Magico M2 loudspeaker

On a snowy day in March 2019, the first room I visited at the Montreal Audio Fest, hosted by retailer Audio by Mark Jones, featured the world premiere of the Magico M2 loudspeaker. The soundstaging produced by these elegant towers was palpable, the full-range tonal balance superbly uncolored. Both aspects reminded me of my experience of Magico's S5 Mk.II loudspeaker, which I enthusiastically reviewed in Stereophile's February 2017 issue. Accordingly, I made a note that the M2 was going on my "must review" list. Seven months later, Magico's Alon Wolf and Peter Mackay visited to set up a pair of M2s in my listening room.

The M2...
. . . costs $56,000/pair plus $7600/pair for the MPod three-point outrigger bases. Like the S5 Mk.II, the M2 is a three-way, floorstanding design using two woofers in a sealed enclosure (see later). But whereas the S5 Mk.II's enclosure used aluminum panels mounted on an aluminum space frame, the slightly smaller M2 features gracefully curved, 3/8"-thick side panels formed from multiple layers of carbon-fiber composite. Magico says that this construction increases the structural strength-to-weight ratio by a factor of 60 compared to machined or extruded aluminum parts, while reducing the overall weight by 50%. The M2's curved front baffle still comprises two hefty pieces of aluminum attached to an internal skeleton, and three tension rods run from it to a vertical aluminum spine at the speaker's rear.

120magicom2.tweetmid

The M2's drive-units are all new. The tweeter is the third version of the 28mm unit that Magico originally developed for their "M Project" loudspeaker. Like the 26mm tweeter that was used on the S5, the M2 tweeter's beryllium diaphragm has a layer of diamond vapor-deposited on it to allow it to operate pistonically to well above the audioband, without compromising the moving mass. The dome has a steep profile, which confers wide dispersion despite its larger-than-normal diameter.

The internal midrange enclosure is similar to the one used in the S5. Formed from a proprietary polymer, it isolates the midrange driver from the woofers' back wave. The cones of the M2's 6" midrange driver and 7" woofers use multiple layers of woven carbon-fiber, incorporating graphene, a form of carbon in which the atoms are assembled in a sheet just a few atoms thick that is said to be 100 times stronger than steel. The resulting cone is both light and stiff, pushing breakup modes well above each unit's operating passband. The midrange driver features a titanium voice-coil and an underhung motor system—a short coil operating in a long magnet gap—to maximize linearity. According to Wolf, all of the M2's drive-units were designed by Magico. Some are sourced from OEM manufacturers; others are made in-house.

120magicom2.back300The M2's crossover features Magico's Elliptical Symmetry Crossover topology. Wolf told me when he visited, "We have been using an elliptical crossover from Day One, which basically allows us to create a 24dB/octave slope with only two legs. So you have less parts in the crossover, less losses. . . . The tricky part with elliptical crossovers is that you need to have precise values; . . . these are not off-the-shelf values, so we have to have custom-made capacitors. But the results are quite desirable. You get the cleanness of the [24dB/octave crossover], yet you get some of the lush, free sound that you get with lower-slope [filters]."

Infinite baffles
Like all of Magico's models, the M2 uses a sealed enclosure to load its woofers and, as Art Dudley wrote in his November 2019 Listening column, such loudspeakers "are now as rare as tooth fairy sightings in West Virginia." I asked Wolf why he was one of the few manufacturers to use exclusively sealed enclosures. He responded that while he had experimented with ported enclosures—known as "bass reflex"—early in his career, he quickly realized that it just wasn't possible to make ported designs work. "Don't get me wrong," Wolf explained, "I like some of the aspects of [reflex designs], that big, full, charging bass, which is more difficult to get with a sealed design.

"But unfortunately, the cost you have to pay for that is too great. What you gain from the sealed alignment is, first of all, your group delay goes down to almost nothing. Everything becomes much clearer, not just in the bass but across the midrange as well. Not having that noise that a port generates, being able to have a linear bass where no note is sticking out, and you start hearing things that you didn't quite hear before. Once you hear that, it is difficult to go back to a ported design. If you look at the way we hear the world and how we respond—the Fletcher-Munson [equal-loudness] curves—you can see why [ported speakers] have a problem. While the sound might seem more natural [at low levels] if you have more bass at low frequencies, because in effect you've EQ'd the speakers, as you increase the volume the bass continues to rise as well. It messes up the midrange because the level of the bass is now too high."

