I've heard both and my wife and I prefer Vivid Giya G1 series 2 speakers in the context of the room and system that we heard them in. Its really about personal preference. To my ears the "system" I heard the Giya's in were musical, detailed, and had a very open spacious sound. To date one of the better systems I've ever heard.
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I remember reading the post, but that was one person's opinion. I heard them being driven by the Gryphon Class A stereo amplifier. It was being played at above average volumes and at medium volume. They sound great no matter what and I didn't hear any driver breakups. Years ago I had a pair of Wison Audio Sophia 2s that cracked, it was an anomaly. It's possible that one person could have a problem with any component, but it may just be an isolated case.
I have heard a few of the Giya models and the Kaya 45. I found they sounded like KEF Reference and Blades and I love KEF. I prefer the KEF Blades over the Vivids but I could live with either. The sound is coherent, fast, and exciting. It was also not fatiguing which was surprising.
I was seriously considering the Vivid G4 or the Kaya 45 for my office and was concerned about the reliability post that I read on A’gon. However, after extensive research online I attributed that to an one-off post and not a pattern.
I decided against the Vivid due to the side firing woofers and price. I am looking instead at the Paradigm Persona 3F or TAD ME1. The store I demoed the TAD ME1 is advertising on A'gon the top of the line demo TAD R1 for the price of the Vivid G2. You may want to have a listen to that one too.
Don't get me wrong I love my Magico's but I do find that when listening to friends systems they are not the most dynamic speaker and even so at lower volumes as well. They are a bit restrained compared to other top notch speakers but then on the trade off front do other things better so its never easy..
I have owned Magico's for a long time and the S5 MK I for years before these so trust me I get Magico's and their sealed cab bass and love them and love how tuneful and accurate it is but there are other speakers that are in a similar range that have better bass and are more dynamic and more vibrant and impactful even at lower, normal volumes.
Now I am going to talk out of both sides of my mouth here because I love my Magico's and am not complaining about them but sort thinking about making a change for a speaker that has similar resolution and low distortion and the great beauty these provide but maybe that is a little less retained and more vibrant and dynamic with more impactful bass.
I have tried many different really good amps and even with the MK II I have been fortune to hear them with some really good amps and its not how they are driven. I actually now own a amp that controls them the best for any Magico I have owned and am really happy with it but thinking about maybe a speaker than will approach it with a little umpth and heft.
Now because I really do love Magico and these speakers I am now considering REL Carbon Limited Subs on here for sale. I love REL because I find their speakerOn so much easier to blend and was thinking these might up the dynamics and bass I am craving.
Also, with the Vivid Audio G1 Series 2 which in fairness to the S5 MK II is quite a bit more money (I am buying for close to S5 MKII money so that is kind of making me think on it) but still these speakers should probably be fairly compared to the Magico M3. That there is my thinking that these should be a legit upgrade but my problem is they are but ugly - sort of awful actually but if they sound as great as they say I don't really care that much and they look awesome from the side but horrible from the front.
What do you think. These two options below will cost right about the same money, almost anyways.
Vivid Audio Giya G1 Series 2
Magico S5 MKII and a pair of REL Carbon Limited Subs?
Don't get me wrong I love my Magico's but I do find that when listening to friends systems they are not the most dynamic speaker and even so at lower volumes as well. They are a bit restrained compared to other top notch speakers but then on the trade off front do other things better so its never easy..Bet your friends speakers are ported? I also find Magico lack dynamics, weight, too polite ... in comparison so not MY cup of tea. I'll take a good ported speaker any day.
I've only heard the Giya G4 but they were good. Might not fill a large room but the G1 or G2 should.
The only Magico I have heard is the M6 but that was one of the best speakers I've ever heard!
Unfortunately very, very expensive.
I personally like Focal and think you should listen to some Utopia in the same price range as your two top choices before deciding anything.
I have G2 in my room. I heard in the dealer show room... and take it. Truly it is hard to find bad things in those speakers. Perhaps the visual appearance that is very personal (for me the shark like profile... love it!!!). But it was not the look I decided for them but sound. Silky and detail upper, astonishing real mids and great bass. Everything served in excellent proportions. Yes... I believe that what made me to buy them was the last aspect. I never heard such balanced speakers. I rediscover my recordings. Oh... I run them with Chord (Blu/Dave combo) and McIntosh (TransAmp/TubePre) rig. I have a feeling that feeding them from mono blocks could make the sound even better but really it is not a desire to change anything.
They are good in all genres. Well... quite good for classical music but lets be honest is there any speaker that can really imitate classical music as real one?
And the last at the end... they gave me peace. Perhaps it is my age (40), perhaps my experience... I was looking for the speakers that combine musicality and fidelity and found them. I am happy now. Isn't this all about?
