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RE: Is my amp up to driving Maggies?

Amplifier power and loudness are logarithmically related. That is to say, in order to make a speaker play TWICE as loudly, you need TEN TIMES the amplifier power. This is just physics and the nature of human perception. Which is to say that there is not a lot of audible difference between, say, an 85 watt amplifier and a 120 watt amplifier.

So that is one thing to keep in mind.

Another thing to consider when selecting an amplifier to drive Magnepan speakers is something that Wendell Diller ( of Magnepan ) told me: magneplanars like amplifiers that have good current delivery capability. The ability of an amplifier to deliver current into a reactive load like a speaker is dependent on several things, most of which you can't find any information about anywhere for a given amplifier. The two things you CAN learn about amplifiers are their power output capacity, and their output source impedance.

Generally speaking the greater the power output of the amplifier, the better it will work with Magneplanar LRS- but keep in mind that physics tells you ten-times-the-power-for-twice-the-loudness, so you want an amplifier that is reasonably powerful.

And, again speaking in general, the lower the source impedance, the better the amp will work with Magneplanar speakers. ( lower source impedance translates to higher damping factor, and generally speaking, higher current delivery ability) The stereophile review noted that this Arcam amplifier has an output source impedance of 0.25 ohms, which is good. But if you compare that to an amplifier like the Benchmark AHB2 ( https://www.stereophile.com/content/benchmark-media-systems-ahb2-power-amplifier-measurements ) at 0.09 ohms, you can make an educated guess that the Benchmark would sound a little better. But, at this level the improvement between an amp with a 0.25 ohm output source impedance and one with 0.09 ohm will be fairly subtle, everything else being equal.

My guess is that your Arcam amp will work just fine for "normal listening levels" with the LRS, but that some other amps will be slightly better, but unless you go to a hugely powerful amp you are not going to find major differences.

I think that room placement, room volume and structure, wall and floor treatment ( if any ) and listener position will make a much larger difference in sound quality than trying to move up the ladder in terms of amplifier capability.

Science doesn't care what you believe.

Edits: 09/16/21 09/16/21

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  • RE: Is my amp up to driving Maggies? - triamp 19:46:34 09/15/21 (0)


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