"And there's also what people are accustomed to," Wolf continued. "People are used to ported sound. I cannot tell you how many times when people hear our speakers their first reaction is 'where is the bass?' when, in fact, we have more extension in the bottom end than a typical ported design would have. So, even though measurement-wise the sealed enclosure goes lower, it doesn't necessarily sound like it, because you don't have that extra oomph at 60Hz or so that ported designs will give you." I asked Alon if one reason ported loudspeakers are ubiquitous was that most of the low-frequency drive-units available from OEM suppliers are optimized for reflex designs.

"Yes, exactly," he agreed. "You don't really see many off-the-shelf drivers designed for [sealed enclosures]. It requires a lot more of a robust design for a woofer to be able to work in a sealed environment. Because you are actually 12dB up at 20Hz [compared with a ported design], it puts a lot of stress on the drivers. Of course the drivers will still work, but your distortion will skyrocket. So unless they actually design and manufacture their own drivers, the go-to [woofers] used by most companies work better in a ported design."

120magicom2.mpods

MPods The M2's MPod three-point stand is said to act as a low-pass filter, coupling low-frequency energy to the floor while dissipating higher-frequency energy as heat. Wolf explained that the objective is always to couple the speaker well to a floor, "especially since with sealed designs, there's a tremendous amount of pressure inside of the box. You don't want the box to be moving while that pressure is being generated. Spikes . . . create a very good coupling mechanism. However, a spike is also a tremendous channel for noise. So though spikes prevent speakers from moving . . . any other noise in the speaker, anything above 300–400Hz, reflects right back into the speaker because there's no way for that energy to be dissipated.

COMPANY INFO
Magico, LLC
3170 Corporate Place
Hayward, CA 94545
(510) 649-9700
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
Bogolu Haranath's picture

May be JA1 could also review the new Revel Performa F328Be, $15,000/pair :-) .........

JHL's picture

...for either?

Bogolu Haranath's picture

May be for F328Be ....... Also, curious :-) ......

Indydan's picture

Maybe you could stop continually asking Stereophile to review product "X".
Just a thought :-( ..............................
Shad upa you face, Joe Dolce................

Bogolu Haranath's picture

If it is a worthwhile product designed by a company with a great reputation like Revel, whose many other speakers were favorably reviewed by Stereophile, what is wrong with asking for a review of another top of the line product designed by the same company? :-) .........

JHL's picture

...is that it's bad form.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Do you work for Magico? ....... or, are you gonna buy Magico M2? :-) .......

JHL's picture

...herring, Bogolu.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I'm not criticizing Magico M2 sound quality or build quality ........ To me, they seem to be too expensive, especially when there are other speakers made by well respected companies, which can offer almost similar performance for lot lesser price ...... Like I mentioned below, Magico also makes reasonably priced (for hi-end) A3 speakers ($12,300/pair) :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Just don't read the comments section .... if, it makes you feel better .......Different people have different opinions about different things ....... Not everybody agrees on everything ......... That is the way life is :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I have been a paid subscriber for the print magazine for more than 30 years ........ I'm still continuing my paid subscription ......... I don't comment on everything or criticize everybody ....... I just express my opinions and read everybody's opinion ....... I may not agree with everybody's opinion, that's all :-) .........

Glotz's picture

While you have some things to add, you do TROLL this site like no other, and the mere frequency of your input is tedious.

His point about gainsaying is spot-on. You tend to ignore the actual message of many of the writers like HR or others, and then devolve into a moot comparison about how Product X is 'better' than this product by way of perceived monetary value, or in this case about how the Magico is too expensive.

Magico products are cutting edge and yet one who hasn't heard or experienced the component still offers up 'opinions' that aren't even partially formed, as a rebuttal.

One could take the criticism with acceptance to improve personally (as I have here several times in the distant past), rather than saying, "Well, like, that's your Opinion, man..."

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I do appreciate HR and KM reviews ....... They both mostly review good performing and affordable audio equipment ....... Several times, I praised them on the website when their reviews are posted :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

BTW, I'm not telling anybody, what to buy or how to spend their money ...... If they like something, they can buy that product ....... It is their money, they are spending :-) ........

Glotz's picture

The 'active buffering' comment in the Benchmark LA4 review did lead to further research on the product, and as a result, I did purchase (and love) the Benchmark HPA4 preamplifier!

Thank you!

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I'm glad you bought and enjoying the Benchmark HPA4 ...... See, I'm helping people to buy great performing, value oriented, reasonably priced and affordable products :-) .......

