Magnum Audio IA170 Integrated Amplifiers

5/5 (7 Reviews)


Product Description

70-wpc integrated amplifier with phono stage


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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bobn8tor2 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I just got this unit the other day. I purchased this from eBay through an authorized Magnum Audio rep.
It was a demo model so no break in was required. Let me tell you, right out of the box this unit was amazing. I read all the reviews before I pulled the trigger and bought this unit. The reviews were all great as are all these. I have heard and owned units that cost many times this amp but none were as tonally balanced. Every aspect of this amp impresses me. The phono section that comes in it is better than the $500.00 phono preamp I used to own. I am thinking about buying another to put a system in the bedroom. When compared to the Krell it did not have the bass impact of the Krell (but the Krell was $2k compared to $320). What it has though is a rightness to the bass. The mids and highs are perfect not to forward not to laid back just perfect. I am sorry if I say that word to many times, but it is the best word I can use to discribe the sound. When it comes to looks, it is definetly wife approved. Its' polished front and slim profile make it a great center piece. Don't take my word on this, if you are in the market for a 2 channel integrated amp and you were in the $500.00 plus range do not pass this piece up. Buy this and save a couple hundred dollars and get more listening material because you won't want to leave the room.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $320.00

Purchased At:   Magnum Audio (Direct



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tc4all a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This is a review of the new IA.170 Special Edition, 70 wpc integrated amp. First let me say that if you got here you are one of the lucky ones that knows of this brand. It is very well known and well regarded in England, but unfortunately, at least in the US, most people don’t and are missing out on one of the true audio bargains to be had in the integrated amp group. The unit, comes in black or chrome face plate, mine is chrome, and sells for $850 with built in switchable moving magnet / moving coil phono pre-amp, headphone input, mono switch which definitely helps with mono recordings, a mute switch, a balance knob, a tape monitor switch, an input selector knob, and 2 sets of speaker output posts. Even basic chain store stock rarely if ever comes with these items for similar price, and they can’t match this for sound quality. Its build quality is very good being quite solid with silky smooth operating knobs, and the sound is exceptionally rich. This new version has punch when called for but never gives up a wonderfully smooth character. I think this new version has much better detail and is tighter than the old, non-Special Edition model. The phono section has to be heard to be believed. It is smoother and richer sounding then external phono pre-amps costing as much as this entire integrated amp and I have use it with $1500 turntables and $500 cartridges. This model compares very favorably with integrated amps costing nearly twice as much and must be heard and compared to be believed. I urge you to search out a dealer and give it a long listen with your chosen speakers and decent quality cables before buying anything in the $500 - $1400 range. It is just one of those finds that you want other people to know about. (By the way, somebody, I think, said they purchased the old model at Best Buys. I don’t know of any Best Buys that has ever carried Magnum. I got mine at a small high-end audio store.) As somebody suggested, it can rock and it can lay you back, but always sounds great.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $850.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by hifi a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Great speed, great body. Good soundstage. Pretty neutral. But most important, very sweet sounding, not tiring at all, though it does not flatter recordings. For me, amps are rather a matter of taste than a subject for scientific analysis. Though the technical part would prove very strong for this amp, the greatest part is its relation to music. I am a musician as well and I do not esteem audiophiles which tend to become nerds with the whole thing. The most important value of this amp? It's musical and performs with great vitality. Pretty good, unless you love equippment more than music itself. In my case, I love this amp because it loves music.

