Magico FINALLY finds Musicality!!! - Thanks to CAT Preamp and Monoblocks!!!!!!

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,051
38
48
#1
After all these years of listening to the hype from the audio elites and audio "journalists", I have finally heard a musical Magico system. At Axpona, Wolf finally smarted up and played his S5 speakers with United tape/ Kronos vinyl sources feeding CAT preamp and monoblocks amps. Very natural sound with great detail in bass, midrange and up high. With CAT, Magico has finally surpassed Wilson in the bass department!

(Yes, I know those who think that Magico is already both "transparency to source" and transparent to music will find this system full of euphonic colourations from tubes, tape, and vinyl, but I think the VAST majority of audiophiles will enjoy it.)
 
Jan 21, 2014
233
1
0
#2
been saying this a long time.
best to mix old with new in a system.
having all the latest highest resolution components together in the same system is like have a party room full of tee-totallers.
you need to have a few wayward drunks in there to spicen it up. but not too many!!! needs to be just right.
try wilson with jadis.
try high resolution cables on vintage tube gear.
the best mix is really mixing it up imo.
the problem is that high end shows and demo rooms are a business,
and companies align with each other, but that may not be best for synergy, but
anyway they keep showing together.....
 
Likes: mulveling

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
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#3
You weren't in the Wilson/D'Agostino room when the two showed us what 800wpc is like and telling us he can hurt us after chasing my friend out of the room and hurting my ears real nicely. The Wilson's were taken to very visibly high excursion. It sucked to be in there. Sure it was incredible dynamic level, but I want to survive.

Although the strangest thing was watching the surround crinkle from excursion in the Jeff Rowland/Joseph room. I swear it wouldn't happen when Joseph was looking, but the speaker's drivers were flopping around from a resonance in the turntbale the whole time I was there (think 4hz or something).
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,035
169
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San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#4
caesar,

Have you considered that you might've been barking at the wrong tree all this time? You always blamed Magico for the lack of musicality. But their speakers were just passing through whatever was connected to them (with more or less embellishments, depending on the actual speaker/line). Not their fault they used to show with gear that wasn't particularly to your liking (and sometimes not to mine either!). Fortunately I was able to hear Magicos with a wide assortment of amps, so I know what the speakers are doing versus what the rest of the setup is...



cheers,
alex
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,139
23
38
Silicon Valley
#5
The S5 MK2 is a step up, but the original S5 is no slouch. Saying Magicos were not musical before sounds like jealousy, not fact.
 

mauidan

Member Sponsor
Aug 2, 2010
1,519
3
36
Pukalani, HI
#6
You weren't in the Wilson/D'Agostino room when the two showed us what 800wpc is like and telling us he can hurt us after chasing my friend out of the room and hurting my ears real nicely. The Wilson's were taken to very visibly high excursion. It sucked to be in there. Sure it was incredible dynamic level, but I want to survive.

Although the strangest thing was watching the surround crinkle from excursion in the Jeff Rowland/Joseph room. I swear it wouldn't happen when Joseph was looking, but the speaker's drivers were flopping around from a resonance in the turntbale the whole time I was there (think 4hz or something).
What does this have to do with the sound in Magico's room?
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
3,116
151
63
Eastern WA
#7
Claiming that Magico surpassed Wilson in bass. I'm saying I wouldn't tout that until you've been bled by the Wilson's, then compare.
 
Sep 1, 2013
122
7
18
Chicago, IL
#8
After all these years of listening to the hype from the audio elites and audio "journalists", I have finally heard a musical Magico system. At Axpona, Wolf finally smarted up and played his S5 speakers with United tape/ Kronos vinyl sources feeding CAT preamp and monoblocks amps. Very natural sound with great detail in bass, midrange and up high. With CAT, Magico has finally surpassed Wilson in the bass department!

