Maggie versus Magico

Heard latest Magico speakers recently on a very high end tube-based dealer set-up. The system delivered a sound that was very "Maggie" like to my ears, with the small box/dynamic design Magico minis on stands, perhaps as much or even more so than any other similar box/monitor design speaks I have heard recently.

So I was wondering if anybody has actually done a/b comparisons between MAgico and Maggies and would share their observations?

Are the Magicos worth the extra investment? I would expect that they may be easier to place properly in most rooms, so if you must have the Maggie sound in a room with more limited placement options, maybe Magico is the way to go, if you can afford them?

I have a small pair of Triangle Titus monitors that when acquired convinced me that box monitor designs can be as smooth, clean, accurate and transparent as Maggies on my rather moderate cost system. These cost a pittance compared to the Magicos. Is it technically even valid to compare a pair of Triangle Titus or Cometes that can be acquired for <$1000 to a much more expensive design such as the Magicos?
if you don't have the space for the maggies, and have a small to medium room, i would recommend looking at atc, bravo, proac, or even something like the nekton dynaco25 replicas for monitor style speakers....and yes they can be just as transparent as magicos without taking out a second mortgage. there are more as well.

Can I assume you have actually heard the Magicos recently?

My impression from auditioning them is that they are very good indeed and hard to fault, but that there are other similar options out there, some of which I already own, that might match or possibly even exceed them in certain areas for significantly lower cost, however I was not able to do any direct a/b comparisons to be sure.

Also, I heard them on a high end tube system sourced from a $20,000 CD player that probably cost over $100000 total, so I cannot say how much of what I heard was attributable to the electronics and very high end Nordost cabling used versus the MAgico minis alone.

Still, the end result was very good indeed with some challenging symphonic music on CD, as one would expect at that price, but I'm not sure it was that much better if at all compared to some much less expensive setups that I'm familiar with.

The dealer I visited sells an impressively large assortment of high end lines. I got to hear one or two other very expensive systems that did not catch my ear in any particularly special way, but the system with the Magicos did.
yes..and like a lot of brands in audio, i can't reconcile the performance and the price. i tend to favor brands with a rich history and at least some tangible rationale for the price. i love maggies
The price for Magicos is way up there!

I think part of what I was hearing that I liked was the tube gear used. It provided (added?) a nice warmth to the strings, particularly viola, I believe, that help distinguish them from the violins.

I always listen to the "best" systems I can and then go back to what I own and see how I stand. I'm currently in process of this now.

I've reaffirmed some interesting differences I've observed over the years with various speaks between the SS preamp output versus the "tube simulation" pre-out on my Carver pre-amp based on listening to the tube/Magico system. I need to listen in detail some more and then I may update my system description to describe my findings having applied a few tweaks to my system's configuration based on the tube/Magico listening experience.
By the way, when I say above that the tube gear added a nice warmth to the violas that helped distinguish them from the violins, I mean that in a very positive sense in that I thought this rendering to be very positive and natural and not an artificial coloration, based on my recollection of similar live performances.
i love those ohms

Thanks. The Ohms are keepers for sure! I feel comfortable stating that they are definitely at least in the same league as the best speakers that I've been able to lay my ears on over the years, which is the best I can hope for with a limited budget. Definitely worth a listen for many that might otherwise be tempted to take out a second mortgage to achieve their audio goals with Magico, MBL, German Physik, or many other high end speaker systems.

I figure if the Magicos or MBLs are the audio equivalent of the Boston Red Sox these days, my Ohms are perhaps the Oakland A's (in a good year).
"I figure if the Magicos or MBLs are the audio equivalent of the Boston Red Sox these days...."

Being a NYer... I'm not sure how to take that comment? Ha ha
Jaybo, what the heck are nekton dynaco25 replicas?
That's how I got started long ago. Thanks!

The baseball analogy for the Magicos was a toss up between the Sox and Yankees based on the cost of delivering a quality product. Unfortunately (for NYers), the SOx have been more successful of late so I had to go with them.

Nothing personal NYers, though, I do love NY and that's actually where I heard Magicos even though they are made in California, I believe.

The Ohms are made in Brooklyn, however, so there is a true NY connection there! NY O's? Brooklyn O's anyone?

Maybe the Baltimore O's are heading in the right direction these days, so I could possibly use them for the Ohm analogy sometime soon without any negative connotations.

Jaybo, I was also wondering about nekton dynaco25 replicas. A quick google search came up empty. What are they and what makes them special?
sorry....'tekton' design AR....a modern take on the dynaco A25....i'm a sucker for retro....especially at the price.
Magico pinpoint imaging great depth of image musical magical maggie wall of sound not much depth good highs if ribbon tweeter everyone loves to knock #1!!
In the monitor range, try to listen to a pair of Aurum Cantus Leisure 2SE Signatures. For a fraction of the price of any Magico speaker, you get the ribbon tweeter, great imaging, excellent bass response, and an extremely smooth delivery of the mid frequencies wrapped in a very very nicely built cabinet. You'd be shocked at a comparison given the price difference.
Both are great speakers and something special for the careful listener. Maggies will give you larger natural instruments suspended in space with more acoustic presence and scale. Magico's are a nice alternative if space is an issue.
Had a chance to hear the Magico mini system again recently.

Still one of the most striking sounding systems I've heard out there. Fantastic transient attack and detail!

The price did go way up since a year ago, over $30000 now. Yikes!

I suppose these are the cream of the creme though if you are looking for a no holds barred monitor design for use in tight quarters.
I had various maggies for many years. All the ones I owned were very musical straight out the box. I got into tweaking them and found a whole new level of performance. The maggie suffers from a diffuse and soft presentation unless tweaked to death. Even then it can be dynamically challenged compared to some. They are a lovely speaker.

The Magicos I have heard have been extremely good and have more to offer. They were very detailed with enormous punch and impressive bass. But are they worth the huge difference in price?

I heard some Magico $30k floor standers which were beautifully finished (with ARC CD8/ ARC Ref3 pre/ DarTZeel amp/ transparent cables) they were very impressive as they should be. The Magnepans stereo image size, woody sweetness and romance is heard to beat though. You could buy 3 pairs of MG20s for the price of the Magico floor stander... I know what I would rather have.
I don't know about the older Maggies, but my new 3.6R's with vertical crossovers are more dynamic and play loud and huge. In fact, they compare favorably to even my previous W/P 6's, Sophias and Dynausio C4's. They simply need an amp that doubles down from 8 to 4 to 2ohms. I use Cardas jumpers, MIT cables and HiFi Tuning fuses for maximum splendiferousness:O)
Hi Dave,
I had the 3.6r as well as older maggies. Lovely they were too. But you have to bare in mind the 3.6 is 85db/watt sensitivity. Even with huge doubling into 4 ohm type amps they are incapable of true dynamic swings. They are great with smaller swings and intricate timbre changes, but loud big bangs like bass drums get "contained" or softened. You will never jump out of your skin with a maggie. I got used to it and soon forgot that side of things because it did everything else extremely well. I felt the full range Apogees had the legs on the maggie by quite a margin. Though they were a little more zingy and less woody sounding.

I was surprised by the Magicos dynamics. I think it was about 93 or 94 db/watt. The bass was very full and controlled. Not sure if it had the quality the 3.6r can have down there, but easily as deep. The cabinet seemed to be silent. No hint of joining in with the music. But again look at the price! In a contest I think I would lean towards the maggie, but I would doff my cap to the magico with the extra 20k in my wallet. I would love to hear the really big Magicos...
Chadeffect, that is what I expected as well. For the life of me I cannot understand why I am getting BETTER dynamic swing , presence and slam aka punch that is equal to or better than most of the box speakers I've owned which included Wilson W/P6's, Sophias, Dynaudio C4's etc.. Now I'm not talking sub 25hz slam, which is mostly artifactual and not what you hear in the hall (except on pipe organs), but real world mid bass/bass dynamics that go almost unnoticed by most conventional box speakers. For the lowest lows I have 2 subs which go down to 18hz:O)
Hi Dave,
I know what you mean. I had similar with mine. You get the impression that the Maggie is free and full. Some recordings were vibrant and amazing to listen to.

At the time I had some very strange dynamic issues where sometimes they were alive and at other times they would seem to be withdrawn or distant. It was very annoying, as I knew how good they could be. It turned out to be more about the amp and electricity quality I was getting. So I did all the filtering and separate mains for the system which helped and kept performance more uniform. Then I got into the internal cabling and replacing the original crossover with Alphacore inductors and many types of capacitors, bypassing the fuse over the TWT. All this transformed the Maggie (and Apogee).

A good sub does help underpin and fill the room. I used Audio physics Minos subs at the time. They were great and were the only subs fast enough to blend with both the Magnepan and the Apogees.

In the end I went to the AG Trio with its 110db/watt sensitivity. Which to be honest can do all that the Magnepan 3.6r and updated Apogee divas can do plus complete dynamic freedom. They are less fussy about placement too.

To keep to the thread though, I think the magico is a very impressive speaker and a modern sounding box speaker. It is clean, extended and uncolored. I have always loved planars, so a part of me will always be biased towards them. But if you do not have the space for an 3.6r or 20.1 and have the extra money, then a Magico is no slouch. But look at the speakers available at that sort of price. Many serious ones.
Loved and lived with the MG20.1 for 3yrs, maximized them with appropriate ancillaries best I could. Driven them with ARC REF3 partnered with the ARC REF600mkIII / Jadis JA200 to try extract the maximum dynamics they can dish out. But as Chadeffect puts it quite accurately, they at times with certain music materials (Hugh Masakela-Burmeister Test Disc, Sheffield Drum Tracks) felt slightly withdrawn and distant, rather boring (less jump factor) compared to the better designed modern dynamic speakers. Thus, in some ways not as involving or live sounding.

Hence, my 3yr stint with the Strads and ending up with the Mini2 mid last year ('08). To these ears, the Magico's had that freed-up boxless sound, coherency and musicality one yearns from a full range planar or stats. As well, their neutrally balanced tonality, startling speed, excellent dynamic swings (that often belies their size), transparency and imaging capabilities completes the package beautifully. Imo, putting price factor aside, they are truly one strong candidate for the best speakers out there today for the smaller to medium sized rooms.
Exactly, the Masgico S5's compared with the new B&W 802 Diamonds and Magnepan 3.7's were eye opening.  I have never heard an openess appear in an enclosed speaker until yesterday.  They are a Magnepan in a sealed extruded aluminum case.  Amazing!!!!!
These speakers do not belong in a small room, whatever brand you decide to purchase.  I did not like the 4000.00 paint cost if you wanted a color/finish option; this was my only disappointment in Magico..  
Going back in 2 weeks to test all 3 side by side same conditions.
Magico Mini II - "Midgets suspended in air"

All Magicos are way overpriced IMO.

6 foot Maggies - Hard to "dial in" to optimal room position.
Once "dialed in" - full size, 3D image, sonic bliss - They are in the room!

Most common problems: room wrong shape, and too large. I like big speakers, fairly small room, sit 10 feet away.

I have owned the 6 footers (MG IIa, IIIa, and 3.6) in 8 different rooms, and listened almost every day, since 1976, with no regrets ever! I do not like the 3.7i, they squashed the xover into the speaker, and reduced the low bass.
The 5 foot long Magnepan ribbon tweeter will "eat for breakfast" any Magico tweeter in terms of sonic purity in the high frequencies! Period!
Magico or not, the comparison of a smallish (i.e. 2-way) floor standing speaker or bookshelf to a full panel speaker is stretched (pardon the pun), imo. These do not sound remotely similar, except for the potential for both to have extreme cleanness. In so many respects they are dissimilar that I would consider it a fruitless pursuit to attempt to recreate what the panel does by using a dynamic speaker, or vice versa. As an owner of both types of speakers neither has a lock on the attributes the other possesses. Both can bring stunning "openness" and a very distinctly clean sound, but that's about it as far as being able to mimic the other.