Magico M3 vs M2

Audire

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Jan 19, 2019
562
578
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Present System:

In my present system, I use Magico A3s. They are excellent for their size and price, but can get a little stressed out at times trying to fill the entire space with music. They rest in a 18 (L) x16 (W) x12 (H) Great Room with a huge kitchen off to the right of my listening chair. Not ideal by any means.

System.jpg

Upgrade Plans:

An upgrade is being considered: EMM Labs, SACD, DAC, PRE, Aurender N30, ACS10, and a J Sikora Standard Max Line Turn Table, KV-12 Tone Arm, Opus1 cart, VAC Phone Pre. The Pass Labs 260.8s will be sticking around. They may be replaced later with Boulder 2150s, but that’s not in the cards at present.

I'm considering a second cart for the TT. Not sure which one. So if you have any suggestions here they might be helpful? The second cart would most likely be on the same KV-12 tonearm (Tri-Planar U12 an option).

The Question:

The question I’m now trying to consider is which speakers. I’ve tried many thru-out the last few months and I desire either Magico M3s or M2s. I love their sound and others at this point aren't being considered. While price is not an issue between the two, I understand that the M2 does better in some respects (and rooms) than its elder brother, the M3. And the M3s may be a little large for my room, as the A3s do a good job (but not perfect) of filling it? Female vocals are my main emphasis in listening, but soft rock is also played about 40% of the time. I don’t think there is enough room for subs (which would probably be REL 25s).

So, based upon my room size and chosen components which might be better for this set-up? Thanks in advance.
 
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bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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Wow I wish I had to make this decision ;). If I was making this type of decision I would take a flight out to CA (Magico) for an extended listening session.

I'm envious.......
 
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Audire

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Wow I wish I had to make this decision ;). If I was making this type of decision I would take a flight out to CA (Magico) for an extended listening session.

I'm envious.......
Thanks. That's excellent advice. However, I have a heart condition and can't fly. The closest dealer to me that has the M2s in stock is too far away (6 hours).

But Peter McKay from Magico will be doing the speaker set-up personally.
 

bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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Given the open space to your kitchen, my own crazy logic says go for the M3 and call it a day. I'm sure the Pass 260.8 will drive them nicely. But future Boulder 2150s seems like a heavenly match.
 
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dcathro

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Sep 16, 2016
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With all that open plan space to drive go for the bigger speaker.
 
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LenWhite

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Feb 11, 2011
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systems.audiogon.com
I'm thinking of the M2 coupled with my JL Audio CR1/F212v2. But I haven't auditioned either speaker yet. It will be next year before I can do that. BTW - I'm currently using the Boulder 1160 and EMM Labs DV2.
 
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bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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I'm thinking of the M2 coupled with my JL Audio CR1/F212v2. But I haven't auditioned either speaker yet. It will be next year before I can do that. BTW - I'm currently using the Boulder 1160 and EMM Labs DV2.
Oh yes that would make a killer combo.
 
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Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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Given the open space to your kitchen, my own crazy logic says go for the M3 and call it a day. I'm sure the Pass 260.8 will drive them nicely. But future Boulder 2150s seems like a heavenly match.

Yes, quite big room. M3 is the safer bet.
 

Bartolo

Well-Known Member
Jan 31, 2019
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Watching/reading with interest. We're in a very similar situation, having moved house recently. Our A3's are now in a great room that's about 18' x 30', with the kitchen at one end in the 30' direction and a fireplace at the other end, with the speakers on either side of the fireplace. We've really enjoyed the A3's in our smaller home. A5's may be our best bet.

There's a pair of M2's for sale locally but I'm reluctant to buy them on a whim; they are expensive and I'm not interested in changing amplification at this time (I have a Naim 500-level system). I've heard M2's at Goodwin's locally but not in my home. And given our interest in "more bass" the A5's may be more satisfying in that way. (???)
 