Definitely should be listen before you buy anything else...
Given you really like the overall sound of the S5s and seem to mainly be after more visceral heft and bass punch it sounds like a pair of good subs might be just the ticket. Added bonus is your S5s with subs will likely be more full range with better bass than another standalone speaker in your price range, and the bass may even be better integrated with your room. I get that you like Rel, but Vandersteen subs are worth a look too, and they have some neat integration features and are also very fast so will likely work well with your sealed-box speakers. Best of luck in whatever you decide.
Not that I could afford either speaker but have heard both the Magico and Vivid speakers many times and to me the Magico has a very neutral sound which is good BUT the Vivid speakers, each time I heard them, made me forget about the equipment/speaker and I just got into the music. My foot was tapping, my heading swaying, it was always an enjoyable session. So to me the Vivid speakers win.
Stick with Magico and work with the subs. If you cross at 100 Hz or above and put a high pass filter on the Magicos thingswill get much more dynamic. I have never used REL subs so I can not comment on them. Go to a store that has them and turn them up high with something like Jeff Beck's Loud Hailer on. Put your hand on the sub. A good sub you'll just feel a hint of vibration. If it is really buzzing away the enclosure is not built well. Ideally you should feel nothing. Very few subs can do that. Have you thought about the 15" Magico Q sub? It is actually a dual
15" so you might get away with just one.
No not for that money. I would just upgrade my speakers before spending that much on a Magico sub. Not sure why I would want to chop a full range speaker off at 100hz? I’ve never heard that before? Not even with bookshelf’s never mind a modern full range speaker? I’ll try it though because I’m always open to learning but the math certainly doesn’t seem to work though?
One of the reasons I was disappointed when I auditioned the Magico A3 was a lack of drive and dynamics. The A3s are spec'd at the same 4 ohm impedance as my Thiels, but with higher sensitivity. And yet, even though the Magicos were driven with a higher current SS amp than my own amps, they sounded dynamically reticent vs my Thiels, or any number of other speakers I auditioned. For me they did the "audiophile" trait of producing soundstaging and transparency and detail, but in a way that sort of just sat back behind the speakers. They didn't reach out and grab me, or really "boogie" when asked to.
My finding is the exact opposite of yours (I own the A3). The A3 DO NOT do the usual "audiophile" trait, and that is probably what you are missing (Your preferences seems to be of speakers with boosted highs/lows – almost like a loudness button, very common grab for audiophiles). The A3 are balanced, and like most Magico loudspeakers, super low on coloration, to some ears, this may be “boring”.
I’m not dissing the A3. It’s a fantastic speaker and I thought it was going to make many people very happy. I’m just reporting my own experience from auditioning it. I’m hardly the last word on the issue.
But at least when I auditioned the A3 it was set up by a very experienced Magico dealer, in a very good space, and he seemed happy with the set up. It excelled in transparency and could at times produce quite amazing detail in instrumental timbre. But, again, when I heard it, it didn’t sound dynamic from top to bottom. I’d put on something like Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon, which I play a lot at home and have heard on tons of speakers, and some of the percussion, synth parts, horns just seemed to "sit" there with little air-moving drive or palpability. When I got home and played the same tracks on my Thiels, all the instruments that sounded limp on the Magicos sounded dense and dynamic and drove the rhythm on the Thiels.
If the Magicos are doing good dynamic things in your set up, that’s great.
BTW, I don’t know why you think I seek the crude "smile" eq in a system, or engineered in to a speaker. Usually that’s as far from the case as possible. My Thiel 2.7s are very neutral from top to bottom, no sizzle on top, and even, firm controlled bass. My Waveform speakers are similarly extremely neutral. The Spendors I was listening to last night and loving also don’t have a "smile" eq built in to them.
One of my favorite speakers, which I owned, are the Harbeth SuperHL5 Plus speakers, which as per the measurements here:
To my ears, the Harbeths seem to portray a more believably "organic" tone than almost anything I heard through the Magicos. Not that you should agree.
Even the Devore speakers that I have enjoyed, while rich in the bass, don’t have a "smile" eq built in to them.
And working in pro sound, I’m pretty familiar with neutral studio playback gear.
Anyway, I would never find a speaker that actually sounded lifelike, dynamically and timbrally, to sound "boring." I find real sounds anything but "boring."
It was me who deleted the post, I had a spelling mistake.
In any case, we must have different priorities, as I truly don’t share your findings. I am very familiar with the Harbeths , and find them colored, and less extended when compared to the A3, they certainly don’t sound more “real” to me than the A3 (I should know I am a professional musician).They also change characteristics with volume changes, a problem with many speakers on the market.
