Speakers: Magnepan MG.7 Speakers, $1400pr
Leading off our $3k system will be the Maggie .7 speakers. Using Magnepan’s innovative Quasi ribbon technology in both woof/tweet drive elements, the Maggies offer incomparable detail for the price range. Why is the detail so breathtaking?
The foil used in the drive element itself is 1 10th the thickness of human hair. If you drop it from six feet, it takes 5 seconds to reach the ground. Pause. Think. ?!
This foil element is adhered to an extremely thin, lightweight, yet strong, mylar diaphragm. This diaphragm is almost 54” tall and 15” wide.
Maggie provides a more life sized musical image than smaller boxes that have to CAST an image out into the room. The result is, Maggies make a singer/guitarist, for example, sound more like they are actually singing to you, in your room.
As a piano-phile, I love to hear the hammers strike the wires in a distinctly spaced sequence on a trill for example. It’s something I, as a very amateur pianist, try to achieve- and can’t! So I love to hear the pros do it exquisitely. Maggies let you hear the technique of a skilled musician easily.
For size, space, detail and breath… the Maggies are on an island by themselves.
Integrated Amp: Rogue Sphinx V2, $1400, 100×2
Sphinx V2 is an integrated amp employing two (12AU7s) tubes in the preamp section. The tubes are used in the gain stage, hence this isn’t a tube buffer. This is the Real McCoy. The preamp portion features MM phono and three line ins. Outputs include one fixed, and one variable. Consequently you’re able to add a sub or larger amp with ease.
The solid state power amp on board is 100×2 into 8 ohms. Since Maggies are a 4 ohm purely resistive load, Sphinx V2 will approximately double in horse power.
Sphinx V2 features a discrete headphone amp, so they’ve thought about you late night listeners!
When Sphinx went from the original version to V2, we immediately noticed and appreciated the higher current amplifier. Sphinx V2 drives the MG.7 and MG-1.7i very nicely! In fact, if we sit you down to audition this combo and tell you a 200×2 power amp is carrying the load- I can assure you, you’d believe us.
In summary, Sphinx V2 gives us a wonderful balance of tubes and solid state. It provides enough push/power, while exuding warmth in spades. When mated with revealing speakers like Maggies, it’s a synergy!
CD Player: NAD C516BEE $300
Don’t throw your CDs away! While we’re happy to endorse Sonos grabbing music off your computer and throwing it to your Hegel digitally for convenience, we’re even happier to have you playing your discs.
CDs sound better! They don’t hiccup and cough like any computer based system is want to do. Even the best of computer based systems will have you tearing your hair out on occasion. And by the way, it’s good for you to actually get up once in a while to toss in a CD!
C516BEE is a good tracker and has a mellow sound. NAD uses a Cirrus Logic DAC- something often found in CD players for $1000 up! It has a finely tuned analog stage featuring op amps chosen specifically for their audio character.
Kimber Speaker Kable
Round your system out with a little Kimber Kable and away you go. Kimber Kable is braided to provide smooth, RFI free sound.