Oh jeez - M6, another super-speaker from Magico

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
1,878
1,403
390
the Upper Midwest
Tim, don't know what you mean by "Magicoscenti"
Those knowledgeable about Magico.

Harley was comparing the M6 to something. I could only figure that was to earlier edition Magico speakers. I'm asking about how the company has changed the sound of their speakers over time. I take you to be saying there is no consistent Magico sound and there are so many different models and versions. Although you do mention "the old days" and presumably something is different from that time. But I take it from your view that there's no Magico sonic evolution in one direction or another, or one cannot ascertain such.

I don't have the broad Magico experience that Harley has to know if his descriptions are lazy and disappointing. Perhaps the best I can do is take his words at face value and see what others have to say.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
2,192
1,921
420
Actually, toe tapping capabilities, or "rhythm & timing", harbor extremely important information about the essence of the music. As they say,

"it don't mean a thing
if it ain't got that swing"

(substitute "swing" with "rock" on rock music)

So no, rather than toe tapping impressions being "completely useless", they should be absolutely essential in reviews. Many high end components have mediocre rhythm & timing. It destroys the musical message where rhythm is crucial.
Very much agreed Al. Music is definitely physical as well as emotional and intellectual. If a system fails to engage the body as well as the mind and the heart (just the way music can) it is missing out on reproducing an important potential function of the music.
 
Likes: PeterA

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,752
1,202
453
Greater Boston
Toe-tapping is personal, subjective expression/reaction. Your toes may tap where mine will not and vice versa. You have noticed the different tastes and preferences here, right?
Musical information is musical information.
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,752
1,202
453
Greater Boston
I can't agree. Although I do not object to reading about it in limited doses if carefully explained, unfortunately most of the time toe tapping is the rescue buoy of poor quality reviews.
Not in my experience.

I also think that only exceptionally a component has mediocre rhythm & timing and destroys the musical message per se. If this happens most of the time it is poorly matched and/or used in the wrong room.
We may have different sensitivities to the issue, and I disagree.

Martin Colloms has written a classical article on the issue in Stereophile in 1992, in my view one of the most important ones on the High End ever written:

Pace, Rhythm, & Dynamics

At the time he claimed that digital in general had poor rhythm & timing. I agree. See also the accompanying article:

Pace, Rhythm, & Dynamics: One listener's lament

In the meantime some digital rigs have become exceptionally good when it comes to rhythm & timing, my current one thankfully being among them. My first four digital set-ups, however, were significantly lacking in this area.

But it is not just digital components.
 

cannata

Well-Known Member
Jan 31, 2014
476
33
233
Italy
I certainly do think there is a magico sound , membrane material leaves a sonic imprint if you want it or not , no matter perfect piston whatever diamond cones you name it.
But people saying they all sound different...
I agree membrane materials do leave a sonic imprint, but theoretically, a true pistonic cone should leave none. Unfortunately, they are not perfect, they all do have a breakup somewhere, and how effective its suppression will probably determine the "sound" of that cone.
 
Last edited:
May 30, 2010
16,868
1,667
720
Portugal
Not in my experience.



We may have different sensitivities to the issue, and I disagree.

Martin Colloms has written a classical article on the issue in Stereophile in 1992, in my view one of the most important ones on the High End ever written:

Pace, Rhythm, & Dynamics

At the time he claimed that digital in general had poor rhythm & timing. I agree. See also the accompanying article:

Pace, Rhythm, & Dynamics: One listener's lament

In the meantime some digital rigs have become exceptionally good when it comes to rhythm & timing, my current one thankfully being among them. My first four digital set-ups, however, were significantly lacking in this area.

But it is not just digital components.
Yes, these are the old 90's Colloms PRAT articles. They were nice to expose some problems of early digital and incompatibility between old systems and the new standards arriving at the market, but IMHO a very poor diagnostic of the real reasons. Fortunately I could have great rhythm and timing with digital equipment since long when properly matched - for example I remember the Meridian 508 20 bits, the Krell KPS25, the Mark Levinson ML31/30, the Forsell combo, the Audio Research CD7, the Metronome Kalista/Calypso and C2A, the DCS Elgar/Purcell/Verdi/Verona or now the Vivaldi.

