Magicos are chesty


admit it.

E
erik_squires
What does that mean?
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First, apologies, I’m being a troll because I have no other way to relate to other people. Let’s just get that speculation out of the way.

I had the chance to hear my second pair of Magicos, and bot the S1 Mk II and S3 that I just heard both had a similar characteristic. A kind of chestiness with voices and piano.

Listening to Diana Krall’s Live in Paris, the bottom of her voice was significantly exaggerated. With the S1 Mk II, the same, male vocals (in the Magico demo space) were also over-accentuated.

When I heard the pre-release S1 I thought it was just the nature of trying to balance out a small 2-way and trying to give it a little bit of extra bass. Now that I have heard the S3 in a good room, I have to say: This wasn’t a compromise, but a shared attribute.

Best,
E

I heard just a tiny bit of this on the Magico A3.  I have a few tracks that bring it out - some Johnny Cash and even some Julie London tracks.

It wasn't nearly as bad as a number of other speakers, but it was there.

Personally, the best I've ever heard in terms of lack of that type of coloration has been my (now departed) Thiel 3.7 speakers.  It just didn't matter what range a singer was in, low, high, everything in between, there was never a hint of unnatural bloating or mechanical intrusions - just pure, rich, natural and utterly free of any boxy sensation. 


Another torture test is some Russian Orthodox Choir music (e.g. Ancient Echoes is an amazing CD!), with Basso Profondo voices.  These guys go so low you'd think the church organ had kicked in.  Once they hit those low notes you really start feeling the bass in your system and unless a system has really neutral, controlled sound it can sound more like "speaker bass" than human voices, or take on some speakerly quality.(Again, the Thiels just nailed this without breaking a sweat.  Others I've tried, not so much...)


(My current 2.7s are very good, but not quite as "perfect" to my ears in that regard).
@prof

I'm honestly a little surprised at this behavior in this price bracket, but I also got to hear a pair of floor standing McIntosh speakers, and they practically rattled with the human voice.

The McIntosh speakers I've listened to are to my ears perhaps the worst "high end" speakers I've encountered. 
The McIntosh speakers I've listened to are to my ears perhaps the worst "high end" speakers I've encountered.

That is a real shame. I'm a fan of the MTM array, in principle, but how you can avoid hearing that buzzing is beyond me. This was my first real opportunity to hear those array components.
Erik, Prof
 There is a recording we use that may expose discussed area above
  we call this lets see if the Cow Moos.
Chris Isaak off San Fransisco Days album tune 515  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHY08-uDv4A
  Best ,
JohnnyR
What speakers do you have know everything dude.Chesty what does that mean anyway I’m sure there better than whatever you have!!Never bad rap MAGICO they sold 0ver 700 pairs of A3s people LOVE chesty.
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The Prof. knows what he's talking about
I’m sure there better than whatever you have!!

No, they are not. :) But they sure are in a much better space.

Yeah, sorry, I guess "chesty" isn't in the vernacular (yet).

By chesty I mean like extra voice sounds that come from the chest. If you think of going "aaaah" for the doctor, that sound starts from your upper chest. That chest sound is what the Magicos seem to do poorly with.

And it is true, no speaker does everything, but a lot of less expensive speakers lack such obvious coloration too.

Best,
E
@audioconnection

That is perfect!

E
No, they are not. :) But they sure are in a much better space.

I was drunk when I wrote this. I meant, I heard the Magico's in a very well treated listening room.
erik,

Though I believe I know the coloration you are talking about with "chesty," there’s also the case FOR voices sounding "chesty."

That is: many systems produce a sort of hologram of a human voice that sounds like a voice without a body. It’s all "mouth noise" and maybe a bit of throat. It sounds disembodied. Whereas a human voice, especially male closer up, does combined with a chest sound giving the voice that sense of "body" behind it.

I actually find a system that can produce some of that "chest/body" sound to be more natural and convincing. So long as it is not via an obvious speaker-like artificial coloration.


I was waiting for ebm to pipe in in defense of Magico. Chestiness would certainly be considered an egregious fault in speakers that have such a heroically built cabinet. I always associate chestiness with cabinet resonance. No problem ebm, just put in a little extra bracing and some wool!

As you always say, "Good luck though!"

