I listened to the SabrinaX, and found them "flat" somehow, hard to describe.
What were the associated electronics and where did you hear them?
Curious because this is a comparison I would never make (Wilson vs. Magico). Wilson and Magico couldn't be more different. The Wilsons to me are typically superior all across the board, and I am not a fan of their products for a number of different reasons.
But both speakers are highly dependent on system synergy and room setup. So if something sounded flat to you my guess is it's someone's setup and preference that you heard.
I honestly think it must’ve been the setup... SabrinaX are quite dynamic... not as much so as the Sasha or older W/P’s, but not lacking in slam.
The XA25 should be able to drive it to reasonable level.
Whatever sounds best to your ears should guide your decision. With that said, I do not believe the XA25 is enough amp to sufficiently drive either. If that is the amp you demo'd with the SabrinaX, then that might explain some of your impressions. YMMV
It was a a big Boulder class A power amp - Juice was there for sure! I @ironlung, I hear what you;re saying - I just can't find a place to listen to the Magico in the DC area...There are some encouraging prices for the SabrinaX (and Sabrina), and perhaps I shold try to listen to them again. I'll try also the Totem Tribe 2 as well this coming week, and perhaps the Klipsch Forte 4 (or Cwl).This is a vast spectrum, and I forgot how difficult it is to get used to "other" speakers that the ones you've had for too long...
The Sabrina are the hardest wilson to drive. It would be worth checking out the impedance curve on stereophile.
The Sabrina is pretty dynamic for a small speaker but they are a small speaker. They have a bit of a bass spike to my ears which I think makes them seem larger than they are. Sounds like you might want a bigger speaker.
I have also heard the Cornwall iv and fortes and they have a very different sound from wilson but you should give them a try. Good in a different way and much cheaper.
I have not heard the Magico but I bet they are much more buttoned down than the wilsons based on the small sealed cabinet.
I would add in the revel 328be in the same price range (or 228be at much less money). They are easier to drive and seemed to play with limitless volume. The tweeter is perfect, the mids are open and three 8” woofers push out the bass.
Having heard both speakers, IMO the Wilsons are far more musical sounding than the Magico's. The new Sabrina X's are a major upgrade over the old Sabrina's...you sure you heard the new version and not the old version, which does sound more like what you describe.
I have owned a pair of the Magico A3s for a few years now. What initially drew me to them is that they are highly resolving and very dynamic. With tube integrateds they produce a wide soundstage with depth and great imaging. They are rated at 88dB and 4 Ohms. I have driven them well with all sorts of amps: First Watt SIT-3, M2, and F5. Those are class A amps and drive them well with zero issues. I also have a pair of Benchmark AHB2s. Again they drive them well and are highly resolving and quiet. With tubes which is my new revelation they dynamics are great and soundstage is wide. At times I hear things off to the side of my listening position. It’s incredible. Like anything, a system is as good as your weakest link. So if you have good well matched components, cabling and power management the A3s in my experience should perform well. I have not heard any Wilson speakers, though I am curious to do so. I will also say that the A3s are built like tanks. Magico dealers if they are like my dealer will provide good service. I am very pleased.
The only problem with magico is there ugly metal boxes, and for the price they monitor audio platinum are much better that MPD tweeter will kick the a-- out of that beryllium tweeter it’s so much more natural and real sounding the beryllium tweeter is a little bright and edgy. And the monitor audio Platinum also look a million times better.
Wilsons look like great speakers. Magicos are great speakers. Wilsons sound great at first, sound great for some music, but always leave me thinking there is something wrong. Magico speakers just do their thing. No muss, no fuss. Ya, I expect some would find them boring at first, but they don't do anything wrong and that I can work with.
@urbie that is why there is more than one speaker manufacturer. I like the way Magicos look. Not so much the Wilsons. I like the coated beryllium tweeter on my A3s. I’ve never heard or seen Monitor Audio speakers in person though. But it is also related to your streamer, DAC and amp. The speaker should put out what you feed it. Some speakers do this better than others. Some inject some “color” in the process. In my experience, Magicos do not do that. But all this is a matter of taste. Not everyone needs to agree on which speakers is better or kicks a--. It’s personal preference. Enjoy your Monitor Audios and I will enjoy my Magicos.
You have picked the two "Most Undesirable" brands from an appearance point of view.
Also the two I find the hardest to get excited about.
Although I did just hear the Alexas (or was it Alexandras)? with Spectral and dCS gear. It was flawless.
Still waiting to hear the magic in Magicos.
Are those two the final countdown?
When I demoed the Magico A3s, for a long period in a good room with good amplification, one of the main off-putting aspects to me was a lack of dynamic life. They were the epitome of the audiophile speaker that disappears, has excellent tone and detail, but just did that sort of leaving the musicians "sitting there" behind the speakers in a 3D way but without the sense of dynamic excitement.
