Oh jeez - M6, another super-speaker from Magico

May 30, 2010
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I just read the M2 Stereophile review that another kind soul posted here today https://absolutehiend.com/media/wysiwyg/pdf/MagicoM2Stereophile.pdf and I was wrong in my original prediction about it - I find it carefully written and devoid of questionable superlatives.
I briefly went through it when I got Stereophile - I found it boring and lacking information on speaker sound characteristics. The nice interview with Alon Wolf, the Rattle / Uchida reccomendation and the measurements saves it. One of the less interesting and enthusiastic reviews of JA I have ever read. As always, IMHO, YMMV.
 

PeterA

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Are Magico that much worse at hyperbole than other manufacturers?
No, I don't think so, but I thought the concern expressed in this thread is about hyperbole from reviewers and TAS and Stereophile covers in particular. There is colorful marketing prose from almost every manufacturer. Some product categories are particularly egregious. Just look at cable ads for many fine examples.
 
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PeterA

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I briefly went through it when I got Stereophile - I found it boring and lacking information on speaker sound characteristics. The nice interview with Alon Wolf, the Rattle / Uchida reccomendation and the measurements saves it. One of the less interesting and enthusiastic reviews of JA I have ever read. As always, IMHO, YMMV.
The magazines put Magico on the cover because it works by getting people to read. People who know they hate the brand will still pick up the magazine and read, or skim, the cover review. What do they hope to learn knowing they have not liked any speaker the company has ever made? It's a curious thing.

Fransisco, what did you like about the interview with Alon Wolf? That interview is not visible in the on-line/digital review.

I did happen to find the comments about the low end reproduction quite interesting and the wide dispersion of the speaker. I wish JA described the size of his room and the type of treatments. What about toe-in of the speaker and positioning? One would think this information would be critical for a reader trying to decide if what the reviewer heard has any relevance to what the reader may hear in his own room.

I agree that the review is a bit lacking.
 
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May 30, 2010
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The magazines put Magico on the cover because it works by getting people to read. People who know they hate the brand will still pick up the magazine and read, or skim, the cover review. What do they hope to learn knowing they have not liked any speaker the company has ever made? It's a curious thing.

Fransisco, what did you like about the interview with Alon Wolf? That interview is not visible in the on-line/digital review.

I did happen to find the comments about the low end reproduction quite interesting and the wide dispersion of the speaker. I wish JA described the size of his room and the type of treatments. What about toe-in of the speaker and positioning? One would think this information would be critical for a reader trying to decide if what the reviewer heard has any relevance to what the reader may hear in his own room.

I agree that the review is a bit lacking.
Peter,

I can't imagine people hating Magico looking for audio magazines at newsstands. 99,5% of people have preferences, the .5% of haters go in audio forums ... :)

The interview is explicitly spread along the review - I asked Alon, he responded, he agreed. I appreciated his views on technical issues and particularly on Fletcher-Mundson - it shows me why a ported speaker does not have problems for me ...

JA describes that the mono pink noise was appropriately narrow and stable, perhaps a sign that speakers were listened with some toe in.

Anyway I smiled at the "slopes gently" wording used to describe the 6dB octave slope between 10 and 20 kHz. But I doubt that our natural sound friends will be happy with a measured sensitivity of 86d/W ...

Interesting that he seems to use the Lamm M1.2R in the review, but curiously no preamplfiier is listed in the associated equipment section. Can we conclude he is driving the Lamm with the DAC's?
 
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cannata

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Just in case there are none-haters here, but Peter, let me sum up the “telling” things that JA did say:
“What was unusual about the M2’s imaging was that it was preserved even when I was sitting at my desk to the left of my listening seat…” and
“That a tower like the Magico can do this is a tribute to its dispersion and even tonal balance.”
The bass “was reproduced with excellent weight, as was my Fender bass guitar on the channel ID and phasing tracks on Editor’s Choice. Both instruments also benefited from the M2’s superb low-frequency clarity”.
The act that it was probably the first time he clearly heard the contrarian notes E-flat and F on Sibelius Symphony No.5; “You hear the discord as Sibelius intended: two low notes very close in frequency but far enough apart in pitch to be distinguished. This double-bass discord is something I hear in real life but not often as clearly with recordings as it was reproduced by the Magicos”

And let’s not forget the two compliments JA doesn’t easily give, and hardly ever together: “… the M2 offers excellent measured performance” and that the “Magico’s M2 joins that exclusive club—if I could afford them” (the clubs of speakers he had actually purchased in the past 40 years).