Glotz's picture

But, within this review / comments section, I don't believe it's helping anyone to suggest products well outside (below) of their target price point.

If someone is in the market for a high 5-digit speaker, they have the cash and the inclination not to me minded on value, but pure performance. Someone at this level already understands the concept of diminishing returns.

I appreciate your recommendations, but those higher in the market may not.

supamark's picture

Spoiler: the only difference is the extra woofer (same drivers, same x-over points), so I think I can sum it up for you so you'll quit spamming about it... it sounds like the 228Be but with more bass. Now go back and read Kal's review... and stop spamming about reviewing a nearly identical product to one they've recently reviewed.

Oh, and if you're in the market... just go and f'ing listen to a pair.

If you don't know the difference in the bass sound of a sealed vs ported enclosure? Again... just go listen and you'll probably figure it out.....

mtrot's picture

Yes, agree on the F328!

Ortofan's picture

... in regard to the Reference 5 model, the "KEFs gave me all I need for musical and sonic satisfaction", then what do the Magico M2 have to offer beyond that and are they worth three times the price of the KEF?

Or, to phrase it another way, is there a sufficiently "palpable" difference between those two speakers to warrant paying the higher price for the Magico?

John Atkinson's picture
Ortofan wrote:
If, as was previously stated by JA1 in regard to the Reference 5 model, the "KEFs gave me all I need for musical and sonic satisfaction", then what do the Magico M2 have to offer beyond that and are they worth three times the price of the KEF?

It's been a long time since I had the big KEFs in my room, and value, of course, is in the ears of the listener. But the Magico's low-frequency transparency is almost in a class of its own, matched only by my memories of Wilsons, Rockports, and YGs.

JA2 now has the M2 review samples and I hope he is willing to write a follow-up review.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Hope JA2 compares them to Revel Salon2s :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

May be JA2 could also review the Revel Performa F328Be and compare them to Salon2s :-) .......

supamark's picture

is a big part of why the bass is so good. I really, REALLY wish someone would go back to making good sealed box speaker at realistic prices. Now it's either LS3/5A's or something in the $15k+ (really $25k+ for real bass) region from Magico, YG, and... anyone else?

I really miss Boston Acoustics (own several pair - too bad they went ported, then recently out of business/shuttered), a/d/s, Hales, etc

That's part of why I'm still running old BA speakers (A70 series II w/ Tandberg 3012 integrated restored by the guys at Soundsmith in Peekskill, loved the video Art did there).

Ortofan's picture

... at affordable price is what you seek, then consider the NHT C4:

https://www.nhthifi.com/products/16544-c-4-floor-standing-tower-speaker?category_id=1964844-tower-speakers

Bogolu Haranath's picture

NHT C4 are worth a review by Stereophile :-) ......

Glotz's picture

Please give actual reasons.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

NHT C4 are acoustic suspension design and are reasonably priced ........ See, below :-) ......

Glotz's picture

But how is this recommendation of any value to a buyer in the Magico M-2 price range? (It's not.)

Bogolu Haranath's picture

How many people in this particular forum, who are posting comments, do you think are gonna buy speakers in the Magico M2 price range? ........ Take a guess :-) .......

supamark's picture

Glad to see NHT is still around, and apparently still held by the same folks - and they still do acoustic suspension speakers! Thanks for putting a smile on my face.

I've also still got a pair of BA T1030 towers that I bought in ca. 1990 but they overpower my current living situation (need room to breathe). I think it was TJN who said in his review in Audio Magazine (RIP Audio), "90% of the performance of the B&W 801 Matrix II at 20% of the price."

Set up in an appropriate room (big) the T1030 has the best bass I've ever heard from a speaker - including my old studio rig (2x Genelec 1031A + 1x Velodyne 12" servo sub - still have the Genelecs but need to send them in for a full refurb).

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Magico M2s are twice as expensive as the Vandersteen Quatro Wood CTs with matching amplifiers, reviewed by Stereophile :-) ........

dc_bruce's picture

I don't get this concept. Most American houses have suspended wood floors, supported by wooden joists. My experience with 2 very different designed subwoofers is that if they are allowed to "couple" with the floor by sitting on hard "feet," the floor becomes a sounding board to the detriment of bass clarity.

Mounting the sub on soft feet (like Vibrapods) eliminated or greatly reduced this effect, improving bass clarity and -- because of the elimination of the emphasis on certain bass frequencies -- perceived bass extension.

