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  #1  
Old 06-06-2012, 10:21 AM
joeinid joeinid is offline
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Default Magico Q1 ...

Any feedback on the Q1's? Has anyone listened to the little brother to the big guys?

http://www.avguide.com/blog/magico-q...e-first-review
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2012, 10:28 AM
joeinid joeinid is offline
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Default Jonathan Valin compares to the TAD CR-1's ...

Jonathan Valin -- Sat, 09/03/2011 - 19:56

Peter,
How the Q1s compare to the TAD CR-1s is an interesting question that I can’t answer conclusively because I’ve never compared them side-by-side in my own system. However, I do have some educated guesses.
First, though stand-mounted, the CR-1s are large (larger than the original Mini, actually), three-way, ported loudspeakers, with a concentric 1.4" beryllium tweeter and 6" beryllium midrange and a separate 8" tri-laminate woofer. The Q1s are classic, tiny, two-way, sealed-box mini-monitors, with a 1" beryllium tweeter and a newly developed 7" NanoTec carbon-fiber/Rohacell sandwich mid/woof.
Although I’m not at all sure whether the CR-1 goes deeper into the bottom octaves than the astonishingly deep-reaching Q1 (or goes down there as flatly), it does have more oomph (better power-handling) in the mid-to-low bass than the Qs, but then you would expect that from a loudspeaker that is reproducing the low-frequencies with a separate driver. Typically, port-loaded speakers have an audible plateau in the midbass (followed by a steep roll-off below the port resonance frequency). The CR-1 was extremely well behaved in this regard: In my space, it didn’t lump up the midbass and generate 60-80Hz room resonances as so many ported speakers have done. I attributed this difference to three factors: 1) the CR-1 is an extremely well-engineered loudspeaker (Tad’s Andrew Jones is one very smart cookie); 2) the CR-1’s tri-laminate composite woofer and its aerodynamically designed port are well implemented; 3) though considerably larger and more complex than the Q1s, the stand-mount CR-1s are relatively small and flexible compared to typical three-way floorstanders and because of this size/flexibility advantage they can be placed much farther out into rooms (away from room boundaries, including the floor), just as the Q1s can, greatly reducing room interactions. I would call the bass frequencies of the two speakers a wash: with smooth extension and possibly a jot more resolution and very slightly lower distortion going to the Q1s, and a bit more dynamic range, slightly higher SPL-levels, and a touch more sheer excitement to the CR-1s. Which you’d prefer would depend on you, the music you listen to, the room you listen in, and how loudly you play. Quite honestly, both speakers are unusually good in the bottom octaves (and in the Q’s case, this is miraculous).
Though both the CR-1 and the Q1 use beryllium tweeters, going on memory I wouldn’t say that they sound alike in the upper-mids and treble. Perhaps because of its coincident driver arrangement (and separate midrange driver), the CR-1 focuses instrumental and vocal images a bit more tightly than the Q1 (i.e., it has slightly better definition). However, although it’s not a miniaturizing speaker, I don’t think the CR-1 is quite the Q1’s equal in natural image height, and I would have to say (going on my notes and on memory, again) that its tweeter stands out more than the Q’s does (once again, the blend of tweet/mid drivers in the Q1 is the most seamless I’ve heard in a mini—or any cone speaker). As a result the CR-1 is brighter than the Q1, though let me quickly add that this is not a harsh, aggressive kind of brightness. On the contrary, the CR-1’s little bit of added treble energy makes everything in the upper frequencies sound more sparkly, airy, lit-up, and exciting. Strictly speaking, this is probably a coloration, but it’s a mighty damn appealing and lifelike one. The Q1s treble is, as noted, a tad (excuse the pun) better integrated, smoother, at least as high in resolution (probably higher), and also very dynamic and exciting. Once again, I think which presentation you’d prefer will depend on you and your music. Both are superb in the top end.
In the midband, I would have to give a very slight edge to the Q1, which (once again going on memory and notes) is a bit more neutral (actually, I think it is more neutral top to bottom). By comparison, the CR-1 sounds just a little “darker” in balance. Both are animals when it comes to low-level resolution—you’re not going to miss any timbral or textural details with either speaker. As with the treble and the bass, the CR-1 may be a little bit more exciting—slightly richer in tone color, slightly weightier, and seemingly more dynamic—than the Q1 throughout the midrange, but I can’t honestly say that this added color, weight, and energy makes the CR-1 sound more realistic. On the contrary, the Q1 reproduced Joan Baez’s voice (and other vocalists and instruments) with a delicacy, see-through-transparency, and you-are-there realism that I’ve only heard before through ’stats, the Maggie 3.7s, the Q5s, and in a concert/recital hall. I’m guessing here, but I think the Q1’s aluminum cabinet may be storing a bit less energy than the TAD CR-1’s MDF cabinet, and thus is adding less spurious energy and color to the presentation.
The bottom line here is not a simple one. If you put a premium on loudness, tonal richness, dynamic oomph, image focus, soundstaging, and sheer sonic excitement—and at the same time want a very high degree of detail, transparency to sources, and lifelike realism—the CR-1s are very hard to top in a stand-mount. If, on the other hand, you put a premium on neutrality, detail, transparency to sources, a seamless disappearing act, soundstaging, and lifelike realism—and at the same want a very high degree of excitement, dynamism, and focus, to boot—the Q1s cannot be beat in a two-way package by anything else I’ve auditioned. Obviously I am a big fan of both of these speakers.
The CR-1s are $15k more than the Q1s, if money’s a factor.

