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The Computer Audiophile

Article: Magico LLC December 2013

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It's a funny old world where a range of speakers pretty well equals the costs of a range of cars from nice saloon to supercar. We are just talking about a box, a few magnets, coils of wire, cones etc. My view is that supposedly high tech engineering doesn't do any harm, but is not actually crucial - it really doesn't matter whether strut 3A is 4.2mm or 4.5mm across or, probably, even there in the first place. These chassis look like demo files for a CAD program, created in about 10 minutes to look complicated and impress the punters, but which hardly cost any more to make once the CNC machine is purchased - cyncial, moi? Overt over-engineering isn't all that expensive to do once a decision is made to market one's company as 'high end' in contrast with typical mass production and its often absurd cost trimming.

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Axe to grind? Why because I question the veracity of the claim of value when it applies to Magico? Sorry, I am not a sycophant of any equipment manufacturer, so if I question the use of value in describing Magicos then I guess I do have an axe to grind in that regard.

 

Few products at this end of the spectrum can be described as "value" products, including the products I own and enjoy. I haven't lost touch with reality as it seems some have. But that's me.

 

 

I missed your most important contribution: In any case enjoy. It is a great thing when you can truly enjoy your music which is what it is all about.

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value |ˈvalyo͞o|

noun1 the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something:your support is of great value.• the material or monetary worth of something: prints seldom rise in value | equipment is included up to a total value of $500.• the worth of something compared to the price paid or asked for it: at $12.50 the book is a good value.

ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French, feminine past participle of valoir ‘be worth,’ from Latinvalere .

 

 

 

Value is relative. The price of a good or service is often quoted when discussing value, but it really doesn't have much do with value. I think percentage is a better marker. If I purchase a $300,000 Bentley Mulsanne for $200,000 and the BoM cost is $180,000 I'd say that is a value. Some people might suggest paying $200,000 for a car is preposterous but again, the price is irrelevant. Even if I paid full price for a Bentley Mulsanne I could still say it was a value. The number of zeros before the decimal point shouldn't cloud our judgement of value.

 

 

Congrats for the great piece of writing...we "all" understand that the article is not a review and therefore you are absolutely entitle to whatever form of enthusiasm you choose to write...Seeing the Magico from the inside is of course very interesting to me...

 

Now about value, I disagree...

On my side, I cannot completely disconnect value from price. "Value for money" is the complete expression...

For money, not in absolute terms, because my wallet is finite...

 

On my view, when I see a loudspeaker from Magico at 20000 USD, I would ask:

Does it values more that it costs? (We don't care about the BOM Cost, our cost is the obtained price)...

Do I perceive it's value as positive (sound and performance in a system)?

Does it has performance to justify its price? Is it better that the other speakers in the same price class?

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Nice article. Always interesting to read about speakers or equipment in the crème de la crème class of products. And that's about it, a nice article. Price, if you can afford it, price means nothing...


The Truth Is Out There

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Great article Chris, it was nice to be able to have a "virtual" tour of the Magico facility as seen through your eyes and also learn about the arc of the company's development and growth. That is not something that we see too often and it's nice to see where high end equipment is manufactured and designed. The engineering nerd in me from my former life sees enough detail through the pictures to understand the quality standard that they are striving for and the investment that they have made towards that. Capital expense, tooling, and programming for a single CNC will set you back several hundred thousand easily - as high as you want to go. Good for them on setting a high bar.

 

By the way, great pictures. You captured everything that I would have liked to have seen in the facility. A bit more detail on the listening room would have been nice since it was so well put together.

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Regarding the listening room: I think I see diffusers at the first reflection points at the sides and behind the speakers. What little I've read about room treatment is that absorbers seem recommended at these positions. Given the number of what appear to be absorbers on the walls at other points, it doesn't seem like they thought the room was inherently too dead for absorbers at the first reflection points.

 

I'm curious to know why they did that.

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What is interesting to me is how very few speaker manufacturers publish polar frequency response plots for their speakers. Unless I am missing something, I can't find such a plot on the Magico site.


Mac Mini / Pure Music > Firewire & USB > Metric Halo LIO-8 > Hypex NCORE 400 > Geddes Abbey Speakers > Rythmik Servo & Geddes Band Pass Subs // DH Labs Cables, HRS MXR Isolation Rack, PurePower 2000, Elgar 6006B

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What is interesting to me is how very few speaker manufacturers publish polar frequency response plots for their speakers. Unless I am missing something, I can't find such a plot on the Magico site.

