Magico V3

I have been considering a speaker upgrade from my current Thiel 3.7s to units in the 10-15k price bracket in the used market. I have auditioned Wilson Sophia 3 and Sasha and Revel Studio2. The studio 2s were to me a sideways move in that the bass was very good but the transparency was no better than what I have; the Wilsons are both very good with superior bass dynamics and extension compared to the Thiels although the Sashas are a few grand out of my price range. Things I have available to audition in my area are Avalon Eidolon Vision and Sonus Elipsa. However, my interest is really peaked in the V3 because I have heard the Mini-2 and the Q3 and liked them a lot; in fact, I think the Q3 is the best I have ever heard, and to my ears preferable to the Wilson Maxx 3 which I also listened to recently. The V3s are available now since they are being traded for the Q3s.

I listen to a lot of orchestral music and acoustic music, mostly on SACD.

I cannot find a pair of V3's to audition in my area. If you have heard the V3s or own them, I am wondering if you think they would provide that wonderful Magico sound I have heard but at a price I can afford.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Hi Teeshot,

I have heard:
- Wilson Sasha, Sophia, Watt 8, Maxx1,2 and X1/Grand Slamm and Alexandria x2
- Sonus Faber Elipsa
- V3
- Revel (long time ago...different system)

In general, i would say that alacrity with which the V3 plays is electrifying. Superb and really makes think first and foremost of the incredible speed in the upper range of an electrostatic.

It does have a lightweight feel to the music imho compared to the Sonus Faber Elipsa which may feel more full bodied...but in my opinion did not come across as nearly as transparent, immediate. It felt like the signal was passing instantly thru the speakers with no cone to vibrate and reproduce the musical signal.

Until this, i thought Wilson had demonstrated remarkable things with cones in their X1 and Alexandria speakers...and in terms of full range, i still feel like they have.

which comes to my final point...i do find that the V3 feels voiced to play music back with incredible finesse mid to uppers...bass feels lite to me.

Many might argue it was amp, or room, or something else...but in comparison, right wrong or indifferent, i felt it was 'lite' in those lower registers. perhaps because Alon Wolf did not wish to compromise with full bass that was not up to par with the rest...hence the Q3, etc.

Orchestral is where you might either find the weight is not up to par...or instead, where you find that you end up being focused on different elements of the orchestral suites...but where the higher registers of the orchestra are so well performed by the V3, perhaps you may not care as much that the kettle drums or the basses (or even cellos?) are not as full bodied as you might prefer.

Final thought...i would strongly suggest based on lots of reading that you put a powerful amp behind the Magico...they respond well to very, very high quality current...especially the Mini which can cause many good amps to run out of steam apparently.

You may find with a very, very high quality, high current amp, the speaker responds better in the upper bass and overall extension.

Just one man's opinion. Good luck and pls keep us posted.
Hi Teeshot,

I currently own Visions. I have listened to the Wilson line as well as the Magico's. V3, V2, Q1 Q5 and believe they are great speakers. I think the Q Series are the real deal. With regard to the V series, I feel the Avalon's are better in resolution without ever sounding harsh. With the proper electronics, the Visions are spectacular. I recommend Jeff Rowland. The Wilson line to me has an overwhelming bass that is not true to the music. Sonus Faber is another great speaker. I am not real familiar with the Elipsa. I heard the new models at RMAF and felt they did not sound as good as past models. They had the Elipsa at the show, and I thought they sounded good, but not great.

Good luck
Hi Teeshot,

I have owned early Watt/Puppies, Wilson X-1 series 3, Avalon Eidolon, Magico V3s and now Q3s, and heard many others in ideal (not show) circumstances, including Rockport Altair and Arakkis, Wilson X-2s, Maxx 2s, Avalon Isis and Eidolon Diamonds, and Magico M-6s, etc. I think for the current price in the second hand market, the V3 is the all-time bargain in speakers, provided that you value speed, resolution and musicality over extended but inaccurate bass and dynamic but less transparent mids and highs (all of which you can get from a set of used Watt-puppy 8s for a similar price).

