Monitor Audio Platinum or Magico A3


I am looking to upgrade my Triangle Cellos.  My shortlist was  Magico A3, Triton Reference, Monitor PL300 II, I Magico S3 II, Dynaudio Contour 60,  Spendor D9, Canton K3, Focal Sopra.  (I have not auditioned the MA Platinum or the Dynaudio).

My shortlist now is: Monitor Audio Platinum II and Magico A3.  The Monitor Audio was a Stereophile Product of the year in 2017.  I listen to most music types  except Jazz and Country & Western.  

I would be interested to hear experiences about any of the speakers.  I have, as mentioned, auditioned but have not heard them in my own home.   TIA


andrei_nz
Magico tends to make their speakers for rooms where there is lots of space to the sides and behind. 

Monitor Audio for smaller rooms with more restricted listening locations. 

This is by no means the deciding factor. You should listen for yourself, but if you listened in the store and thought both were equal, I'd consider the room. 

Best,

E
Eric that is interesting.  In terms of audition I  have had two auditions of the Magico A3.  But the Monitor Audio Platinum II would be a blind (or is it deaf) buy.  
The reason I say that is interesting is that I would have thought it would be the other way round - because of the port.  The MAs are ported and the Magicos are not.  I thought that ports, in particular rear ports, needed the space behind the speaker (unless one wanted to get some sort of boost by actually being closer to the rear wall / corner).

Lots of variables, as I infer from your reply.  One interesting factor is that the Magicos are stunning looking in the flesh, whereas they look like boring boxes in photos.  Size also counts, as do specs, and I also value the opinions of others.  
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Speakers are about personal preference. I own Monitor Audio PL500 IIs and have compared them to Magico S5 mk2. I still have the Monitor Audio PL500 IIs. You really need to listen, but remember the other components can drastically affect the overall sound. 
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It’s more relevant than " having heard the original flagship MA Platinum speakers", because the OP asked about Monitor Audio Platinum IIs and they are voiced differently than the original Platinum series. I didn’t opine on the Monitor Audio PL300 IIs that the OP mentioned because I’ve never heard them. I mentioned I have the PL500 IIs because they are voiced similarly to the PL300 IIs. Monitor Audio and Magico have a different sound. I’ve listened to Magico A3s on two different occasions and they sound totally different based on the other components in the system. The bottom line is the OP, if possible should try to listen to both speakers with his own amplifier and preamp. If that’s not possible he should use his own ears to decide. I’m not a fanboy of any speaker, including Monitor Audio. I would be naive to believe, because I prefer them, they are right for everyone. There are no absolutes in audio, only preferences.

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I submit your view point is important and relevant. In my opinion Audiogon is better served by having diverse opinions, but not when we talk at each other. It’s great to share our opinions based on what we have and our experiences. I think it confuses some we when talk in absolutes and no one benefits. Someone asked me if I could own Magico’s? My answer was yes, but they need the right components to make them sing! I love Magico S5 mkIIs, but I didn’t want to have to rebuild my entire system around them. Choosing a new speaker can cause many changes down the line and I just don’t want to do that anymore. I like the A3s, but they are too small for my 20' x 26' room.
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OP:

The issue comes down to a couple of areas: bass reinforcement as well as mid/treble dispersion. 

Magico's have super-wide dispersion. In a well treated room, or one with lots of space to the sides, this gives an excellent image and tonal balance in a wide sweet spot. 

Monitor Audio tends to be a little more "apartment" friendly. They control dispersion, and have less inherent bass so when you put them in an average room they will sound better. 

Both are significant technical accomplishments, and to reiterate, you must listen, but keep in mind the audition space, and compare to your own target space. :) 
Oh, one other point. Magico uses caps which add quite a bit of color, if not scintillation to the top end to some speakers. It's like old Fuji film. 

