Magico A5, Wilson SabrinaX, or PS Audio FR30?


Powered by a McIntosh MA12000 in a 14’ (width) x 30’ (depth) x 10.5’ (height) room with concrete floors. Listening is 50% jazz, 10% classical, 25% rock/alt, 15% electronic. Sources are a Dr. Feickert Blackbird/Soundsmith Hyperion analog and Innuos Statement digital.  Ideally, I'd like to eliminate the need for dual subwoofers.

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I second Magico A5.  If I were buying another set of speakers, it would be them.  One of the most musical speakers I have heard at the 25K price range. Why would you even think of the PS Audio, for one no one has heard the speakers and two, they are not speaker manufacturers.  I would rather have a company known for speakers with very solid engineering and reviews that prove the speakers are what the manufacturer claims. 

Stereo5, I agree.  Just threw them out there to see if anyone has heard them.  Zero reviews.

Vienna Acoustics 'the music' 2nd hand because the 50% jazz. I'm using the kef blades so i'm not self promoting. VA is just amazing with jazz.

In response to Stereo5's comment:

Seeing that Paul McGowan of PS Audio ran Genesis with Arnie Nudell, and spent years designing speakers, I'd say their new speakers are probably worth listening to. It's not because they haven't produced speakers exclusively that they can't build a speaker worth listening to.

Reminds me of a certain Enzo Ferrari telling Ferrucio Lamborghini to stick to building tractors.

According to the website, it seems you get a month of in-house trial, but next availability is Summer 2022.

I'm biased toward the Magico as well. I haven't heard either but I do know Wilson pretty well, and while I'm sure the X are very very good I find it hard to believe they are $29K good. I thought the original Sabrina was... not my cup of tea.

 

I'm hoping to be shopping in your price range within a couple of years, and I'm very interested in EgglestonWorks and Rockport as well. Best of luck!! 

OP, those three speakers listed, you can't go wrong.  Do yourself a favor, and throw another manufacturer in the hat, and that would be Von Schweikert.  The Ultra 55 and higher models are just astounding and worthy of a listen compared to your existing list.  Happy Holidays!  

I haven't heard either but I do know Wilson pretty well, and while I'm sure the X are very very good I find it hard to believe they are $29K good. I thought the original Sabrina was... not my cup of tea.

I believe they are $18k. Next step up is the Sasha DAW at like $36k. The Yvette was around $26k but I think they are going or have gone bye bye. The SabrinaX does not sound like the Sabrina. I would pay $18k for the X's before I would pay $10k for a used Sabrina. They are that much better sounding to me.

I have Rockports.  I recommend at this price level you take some road trips and listen firsthand.  Many different technologies here - sealed, ported and passive radiator.  So many other differences only your ears can make the right decision.  

all great info folks.  

@lucky_dogg7 - to paraphrase Carl Spackler, "Check me if I'm wrong Sandy, but don't the Ultra 55's cost $100,000?"

I have a very similar room with concrete floors powered by McIntosh and I just don't know if you can get by without subs if you don't have horns no matter how much you spend. 

PS Audio of course. Grandpa Paul’s content-marketing machine will convince you. 

I would look at Rockport Atria II. I was looking st them send A5. The Rockport won for me. 

The Ps audio… a lot of music fans do like McIntosh : I don’t know why : it’s a cool , unnatural  sounding amp.,too flat( my opinion) . You play a lot of Jazz music… there are a lot of better “natural” -sounding amps : VAC, Dartzeel , VTL,…

I just got a pair of Wilson Sabrina X and find them to be very musical and easy to listen to.  I would suggest listening to them paired with McIntosh.  They do great with tube amplification, but I've always prefered AR over McIntosh, with Wilson.  Spending that amount on speakers, I would want to hear them with my pre & power amps.   

If you are looking for a full sounding speaker that pairs well with your musical tastes give Alta Audio a look.  I picked up a pair of Alec’s about a month ago.  They are well below your price range.  If the Alec’s are representative of what their upper models are capable of, would be worth a look.  Michael Levy who is the founder / lead designer was very accessible and great to deal with. 

The A5’s would be my first choice also, but I  never heard, seen or read a Review of nor do I know anyone who has heard the new PSA speakers. I’m sure they are good, but I don’t want to be the first kid on the block to have them.

All the best.

JD

I assume that you've tried planar and don't like them. But if not, the big Magnepans would be worth a listen.

Is your system located in an unfinished basement or garage?  I would imagine concrete floor would reflect sound and create echos.

Everyone, I appreciate all the feedback.  I was able to hear the Magicos locally and pulled the trigger.  Different room and components but WOW.  3-6 month backorder.  

@ larry5729 - I live in a loft apartment (old furniture warehouse).  Rugs, drapes and upholstered furniture do a decent job of cutting down on the room effects, but I'm going to look into some additional treatments.

Do you use subs now? If so there is no going back. If not ignorance is bliss. 
 

I can only speak to the Wilson’s. In order to get low bass out of them they need some room gain and need to be pretty close to the front wall. There is some magic between 24”-36” any more and the deep bass disappears. Closer to 24” seemed good (oddly close I know) but it is how I heard it. My guess is the bass driver drops off pretty quick and the low bass relies on the port. They are a small speaker and can run out of steam in a large room but within their limits have a good tone and are enjoyable. 

Sabrina X $20k my brother owns them and they are very nice sounded 

the Magico 25k , the Wilson a bit warmer 

it all comes down to taste and your other equipment

Monitor Audio PL500II.

