My findings on Magico V2.....what now?

Hi guys, I've finally managed to make a 250km trip to audition the Magico V2. The V2's were driven by Soulution 740 preamp and 710 power amp (each costing $40k and highly acclaimed by JV of TAS). The source used was a Soulution 745 disc player. So...the sound was G-R-E-A-T...but I sat there in the auditioning chair like a rock. To my surprise, I found myself unmoved and unstirred. By the 4th CD, I started to get bored. I felt almost none of the wonderful emotions I got when I auditioned the Avantgarde Uno G2 driven by Audio Note Meishu SET amp.

Should this experience be conclusive and enough for me to make my decision? Should I explore the V2 with other amps, say, the Pass XA100.5? As great as the Soulution combo is, they sounded sterile to me. And unfortunately the Magico dealer carries only a couple of brands for amps so I can't make any A/B comparison.

You heard what the Magico's really sound like, they are in my humble opinion a triumph of marketing over substance, they are exceedingly okay, nothing special.

Listen to a pair of well setup Kef 207.2 on good tubes I am listening to Manley wonderful sound if you are looking at a conventional speakers or go with the tube horn combo
If you prefer the colored sound of an Avantgarde/Audio Note setup, you would definitely not like the Soulution/Magico sound. Try listen to the V2 with a tube amp, see what you think. Some coloration may do the trick.
I listened to the Magico V3 with VAC tube pre/amps (140w)combo and I didn't get connected with music either. Perhaps the amps can't drive the V3? Not sure. Nothing wrong with Magico speakers. They sounded like high end speakers. I guess I need to try it again.
Funny that you mention the VAC combo. That is how I first heard the Magico few years back at the show. It was clearly a magic moment. In fact, I believe that Kevin Hayes, the owner of VAC has a V3 himself.
I just heard the Mini II with ASR and the M5 with Solution, both with Brinkman turntables. Sterile is not how I would describe what I heard. For me, it was the closest I've heard to the sound of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Very clean and detailed, with incredibly accurate scale and staging. The equipment simply dissapeared. Completely involving. However, I also heard the V2 with Moon? electronics and a VPI table and it did nothing for me. The V2 with Spectral and SME was great in a different setting. I think it has a lot to do with set up and associated equipment.
I've read the Hi-Fi Avenue blog whereby a Malaysian dealer connected their V2+Soulution combo demo using their own home brew cabling throughout--could that be the same dealer? Did you try connecting them with other cable make as well? Transparent as they are--the Magico and Soulution, that in my humble experience a single cable can make or break the resulting sound.

Above is link to a review of the amp with particular mention to cable sensitivity. Imo, when transparent meets neutrality ie. V2+Soulution, every little bit of dialing-in effort into getting the set-up just right matters--big time.

But then again, if the Avantgarde Audionote sound floats your boat, my guess is that the Magico-Soulution combo might not be to your taste/liking regardless of further fine tuning. I loved my Tannoy+Ongaku set-up from many many moons ago, as I recalled, they too sound awesome for my taste then, yet could not be more different than to what I am currently used to--taste evolved.
move on. for that kind of money I would want to be blown away. it is sort of unfair to blame the speakers for what may or may not be the "fault" of the electronics but there you go, it happens. If you really think you will like them maybe the dealer will work with you for more auditioning with different stuff. Could be other things though. 4 CD's seems enough though. On the other hand what do I know? Never even been in the same room with speakers over $25K so I'll shut the hell up.
The Soulution equipment is definitely run-in. So is the V2, for sure.

Yep Bvdiman, that's the dealer. It's the only dealer carrying Magico in Malaysia. I didn't try them with other cable makes. Guess I was overawed by the whole set-up (the cables, power cords, power conditioner which is also made by him) so I dared not ask for the thing to be altered.

I guess the only way to know is to listen to more speakers of different makes.
If you liked the fairly inexpensive audio note set, maybe you should go here an audio note set up that matches the price of the soulution electronics and magico speakers you heard. get a sense of the possibilities down that different path
I guess the only way to know is to listen to more speakers of different makes.

... maybe try your own amps on the V2 at the dealer?
I fully agree with audiofreakgeek indeed;I have heard different setup of magico speakers and all I could say is,well they market them well.;it is indeed a true triumph of marketing
Magico is a great speakers, but there are other speakers as well that are even greater.