I would echo the comments of others that they want a lot of high quality power and they are not the last word in bass extension (although what is there is as deep as my Eidolons which now reside in the living room, and more accurate). The only speaker that I would move to from the V3 is the Q3 (or Q5, but it really needs a lot of power), which I did, and it is a whole different story, but also more than 2.5 times as expensive. It could be that in the used market for a similar price the Eidolon Vision competes in some areas, but I would have a hard time going back to a ported design for anything other than a home theater or background music application. YMMV
Thanks for the responses. I have Marantz Reference monobloc amps which put out 300 watts per channel into 8 ohms, double that into 4 ohms. So I think I am set for for power... Lloyd, I found that the Mini2 had a reasonable low end for a small speaker; logic would tell me that adding another woofer and a midrange plus a heavy large cabinet, that the bass would improve. If the V3 sounds like a Mini with better bass then I might go for it.

High End Bob: Thanks for the response on the Eidolon Visions. I will definitely audition them.
I own the Mini2 and drive them with Pass XA160.5. These Magicos do need a lot of good, clean power and I think you have that. I have heard the V2 and V3. I did not like the V3 as much as the Mini2 or the V2, but I really think it was the set up at the dealership so they were not demonstrated to their potential.

I found the Mini2 lacking in bass impact and extension at the dealerships, but that was greatly improved in my own room after finding the right spot in my room and also with recent improvements in isolation to my front end. Bass was always very articulate and detailed, but now impact and extension are very good also. Magico does bass very well, IMO. For me it's about quality, not quantity, especially with the kind of music I love (cello, piano). The V3 should be even better in this area if the room/listener/speaker relationship is right.

I did find the V3 less coherent compared to the V2, Mini2 and especially the Q3 and Q5. Perhaps it is because of the physical separation between the mid and bass drivers. I don't know, but this is the weakness of the V3, IMO. I would want to audition a pair in my system for a few days to be sure.

The used prices are very good now on the older wood enclosure Magicos. I think it is a great time to buy. I listen mostly to smaller scale classical and jazz in a small room, and could not be happier with the Mini2.

If you've heard the Mini2, why not consider a pair of those at used prices? If you want bigger, the V3's could be the way to go.
MAGICO V3 wonderful full range speaker MAGICO MINI2 great as well you will enjoy either one.Good luck
Mini2 is the better speaker for smaller to medium sized rooms (I'd say of up to 35m2). V3 is no slouch either, however you do trade a little intimacy and immediacy for slightly better bottom end drive and foundation. Both are great buy at current used market prices, you can't go wrong with either.
IMO, having heard both the V2/V3 and the Q3/Q5 I would wait until funds allow for the purchase of the Qs.If not I would move to the Avalons.The V series Magico prices seem to be falling weekly,my guess is potential buyers hear the Qs
Sure the Q's sound much better than the V's. However, if one considers a pair of V3's cost $15K used and a pair of Q3's cost $40K new, the question of value enters the picture.

If I were to consider trading my Mini2 for the Q1 in a year or so, the Q1 will be $30K and I would be lucky to get $15K for my Mini2. Is the Q1 really worth double the price of the Mini2? That's a bit more difficult to answer.

Many of us could re-buy our current systems with components found used on Audiogon for a fraction of what we paid originally, new or used. I try not to dwell on such things.

IMO, the V2, V3 and Mini2 are very good values right now. Perhaps even better after the holidays.
Magico just introduced the successor to V3 - it is called S5 and will be introduced at CES 2012. Price is $28k.
I thought the successor of the V3 was the Q3 ...

as impressed I was by the Mini II (it was a real shock ! ) I had never the chance to hear the V3 in a convincing set-up ... or are the Mini II just better than the V3 ?
I could have paid about the same for a used pair of Mini2 or V3 when I bought
the former a couple of years ago. I did listen to each 2-3 times before deciding
on which one to buy. I always preferred the Mini2 because it was more coherent
in the demos I heard. The V3 extended down a bit more, but the bass was
slightly less well defined, IMO. I just could not hear the drivers or the cabinet of
the Mini relative to the V3.

The Mini2 also disappeared as a source. I actually preferred the V2 to the V3 in
the demo I heard because it was also more coherent, but it was not as clear and
nuanced as the Mini2.

