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Old 05-31-2012, 04:30 PM
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Default Magico S5

S5 at Lifelike in Munich






S5 price is $28600
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:14 AM
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Read about S5 at Soundstage Global
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:46 AM
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Has anybody listened to the Magico S5 speakers? I have a friend interested in a pair and thought I'd see if you guys have heard them. They seem pretty nice.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:16 AM
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Not yet. Ears Nova, where I listened to the Q3s said they would have them near the end of July.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:55 AM
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Thanks Jon,

So far the reviews have been positive but I guess it's too soon for many auditions.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:45 PM
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There was a pair at THE Show and it sounded pretty impressive. Although it did use Constellation, aka $$$$, for electronics.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:03 PM
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The Q3s were paired with Constellation for my demo. Unbelievable combination. One of the best systems I have ever heard.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:57 PM
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VT Skier...where did you hear the Q3/Constellation combo? Do you remember if it was the higher-end Constellation reference series (Hercules pre and Altair monos) or their Performance series (Cenatur amp and Virgo pre)? The Constellation Performance gear is supposed to deliver 90% of the Reference series at less than 30% of the cost.
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Speakers/Amp/Preamp: Thiel CS2.4 / ARC Ref 110 / ARC Ref 3
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:15 AM
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I'm a fan of magico speakers, I've heard the V2 and Q3 multiple times and I'm really curious about these new beauties
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:19 AM
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Hi Cyril,

I was at Ears Nova in NYC. You may remember I heard the Q3s last year at Goodwin's, and was completely underwhelmed, as I had been at the shows. But I wanted to try them given all the rave reviews, as I had done with the Amati Futura. The Q3 sound was, as many people here have complained, thin, hyper-focused, almost too much detail. But the most resolving sound I have ever heard.

I went to Ears Nova a few weeks ago primarily to listen to the Rockport Aviors, and Joshua Cohn, the owner, set up the Q3s as well. He used the dCS Paganini with the Constellation Performance units (Centaur stereo and Virgo preamp) with both sets of speakers.

I understand why people like the Rockport sound -- it's much like Sonus Faber, particularly the Futura, but without the bias toward the warmer, lush end of the spectrum. Very musical, resolving but easy to listen to, plenty of weight and depth to the sound but with no sibilance to distract. But between the Avior and Futura, for musical accuracy, the Rockport wins hands down.

The Q3s are better in every way, at least with Constellation electronics. Just as much bottom end as the Avior, but better defined thanks to the sealed enclosures. Unlike Dynaudio (which I own), there is no mid-bass emphasis to make up for lack of low bass -- the Q3s go as low as the music does and do so incredibly quickly with absolutely no overhang. And they are more transparent, more resolving, and give a far clearer window into the sound than the Avior. 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.

Now, having said that, we're talking increments, as you would expect at these prices. The Q3s are noticeably better than the Aviors, as they should be for $10,000 more. And as a value guy, inevitably, I start doing the calculus. Over 30% better than the Avior? Not to my ears. 10% better? Easily. So somewhere in the middle probably, and whether that justifies the price increase is a very personal question. For me, it probably would.

I also spent some time at Spearit Sound last year comparing the GAT to the ET5, and I reached the opposite conclusion -- the GAT was clearly better, but no more than 5%, maybe 10%. And the jump from $10 to $20 would not be worth it to me. Just no contest at all. I would go for the ET5 in a heartbeat and spend the savings on speakers, which I think have a much tougher job in the chain.

So, could I be happy with the Aviors after hearing the Q3s? No. And I also didn't like their looks. But I can understand someone choosing the Avior over the Q3. Just as I can understand Joe choosing the TAD CR-1, which I think is an excellent speaker. And someone else choosing the Futura, which may be the prettiest speaker I've ever seen. It comes down to personal taste, and they're all very good speakers. I think the Q3 is the best of the bunch, but that's according to my criteria, which is biased toward something that's transparent and tonally neutral throughout the audio spectrum. There's really no such thing in the speaker world, but the Q3 is the closest I've heard.

Now, as a value guy, do I really want a $40,000 speaker that's "worth" $25 as soon as it's driven off the lot, so to speak? No. So then the question becomes, can I be happy with the S5s? Or even the Q1s which I only heard in passing? Quite possibly. So I'm deferring my decision again, at least for the moment.

If the S5 is everything people are saying, I would imagine it will siphon sales away from the Q3 (as the Futura did to the Strad) and the Q3s will quietly be discounted. And I may jump then. But I'll have to hear them side-by-side to see how much "better" the Q3s are. I may finally screw up my courage, write a ridiculous check for the Q3s and call it a day. They are that good.

Long story short -- if you have only heard the Q3s (or any other Magico) with Soulution, you need to try again. I don't know why Soulution is used at shows, but that gear does a disservice to these great speakers.

Jon
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