:40 pm »
Plugging myself but, this pretty much answers your question:

https://youtu.be/cJro26WxdaQ

Nicely done review!

jaylevine

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #3 on: 10 Sep 2018, 07:42 pm »
Wow, I stopped when you plugged in the mighty whatever sub-woofer.....

Great video and yup, message is clear--looks like I'll have to put my VTA 120 on the shelf and break out my D-Sonic M3-800s amp from storage....(400 watts into 8ohms/800 watts into 4ohms).

Jay

jaylevine

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #4 on: 10 Sep 2018, 07:58 pm »
Or better yet, sell the D-Sonic and VTA 120 and buy even bigger mono blocks tube amps from Bob Latino  :thumb:

rollo

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #5 on: 10 Sep 2018, 08:41 pm »
Depends. One of our club members ran Dynaco 70 mono blocks with his 3As. Sounded great however volume was limited. I used Audio Research DR250 with my 3As. That system had balls compared to the Dynacos. Actually the 3As were voiced with AR DR250 servo amp.
Today with so many different designs of amps class "D", chip, SS tubed, all to remember is you need amperage. IMHO 150W minimum. The more the better.
Tubed amps with wattage are expensive, good ones that is. If you use a SS, class"D" or chip amp use a tubed preamp. Have fun on your journey and trust your ears only.

charles

Tom Bombadil

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #6 on: 10 Sep 2018, 10:53 pm »
Q1:  How large a room will you be using them in?

Q2:  How loud do you like to play music?

Maggies do love power, but the VTA120 would be enough under some scenarios.  I've recently downsized to a listening room of 225sf.   My listening position is now just 6' from the speakers.  And I no longer listen at concert levels, using an SPL meter I measured peaks at 90-91 decibels at my listening position.   Using an 87db bookshelf speaker with a 30 wpc tube amp works out very well for me.   I imagine I would be fine with using the .7s with a 60wpc tube amp.  Especially if I also employed a powered subwoofer.

That said, a more powerful Class D amp would be a nice match for them.   I have one that produces 200wpc into 4 ohms and I would expect it to make the .7 sing.

SteveFord

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #7 on: 10 Sep 2018, 11:38 pm »
What a great review, I especially liked the part where the old Carver was put into play.
That will have the sound output but not the 3D quality tube amps bring to the table.

I can't help with mid powered tube amp insights as mine are on the big side.

Keep us posted on your upcoming purchase, please.
 





Tom Bombadil

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #8 on: 11 Sep 2018, 12:27 am »
Yes, it is an entertaining and informative review.   With a solid recommendation on room placement.  I've heard Maggies close to the back wall and, IMO, it killed their sound.

jaylevine

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #9 on: 11 Sep 2018, 08:47 pm »
Q1:  How large a room will you be using them in?

Q2:  How loud do you like to play music?

Maggies do love power, but the VTA120 would be enough under some scenarios.  I've recently downsized to a listening room of 225sf.   My listening position is now just 6' from the speakers.  And I no longer listen at concert levels, using an SPL meter I measured peaks at 90-91 decibels at my listening position.   Using an 87db bookshelf speaker with a 30 wpc tube amp works out very well for me.   I imagine I would be fine with using the .7s with a 60wpc tube amp.  Especially if I also employed a powered subwoofer.

That said, a more powerful Class D amp would be a nice match for them.   I have one that produces 200wpc into 4 ohms and I would expect it to make the .7 sing.

Small room, 10x11. I measured the room today--if I pull the Maggies out from the wall 3 feet or so my listening position will be about +6 feet from the maggies. Pretty tight but should work.

Jay

jaylevine

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #10 on: 11 Sep 2018, 08:48 pm »
What a great review, I especially liked the part where the old Carver was put into play.
That will have the sound output but not the 3D quality tube amps bring to the table.

I can't help with mid powered tube amp insights as mine are on the big side.

Keep us posted on your upcoming purchase, please.
 

Will do--put my order in today (Gifted Listener in Northern VA). Should be about 10 days shipped directly to my house. I've also got a couple of WTB posted (Audiogon/USAudiomart) but really don't expect anything to come of those at this point.

jaylevine

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #11 on: 19 Sep 2018, 09:32 pm »
Will do--put my order in today (Gifted Listener in Northern VA). Should be about 10 days shipped directly to my house. I've also got a couple of WTB posted (Audiogon/USAudiomart) but really don't expect anything to come of those at this point.

Man, can wait to get these. Emailed Gifted Listener today for ETA but all he can provide is Magnepan standard "about 2 weeks". Nothing firm yet.

First up will be my Bob Latino VTA 120 with KT88s.....followed by my D-Sonic M3 800s. Very excited...

