Originally Posted by Ballsey
Hi Don, thanks for the response!
cool as a cucumber so far I am happy to say no heat problems, what kind of maggies do you have?
wow that emotive xpa-3 looks like a monster, would it could it work with my
.6's qr, could they take that bad boy? whew! wouldnt that look good on my audio cabinet 599 not bad either! thanks
Magnepans are pretty "nice" loads, unlike many conventional dynamic speakers, and thus I expect fewer issues than you might expect. The ICE amps are available in many flavors, and all I have read indicates Pioneer used good ones in the SC-25/27 AVRs. The Pio consistently leads reviews on sound quality, and lots of those reviews used 4-ohm speakers. I even found one driving 3.6's and the reviewer loved the setup.
I have an old (ca. 1988) pair of MG-IIIa's, a new CC3, and a new pair of MC1's as surrounds. Only the surrounds are being driven by the Pioneer; I've been meaning to try it on the mains, just haven't had the gumption to get back behind the console AGAIN and fiddle with it all (too busy enjoying what I have). I have a friend who was driving B&W 803D's with his SC-27 before picking up monoblocks (emotiva XPA-1s) and it did OK. I think that's actually a harsher load than my Maggies despite their nominal impedances. I do not doubt at all that the Pio amps would have problems with some loads, however.
Maggies, like any planer speaker, are not terribly efficient and thus like some power (imo). I upgraded from a 120 W/ch AVR to the XPA-3 before getting the Pioneer (thus my reluctance to swap things around after finally getting everything placed and wired to my satisfaction). So, I can't provide a direct comparison (someday, promise!) I can say the emotiva made a BIG difference in sound. I seriously considered getting an XPA-2 for L/R, relegating the XPA-3 to center and surrounds, but just can't justify it. (Even with wife's blessing, how's that
for self restraint!
The XPA-3 (or whatever -- also look at their UPA line) would do fine for you and you wouldn't need to upgrade if you go up the Maggie line. Most speakers are hurt by under powering, or were; that's less an issue today since overall power levels are up from the 25 - 50 W/ch that was common twenty years ago. However, at reasonable volume or a little above, I still think a little extra power is better that not enough.
The sweetest mine have ever sounded was biamped using an arc D79 on top and Counterpoint SA-440 for the bass. Not as tight as a solid-state amp setup like Krell or Levinson (my other choices at the time, and they did sound good), but the sound was just gorgeous with the tube stages. Not as low in distortion, not as tight deep bass, but the sound was magic. Still have those amps, but they need a lot of new components and TLC to bring back alive and I just don't have time. I was able to listen to the emotivas, as well as some other amps, and got hooked by the incredible price/performance ratio. Ditto my new subs; my old servo sub (a custom design) also needed work and the Rythmiks I got are as good to my ears as the $3k and up beasts I was trying out. Granted my ears are getting awfully old...
Enjoy! - Don