Surely when the digital transcriptions were poor, as with many rock CDs, there was no way to have any rhythm!

IMHO , for a long time people ignored the importance of the CD reader mechanism and the importance of how it was connected to the DAC. Curiously the Meridian 508 needed some help to sound rhythmic - the old Audio Research SP8 preamplifier was part of it.
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,752
1,202
453
Greater Boston
Yes, these are the old 90's Colloms PRAT articles. They were nice to expose some problems of early digital and incompatibility between old systems and the new standards arriving at the market, but IMHO a very poor diagnostic of the real reasons. Fortunately I could have great rhythm and timing with digital equipment since long when properly matched - for example I remember the Meridian 508 20 bits, the Krell KPS25, the Mark Levinson ML31/30, the Forsell combo, the Audio Research CD7, the Metronome Kalista/Calypso and C2A, the DCS Elgar/Purcell/Verdi/Verona or now the Vivaldi.

Surely when the digital transcriptions were poor, as with many rock CDs, there was no way to have any rhythm!

IMHO , for a long time people ignored the importance of the CD reader mechanism and the importance of how it was connected to the DAC. Curiously the Meridian 508 needed some help to sound rhythmic - the old Audio Research SP8 preamplifier was part of it.
Apart from the issue of digital, later in that article he also has some interesting observations about speakers and amplifiers, as they relate to rhythm.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
8,093
2,486
680
Beverly Hills, CA
I liked PeterA’s Post #168, and I don’t find Peter’s system to sound analytical or lean. But I also, more generally, understand and agree with where Tima is coming from.

From the rear view mirror of the Q7 Mk. II suddenly the Q7 is bright and edgy in comparison. In general, the people for whom Magico is not their cup of tea have found the Magico sound to be analytical or lean.

Now the M6 is the best Magico ever because it is warmer and more relaxed sounding (than presumably the M Pro and the Q7 Mk. II).

But this was the crux of the Magico critics’ point all the way along. So I share Tima’s annoyance and skepticism about how rave reviewers who like Magico speakers consistently seem to like later iterations better when those later iterations move away from analytical/lean and towards warmer/more relaxed.
 
Last edited:
Likes: MJB and tima

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
1,878
1,403
390
the Upper Midwest
I liked PeterA’s Post #168, and I don’t find Peter’s system to sound analytical or lean. But I also, more generally, understand and agree with where Tima is coming from.

From the rear view mirror of the Q7 Mk. II suddenly the Q7 is bright and edgy in comparison. In general, the people for whom Magico is not their cup of tea have found the Magico sound to be analytical or lean.

Now the M6 is the best Magico ever because it is warmer and more relaxed sounding (than presumably the M Pro and the Q7 Mk. II).

But this was the crux of the Magico critics’ point all the way along. So I share Tima’s annoyance and skepticism about how rave reviewers who like Magico speakers consistently seem to like later iterations better when those later iterations move away from analytical/lean and towards warmer/more relaxed.
Thanks for your follow-up Ron. I'm not a critic of Magico - I simply don't have enough direct experience with them.

I have read reviews however and have the same sense as you based on those. Whether critical or wildly positive, the Magico sound has evolved over time. How could it not, going from wood to aluminum and now carbon-fiber, each with different internal structures for bracing and volume. Harley and Valin seem to have extolled each iteration, perhaps some more than others.

It makes me wonder if Wolf is changing his vision for "good sound" or if he is responding to his perception of the market - I don't know if that's a fair question, but I can't imagine the changes are simply trying this and then that. I am skeptical of the notion that Magico creates different sounds for different listeners as an explanation of the evolution over time. I want to believe they are moving in a consistent direction - if that's spelled out I'd love for someone to give me a reference where I may learn about it.

Broadly speaking, designers (not all) tend to take a trickle-down approach. From a different angle, ARC has - imo their pre-21st C. electronics were, imo, quite analytic and a bit leanish compared to their last 15 years of componentry. (The classic contrast of the 80's and 90's being ARC vs Conrad Johnson, silver vs. gold.) In ARC's case, there is more trickle-down in recent years. Wilson, who has also evolved, though not quite to the same extent, adopts a trickle-down and trickle-up tactic. I see that more from a technology angle. Dave Wilson always seemed to return to the MusikVerein for his vision. Do we think Magico takes a trickle-down approach with regard to sonics? Do they have a vision they want to disperse down the line? Those are questions not opinions.