Jay

jaylevine

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #12 on: 8 Jan 2019, 02:53 am »
Well, its been about 3 months with the Maggies .7 and my VTA-120 tube amp. I'm sorry to report that I threw in the towel about 2 weeks before the holidays and reconnected my D-Sonic to the Maggies.

My VTA-120 just didn't have enough power to drive them beyond mid-70s SPL and had very poor dynamic range--they really only sounded acceptable to my ears when listening to solo female voices, piano, violin and vibraphone, i.e., at mild volume when the recordings emphasized solo instruments in the middle freq range.

Once I threw the D-Sonic back into the chain the Maggies came alive--much more robust bass (within the boundaries of .7s) and overall much greater ability to drive the speaker to acceptable SPL levels across the whole freq range of all recordings.

So now the Maggies are downstairs in a larger room with the D-Sonic, relegated to our movie watching area where I will enjoy them on Sundays while reading the weekly rags and doing crosswords.

The VTA-120 still in my small office/listening room, now hooked up to a pair of Klipsch RP-160M stand-mount speakers (I've been dying to try horns for a long time). While a little rough around the edges on their first night, I suspect they will smooth out a bit once broken in, and the VTA-120 plays as loud as I like without distortion.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #13 on: 8 Jan 2019, 03:31 am »
I am not surprised by the fact that your VTA tube amp failed with the Maggies.  The fact of the matter is that they need a high power and high current amp to sound their best and to play loud.  Maggies suffer from lack of dynamics, musicality and can't play very loud without power and current.  I run a Pass  amp 500wpc with a tube preamp with my  1.6's.

jaylevine

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #14 on: 8 Jan 2019, 03:41 am »
Yeah, I guess I'm not surprised as well. Was hoping though. The D-Sonic drives them fine--400W @ 8Ω that doubles at 4Ω, so plenty of go on tap.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #15 on: 8 Jan 2019, 04:00 am »

jaylevine

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #16 on: 8 Jan 2019, 04:07 am »
8 x 6550 or KT-88s  :D

Maybe if I still lived in Minneapolis where I could harvest the excess heat energy in the winter :D But here in Richmond VA in the summer....

Cheers

Tom Bombadil

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #17 on: 8 Jan 2019, 04:41 am »
You can't get over mid-70s db with 60 wpc?   That is hard to believe.   You should get over that with 1 watt. 

The Maggies won't sing and do their magic without sufficient power.   They really come alive with a lot of power.   But at 86db efficiency, they should go easily into the 90s with a VTA120.   

Heck, I drive 84db speakers with a 30wpc tube amp in my bedroom (10'x14') to fine effect.   In my living room I have 91db speakers driven by a 17 wpc tube amp and they work great together.   I calculate the power needed for my typical listening level at about 1-2 watts. 

But with Maggies, I'd probably go for a 200-250 wpc Class D amp. 

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #18 on: 8 Jan 2019, 05:42 am »
8 x 6550 or KT-88s  :D

Maybe if I still lived in Minneapolis where I could harvest the excess heat energy in the winter :D But here in Richmond VA in the summer....

Cheers

I live in the Twin Cities and my Pass X250 amp and BAT VK-51se preamp  with its 8 6H30 tubes heats up my 17x17 room quickly unless I leave the french doors to me kitchen open.  The Pass runs in Class A for the first 20 watts or so.  It stays in class A most of the time except on very dynamic passages or music with deep, loud bass.

By the way, I also have a pair of older MMG's and it shuts down an older JVC 120 wpc receiver in a hurry if I turn it up too loud.  Maggies are tough on amps.

jaylevine

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Re: Maggie .7 and tube amps
« Reply #19 on: 8 Jan 2019, 12:44 pm »
You can't get over mid-70s db with 60 wpc?   That is hard to believe.   You should get over that with 1 watt. 

The Maggies won't sing and do their magic without sufficient power.   They really come alive with a lot of power.   But at 86db efficiency, they should go easily into the 90s with a VTA120.   

Heck, I drive 84db speakers with a 30wpc tube amp in my bedroom (10'x14') to fine effect.   In my living room I have 91db speakers driven by a 17 wpc tube amp and they work great together.   I calculate the power needed for my typical listening level at about 1-2 watts. 

But with Maggies, I'd probably go for a 200-250 wpc Class D amp.

Point taken. I listen fairly loud as my hearing has degraded over the past 20 years (62yrs old). When I measured acceptable listening levels with my SPL meter it was probably closer to high 70s with peakes in the low 80db range. At that level the VTA would start to clip and the Maggie’s would start to distort.

My D-Sonic is exactly the medicine you suggest, class-d that can decliner  high voltage high with enough current due to its robust power supply.