Magico Mini II, Q1, S1 - Does anyone use subs with these?

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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#1
I have tried twice now to integrate subs with my Magico Mini II speakers. The first time was with two JL Audio F110s. Last night I tried a friend's REL Gibralter. I find I prefer the sound of my system in its small room without subs. I once asked Alon Wolf if he suggested adding a sub to his two way speakers. He said no, adding that a Magico three-way speaker would be a better choice. He did say that adding a sub or two to one of the larger Magico speakers could be beneficial.

Has anyone tried subs with one of these Magico two-way speakers? If so, what are the results and details of the installation?

EDIT: Just found this quote and this link: http://sanfranciscoaudiophilesociety.com/a-day-of-audio-magic/

"We heard parts of five excellent music selections, beginning with a solo piano piece and including a male vocal with guitar, a Shostakovich orchestral selection, something from Holly Cole and a piece by bassist Avishai Cohen. Selections were all well recorded, and when played loud in this excellent room, as Alon did, the sound was immersive. Certainly the new S1 MkII exceeded my expectations for what a two-way floorstander of modest size can do (no doubt helped by the fantastic room). The S1 MkII produced a big sound of extremely high resolution. Timbre was spot-on, mid and upper bass and lower midrange seemed present in the system in a surprising way, giving piano a full-throated quality you don’t expect from a modest two-way. Bass was satisfying, as evidenced by someone in every group asking “where’s the sub hidden?” There was no sub in the room. For a small two-way, the bass was quite impressive. When asked about augmenting the bass with subs, Alon Wolf said that he thinks it’s a mistake to pair two-way speakers with a subwoofer. Three-way or more, yes, but not two-way. Interesting."
 
Last edited:
Jan 29, 2012
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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#3

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#4
i am going to take a random guess based on my own personal experience and a non-techie view of this: balancing a sub with exacting monitors (my old Celestion SL6si and Guarneris) came down to whether i preferred and act of omission or of commission:

- without sub, i lost deep bass and scale
- with sub, i got deep bass and scale, but coherence was lost because i had 2 sides of the audio spectrum and they did not therefore balance as well as just the Guarneris or even the SL6si's by themselves.

For me, i took the former...bass and scale as a personal choice. I knew in comparison to true full-range speakers...i eventually went up to the SF Strad and now further up to the big Wilsons...there was sort of a 'hole', a notable difference between:

- the range in between sub and monitors
- the scale that the sub was adding...vs the scale that the monitors were able to convey via the upper bass/lower mids...not particularly well balanced

But in the overall impression, i can say I got more scale, greater width, a better 'foolability' factor and more deep bass.

With your Magico's (which i dont know well)...i suppose you could try (setting aside cost) a Magico QSub...or a sub you were confident could reach higher up the bass registers without distortion to 'meet' the Magicos' and try to ensure as seamless a blend as possible...but given how much you have sought to 'perfect' your coherence, even detail retrieval, etc...you may still hear it.

In the end sum game...its whether you prefer what the sub adds, vs what the lack of perfect blending reveals.

I also dont know your room and whether the bass you are getting is fulsome enough that frankly a sub is overkill. In my case, after 6 listening rooms in over 20+ years, i have always enjoyed a sub.
 

rhyno

New Member
Dec 29, 2010
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#5
i added stereo F110s to S3s to great (!) effect. the implementation matters, and i found the results were only acceptable when:
1) mains run full range, subs x-over at 80db w/ 24db crossover (quick dropoff)
2) subs elevated 3" (to reduce floor coupling and tighten bass)
3) sub stock feet removed for hard cone feet (faster & tighter bass)
4) mass load front baffle of sub (further improvement in articulation).
5) set volume to variable (reference is too loud) below mid point and of course run the microphone equalizer as you make these changes--to both subs.