I agree that sealed enclosures -- either in main speakers or in a subwoofer -- almost always improve bass clarity and articulation.

As for this "prevent the enclosure from moving around in response to cone movement" is a trope that's been around seemingly forever in this business. If you think about the mass of a particularly large speaker like this one, the idea that cone movement is going to move the enclosure more than microscopically -- if that -- is just not credible.

Perhaps, if the floor the speaker is resting on is not subject to low frequency resonances (i.e. not a suspended wood floor in an American residential house), I would be more receptive to this argument. By contrast, I do accept the argument for a relatively low-mass "standmount" loudspeaker is assisted by being "coupled" to a high-mass (or mass-loaded) stand because raising the overall mass of the system (speaker + stand) will make it less likely that the excitation of spurious resonances will happen.

Kal Rubinson's picture

Good point. The relationship of the speaker to the support structure varies greatly and the factors include the mass of the speaker and the mass/resilience of the substrate. There is no single optimum solution.

Jim Austin's picture

in a sidebar to JA's recent review of the Q Acoustics Concept 300 loudspeaker.

The argument in favor of isolation is that it takes direct-coupling with the floor out of the sonic equation.

The best argument against is that most loudspeakers were designed on the assumption of hard coupling to a solid support--and yet the nature of such supports vary. Every loudspeaker designer I've spoken to--not counting those who have designed their own coupling system--argue against the use of isolation devices, on the premise that they allow cabinet motion in response to (the heavier) bass drivers.

The M-Pods, of course, are a solution engineered by Magico for Magico speakers, as a sort of low-pass vibration filter--so it's rigid against the vibrations of the heavier driver's moving mass. I heard the demo in my own listening room: When the pins holding the M-Pods together are pulled (like a hand grenade), allowing the M-Pods to work as designed, the sound emerging from the speaker decisively changes; to me it is a clear improvement.

I find the argument in favor of such devices compelling, because in my experience the TYPE of floor the spikes rigidly connect the speaker to affects the sound, and at least some of that seems to be direct-coupling (not through the air). I now live in a New York City prewar apartment (built in 1910), which is a rock. But my previous long-term residence was a condo building built in the early 1970s, all steel and poured concrete. Floors were concrete slabs--but they transmitted vibrations very effectively, apparently damping very little. Low-frequency noise from the boiler room in the basement could easily be heard in my 3rd-floor apartment. Structures vary greatly in how they respond to noise.

Jim Austin, Editor
Stereophile

Ortofan's picture

... Seismic Isolation Podiums for speakers by Townshend?
http://www.townshendaudio.com/hi-fi-home-cinema-equipment-vibration-isolation/hi-fi-home-cinema-vibration-isolation-speaker-podiums/

A few reviews:
https://www.hifiplus.com/articles/townshend-audio-seismic-podium/

http://www.townshendaudio.com/PDF/Podium%20Review%20-%20The%20Ear%20-%20Jason%20Kennedy%20.pdf

http://www.imperialhifi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/H_F_C_I426_2017_08_downmagaz.com_.pdf

Jim Austin's picture
but it could fit into my plans anyway. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Jim
Bogolu Haranath's picture

Some of that 'low frequency transparency' JA1 describes, could be due to speaker isolation from floor vibrations and reflections ......... Isolation devices like Townshend and IsoAcoustics, could help achieve that :-) .........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Information for general interest ........ Townshend audio has a video posted on their website demonstrating the effects of floor vibrations and other types of vibrations :-) ........

tonykaz's picture

I can't help being amazed at Reviewer's evaluation & support of Manufacturing Costs.

A loudspeaker or Electronic piece equating to the delivered cost of a BMW Convertible Car for example.

Loudspeaker Systems are amazingly simple devices made from common materials , there is no significant amount of engineering involved in any part of Loudspeaker Manufacturing ( even including those MBL transducer Systems ) .

Of course, Deeeeeeeeeeep pocket spenders need all the Higher Authority endorsement possible....

Tony in Venice

Anton's picture

If you bring up cost in any negative way, you will be branded a hater. Like when the pod people see a normal person in Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

I think there's a rule or contract involved that forbids such discussions.

Kinda like Fight Club.

tonykaz's picture

Thanks for the cautioning, no worries here.

The Big "careful" comes with the de jour criticisms of the Pharma Industry pricing that is now a determining issue in American decision making. ( and a few other issues that I won't go into )

Critiquing Super-High priced Audio gear values won't move the needle in anyone's sensibility, as it should be, with Jason Stoddard and our own HR leading the discussions.