If you were bored with 4 cds imagine what is going to happen on the long term.
Go try the Sonus Faber Cremona M on Naim gear. For instance NAC252/NAP300/Supercap/CDX2. Very musical indeed. The Naim gear will bring the Cremona's to life, I assure you.
I have MINI 2 Wonderful imaging GREAT deep sounstage they just disappear and you just have MUSIC.The V2 is good but when i heard them they did not do this!!Setup and equiptment also play and important part as well.

I do not think you should move on. Perhaps you are not experience enough, but I can’t tell you how many times I had to change/sell what “blew” me away at the dealer. How much frustration and disappointment was shed on trying to “tame” an Avantgard honkyness, or get over the horrible transition from the horns to the subs (Never happened). What “excite” you at a dealer, can get on your nerves very fast. Think about live music and how it sounds. It is subtle and natural, not necessarily “exciting”. Anyway, sound like you have some work to do…
I sure have a lot of work to do....probably even more than you guys in the US. Because each dealer in my country carries only 3 or 4 makes so it's virtually impossible for me to audition electronics and speakers head-to-head. For example, now I want to listen to Thiel CS3.7, I'll have to visit a different dealer from the Magico dealer, which means I'll have to listen to the Thiel with a different set of electronics. Should I want to audition some Sonus Faber speakers, it's yet another dealer with yet another set of electronics. It's as good as buying blind. What the heck!
Mariv, live music is not "exciting" ? Next you will be telling us that live sex (as opposed to the internet variety) is not "exciting".
Mariv26, exellent points!

Usually what has the WOW factor at a dealer demo, is NOT what we can live with in the long term.
interesting point by extension. If you dont like or get excited by what you hear in a dealer the implication is that perhaps you should get them anyway and work out the "kinks"? I can see what you mean but that sort of implies that the Wow factor is often a temporary artifact or something? FOr me the wow is usually dealing with clarity of most often vocals or instrumentals like guitar. I think clarity of both is what makes it for me. BTW no flaming or arguing going on here, rather curious about this strategy for lack of a better word. What am I missing Mariv26?

Many times, what appears to be a "clarity of vocals or instrumentals like guitar" is simply elevated upper midrange lower trebles cause by poor XO work and driver integration. Many loudspeakers guys out there have made a good living doing just that. It may be exciting but it is certainly not "right". Put a good piano recording or a violin and see what it sounds like. It take experience and willingness to explore these issues to identify these pitfalls.
why dont you try listening to the magico on a different occasion and maybe try bringing your own set of cd's a see what reckons.
I heard the magico a few times. Great as they are, i really don't have the slight itch to buy them or anything like that.
While i find the sound very good, well, thats about it.
nonetheless, there will always be speakers or amps that will leave you a good impression the 1st time around & the only way to really say they are for you is to give them another run the 2nd time around.
Good luck!!!
Nolitan, I did bring my own set of favourite CDs to audition the Magicos. I just couldn't get into the music, even with my favourite CDs! It sounded totally uninvolving. For example, I couldn't hear the timbre and character of the piano played by Theolonius Monk (Live At The IT Club) which I did with the Avantgarde/AudioNote set-up. Guess it's time to move on. Which is a shame, because I really liked the way the Magicos look and the engineering that's gone into it.

i know the feeling sir. Had the same feelings with Wilson speakers years back. Each time I listen to them, I just couldnt pull the trigger to buy em.
I wanted to own one but the musical connection is just not there.
Oh well...
Nonetheless, good luck! Avant Garde may be it for you.
Love the Magico V2's. I listened to the v2's on a Krell intergated with about 5 min of setup at my dealers shop and was blown away! I didn't hear a speaker for a change, just a great musical performance. I ordered a pair after just 2 hours of listening. More to come; still waiting on delivery.
I really wanted to like Magicos, but like the original poster, I was exceedingly unmoved. I heard the M5 with top of the line VTL Seigfrids, and Minis and Model 6 with Spectral and Boulder amps. I was left earth shatteringly bored on all counts. Not my cup of tea. The Rockports are a lot more involving speaker to these ears.
I would have to agree. There are so many other fish in the sea. If you are going to spend that kind of money you should love it! I hope all works out for you!
MAGICO speakers take from 600 to 800 hrs to fully break in. The speakers V2 V3 MINI Q5 M5 im sure no dealers who have new MAGICOS have not run them in for 600 to 800 hrs.If this is the case speakers will sound closed down bass will not be as good etc.My MINI 2 took a full 800HRS to sound there best!!
heard the M5's with soulution and dcs electronics, also heard the M5's with mcintosh all tube set up else where. neither time was i impressed and i really wanted to be. i was considering both the dcs and solution electronics to move up to, desided to stay put. i do not know about magico marketing, i am sure, under the right condition, the M5's sound great, but they have nothing on my rockports. only my opinion.
Ebm, I'm glad you like the Magicos. I've given them a fair shake on multiple occasions at some of the most reputable dealers in the US. There is no #1, just our own opinions. I know that if I want to start a thread that would elicit lots of responses, all I have to do is either praise a Magico product sky-high or say something not so favorable about it!