(Yes, I know those who think that Magico is already both "transparency to source" and transparent to music will find this system full of euphonic colourations from tubes, tape, and vinyl, but I think the VAST majority of audiophiles will enjoy it.)
One of my favorite rooms today at Axpona for sure.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,334
266
83
North Shore of Boston
#9
caesar,

Have you considered that you might've been barking at the wrong tree all this time? You always blamed Magico for the lack of musicality. But their speakers were just passing through whatever was connected to them (with more or less embellishments, depending on the actual speaker/line). Not their fault they used to show with gear that wasn't particularly to your liking (and sometimes not to mine either!). Fortunately I was able to hear Magicos with a wide assortment of amps, so I know what the speakers are doing versus what the rest of the setup is...



cheers,
alex
Magico and Pass Labs is an excellent combination in my opinion. I have also heard them sound excellent with Spectral, though I prefer the former. Magico/Pass is not a popular combination in the US shows because very few dealers carry both brands, so they are not demoed together.
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,259
115
63
Far Hills, NJ
#10
The S5 MK2 is a step up, but the original S5 is no slouch. Saying Magicos were not musical before sounds like jealousy, not fact.
Respectfully disagree. In fact Magico speakers have undergone a dramatic sea change in their sound following the M Project. Pryor to that, their sound was brittle as hell according to many and very anti-musical (despite what Robert Harley and Jon Valin had to say). However, the S5, S7, Q7 mk II and more recent S5 MkII and S7 mkII all have a sound characteristic much more like the M Pro. Many early skeptics (including me) who have heard any of their post M project speakers are now convinced they can be positively musical and alluring. I truly believe they turned a corner and now make some very fine SOA contenders indeed at multiple price points.
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,139
23
38
Silicon Valley
#11
Respectfully disagree. In fact Magico speakers have undergone a dramatic sea change in their sound following the M Project. Pryor to that, their sound was brittle as hell according to many and very anti-musical (despite what Robert Harley and Jon Valin had to say). However, the S5, S7, Q7 mk II and more recent S5 MkII and S7 mkII all have a sound characteristic much more like the M Pro. Many early skeptics (including me) who have heard any of their post M project speakers are now convinced they can be positively musical and alluring. I truly believe they turned a corner and now make some very fine SOA contenders indeed at multiple price points.


The M series was introduced after the S1, S3, and S5. The S7 has trickle down technology from the M series. When I was at Magico to listen to an A/B comparison between the S5 and S7 my first thought was the S5 in their custom room sounded like my S5 at home. While the S7 bested the S5, it wasn't twice as good. That night at home I was thinking my S5 sounds like their S7. I have no experience with the Q series.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,334
266
83
North Shore of Boston
#12
The M series was introduced after the S1, S3, and S5. The S7 has trickle down technology from the M series. When I was at Magico to listen to an A/B comparison between the S5 and S7 my first thought was the S5 in their custom room sounded like my S5 at home. While the S7 bested the S5, it wasn't twice as good. That night at home I was thinking my S5 sounds like their S7. I have no experience with the Q series.
The M5 and M6 came before the Q series which came before the S series. I don't think the M Pro is the beginning of a new series, sadly. I'd love to see an M Mini (III) based on the M Pro with the tweeter and mid from the M Pro and curved carbon sides on a stand.

I actually think the Q1 can do some things that the S7 can not. It can disappear completely and might have lower distortion and be slightly more transparent. I have not compared them directly in the same system though. The S7 had quite a bit of cabinet vibration. I did not notice any cabinet vibration with the Q1, or any of the Qs for that matter.
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,139
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38
Silicon Valley
#13
You are right. I should not have said M series, but M Pro. As an engineer, I am terrible with names. :)
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
4,272
229
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Greater Boston
#14
Respectfully disagree. In fact Magico speakers have undergone a dramatic sea change in their sound following the M Project. Pryor to that, their sound was brittle as hell according to many and very anti-musical (despite what Robert Harley and Jon Valin had to say). However, the S5, S7, Q7 mk II and more recent S5 MkII and S7 mkII all have a sound characteristic much more like the M Pro. Many early skeptics (including me) who have heard any of their post M project speakers are now convinced they can be positively musical and alluring. I truly believe they turned a corner and now make some very fine SOA contenders indeed at multiple price points.
Marty, I respectfully disagree. The Magico Mini II that Peter A. and Microstrip have, as well as the Q1, are among the most musical speakers I have heard. They are both pre-M Pro.
 