Tony in Venice

Jim Austin's picture

Or was this comment facetious?

>>I think there's a rule or contract involved that forbids such discussions.

I can assure you that no such contract or rule exists.

Jim Austin, Editor
Stereophile

Anton's picture

I know they’d never leave a paper trail!

Facetious, again.

It’s a tightrope you have to walk, though. Balancing ‘value’ is what I see as the most dire part of what you have to do. My bro in law thinks everything priced above Costco soundbars is a ‘rip off’ and my audio club buddy automatically thinks higher priced equals better. How could you ever please the full spectrum?

Jim Austin's picture

You're not wrong, and yet it's not something I spend a lot of time thinking or worrying about. It's true that some companies that make expensive stuff don't like it when we point out that even the diminishing returns are shrinking, as they are in some areas. But from a consumer perspective, I don't think it matters much. If a Stereophile reader is in the market for a $50,000 pair of loudspeakers, they're unlikely to buy a $5000 pair, no matter how well they perform. (I'm sure there are exceptions; indeed, I'm aware of what I'll call the wealthy entry level, where buyers can afford a lot but scope out how much they need to pay to get sound they can be satisfied with. They may pay $5K instead of $50K.) Even more, those shopping at $5k are unlikely to end up paying $50K, although that too may occasionally happen (same thing but in reverse).

Diminishing returns are a very real thing--but diminishing doesn't mean non-existent. We tend to be satisfied with a certain level (of quality, not price, although the two are related)--we don't even notice flaws, but then we hear something even better! We all have a price range we're comfortable with, whether it's dictated by income or a sense of proportion (what portion of my wealth is it appropriate to have tied up in audio equipment?) and a sense of value. A small subset of us consider anything above our level--whatever it is to that individual--to be unethical somehow and consider the magazines complicit for continuing to review it. But Stereophile is not their magazine only. My personal preference is for equipment that is aspirational but approachable for people with relatively ordinary incomes if they prioritize good sound--let's say the $8-12K components. But I don't let that dictate Stereophile's scope, because I know we have readers who expect to pay less and other readers who expect to pay more. So I try to cover a wide price range, from the Schiits and the Magnepan XLS through ultra stuff that, for most of our readers, is of interest mainly for gawking (and often, complaining, and that's OK, too).

Jim Austin, Editor
Stereophile

audx's picture

As Stereophile is about recommending rather than rejecting, no one is going to go out and purchasing each month's glorious gear. No matter how good it is or how much it costs or doesn't cost.

Music reviews, perhaps? It's an interesting affirmation for me.

Each month I ask myself, how is the reviewer going to say, "I like this" this month.

And I'm curious to read if the manufacturers agree with the "liking" they received.

And then there's that possibility of friction between what the reviewer thought was good and what Original JA has measured.

I miss several reviewers and their storytelling art. I even miss "therapy guy" who left for Audioquest though we get a bit from him on another site. I call him "therapy guy" not to insult him but just to mention that at times I thought I was in a therapy session with him. Even so he's really good.

Anyway, that's a good post explaining where you're coming from. As I end on a preposition.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

No 'Omerta' there, Anton :-) .......

mmole's picture

You broke the first rule!

John Atkinson's picture
tonykaz wrote:
Loudspeaker Systems are amazingly simple devices made from common materials , there is no significant amount of engineering involved in any part of Loudspeaker Manufacturing. . .

Not really the case, with a product like this, Tony, Check out the video I linked to at the end of the review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5OMquMru3Y.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

tonykaz's picture

I did view this small outfit's build site video. What part of all this is any sort of complex or advanced engineering? Plenty of sizzle and Coffee. European manufacturer's transducer Videos show greatness.

Of course, I can't expect you to have had extensive Engineering Laboratory experience or precision Machine experience. Or have insights into complex interrelated mechanical & Electrical,electronic systems design and manufacturing.

I do admire you and place high value to your work.

Tony in Venice

ps. I think that I've seen automotive cowling with equal or greater structural build quality

John Atkinson's picture
tonykaz wrote:
Of course, I can't expect you to have had extensive Engineering Laboratory experience or precision Machine experience. Or have insights into complex interrelated mechanical & Electrical,electronic systems design and manufacturing.

