The Q1 was really excellent.
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That's an interesting report. What amps were being used with the Q1's? And was the source analog or digital?
These are the replacement for my Mini 2's. They are supposedly better and cost less money. I'm not aware of the Mini 2's ever getting so badly criticized as Team212 and Hifimaniac suggest.
Is this based on sonics alone?
If you don't remember the Mini getting "so badly criticized", do a quick search here on Audiogon, just to refresh your memory. I spent 2 days at the show and thought the Q1 sounded spectacular. By far the most sophisticated, articulated and therefore emotionally engaging sound at the show (Or anywhere else, IMO). Of course, I do "get" the Magico concept, I currently own the Q3 and the Mini before that. When it comes to Magico, I think that you are wasting your time trying to find out what others think about these speakers. You should go and hear them for yourself. And yes, as an ex-Mini owner, I will tell you that the Q1 are indeed MUCH better.
How would you describe the difference between the Q1 and your former Mini 2 or even the Q3 for that matter? I just haven't had a chance to hear the Q1 yet. I heard the Q3 at a demo at Goodwins introduced my Alon Wolf. It was wonderful and perhaps the best such demo I've ever heard. Congratulations on your new speakers. I also "get" the Magico concept.
What source were they using at the show?
And some that are more expensive and sound worse (:
A big step over the Mini, IMO. I can go into superlatives, but you should just go and hear them. Will be worth your while.
Source were LP, Clearaudio I believe, and a Nagra R2R.
Just got the Q3, thank you. It will be a very enjoyable winter.
I guess we just disagree. I would describe the "Magico Concept" as very neutral, very transparent, low in distortion. No immediate sonic thrills. It takes a while to get used to because they do sound different. You just don't get it. That's fine. I have not heard the Q1 yet, so I can't comment on that speaker specifically. I do like the Q3 though. Don't worry about it. I'm sure there are better speakers out there and some for less money.
I thought they were very good - clean and resolving with good transparency (not great), impactful bass, and overall accurately in tone. I wouldn't say they do anything wrong, but I never felt any emotional connection when listening to them. Based solely on performance, I'd say they'd be a good choice if under $5000. And their current pricing however, you'd need a LOT of extra 'value added' stuff to justify the purchase. Just my opinion.
"What is the "Magico Concept"
No holds barred build quality and associated cost is what I see.
You would have to be crazy to spend that kind of money based on others impressions. All that matters is how something sounds to you or even just whetehr you like it or not for whatever reason. The build quality alone regardless of sound is a selling point.
Personally, the Magico's I have heard have been top notch sounding. The value proposition is a tougher call. But love is a tricky thing. You'd best really love anything at those prices before shelling out the bucks, unless of course if money just does not matter.
Let's face it, gear in these price categories are luxuries that only a select few will ever justify owning. The good news for mere mortals like myself is I believe you can do equally well for a lot less if you are smart about it.
Typical selective quote. I followed that with "That's fine." He doesn't get the Magico Concept, that's all. He admitted as much when he said "I don't get it" one post up. I agree with him. I'm sure there is lots I don't get either. You are right about that and thank you for pointing it out. I do get the Pass Labs stuff that you sell. I just don't get why one would buy anything from you with your attitude.
Anything that costs as much as the gear we are talking about here had better sound "good". True if even a fraction of the cost as far as I am concerned. If not, then we are talking criminal level misrepresentation geared towards suckers only. Having heard magico, clearly not the case. They sound very good. Value? Different assessment. How good? Who's to say. Good is good.
I attended the room friday and saturday of the show, but didn't have a good spot either day and thus can't comment with much conviction as to how good they were, what I can say is that they are definitely articulate and neat sounding. They seem to be spectacular at separating out intruments(defining the space between them). Also these speakers and the q3's I heard elsewhere exhibit a level of definition in the upper bass that is unmatched in my experience and is the overriding quality I associate with them. Also for those who wish to know, Magico was demoing with a Clearaudio Innovation turntable mainly (not sure which phono), though they also had a CD player and a reel to reel deck.
I was disappointed with the Magico presence at RMAF. Please note I did not even listen to the Q1s. I spoke briefly with one of the Magico people and asked if they were showing any of their larger speakers. No - Where can I hear them - At a dealer - None within 100 miles, and none that have comparable speakers in their inventory. Can I hear them in Palo Alto - no.
So here's the deal, a buyer is willing to spend 30 to 50 large (my Porsche costs only 70) but he can't find a reasonable venue to hear the speakers in CA, so he comes to RMAF to hear them - no go.
By contrast Wilson Sashas and YG Kipods were well represented at the show. Because both of these were included in multiple systems one was able to hear the range of sound that they produced. BTW - both very nice!