Please note that I use the Tannoy Reveal nearfields, which are pretty difficult partners

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Bestbuy



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim Chadbourne a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: April 18, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the IA-170 SE. This version has a beefed up power supply and upgraded amplification path parts. Additionally, it has a phono preamp built in. My system consists of an Arcam 7 CD player, Wharfdale PI-20's all connected to the IA-170 SE via MIT interconnects and Kimber cable. With the IA-170 SE at the heart of this system, the sound can best be described as musical and tube-like. It has that "hear in there" thing goin' on. The IA-170 SE produces exceptional bass control for a tube-like sounding amplifier. Not artificially tight like Krell, but like real music (my frame of reference is as a former drummer for 13 years and playing at a professional level for a while...but that was another life time ago and I digress). After the burn-in period of no less than 48 hours, you will find this amplifier transformed. So don't form any opinions until 48 hours elapses of contiuous playback (active signal in the amplification path). Cymbals have a lusty shimmer i.e., they splash, they don't crash. There is a big difference. When they splash, you find yourself listening for hours, not minutes. For me cymbals are the true measure of a good amplifier. No matter how good everything else is, if the amp dosen't do cymbals right, you just can't listen for any extended period of time. This amp does cymbals the way they really sound. Vocals have a slightly recessed presentation. Nothing worse than an "in your face" presentation. This amp grabs you by the ears and says listen to the music I'm making for you. You will find your foot a tappin' and your head a boppin' and be thinking, "man this is fun". The sound stage presentation is deep and extends wider than the speakers. Like an elongated "U" that wraps around the back and sides of the speakers. Music sources have there own individual volumes. This amplifier has me listening for hours on end and that is a first, with all the different equipment I've ownned and heard over the years. I find myself concentrating on the music instead of the equipment...and isn't that what it's all about? If you want to get back to the reason you got into this hobby in the first place, the love of music, the IA-170 SE will bring you home. You can purchase an IA-170 SE from magnum audio direct for $950.00 at www.magnumaudio.com. Ask them about their excellent trade-up policy. Hope you enjoy your IA-170 SE as much as I am.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Purchased At:   Magnum Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tony Michalopoulos a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Magnum amplifiers have a huge following in European countries because they offer alternatives, and in my opinion better value than companies such as Niam, Marantz and Musical Fidelity.
Compared to another British amplifier such as the Deva 250, the Magnum had better grip and control with complex, heavy handed music, such as that of Portished. It is apparent that the Magnum is more truthful to how it plays music. If the music is warm, that is what you hear. If it is a tad bright, that is what you hear also. It also doesn't swamp treble detail like the Deva.
Even the rather excellent and popular Marantz PM-66SE KI-S shows some weaknesses compared to the Magnum. These amplifiers are similiar in terms of resolution retrieval, but the Magnum has a much more expressive midband and weightier bass extention. The low registers of a piano are preserved without sounding coloured, like the Marantz.
I have used the Magnum with all sorts of equipment in the past two years. I love the way that it doesn't seem to trip up with demanding music or run out of reserved power with difficult speaker loads. It is extremely fuss free and has a sound that will easily have you listening to music that you have never given much attention to. It is as if you have aquired a new hobby!
On the downside, the run-in period is very long, three months at least with daily playing. Some patience is in order. In addition, the extremely revealing nature of the amplifier means careful matching is a must. Harsh of forward sources sound terrible. Smooth sounding CD players such as those from Arcam, Technics or Yamaha sound excellent with the Magnum. Moreover, cable selection is tedious. Interconnects or speaker cables that are the budget kind make the music sound unexciting and flat.
I believe that the best way to characterize the Magnum IA 170, is as a real world amplifier. It is an excellent product for those that listen to many types of music. It is highly recommended to the classical music fan especially. An intimate chamber music piece is virtually laid out before you for inspection, without compromising any emotion or enjoyment.
It is hard to fault the Magnum in any area, but I think that those that like to have wild parties at home may feel a little disappointed. The Magnum does go load without any stress, but it is about dynamic ability and control as apposed to sheer grunt and power.
I remember when I first came across the Magnum in a high-end dealer in Athens, Greece. I was amazed that such an affortable amp was partnered with exotic sources and speakers. This amp simply geeled with B+W's P4 floorstanders and Marant's CD-17. It is no wonder that it has been on the market for over 4 years and continues to perform better than some new competition.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998




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