Has anyone heard the Magico Mini?

I am very curious to hear the Magico Mini. It is getting great press in many areas and I am wandering if anyone has heard them. How do they compare to the Wilson Watt 8's or the Kharma's or the new Sonus Faber Guarneri's etc.
If I am not mistaken, they are priced about the same as the Watt/Pup 8's and more the Guarneri or Kharma 3.2.
I believe they are $20K while the Wilsons are $28K.
the magicos are very impressive...
Take a look at Henryhk's discussion of his Magico audition, which appears in his virtual system.
I read Henryhk's review of the Magico's. However, I am more interested in hearing from someone who actually owns the speakers. In a dealer setting, speakers are not usually at their best and with the Mini's, I am wandering if they will also work in a smaller room. Dealer's rooms are usually not that small.
Also, last I heard the Mini's were priced at $27K.Not sure if that is suggested retail or ?
I just heard the Magico's at a local dealer driven by Thor monoblocks and was quite underwhelmed considering the price tag. I would not even think of trading up my Guarneri's for Mini's. Also, when you see the Magico in person, it looks "plump" and somehow unattractive. Certainly poses no cosmetic competition to Sonus Faber. The Mini's sound good compared to many speakers, just not good enough to make me anxious to write that check for $22K.
That was the impression that I had also when I compared the Guarneri's to the Mini's.
The Mini's are good but IMHO the G's are better.
As far as cosmetics go, I guess that is a personal choice, but for me also the G's are in a different league.
I owned the Guarneri's for ~ 5 years, and traded them for Kharma 3.2 CRMs. I also had the opportunity to hear the Magico Mini's for several hours perfectly set up with absolutely top notch cables and electronics in a small room. I do love the G's and was very happy with their sound for a long time. Depending on what you listen to, the G's can be the perfect speaker. They excel at jazz, vocals, chamber music, and so on...but they dont do justice to big bands, symphonic orchestras, and rock. Even using a pair of Tact subwoofers and cutting the G's off at 200 Hz, they could still choke when fed too much "stuff" (Ellington, Basie, Mahler, etc). The Kharma's, with the same associated equipment, seem to be better at imaging/soundstaging than the G's, are great at vocal/acoustic music (though not as seductive/lush as the G's), and they can handle the bigger stuff pretty well. The soundstage on big band and orchestral music is definitely better - wider, taller , deeper , and more realistic than the G's (though aals still nowhere ear close to the real thing!) The Mini's are different from the G's and the Kharmas. To my ears, they do the macro and micro dynamics thing better than either the G's or the K's and are more accurate/linear. I liked the, a lot, but then again they were paired with $ 20 K worth of subwoofers, and 2-3 X times that in cables alone in the system I heard...so hard to say. Based on personal experience, I would pick the Kharma's over the original G's ..and would love to take the Mini's home for a spin in my system to see how they fare vs the Kharma's. I think the Mini's woiud be better IF you have a absolutely the best components/cables feeding them,and a great pair of subs to hand the bottom octave, but the Kharma's might be easier to love in a more "reasonable" system (though they need subs as well)
Iv'e only heard the Magicos' at CES/THESHOW when used to demonstrate mid to lower-high priced equiptment. The speakers always seemed to me to be overly analytical and were not a good match for lesser equiptment. I should probably say my personal tastes do not favor the Wilson's either. Loved the Kharma's but lower bass always seemed a bit thin. For lusher more romantic sound the Zingali's are good while still offering decent resolution at a little less money. Have not heard the new Sonus Faber. Only other speaker that comes to mind at this lofty price range is Shahinian which Iv'e only briefly heard. Mike
Alexc, I would concur with everything you say, but, in a small/smaller room, I think the G's are a little more involving than the Kharma's. In a larger room, I am sure the G's cannot move enough air to present orchestral music or big band as well. I noticed in my room that the Kharma's had a slight hardness to the treble compared to the G's and actually the image focus was less well portrayed/defined. True, I listen to a lot of jazz and blues and no real rock or big band. On rock or more power music, I think you have to have speakers that can move a good amount of air, which frankly IMHO requires large drivers; and really the bigger the better.
The G's are small monitors in a way, so they are superb on voice and jazz and small ensembles. Very hard to beat in this area in a small/smaller room( I actually have not heard their better in this regard, including the Kharma's and the Mini's).
The TAS just named the Mini as product of the year
Davey,if you want a new improved level of performance,consider updating your amp,to the 8t(easily done at the factory.I had my amp done(from 8 to 8t)as did a friend.Big improvement in detail and air.Not too costly either.
sirspeedy, does the 8t mod also change the power supply away from the choke? I have heard the newer power supply, and I think that it is in fact a downgrade over the choke supply.( more noise artifacts and seemingly less inner detail)
If it does not,an increase in detail and air would be well welcomed. Thanks for the advise.
I heard a lot of the speakers you are mentioning (the Guarnieri, Stradivari, WP8, MAXX2, Schweikert VR9SE...) but not the Kharma. For my taste, the Mini beat them all (except for the visual aspect, for which the Sonus Faber cannot be beaten). In particular I loved their huge imaging (close your eyes and you think you are listening to a huge speaker set), their linearity and analytic side. If you have the right upstream components, you will feel like you are "there" Even if they don't go really below 40Hz, I preferred also the ported bass (much cleaner and tighter than all vented competitors). I listened to them driven by a ARC REF3-REF610, in a small room. Was a perfect combination. If your room is small, need to have enough absorbent on the walls as they radiate quite a lot of energy.
The Mini were originally not on my shopping list (was rather planning to buy a much bigger speaker) but I listened to them by chance and was so blown away that I ordered one pair