now using S-1s et al may be more difficult due to extending the subs to a higher x-over range rather than the 80 i used. but i'd also offer that if you didn't do these things, you didn't give your subs the best chance poss. ---high end is about attention to details, and subs are not easy to do right. but F110s are excellent (note, i've sold my S3s and am likely to do the same w/ my subs but thats b/c Sasha 2s dont need the extra bass).
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,548
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#6
Agree with Rhyno on many counts possibly all of them. In my case:

- Run Wilsons Full Range
- Setup the Velodyne very much with measurements first...but fine tuned by ear second which took months, a few weeks at a time listening to music constantly
- Have it on top of Ultra 5s ON TOP of an Auralex Big Gramma isolation platform so drastically reduced interaction with the floor (actually slim-to-none from a 'practical' perspective)
(in other words the stock feet are not touching anything anymore) since the Ultra 5s sit under the cabinet
- Have 154 POUNDS of mass damping brass weight placed carefully and on top of 5 Artesania damping plates placed on specific areas on top of the Velodyne

have never looked back.
 
Jun 2, 2016
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#7

DaveyF

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Aug 1, 2010
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#8
i am going to take a random guess based on my own personal experience and a non-techie view of this: balancing a sub with exacting monitors (my old Celestion SL6si and Guarneris) came down to whether i preferred and act of omission or of commission:

- without sub, i lost deep bass and scale
- with sub, i got deep bass and scale, but coherence was lost because i had 2 sides of the audio spectrum and they did not therefore balance as well as just the Guarneris or even the SL6si's by themselves.

For me, i took the former...bass and scale as a personal choice. I knew in comparison to true full-range speakers...i eventually went up to the SF Strad and now further up to the big Wilsons...there was sort of a 'hole', a notable difference between:

- the range in between sub and monitors
- the scale that the sub was adding...vs the scale that the monitors were able to convey via the upper bass/lower mids...not particularly well balanced

But in the overall impression, i can say I got more scale, greater width, a better 'foolability' factor and more deep bass.

With your Magico's (which i dont know well)...i suppose you could try (setting aside cost) a Magico QSub...or a sub you were confident could reach higher up the bass registers without distortion to 'meet' the Magicos' and try to ensure as seamless a blend as possible...but given how much you have sought to 'perfect' your coherence, even detail retrieval, etc...you may still hear it.

In the end sum game...its whether you prefer what the sub adds, vs what the lack of perfect blending reveals.

I also dont know your room and whether the bass you are getting is fulsome enough that frankly a sub is overkill. In my case, after 6 listening rooms in over 20+ years, i have always enjoyed a sub.
Lloyd, it is a pity that they may not have tried a REL when you owned the G's. I can very easily see how you could come to the conclusion that you did with the G's and say a large Velodyne. The blend is crucial with a fast and highly resolving speaker like the G. If you have a sub that cannot keep up with the G's, then there will be definite hole and loss of coherence like you described. That is why I chose the smaller and quicker acting driver in the T5, because it had a higher likelyhood of keeping pace with the mains.
The imbalance with a mismatched sub and a quick monitor is definitely not a great thing...and easily audible.
Of course, one of the simplest solutions...if you have a big enough room... is to acquire a more full range speaker.
IF...you have the room, and it can support the larger speaker. That's the key issue for most of us.
 
May 19, 2014
693
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Round Rock, TX
#9
For a small two-way, the bass was quite impressive. When asked about augmenting the bass with subs, Alon Wolf said that he thinks it’s a mistake to pair two-way speakers with a subwoofer. Three-way or more, yes, but not two-way. Interesting."
Why? I bet adding a few JL Audio F1xx and the JL Audio CR1 would yield exemplary results with proper setup.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,839
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London
#10
Agree with Rhyno on many counts possibly all of them. In my case:

- Run Wilsons Full Range
- Setup the Velodyne very much with measurements first...but fine tuned by ear second which took months, a few weeks at a time listening to music constantly
- Have it on top of Ultra 5s ON TOP of an Auralex Big Gramma isolation platform so drastically reduced interaction with the floor (actually slim-to-none from a 'practical' perspective)
(in other words the stock feet are not touching anything anymore) since the Ultra 5s sit under the cabinet
- Have 154 POUNDS of mass damping brass weight placed carefully and on top of 5 Artesania damping plates placed on specific areas on top of the Velodyne

have never looked back.
154 pounds on each sub? How big is that weight?
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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Greater Boston
#11
Lloyd, it is a pity that they may not have tried a REL when you owned the G's. I can very easily see how you could come to the conclusion that you did with the G's and say a large Velodyne. The blend is crucial with a fast and highly resolving speaker like the G. If you have a sub that cannot keep up with the G's, then there will be definite hole and loss of coherence like you described. That is why I chose the smaller and quicker acting driver in the T5, because it had a higher likelyhood of keeping pace with the mains.
The imbalance with a mismatched sub and a quick monitor is definitely not a great thing...and easily audible.
That's a good point, and one I'll keep in mind for the future if I ever want to replace my sub. My REL Storm III definitely can keep pace with my monitors.

Of course, one of the simplest solutions...if you have a big enough room... is to acquire a more full range speaker.
IF...you have the room, and it can support the larger speaker. That's the key issue for most of us.
A big IF indeed! I don't consider my room big enough (24' x 12' x 8.5'). The room width is an issue, imo. Maybe larger speakers could completely and utterly disappear in the soundstage like my monitors do, but I am not willing to take the risk to find out and pour in a lot of money to try to fix the issue if they don't.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#12
That's a good point, and one I'll keep in mind for the future if I ever want to replace my sub. My REL Storm III definitely can keep pace with my monitors.



A big IF indeed! I don't consider my room big enough (24' x 12' x 8.5'). The room width is an issue, imo. Maybe larger speakers could completely and utterly disappear in the soundstage like my monitors do, but I am not willing to take the risk to find out and pour in a lot of money to try to fix the issue if they don't.
Stenheim alumine 5. Expensive though. They are small but a big sound
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#13
154 pounds on each sub? How big is that weight?
Not that big. A 20kg weight of solid brass (about 20% denser than steel or iron) is a cylinder about 6 inches across the base and perhaps 10 inches tall.

We put photos on top of the sub in front and you cannot really see the weights on top, and fortunately due to the mass damping, the photos dont move either.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
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Manila, Philippines
#15
Lloyd, it is a pity that they may not have tried a REL when you owned the G's. I can very easily see how you could come to the conclusion that you did with the G's and say a large Velodyne. The blend is crucial with a fast and highly resolving speaker like the G. If you have a sub that cannot keep up with the G's, then there will be definite hole and loss of coherence like you described. That is why I chose the smaller and quicker acting driver in the T5, because it had a higher likelyhood of keeping pace with the mains.
The imbalance with a mismatched sub and a quick monitor is definitely not a great thing...and easily audible.
Of course, one of the simplest solutions...if you have a big enough room... is to acquire a more full range speaker.
IF...you have the room, and it can support the larger speaker. That's the key issue for most of us.
At this point in my audio life, I've come to believe that even the biggest speakers would benefit from powered subs. It's just a matter of degrees.
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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Greater Boston
#16
At this point in my audio life, I've come to believe that even the biggest speakers would benefit from powered subs. It's just a matter of degrees.
+1

If I would have a floorstander I would still run it with sub(s), no question about it. Also, subs free the main speakers from having to be positioned for optimal bass output to being able to be positioned for optimal imaging.
 

PeterA

Active Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,870
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38
North Shore of Boston
#17
At this point in my audio life, I've come to believe that even the biggest speakers would benefit from powered subs. It's just a matter of degrees.
I agree with this, but I wonder if it is generally the case with two-way speakers. Perhaps it depends on the size of the room. I was hoping that this thread would discuss some examples of Magico two-way speakers being used with subs to see if member's have good experience with the combination or if they have found that it is better to buy a Magico three-way floor stander instead, as suggested by Alon Wolf.

