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Old 20th April 2017, 01:26 AM   #1
Carlp is offline Carlp  United States
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Default A Pass for Maggies?

I'm wondering if there is a Pass amp that can be reasonably easily DIYed and used to drive Magnepan speakers (for comparison I've built a chip amp, a simple transistor SE amp and a few SE and PP tube amps - nothing really complex though). I am considering some Maggies (1.6, .7 or lower end) and understand they are generally considered power hungry and needy of current, but I don't understand the mechanisms involved. Note that my space is fairly big with roof rafters as ceiling (sloped and up to 15' high or so).

I have an NAD amp that blew one channel and the output board appears to be shot, so I may gut it and use the chassis and a few key items if appropriate (PS transformer, perhaps the PS board). I'm looking at DIY options and thought I'd ask here if there's a DIY Pass amp that would fit the bill. Anyone have any experience with Maggies and Pass amps? If not, any suggestions where to find an amp that might work well? While I understand tube amp basics, transistors amps are harder for me to grok, though I can build from a recipe.
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Old 20th April 2017, 02:29 AM   #2
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Difficult call. Very few of my DIY efforts have the muscle to properly
drive the Maggies. The A75 would do it, but is kind of complicated.

Perhaps I should fix that.
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Old 20th April 2017, 03:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Pass View Post
Difficult call. Very few of my DIY efforts have the muscle to properly
drive the Maggies.

The A75 would do it, but is kind of complicated.

Perhaps I should fix that.
Wait. Shhh, do you smell that ?

I can hear the 'Greedy boys' forming a stampede to the bench already
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Old 20th April 2017, 03:35 AM   #4
Carlp is offline Carlp  United States
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Thanks, Nelson. I took a quick look and skim through your article and while it's well described, even for a novice like me, it would take me some time to fully digest and a lot more to build. I don't see any evidence of a pcb, making it that much harder. But if it's a good option, I imagine I could work my way through it. Intrigued by the idea of a fix though... I'm also thinking about tube amp solutions, but my sense is that might be trickier. Maybe a hybrid?
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Old 20th April 2017, 04:37 AM   #5
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You could DIY a big power supply and add heatsinking and fan cooling to an Adcom 5400, 5500, or 5802?
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Old 20th April 2017, 05:22 AM   #6
Btsd is offline Btsd  Australia
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And here I was quite happy with my newly built Aleph J driving my 1.5 maggies.

I`ll just have to build something bigger.(what a shame)

Tony
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Old 20th April 2017, 06:00 AM   #7
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Default Pair of F4 Stereo amps, used as monoblocks driven by a BA-3 preamp work?

How would a pair of F4 Stereo amps, used as monoblocks, driven by a BA-3 preamp work? In the past I have driven my maggies with an Adcom 535 with success. This thought has been on my mind a lot lately!
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Old 20th April 2017, 01:40 PM   #8
Carlp is offline Carlp  United States
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Btsd, that's interesting. I'm not convinced that those who talk about 400wpc requirements for Maggies know what they are talking about. Magnepan says the most important issue is current and design, e.g. doubling of power with halving of load impedance, and that makes sense to me. But while I can believe a 30wpc tube amp could drive Maggies, I'm surprised to hear the Aleph J (at 30wpc, correct?) does a good job. Wish we were closer and I could have a listen!
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Old 20th April 2017, 03:08 PM   #9
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Someone recently approached me about an F6 (25w @ 8 ohm, 40w @ 4ohm) for 1.3s.
The Maggies are 4 ohm and rather flat in the ohm vs freq range. Maggies are 86 db efficient. It just so happens I picked up a pair of Sonus Faber Concertos (SB) that are 86 efficient and around 6 ohm nominal based on Martin Colloms testing in Stereophile.

In a small area it was enough output. The F6 ran hot with Concertos. Hotter than with my 8 ohm, 90 db efficient DIY speakers. It sounded fine, but I believe more power would have been better, drawing out more from the SB monitors. Eventually will try my F5T v2 (50w), but it's out on loan. I think the same would happen with the Maggies. More power might draw out more detail and control them better.

Just my observations. Take them for what they're worth to you.

Vince
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Last edited by vdi_nenna; 20th April 2017 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 20th April 2017, 03:09 PM   #10
gl is offline gl  United States
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I have been using a pair of 100W Aleph X monos to drive a pair of 3.6's. They do a very good job. I am in the process of building a pair of large BA-3 monos to replace them. I am looking forward to an improvement in my system.

I think the Pass DIY universe has a solution for almost any situation. It's just that sometimes one needs to scale things up or down a bit. With Maggie's it's generally up.

Graeme

Last edited by gl; 20th April 2017 at 03:16 PM.
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