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Addicted to hifi

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Sep 8, 2020
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Australia
Present System:

In my present system, I use Magico A3s. They are excellent for their size and price, but can get a little stressed out at times trying to fill the entire space with music. They rest in a 18 (L) x16 (W) x12 (H) Great Room with a huge kitchen off to the right of my listening chair. Not ideal by any means.

View attachment 82409

Upgrade Plans:

An upgrade is being considered: EMM Labs, SACD, DAC, PRE, Aurender N30, ACS10, and a J Sikora Standard Max Line Turn Table, KV-12 Tone Arm, Opus1 cart, VAC Phone Pre. The Pass Labs 260.8s will be sticking around. They may be replaced later with Boulder 2150s, but that’s not in the cards at present.

I'm considering a second cart for the TT. Not sure which one. So if you have any suggestions here they might be helpful? The second cart would most likely be on the same KV-12 tonearm (Tri-Planar U12 an option).

The Question:

The question I’m now trying to consider is which speakers. I’ve tried many thru-out the last few months and I desire either Magico M3s or M2s. I love their sound and others at this point aren't being considered. While price is not an issue between the two, I understand that the M2 does better in some respects (and rooms) than its elder brother, the M3. And the M3s may be a little large for my room, as the A3s do a good job (but not perfect) of filling it? Female vocals are my main emphasis in listening, but soft rock is also played about 40% of the time. I don’t think there is enough room for subs (which would probably be REL 25s).

So, based upon my room size and chosen components which might be better for this set-up? Thanks in advance.
Very nice system.
 
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Audire

VIP/Donor
Jan 19, 2019
562
578
215
S. FL
I'm thinking of the M2 coupled with my JL Audio CR1/F212v2. But I haven't auditioned either speaker yet. It will be next year before I can do that. BTW - I'm currently using the Boulder 1160 and EMM Labs DV2.

Wow what a nice system. Boulder + EMM. That must be sublime.

Unfortunately, I don't think subs will fit in the present room. However, after having a contractor over here a few days ago, I may be able to build a larger dedicated room. If I do a larger room it would necessitate M3s over M2s.

But I agree, that the M2 enclosure and trickle down tech of the M6s make them a serious contender with the right subs and room. I'm anxious about hearing Magico's new Titan. I think it's a new sub - but not sure.
 
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Audire

VIP/Donor
Jan 19, 2019
562
578
215
S. FL
Watching/reading with interest. We're in a very similar situation, having moved house recently. Our A3's are now in a great room that's about 18' x 30', with the kitchen at one end in the 30' direction and a fireplace at the other end, with the speakers on either side of the fireplace. We've really enjoyed the A3's in our smaller home. A5's may be our best bet.

There's a pair of M2's for sale locally but I'm reluctant to buy them on a whim; they are expensive and I'm not interested in changing amplification at this time (I have a Naim 500-level system). I've heard M2's at Goodwin's locally but not in my home. And given our interest in "more bass" the A5's may be more satisfying in that way. (???)

Naim + Magico is a great match from what I've heard.

We have very similar rooms. The A3s presently fills my space well, but I can tell they are at their limits (a little stressed at higher volumes). The A5s are called the economical man's M3s. They definitely have better bass than the A3s. And it has some trickle down tech from the M9s as well. IMO, the A5s are underpriced for what they can do.

But the M series is a monumental step above the A series. Those M2s might be a great speaker in your room - mine too. I'm going with the M3s though. I may be building a larger dedicated room in a year or so (we'll see). So, I'm going with the larger M3.
 
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Bartolo

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Jan 31, 2019
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Naim + Magico is a great match from what I've heard.

We have very similar rooms. The A3s presently fills my space well, but I can tell they are at their limits (a little stressed at higher volumes). The A5s are called the economical man's M3s. They definitely have better bass than the A3s. And it has some trickle down tech from the M9s as well. IMO, the A5s are underpriced for what they can do.