Coming back to reviewers, particularly TAS - which my posts in this thread are about - there is little retrospective. While Harley writes about audio history, the magazine seems very focused on the here and now and the theme that audio must progress - a focus more on the industry and continual churn than on a consensus in his mind about what is good sound. That seems a bit contrary to HP's founding idea - whether you agree with it or not - of the absolute sound. Does Alon Wolf have his own absolute sound?
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
6,999
2,145
660
North Shore of Boston
Those knowledgeable about Magico.

Harley was comparing the M6 to something. I could only figure that was to earlier edition Magico speakers. I'm asking about how the company has changed the sound of their speakers over time. I take you to be saying there is no consistent Magico sound and there are so many different models and versions. Although you do mention "the old days" and presumably something is different from that time. But I take it from your view that there's no Magico sonic evolution in one direction or another, or one cannot ascertain such.

I don't have the broad Magico experience that Harley has to know if his descriptions are lazy and disappointing. Perhaps the best I can do is take his words at face value and see what others have to say.
Tim, here is another attempt to answer your question: "Would you say "more relaxed, warmer, richer, greater" reflects the way the Magico Sound has developed over time?" There is a sonic evolution in one direction, but it is not toward a more relaxed, warmer, richer sound", IMO. The direction is toward an ever lower distortion and lower noise sound, creating a more accurate portrayal of what is in the signal and on the recording. I do not have the sense that there is an effort toward a more pleasing "voicing" of the speaker or a different tonal balance.

What I am about to write is only my personal opinion and what I have gleamed from listening and from reading reviews and marketing material and interviews. I did visit the factory a few years ago and have spoken to Mr. Wolf a few times about his designs.

By "the old days" I am referring to when Magico made speakers with wooden enclosures and aluminum from and rear baffle plates, the Mini, the M5, the V2, and V3. They had a distinct family sound, IMO. I would describe it as highly resolving, given the various price points, with a fairly neutral tonal balance, and low distortion. The bass was about accuracy and not slam or extension. It was a very distinct sound relative to some of the other brands at that time. The sealed enclosure and other design decisions seemed to define a direction.

The middle days were when they developed the Q series and then the S series. These were at different price points and to me sounded as though they were voiced for different customers. One line was more pleasing, more flexible with different paint colors, and was more "life style" while the other line was about accuracy and a no holds barred no compromise attempt for the most transparent to source sound they could achieve. People discussed the different bass sounds and tonal balances. People picked their sides, some preferring the more expensive, more "accurate" Q, while others preferred the less expensive, more flexible, more pleasing sounding S.

That was the first decade. Then they developed the M Pro which marked a new direction. This was an effort to reach for new technologies and see where it could take them. Very expensive, very different, sold in a limited 50 pairs. I have heard one many times in a familiar system. It is excellent. The tweeter is smoother, less aggressive, perhaps more relaxed, and perhaps slightly warmer. Like previous designs, it is an extremely coherent and tonally neutral speaker. And it is lower in distortion. From this came the S series mark 2 speakers and now the M line and A line. Everything seems to have followed.

Personally, I would not describe the evolution in terms of tonal balance shifting because every current model that I have heard sounds slightly different. There are large price point and aesthetic differences. There are construction method differences and material differences. What has remained consistent is an effort to reduce distortion and lower noise. It is a technology driven company. At the various different price points, they are trying to make speakers that have little sound of their own. The evolution is about reducing the impact of the speaker on the sound from the system and with the S series and especially, the M series, the interaction with the room.

So, for Harley to reduce his description of the evolution of the company's speakers to simply a more relaxed, warm, sound to me seems a bit lazy. I just don't think Alon Wolf is focused on voicing his products to have a more pleasing tonal balance. I think he is more about pushing technology (materials, driver, crossover, cabinet construction and shape) to produce a product that is lower in distortion and noise and gets increasingly out of the way of the music. He also seems to want to offer a speaker to an ever increasing range of music lovers by creating a very comprehensive number of speakers in different product lines.
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,752
1,202
453
Greater Boston
Tim, here is another attempt to answer your question: "Would you say "more relaxed, warmer, richer, greater" reflects the way the Magico Sound has developed over time?" There is a sonic evolution in one direction, but it is not toward a more relaxed, warmer, richer sound", IMO. The direction is toward an ever lower distortion and lower noise sound, creating a more accurate portrayal of what is in the signal and on the recording. I do not have the sense that there is an effort toward a more pleasing "voicing" of the speaker or a different tonal balance.