As stated above, Magico only demoed their Q1s. On Friday they sounded overly bright but with quite a soundstage for their size. On Sunday, they sounded much better with good dynamics, not as bright - but still not my cup of tea.
There are many speakers at less than $20k that offer more - e.g. Wilson Sophia 3, Revel Studio 2, Magnepan 3.7, Thiel 3.7.....at $10K, think the Q1s would be interesting but not at their current MSRP.
Thanks for that report. That's an interesting comment about price-points. I thought my Magico Mini II was competitive in the $18-20K range, but not at its final price of $32K. Now you suggest the Q1s would be good at $10K. Considering that they are supposed to outperform the Mini II, my $18-20K range was a bit off. I have to go and listen to the Q1.
I think it's tough to justify 20k for most people for a stand mounted 2 way. I though they sounded really good, by the way - but still the customary limitation of a small stand mounted speaker.
Another problem I have with stand mounted speakers, other than the lack of bottom end and limited large scale dynamics - is that the still take up similiar floor space to many other floor standing speakers.
It''s a relativley small niche market for this type of speaker.
Maybe, the Q1 doesn't sound better than your Mini II. A new product doesn't always mean it's better than the one it's replacing, companies do get it wrong sometimes and right the problem later on with newer models. Audio is subjective, we all have our preferences, me...I might pick the Mini II over the Q1 if I had to live with a monitor, this would be a tough decision though.
I thought the Q1 sounded nice at the show, clean and accurate, the tone was very realistic. I was expecting much more from the Magico room though.
I finally had a chance to seriously audition the Q1. Reading people responses here, I have to say that it looks to me that the better Magico speakers get ( Yes, the Q1 is MUCH better than the Mini or the V3 for that matter), the further it gets from the "audiophilia" norms. In other words; if you didn't "get" it till now, you will only have even greater difficulties getting it now. Just an observation, not a judgment.
I'm a Mini II owner who has not yet had a chance to hear the Q1. Could you please describe why you think the Q1 is "MUCH" better. I'm hoping to audition the Q1 in Boston, but I don't think the dealer has one yet. Also, do you think the Q1 is more efficient or easier to drive for an amplifier than the Mini II? Thanks.
Cleaner more transparent sounding. Bigger and substantially more robust and dynamic. More extended, both top and bottom, and yes, more efficient. Not sure about ease of driving, but it sure seemed more friendly to smaller amps. I had the opportunity to hear a direct comparison. Quite an achievement.
That is quite a list of improvements. I love the Mini II, so this Q1 must be really
something. Now, if it just had a different aesthetic... It really surprises me how
divergent the opinions are about the Q1 and the brand in general. With few
dealerships today, many form a first and final opinion of a speaker from show
I like the aesthetic. It project a very high quality, no nonsense, image. It is in a sharp contrast to most loudspeakers, furniture or designer look, out there. I just watched the Avalon promo video. 90% of it shows how they build an MDF enclosure, and put a nice (Very nice!) veneer on it. Just about nothing on loudspeakers related issues, or technologies. Would have been appropriate if you are buying kitchen cabinets... As I said, the better Magico gets, the further it moves form "audiophilia" norm. It offers something new, and I don't think Magico expect everyone to "get" it. I think it smart, and from what I hear from the distributor, working well for them.
To me, the best looking Magico thus far is still their Minis. Now, if your home decor is like the NASA labs or recording studios, the Qs would fit in more appropriately. But in normal homes/listening environments, something in line with the Mini2 or TAD monitor would suit better. After all, aren't we so called 'audiophiles' supposedly to be their target niche, if so, it's not so smart a move moving away from the generally acceptable norms. Even industrial look could be made more pleasant and classier (commensurate with price), the new D'Agostino amps, Burmester and MBL gears comes to mind. Of course, ultimately what matters is how they sound, however, to use domestically, looks DO play a part too, waf, decors, etc2--especially when paying high dollars, imo.
You'll find no argument from me. The Q line, based on the 3 and 5 that I've seen and heard, is incredible. Great sound and seemingly of the highest quality. Fit and finish are superb.
I've heard Avalon sound wonderful, but I agree, Magico is pushing some boundaries in terms of aluminum enclosures and they do sound different from the audiophile norm. Not everyone likes that. I've described the sound as neutral and transparent in other threads and I think a lot of that has to do with the enclosures. I just hear very little distortion.
I also agree, that in terms of brand awareness and perhaps sales, it's "working well for them."
I also agree with Bvdiman. The Mini2 sure looks great in a more formal, traditional setting. It is a classic design and brought much awareness to the brand. I'll hear the Q1 someday, and I'm sure it will sound fantastic.