Do these cover what you're looking for?

 

SoundStageNetwork.com | SoundStage.com | NRC Measurements: Magico S5 Loudspeakers


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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Having visited numerous dealers showing the Magico line I've never heard them perform in either a consistent or stellar manner, even with some of the best electronics and sources. I'm guessing that they are very, very room dependent. Sounds like the factory has designed the ideal room around the speaker, rather than developing a speaker design that is suitable in "real world" environments, especially in the home, where it's often lower ceilings and a wide mix of flooring and furnishings. For those with the "sweet spot" room, it likely performs quite well.

 

I haven't found many speakers to play well in an untreated room. I think it's always important to figure out what room problems one has and then find the right products to address the issues.

 

I just got through listening to a treated room where the person was trying to prove how much room acoustics play in the listening experience. It was an eye opening experience for me. If I had the financial resources to buy an expensive system, my first priority would getting the room to sound right. If you get the room to sound right, especially with low frequencies, any pair of speakers will perform much better and you'll end up not having to turn up the speakers louder to hear the bass, and you'll really enjoy your money's worth of electronics/speakers. you don't necessarily have to spend the money for a custom room or tons of room treatment, but certainly low frequency absorption below 100Hz is the most expensive and problematic issue we have with regards to small rooms. Diffusion and midrange/high frequency absorption is easy for the side, rear and front walls. But really focus on the low frequencies below 100Hz, you'd be amazed at how much deep bass with definition you aren't hearing. I kind of freaked out at this product demonstration. I heard a used mid fi pair of speakers connected to lower end used electronics produce sound that was simply amazing. But the person who conducted the demo said that his clients get HUGE improvements on their high end equipment that far exceeds any single product upgrade. That's how impactful proper room treatment is to a system.

 

I haven't heard the Magico products, but I've heard only great things about the product line. But they are not inexpensive. I hope to at least hear their listening room if they allow visitors at their factory.


System consists of Late 2012 iMac, i5, 1TB Fusion drive, 16GB RAM, Drobo Mini w/4-256GB SSD, MIT StyleLink USB Plus, MIT CVT Terminator 1 Bi-Wire, Totem Mani-2 Signature, Bel Canto C5i. I go back and forth between Pure Music, Audirvana, Bit Perfect, Amarra as they all have features I like. I like to mix it up from time to time. :-)

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After years of following Magico's evolution, I recently took delivery of a pair of Magico S5 speakers and find them to be exceptional. Given the wait time for delivery, I'm sure I am not alone. Thanks for the tour!

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After years of following Magico's evolution, I recently took delivery of a pair of Magico S5 speakers and find them to be exceptional. Given the wait time for delivery, I'm sure I am not alone. Thanks for the tour!

 

Congradulations!! Please do post back about some of the details, inquiring minds want to know. :)

 

How did you position them, did they have a breakin period, did you have to change any electronics for them?


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Congradulations!! Please do post back about some of the details, inquiring minds want to know. :)

 

How did you position them, did they have a breakin period, did you have to change any electronics for them?

 

Thanks Paul! I am still dialing them in, but for now I have them 20" from the front wall, 70.5" apart and 155" from my listening spot. They are pointed just behind my head. I am driving them with a recently purchased Hegel H30 power amp, in turn powered by a Pass Labs XP-20 pre amp. Front ends include a Playback Designs MPD-5 and VPI HRX turntable/Shelter Harmony cartridge/Pass Labs XP-15 phono pre.

 

The Magicos seem to have mellowed a bit over the past two weeks, though it's hard to tell. So far, I would change nothing. Hope that helps.

 

Jerry

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I have no problem with the article, and enjoyed it. I've had the chance to bump into various extremely expensive Von Schweikert items over the years (as a panel guy, one of the few box speakers I like a lot), and if asked to write them up would probably have written a similar article. There are some things which are just done really well, and unless the manu is lying/cheating, then the only thing to do is enjoy what they produce and praise them. Of course, it is up to the market to bear, or not, their wares - that is of course the obvious achilles heel of such things.

 

See a recent 60 Minutes report on Lamborghini - while Scott Pelley does his typical 'I am pessmistic/surprised/incredulous/don't quite believe you' voice, nevertheless, if the article were written it would also read the same way. Lamborghini turns 50 - CBS News (Note they spend some minutes on how the cars sound and are tuned to sound a certain way :) )

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