I know you have a background in the mass-market automotive industry Tony, where product prices are driven by "markup" (materials). By contrast, the prices of products like the Magico M2, which sell in small numbers, are "contribution" (overhead) driven, which are necessarily higher. See my discussion of this subject at www.stereophile.com/content/conspicuous-consumption.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

tonykaz's picture

Small Batch, Limited Distribution, Exclusivity with high profit margins for Sales Network.

I know this scheme, we Automotives have been doing Limited Editions for Decades.

I'm not going to continue on any of this.

Thank you for writing back.

Tony in Michigan

cgh's picture

John, that’s a nice article and I don’t recall having read it before. I’ve thought quite a bit about this in the past and really can’t unpack it all here. Much can be said about the economics and consumer behavior around luxury items and businesses that are highly relavent to this conversation. Your article touched in something that rarely, if ever, is discussed: these companies don’t typically have high revenues or profits. Notwithstanding some of the changes that have comes from Asian business flows lately many of the companies appear to price at inefficient points on a Laffer-like curve. I woudn’t ever expect a company in the space to try and make up in volume, and I say this without proof, but it certainly seems that things aren’t priced at the highest point on the curve. If this is true it would suggest a couple of things. First, maximizing profit is not the primary objective. Second, there’s something distinctly non-monetary in the psychology of the marketplace.

As JA2 points out, someone with a budget of $50k isn’t going to buy something for $5k when they have more to burn. I’ve seen this work out well on the manufacturing side. A fellow I know was selling a piece of audio equipment for $85k. He was losing sales to people that wanted to spend more. So he arbitrarily increased his price to $125k and his southeast Asian orders 10x’d and he’s busy for a decade. For makers that aren’t that lucky it seems they want to maintain price points that are far from optimal, but that may be sustainable. I see this in high end instrument building when a maker gets a well known name playing their instrument. They double their prices and extend their waiting lists rather than trying to produce more instruments to meet the demand. In some cases they produce fewer instruments at higher price points to give them something money can’t buy.

Ortofan's picture

... the overall price range of audio equipment suggested that the vast majority of manufacturers were operating using the markup-driven pricing model while only a few outliers may have been using contribution-driven pricing.

Now, the situation appears to be just the opposite, with the market dominated by those using contribution-driven pricing and the markup-driven makers few and far between.

When was the last time Stereophile reviewed an integrated amp (or CD player) from a manufacturer such as Yamaha, Denon or Onkyo - whose prices give the impression of still being mainly markup-driven?

Bogolu Haranath's picture

When Yamaha, Denon and Onkyo start making tube equipment, may be Stereophile will review their equipment? ...... They could follow the example of Luxman :-) ........

AJ's picture

There is no significant analogy between audio hardware and cars, so stop using them. Fine wines are "Luxury" goods as well, yet no comparison.
You are correct that the engineering involved weighs heavily towards autos, but I'm pretty sure auto companies have acoustics (sound) engineers as well.
The nose dive >10kHz tells exactly whose "hearing" these are for.
And so much for the true off axis (non-normalized), it was fun while it lasted (previous review).

cheers
AJ
Soundfield Audio

tonykaz's picture

Engineering Principals remain constant.

Transportation industry is focused on Noise-Vibration-Harshness, to a far greater extent than these simple Transducer Companies.

Automotive Sound Systems probably have significantly greater amounts of Design & Build Component than home audio systems and Automotive Sound is upwards of 20 Billion Dollar Industry ( just on it's own ) in size.

These $50,000 dollar loudspeakers are "Art Objects" Sound Transducers. They should be reviewed as Gallery objects that make music.

I've lived in both industries, I understand the differences.

Care to mention the Point Percentage of markup? Probably it's over 50%. with 5% more for co-op advertising. The Audio Industry Standard since forever.

Tony in Iowa

AJ's picture

Right. Engineering.

Quote:

These $50,000 dollar loudspeakers are "Art Objects" Sound Transducers. They should be reviewed as Gallery objects that make music.

So we *agree* car analogies are poor?

cheers,
AJ
Soundfield Audio

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Look at Fig. 6, red trace in measurements section ....... Measurements taken from JA1's listening position ...... There is a treble roll-off from approx. 5 kHz reaching down to approx. -12 db at 20 kHz ........ Also, there is a -3 db 'BBC dip' from appox. 1 kHz to 3 kHz ........ These M2s are also difficult to drive ...... The impedance goes down below 4 Ohms in the upper bass to lower midrange, reaching down to 2.3 Ohms ........ There is also, severe phase angle in this area ....... JA1 describes it ........ For comparison look at the measurements of Revel Salon2, including JA1's in-room frequency response :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Magico S5 MkII reviewed by JA1 also show somewhat similar measurements as M2 :-) ........

