Oh jeez - M6, another super-speaker from Magico

User211

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Magico at shows serve up a big conundrum...they typically set up with what the area distributor has for the entire system vs. using the absolute best that shows off their speakers
Example is the first show with M6 and they used McIntosh electronics...enough said

Judging Magico at a show is a fools game IMO...
Oh come.on. I think this is probably worth its own thread.

I have heard Magicos ever since Absolute Sounds started distributing them in the UK. That means I have heard them in totally different rooms, using totally different kit, with no more than a few people in the room to completely packed.

I have heard all the different models apart from the horn, and I only haven't heard that because I sat in the room for ages whilst the demo guy just spoke to someone with a whole room full of people waiting. It was absurd.

I have heard orchestrated demos using some extremely high end kit.

In all honesty when people blame shows for being useless ways to assess kit, that instantly raises suspicion in my mind. Show demos can be better than domestic visits, purely because the ancillaries are so high end, especially with shows of the ilk of Munich.

Most shows go through very quiet periods, where only one or two people are in the room. If you're interested in something, that's the time to check it out.

I could carry on but that'll do for now.
 
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Mdp632

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Regardless of what one feels about Magico.

I'm NOT an owner but, respect and enjoy their products that I've heard.

You have to respect the fact the he (Wolf) is pursuing removing distortions of all kinds in his designs.

He clearly has a vision and has 3 levels to you get there. A, S and M

Seems to me he is copying the German sedan model. Let's take a BMW 3 Series for example.

A base 3 series ; is still at its heart a BMW and has the DNA of the M3 (Car)

So ; Base, 340M , M3 for example.

More refinement and precision as you move up the chain. This precision, of course comes at a cost and certainly many wouldn't want it ; even if they can afford it. All about choice.

At least Magico expanding their customer base and has now more economies of scale. More so, then the one form Utah and the other from Colorado.

The ironic part is they are the youngest of the 3 respective loudspeaker companies.
 

DaveC

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Nov 16, 2014
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My issue with the magazines is the general decline in comparative reviews. Generally I find that only Michael Fremer and Don Saltzman routinely conduct comparative reviews.

I find uninteresting reviews which essentially conclude: “This [insert name of component] is one of the best I ever heard. I highly recommend it. If you are in the market for a [insert type of component] this should be on your short list.”

Comparative reviews are more difficult both as far as having the required gear and doing the testing.

On the 2nd point, the truth is it's true of a lot of gear these days. I think many years ago there was some truly questionable gear on sale but now there is a lot of really excellent gear. Can you name any examples of currently popular gear that just doesn't live up to expectations for the market it's aimed at?
 
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KeithR

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My issue with the magazines is the general decline in comparative reviews. Generally I find that only Michael Fremer and Don Saltzman routinely conduct comparative reviews.

I find uninteresting reviews which essentially conclude: “This [insert name of component] is one of the best I ever heard. I highly recommend it. If you are in the market for a [insert type of component] this should be on your short list.”
RH stopped doing this years ago. His reviews are mostly marketing now imo.
 

ack

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Al M.

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RH stopped doing this years ago. His reviews are mostly marketing now imo.
To be fair, he makes a few brief comparisons in the first paragraph of his M6 review.
 
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BlueFox

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LOL. Everybody is a critic. Just take the magazine reviews as one person’s opinion. That’s all it is. Personally, I prefer more information/opinions than less.
 

PeterA

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I actually like this little piece Harley wrote quoting Valin:

"Jonathan Valin wrote a brilliant analysis of this phenomenon in his review of the Acoustic Signature Invictus Jr. turntable in Issue 297: “Though I’ve struggled for decades with explaining which sonic qualities make for a ‘real’ or lifelike presentation (beyond, of course, superior LP engineering and mastering), I keep coming back to the fact that I know ‘real’ when I hear it. Indeed, I know it instantly without rational analysis or reflection (which is part of what makes subsequent rational analysis so difficult). Though I distrust the concept (because it itself is hard to explain), it has come to me that perceiving a recorded copy as the real thing isn’t merely a matter of superior parts but of what psychologists call the gestalt grouping of those parts, wherein the many variables that we reviewers (and you readers) ascribe to real and recorded sound (i.e., true-to-life timbre, pitch, dynamics, duration, soundstaging, imaging, bloom, dimensionality, etc.) are no longer perceived as separable (or even as outstandingly well-reproduced) ingredients but as a collectively realistic representation of a whole.”

I recently used the word "gestalt" to describe the sound I was hearing in my friend Al M.'s system last week when I shared my impressions in his system thread. The overall sense was of listening to the music and not to his system. With recent changes to my own system, I find it increasingly difficult to focus on the individual attributes of the sound. The parts don't matter so much to me any more. Listening to my system is now more about the emotion conveyed in the music. It is becoming a more holistic experience.

It sounds corny, but I think this is what Valin is getting at in his quote above, and it may be what Harley means when he describes the M6's sense of balance. The speaker does not have any particular or outstanding strengths, but rather it is the lack of weaknesses that allow the listener to move beyond the sound and toward the music. Harley spends less time listening to and writing about individual sonic parts (bits and pieces to ddk) but rather to or about the whole. I think he and Valin make a good point here (not having heard the speaker myself:)).

