Magico M9

Ron Resnick

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. . .

On the other hand, when ddk announced his new AS2000, did people on forums speculate about the value of his turntable relative to other flagship turntables, especially before anyone had had a chance to hear it yet? . . .
If I remember correctly, of course people did. It is fun to think about new designs and new products. People wondered how it may compare to the Air Force One Premium in same price range, for example. People certainly speculated about the platter air suspension versus other kinds of platter supports. People certainly speculated about David's philosophy of extreme mass versus other turntable design philosophies. People certainly discussed belt drive versus direct drive versus idler drive.

Separately, of course you are completely correct that nobody knows anything, and all of the speculation is merely a fun waste of time and ink, until people hear the product and make a personal and subjective evaluation of it.
 

Alrainbow

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statement speakers are just statement priced. They are a marketing prop. It is not so much as if SS amps are as good or not as good as SETs. Even if you assume they are not, a simple old Krell on a good speaker like big apogees should sound very good, or like Mike's system does, rather than how these many new statement speakers sound (and how many, buyers or otherwise, have really heard them). The fact that someone might like SETs and horns more or less is a different point. Even in SETs horns, statement speakers like Magico ultimate or Cessaros are not necessarily the best. They are at best statement prices. Almost no one has heard the Magico ultimate outside a poor Munich demo yet there is a respect for it like it could be the ultimate, purely due to statement price
Ked ,

Alot of the vintage speakers and amps you like today were once statement setups ..

A krell on Apogees for eg. were the statement setups of it’s time and price was reflective of this ...

IMO nothing has changed or is new here ...!
 
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Ron Resnick

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Hi Ron,
No, I rarely go to Audiogon and then mostly to look at what high end gear is selling for in the US. I do use it to sell gear from time to time
I wonder why you ask....I wrote the piece after I looked at the pictures of the M9 on WBF and dreamed about what a decent installation would entail to get the best out of these monsters. I use S1MkIIs and know how damned good they sound when sufficient effort is put into their installation environment. The M9s must be astoundingly good, but likely require a corresponding level of care and investment into their installation to achieve their peak performance.

I contribute to forums mainly for the enjoyment of writing about hi-fi and corresponding with like-minded individuals, so plagiarism would entirely defeat my purpose of being here. If I did cut and paste anything, I would use “ “ and credit the author or more likely just use a link.
I felt that you were criticizing the price of the speakers solely based on price, and suggesting further that one would need to spend additional literally millions of dollars to make rational the purchase of any speakers in a price range which I assumed you were implying that you personally found objectionable. Forgive me if I misunderstood the thrust of your post.

My reference to Audiogon was sarcastic in that almost every time I randomly peruse Audiogon's forum I see people ranting against the prices of components at all different price levels purely because that particular price happens to offend their personal sensibilities, with concepts of absolute sound quality, or relative sound quality per dollar, being completely ignored. I apologize for being sarcastic.
 

bonzo75

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Ked ,

Alot of the vintage speakers and amps you like today were once statement setups ..

A krell on Apogees for eg. were the statement setups of it’s time and price was reflective of this ...

IMO nothing has changed or is new here ...!
A lot has changed. Their price and perception is no more statement. Vintage horns were not necessarily statement, many are the standard horns for use in various cinemas or studios. That is what speakers were then. Also, for vintage, there is a very high degree of proven track record, while for the current statement, there is none. Maybe 20 years later we can discuss current statements to check if they indeed had statement sonics or not. People who choose vintage today have access to people with decades of learning and there is enough presence to listenv and learn, while people who choose current statements do so on faith
 

Lagonda

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I felt that you were criticizing the price of the speakers solely based on price, and suggesting further that one would need to spend additional literally millions of dollars to make rational the purchase of any speakers in a price range which I assumed you were implying that you personally found objectionable. Forgive me if I misunderstood the thrust of your post.

My reference to Audiogon was sarcastic in that almost every time I randomly peruse Audiogon's forum I see people ranting against the prices of components at all different price levels purely because that particular price happens to offend their personal sensibilities, with concepts of absolute sound quality, or relative sound quality per dollar, being completely ignored. I apologize for being sarcastic.
That’s what happens when you are so serious all the time Ron ! When Ked, Marc or i post, most people assume it is bullshit and sarcasm, we can get away with almost anything ;)
 

spiritofmusic

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Milan, that is such sarcastic bullshit! You really think you can get away with almost anything.
 