What I am about to write is only my personal opinion and what I have gleamed from listening and from reading reviews and marketing material and interviews. I did visit the factory a few years ago and have spoken to Mr. Wolf a few times about his designs.

By "the old days" I am referring to when Magico made speakers with wooden enclosures and aluminum from and rear baffle plates, the Mini, the M5, the V2, and V3. They had a distinct family sound, IMO. I would describe it as highly resolving, given the various price points, with a fairly neutral tonal balance, and low distortion. The bass was about accuracy and not slam or extension. It was a very distinct sound relative to some of the other brands at that time. The sealed enclosure and other design decisions seemed to define a direction.

The middle days were when they developed the Q series and then the S series. These were at different price points and to me sounded as though they were voiced for different customers. One line was more pleasing, more flexible with different paint colors, and was more "life style" while the other line was about accuracy and a no holds barred no compromise attempt for the most transparent to source sound they could achieve. People discussed the different bass sounds and tonal balances. People picked their sides, some preferring the more expensive, more "accurate" Q, while others preferred the less expensive, more flexible, more pleasing sounding S.

That was the first decade. Then they developed the M Pro which marked a new direction. This was an effort to reach for new technologies and see where it could take them. Very expensive, very different, sold in a limited 50 pairs. I have heard one many times in a familiar system. It is excellent. The tweeter is smoother, less aggressive, perhaps more relaxed, and perhaps slightly warmer. Like previous designs, it is an extremely coherent and tonally neutral speaker. And it is lower in distortion. From this came the S series mark 2 speakers and now the M line and A line. Everything seems to have followed.

Personally, I would not describe the evolution in terms of tonal balance shifting because every current model that I have heard sounds slightly different. There are large price point and aesthetic differences. There are construction method differences and material differences. What has remained consistent is an effort to reduce distortion and lower noise. It is a technology driven company. At the various different price points, they are trying to make speakers that have little sound of their own. The evolution is about reducing the impact of the speaker on the sound from the system and with the S series and especially, the M series, the interaction with the room.

So, for Harley to reduce his description of the evolution of the company's speakers to simply a more relaxed, warm, sound to me seems a bit lazy. I just don't think Alon Wolf is focused on voicing his products to have a more pleasing tonal balance. I think he is more about pushing technology (materials, driver, crossover, cabinet construction and shape) to produce a product that is lower in distortion and noise and gets increasingly out of the way of the music. He also seems to want to offer a speaker to an ever increasing range of music lovers by creating a very comprehensive number of speakers in different product lines.
Peter, to me this is the most convincing account yet that I have read as to what is really going on in terms of Magico's company philosophy and product evolution.
 
Likes: PeterA

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,792
990
555
United States
You forget the threads that nauseatingly slobber over every part of a Magico cabinet as if Alon has solved cold fusion. The Magico forum has 148 threads, by far one of the highest on the manufacturers sub-forum. That doesn't seem to equal loads of criticism, but plenty of fans!

There are various threads where posters crap on the AF0, WAMM, SAT tonearms, Dagostinos, footers, panzerholz, non-SET amps, non-horns, etc. Heck, dCS isn't exactly loved here either. Your current guide, ddk, craps on half the audiophile establishment in not so flattering terms (wall tampons). Amir and Blizzard crapped on anything non-Harman back in the old days. PeterB crapped on the "chaff" and was banned.

In short, there is lots of gear crapping on this forum - the nature of the beast given its title. Magico and Wilson are the high end's big boys, so perhaps they get more but hey that comes with the position. Wilson has been crapped on for decades - hasn't hurt business $1. Same with Bose - the poster child of negative sentiment.
That was a humorous, insightful and informative post! Good one!
 