Jan 23, 2011
3,858
2
36
Amsterdam holland
#15
Yeah good match up i think , most magico s need a bit of power /control and CAT can deliver.
Always funny how a company with virtually no marketing and no website can float to the top just based on delivering the goods.
Maybe choosing gear is like choosing a camera lens system , they all present a different view of reality , and CAT s view is pretty special i think , only downside is the awareness of the power amp in the listening room its not as dead quit as i would like it but its a small caveat .
Would love to hear the Q 7 at one stage fed by the CAT , heard the Q 7 on 90 watt s zanden and felt like it could use some more power control , although it sounded excellent as well.
Never had problems so far , have the pre for about 6 years and the power amp for about 1,5 year.
Best bass performance /control ive ever heard from a tube amp combo
 
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caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,051
38
48
#16
You weren't in the Wilson/D'Agostino room when the two showed us what 800wpc is like and telling us he can hurt us after chasing my friend out of the room and hurting my ears real nicely. The Wilson's were taken to very visibly high excursion. It sucked to be in there. Sure it was incredible dynamic level, but I want to survive.

Although the strangest thing was watching the surround crinkle from excursion in the Jeff Rowland/Joseph room. I swear it wouldn't happen when Joseph was looking, but the speaker's drivers were flopping around from a resonance in the turntbale the whole time I was there (think 4hz or something).
I actually like the D'Agostino amps a lot, and (other than Alexandria) I think Wilson sounds by far the best with Dan's amps. But when I went to the Wilson room to hear the Alexx, they told me they were not playing the Dags. They had some smallish tube amps, which I am sure sound glorious with voice and small scale stuff, but I left very disappointed.
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,051
38
48
#17
caesar,

Have you considered that you might've been barking at the wrong tree all this time? You always blamed Magico for the lack of musicality. But their speakers were just passing through whatever was connected to them (with more or less embellishments, depending on the actual speaker/line). Not their fault they used to show with gear that wasn't particularly to your liking (and sometimes not to mine either!). Fortunately I was able to hear Magicos with a wide assortment of amps, so I know what the speakers are doing versus what the rest of the setup is...



cheers,
alex
Sure, I have thought about this. But even the best model in the Q series, the Q3, has a little hot tweeter and lacks BEITZIM in the bass. No so with this new S5 and CAT.

Prior to this, the best I heard magico was with the extremely powerful and very expensive Balabo amps. (Interesting that no one mentions these anymore, but I thought they were seriously good.) But I think a lot of things have changed in their design over time.
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,051
38
48
#18
The S5 MK2 is a step up, but the original S5 is no slouch. Saying Magicos were not musical before sounds like jealousy, not fact.
Come on, man. The only system that I was really jealous of - and for a short second thought about cashing in my retirement savings or kids college savings funds was the mbl extreme system.

By far the most realistic system I have ever heard: musical transparency, 3-dimensionality, true to life macro dynamics, micro dynamics realistically portraying every vocal and instrumental change, bass so starkingly real that it pushed my body back when the canons exploded during the 1812 Overture, etc... Room packed full with 60-70 people, so hot, you could smell their humaneness, applauding after each performance

And it wasn't just me. Talking to many people at the show, many said to me this was the first time they have ever heard magico sounds great.
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,051
38
48
#19
Magico and Pass Labs is an excellent combination in my opinion. I have also heard them sound excellent with Spectral, though I prefer the former. Magico/Pass is not a popular combination in the US shows because very few dealers carry both brands, so they are not demoed together.
hey Peter,

I think pass xa is a bit slow and mushy , and counter-acts magico's virtues of speed. it's time to upgrade to cat . :)
 

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