For the moment, I don't plan to use them with subwoofers (not much instruments playing below 40hz if you listen mainly to jazz and classical). Out of curiosity, Alexc, which subs were used in your listening session of the mini? (besides the Wilson Benesch Torus, I cannot imagine a sub fast enough to integrate properly with the woofer of the Mini)
PS: Current price is $22k. It goes up to $26,400 as of January 1st
PS2: the upper model in the Magico range (the Tower, for twice the price of the mini) will not be ready on time for CES
Daveyf - My room now is 25'5" feet by 18'11". When I bought the G's, it was more like 16'X12' and yes, they sounded wonderful there. The Kharmas, crossed over to a pair of Tact subwoofers anywhere between 75 and 200 Hz can reach impressive SPL's in the new room (the Tact subs have a pair of very quick, large drivers each). Agree the treble can be overdone, especially if the speakers are toed in (Kharma recommends nil toe in). Associated equipment makes a differece as well. I use triode tube amps, and just moved to the Kubala Sosna Emotion speaker cable (I used AQ Dragon SE with the G's, and tried that as well as Valhalla with the Kharmas, but the Kubalas realy helped flesh out the sound)
Davey,I cannot tell you,for sure.But it is a CLEAR(in two systems)improvement over the standard 8.Why not call Jeff,and ask him?
I can not imagine why anyone will pair the Magico’s with a Thor amp. It is simply a bad match since the Thor does not have the power and the control the Mini needs. I have been a fan of SF for many years and owned a few different models over the years. I do prefer them to the Kharmas. I have a pair of Guarneri’s, which I now use in my office. As nice as they are, they do not hold a candle to the MM. Much colored and dark sounding in comparison. Not to mention the size of image, soundstageing and dynamics. I would never consider putting the G’s in my big room; they simply would not do the job. The MM are in a completely different league then anything SF has been doing. Including, IMO, the big Strad’s, which I replaced with the MM. The Minis are playing in my main system for more then a year now, and I can not imaging what you would hear on the G’s that you would prefer. I can’t argue with the G’s look, they are beautiful. But I think it is easily seen how much more substantial the MM are in comparison. Try hearing them again driven properly. I do not think you will be disappointed.
Wow, there are quite a lot of differences in opinions expressed here. I heard them two years ago at CES/THE SHOW. Under those conditions, I thought they were among the best sounding speakers at both shows. What they had that I particularly liked was a very lively and clear sound -- somewhat like the sound of high efficiency speakers (i.e., horn and single driver speakers) in that respect, but much better balanced tonally than most high efficiency speakers. I think that is a very important quality that is particularly hard to find in modern speakers. Most speakers sound boring and constipated to me -- they lack the ability to deliver small dynamic changes realistically.