Though I believe I know the coloration you are talking about with "chesty," there’s also the case FOR voices sounding "chesty."

You read my mind, @prof. I was kind of wondering how this helped. I mean it seems deliberate, so why is the choice made? I can see this helping.

Best,
E

Aw yes "keep talking guys" mg says while pointing to his website

http://www.michaelgreenaudio.net/tunable-speakers

Tunable speakers my friends. Being able to make the mechanical adjustments needed to mate with the room or the recording is the future of serious listening.

Michael Green

erik,

I’ve always appreciated your contributions as a DIY speaker builder, without anything to sell. I’m sure you would have a good ear for various speaker colorations. Though, I’m curious: how certain do you feel about attributing the chesty coloration you heard to the Magico speakers?

In my case, when I’m auditioning a speaker (especially in a room I don’t know) I listen from various distances, from close to further, to get an idea of what the more direct sound is like vs in-the-room. If I hear a chesty coloration I’ll investigate by moving around, trying different distances and angles of listening from the speaker to get a sense whether I happen to be experiencing sitting in a room node, or whether I can detect the speaker’s contribution at all to the artifact.

I did this for the Magico A3, but never quite got rid of the mild coloration I mentioned.

Still, I did find the A3 an extremely impressive speaker in terms of disappearing, low coloration over all, and detail. I just couldn’t get it to "boogie" at all.


Hi @prof
Thanks for the kind words. How certain? About 60-70%, given the lack of a controlled environment.

The main reason is that I've heard this unique flavor only in Magico's but in two different rooms and models.

The first time I heard Magico speakers was an S1 Mk II in the Magico factory, driven by enormous and expensive tube gear fed by a Berkeley DAC. This time was in a local LA showroom which was thoughtfully treated, but not to the extravagance of the factory. Mark Levinson monoblocks, and I forgot the sources.

This unique signature is just not one I have heard very often, so when I heard vocals it immediately stood out.

So, this is not a controlled experiment at all.

Truth is, based on my own standards, I'm one guy, who heard 2 speakers in two different locations. :) No one should take my comments as worth spending money on. But I do think this is an interesting characteristic to talk about.
Best,
E
I have said this about all the Magico's I've heard other than the M1 I think it was.  I too agree that many are told that this is what music sounds like.  

Thanks to Audioconnection for sharing that track.  I've played that on my Vandy Quatro's and loved it. Sounded just right at moderate levels.
I have said this about all the Magico's I've heard other than the M1 I think it was.  I too agree that many are told that this is what music sounds like.  



That's really interesting, @cstooner , because when I posted my S1 Mk II review I got nothing but hate mail. You and @prof are the first who have shared my experience.

Of course, to your own ears be true, you should buy what you like, but I thought it curious that during the Magico demo they allowed voices and piano for only a short period.

Best,
E
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I also think that if you're drunk it's better to criticize Magico owners than most other brands. Tekton owners would pop a cap in your ass.  

Well, I would never criticize anyone for owning what they like to listen to. :)

And for some with the right gear and setup, what I hear as exagerrated they may hear as delicious or mandatory.
Haven't  heard Magico's. Now I don't know if is the chestiness your talking about. My Vienna Acoustics  Motzart Grands have a slight bit of more body than most speakers I have heard. And that it one of its endearing qualities to me. It has more natural body, maybe thickness, to me. And a lot of speakers I think lack that, and that gets tiring for me to listen to such spaekers. When you hear instruments and voices in real time and real space, and I have heard a lot of that, it has a feel to it that I get that with vienna' speakers and not with many others. I am sure there are many speakers that do what mine do and do it better. I am just saying I like the body or weight of the sound of my system and speakers. Maybe that is what Magico owners like  about those speakers.
More specifically you should say Magico S series speakers are chesty

having moved from V3 -> Q3 -> M3 I can say that there are profound changes in tonal profile moving between ranges

personally I have never like the S series finding them rather too hi fi in their presentation ie a bit over dramatic and florid, not unleasent but like a image enhanced digital print 

the shift from V to Q to M was all about reducing any colorations frankly such that at first blush the M sounds bland and lacking at the frequency extremes. Spend time with them however and you relax into what’s really on the disc, not what the speaker is imposing on it
the shift from V to Q to M was all about reducing any colorations frankly such that at first blush the M sounds bland and lacking at the frequency extremes.