Ron Resnick

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. . .

i've become so disenchanted with this hobby as the focus just keeps on going to more egregiously expensive gear every year. $750k speakers, $250k amps, $20k cables (!), etc. when I started in the 90s, this wasn't the direction. it all seems like just a race to sell 6 and now 7-figure systems. i'm actually now considering a major change/direction and giving up on the "high end."
I understand the frustration, and I know, and I share, your view that our industry collectively should try to draw in a larger number of people so that the hobby grows and thrives over time rather than decaying and losing members over time with the result that manufacturers have to focus on selling a small number of extremely expensive products to a few "fat cats"
to survive.

I am commenting only for the purpose of respectfully disagreeing with your view that the design and release of ever more expensive components has become the "focus" of "this hobby." I just cannot agree that the fact that some of our more successful manufacturers have the financial ability and design expertise to advance the state-of-the-art with extremely ambitious new products knowing that very few customers will actually buy these products means that this dynamic has become the "focus" of this hobby.

I think it is great that the technology debuted and tested in these extremely expensive products trickles down to products many more audiophiles can actually afford to buy.

How is this any different than when a car company designs, develops and produces a "halo" car to sell its more pedestrian models? Didn't Ford develop the GT40 partly to win races so they could sell thousands of regular Ford automobiles to middle class buyers?

How is this any different than when Mercedes-AMG sells the One hypercar to F1 race car drivers so people who buy A Class hatchbacks will feel better and cooler about their purchase?

I don't think these examples suggest that the car companies are "focusing" on supercars.

If you disagree with this then you will probably reply that Ferrari is the more analogous automobile business model to the high-end manufacturers to which you are referring. Ferrari certainly makes a much greater margin of profit on its cars than does Ford or Mercedes.

Maybe the most honest thing we can say is that we don't personally and factually know the actual economics and the business models of some of these high-end companies. If an audio company's business model has evolved over time in the direction you suggest -- that they are conscientiously ceasing to make lower-priced products and instead are seeking to sell four copies of a $500,000 component and achieve a successful business on that model, then I would say your "focus" point (at least with regard to such a particular company) is correct.
 
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PeterA

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Why is there something wrong, inappropriate or untoward about the same kinds of fun speculations and theoretical comparisons when conducted in the audio realm?
Ron, nothing wrong with it at all, but that is not what I asked you about. I was responding to your comment about Magico needing to justify the price. You did not explain why you assume they need to in your post, nor do I see anything in your response answering my question. Many of us enjoy speculating and commenting on high priced, high performance statement products, whether they be audio components or automobiles. Does McLaren need to justify the price of their supercars? Does Ferrari? Do you ask them to? That is the difference I see. Simple as that.

In addition to that, and something entirely different, in my opinion, are the criticisms of these speakers from people who don't yet know much about the speaker's design based so far only on one marketing statement , let alone having not heard them. Sure, people don't get to drive these exotic cars either before they feel free to comment, but you are focusing on the fun and good nature of it, and I am questioning the need for Magico having to justify the cost and commenting on the criticism. These are two separate things, and I am curious, that is all. No big deal.
 

Lagonda

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Ron Resnick

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Ron, nothing wrong with it at all, but that is not what I asked you about. I was responding to your comment about Magico needing to justify the price. You did not explain why you assume they need to in your post, nor do I see anything in your response answering my question. Many of us enjoy speculating and commenting on high priced, high performance statement products, whether they be audio components or automobiles. Does McLaren need to justify the price of their supercars? Does Ferrari? Do you ask them to? That is the difference I see. Simple as that.

In addition to that, and something entirely different, in my opinion, are the criticisms of these speakers from people who don't yet know much about the speaker's design based so far only on one marketing statement , let alone having not heard them. Sure, people don't get to drive these exotic cars either before they feel free to comment, but you are focusing on the fun and good nature of it, and I am questioning the need for Magico having to justify the cost and commenting on the criticism. These are two separate things, and I am curious, that is all. No big deal.
Oh, Peter, I see. I did not respond to that part of your post because I did not even realize that I was asking Magico to justify the M9 price. In my original post to which you were responding I did not intend to be suggesting, directly or indirectly, that Magico or any company needs to justify a priori its MSRP.