But the M series is a monumental step above the A series. Those M2s might be a great speaker in your room - mine too. I'm going with the M3s though. I may be building a larger dedicated room in a year or so (we'll see). So, I'm going with the larger M3.
Listened to 2 lp's tonight (Bill Evans Trio 64, and The Blues and the Abstract Truth) and was pleasantly surprised at the A3's bass in the new room.

It's a big room but a couch will bisect it and be the 'music listening seating' but it hasn't arrived yet. Sitting there we'll be only about 9-10 feet from the speakers. So some nearer-field listening and some 'fill the room' listening (when we're in the far end of the room which is our kitchen area).

I'm often happy to play the role of the "economical man." Sometimes it works out really well.

Edit: I think that the Naim + Magico match IS good. Been really enjoying the A3's.
 
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gds7368

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Jan 9, 2015
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Release order was M Project, M3, M6, M2, then M9. Starting M6 and later Magico switched from aluminum to carbon fiber substructure.

M6s replaced M Project in my 2 channel room so I had a chance to hear them both under the same conditions, and I do find the M6 to be more natural sounding (not really warmer) without losing any microdynamic detail.

Rather than just matching M3 vs M2 on room size I would be tempted to bring your favorite demo source material and find a way to listen to both to see if there is any sonic difference in tone which you prefer between the two.

Good luck !!!

(my auditions have been all digital and my experience is limited to my room)
 
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Skanda

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2020
187
204
48
also worth remembering that while the m2 is little the cabinet volume is much higher due to how the carbon fiber chassis can be smaller. this allows the little speaker to make big bass. i think i read somewhere that internal cabinet volume is 50% higher than the s5? don't quote me on that...i will say that compared to my s5 the m2 is better in all respects including the bass but i can't make any judgements on the amount of bass as it's been a while but i remember not feeling like it was lacking.

imo the m3 was a wonderful speaker and i couldn't afford it so i went for the s5mk2. the m2 has a nicer/newer cabinet than the m3 and in my view the m3 is getting a bit old - i would imagine they refresh it with the new midrange and a monocoque enclosure.
 
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Skanda

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May 3, 2020
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just got my m2's on friday. I thought i would miss the bass from the s5 but see improvements elsewhere. nope - the bass has more texture and resolution than the s5. it doesn't have the slam that bigger woofers provide but for my preferences this is just better. the imaging is unreal and the midrange (with the help of my kraft amp) is hands down the best i've heard (for my preferences) in any rig at any cost. bold statement but please don't misread that...i'm not saying the m2 is the best ever, i'm just saying that for me i couldn't ask for a better midrange. it's spooky realistic with just that essence of depth, density, and warmth that leads to toe tapping euphoria. i think if you stepped up to an m2 you'd be quite happy!
 

Audire

VIP/Donor
Jan 19, 2019
562
578
215
S. FL
just got my m2's on friday. I thought i would miss the bass from the s5 but see improvements elsewhere. nope - the bass has more texture and resolution than the s5. it doesn't have the slam that bigger woofers provide but for my preferences this is just better. the imaging is unreal and the midrange (with the help of my kraft amp) is hands down the best i've heard (for my preferences) in any rig at any cost. bold statement but please don't misread that...i'm not saying the m2 is the best ever, i'm just saying that for me i couldn't ask for a better midrange. it's spooky realistic with just that essence of depth, density, and warmth that leads to toe tapping euphoria. i think if you stepped up to an m2 you'd be quite happy!

That’s awesome. Congrats!!! I agree there is no best speaker, just the best one for our present system And ears.
 

ecwl

Member
Mar 20, 2021
38
29
18
So my dealer had A3 and M2 side by side for the past month. There is no doubt M2 has a bit more low bass and sonically is superior. However just looking at the specs, M2 and A3 have the same sensitivity and M2 is supposed to handle 200W max whereas A3 is 300W. My assumption then is if your A3 has trouble filling your current room with sound, you probably need the M3. My dealer’s showroom is not huge so I have never cranked up the volume to ear deafening levels to compare their power handling capabilities.
 
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