I make no value judgement, but want you to note this may be happening, so take your time while listening and buy what you want to live with. :) 
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Thanks guys for the input so far.  My room is a tad narrow but is of 'average size' and I have diffusers to the  rear and point of first reflection.  Associated gear is Pass X150.8 and Ayon Eris Pre.  LP and PC with Dac for source. 
I still have two or three weeks up my sleeve before pulling the trigger.  The big minus for me is that I cannot audition the MAs.  That is why ANY input is helpful.  Thanks again. 
Unfortunately, the MA are totally different than Magico. Please don’t let anyone tell you one is better than the other. It’s about preference and know one can tell you what to prefer. I often ask questions about different components on Audiogon, but it serves as a means of brainstorming to me. Trying to narrow down what I plain on listening to. The other concern is my bright may be your neutral. 
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One thumbs up for Monitor Audio is the fact that they have been around a long time. Once a speaker manufacturer goes under, their product TUMBLES in price AND it can happen to anyone! (Wanna buy some Snell Type A 5's?). Joe
Sorry, I meant to type: no one can tell you what to prefer.
jnovak,You are correct. Monitor Audio has been around a long time in the UK. Unfortunately, they don't put tons of money into marketing like some of the big boys do in the U.S. I've owned Wilson Audio, Aerial, Revel, and several more. Monitor Audio's quality is at the same level.
In that price range and with a ribbon tweeter, have you consider Dali Epicon 6.
It is a 2.5 rather than a 3 way speaker .
they are also beautifull.
https://www.avhub.com.au/product-reviews/sound-image/dali-epicon-6-loudspeakers-review-429960
Big fan of Monitor Audio and an owner of same for many years.  Unfortunately, I don't have access to the PL300 II's, so I can't offer any direct opinion on that model.   You may want to consider traveling to the nearest dealer in order to audition them, even if that's inconvenient, since (1) it's not an inconsequential investment to purchase them, and (2) you'll likely spend a lot of time listening to them over the coming months/years....it's very difficult to make a judgement without hearing them yourself.  But, I became a convert to MA's at some point, and have upgraded within their model lines several times over the years.   Best of luck.  
@zzrider
They did not make my shortlist. I am a big fan of good looks and they are stunning.  Also liked the tweeter supertweeter concept.

@jhajeski   
nearest dealer is 420 km away.  Love driving my Nissan - but not that much.

@ricred1 
actually I don't mind being told what to prefer.  A minority view to be sure.  I used to like boomy bass.  I was repeatedly told that was wrong - and wrong it was.
andrei_nz,

Good luck. No more advice from me. 
if you can get a chance to listen to these, run don’t walk.
I have a pair driven by a mastersound compact 845 and the sound is to die for.
www.6moons.com/audioreviews/rossofiorentino/2.html

Having the Monitor Audio PL 200 IIs in a system here has revealed them to be neutral, but not sterile. I find them to be great all-rounders.  Several different speakers tested in the same system, and the MAs are well fleshed out while remaining neutral.
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with the Pass Labs and Ayon equipment, the Magico should be a great match.  I have heard Magico with Pass amps in many systems.  But I am a little puzzled, if you have heard the A3's and like them a lot, why not go for them?  Particularly when you can't audition the others.  You will drive yourself crazy this way. 
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I have the A3 in my system for about a week now. I am playing it with the Pass INT-250. Amazing sound! I had the Dynaudio contour 30 before, this is a big upgrade. I listen to many speakers before I chose the A3. Some of the contenders were the Wilson Sabrina the  Dynaudio Contour 60 and Confidence 2 and the Focal Sopra 2. I never considered the MA because I don't like AMT tweeters. They always sticks out, impressive at first, but  a headache later. 

Martin 
I guess I just don't understand people on Audiogon. If you're reading the same thread I am, than "you should go listen" is the clear winner!
I agree. I spent long time auditioning these speakers. 
I have had the pleasure of owning Magico S3s and now own Monitor Audio PL 200IIs.  I enjoyed/enjoy them both.  I found myself adjusting to both quickly. I have been more of a MA person having owned their gold and silver line speakers. Truth be told. I sold the S3s when the updated version came out so I could get the max value.  I was a bit annoyed as I bought the S3s a few months before the new and improved S3s were released.  If I knew that was going to happen I would have waited to buy them.  My dealer played stupid. Oh and Magico jacked up the price by $5K on a pair. MA Platinums are gorgeous and perform well.  They put a lot of R&D into all their speakers. 
@andrei_nz,As a owner of ProAc D48R, I encourage you to seek out this loudspeaker and audition it at least once. If you are considering the Spendor D9, then these you should not miss these ones.
the mastersound compact 845 is a tube integrated amp.
the speakers are Rosso Fiorentino Volterra  
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Andrei if you're dealing with Audio Reference NZ did you get a chance to listen to the Canton Reference K model in your price range?
I certainly did jackd.  I have also auditioned them twice.  I have Triangle Cellos and the Canton K3 were similar in presentation but just all round better.  (The same thing can be said for Focal Sopras).  In a sense the Cantons (or the Sopras) would be a safe bet.  They both do everything better.  In fact I was singularly impressed.  
In the end I have decided that I want something different as well as something better.  Speakers like Spendor D9s or the Triton Reference bring more refinement (compared with the Cellos) to the table.  I would not consider the Tritons because of their looks.  I have the Spendor D1s in my office and I am familiar with their delicacy and I extrapolate that the D9s would give the bass that is missing in the D1s.  I could live with the D9s I'm sure.

