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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2012, 10:10 AM
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Jon...thank you so much for the feedback and for the comparisons to Rockport and SF. I have only heard the Magicos at Goodwins with either Boulder or Spectral electronics and the sound, while extremely resolving which is a good thing, always sounded a bit thin and tonally bleached. Like everything else, it sounds like if they have the right partnering electronics, they can sound tonally natural and fleshed out, which is great to know. Thanks for relaying your impressions. If you do get a chance to listen to the S5s side-by-side to the Q3s, please let us know what you think as that will be a very interesting comparison. I guess the Aviors would be competing from a price standpoint with the S5s even more so than the Q3s which as you mentioned are $10K more expensive, so that will be an interesting comparison too. As I have communicated in varios threads on AA, I am a big fan of the Rockport house sound but I am always open to something better. In any case, thanks again and good luck with your research/auditions/final purchase decision
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2012, 01:26 PM
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Jon,

Thanks for sharing your experiences listening to the Magicos and Rockports. Very valuable perspective.

Mike
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2012, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT Skier View Post
When Joshua played "North Dakota" by Lyle Lovett, it was immediately evident that Ricki Lee Jones was singing backup, whereas on every other speaker I have heard playing that song, I was always left with a hint that it might be her. And yet that astonishing insight into the background didn't detract at all from what was happening in the rest of the sound -- all the instruments and Lyle were properly placed, weighted and emphasized. A truly memorable experience.
Jon, my wife had no problem blindly identifying Ricki Lee Jones on a MacBook Air's internal speakers 5 minutes ago. RLJ's phrasing makes it obvious, the sound of the voice just confirms it.

I couldn't take the test because I already knew the answer.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2012, 02:39 PM
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You're both welcome.

Cyril, I don't know if I would say the Magicos are "better" than the Rockports, unless your criteria are the same as mine. For instance, if you want a euphonic sound in a beautiful package that will make almost all recordings sound lovely, I don't think you can do better than the Amati Futura. So if that's your goal, you could say the Futura is "better", subjectively, than the Q3.

Objectivity is tougher to come by in this hobby. For an example, see the ridiculous posts in the Wilson forum under "Controversial Opinion" where every single poster defending Wilson speakers already owns a pair. I'm sorry, but once you've bought a product you've probably lost your ability to be completely objective when comparing it to others or responding to criticism about it unless you're very unusual. My goodness, Michael Fremer admitted that the Q5s had the best bass he'd ever heard in his room, and then he said that he preferred the bass on his Maxx 3. And that's fine if you want your bass emphasized, but why not clearly state that as your preference?

I would be the first to say Dynaudio makes a very good speaker for the money, but my Sapphires don't compare to Rockport or Magico. Or to many others, including Bill's Elipsa, much less the Futura or the Strad. And if I go on and on about how great Dynadio is, or how how much bottom end they have, ignoring the measurements that show a mid-bass emphasis to compensate for a low-end roll off, all I do is show my personal bias, which we all have but few will admit to.

I can only assume that Alon Wolf's consistent use of Spectral, Soulution, Boulder and similar gear at shows reflects his personal bias toward a certain sound. Thankfully, I don't think that bias is reflected in his speaker design, because as I wrote earlier I haven't heard another speaker that is more tonally accurate or neutral than the Q3. And that reflects my preference for a certain type of sound, if neutrality or lack of color can be called a type. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a colored system. One of the best I've heard was the Strad system Bill had a hand in during last year's SSI in Montreal. Which is why I can respect the choices others make with their systems even if I would have chosen differently. But I wouldn't say my choices are "better" than theirs, or that my gear is better.

Last edited by VT Skier; 06-30-2012 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaphacts View Post
Jon, my wife had no problem blindly identifying Ricki Lee Jones on a MacBook Air's internal speakers 5 minutes ago. RLJ's phrasing makes it obvious, the sound of the voice just confirms it.

I couldn't take the test because I already knew the answer.
Ah. I don't think I said I ever had a problem identifying the backup singer. I believe I said there was a hint versus a clarity, as there probably should be with a backup singer unless the mix is off.

I always knew it was Ricki Lee, but she has never been presented with the same transparency as I heard with the Q3s. And, remarkably, that clarity didn't detract at all from Lyle being the focus.

Of course the other systems, including mine, hadn't been set up by Bill, so they were all handicapped from the beginning.

Last edited by VT Skier; 06-30-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaphacts View Post
Jon, my wife had no problem blindly identifying Ricki Lee Jones on a MacBook Air's internal speakers 5 minutes ago. RLJ's phrasing makes it obvious, the sound of the voice just confirms it.

I couldn't take the test because I already knew the answer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VT Skier View Post
Ah. I don't think I said I ever had a problem identifying the backup singer. I believe I said there was a hint versus a clarity, as there should be unless the mix is off.

I always knew it was Ricki Lee, but she has never been presented with the same transparency as I heard with the Q3s.

Of course the other systems, including mine, hadn't been set up by Bill, so they were all handicapped from the beginning.
Understand the transparency and the revelation that it was.

In Laurie's case, I didn't even dial in the MacBook.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2012, 02:55 PM
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What about her listening position?
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2012, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT Skier View Post
What about her listening position?
Good one.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2012, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT Skier View Post
You're both welcome.
I'm sorry, but once you've bought a product you've probably lost your ability to be completely objective when comparing it to others or responding to criticism about it unless you're very unusual.
You are probably right that most ppl tend to favor the brand they have/know, but that doesn't mean they cannot discuss/review/appreciate competing product.

If what you are saying was true, every Thiel owner would buy Thiel products only, every dCS owner would stick dCS etc. That not always is true though.

To give you an example, I went from AA Capitole II to MBL1531, from MBL to ARC CD-7 and then 8, from ARC to dCS Puccini, and ultimately - Scarlatti.

Same for speakers. I sold Avalons and went briefly with Audiostatics, tried Quads only to settle on Wilson Sophia II. I was so impressed with the smaller Wilsons, and Sasha turned out to be such an acomplished speaker, that I bought a pair. If I wasn't impressed with Sashas, I would get other brand instead.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2012, 04:43 PM
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Yes, that's all true. I don't believe ownership bias precludes moving to a new product. I'm thinking more of people who denigrate or disparage a product they've never heard, defend their gear against all criticism, etc.

Like my opinion of Sonus Faber -- Bill and others might disagree, but I think the Futura is a wonderful speaker with a great clarity of sound, but the clarity is colored, for better or worse. If the Magico is a crystal clear glass window, the Futura is a window with a slight golden hue. And the Strads are more of an amber. I think all three are excellent speakers in every way, and each of us would prefer one over the others. I might buy the Magicos and decide later I really would prefer a window with a little color instead, for whatever reason. And I understand the choices each designer has made -- Alon Wolf pursues an absolutely neutral ideal that can never be reached; the SF designers accept that impossibility and work within the inevitable limitations.

I just think many of us would be well served, and all of these discussions advanced, if we recognize our inherent bias. Which is one of the reasons I don't comment all that often. I feel I can only give advice on what I've heard, ideally more than once, and listened to very carefully. And my advice is always worth what it costs.

Last edited by VT Skier; 06-30-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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