I’ve only heard Magicos a few times, they are truly excellent. I have to travel too far to audition them. Would love to find a dealer in a city that I visit that would have both the Magicos and Wilsons to AB.
Yes Wilson is a good one to compare Magico to. After a lot of sessions and friends that own both (and 3 other brands) I choose Magico.
While Wilson’s use a ported design, I like the sealed enclosure design of Magico. https://absolutehiend.com/media/wysiwyg/pdf/MagicoM2Stereophile.pdf
You hear more detail and the way the music was actually meant to be heard with the sealed design. We’re not accustomed to this - as most designs today are ported. But once you really listen the details begin to sparkle. This is related IMO and IMO one of the reasons why at times we turn to headphones - to hear those little details that IMO make a huge difference in enjoying a song, etc.
Magico drivers are insane - in a good way. They don’t use the cheaper and weaker ferrite magnets. Neodymium magnets are the strongest of all permanent magnets. They are literally called the “King of Magnets.” They have a 1.4 Tesla, while Ferrite magnets range between 0.5 and 1 Tesla. Neodymium Magnets are the strongest magnets and are extremely resistant to demagnetization by outside magnetic fields. They provide a much higher magnetic flux density in the air gap and so can generate a much greater action force in the voice coil. On the other hand, Ferrite magnets are brittle and break easily and should not be utilized in applications that will cause the magnet a lot of stress or flex, etc. And most importantly the use of Neodymium magnets instead of ferrite improves the sensitivity of loudspeakers.
In the end, the Magicos seem to disappear and all you hear is the music. But Magico only plays well with top components. They will definitely expose any weaknesses in your system, whether it be your amps, pre-amps, sources, cable, etc. But if you have the right system they are absolutely amazing.
Don’t get me wrong here, I still like Wilson - a lot. They came in second in my listening auditions. But once I heard what I heard with Magico there was no going back.
This article does an excellent job explaining many of the aspects of Magico. It’s well worth the read: https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/five-questions-for-alon-wolf/
If @Torq wants, he might strip out this off-topic mini thread and put it somewhere else. I’m too lazy to try and move the conversation, and don’t have the permissions to “lift and separate”.
I am torn with regard to replacing my current speakers, which I’ve had for years - Modified Rectilinear III highboys. I think the rest of my audio chain would support better speakers. First, as @DarthPool notes, there are better half considerations, and she likes Wilsons, except for price. I’m sure that she would not care for Magico price either.
I have a fairly large listening room, 13 x 25 ft, with an open entry and then a dining room on one side, but in an older home, windows, fireplaces, and doors get in the way of ideal speaker placement
So mostly I keep my powder dry and hang on to the money it would cost to upgrade properly.
SonusFaber Olympica 1’s (original model - a new “improved” version released late last summer) with stands and a pair of REL T5i’ subs. They fit the requirements of working within limited space hence small footprints work best. Very irregular shaped LR/DR/K/ Foyer in a completely open design, nightmare on acoustics but with 4 small boxes I was able to play around with best placement / compromise in sound. I’m certain a better room with some treatment would bring out more better sound. For 4 decades I was a speaker believer and did very little HP listening (with Stax). But sampling the best in HP’s starting 2016 I’ve become an HP devotee. The final frontier for an end-game phone for me will be a “transparent” delay circuit that introduces no anomalies and that injects L and R channel info into the R and L ears with appropriate or variable delay timings for a proper sound stage. Elimination of the room acoustics equation with HP’s is a desire for this audiophile that had dedicated listening rooms for decades until retiring.
When we moved to a much smaller place to be on the Seattle waterfront, I switched my floor-standing speakers to the Linn Akudorik Exakt speakers plus a room/response-correcting subwoofer.
The Akudorik Ekaxt speakers run on stands that include four dedicated channels of active amplification per speaker, each fed by a discrete DAC module (AKM 4497-based using Linn’s Katalyst architecture) so four DACs per speaker, and incorporate both driver-correction and room-correction.
The driver correction is based on measurements of your SPECIFIC drive units (not just an average for each driver type), taken at the factory when they were built, and the system looks these measurements up when you set it up.