But back to the Cantons - they pretty much have it all.  I also like their looks.  In fact it is still not too late to back to them.  I took my brother to Audio reference and we auditioned the Cantons and Magicos - he had a preference for the Cantons!  The second time I took my son - he had a preference for the Magicos!

Some of the other speakers mentioned such as the Dalis and ProAcs look interesting too and I am happy for these ideas.  

Terry at Audio Reference was selling some Magicos - something higher up the tree and said he was likely to get some Monitor Audio PL500 II s as a trade.  Would I be interested?  Interested yes but they would totally dominate my lounge / listening room.  Never mind WAF - also BAF (Buyer acceptance factor!)
Glad you got to hear them as there is actually no stocking dealer of the Reference K line in the US with the exception of the bookshelf K9.  Up to a three month wait for them to be built and shipped.  One dealer in the NE has a pair each of the 1's, 3's and 5's but they are for show only.  They seem to get rave reviews from every publication in the EU. After considering taking a chance of the Canton's I bought Verity instead. The D9's do also seem to be a great option.  I don't know about availability in NZ but Vandersteen Quatro CT might be an option.
No question, audiophiles do weird things, but you have to be out of your mind (I guess a typical audiophile;)) to sell a Magico S3 for any MA, which is a mid-fi speakers manufacture, better compared to Paradigm and such.
(Yes, yes, I am sure you think they sound MUCH better than blah blah blah...)

In any case, I will give some objective assessment on the MA (can’t do that on the A3, since I have not seen any measurements). This is taken from of SP review;
According to a Monitor Audio white paper on the design of the Platinum II series, AMT tweeters typically have a null in their frequency response at 40kHz, with a –3dB point at about 28kHz

But if you look at the measurements ( https://www.stereophile.com/content/monitor-audio-platinum-pl300-ii-loudspeaker-measurements ), you can see that much nastier nulls start much lower, around 10KHz ( JA can’t measure distortion, so we do not see the heft of this problem). That is a real trainwreck ( JA, always “soft on the brits” hardly mention that; what a fraud). Whatever they think they fixed, created an even a bigger problem.

Their First Platinum tweeter exhibit some of the worse THD measured results of any tweeter I have ever seen: (https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/measurements/speakers/monitor_audio_pl100/).
I am not sure the new one is any better. But as always, someone may like it ;)
I am ready for the flames, but only objective data will be worthy addressing. You all have the right to listen to whatever your mind fancy, it is your pocket.

We sell Monitor Audio Platinum for over 10 years of time. We sell them both in stereo and in surround systems. In the past we sold a lot of the Platinum series one.

In this years we sold the PL-200 II quite a lot. The PL-200 II is due to the size and internal port system a better loudspeaker compared to the PL-300 II. The PL-200 II is a much easier loudspeaker than the PL-300 II is regarding the acoustics. We sell stereo in most situations with a subwoofer. Due to the fact that we can bring a subwoofer in phase with the loudspeakers with our own S.A.P.-measurement.

It goes a lot further than that, we can bring the energy of the subwoofer tangible between the loudspeakers where it is on the recording.

When you compare the PL-300 II with a subwoofer vs the PL-200 II with the same subwoofer you will hear that the precision of the PL-200 II with the subwoofer is a lot better. In the Tru-Fi world each choice is made on the best result.

Before you choose a loudspeaker, you need to know the DNA of that loudspeaker. Based on the fact that each loudspeaker owns properties of sound. Even most loudspeakers are not able to reveal different properties of sound. The properties which are missing can never be revealed.

The PL-300 II can reveal all the different properties of sound. But.....you need an amp, source and even other tools which can reveal all the different properties. When you judge most audio brand and products on all the different properties of sound most will proof not to be able to let you hear all the different properties of sound. The Magico can also reveal all the properties of sound. The Dali is incomplete in properties of sound.

When you let people hear an audiosystem what can display all the details and properties of a recording it will have a much bigger influence on their emotion. And that is why it is so important to create audiosystems what can reveal all the different properties of sound.

When you do a blind shootout between a trial and error system what lacks different properties of sound vs a system what can reveal all the different properties of sound. Each single person will choose the system what can display all the different properties.

I would advice people overhere to read articles about how our emotion works regarding music and sound. It will give you a lot of information which you can use by selecting new audioproducts.


Magicos wont rust, and are likely not going to float well, although the internal air to weight ratio may come into play. Note that the designer likes "red book" spec music, and so do I (although I don't expect anybody to care about what I like, Alon Wolf...yeah man...).