I did not mean to suggest that Magico has to justify its price in an objective economic or numerical sense, or in a vacuum. I meant only that the marketplace will judge the M9's price based on competing products. I meant that the marketplace will render its opinion on the M9's MSRP by voting with its collective wallets if people in fact buy M9s over other competing and less expensive products. If people buy the M9 over competing products then the M9's price will be justified.
 
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PeterA

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If I remember correctly, of course people did. It is fun to think about new designs and new products. People wondered how it may compare to the Air Force One Premium in same price range, for example. People certainly speculated about the platter air suspension versus other kinds of platter supports. People certainly speculated about David's philosophy of extreme mass versus other turntable design philosophies. People certainly discussed belt drive versus direct drive versus idler drive.

Separately, of course you are completely correct that nobody knows anything, and all of the speculation is merely a fun waste of time and ink, until people hear the product and make a personal and subjective evaluation of it.
Again, speculation about the sound is fun and fine, even speculating about the technology about which we know something but not everything, is fine. But I am talking about something completely different. At least I think it is different. Perhaps you do not.

Did people go on forums and speculate about how David could justify the cost of his turntable? I do not remember that. Comparisons are fun and speculating about which might sound better without actually hearing them can also be fun. I consider this completely separate from any justification of price. That would involve many factors not yet being discussed here. Justification of price, even if asked or hoped for, is not required by the manufacturer or the client, and it is not solely dependent upon relative performance to other competing products. I was simply asking you why you thought Wolf needs to justify the cost, and I still wonder why you think he does.
 

PeterA

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Oh, Peter, I see. I did not respond to that part of your post because I did not even realize that I was asking Magico to justify the M9 price. In my original post to which you were responding I did not intend to be suggesting, directly or indirectly, that Magico or any company needs to justify a priori its MSRP.

I did not mean to suggest that Magico has to justify its price in an objective economic or numerical sense, or in a vacuum. I meant only that the marketplace will judge the M9's price based on competing products. I meant that the marketplace will render its opinion on the M9's MSRP by voting with its collective wallets if people in fact buy M9s over other competing and less expensive products. If people buy the M9 over competing products then the M9's price will be justified.
Ron, I was simply responding to what you wrote here:

Let's not forget the very formidable and competitive and high-sensitivity Divin Majestic. To justify its price the M9 will have to vanquish that amazing loudspeaker as well! There is some very impressive and stiff competition at the one-column SOTA dynamic driver loudspeaker level.
I read your words to mean that you were assuming Magico would have to justify the price of the M9. I was curious why you thought they would need to do that. That's all.
 
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Ron, it is certainly fun to speculate about relative performance and value about a speaker that only the developers have heard, but why do you presume that Magico needs to justify its pricing relative to other speakers from other brands? It seems this is what happens when a company announces a new flagship product.
The top high end is a very competitive market and most marketing strategies include a top model. Wilson Audio developed a top model costing 675k and last time I was told about it, they had sold a few tens of them. As far as I an see the Ultimate was not a commercial success, Magico had to show that they could manaufacture a speaker worth this kind of value. Until people prove the pudding they can only speculate!

On the other hand, when ddk announced his new AS2000, did people on forums speculate about the value of his turntable relative to other flagship turntables, especially before anyone had had a chance to hear it yet? (...)
As far as I know WBF is the only forum referring to the AS2000. We had a lot of talk on it, people took their buying decisions. One good thing of having the manufacturer with us is that we do not need to speculate, we just ask David!
 
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Lagonda

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The top high end is a very competitive market and most marketing strategies include a top model. Wilson Audio developed a top model costing 675k and last time I was told about it, they had sold a few tens of them. As far as I an see the Ultimate was not a commercial success, Magico had to show that they could manaufacture a speaker worth this kind of value. Until people prove the pudding they can only speculate!



As far as I know WBF is the only forum referring to the AS2000. We had a lot of talk on it, people took their buying decisions. One good thing of having the manufacturer with us is that we do not need to speculate, we just ask David!
Hey David is big in Japan too !;)
 
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Ron Resnick

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Ron, I was simply responding to what you wrote here:



I read your words to mean that you were assuming Magico would have to justify the price of the M9. I was curious why you thought they would need to do that. That's all.