I have been reading JA for 30 years, never seen him get too excited about anything (but maybe the Tidal Audio Akira – but only a pass on measurements section).
 
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PeterA

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Yes, cannata. I too noticed the comments about dispersion and bass quality. He has also had some great things to say about Pass amplifiers in the past. Pity that he did not have one on hand to use with the M2. I would also like to hear the Lamms with sufficient power driving the Magicos.

I have heard the M2 in a very large room. Unfortunately, it is too small for such a room. I did like some things very much like timbre. It looks very well made, as it should for the price, but I was struck by how small it is and I really don't understand why the carbon side panels are recessed by 1/8" or so all round from the aluminum top, front, bottom, and back plates. I'd much rather they were flush. The shadow line this creates detracts from the speaker's beauty, IMO. Otherwise, it is quite lovely. I would love to hear them again in a smaller room with good amplification.
 
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tima

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I have not heard the Magico M6 but my copy of TAS arrived with the speaker on its cover and an interior centerfold shot - two full color page photos of the M6. Coupled with the word STUNNING on the cover, seems that Harley put his stake in the ground before word two is read. Buy a pair and join the Harley Club.

Okay, my bad, enough snark...

I chose to read the conclusion first:

The new carbon-fiber cabinet, with its diffraction-reducing aerodynamic shape, takes the Magico sound to the next level. In addition to the more relaxed treble and expansive soundstaging realized by the new cabinet design, the M6 skews toward a warmer and richer balance, with greater tone color density. ...

The M6 offers a new or at least next level Magico sound. It is ... warmer, more relaxed treble, richer, greater ... these are comparatives and I assume Harley is casting them against prior Magico speakers.

I haven't followed Magico to the level that some have, but my general impression is that Harley's comparatives are kinda the story of the company's evolution across the years of its various releases and tiers. Where the Magico Sound stands relative to the rest of speakerdom, I'm not qualified to say. (Which doesn't mean I have no opinion, just not one I'll share in this context since I haven't taken in the latest version.)

But perhaps the Magicoscenti have a sense of it. Would you say "more relaxed, warmer, richer, greater" reflects the way the Magico Sound has developed over time?
 

PeterA

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Tim, don't know what you mean by "Magicoscenti", though it sounds kind of funny. My experience is more with the older wood enclosures, then some of the Q and S series. I have heard the newest M3 a couple of times, and the M2 once. And I have not heard the A series.

I think it is difficult to answer your question because I have found the four Magico lines that I have heard each sounds different. Perhaps the better question is: What flavor do you want? The old M5 and Mini II were highly accomplished speakers which I found difficult to characterize. The V2 and V3 were not as good, though good values and excellent sounding relative to their peers, IMO. The Q series is known for accuracy to the signal. TAS, Valin, Wolf, all wrote about that and I hear it in my Q3. Then came the S series which was designed for a different taste, and built to a different price point. I found the early models not as accurate and transparent and tonally neutral as the Q. They came out with the Mk 2 models which are better. I have likened the Q/S distinction as similar to the Pass Labs X and XA series. Two markets, different sounds, different goals.

Now the M series is evolved from the M Pro and technology marches on, finds it way into the S series, the A series, and the newest M series. I love the M Pro, but have not heard the A series or M2 and M3 set up well enough to really know what these speakers are capable of sounding like.

The Q series has the reputation of being ruthlessly revealing, a bit bright, analytical, cold, sterile, neutral. Some love it others hate it. I hear none of those attributes in my system for whatever reason. Nor do my friends. We hear what Valin and Wolf described at the time of their release as "accuracy", and the closest they knew of how to get to what's on the recording. At least at that time.

I think an owner of the new M6, M3, or M2 who once owned the Q series, or the older wooden speakers may be able to better answer your question. But basically, I don't think there is a Magico sound, because the different lines sound different because they are voiced differently, and designed for different customers. It's hard to generalize the way Harley does in that conclusion. Is he saying the M6 is warmer/richer than the S5 Mk2? I would think it is lower in distortion and more capable in general so I would use completely different language to describe the direction the company is moving in.

It is also about construction efficiencies, profitability, and what they think can sell today to a variety of customers. I mean Porsche makes SUVs and the 9ll, plus more race ready track cars. I suspect the M series and A series sound quite different and that one should not generalize about a Magico "sound", because today, there are so many different models available. It's not like the old days when they only had the wooden speakers, or later when they had only the Q and S lines.

