I have only owned two systems in my long life. A Harmon Kardon 930A (which I still have) powered a pair of Design Acoustics D6s in my first system, then Magnepan MG1s replaced the DAs. Then the Adcom pair replaced the HK to power the Magnepans. And then

Components Toggle details

    • Adcom GFA-555
    Stock from the factory
    • Adcom GTP-500
    Stock from the factory
    • Bose AM-5 sII
    I can't believe I let my wife talk me into selling my MG1s when she gave me these as a present
    • Revox B-795
    No idea what cartridge is in it
    • Denon DCM - 280
    5 disc carousel for only $200

Comments 7

I have been searching the Maggie systems to learn about sub woofers and noticed your evolution.

I was a double stacked Large Advents guy since college powered by an 80wpc Onkyo integrated.

Finally, 30 years later, I am upgrading. I run MG12's through a McIntosh MA6300 1000 wpc integrated. Just heavy (thicker than lamp cord) gauge wire and no audiophile cables.

The WAF is low and she is entertaining new speaker ideas even if they cost $3000 or $4000!

My CD source is an Underwood modified Audio Space CD. Absolutely silent where it needs to be. Has tube front end so it does not sound quite so digital.

Having said that, I am using a 20 year old Luxman table for vinyl with a Denon 103R and AU300 SUT. Like the sound better than the cd player...I think!

Now I wonder what to do next?!


I too just bought my 1.6's and am using an entry level amp, mine is a 200 watt Rotel. I'm picking up my new Rogue Audio Perseus tube preamp tomorrow. I hope it mellows the Rotel enough to let me save for a "good" amp as Jimburger suggest. I was considering the Red Dragon Leviathon monoblocks. What do you think Jimburger? (sorry to cross your thread)
I've heard the Cambridge audio Cd players, they sound great and from reading their sheets (not that I know what all that means) they look to have impressive DA technology as well as good transports. The top of the line model (about $1400) also can upgrade other signal inputs through it. I'm new at all this so I don't quite have all the terms and understanding of this complex hobby down. But I think I know what I like.


An absolutely fantastic affordable preamp is the old Forte' Model 2 designed by Nelson Pass and produced in 1988. You can still find nice examples on Audiogon from time to time for around $350. It is by far the best bang for the buck in affordable preamps. It even possesses a great phono stage with dip switch adjustable capacitance and loading for your favorite cartridge. It originally retailed for $890 but had wonderful build quality. It had the same Noble Potentiometer for volume control as the more than twice the price Threshold Fet10. The only compromise was the use of integrated circuits instead of discrete transistors but it sounded great anyways. See the preamp section for a review. It is a popular cult item amongst Audiogon members. I used one for ten years and eventually upgraded mostly due to curiosity. I thought it compared very favorably to some very highly regarded preamps including the Threshold Fet 10, the Classe'DR5 and the PSE HL-1, all of which were more than twice the price at original retail.



Thanks for the response. If I were to pursue the alternative amps, what preamps might you suggest I consider?

Also, I am still open to suggestions on a CD source. I am seeing a few Music Halls in the for sale section at very reasonable prices.



I would advise getting a single good high current amp for the 1.6. I used 1.6's as my main speaker for three years. I auditioned it with PSE Studio V monoblocks which are a medium power high current set at 120wpc @8ohms or 230wpc @4ohms. I was impressed enough to fall in love with the Maggie sound. With the PSE powering the 1.6, the 1.6 actually matched the low frequency performance of the Vandersteen 2CE which on paper should be the better of the two. The 1.6 outpointed the 2CE on midrange transparency exhibiting a more see-through and palpable presentation. The 2CE was perhaps a bit more accurate tonally but with the PSE powering it, the 1.6 was truly magical.

I already owned a Classe'25 which I still use(successfully) with my current main speakers (3.6R). The 1.6's really sang with the Classe's 500wpc @4ohms. Possessing a much larger transformer and power supply than the two PSE's combined which resulted in twice the available power, the 1.6's were even better when I got them home. They were more dynamic and have an even smoother top end than the PSE. Only the lure of the legend of the 3.6 caused me to upgrade my speaker system, not disatisfaction with the 1.6's performance.

A friend of mine brought over a BEL 1001MkV that performed magnificently on my 3.6's with only 100wpc @ohms. Bass performance with the BEL was outstanding, perhaps exceeding the Classe' in power and extension. And exhibited an exquisite midrange to boot.

So I believe that a good single high current amplifier will do you just fine if it is a good design. SS amps that perform as a near voltage source(ones that double or nearly double successively into lower impedance loads like the KSA series Krells, DR series and numbered series Classe' amps of the early 90's like the model Fifteen or Twenty-Five, the late 80's Threshold S series, or the BEL 1001 amps of any iteration) would do nicely for 1.6's. With a great amp, I believe the 1.6 will play the tune even without exotic modifications to the crossovers or bypassing of the fuses. So my advice is to buy one outstanding used higher end amplifier rather than two entry level amplifiers from manufacturers like Adcom, NAD, or Rotel.


Short term CD solution is now a Denon DCM-280 5 disc carousel ($200). It will probably end up on the Harmon Kardon/Bose secondary system, but at least we have tunes in the house now.


Ordered the Magnepan 1.6s today, should be here in a week or two.

Listened to a Philips universal player ($699), a NAD B342 ($500) and a Creek ($1350) with no discernible difference on the selections we chose.

Suggestions on a CD player?


Showing all 7 posts