The Q3 is a different animal. I would replace the Mini2 with the Q3 if I could
afford to and if my room could handle the weight and size.
Magico speakers just don't do it for me. Yes they are fast, and so are YG speakers that don't do it for me either. Music is not just fast, but has weight, air, structure etc. You have not mentioned your audition of one of MY favorite speakers...Vandersteen...either the 5A or the 7's. These are the most complete speakers that can be adjusted for the room, so that they always work at their best.
Given the fact that there are five (!) pairs of V3s on Agon right now and the prices are falling, I think I will wait just a bit to see what happens. Weinhardt Design just dropped their price from 14k to 12.5k.
Wise move Teeshot. As I recall, used V3s started listing here for $19-20k--earlier this year. At current rate Magico is churning out new, V3 and its brethren should be under 10k pretty soon. Maybe Q3 for $25-30k.. Already saw a lightly used Q5s listed for 40k'ish here last month. And if you could just wait a bit more, after launched of their S5 should be an even better time to bargain hunt.
Did somebody have a chance to compare V3 and Vienna The Music head to head? What about The Music and other speakers mentioned here?
Good luck with that one!
Interesting thread, choices, choices!

The V3 in my limited experience can be a great speaker. Driven by Dartzeel 458 mono's there was little to complain about in the bass, sure a bigger more expensive speaker might go deeper but they're very good. They're a neutral revealing speaker and if thats what you're after you'll not go far wrong if they synergize with you're system. At today's prices should you dive in I don't think you'll loose greatly should they not work out. They'll eventually find thier price and be snapped up so don't take too long mulling things over as there won't be an endless supply in such a buyers market. I'd expect their value to rise modestly again once the glut has passed, they'll be sort after.

The other way to look at it is if you like the look of the Q3's you're sure to get a favourable trade in price should you have V3s to trade and while you're saving (and/or waiting for s/h pairs) you'll have hopefully enjoyed them greatly.
Hi Defride,

Nice system! Enjoy! Just to take us off to a sidebar for a second, what did you think of the Dartzeel 458 monos?

Can you compare to any of the following?
- Krell Evo One
- Gryphon Colosseum or Antileon
- Boulder 2060
- ARC Ref 210
- MBL Ref Monos
- ML 33H

Those are the main big boys i am familiar with, that come immediately to mind. Thanks!!!

Hi Lloydelee21,

Hard to give a true sense of what the 458's were bringing as the system was unfamiliar and it was a dealer led demo.

I can't offer great insight but fwiw...

The system was Metronome Kalista Ref, Dart pre, 458's hooked up with Transparent cable driving the V3's.

It was a notably fast and transparent system with well resolved bass, certainly didn't seem lacking.

I've not heard any of the amps you've mentioned however in that league I have heard Robert Koda and Soulution in highend systems and to me those systems offered a little more emotion with the 458 system seeming a little more immediate and up front, edge of the seat and gripping rather than relaxed and engrossing.

Sorry I can't offer more insight
Hi Defride,

thanks...i have spoken to a few people about the Robert Koda, so that is something...

I have not heard Soulution either unfortunately, but at least there are a few places i can probably hear again helpful for 'calibration' purposes.

I do know Transparent and Kalista so that too is somewhat helpful. Thanks!!!
Well, I did finally buy a pair of V3's after a brief flirtation with a used pair of Q3s. Although I liked the V2's as well, the price on them was not as good. I am very happy with my purchase as I found a virtually perfect pair in my area for less than I expected, in fact only slightly more than V2s. I find the V3's to be very pure and neutral sounding, and in my room and with my amps, I have plenty of bass. I really like the depth of image as well. Thanks to all who responded to my post a few months ago.
congratulations !

are you happy with big orchestral music ?

which amps & pre are you using ?
Congrats! It is good that it all worked out for you and that you are enjoying the V3's.
I was listening to Mahler's 8th and Prokofiev Lt. Kije last night and enjoying the sheer scale the V3s provide. I have Marantz Ma9s1 amps and a Modwright 36.5 preamp. I am very satisfied with my system now.
Congratulations Teeshot. Sometimes things are just worth the wait. Welcome to the Magico group.
Peter I wanted to mention how much I have enjoyed your posts. I think what you say is always well considered.