I’m going to demo a set of Maggie LRS tomorrow which are apparently quite a value at $650 but are power whores and require massive loads and high currents. Most of the reviews I hear on them say it’s critical to get an amp with beefy current. The problem is many amps have watt ratings at different ohms but I’m not quite sure how current is measured.
For example many reviewers say to use a Hegel H90 or Naim 5se because of the current and high damping. Both amps are above my budget but something like the Emotiva HC1 or Adcomm HSE 565 would be in my budget and produce more watts just not sure if their current if a sufficient.
Any advise on how to review or compare these amplifier options?
Power in Watts = I^2 * R
Magnaplanars are nominally 4 Ohm speakers
so Current is SQRT(Power into 4Ohms/4)
But in practice you just want something that will deliver decent power into a 4 Ohm load.
If someone is claiming they need a lot of current, it’s likely because they dip significantly below that 4 Ohm load in some cases. But it’s unlikely you’ll see a speaker amp rated at less than 4 Ohms.
So Hegel h90 is rated at 2x60 at 8 ohm (no 4 ohm rating) but the Emotiva is rated at 600 wats into 4 ohms.
Is it possible that the Hagel can control the LRS at lower to mid listening volumes better than Emotiva even through it is way down on power and headroom?
The hagel has a damping rating of 2000 while Emotiva is only 500.
Power P (in W) is Current I (in A) times Voltage U (in V)
The problem is the above is only true for DC circuits, and audio is an AC signal.
Measure as above, then divide Voltage by Resistance to get Current.
I’m not sure I’m asking the question correctly or asking the right question. I’ll try to get more clarification from the Maggie dealer today but the power requirements for the LRS are all over the place:
You can get a lot of free advice in the chat rooms on the internet. Most of it is of very little value (or misleading). Often, their power recommendations are influenced by their listening habits and room conditions. If they have a strong opinion of what you need for power, take it with a grain of salt.
Personal tastes are “all over the map”. We hear of customers that are perfectly happy with 50 watts and others using 1000 watts. Without the option of listening with you, we have no way to give meaningful advice. The most reliable way to answer this question for your particular needs is by visiting a dealer or arranging to hear a pair of Magneplanars. If you listen to your music at your normal volume, in a room that is approximately the same size as your room, with an amplifier similar to what you plan to use, an accurate power requirement can be determined for your listening habits. This is a lot to ask, but it is the only reliable method of determining the power needs for a specific individual.
There is a persistent impression that the larger Maggies require more power. It is true that most customers with the more expensive models have more powerful amplifiers. But, the popular assumption is not correct. They typically have a larger budget. If and when you upgrade your electronics is a separate decision.
Most reviewers say these are some of the most picky speaker when it comes to front end but scale upwards almost like no other. The problem is when they define what scale means and exactly what these speakers are looking for:
**Description** 2-Way / Quasi-Ribbon
**Freq. Resp.** 50 - 20 kHz
**Rec Power** Read [Frequently Asked Questions](https://www.magnepan.com/faq#power)
**Sensitivity** 86dB / 500Hz / 2.83v
**Impedance** 4 Ohm
**Dimensions** 14.5 x 48 x 1 inch
The feedback I see on the forums and reviews is they like a min of 150 watts into 4 ohms but need lots of current and stability to almost 2 ohms.
This is where it’s unclear to me the benefit of buying more watts (say 500+) or if I should stick with something around the 150 watts and get higher damping factor.
2 ohm stable is not too hard to find.
I would get away from just the numbers. Yes, 50W won’t fill a stadium, push that into headphones and you will go deaf.
Honestly if you demoing the Speakers, I’d try and demo Amps.
Specs are not always a good indicator of how an amp will behave with a pair of speakers.
I don’t have Magnepans, I have a pair of vintage VMPS speakers with Midrange Ribbon drivers that are notoriously hard to drive. It’s not just about loud enough almost anything over about 30W into 4 Ohms is more than adequate to deafen you in a small room, but the speakerrs really don’t wake up until you hit about 100W into 4 Ohms. Under that the treble tends to be brittle and the Bass undewhelming.
I run them off a pair of 130W Class A Valve Monoblocks.
By scale most people aren’t talking about specs at all they are talking about the ability of a speaker to resolve what a better amp is putting out.
The problem is all the Maggie dealers want to sell Naim Hagel Bryston or Pass and you’re looking at $3k+.
They have no interest in trying to tell you how a set of $1300 Emotiva monoblocks or a $1500 Adcom will pair with it.
Then you might want to find a site with a number of owners, to see if they’ve tried the amps.
You’re really not going to be able to understand how they pair without someone who’s heard it.
Or find someway to demo the amps once you have the speakers.
i see a lot of people use crown amps for maggie lrs’s. emotiva would be another good one. from what i gather, you want a solid couple hundred watts/channel into 4 ohms.
So just did the demo and damn probably the best speakers I’ve ever heard under $1k and it’s not close. I’m sold on Maggie LRS!
They offered to sell me:
Maggie LRS - $650
Hegel H160 - $1500
Sumiko S9 sub - $500
The Hegel was what i demod the speakers with and it sounded great in a large room. It’s 250 watts into 4 ohms with a damping factor above 1000. The Built on dac was their prior gen but I can always upgrade later and bypass onboard Dac while the amp section sounded solid. Not sure I can do better for $1500 to start?
No clue in the sumiko sub and how it will pair as I couldn’t hear it today but its similar to a rel t9.
I would always prefer what I’ve heard over something that might be better/worse.
Especially since speaker setups can be finicky with the room, having heard it sound good at least reassures you the equipment isn’t the issue while you play around with speaker placement and room treatments.