I got started in this hobby in the early 2000s, after twenty years of listening to my Akai AA-A35, Pioneer CD player and BSR Collossus speakers from DAK Electronics. Started out with a few different Wharfedale models, tried MMGs, bought MG12s and gradually upgraded everything else.
Most recently got the Acoustats and things are getting interesting now.
Amplifier made specifically for Acoustat speakers by Acoustat. Completely refurbished by Roy Esposito, Acoustat guru and is a perfect match with my Spectra 22s.
Acoustat MRP-1 Reference Preamplifier
Extremely rare Acoustat reference preamp, completely refurbished by Roy Esposito, Acoustat guru and sounds amazing with the other Acoustat gear. Has two phono inputs, one MM and one MC.
Acoustat Spectra 22
Bought on Craigslist in 2015. Much different animal than the Magnepans, a heck of a lot more detail and bass.
Interfaces sent to Roy Esposito, Acoustat guru for complete refurbish. Worth every penny.
Subwoofer and crossover/amp purchased on Craigslist in 2015. The 1A crossover/amp was defective and needed an expensive repair so I am using this with a Dayton SA-230 subwoofer amp. Sounds great, and probably better anyway since the 1A locks you in to 100 Hz crossover frequency and the Acoustats have very good bass a lot lower than that; currently crossing over at about 45 Hz.
McIntosh CD changer with Nakamichi Music Bank system. This is the best sounding CD player I have ever heard; it even makes some of my older, more harshly recorded CDs sound listenable. This one is a keeper.
With Ortofon 2M red cartridge
External Power Supply for RP3
Rega Rega DAC
The latest Rega DAC
Wireless network music player
Aragon 2004 mkII
Works great with the MG12s, good bass
Used as rear speakers for multi-channel/HT
Used with MG12s
B&W ASW 650
12" sealed sub - used for home theater only
Still works great
AV receiver with pre-outs and HDMI, using as the processor for home theater.
Belt drive turntable with the fake marble base, weighs about 25 pounds. Shure M95ED cartridge. Sounds great. Bought on Craigslist from original owner
Phono preamp, great value for the money, think it sounds very nice.
My room is 11' x 18' with carpeting and large entertainment center so is not ideal for maggies but I have them right where they sound the best-about 5' from the back wall. The 1.6s were just too big for the room so I went with the 12s. My 12s are not biampable as is; I would need to upgrade the crossovers to do so. I am very happy with the Aragon 4004 Mk II and can notice the extra power, but it doesn't seem dramatically different than the 2004 sounded. Overall I am very happy and am planning to get rid of the entertainment center and put a LCD TV on the wall so that should help things a great deal.
what size is your room that you decided you like the 12s better than the 1.6? also, sounds like your looking for more power for them? thinking of biamping? i heard that 400wpc + biamp is the best for 1.6. not sure for 12s, but just letting your know what i've heard. i'm looking at maggies and found your setup. thanks for sharing
Thanks, I am leaning towards the MG12s as the 1.6s are probably too big for my room. I listened to both at my local dealer and thought the MG12s were a better value. I will keep my eyes open for some used 1.6s though. Would my amp have enough power (200 wpc into 4 ohms) for the 1.6? My dealer told me that the MG12s are actually easier to drive than the MMGs but that seemed strange.
After adding the Bottlehead, I could tell the pre section of the Denon was definitely a weakness. The instruments have air around them now and vocals are amazing. Recordings that used to be too harsh (like some Bob Dylan with the harmonica) are now listenable (if you like that sort of thing). I haven't heard any other tube preamps but I'm very happy with the Foreplay.
I would get magnepan 1.6 QR speakers ($750-900) and use nordost superflatline shotgun Z plug terminated speaker wire ($50-80) then plug most everything into a powervar 12 line conditioner ($150-220) and sell the MMGs.
If I were you I'd definitely put the money into getting bigger Maggies, then evaluate the rest of the system. I had the MMG's and just recently bought a pair of 1.5's. The difference overall is startling and makes me want an even bigger pair. I've had several speakers, some quite expensive in comparison, and these really deliver what I want for the most part at a bargain price. How do you like that Bottlehead? I've been spending alot of time at their site and I'm thinking about the Seduction.