I took note of an unfavorable comment from someone who heard it with Thor amplification. I have not heard the combination, but, I've heard Thor equipment with a number of tube friendly speakers and I did not like the sound of their amps or linestage on ANY speaker I heard. The amp sounded very brittle, edgy, and lean (similar in sound, to Audio Research gear). With a speaker, like the Mini, which is NOT fat and warm, I can see how the combination would not be ideal.
Stereotaipei - I heard them with a pair of Wilson Benesch Torus. Amps were the Audio Research Ref 210 first, and then the Ref 610. They sounde great with the 210,and awesome with the 610 after they warmed up (took a couple of hours for those to get to peak performance). However...I'd love to listen to them with my Tact W210 subs, which are also extremely fast and a lot less $$ than the Torus...
Hmm... I think many other speakers will sound great if not better with a pair of ARC 610 on tap :)

The irony is that we have a bookshelf here that's so hard to drive and needs amps bigger than themselves to shine.
And how did you get that impression? Anything will sound better on the big ARC. It is a very good amplifier. JV entire review was done on the 210’s. That is a very real, somewhat modest power rating. I drive the MM with smaller amps as well. The MM is actually a lot easier to drive then the watt and quite a few others.
And how did you get the impression that I said "ANYTHING" will sound better on the big ARC? All I said was that the big ARC will make many other speakers sound good too.

Btw, what amps are you using with your MM now?

Merry Christmas,

Magico Mini are the 2nd best monitors i'v heard.
The best are the Sonus Faber Extremas.
The Extremas were incredible sounding.
My question was: how did you get the impression that the MM are hard to drive? They are not. They MM are not very efficient but they are easier to driver then many other world class speakers. I am using the CAT JL2 to drive the MM as loud as I will ever need two. I also heard them with the darTZeel, the ARC 210 and the Pass 150.5. All of these amps are under 200W and had no problems running the MM.
you say you heard the Mini with a pair of Torus: can you elaborate on the difference with the mini alone? does it justify the 19k additional investment?
I am a little late to the discussion, but would still like to add my 2 cents.

Much of the discussion so far surround the Mini and the SF Guarneri.

I currently own and use the Mini, and I used to own the Guarneri. (the original)

To compare the Guarneri to the Magico Mini, imho, is not very appropriate. Of course they are both fine loudspeakers, but they are based on completely different design goals. I have also owned the SF Amati, so I am quite familiar with the SF approach. The Magico Mini is imo, a level, if not two, above the Guarneri. Yes, the Guarneri can be more 'relaxing', but whatever characters or adjectives one manages to use to describe the Guarneri sound, it is because SF designs their speakers after a *certain* sound. I have spoken with Mr. Alon Wolf. His approach is very much different from SF. AW prefers to designs his speakers from a scientific angle... just like if you feed an amplifier a square wave, the resulting signal should also be a square wave. So the Magico Mini are designed to be hi fidelity transducer that attempts to convert the electrical signal into a mechanical motion -> acoustic energy.

The G has a sound. In the long run, every CD you play through the G will have the G characteristic. The Magico Mini is imo much more successful as a transducer to deliver what the signal truly are with very very low distortion and little to no 'coloring' (the room will become the biggest variable).

The resolving power, the lightning fast transients attack (start and stop), the tuneful and VERY extended bass from the sealed enclosure are truly steps above any SF model.

Also, the build quality, I should mention... I used to think SF are gorgeous, but they are nowhere close to the way Magico constructs their speakers. What you see on the Mini is the actual stacked plywood pattern with no veneer masking what is underneath. The woodwork quality, plus the aluminum CNC work are all top notch.

These are not speakers that you will be impressed with with casual listenings. Speakers like the WP8 (pretty yucky to me) can often grab someone's attention by their exaggerated midbass. The Magico Mini, on the other hand, are so linear, so distortion free, they could take some time to use to. It took me only 10 mins to realize how good they are. But if you have been 'suffering' from poorly ported design for years, the linear, extended and tuneful bass from the Mini could really take some getting used to. But trust me, once you get used to it, there's no going back.
Wslam,a wonderful,thoughtful,post.Sensible conclusions,about performance,and a sealed design advantage,too.I have NO doubts that the Mini performs as to your description.I hope they show this at the Stereophile Show,in NY,in May.
Wslam, an interesting post. In my room, which is a small room, comparing the Mini's to the G's, I prefered the G's.All of my 'phile friends agreed; why, because the G's were more naturally extended in the highs and were able to portray depth in a more realistic manner. The Mini's are very good, but in a very small room like mine, tend to be a little hard and edgy. I have heard this from several others who have more experience with the Mini's than I do and who have listened in a larger room. The build/quality/finish of the two products is very much subjective to opinion. IMHO, the Mini's are not in the same league in this area, kind of like comparing a Ferrari to a Hummer. No question the Hummer is way better off-road ;0)
"More naturally extended in the highs"?? Have a look at http://stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/487/index5.html
And then look at http://www.magico.net/magico.pdf. How is it more extended if the G's tweeter drops more then an octave below the minis tweeter? The G's Dynaudio's Esotar tweeter was old news 10 years ago. I can not arguer with what you hear (Or think you do) but look at the facts. If the minis were harsh in your room, it is simply because they were telling you how your room and its associate equipment sounds.
Sirspeedy, Thank you for your kind words. I hope you get to listen to them soon! When setup correctly, they will impress you.

Daveyf and Dan,
It is indeed a little curious to say that the G has more naturally extended highs then the Mini. The tweeter on the Mini are very extended indeed. I HAVE heard the Mini sounding roll off in ONE room. But that was an odd room, and no other speakers were able to be more 'extended' anyway.

But like Dan said, we can't argue with your experience. But I cannot imagine the G topping out the Mini in ANY aspect except that the G are definitely warmer (colored) sounding in general. They also sound a lot slower very relaxing indeed. Don't take me wrong, I love the G. They are great speakers. But they are simply not in the same league as the Magico Mini.
Dan, I'm sure if you look at the graphs for the tweets you could conclude that the Mini's tweet is more extended than the Esotar. I for one always like to use my own ears, and rely less on stats. If you look at the way digital measures, you would never even listen to analog. As you can see I stated'more naturally extended'. This is the way that I and others hear the extension of the G's vs. the Mini's. Unfortunately, I think that you may have fallen into the trap that so many 'philes fall into.That being the belief that because something is new, it must therefore be better. The Mini's were hard and edgy in my room and on various pieces of equipment that we tried them with that day. Many other speakers in the same room have not exhibited this trait.
As Wslam said he has heard this trait also, and I am wandering if it is room dependant or if perhaps the speaker exhibits this trait.
In one area I do agree however, the Minis are in a different league as far as price goes.
We are talking about two "superb" speakers.Both are beautifully made,and sound wonderful!Different priorities(room/other equipment voicings)will dictate one's choices.As a person(me)who allowed myself to be foolish,and instigate negative feelings,to a fellow hobbyist,a while ago(a real quality contributor,who deserved praise,instead of my own goading),don't fall into a pissing match.Believe me.Nothing good can come out of it,and we will all be the "poorer",for it.
As I stated before, I rather not argue with people hearing statements. Your sarcasm comment on the price undermined your impression even more. I can see, based on your associated equipment, that the MM are not in the price range of your other equipment and that you have just purchase your G’s. Yes, it would be heard to keep an open mind… Anyway, I can only point out the facts and they are pretty clear in this argument. If you look at the cumulative spectral-decay plot of the G’s you will notice a lot of “noise” around 16K. That is most likely due to the Esotar low, by today standard, breakup mode. Maybe that is what you hear as “naturally extended”. Yes, the mini may require careful attention in the set-up. They should also, in a small room, be listened at slightly off-axis. I can only say that there is nothing “tangible” in the G’s that is of the caliber of the Mini. BTW, when I shopped for my mini, I could not get any dealer to loan them to me…
I just get the wazoo xl, and hook it with the dynaudio 1,3mk2 with marrant s15 cd player. the mid and trebl is so good, it drive the mid like tube soud, but the bass feel not so enough.the mid bass is ok but the deep bass not clear.
Does price range have anything to do with ability?
Why did you dealer not let you listen to the Mini's in your system?
My statement wasn't in sarcasm or trying to be sarcastic...:0), the price difference is a fact. Your opinion is as valid as mine, in my room, the Mini's were simply inferior to the G's, that's IMHO.
Davef, I too am interested to know which dealer allows home demo of the Magico Mini!? That is a major operation! The dealer who did that for you needs to be commended.

I agree with Dan, that the 16k 'noise' seen in the waterfall is likely the result of the breakup mode of the Esotar. Yes, we all use our ears to listen, but when we need to 'discuss', it will be pointless to simply be descriptive (just look at how much hyperboles professional reviewers resort to). Some scientific measurements do help. HiFi is a science. The art belongs to the musicians, not us...we simply plug and play.
But that was the point I am trying to make. It is indeed your prerogative to like whatever you whishes. You may like the G’s better but it is not because the mini’s are inferior. There is nothing in the “real world” that will indicate it is the case and support your conclusion. I can tell you that IMHO, the mini’s are as smooth and pleasant as anything I ever heard. How is that going to advance the discussion? But if I show you that they are smoother, more extended, lower in coloration and much more linear, then maybe you will have better tools to make better judgments. If then you still prefer the G’s, so be it. Nothing wrong with that.
I have heard the G's and thought "what great stand mounted monitors"!Great looking too.I am infatuated with the Magico's,though,and am trying to influence a friend(who has a small room,and is leaning to Parsifal Ovations)to consider them,based on what I have been told by someone I greatly admire.....Jeff Rowland!I had an intimate conversation with him,last summer.He was doing some "custom" work on my two chassis 8T amp(fabulous job,btw),when I asked him "what speakers do you currently like".His response(in almost exact wording)was..."I currently own,and love,two pairs of Magico Mini's.I LOVE to see the look ,on the faces of listeners,who are unfamiliar with them.They cannot believe the dynamics,and soundstage these things throw"!!
That was enough for me!!

sirspeedy, I too greatly admire Jeff Rowland. Which is one of the reasons I own his model 8. In some of my other threads, I talk about the difference between the choke power supply version and the later mono-power supply version. The consistancy that all my 'phile friends and I have heard is a better portrayal of depth with the choke. I have not tried the transimpedance mod, but I have been told it is the best mod for this amp. I know Jeff likes the Mini's, I also think they are a very good speaker, but with my system and in my room, the G's were better.( Maybe the Rowland/CAT/SFG match is a factor) You might have your friend seek out some G's so that he can do the same AB as I did.In a small room, he may come to the same conclusion and save a lot of money in the process.
Davef, can you pls tell me which dealer loaned you a pair of Mini for home trial?
Davef & Wslam, can you please tell me the dimensions of your rooms? I am considering the Magico Mini - my room is 11.5 feet wide, 17.4 feet long and 10.3 feet height. I got feedback that my room is too small (or too narrow, to be precise) as the Minis put out a lot of energy.

Wslam, I have seen pictures of your room - it looks similar to mine. So, if the Minis sounded good, then that is useful for me.

hi musicality17,
my room is about 13ft wide. 11.5 should work, of course you could always try the long side approach. you are right, they do put out a LOT of energy.
musicality17, my room is very small...10'X11', the only saving grace is that it has a 15' vault ceiling.
The Mini's in this room did not overpower the room, however, they were not a great match either.
I suspect the width of your room will be a problem, unless you listen in the near field. The G's are a much better match in my room, although I think none of these room sizes is desirable.
BTW, Wsalm, my dealer here in the US is currently closed and when he re-opens, I will ask his ok to disclose him to you. I presume that your dealer in Hong Kong would not let you home audition. IMHO, if you are contemplating a purchase of this sort of money, then a home audition is a must if at all possible. If the dealer balks, but has the product available, I really do not think that says much for them, and I would personally look elsewhere.
Daveyf, this is going too far. I gave you a simple way out of this but you insist voicing your opinion on the Mini. A speaker that you most likely never seen or heard. It was clear from your comments that you did not have the speakers in your room. Just to be sure, I called all US dealers today, which BTW, were open, to ask about their loaning policy. Since I bought my pair in the US I was surprise to hear from you that you audition a pair in your house. I did not get that privilege when I bought mine. All 3 dealers, did I mention they were open today, assured me that the MAGICO’s have not been loaned to anyone. In fact, I even called MAGICO and talked to Mr. Wolf confirming that as far as he knows, none of the dealers lone these out. He also told me that if the Minis would be audition in such a way, he would most likely know about it. He to did not “hear of a guy with G’s” auditioning the Minis. This is a small community Daveyf and bluntly lying like that is uncalled for. I suggest that you get off this post and give us all a break. If and when you get a chance, you should go and listen to the MM. But it will have to be in a dealer demo room. Hope you can deal with that.
Wslam & Davef. Thanks for your quick responses.

Wslam, your suggestion to try the long side is valid, but that may not be an option given the layout of the room. What is the length of your room? And what is the distances between the Minis with the rear and side walls?

Dan, Just so you know, I am a little upset at your innuendo, the Mini's were brought over to me by a fellow 'phile, believe it or not, your problem.
I never said they were dealer leant, you did! However,my dealer is local to me and had no problem with the idea when I asked him about this.In fact he has been always very accomodating. Why are you so very touchy about this, perhaps you are a little upset that your dealer did not give you the same courtesy. Are you not entitled to a home audition when spending that kind of money?
Hi musicality17.
My room is a very odd shape. It's very long. Close to 40 ft long. I used the Cardas setup as guidelines to place the speakers. I think they work reasonably well for my room.

And to Daveyf a,d Dan_haan,
No need to turn this into an ugly discussion. davefy, i am with Dan_haan though. I didn't want to doubt you, but Magico has a very well controlled distributorship, and the chance for you to get a home trial is close to zero, anywhere on the planet, not just the US. While I did not do the due diligence like Dan_haan did, it is easier to believe in Dan_haan then to believe that some "fellow 'phile" brought over his pair of Mini for you to try. Did you take a photo while they were in your room? Did your "fellow 'phile" also find the G to sound better in your room? It is only fair to comment on speakers we have really listened to.
Hmm, apparently Mr Wolf himself thinks that the Mini is not good enough and came up with a Version 2 :)

Funny also Jeff Rowland did not go with the Minis at CES.
Hay, do not kid yourself. Rowland had what must have been some of the worst sound at the show. I felt sorry for him. It was a very sad room and I am not surprise it did not get mention in any report. I can only assume he was splitting the cost of the room with the speaker guy. As for Mr Wolf contentment level, I can assure you, it is very low and nothing is ever good enough for him. Thank god! But seriously, when I asked him about that he pointed out the fact that although, only recently discovered by the US media, the Minis are 4 years old. He felt that the mini will benefit as well from the advancement Magico had made in driver technology since then. Judging by the sound of the V3, I can only eagerly anticipate the upgrade.
I have listened to Magico Minis 2 weeks ago, with Audio Aero Prestige SACD player directly connected to Krell EVO-402, with Transparent Reference cables. Very impressed with minis performance. What a resolution, tonal neutrality and soundstage which can directly be compared to the best available floorstanders. Of course that quality has a price to pay, unfortunately, however one should not consider minis as just bookshelf mini monitors but a real speaker with huge musicality. Definitely recommended for deep pockets.
Still wishing I could hear the Minis... thanks for your impressions 95!