Not heard the Magico's but am a big fan of the Harbeth M30's and their certainly a lot less money!
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I own a pair of Magico Mini II's but have not yet heard the Q1. Reports are that it is better than the Mini. However, if you really liked the Q1, I would at least consider a used pair of Mini II's for about 60% of the cost. They also have a completely different aesthetic which may or may not appeal to you. They should have all of the virtues of the Q1 except slightly less extension in both directions and slightly more cabinet noise, though this is just a guess as I haven't heard them.
The Mini II's are the first mini monitor speaker that to me did not sound small and very lacking in lower frequencies and weight. It is extremely coherent, invisible as a source if properly positioned, very low in cabinet noise, very neutral tonally and transparent to upstream components. They will need excellent and powerful amplifiers as they are inefficient.
I have read, and there is also a thread on this topic, that the Evolution Acoustics MMMicro One? speaker for around $2500 is comparable or even better than the Magico, but I don't know if it is yet available, and I have not heard it myself.
There are certainly excellent speakers out there for less than the $25K that they are asking for the Q1. For the price of a used pair of Mini II's they are hard to beat, in my very biased opinion.
Listen again to the Q1 in non-show conditions.
As a Vapor Cirrus owner, I was going to recommend them. Close to a year of ownership now and I still very strongly believe they're the best speaker I've ever heard. There's so much layering of harmonics, so much more insight into the recording, that it's truly revelatory. But what's most exciting about them is that they can reveal so much detail in the music, but do it in a way that's incredibly relaxing and refined.
Xti - interesting you mention the C1 Sigs. My neighbor about 4 houses down has a pair, and we do a lot of listening in each others rooms. Right now he has his C1's up for sale so that he can buy a pair of Cirrus. On their own the C1 Sigs are great speakers, but A/B them against the Cirrus as we've done a couple times, and it's like flipping a switch. The Cirrus make the C1's sound like something is broken.
I had Focal Diablo Utopia Be's before, and in direct comparision they were more revealing than the neighbors Dyn C1's ... but I don't think I'd say they were any better. The Focals were always just a bit edgy sounding, never relaxed or refined. Made it hard to just listen and chill. At least with the Dyn's you can just chill out and listen.
I do like the neighbors C1 Sigs. They're just so slow sounding and so much less resolving that in direct comparision with the Cirrus they are really boring (for lack of a better word).
Best I've ever heard, regardless of price or size. Yes, they are limited below 40hz. But the entire rest of the range they reproduce, where ALL the music lives, is exactly what I've been hoping to find for the last 15 years ... and had almost given up that it didn't exist.
If you need that last octave, add a sub. What they do better than anything else however, you can't add to another speaker in any way.
Hey Doc77, thanks for sharing with us your impression about the Vapor Cirrus.
I've been looking in the past couple of months for a pair of standmounts and on my short list I had the Dynaudio C1, Micro Utopia BE and Harbeth Super HL5. Finaly I was not 100% convinced to go for either of them and I ended up wishing there was something out there that combines all the virtues of Micro Utopia Be and Harbeth and has none of their weaknesses... From what I've heard from you, it seems that the Vapor Audio Cirrus does all that and more, taking it one step closer to perfection and please correct me if I'm wrong. Thing is that I live in Europe so there is no chance to hear the Cirrus before buying it so I'm trying to get an idea on how they sound like by reading about it. My biggest fear with Micro Utopia Be is that it lacks that spark of musicality that a trully superb speaker needs and that the Cirrus has. What do you think about it ?
What are you using to drive the Cirrus ? I have a Cayin A70T and I think the tubes sound will work very good with the Cirrus.
Thanks again for taking the time for all this...
Drumiha, that's pretty much the same boat I was in ... wanted the romance of music, and still hear every detail in an immersive soundstage. The Utopia Be, looking back on it was a worse speaker than I thought while owning it. Maybe I liked it because it was a contrast with the Harbeths that I also had. But no, I'd have to say the Focal never really connected with me personally.
I bet the Cayin would be a nice match. I currently have an Ayon Triton II, previously had an Orion but wanted a bit more oomph in Triode mode. Both were a fantastic match with the Cirrus. Even with only 30wpc the Cirrus gets moving pretty good.
That looks like a very very nice amp, Doc77 ; do you have Treasure tubes on it ? they say that Shuguang Treasure are the best KT88 tubes, you also can try Tung-Sol KT120 if you want more power and better dynamics, but you have to make sure that your amp can handle the KT120 properly, since the KT120 tube draws between 100mA (.1A) and 300mA (.3A) more filament current than a standard KT88.
Regarding the Utopia Be, I'm not that convinced anymore, since thou it has his share of qualities, the sounds is a bit on the artificial side.. it doesn't sound as natural as it should and it can be sometimes bright and fatiguing...
Now regarding your speakers, tell me please if you have the standard version of the Cirrus or upgraded. The Cirrus is on my short list, along with the Evolution Acoustics MMMicroOne and I am waiting for reviews on the Micro1, to see how does it sound on some relatively unexpensive gear, since when it was presented at audio shows it was driven by 40k worth of equipment and I don't have that. Did Evolution Acoustics MMMicroOne seemed sweet and natural sounding to your ears ? Did it have the same character as the Cirrus ?
PS: I hope I made myself understood properly, if not, don't hold it against me, english is not my native language :)
Hey Drumiha, your English is excellent ... I'd say you type more coherently than most Americans :)
Yes, the Triton II has Ayon branded Black Treasures. They are excellent tubes, very sweet and refined sounding. I also have a set of Psvane's which I find a bit more engaging, more lively. Between the two of them, they make for a nice contrast. I've thought about KT-120's, but the Cirrus doesn't need any more power. With my old Utopia Be's though there were many times I thought it could use a bit more drive.
My problem with the Focals wasn't tonal balance problems, just that it never felt refined. I always knew I was listening to a speaker, never felt like real music. And with the Harbeth SHL5's they were just too slow, like maple syrup on a cold day. And there was a tonal balance issue with the Harbeth's, at least for my taste, just too much mid bass emphasis.
My opinion, the MicroOne's having heard them at 2 shows now - they want to be like the Cirrus. They're somewhere inbetween the Cirrus and the Utopia Be's. They're a bit more refined than the Be's, but nowhere near as resolving or able to completely disappear like the Cirrus can. For the price if it ever actually ships the MicroOne should be a good buy. But then again I haven't heard the Vapor Breeze, but from what Ryan tells me about it, I bet it would match or beat the Micro's for a lot less money still.
Oh, and my Cirrus has Clarity MR caps, Dueland resistors, and Amorphous core RAAL tweeter.
Thanks for the remark regarding my englis, much apprish.. lol
Very wise decision regarding the upgrades, from what I've read about them over the Internet, they do a bit of a diference when it comes to microdetails over the standard caps and RAAL tweeter. No wonder it beats the microutopia BE also in this chapter.
If you have computer-based system I really really recommend you to use AudioGate player, IMHO it is better than foobar and JRiver when it comes to details and instrument separation and it's free, you just have to link a tweeter account to it and you can start using it. And if you received your pair of Breeze speakers please let us all know how much of the magic of the Cirrus does the Breeze have.