Likes: ack

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,752
1,202
453
Greater Boston
That was a humorous, insightful and informative post! Good one!
Yeah, I thought the cold fusion comment was the best. :)
 

IanG-UK

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2011
245
40
123
Yes, these are the old 90's Colloms PRAT articles. They were nice to expose some problems of early digital and incompatibility between old systems and the new standards arriving at the market, but IMHO a very poor diagnostic of the real reasons. Fortunately I could have great rhythm and timing with digital equipment since long when properly matched - for example I remember the Meridian 508 20 bits, the Krell KPS25, the Mark Levinson ML31/30, the Forsell combo, the Audio Research CD7, the Metronome Kalista/Calypso and C2A, the DCS Elgar/Purcell/Verdi/Verona or now the Vivaldi.

Surely when the digital transcriptions were poor, as with many rock CDs, there was no way to have any rhythm!

IMHO , for a long time people ignored the importance of the CD reader mechanism and the importance of how it was connected to the DAC. Curiously the Meridian 508 needed some help to sound rhythmic - the old Audio Research SP8 preamplifier was part of it.
Martin Colloms, who used to have competition in the UK in terms of reviewing, is now arguably one of only two reviewers (the other being Alan Sircom) who has loads of experience, a credible style and, effectively, his own magazine (HiFi Critic) (Sircom - HiFi +) which takes no advertising revenue. As a result his access to a wide range of equipment is probably not what it was in the HiFi News and HiFi Choice days. His own kit includes lots of Naim which was, I think, the source of the PRAT terminology. So he is well established in that area and probably wedded to it, to a degree, in the way that I am not. I wouldn't regard the Magico M series as a clear PRAT exponent and, were there a similar property, I'd say that Magico is more for the electrostatic advocate.
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,752
1,202
453
Greater Boston
I wouldn't regard the Magico M series as a clear PRAT exponent and, were there a similar property, I'd say that Magico is more for the electrostatic advocate.
I have heard the M Project exhibit excellent PRAT. But that was a result of careful upstream component selection and speaker set-up in the room (Magico speakers are extraordinarily sensitive to set-up). I wouldn't expect excellent rhythm from this or another M series speaker at a random show or demo.
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,792
990
555
United States
That was a humorous, insightful and informative post! Good one!
Agree! Laughed out loud.

In thinking about Peter's excellent characterization of the evolution of the Magico sound, I think he nailed their sonic evolution as essentially conforming to 2 major categories; pre M-Pro and post M-Pro. Prior to M-Pro, you could fry an egg on the Magico tweeters. The M-Pro changed all that. When they re-made the S5 MKII, I knew they finally made a great speaker for "the masses" (all few hundred of them :eek:) and I look forward to their continued development. I still think it's reasonable to expect that at ~170K, a speaker not require a subwoofer for SOA reproduction of the lowest half octave of music. I'll look forward to seeing that. I wouldn't be surprised to see that sort of performance enhancement in a revised variant of the S7, but that's total speculation. Still, new products are the life-blood of corporate growth and I think the Magico line could benefit from a speaker that favorably competes in the 100K-110K range to better compete against Wilson's Alexx.
 
Likes: ack

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,752
1,202
453
Greater Boston
I still think it's reasonable to expect that at ~170K, a speaker not require a subwoofer for SOA reproduction of the lowest half octave of music.
I don't think any speaker can be expected do that without a subwoofer, unless you have a separate bass tower that comes included in the speaker design package.

I have given up assuming that so called "full-range speakers" are exactly that.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
6,999
2,145
660
North Shore of Boston
Peter, to me this is the most convincing account yet that I have read as to what is really going on in terms of Magico's company philosophy and product evolution.
Al, I really appreciate that, but it is only my speculation from my perspective as an owner and someone who has heard a lot of their speakers and read a lot about what they are doing. I have no idea how accurate it is.

There is definitely the pre and post M Pro period. That was a real turning point, and I was thrilled to see a speaker with the curved front baffle of the Mini and Q series, and the curved side panels of the S series. I think the M Pro did merge what was best from those two distinct lines. Much has been written about the tweeter. I'll just reiterate that I don't hear the high frequency assault from my Q3 in my system, but I fully acknowledge the superiority of the new tweeters as I have heard in the S5II and MPro.

I would like to see Magico develop a more efficient and easier to drive speaker, but the sealed box of a realistic size seems to prevent it. It's only been about fifteen years. It will be interesting to see where they go from here.
 
Likes: DeYoung

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing