Magico A3


I auditioned a pair of Magico A3's this week to replace my long-term, beloved speakers (Von Schweikert VR5 HSE) that are just too big for the apartment I moved into, and are sounding (but not looking) a bit dated (ca. 2001). I am emotionally attached to my speakers and changing is like divorcing and re-marrying -- they may look and sound good and seem compatible, but one doesn't know until one has lived with them for some time whether the relationship will last.

In brief: If someone would have told me the A3's were $15K - $20K I would not have been surprised. First, they are much more handsome in the flesh (or in the aluminum, to be literal) than in photos. They have a clean, bold, post-industrial look. They also are Goldilocks-size: not too big, not too small for a 22x12x8 living room. And the sound, especially the vocals, is eerily natural and realistic. The bass is astonishingly deep and tight, the highs crisp but not sizzling and the mid stellar. They just sounded fresh and clean without being antiseptic. And, they can rock with the best (check out Maybe the People on Love's legendary album Forever Changes) but be delicate when the music is (e.g., Wilco's Jesus etc., or Natalie Prass's Bird of Prey). So, I ordered a pair on the spot. Delivery will not be until August as the early production run apparently has sold out.

I predict this speaker will go down as one of the greatest values in audio history, and I cannot imagine the price remaining at $9,800/pr for long, especially when the formal reviews come out. BUT, we will see how we get along when I bring them home and we have lived together for some time. That will be the true test of whether it is love, or just respect and admiration.

Neal
nglazer
After auditioning the A3's at two different dealers I bought a pair. Loved them. Then I made the mistake of auditioning the A3's and S3 Mk II's at the same dealer and traded the A3's in for the S3 Mk II's. At no time, either at the dealers or home, did I find the A3's or S3's anything approaching "dark". Different horses I guess.
I know this is a bit of an old thread, but I just heard the Magico A3s yesterday.  Woah!
After selling my previous system: Wilson Sasha 1, with ARC Ref separates, I was ready to be disappointed by the A3s driven by ML 585.  
Well, I was wrong.  I was bowled over.  They are now more than $10k, but to my ears they beat the following systems (for what I'm looking for)
Wilson - Sophia 3, Sasha 1 (don't best the Alexia 1s)
Focal - Scala v1, Sopra 2, Sopra 3 (I A/Bd the Sopra 3 in the same room same electronics - not even close).
The only system that I've had that I think this did not beat was Alexia 1s, ARC Ref75SE+5SE, w Transparent Ultra gen 5 loom. Lumin A1 was source, same as when I listed to the A3s. 
I will be buying these.  
Stand-out observations:
Smooooooooth and extended top end, very well integrated between mid and tweeter.  Could be a bit of a lul/suck in the upper bass (but could've been the room)
Refined and cohesive sound. 
Non-fatigue; the tweeter (unlike the Focal) does not bring any attn to itself. 
BASS... These were in a 20x24-x10 room.  And, they were about 6 feet into the room.  I was still wondering where the subs where.  Not bloated bass or 'airy' (like Sopra 3) bass, but authoritative, solid, foundational bass.  
Staging, imaging and focus were all very good.  I could easily ear the difference between DACS (Esocteric, internal 585s, Lumin A1 and S1).  Depth, focus, all there.  
Transparency, with the 585 from Mark Levinson, was spot on - ARC Reference transparency.  
I'll be getting these, maybe today :)
If you like Wilson and you like Focal, but neither are quite spot on, try these! 


jo1mtb1
You won't be disappointed. Ive had them for almost two years and they are wonderful.
Precisely my observation, the best hi-fi buy I ever made.
I bought a pair from the first manufacturing run. Have not looked back since. If you want to improve their sound even further, try the LessLoss Firewall for Loudspeakers. This is no "snake oil;" immediately audible increase in realism, transparency and tautness of bass. Well worth the investment. Neal