I think this review is being too easily dismissed.
 

howiebrou

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Jun 29, 2012
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I actually like this little piece Harley wrote quoting Valin:

"Jonathan Valin wrote a brilliant analysis of this phenomenon in his review of the Acoustic Signature Invictus Jr. turntable in Issue 297: “Though I’ve struggled for decades with explaining which sonic qualities make for a ‘real’ or lifelike presentation (beyond, of course, superior LP engineering and mastering), I keep coming back to the fact that I know ‘real’ when I hear it. Indeed, I know it instantly without rational analysis or reflection (which is part of what makes subsequent rational analysis so difficult). Though I distrust the concept (because it itself is hard to explain), it has come to me that perceiving a recorded copy as the real thing isn’t merely a matter of superior parts but of what psychologists call the gestalt grouping of those parts, wherein the many variables that we reviewers (and you readers) ascribe to real and recorded sound (i.e., true-to-life timbre, pitch, dynamics, duration, soundstaging, imaging, bloom, dimensionality, etc.) are no longer perceived as separable (or even as outstandingly well-reproduced) ingredients but as a collectively realistic representation of a whole.”

I recently used the word "gestalt" to describe the sound I was hearing in my friend Al M.'s system last week when I shared my impressions in his system thread. The overall sense was of listening to the music and not to his system. With recent changes to my own system, I find it increasingly difficult to focus on the individual attributes of the sound. The parts don't matter so much to me any more. Listening to my system is now more about the emotion conveyed in the music. It is becoming a more holistic experience.

It sounds corny, but I think this is what Valin is getting at in his quote above, and it may be what Harley means when he describes the M6's sense of balance. The speaker does not have any particular or outstanding strengths, but rather it is the lack of weaknesses that allow the listener to move beyond the sound and toward the music. Harley spends less time listening to and writing about individual sonic parts (bits and pieces to ddk) but rather to or about the whole. I think he and Valin make a good point here (not having heard the speaker myself:)).

I think this review is being too easily dismissed.
We have some M6 owners here. It would be interesting to hear their perspective.
 
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PeterA

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tima

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The Valin/Harley writing you quote is not unusual in what it describes, though it sounds like you've taken to it given its alignment with discoveries made during your current de-tweaking effort, if I may call it that. I agree that Valin writes quite well. I agree with Valin that what he is trying to say is not all that easy to convey, largely because, imo, it steps outside the standard litany. It really helps if the reader/listener has had something of the experience he describes.

Bio: Here, it is both amusing and slightly eery to me that some of what Valin is saying mirrors some of a review I'm currently working on - the eery part being the coincidence of your quote - although I've written similar abot several products in the past. Another way to describe what he's saying is to talk about the pre-analytic limbic-level listening experience.

The speaker does not have any particular or outstanding strengths, but rather it is the lack of weaknesses that allow the listener to move beyond the sound and toward the music.
This part I kinda disagree with as a conclusion in general in as much as you derive (at least part of) your analysis or interpretation of Harely's words from Valin's. That a listener has a holistic view of a speaker in no way precludes excellence in certain of the speaker's characteristics. It may be those very characteristics that cause the listener to take the broader perspective he does.

I would argue that, while remarks like Valin's are important - very important -it remains the reviewer's responsibility to, as I say, "break the gestalt", to characterise the speaker (to expose it) in traditional audiophile terminology. That gives a reader not oriented to wholism what he is expecting and avoids reader conclusions like "what the hell la-la-la is he talking about?" Balance can be more than lack of weakness although that is an explanation for it. Lack of strength can also be boring.

I don't think the review is being dismissed - not that many have read it. I think the somewhat limited reaction is more about "yet another front-cover Magico review from TAS" which is a comment less about the speaker than about the magazine. I don't know if you would agree that no other magazine and brand have the consistent association of TAS and Magico.

Peter, I do appreciate your post and your efforts to put into words the recent experiences you are having.
 

Joe Whip

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Feb 8, 2014
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I actually like this little piece Harley wrote quoting Valin:


I recently used the word "gestalt" to describe the sound I was hearing in my friend Al M.'s system last week when I shared my impressions in his system thread. The overall sense was of listening to the music and not to his system. With recent changes to my own system, I find it increasingly difficult to focus on the individual attributes of the sound. The parts don't matter so much to me any more. Listening to my system is now more about the emotion conveyed in the music. It is becoming a more holistic experience.

This is exactly what I have been after. I had a friend over this week to listen and he said he loved the room after 3 hours of listening. He said we are listening to the music and not the equipment. Al M. and I share the same DAC. I will say that the construction of the room and speaker placement had a ton to do with the results. Modestly priced kit and a great room can achieve great results.
 
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kach22i

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.... the pre-analytic limbic-level listening experience.

I would argue that, while remarks like Valin's are important - very important -it remains the reviewer's responsibility to, as I say, "break the gestalt", to characterise the speaker (to expose it) in traditional audiophile terminology.
Oh yes, the Limbic system, the thing Elon Musk told Joe Rogan limits humans processing speed and that artificial intelligence will one day surpass humans because of our slow speed to process input.