I came home and played the same tracks on my Thiel 2.7s, which are lower sensitivity and hooked up to lower powered amps than the Magico were, and the sound that was flat on the Magicos leapt to dynamic life on the Thiels.
FWIW...which isn't too much as it's only one guy's experience.
I listened today to the Totem Metal 2 - very nice speaker. Also to the Sonus Faber NOva V: Impressive, but most likely need to be well out of back wall.
I would think that the Totem Metal V2 are comparable to the SabrinaX to a degree - Anyone with a similar experience for these 2 speakers?
The notion of impedance is something I have a hard time to understand. In my mind, a lower impedance means a higher output (more dynamics): Am I getting that completely wrong?In other words, If I have a 6 ohm speaker, sensitivity at 91db, then I assume that a 4 ohm with a sensitivity of 88db should be fine to run with the same amp (here a XA25 that you all know). I’m not a sound engineer for sure!!
As a result, I believe that I could run the Wilsons SabrinaX without too much trouble, for instance. Thoughts, guidance?
The Wilsons don’t hold a candle to the Magicos, but you need a trained ear to get it. They will not jump on you like some other speakers, but they will be a much better companion for the long run.
What's sad is that no one got my ebm tribute............
What's sad is that no one got my ebm tribute............
There weren't enough caps and exclamation points.
“What's sad is that no one got my ebm tribute............”
Oh I got it, but just moved along lol.
low impedance speakers are harder to drive. Most amps struggle to put out a lot of current into low impedance loads and get hot in the process.
The voltage out of the wall is constant So the amplifier has to put out more amps as the resistance drops.
I=VR (amps=Voltage/Resistance) So amps go up when the resistance drops as Voltage is held constant. This also produces a lot of heat as current (amperes increase)
In your example of 91dv at 6 ohm vs 88 at 4 ohm the 88 db speaker takes twice the power and requires double the amps at the same time. The real kicker is the impedance changes as the driver moves in and out of its coil and does a job on the amplifier.
1 volt / 6 ohms = 0.167 amps
1 volt / 4 ohms = 0.25 amps
The Sabrina looks hard to drive and will need a substantial amplifier based on stereophile’s measurements. But I am sure you can find someone with a low powered tube amp that is loving the combo... use your own judgment.
@james633 : The spike in bass is what I'm experiencing with the SabX -
@daveyf : Yes, big difference between the Sab1 and the SabX: But still, that same issue with the bass, even though to a much lesser level.@kingbarbuda : Thank you for the info re. type of amp you are using - This is helpful - I'm trying to get a place in the DMV area to listen to the A3s...@prof : This description you are making is what I feel. I might get the CWL IV for the sake of it and check out the dynamics they're supposed to offer in contrast@james633 : Gain, thank you for your input. What I'm getting from this is that Class A, 50Watts RMS candrive such 4ohms, 88db efficient speakers. Perhaps not getting the most out of them, but still pretty good to enjoy.
I've owned the Magico A3 and my brother owns a pair of Wilson Sabrina. The Wilsons are very difficult to drive, that's a fact. The Magicos are much easier to drive because the impedance curve is much more stable, but the bass of the A3 is not well integrated with the rest of the drivers. The mids and highs are very good though and they are far more relaxed than the Wilson. Attacks, decay and tonal balance is also much superior with the A3. The Sabrinas have a very different sound coloration. They are more in your face type of speakers and you need to be more careful when pairing the electronics. Even if I like both speakers sonically, I think they are both overpriced and I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a Wilson that is so badly engineered. You have better options for less money.
@chrfor : Great comments, thank you! I believe indeed that the Wilson are difficult to match - I’m dropping the idea, though with some regret since they do provide a wonderful soundstage still. I hope to listen to the A5 soon. Als, I’m waiting to hear back from a dealer about the Joseph Audio perpesctive 2 graphene that i had the chance to (too) briefly listen to a couple years ago.I will go back to listen again to the Totem Metal V2 that impressed be quite a bit. I was on the verge of buying the Cornwall IV for in-house demo since I can't find any demo around the DC area, but decided to wait some more. I listened to the Zu Dirty weekend, and found them full of distortion and not easy on the ears... Not sure about their other sets.
I have the old Sabrinas. Re the Q above I drive them spotlessly w Pass xa30.8 and they hardly ever leave class a - only when very loud at ca 100hz where the impedance is low. Hence xa25 should also work… as a ls I like them a lot.
@trackmo: Command Performance in Falls Church carries Magico
Given your pricepoint, there are so many interesting options out there. I would check out:
Vivid Kaya 45
Wilson Benesch Vector
YG Carmel II
Von Schweikert Endeavor
I am running the Vivids and Wilson Benesch Vertexes with a 20w amp in a smaller room. I am a Vivid and Wilson Benesch. You ought to be able to hear the Vivids somewhere in the DC area. The WBs are going to be a challenge. Big sounding, engaging speakers that are a bit different.
