Is it safe to power Magnepan Mg12 with vintage Magnavox tube amp?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Charlie DJ, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Charlie DJ

    Charlie DJ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, Tx USA
    I just bought my first tube amp - a vintage Magnavox 9302-00. It has some modifications - power switch, RCA inputs and banana plugs but the seller wasn't sure if other work had been done to it. I hooked it up to my EPOS EPICs and ran them for about 2.5 hours. It started off brittle and with no bass but after @ 40 minutes it really opened up and started to sound nice. (I was streaming from my laptop). No snaps crackle or pops, no smoke, and dead quiet between songs - so far so good.

    My question is would it be safe to use this to power my Magnepan MG12s. I never listen at anything above moderate levels. I've seen on the web that this amp is "about 20w +/- total w/ 4 ohm OPTs". It's not a question of will it even sound good (I may decide to keep using my Emotiva to power the Maggies) - I just don't want to cause any damage to the amp or the speakers by testing it out. So - ok to hook the Maggies up to it or not? I appreciate any feedback / thoughts.
     
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    I wouldn't... I mean, sure but a very low volume..
     
  3. rfs

    rfs Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lansing, MI USA
    I own one of those Magnavox amps. There is a long thread on AudioKarma about it with measurements and how to modify it. A stock one like mine is good for about 8 watts per channel before it starts to distort. I would think that as long as you kept it in that range you should be OK. It is a nice sounding amp.
     
    Charlie DJ likes this.
  4. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    Hard to imagine you'll damage either amp or speakers by giving it a try. If the room is not too large and you don't need a lot of volume, it should work. Let us know how it sounds.
     
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  5. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Highly not recommended. Also, the Magnavox tube amp is intended for 16 ohm use. Magnepan speakers are lower impedance, very current hungry, and really need copious high power to function best.
     
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  6. rfs

    rfs Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lansing, MI USA
    Charlie DJ and timind like this.
  7. Charlie DJ

    Charlie DJ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, Tx USA
    I guess I'm also worried about the sensitivity of the Magnepans - they're only 86dB. I just don't want to burn up the amp
     
  8. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    You won’t burn it up if you don’t try to get more from it than it can deliver. But it’s not a great match if you like amplitude.
     
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  9. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    The amp won't burn up, but it doesn't have enough power to drive the Maggies to a decent listening level. The worst case will be lots of distortion, and turning the volume down. If connecting a low power solid state amp, then drive into distortion on low impedance, there's a risk of blowing up the power section, or the fuse.
     
    Charlie DJ likes this.
  10. Ken Clark

    Ken Clark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs
    That sounds like about the biggest mismatch ever. Either trade the amp for something with muscle or trade the Maggie's for something with horns.
     
    Charlie DJ likes this.
  11. rfs

    rfs Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lansing, MI USA
    I have my 9300 hooked up to Infinity RS225 bookshelf speakers that are 90 db, and they sound fine and are more than loud enough for a bedroom. That might be too quiet for your purposes though.
     
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  12. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    An exception to the rule, forgot. Still not enough power or current. Now if this was a McIntosh MC 275 pair ran as monoblocks, I'd say yes. That arrangement could run Magnepans reasonably well.
     
    Charlie DJ likes this.
  13. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    The RS 225 is easier to drive than Magnepans, also.
     
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  14. Charlie DJ

    Charlie DJ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, Tx USA
    My EPOS EPIC 2s are 4 ohm with 90 db sensitivity and were plenty loud for me. I guess as long as I won't kill the amp I can try it. But as Ken suggested above, I'm thinking new speakers may be in my future. (The EPICs are my spares and not used for every day listening)
     

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