The net result is almost perfectly neutral response, elimination/minimization of most room artifacts, a massively reduced need for room treatments and vastly greatly flexibility in placement. They can’t defeat the laws of physics, but I literally couldn’t run speakers in the room/place I have these in with acceptable performance without these features.
And as it is, the performance is amazing … not simply “acceptable”.
Another nice factor here is that, in this configuration, the connections to the speakers are just a mains cable and an ethernet connection to an Exakt capable source.
Very interesting, but, somehow doesn’t sound like a budget system, LOL. At least most likely not mine.
Budget…@Torq…he, he, he! But he has serious perspective.
I have been wanting to do a serious upgrade from my Monitor Audio floor standing speakers and have been perusing the interwebs. I found several forum discussions about a blind listening test conducted by Harman, comparing the Magico A3, Revel 228 BE and Revel Salon 2. The Magicos were the least liked of the 3. Speaker measurement guru, Floyd Toole also touts the Revel Salon 2 as being not only one of the best measuring speakers on the market but one of the most preferred in blind tests. While he was Vice President of Acoustical Engineering at Harman International and might have an interest in Harmon products he was also Senior Research Officer in the Acoustics and Signal Processing Group at the National Research Council of Canada and has published many papers for AES and ASA.
It would be great to be able to audition the Revels against other top measuring speakers in the same room but I almost always have to visit several different dealers to audition gear I am interested in comparing.
Years ago I had a big-ass 2-channel rig (vinyl+tubes+Vandersteen 4s) but in recent years it has all been desktop audio. I’ve been through 4-5 different speakers (most powered) + other gear. My clear favorite design for this application is a sealed 2 way augmented by sub.
1-2 yrs ago I finally hit pay dirt with the ATC SCM12 Pros. Had to get a big/bad class D amp to drive them, but it was so worth it. The ATCs are extremely powerful with shockingly good bass (truthfully I don’t really need the sub). They can play louder than I could ever tolerate, but sound wonderful even at the lowest volumes (that is rare in my experience). Best of all, these ATCs manage to blend true accuracy (they are, after all, a studio monitoring design) with real musicality & soul.
~6 months ago I picked up another gently used pair of sealed speakers I’d been dying to hear, the Aerial Acoustics 5Bs. They’re pretty amazing, too, though just a notch behind the ATCs. I’ll be selling those soon–but if I’d gotten them before the ATCs, I’d never let go of them.
I owned Thiel 3.5, Alon IV and V, a Von Schweikert model whose name I forget, Audio Physic Virgos, LSA monitors and NOLA Contenders, over about a 25-year period beginning in the early '90s. A year ago, I got the DeVore Gibbon X speakers, and there’s really no looking back. I have loved what John does since the first time I heard his speakers (at CES, some years ago), and have never been happier with any hi-end audio I’ve owned.
I am currently using a set of older Definitive Technologies Mythos tower speakers along with the matching center channel super cube subwoofer and Speaker Craft in ceiling speakers for the rears for my theater/entertainment room. I have these because when I bought them many years ago I worked for a high end home audio company that gave me a substantial employee accommodation deal on this setup that I couldn’t pass up, so the price for the value and sound quality they provided was fantastic. Man I miss those deals lol.
I really want to build a 2 channel system next for my upstairs office with Martin Logan Electrostatic tower speakers later down the road. I am not sure which models to get and need to go give them an in-depth listen. For now I have powered 44pm Klipsch reference speakers on my desk as studio monitors, I picked them up openbox for more than half off. They don’t get a ton of use since my daughters room is next to my office.
There are a lot of very good speakers out there. Besides Magico and Wilson, I like Martin Logan and B&W on the lower end of the price tier and Bryston, Burmeister, Marten, TAD, etc. which are normally a little more pricey. As you know dealer demos are a good way to save some $ and get a full warranty and better speakers …
Speakers are a very personal thing IMO. And a lot depends upon your room, components, and of course budget. IMO listen to a lot of them over a long period of time. Have fun doing it. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured by salesmen.
As you know some components demand better speakers, as they reveal so much more in your music and audio chain…, while others are more forgiving. No matter what, purchase the best speakers “to your ears” that you can afford.
Haven’t seen these mentioned yet so I thought I would chime in.