I have no affiliation with YG and VonSchweikert other than I have heard their speakers and was impressed. I have to imagine there are dealers for both in DC.
I have heard both at length. The Magico sound like they have the bass rolled off
If you do this you hear the mids in greater detail. You can make the Wilson's sound like this based on placement in your room. The Magicos are not capable of low bass extension.
I demoed the following speakers 2 years ago when I was shopping for a speaker:
Vivid Kaya 90 (very fast and similar to the cheaper KEF Reference line)
Magico A3 (drivers are not the most coherent)
Vandersteen Treo CT (too dark for my ears)
TAD ME1 (pretty amazing but $15K for a bookshelf. That price they pulled out of their ___)
Yamaha NS5000 (a beauty to see and hear, most coherent of the bunch)
All of this was with various top end gear. For my ears, I preferred the TAD ME1 (needs warm gear) and the Yamaha NS5000 (likely best with neutral gear).
I was going to buy the NS5000 but I found a Thiel CS3.7 available locally. The Thiel was on my bucket list for a decade so I bought that and used it for 2 years. I sold it last month and now looking to buy likely my final speaker.
It is down to the Yamaha NS5000 and the KEF Blade 2 META. I was sure I was going to get the Blade but I noticed my young son had dinged the up the drivers on my KEF KC62 sub and now I am not sire if it is wise to buy the Blade 2. It has no grills. I may get a free replacement on the KC62 sub for another issue. If I get the Blades I will need something like this.
Kef Blade 2 Meta Speaker Dust Covers | DigitalDeckCovers
The NS5000 (with grills) is not a bad consolation if I decide to not get the Blades. The NS5000 is an incredible coherent speaker. The 12-inch woofer is made with the same material as the tweeter and midrange. You can get a 60 day home demo with 1 of the online sellers of this model. I have a local dealer here who really does not know what a gem of a speaker they have. Long story.
The Blades need a LONG wall placement for best sound while the NS5000 should be good with either type of placement.
BTW - the sub I mentioned is for my office system which is KEF LS50 Meta + KEF KC62 sub
Jump on the MAGICO ASAP!!!
I also have a pair of Benchmark AHB2s. Again they drive them well and are highly resolving and quiet. With tubes which is my new revelation they dynamics are great and soundstage is wide.
When I went and demoed the Magico A3 I took my then single AHB2 and it was awful. I figured it was not powerful enough. I have AHB2 monos now and it is good to hear they drive the A3's well. I am considering using the AHB2's with my Livingroom system. They currently drive my office KEF LS50 Metas. I do not have speakers for the Livingroom.
The Magicos are not capable of low bass extension.
Falses. The A3 extend just as low as the Subrina, and it is doing it in a much more linear way.
If you do this you hear the mids in greater detail.
False again. Learn the difference between elevated bass (Subrina - typical Wilson) and real extension (the A3 - typical Magico).
The A3 is a much better speaker, objectively (See reviews and measurements).
You, of course, can like what you like.
I auditioned the A3s (associated electronics were Lyngdorf integrated and very high end cables) in my search for a new pair of speakers. I found them to sound dark, closed in, lacking air and sense of space, with boomy bass. They lacked life and I just couldn’t get into the music. When pushed hard I could hear the artifacts of that sealed aluminum cabinet. At first they reminded me of the original Sonus Faber Cremona (I remember those sounding warm but seductive) where the A3s just ended up being dark, lacking engagement factor and unnatural. Not much life in their presentation and once you hear the cabinet artifacts you can’t unhear it.
I ended up buying a pair of Wilson Sabrina original not X.
I drive them with a Pass Labs XA30.8 amplifier.
The Sabrinas required weeks of listening and playing with placement. I had them on furniture sliders and listened to them in one particular placement for days before changing their position. They’re by far the most difficult speakers I ever had when it comes to set up and are super sensitive to room acoustics and upstream components. They’re really a clear lens that lets you see all the faults elsewhere in your system and room. But once everything gels they reward all your hard work with a very satisfying listening experience. Plenty of Wilson Audio haters out there but every time I read their comments I wonder if they actually had an opportunity to audition a properly set up pair, had they even owned a pair of Wilsons paired with proper electronics and room? In most cases the answer is probably no.
Plenty of Wilson Audio haters out there but every time I read their commentsI wonder if they actually had an opportunity to audition a properly set up pair, had they even owned a pair of Wilsons paired with proper electronics and room? In most cases the answer is probably no.
Funny, and you don’t think the same logic can be applied to Magico??
Lyngdorf integrated is a class D, room/signal correction integrated. The last amplifier you want to run an A3 on.