(I should know I am a professional musician).
I play piano/synth, guitar (acoustic/electric), bass, drums, sax. I come from a musical family - Dad was a jazz musician and music teacher. We had 3 pianos in the house in constant use, a trombone, various saxes, trumpet, clarinet, flute, guitars, drums, bass, you name it. Either my father was playing one of those, or one of us where playing instruments.
I used to use recordings of real instruments I owned, and voices of my family, for live-vs-reproduced comparisons when checking out speakers.I still use those recordings sometimes to double check through speakers I have at home. (Not to mention, for my job I'm constantly recording real life sounds).
A lot of us here have a good idea of what real instruments sound like. :)
I'm not disputing that the Magicos sound more "right" to you, or that the Harbeths are "more right." No speaker is perfect and we all tend to focus on certain things that sound "right" to us when we choose our speaker.
I loved the Harbeths and bought them to see if I could replace my larger Thiel speakers at the time. I sold the Harbeths because in direct comparison my Thiels struck me as a bit better in almost all areas, mostly "cleaner" and more precise - some of which I think was due to the "remove cabinet vibration from the design" in the Thiel strategy vs the "let the cabinet vibrate" strategy in the Harbeth. The Magicos would definitely, like the Thiels, sound cleaner in the sense of "less box" than the Harbeths.
But, still, to my ears, almost everything sounded essentially "right" through the Harbeths in a way that escapes most speakers - just something about their way with instrumental timbres - whereas almost nothing sounded "quite right" in the sense of "could I believe this is a sax, or acoustic guitar in front of me?" when closing my eyes listening to the Magico speakers. The Magicos certainly presented something "super clear" in front of me, but it just didn't make me believe I was hearing the timbre of a real instrument in front of me. That was true again when I recently listened to a very nice Magico set up at a high end dealer.
That said, when I auditioned the A3s, there were a few classical guitar pieces, and a soundtrack of closely-recorded woodwinds and brass, that sounded phenomenal through the A3s! But then, those tracks tend to make most speakers sound good. But I did leave thinking "those speakers are going to make lots of happy audiophiles."
*Post removed* just below mine.You mean every time YOU have something bad to say, which is basically every post involving the mention of Magico. AND you still can’t manage to articulate what it is you didn’t like (It was all good but my foot bla bla bla...BS). Heck you have such a vivid memory of your audition, you can't even remember what electronics were used? Like I said before, you are a fiction writer. For someone who is so busy (...constantly recording real life sounds) and talented (I play piano/synth, guitar (acoustic/electric), bass...) you sure seems to have a lot of time on your hand (almost 2000 posts with an average of 500 words). Are you sure you're not locked up in a cell somewhere 😉
LOL, the Magico-didn't-sound-perfect-to-me bat signal went up and
the frothing dog has been released for a run to snap at the heels of evil-magico-dissers!
Are you paid by Magico sciencecop, or do you do this pro bono?
Now that you have that off your chest, can you let the adults who are in control of their emotions discuss our impressions of speakers we've heard?
I always survey the amplification to compare it to mine and see if it seems a reasonable choice for the speaker in question. But once that is satisfied, I simply concentrate on the sound, not taking notes of all the associated equipment. I had auditioned a great many speakers over that year and could hardly remember every bit of electronics associated with every audition. I couldn't tell you every amp used in auditioning the Devore, or Joseph speakers, or many others.
If you look at my "Contemplating Devore" thread where I reported my impressions of auditioning many speakers, you'll see I praised the A3 for various traits. They truly do sound amazingly low in coloration, especially lack of "box" effects, the way they produce instruments so cleanly and even hard-panned sounds don't "stick" in to the speaker, but float in a distinct position around it. Very impressive! If the A3 can sound even better than what I'd heard, with different equipment, that's great. I simply comment on what I heard during my own audition, which is what forums like this are for; exchanging notes, seeing various reports and impressions of various gear. I don't doubt your A3s sound awesome.
(Putting aside the fact I could afford the Magicos when I auditioned them, and in fact was looking at other even more expensive speakers...)
You mean the adults that actually have the money to buy the models you can only dream about?
Wow, mocking someone on the presumption they can not afford expensive speakers!
Congratulations on exemplifying the worst caricatures people have of audiophiles as stuck up audio snobs. You're doing us proud.