By that clause I did not intend to be suggesting, directly or indirectly, that Magico or any company needs to justify a priori its MSRP.

I did not mean to suggest that Magico has to justify its price in an objective economic or numerical sense, or in a vacuum or in a sum of the cost of the parts sense. I meant only that the marketplace will judge the M9's price based on competing products. I meant that the marketplace will render its opinion on the M9's MSRP by voting with its collective wallets if people in fact buy M9s over other competing and less expensive products. If people buy the M9 over competing products then the M9's price will be "justified."
 
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I personally have no respect for any expensive speaker which shoots itself in the crossover by first converting the entire signal to digital.
I am sure that if top speaker manufacturers wanted to develop a very expensive speaker using such approach they could develop a speaker most of us would respect.They do not do it simply because the concept of active speakers with digital crossovers has several commercial drawbacks and is not easy to market. This subject was debated among several top designers in an interesting interview some years ago, sorry I do not remember the site.
 
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Hey David is big in Japan too !;)
Probably, but I can't read Japanese audio forums. :( Some times I regret I can't read audio forums from the Far East, they seem to cover a larger variety of products and have a much more open mind than the occidental ones.
 

Duke LeJeune

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I also think it is fun to try to understand the design, and to speculate about design differences among the competing speakers at that rarified price level.
That's the way I feel about "statement" speakers. I am fascinated by seeing the design choices someone skilled in the art makes given access to resources and few constraints. For one thing, it looks like Alon Wolf tooled up to make drivers which arguably surpass pretty much everything that has come before.

That 6" midrange driver... it has a FOUR INCH voice coil and apparently a very powerful neodymium motor, and is claimed to be linear up to 120 dB. I am not aware of its equivalent anywhere. For one thing, cramming that much performance into a small size cone lets him do some things in the radiation pattern realm which would otherwise not be possible. My "religion" when it comes to such is very different from Alon's, but that diminishes neither my fascination nor my respect.

The geek in me LOVES what Alon Wolf has done in the M9. The marketing department in me is hoping it doesn't trickle down TOO far!
 
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thomask

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My first speaker was ADS bookself driven by Fisher Int, Garrad turntable on 1978.

On 1983 I happened to listen to KEF R107 at Manhattan.

It was wow moment but I could not afford it.

But two years later, I got Thiel driven by Perreaux pre and power amp(200Watts0.

I had enjoyed Thiel 3way for 2 years but sold it just before I moved from Berkeley to Chicago.

After brief stint with Canton speaker, I had a chance to listen to Apogee Diva on 1989.

it was the ultimate speaker that I can dream of.

But due to budget, I settled with Duetta driven by Krell KSA 150 which I had lived happy for 10 years.

B&W Notilus 800 driven by Jadis 500 from 2000 to 2002 was another memorable experience which gave the most powerful dynamics and deep bass in my listening room.

Since 2007, I had been happy with Lansche 4.1 due to spooky vocal out of plasma tweeter.


Even if I like the sound of M9 at Axpona 2021, the chance to get one is none.

With all the amplifier and other accessories, the total cost will be more than 1.5M$ which I can not afford.


But I am still curious how it sounds to justify its price tag.
 
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Blackmorec

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I felt that you were criticizing the price of the speakers solely based on price, and suggesting further that one would need to spend additional literally millions of dollars to make rational the purchase of any speakers in a price range which I assumed you were implying that you personally found objectionable. Forgive me if I misunderstood the thrust of your post.

My reference to Audiogon was sarcastic in that almost every time I randomly peruse Audiogon's forum I see people ranting against the prices of components at all different price levels purely because that particular price happens to offend their personal sensibilities, with concepts of absolute sound quality, or relative sound quality per dollar, being completely ignored. I apologize for being sarcastic.
Oh I see.....that’s rather amusing. I was being genuinely enthusiastic so the sarcasm flew way over my head....not even a whiff. I spent most of my working life in high tech so I’m familiar with what it takes to bring something like the M9 to market...the design, the R&D, the prototyping, the manufacture, marketing, distribution and support. I was simply daydreaming about the corresponding level of effort that would be required for a genuinely dedicated audiophile to fully exploit a speaker of the calibre of the M9.
 

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