Limbic system
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbic_system

To "break the gestalt" is to go from enjoying music into critical listening mode, and yes it is work although not totally without rewards.

I'm glad to see that word/phrase getting some use outside of the art and architecture world where I first learned it.
 
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ack

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Harley spends less time listening to and writing about individual sonic parts (bits and pieces to ddk) but rather to or about the whole.
I was about to write that the review is really thin, lacking depth and breadth, especially for such an expensive and important product in the quest of high end audio. Indeed, bits and pieces. I saw the same thing in his recent Berkeley Alpha Ref3 review. So yes, very easy for me to dismiss this review, especially when the best part of it is extensively quoting someone else - Valin.
 

ack

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I don't think the review is being dismissed - not that many have read it. I think the somewhat limited reaction is more about "yet another front-cover Magico review from TAS" which is a comment less about the speaker than about the magazine. I don't know if you would agree that no other magazine and brand have the consistent association of TAS and Magico.
Exactly THAT
 

PeterA

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I was about to write that the review is really thin, lacking depth and breadth, especially for such an expensive and important product in the quest of high end audio. Indeed, bits and pieces. I saw the same thing in his recent Berkeley Alpha Ref3 review. So yes, very easy for me to dismiss this review, especially when the best part of it is extensively quoting someone else - Valin.
Tasos, It seems as though we agree on what the best part of the review is: that quote from Valin.

The difference it seems is that you dismiss the review for the very reason I think it is pretty good. The individual sonic attributes (bits and pieces) are briefly mentioned in the opening section where he describes how this speaker is bettered by three other speakers that he has had in his own listening room - the comparative part that Al mentioned. He then goes on to describe the listening experience as being more of a holistic experience than of an analytical one in which it is easy to dissect the bits and pieces of the sound. Real music is not about describing bits and pieces (to paraphrase ddk). Real music is experienced as an organic whole. I read this as a good thing and Harley conveys that intent to me as the reader.

You seem to read something else completely, and that is fine. In that sense, Harley seems unsuccessful with his efforts. All I'm suggesting is that I can relate to what I think Harley is trying to convey. His quoting Valin to illustrate his main point about the speaker is the crux of the review for me and why I identified that section of the review and posted about it. You then conclude it nicely for me by your post here:

Ack:

"From this very M6 TAS review published just today http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/magico-m6/?page=4 - a speaker with no shortcomings

"Best of all, the M6 simply doesn’t have any shortcomings that one must consciously or unconsciously listen past."

Ack: "And this is why I started this thread."

You started the thread, by your own admission, not because of the cover photo, it seems, but because of this one quote. And I think that quote, combined with Harley's preface in which he quotes Valin, seems to make his point about his experience of listening to this speaker.
 
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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The Valin/Harley writing you quote is not unusual in what it describes, though it sounds like you've taken to it given its alignment with discoveries made during your current de-tweaking effort, if I may call it that. I agree that Valin writes quite well. I agree with Valin that what he is trying to say is not all that easy to convey, largely because, imo, it steps outside the standard litany. It really helps if the reader/listener has had something of the experience he describes.

Bio: Here, it is both amusing and slightly eery to me that some of what Valin is saying mirrors some of a review I'm currently working on - the eery part being the coincidence of your quote - although I've written similar abot several products in the past. Another way to describe what he's saying is to talk about the pre-analytic limbic-level listening experience.



This part I kinda disagree with as a conclusion in general in as much as you derive (at least part of) your analysis or interpretation of Harely's words from Valin's. That a listener has a holistic view of a speaker in no way precludes excellence in certain of the speaker's characteristics. It may be those very characteristics that cause the listener to take the broader perspective he does.

I would argue that, while remarks like Valin's are important - very important -it remains the reviewer's responsibility to, as I say, "break the gestalt", to characterise the speaker (to expose it) in traditional audiophile terminology. That gives a reader not oriented to wholism what he is expecting and avoids reader conclusions like "what the hell la-la-la is he talking about?" Balance can be more than lack of weakness although that is an explanation for it. Lack of strength can also be boring.

I don't think the review is being dismissed - not that many have read it. I think the somewhat limited reaction is more about "yet another front-cover Magico review from TAS" which is a comment less about the speaker than about the magazine. I don't know if you would agree that no other magazine and brand have the consistent association of TAS and Magico.

Peter, I do appreciate your post and your efforts to put into words the recent experiences you are having.
Thanks Tim, that is an excellent post.

TAS and Magico is quite a consistent association. I agree. Stereophile (Fremer) and VPI also come to mind. Perhaps Stereophile and Wilson too. There was an old SS amp brand, perhaps McCormack, that Fremer owned to drive his speakers. It seems every new McCormack product for years had a large ad and review in Stereophile. Ken Kessler and Hi-Fi News with SME also comes to mind as having an extremely consistent association. (Here is a link to a nice old review from Kessler about the Model 30: https://www.kenkessler.com/hi-fi/hi-fi-news-november-1990-sme-30-turntable-review/)
 
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