I've got the bottom of that series, the standmount 100II.

It's superb. If you can get to the 500 level you might be blown away...

I would definitely plan a trip to Boulder to listen to the new PS Audio speakers. That’s what is on my calendar for Spring. I don’t know if they are mediocre, good or great but it looks like a lot of good engineering has gone into them and I am curious. Also, it is great to have opinions and I understand bias but I am always amazed at people that have solid opinions about equipment that they have not heard and have no experience with.

 

The better value at least in terms of materials is likely the PSA FR30 since they will only sell direct, no dealer markups - so through a dealer like the other two the price would increase to 55k and then you are no longer comparing same price points .

I have never heard the Magicos, but people say many good things about them.  However, I own a pair of Sabrina X's that I just got a month ago. They replaced my Focal Diablo Utopia III's and Joseph Audio Pulsars (using a REL sub).  My dedicated music room is 11x11x11.  I drive them with a Pass Labs 250.8 and an MSB Discrete DAC.  I can say that the Sabrina X's are a fantastic speaker, musical, and easy to drive with my Pass amp.  Great soundstage, great bass even without the sub in my room.  They can be had for about $17K retail, although there is supposedly a 3 month waiting list.  Your room might be big enough for the Wilson Sasha DAW's, which are much more than the Sabrina X's, but you should check with your Wilson dealer.  Your room is large enough that with the Sabrina X's plus a sub, you may hit it just right.  I have never heard the Perspective II's but I love Joseph Audio as well.

I would do the Wilson, better sounding. Another great speaker would be the YG Acoustic Carmel II. It will blow the Magico away unless you like your highs screaming at you. If you do, then go with the Magico 

“The better value at least in terms of materials is likely the PSA FR30 since they will only sell direct, no dealer markups - so through a dealer like the other two the price would increase to 55k and then you are no longer comparing same price points “

 

Absolutely ZERO logic to this post, particularly because PS Audio did not reduce retail prices one bit when they switched from dealers to direct. That is, they did not pass the savings to the consumer. Instead, retail prices on many PSA products have risen since then (eg, all BHK products)

Excellent choice!

I upgraded to the Magico A5 from the Carmel 2. Was saving to buy the Hailey 2, changed course after hearing the A5 (and saved a bundle). 

I am not even in the market for a higher end speaker and I’m completely tempted by the PS Audio. Chris the designer is extremely well versed in folded ribbons from his previous company. The drivers are all their own new design and as far as I know there is no other folded ribbon midrange on the market.

plus the free 30 day in home demo makes it easy to evaluate. Now I’m partial because I own their BHK300 amps so I know there will be good synergy. I’m a value buyer more than a marquis brand buyer. They are tempting me considering that my current speakers are Tad CR1’s. That being said I’m looking for elac adante’s to match my adante center channel, which I’m about to post about.

 

 

Lol, when someone uses the term “blow away” when comparing any two things, I stop reading. This is a lazy and juvenile attempt to say how impressed you are while denigrating simultaneously. Do better.

 

Oz

Thanks all for the feedback.  Much appreciated.  I’ll report back once I have the Magicos and ample listening time.  

Typical responses. None of you have heard the FR30’s but you think the others are much better. If you haven’t heard any piece of equipment somebody is asking about, you shouldn’t give any recommendations.

Just took delivery of the A-5’s.  Still setting up and breaking-in.  First impressions are very positive.  Only time will tell.  I also own Wilson Alexia Series 1.  They are amazing.  Very different design…ported vs sealed.  Creates a very different low end with the pros and cons.  Stay tuned.

The Stenheim Alumine Three is a little over $30k and might be a really good option for you. I liked them a lot when I heard them at a show and I've onlyread good reviews of their speakers. 

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/stenheim-alumine-three-loudspeaker-page-2

I've heard the Sabrina X as well as the Sasha's.  Have not heard the PS Audio or the Rockports.

Bought and installed the A5's about a month ago.  So far, they sound amazing!  For those that have not heard this Magico, it is not the least thin sounding or bright, like previous models from this manufacturer.  If anything, it is a bottom up speaker with a slightly warm tonality.  Except it has incredible detail and disappears in the room,

I like it better than the Sasha's, never mind the Sabrina X.

A little back round: I've owned various Wilson's near 30 years, so I am a Wilson fan.  

Currently also have a Joseph Audio Pulsar 2 Graphene in a second system, also a great speaker and better IMO than the Wilson's.

I've had the A3s for 14 months and they continue to amaze me. The break-in is very long with the Magicos and has been continuing to get better with time.

The last guy that came over to listen was serious in wanting to know where my sub was hiding? I asked the same question the first time I heard them at the store during the demo. "No sub" was the answer to the question in both cases.

Be prepared to possibly make changes to your power source with the Magicos. I'll be installing a different amp for the third time and upgrading the preamp since owning them. They're a fussy mistress but the pleasure is worth all of the extra expense.

The A5 are magnificent. I am still looking forward to every listening session almost a year after I got them. It’s in the subtleties that keep on coming. Unlike so many others "impressive" speakers that just lay everything they have on you from the first sec and never stop until you give up, the A5 keeps pulling you in deeper and deeper into the music. Highly recommended, you will have to spend twice as much to maybe get anything equivalent. 

I just took delivery of the Majico A-5’s. They are wonderful but I’m still breaking-in. I will say this, I’m having trouble getting the soundstage right. However they are in a very large room that I think is the culprit. I also have Wilson Alexia’s in a great room acousticly and they are stunningly 3 dimensional.