I have been running the A3 on Pass NT250 for a few years now. Nothing like what you are describing, and was not difficult to setup at all.
@mheinze I’m not familiar with lyngdorf design but I can’t imagine it contributed to the sound that much especially when we’re talking about cabinet artifacts.
Also, I don’t see any threads on any forums titled magico haters.
But here is Wilson Audio Haters thread
I’m not familiar with lyngdorf design but I can’t imagine it contributed to the sound that much
Sure thing, electronics don’t have anything to do with sound quality 🙄
Also, I don’t see any threads on any forums titled magico haters.
Do you? But here is Wilson Audio Haters thread
That a Wilson guy started. Maybe an ego thing, need reassurance?? However, you should read it. Nine pages of explanations, some are pretty convincing, thanks for sharing 🤣
I auditioned the A3s (associated electronics were Lyngdorf integrated and very high end cables) in my search for a new pair of speakers. I found them to sound dark, closed in, lacking air and sense of space, with boomy bass. They lacked life and I just couldn’t get into the music.
That's pretty close to my experience when I auditioned them as well.
The A3 is a much better speaker, objectively (See reviews and measurements).
Yeah you’re right. If the reviews and measurements say it’s a better speaker than it must be true…
Also, yes you’re right on point - It was the $7200 lyngdorf integrated that sounded like aluminum cabinets. Not the A3s. I amend my statement that you took out of context.
If the reviews and measurements say it’s a better speaker than it must be true…
Obviously, I (and a couple of thousand others - so I heard) are experiencing the A3 utterly different than you. Neither of our opinion matters. However, if a set of measurements say it’s a better speaker, then yes, it is probably true...
I have heard both in depth the New Sabrina X is a major step up to. Th3 older Sabrina ,using their best tweeter used in Their top speaker , and same woofer as the Shasha Daw , the midrange is a wood pulp , the Xover is much better then the Magico they use the cheaper Mundorf white Evo caps , vs the custom Rel caps they bought the company and far better quality ,and they use their Xcabinet material throughout ,which is very dense and absorbs vibration
they will play to a solid 30 hz ,the Magico is more analytical a bit harder to match equipment with ,a bit more sensitive , it’s about taste both are excellent .
personally the Magico A5 is far better then the 3 ,
the Sonus Faber Serafino G2. Is a great new speaker to watch out for $26k retail
the best looking speaker I have seen ,and it is better in every way vs the last model
that’s says a lot. I will be checking them out soon
Really? And how do you know that? Have you compared them in the same circuit?? Rel caps were always mediocre, and have not changed in decades. Comparing the Sabrina to the A is like comparing a Chevy to a Porsche. True, the A5 is better then the A3 (A friend of mine just replaced his Sasha DAW with an A5)
Wow, replacing Sasha DAW? I DREAM of these speakers!! Why selling them, I’m curious about this. Switching seems a radical step in sound change, no?
He visited me too many times and heard the A5 😉
He ordered the new S3 but, in the meantime, bought an A5. The DAW are gone!
And yes, it is a significant change in sound (quality, that is).
I have the Sabrina X’s powered by the Pass Labs 250.8. The Pass gives them all of the power that they need and mine sound both detailed and dynamic. Remember, what any speaker sounds like is also dependent on the rest of the system and cabling, AND room placement/room treatment. With a bad room, great speakers can sound much less than their potential. Because of my room size (11x11) I don’t have a lot of choices for speaker placement, but with the proper equipment, the Wilsons are stellar in my system. They do need some power though. My PrimaLuna Dialogue Premier HP tube amp could drive them adequately, but the Pass makes them sing.
Lots of information here and lots of conflicting ears. The A5 is the speaker to audition not the A3. Wilsons are usually set-up for only one listener but that may not matter to you. The new Wilsons are now designed to be a more musical speaker as is the A5. I have heard both at length. It comes down to preference as both do what they do and have different sonic attributes.
I think we are paying a lot for the cabinet and finish for these speakers. I am sure they both sound fine and look good. No one here can tell you which is better. You are the only one who makes the decision. I suggest you take a look at Legacy Audio. Many people don’t know them or ignore them.
I had the pleasure of hearing the Wilson Sabrina X again yesterday, Driven by a Nagra ss amp, they truly sang. Fairly large room and well treated, which I think is pretty important to get the most out of any set up. I’m not sure how large a room you need, and how much distance apart the speakers will require, but in this room ( about 15x18) they were able to throw a wide and accurate soundstage. Pretty impressive speaker.
I had the chance to spend more than an hour in front of Sasha DAW the other day. Consistency throughout, generous bass but the right amount, speed and accuracy, what a pleasure. Whatever type of music you throw at them, you're in for a treat, at any volume. Price tag is crazy, and there's not much in the used market, too bad!!
Should i save more and go crazy, or look for cheaper but as good of it ever exists?