Last edited by joeinid; 06-06-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-06-2012, 11:01 AM
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I have listened to both the Q5 and Q1 at RMAF. Both times I came away unimpressed. Don't get me wrong like many other speakers they do nothing that stands out as being wrong. They just did not get you involved in what was playing.

With the Q1' s I even asked them to play some real music. He asked me to come back the next morning and he would play some vocals tracks. Nice, but there were much better systems to be head.

In general I like what I have heard from other aluminum speakers (Krell Modulari Duo's and some YG's) so I was expecting much more.

JIm
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:05 AM
joeinid joeinid is offline
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Thanks Jim. It's always nice to get some perspective. I love the CR-1's and can't see it getting any better.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
Thanks Jim. It's always nice to get some perspective. I love the CR-1's and can't see it getting any better.
Joe
I really question Jonathan Valin's high praise for these speakers. It is time TAS gets someone else to review high end products.

Jim
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2012, 11:26 AM
joeinid joeinid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still-One View Post
Joe
I really question Jonathan Valin's high praise for these speakers. It is time TAS gets someone else to review high end products.

Jim
I could not agree more.
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2012, 12:08 PM
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Hi guys,

The Q1 got an incredible review in the uk mag, hifi+ - Alan Sircom reviewed them.

In essence, he deemed them game changing.
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2012, 06:07 PM
Ritmo Ritmo is offline
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I listened to the Q1s at RMAF. The first time I did not like them. They were being played way too loud with some strange music. Came back on Sunday and they sounded much better - more relaxed, with good top to bottom extension. However, at that price point, one can get a very good full range speaker - e.g. Salon 2s, Sashas to name just a few.

Mike
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:29 PM
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I've heard the Q1's and Q3's in the same system(not mine) and I can say I thought the 1's sounded the better of the two. Smoother, more defined and a 3D image that was outstanding. The 3's might not have been completely broken in but I'm thinking they had a few 100 hours on them.....
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:21 PM
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I've listened to the Q1 a couple times and they blew my mind. How can such a big beautiful sound be coming out of a small bookshelf-sized speaker? The CR-1 always impresses me, and the Q1 is amazing for it's size. When it gets this good then it's all a matter of personal preference, and personally I could easily live with either speaker and feel quite fortunate...
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