Warning: Don't "over read" bo1972's posts as that can lead to utter confusion and perhaps a headache.
sceincecop's posts remind me of why many of us don't buy speakers strictly on measurements. ;-)

"Strictly"?? Who said strictly? But giving the amount of money spent here, you should consider what it is you are buying. Even if you like it, it may very well be crap :( 
What version of Cellos do you have? SW2? Newer? Thanks.
I have the SW2.  I think that is the one before the latest version.
I have the lastest generation with the latest revision (spring 2017) and I find it quite an upgrade compared to the latest generation before the rev. and very different from the SW2. Definitely more body, less harsh on the treble but more resolute, even more dynamic and fast... I think timbral richness, speed and dynamics are their strong points. Do try the latest revision if you liked the flavor of the old Cello! :)
I’m sure it’s not there with the Magico speakers but price/performance might be better than with the others speakers mentioned. The thing is that Triangles are very picky about electronics and their low impedance is an obstacle for many amplifications...
I use them with:

Triangle Magellan Cello II < AudioQuest Everest < BAT VK-600SE < AudioQuest Hurricane High Current < AudioQuest NRG-1000 < AudioQuest WEL Signature XLR < exaSound e22 DAC w Paul Hynes SR3-12 LPS < UpTone ISORegen w UltraCap LPS1.2 & USPCB A-B < AudioQuest Diamond USB < MacMini i5 w UpTone DC Conversion Kit, LPS, Samsung 860EVO 1TB SSD, Squeezelite & Logitech Media Server 7.9.0 < Solid Tech Hybrid Platforms < Stillpoints Ultra SS < Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer & Gold SE < IsoTek Sigmas GII w Optimum EVO3 < Furutech FT-SWS < HiFi Tuning Supreme 3

The only real downside I can find is the refinement of the tweeter. The Triangle mini-horn has breathtaking energy, can render an amazing soundstage and its speed, neutrality and naturalness are sublime but it's not the best tweeter regarding sheer resolution. The Raidho's before, the Magico's and maybe the Focal speakers might have more resolution... then again.. it's all about compromises at this level. 


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Ebm, th Magico A3 may be the best by far for you, but not everyone loves Magicos the A3's included.

There are others who will prefer th Focal Sopras, the Legacy Focus, the Paradigm Personas or a zillion other loudpeakers.

The A3 is a formidable product but so are any of the other loudspeakers I just mentioned. 

There is no absolute in audio, there are many fantastic products each having its strengh, weakness, advantages and disadvantages.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
johndoe21ro

Thank you very much for your considered reply.  An upgraded Triangle is out of the question.  I could go for a Sopra or Canton if I wanted to go down that route.    The Sopras were a vast step above the Triangles and the Cantons were a significant step above the Sopras.  So it is partly a question of quality.  I turned down the Sopras at a low price even though they were better than my Triangles.  I am looking for a different presentation from my existing Triangles.  Moving up from Triangle to Focal or even up to Canton is an improvement.  But I am hoping to go to a different level. 
I am sure based on your input that the latest Triangles would be an improvement but I am looking at a different level, providing I can afford it.  Than you again for your input.

To others out there:  have you ever wondered why so many products "punch above their weight".   We NEVER hear of products that punch "below" their weight.  Well in my opinion Triangle punch below their weight.  There are many reasons for this.  One is price.  Second is the problem with with the low impedance - ie you will need a good amp to drive them.  Get a good amp (eg the ATC P1) and these babies will sing.
Just don't get an Anthem 225 and expect miracles.  OK at High levels the Anthem will deliver the goods but otherwise it will not.  If yiu want good low level sound get a Perreaux amp for example. 
AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED, the Canton 3K are way below the Triangles as far as sound quality goes. And the Sopra No2. has strengths and also weaknesses at a higher price. But I have the newest Cello’s and my system’s pricelist is around 70k eur.... so I squeeze a lot of juice from them. That ATC P1 isn't enough for neither of the Magellan loudspeakers. My 2 cents! :)
The ATC P1 is the same amplifier module that is in many of the world's professional studios - see the ATC website for an astonishing list.  It could drive my cellos with ease.  You must have a fab system if it not up to spec with other components.  I have not sold mine (it is running my office system and I consider it is not outclassed by the Daniel Hertz M6 Pre-amp - a good match actually).  The only reason it is not running in my man rig is that I got offered a Pass 150.8 power amp at a good price.

MAIN COURSE.  I have sold my Triangle Cellos and pulled the trigger on the Magico A3s.  Good Grief!  Midrange: As fab as the Cellos were in midrange this is a large step up.  Piano sounds closer to a real piano.  Same for guitar.  A bit less difference with the viol family and human voice.  Less again with woodwind and brass but still a slight improvement.  Treble:  Not much in it so far.  Some better clarity but the jury (of two) is still out.  Bass:  I had no idea!  Bass is now totally coherent and better.  It is like there is now a foundation of a coherent structure rather than 'oh bass is better/bigger'.  I cannot comment on soundstage as I have not as yet optimised the positioning of the speakers.  So far so good!