I think Harley wants to come across as knowing it all, but in reality, I find these generalizations a bit lazy and disappointing, frankly.
 
Jan 23, 2011
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I always lked the V3 alu / wood together with zanden.
Aluminium alone sounds arguably a bit colder, i hope to hear the latest models at munich.
Cannata dont take this opinion to serious please ,lol.
From that model i became interested in scan speak ringradiator tweeters.
Magico needs warm tubes imo , Cat for example or octave sounded nice
 
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Jan 23, 2011
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The M5( also alu /wood) however i found one of the worst overpriced magico s ever together with q 3
You could see i wasnt the only one in second hand prices.
S 5 is a good speaker to imo but again with tubes .
Not the deepest bass but very revealing.
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.

Ps .
Luckily diamond (perfect piston )cones arent the most natural sounding , saves a lot of money.
 
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And let’s not forget the two compliments JA doesn’t easily give, and hardly ever together: “… the M2 offers excellent measured performance” and that the “Magico’s M2 joins that exclusive club—if I could afford them” (the clubs of speakers he had actually purchased in the past 40 years).

I have been reading JA for 30 years, never seen him get too excited about anything (but maybe the Tidal Audio Akira – but only a pass on measurements section).
Maybe, but he didn't say anything enthusiastic about the music or overall experience. just a few details about random stuff like the doublebass. not exactly cracking a beer and tapping the toes ;)

This was a measured review so everybody "wins" was my read.
 

cannata

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Magico sound is elusive, always has been. I am on my 3rd pair. To me, you get more transparency and finesse, as you go up the lines. I don’t think it is voicing, although the bass on the S series is fuller, but less define, sounding, but that maybe due to a “lesser” invested motor system, i.e. less control (Overhang vs. underhung, ferrite vs. Neo, etc.).
More shameless raves, what is up with all these reviewers :eek:
http://absolutesounds.com/pdf/main/press/HFN_01:20_Magico_A1_HR.pdf
 
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cannata

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Maybe, but he didn't say anything enthusiastic about the music or overall experience. just a few details about random stuff like the doublebass. not exactly cracking a beer and tapping the toes ;)

This was a measured review so everybody "wins" was my read.
We all read what we want to read. I find "musical experience" and "tapping the toes" impressions objective at best, and therefore completely useless. Learning that one speaker actually reveals more information then others is much more valuable to me.
When RH went all out, he was mocked, and when JA stay cool and reserved but actually reveal more useful stuff on the products, you all complain.
Haters will be haters, its quite funny, I must say.
 
May 30, 2010
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(...) I have been reading JA for 30 years, never seen him get too excited about anything (but maybe the Tidal Audio Akira – but only a pass on measurements section).
You probably avoid reading him on Wilson Audio. :) The Alexia review, also carried with the Lamm M1.2R's was too enthusiastic, but IMHO deserved - I owned them for a couple of years.

In JA own words "If I were to retire tomorrow, the Wilson Alexia would be the speaker I would buy to provide the musical accompaniment to that retirement. " https://www.stereophile.com/content/wilson-audio-specialties-alexia-loudspeaker-page-2.

I will not say I have not gone up since than or that the Alexia II is a better speaker, but retrospectively could have stopped at that time.
 
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We all read what we want to read. I find "musical experience" and "tapping the toes" impressions objective at best, and therefore completely useless. Learning that one speaker actually reveals more information then others is much more valuable to me.
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.
 

PeterA

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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.
Al, I agree with this. I think a good review will break down the sonic attributes that a product demonstrates and then the reviewer should, IMO, make the effort to describe whether or not the component moved him emotionally or not. Toe-tapping, "losing oneself", the gestalt, etc, etc, should be a part of the review. If it is not, either the reviewer is lazy, or the component did not move him in a way that would make him want to mention it. Hrd to say why AJ did not discuss this aspect music listening to the M2. Perhaps it was "lifeless". This is why I appreciate Harley's effort to quote Valin in the M6 review, because it addresses this sense of whole as separate from the parts.
 
May 30, 2010
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I actually read all his reviews.
Well, I congratulate you. I can't say the same, I am very selective on what I read.

As I said, we all read (in to) it the way we want to. I also listened to many of the speakers he reviewed, and can form my own opinion.
My comment only addressed what JA wrote about the two speakers, nothing else. Independently of our reading bias, any one can see what speaker excited him more, using your words.

FYI I have listened to the Magico M6, although only in a demo shop, and I feel could easily built a great system around them and retire with it ... ;)
 

cannata

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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.
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?
 
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