My current speakers are from a company called Ascend Acoustics
I have the Sierra towers with RAAL ribbon upgrade. The speaker cabinets are made out of laminated bamboo and are stained to your choice of several different options(mine are stained cherry wood). These speakers are by far the best speakers I personally, have ever heard. The stage, imaging, and detail are amazing. These speakers can make sounds within the stage (ambient noises) sound like they are behind you(for appropriate tracks or depending on the recording) these speakers also completely disappear and you just have this amazing immersion of sound.
I read a lot about various Ascend Acoustics models on other boards. The Sierra 2 in particular interests me. I’d like to hear a ribbon tweeter done really right: the top choices appear to be the Sierra 2 (ideal dimensions for my desktop w/my preferred size of woofer (6"-7"); or the Quad S2, praised by many but woofer is just 5".
But so far the ATCs have me restraining my speaker audition impulses–that and no freelance work coming in at the moment.
The Sierra 2’s are also amazing speakers, as I have a pair of Sierra 2’s as well. Ascend Acoustics recently came out with the improved version of the Sierra 2, the Sierra 2EX. Here is A quote from their website:
“Our New Benchmark Bookshelf Loudspeaker, Featuring a Custom RAAL True Ribbon Tweeter Combined with our new Proprietary 6" SEAS EXCEL Curv™ Woofer and our Remarkable Low Resonance Layered Bamboo Cabinet.”
I have talked with the owner about these and they are supposed to be closer in performance to the Sierra towers, as I was considering upgrading my Sierra 2’s to the EX version. They offer an upgrade option for original Sierra 2 owners.
Damn. Didn’t know the 2’s had been upgraded to 2EX’. Now I find myself interested in yet another pair of speakers (down the rabbit hole again!).
Some comments on 2EX vs 2’s can be found here:
Thanks for the link, yea the Sierra 2EX are supposed to be really good. I have not updated my Sierra 2’s yet as they are being used as my side surround speakers in my setup, with the Sierra Horizon as my center channel. I have been very happy with this setup.
Apologies for the possible future hit to your pocketbook
I have been fortunate enough to be able to listen to multiple types of speakers and in the end for my tastes and preferences, I preferred The Sierra line from Ascend Acoustics with the RAAL ribbon upgrade.
When I first listened these it was a Holly Schiit moment.
My wallet has already been repeatedly exsanguinated by my headphone audio jones…my desktop jones has actually been somewhat less expensive, believe it or not.
Re S-EX’s, my main concerns are not cost, but 2 other things:
Will these speakers equal or even better my ATC SCM12 Pro’s? That’s a very high bar that some other excellent speakers failed to get over; and
Will the back-facing bass ports cause problems in my nearfield set-up w/close-by back wall?
The 2nd is somewhat less of a concern, as I’ve tried other ported speakers here, and for physical/placement reasons I won’t bore you with, there seems to be less boominess resulting from ports than I would have expected.
I’ll probably get a pair of Sierra 2EX’s later this year. Of course, if any show up used, that will help defray costs.
RAAL SR1A… because reasons…
Seriously though, these I find to be more near-near field speakers than headphones, and with the Jotunheim R on the desk they become much more accessible for easy use! Loving them, they are currently getting the most use of all my audio setups as of the past few weeks…
The SR1A does everything right to my ears, the bass can seem lite but it is in my opinion only because of the open nature of the setup. If you put them on ear the bass is great at the expense of soundstage.
I also have on my desk Edifier Luna Eclipse HD (because the WAF was higher than my JBL 305 monitors)
The Edifiers replaces my JBL305s for desk use, which honestly headphones and the SR1A get 99% of my listening time.
For reason number one, I can’t say specifically as I have not heard the ATC SC 12’s but I can say that I would not doubt the performance of the Sierra 2’s let alone the Sierra 2EX against any other speakers in its price class.
For reason number two, it may or may not be a problem, though if you have tested other rear ported speakers with out a major issue then it should be ok, initially my Sierra 2’s were my rear surround speakers Very close to the back wall and I had some small sound absorbing panels behind the port on the wall and I never had any issues with bass. So small acoustic panels behind the speakers could also be a solution.
I have room treatments for my listening room from audimute https://www.audimute.com/ they can be pricey but for a smaller area it should not be too bad and they have several different options (many more than I realized were available) plus I have been happy with the results.