Well that sure does sound like they have their  audience figured out!

Darn I thought those fancy extruded aluminum S series casings were all about absolute  low coloration ( and resonance)...
My guess is you are hearing the sound of the polypropylene plastic bucket that houses the midrange.

Polypropylene cones always had a chesty sound - as if the vocalist had a bit of a cold. It was apparent in many of those designs of the 80’s - BBC speakers and Mission 770 etc. Very popular back then as you punch the cone out of a sheet of polypropylene very cheaply.

The problem is that polypropylene is non-fibrous and tends to store rather than dissipate acoustic energy so it vibrates characteristically - not a good material either for a speaker cone or cabinet for a speaker cone.

You can observe this effect with any plastic bucket when you start filling it with water - the frequency is lower mid range.

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Erick_Squires
I have said this about all the Magico's I've heard other than the M1 I think it was.  I too agree that many are told that this is what music sounds like.   



That's really interesting, @cstooner , because when I posted my S1 Mk II review I got nothing but hate mail. You and @prof are the first who have shared my experience. 

Of course, to your own ears be true, you should buy what you like, but I thought it curious that during the Magico demo they allowed voices and piano for only a short period. 

Best,
E

E, most think I"m a Vandersteen shill, so I have tried to stop posting my personal feelings on speakers since I feel too many companies tell folks what is correct. They demo with only songs that show their gear in the best light. Some take advantage of the net adn sell direct. They give GREAT deals to a specific number of posters and then inundate the sites with 'review's of their gear.  Many know these companies well. 

IT's all good. As you said, we all hear differently and like what we like.  I have a couple of good friends who sell Magico and make a nice living off of them.  They don't own them for their personal rigs though.  

Peter is one of the best salesmen in the business. He helped build the Krell name to what it was and is doing the same at Magico.  Nothing wrong with that.

If this is your favorite color, go for it. If not, there are a few out there who have made different trade offs that some will like better (like me).  As long as we are discussing all of this and buying, we can keep our hobby going forward.  :)  Pete
ctsooner
Many speakers are lacking in the power range (lower-midrange). The Vandersteen are notoriously weak at that region (Even JA concluded his review of your speakers with: “I remain puzzled by that lack of lower-midrange energy…”). So yes, real music does sound full at that area, and if you are not used to it, objectively “properly design” loudspeakers, like the Magicos may sound “chesty” (or should we say “full”) to you.

Eric,
To suggest that Magico does not use vocal and piano in their demos is pretty weak. Makes we wonder if you ever been to such a presentation.
@shadorne
My guess is you are hearing the sound of the polypropylene plastic bucket that houses the midrange. 

Well, it certainly IS in that range. Are you guessing about the Magico's midrange construction or is that known?

Best,
E
More specifically you should say Magico S series speakers are chesty


@folkfreak

I defer to your experience. It's true, I've only really heard the S series, but your progression and description sounds like a well planned product development strategy.

God I am so tempted to hack a pair. :) If only I had a bazillion dollars to blow on taking apart a speaker whose crossover I'm going to completely rework.

What a waste of money that would be!


E

@eric_squ

God I am so tempted to hack a pair. :) If only I had a bazillion dollars to blow on taking apart a speaker whose crossover I’m going to completely rework.


LOL, I suggest you call up Magico and offer your help...

Well, it certainly IS in that range. Are you guessing about the Magico's midrange construction or is that known?


The genius you are, you should know that the S1 being a 2-way, will have no midrange enclosure…

Hey @sciencecop
LOL, I suggest you call up Magico and offer your help...

Oh no, I am 100% sure they are choosing their tonal balance carefully.

If I hacked it would be to see if I could make the S line sound like the M line. :)

To suggest that Magico does not use vocal and piano in their demos is pretty weak. Makes we wonder if you ever been to such a presentation.

I’ve heard exactly one. At the Magico factory of the S1 Mk II. And yes, the vocal and piano was a lot shorter than all other music. Was it deliberate, do they do it all the time, I have no idea. But I present to you my sample size.

The genius you are, you should know that the S1 being a 2-way, will have no midrange enclosure…

I did not make that claim, so you’ll have to ask the original poster about that.