The A3 is nice little entry level speaker to give a person a taste of their build and a glimpse into their sound but this brand makes its bones with its M Series. The entry speaker to their sound is really the S5 MKII although many folks seem to like the S3 MKII but I wasn’t a huge fan but I certainly respected them but the A3 is not respective of their house sound. Their MK II series really took a big old step forward. I’m working toward pulling the trigger on a pair Rockport Cygnus myself but the S5 MKII is a very nice speaker. There are a lot of great speakers out there today for sure but Harbeth certainly is not one of them. I get it some people love listening to Jazz and vocals on Vinyl with their tube amps which is fine “yawn”. Sorry Im not judging but I find Harbeth to be a boring, colored speaker but in fairness to Harbeth they are just are not made to be perform like a Magico, Rockport, Vivid, TAD, YG, Marten, etc. but each their own.
But every time I’m ready to jump to Rockport I think maybe a pair of REL 212/SE or Carbons should be inserted first. Hmm decisions... I thought I was set to go with Vivid G1 Series 2 and my wife would have absolutely no part of it. It’s funny because she understands my Audio hobby and endures it but she would have no part of the Vivids... None Audiophile’s just can’t stand Vivids. Too bad because they sound awesome!
I hear you about the Harbeths. It’s not "judging" at all to say you are bored by the Harbeths. It’s your opinion and we are here to share our opinions. I’m happy to hear what other audiophiles enjoy. What a boring place this would be if sound were totally commoditized and we all liked exactly the same product.
It’s probably normally the case that if you like the magico-type sound you aren’t a Harbeth customer, and visa-versa. (Though I myself like a variety of different "sound types" in speakers).
Likewise, although I’m really enjoying vinyl these days, I totally get why there are people wouldn’t touch it.
I know you would ideally like to hear from people who have compared the particular speaker models you mentioned. But in the spirit of sharing experience and opinions...
I’ve heard the Giya G1 Series 2 briefly. (One of my local dealers sells Vivid, so I’ve heard Vivid speakers at his shop, and when he’s shown at audio shows). Genesis’ "Squonk" was just massive and dynamic on the Vivids. Just crazy good if one wanted to experience leading-edge detail, soundstagind WITH dynamics and acoustic force that invoked the real thing - especially a real drum set being played.
I’ve heard some big Magicos playing some of my favorite demo tracks, like Earth Wind And Fire live which has some killer drum sounds. It was also really "transparent" with great soundstaging, but they didn’t produce that "holy cow this could be live" sensation as the Vivid speakers.
On a smaller scale: I auditioned the Vivid Oval speakers (B1 I think?).Also, I spent some time listening to my selected music, over a month or so on and off, on a pair of Vivid Kaya speakers at my friend's place.
Again, especially with the Kaya speakers, it was "clarity/transparency and DYNAMICS" that really stuck out. Even at the sane levels I was listening at they kicked some butt. My friend, who plays music louder than I ever would, said "you just would not BELIEVE what these sound like loud. Teeth rattling power, but clean and uncompressed sounding."
On a personal note, ultimately I’m a "tone/timbre first" guy. I have found the sound of every Vivid speaker I’ve heard to be astonishingly transparent and clear, but somewhat anti-septic. There is more obvious "wow" factor to the transparency of the Vivids, and I find them on the brighter end. Smooth...but a tad lightened up in tone. I think I actually prefer the tone and timbre of voices and instruments through the Magico speakers. I would take the Magico A3s over the Vivids I’ve heard.
But, again, that’s a very personal account. I can completely see someone thinking the Vivids sound "more right"with instruments and voices.
I hope you get to hear those other speakers,so you can come back and tells us how you think they compared to your Magicos.
wrenth hit the nail on the head as an owner of Vivid Giyas. I spent considerable time researching and listening and I too had Vivid Giyas (G2s though) and Magico S5s at the top of my list (along with Vandersteen 7s, impossible to find used btw). I listened to both at local dealers and to my ears the Vivids are among the most effortless, musical, detailed and "of one cloth" sounding speaker I've heard (and I've heard many of the best including YG, Rockport, Wilson, Devore, Von Schweikert, etc.) There is something just right about the sound that I haven't heard with the others. I also listened to the S5s and they are excellent speakers and in the dealer's room had prodigious bass but to my ears were warmer and less of one coherent sound launch (from the speaker) compared to the Vivids. Also, I personally found the Vivids attractive and interesting to view in person and ultimately, for me it's about the sound. YMMV, enjoy!
To me a major advantage of any speaker is if the design has a sealed enclosure. People that think that ported and to a lesser degree transmission lines have better bass need to take a look at what is really going on with the speaker and then think about what they actually believe is better or lower bass. I dont believe in too many universals in audio, but the superior performance of sealed enclosures would be one. This is especially true with bookshelf speakers.
jsautter, I agree in many cases and with small to moderate sized rooms, but when you get to larger rooms ported is less of an issue IME. But, again to your point sealed is the way to go for many of us for optimum tight, accurate bass.