Ortofan's picture

... the chutzpah to add a presbycusis compensation control to their products.

This control would be a marked with calibrations corresponding to the listener's age and would add an increasing amount of high frequency boost as the setting is advanced.

Such a function might best be implemented on speakers such as the top models from McIntosh, which have an array of about 40 tweeters and thus would be better able to handle the necessary tens of dB of boost.

Or, maybe Schiit could make another version of their Loki equalizer with a fifth knob for level adjustments in the range of 15-20kHz.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

dbx makes several equalizers for under $500, available from Sweetwater :-) ........

supamark's picture

Since they're likely well heeled, one of these might do the trick:
https://maag.audio/maag-eq4m/

Very high quality EQ. Some version has been around for almost 30 years in the pro world - at their pricing, crap gear won't last on the market, pros are a lot like audiophiles (including the tube/analog vs transistor/digital debate). Now, if only preamps these days came with tape loops...

Bogolu Haranath's picture

If somebody wants to go ultra hi-end, they could get the D'Agostino Momentum HD pre-amp with tone controls, reviewed by Stereophile :-) .........

Anton's picture

If you think about it, it will make sense to you that this feature is not needed.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Equalizers, tone control devices and similar adjustments built into the speakers, could be useful for the internet billionaires ........ A lot of those ultra-rich individuals are young people, who may not have much hearing loss ....... They can easily afford ultra hi-end stuff ....... all kinds of ultra hi-end stuff :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

'Crossing the threshold' ........ That is what the TAS reviewer said about Magico's M6s, after listening to them ($172,000/pair) ...... M6s have three 10.5" woofers in each speaker ....... They sure could rattle the windows :-) .........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Magico A3, is priced at $12,300/pair ......... A3s were favorably reviewed by some audio magazines/websites :-) ........

jimtavegia's picture

"Who could ask for anything more."

Beautiful cabinets IMHO, pricey, but for what they do and the cost of other speakers on the market who make claims, the Magico's seem like a bargain for those who can afford them. It may be that the A3's are the real bargain from what another writer remarked. Trickle down is good.

JA's measurements are superb and I am going to ry and find a way to hear them even though I could never afford them. Sadly.

I can say that the reason my old AR 58's have never left my house is I like acoustic suspension designs and have other ported speakers here as well. I have never grown tired of the last remake of the famed AR-3a, or my old Large Advents.

tonykaz's picture

You nailed it, great summary.

These loudspeakers are aimed at the Wealthy Caste. Probably the folks that use Helo-taxis and Lear Jets.

They better sound pretty good. ( with or without the special feet )

Tony in Iowa

jimtavegia's picture

They could also afford to buy Wilson's if they wanted as well. My Citizen, Seiko, and Elgin watches will just have to do, and think when I was 10 how excited I was to get my first Timex, and all it took was that TV ad by John Cameron Swayze. "It takes a lick'n and keeps on Tick'n."

michaelavorgna's picture

As an ex-employer, I never experienced anyone who argued for less money than the offer - "I'm not worth $90,000/year. Please pay me less." It never happened.

Yet in the land of the audiophile with a keyboard, an Internet connection, and a free place to post, we are to believe that an inconsequential bystander is somehow qualified to determine what other people should make for their work. And make no mistake, all of this price bitching and moaning is just that and nothing more.

If I choose to play along with this silly inconsequential bystander logic, we should find some of these same people arguing for increased prices for under-priced, over-performing gear. I'm not holding my breath. But...

If that day comes, I'll gladly change my opinion of typists who have nothing to offer beyond too much time on their hands.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I would recommend increasing the price for the new NAD M33 integrated amp, $5,000 ........ M33 has Purifi 'Ultra-quiet Amplification Technology' with 200 WPC ....... M33 has built-in phono stage, DAC, tone controls, Dirac-Live, Wi-Fi access, Pre-amp and subwoofer outputs and, headphone output and, HDMI input :-) ........

michaelavorgna's picture

And when you buy something for more than the asking price because you believe it's worth more, I'll be impressed beyond the fact that you can type.

funambulistic's picture

Michael - I hope you are doing well. Your retirement from HiFi has left a void in my monthly consumption of music/equipment/art/wit/et all. Best wishes to you and yours!

michaelavorgna's picture

Best wishes to you and yours too!