My own experience, having attempted twice now to mate a sub with my Mini 2s, is that I prefer my speakers without subs in my small room. If I had a larger room, I might prefer a larger speaker to my Mini 2s with one or two subs.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#18
Lloyd, it is a pity that they may not have tried a REL when you owned the G's. I can very easily see how you could come to the conclusion that you did with the G's and say a large Velodyne. The blend is crucial with a fast and highly resolving speaker like the G. If you have a sub that cannot keep up with the G's, then there will be definite hole and loss of coherence like you described. That is why I chose the smaller and quicker acting driver in the T5, because it had a higher likelyhood of keeping pace with the mains.
The imbalance with a mismatched sub and a quick monitor is definitely not a great thing...and easily audible.
Of course, one of the simplest solutions...if you have a big enough room... is to acquire a more full range speaker.
IF...you have the room, and it can support the larger speaker. That's the key issue for most of us.
Its funny that you mention that...we did explore REL when I had my Gs, and we did not investigate too far when the first REL sub (cannot remember) was not quite what i was looking for. I wanted visceral impact when called for, and the big Velodyne DD18 crushed it...much more so than even the impressive DD15 which was side by side with the DD18 as well.

That said, i think all of these subs are capable of good blending...its a matter of time, work, patience and expertise. What I could NOT get from the G's was a matching power of mid-range that would keep pace with the Velodyne DD18 which could literally shake the building 2 stories down into our neighbor's unit (ooops!...sorry!).

That was what i meant by a hole...you'd crank it, and the Velodyne was loafing, but the G's were not going to generate the air movement, and so past a certain point, the hole of dynamic power became apparent. At mid-volume, it was never an issue...except perhaps on orchestral and at low level, no issues across the board.

But to think about the cost of a G plus DD18 relative to that every-once-in-a-while crank factor...the G+DD18 is a magical combination most any time other than those unusual moments. And today, being able to have bigger scale and refinement is definitely something i am grateful and blessed to have which is a lot of fun...more so for the effortlessness the system produces full range at low volumes than really truly cranking (other than action flicks which is great fun too).
 
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FrantzM

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Apr 20, 2010
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#19
At this point in my audio life, I've come to believe that even the biggest speakers would benefit from powered subs. It's just a matter of degrees.
AMEN to that !!
 

DaveyF

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Aug 1, 2010
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#20
Its funny that you mention that...we did explore REL when I had my Gs, and we did not investigate too far when the first REL sub (cannot remember) was not quite what i was looking for. I wanted visceral impact when called for, and the big Velodyne DD18 crushed it...much more so than even the impressive DD15 which was side by side with the DD18 as well.

That said, i think all of these subs are capable of good blending...its a matter of time, work, patience and expertise. What I could NOT get from the G's was a matching power of mid-range that would keep pace with the Velodyne DD18 which could literally shake the building 2 stories down into our neighbor's unit (ooops!...sorry!).

That was what i meant by a hole...you'd crank it, and the Velodyne was loafing, but the G's were not going to generate the air movement, and so past a certain point, the hole of dynamic power became apparent. At mid-volume, it was never an issue...except perhaps on orchestral and at low level, no issues across the board.

But to think about the cost of a G plus DD18 relative to that every-once-in-a-while crank factor...the G+DD18 is a magical combination most any time other than those unusual moments. And today, being able to have bigger scale and refinement is definitely something i am grateful and blessed to have which is a lot of fun...more so for the effortlessness the system produces full range at low volumes than really truly cranking (other than action flicks which is great fun too).[/QUOTE)]

Lloyd, I think we are possibly saying the same thing. If the G's were unable to keep up with the large driver in the velodyne when it came to the ability to push air, then what you say makes sense. Same thing in reverse, if the large driver in the Velodyne cannot keep pace with the speed of the G's then an imbalance would be evident. So, I think that the solution...at least in my mind, lies with the smaller woofer, one that can blend and keep pace better with the fast drivers of the G. Now one will have to give up the ability to move large amounts of air, leading to less impact, but the benefit will be a more precise blend.....and hopefully usable output low enough to do most music justice in the bass. At least that is what I believe I have achieved.