And this is one reason why I doubt plastic in the mid range is the cause. However, it’s not just about material but construction. You can make plastic non-resonant at certain frequencies if the 3D construction is done right.

What I find most interesting really is that the S, (a 2 way, shares this characteristic with a 3-way. Usually you have to compromise in some way with a 2 way and a 6" driver. Often you need to add a little extra bass somewhere to make it sound balanced, which is fine so long as you don’t directly compare it to a multi-way full ranger.

So, when I heard the S1, I thought "Huh, that is an interesting compromise."

But when I heard the S3 it made me think this is a design choice.


Also, I’d discourage you from using cynical ad hominem attacks here.Save it for social media.

@shadorne

I just realized I misread this:
My guess is you are hearing the sound of the polypropylene plastic bucket that houses the midrange. 

My apologies, I thought you meant the driver basket. I had forgotten all about the bucket!

Yes, but as @sciencecop points out, this isn't present in the S1.

Assuming the same issue is in both, I'd say it's a crossover tuning issue.

But that doesn't mean that the S1 and S3 don't have different causes of the same issue.

Best,
E


What took sciencecop so long to show up and browbeat anyone dissing Magico?
I spent few hours on Saturday listening to the S1 Mk2 on a full Spectral system. Truly was a treat, I couldn’t fault it on anything but full orchestral pieces (and the price, very expensive setup). It was amazing, the liquidity off these speakers is unmatched by anything I heard. Here is a link to a very good review by a very “snobbish” German reviewer ( https://www.magico.net/reviews/PDF/Magico_S1MkII_3-18.pdf ). Will not do a full translate but he basically concluded with that:

"With her farewell from the listening room, the Magico S1 Mk2 I was unhappy. No wonder, because those who have heard the entire musical spectrum with these transducers in a clarity and bandwidth that can only be described as unbelievable, meets the blow when reactivating to familiar loudspeakers…”
@mheinze
Honestly, there was a lot I liked more about the S1 than the S3.
The S1, except for the congestion noted in my original post, has a glass smooth midrange to treble, and truly impressive dynamic range along with a very wide listening angle.

The S3 I heard was not as smooth, and honestly a little strident as things got loud. (this may be dealer electronics, or acoustics but it was something I heard elsewhere in the showroom).

The S1 remains a weird thing to me. It requires a lot of space, a lot of power, and ultimately sounds better at low listening volumes. I mean, it has the dynamic range, but the tonal balance is a bit cool, and encourages more late night quiet listening than R&R at full volume. And damn, it is inefficient. I really had hoped to hear that the S3 fixed everything, but honestly, in the short presentation I heard, if those were my only two choices in speakers, the S1 was far better.
Again, I have no idea what contributed. It could have been the room, or cables. No idea. Just based on my 2 auditions, hands down the S1 wins.
@erik_squires 

The S1 I listen to was in a small room with the Spectral Stereo DMA 240, hardly a monster. I don't understand why you conclude that they need a big space and a big amp. I only heard the S3 in Munich show couple of years ago, it was a very impressive presentation, also with Spectral, I believe. 
I think their efficiency is around 83 dB, no?

Because they have a very wide dispersion. To make them sound their best they need just as much room as much larger speakers.
I guess my point is that the S1, being small footprint speakers, you'd kind of expect to want to use them in a small space, with something like a 60W tube or class-A integrated. Essentially what we might call an intimate system.

IMHO, this wouldn't work at all.

They are just as demanding as much larger speakers in terms of space and perhaps more so in terms of power.

I did not mean to say you need a kilowatt amplifier for them, just that the normal calculus for small speakers seems off to me.


Don't know about any of that...  They were marvelous in a small room, very close to the back wall, with the smallest Spectral. I was also told that they sound magic with the Octave V110 integrated (110 W), albeit very different sound from the Spectral.  
Don't know about any of that... They were marvelous in a small room, very close to the back wall, with the smallest Spectral. I was also told that they sound magic with the Octave V110 integrated (110 W), albeit very different sound from the Spectral.  

Good to know!
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The Magico's I've heard are flat/neutral and so are really dependent on what source and amplification are ahead of them, like most revealing speakers. To my taste they sound "good" but lack a personality ..

@chrisoshea do you remember what series you listened to?


More like Diana “Balls” right?
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