Cheers

Anton's picture

Is him paying over retail the same as a reviewer saying, "That piece of gear is so good, I paid them retail to buy it?"

That would impress, as well.

How do we compare value when there is no common price point? I think that throws some people off, as well. I fully understand how someone may be able to place a piece of gear in a price context, but some people take those value pronouncements a little literally and we get the sort of replies that trigger you. All part of the hobby, I figure.

As an older audiophile, I can recall the days when an audiophile of average means could participate at the highest levels of the hobby. Now, we have seen prices outpace budget. Which is fine, but there are going to be audiophiles who have the feeling the the top of the hobby was ripped away and they don't relate to that market segment AT ALL. I give people a lot of slack on their value 'complaints.'

I see the same thing with wines that have gone from 30 dollars per bottle to 500...some people are put off, while others seem to think the price is the primary correlate of quality.

We have a broad distribution...there are likely people who think what I spend is crazy, even as I look at what those higher than me on the audio food chain and think what they spend is kinda crazy.

Ortofan's picture

... compare value may well depend upon whether you consider yourself to be more of an audiophile, forever on the prowl for the next "better" sounding component, or more of a music aficionado, who just wants a good sounding system through which to listen to their favorite recordings and which doesn't require a second mortgage to afford.

Look at the review of the Wharfdale Linton speakers. JA1 says that they offer "excellent measured performance". HR says that they "merge a refined, elegantly detailed, full-range sound with a magnetic personality that made me want to play records—made me want to listen longer, and to understand more of what I was listening to." A pair of Lintons, with stands, cost about $1500. Are they a good value? Are these Magico speakers, at 50 times the price, a good value? Will you enjoy your music that much more by owning them?

Bogolu Haranath's picture

One could add two powered subwoofers to the Lintons, and still the total cost would be less than $5k :-) ......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Oh, BTW ...... Here is one that will survive 200 years from now 'Hotel California' :-) .......

Ortofan's picture

... that album will still be played as demo music at hi-fi shows in the 23rd century.

Anton's picture

Well said!

Glotz's picture

One can smell the intent to poop on everything from a block away... yech, indeed.

Tromatic's picture

And thank you for that.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Oh Lord .... 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood' (feat. Lady Gaga) ....... Brian Newman :-) ........

otaku's picture

$7,600 for the outrigger stands? There are a dozen Class-A speakers in Recommended Components that cost less than that.

prerich45's picture

Meanwhile ...... I live in audio purgatory!!!! LOL!!! The only one in the area that gets an oasis of stuff in this class every now and then is Thomas Norton!!!! Tell'em Thomas...There's no audio for hundreds of miles!!!!!!!! :(

HM's picture

I own a pair of M2 speakers, and I am very, very happy with them. I had the opportunity to audition the Magico A3, S3MkII and M2, all in the same room, with the same electronics driving them (a Soulution 330 integrated amp with the DAC option installed). The A3 sounded good, however going to the S3MkII was a kind of "wow!" experience. It takes only 10 seconds of listening to realise that the S3MkII is a better speaker. The S3MkII has more base and the soundstage is more precise and "3-dimensional", i.e. the position of instruments is more precisely defined. Going from the S3MkII to the M2 wasn't the same step up as from the A3 to the S3MkII, at least not initially. Upon longer and closer listening the M2 is superior, though. Precision of the soundstage and firmness of the location of instruments is better still, the soundstage is "more open". At first listening there is more bass with the S3Mk2, however at the expense that the bass covers up details at higher frequencies. The bass of the M2 is extremely precise and "dry", compared to the S3MkII there is no "bass aura" hiding other details.
Before buying the M2's I also auditioned the Piega Coax 711, Piega Master Line Source 3, and the B&W 800 D3, however with different electronics (T+A PA 3100 HV) and in a different room. The combination of Magico M2 and Soulution 330 INT sounded best, at least for my taste. Btw, I don't have the outrigger stands, I use the standard spikes that come with the M2. I couldn't hear any degration of sound quality because of this. The outrigger stands however for sure look better and provide more stability.

steve59's picture

I’m in audio heaven today, not sure how long it will last, but for the guy crying out for the 328be review why not try to get a listen to the new magico A5? After owning a few models by revel I’m fairly confident in their sonic goals and would consider them in my ht system were I building one. For stereo and bass concerns with sealed box speakers the 3 9” Not off the shelf woofers in the A5 have my interest should I ever need to change.

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