I'm not trying to knock on Magico (#1 in Ebm's eyes). Like I said, I love the way they look and the awesome engineering that's gone into it. Before the audition, I was hoping they would end up in my living room. But after listening to them, there's no way that I can part with $18k for what I've heard. And by the way, the V2's that I auditioned were fully run-in. So were the Soulution stuff.

Anyways, does the Thiel CS3.7 share the same sonic characterictics as the V2? Thinking of auditioning them.

I've had Thiel's for over 10 years, and they did many things very well. Their strengths are clarity and soundstaging. They are also very energetic. I find them more musical and a better value c/w Magico. Downside is that your amplifier options are limited.

However, I think you should focus on efficient, full-range speakers which are compatible with a low powered tube amp. You've already been bitten by the bug. Do the research, and buy one. Forget about 99% of the professional reviews - they are worthless. There are lots of threads from end-users to review. It is OK to buy without an audition. You can focus on in-home auditions of SET amps and preamps once the speakers are set-up. Good luck and enjoy.
Rtn1, what amp do you partner your Thiels with? I don't necessarily have to go for SET amps/preamps. I'm thinking of Pass XA.5 series or the Parasound JC1/JC2.
There are many GREAT speakers MAGICO is just ONE everyone likes what they like. You vote with your ear and your wallet you have to live with what you choose!! Lets hear from some HAPPY MAGICO OWNERS!!
Just move on. Personally I think Soulution amps are the best money can buy. I have heard the M5 with Spectral amps and CDP but was underwhelmed. But that could just be my taste. Wilson Audio and Verity Audio are more my cup of tea.

Lucky for us audiophiles there are many different kinds of tea. So we can all find a flavour we like.
I haven't heard the V2, but I have heard the V3 and M5 with the Spectral DMA-360 Series II... I compared them with my MartinLogan Odysseys driven by my Spectral DMA-250 and the V3s were nice but nothing like my electrostats. Nice but boring comparatively speaking, is how I would describe it. Personally, I think it's very difficult to beat panel speakers when it comes to reproducing live music. On the other hand, the M5s simply outclassed my speakers by a wide margin.

I was in the market to purchase the V3s and I bought the Spectral amps instead.
Reading the responses in this thread, I'm rather mystified why perhaps one of the most basic truths when it comes to speakers has not been put forward as an explanation, or at least mentioned. One of the first things I learned as I was entering the world of audiophilia over a decade ago, is that most, if not all, speakers can be classified as either "musical" or "analytical." Likewise, most people will have a preference for either the former or the latter. To someone like me, who is 100% in the musical speaker camp, no speaker that lacks musicality could ever sound good, even if it has a six digit price, regardless of associated gear, save some extreme mismatching.

I will never forget when years ago I went to Sound by Singer in NYC to audition some speakers and amps. I listened to 3 speakers: Audio Physics (I think it was Virgo, but I'm not sure), Focal Mini Utopia Be and Thiel (I believe the previous version of the CS2.4). The Audio Physics was forgettable from the start, the Thiel so analytical it was just sterile. I was listening to Peter Gabriel's SO album and Sledgehammer song and I remember I could hear incredible detail with the Thiel. I also found myself LISTENING FOR the detail without realizing it. And then came the Focal Utopia. Without realizing it, I started tapping my foot and I was just saying to myself, "Damn this song rocks!" My whole body was simply responding to the music with no conscious effort. Since then I always say, if the speaker doesn't pass the "tap" test, I'm never going to like it. But some people are looking to hear every possible detail in music reproduction and would probably prefer ultra-analytical speakers to musical speakers. One of my former bosses loved his pair of Thiels more than his wife it later turned out...

My experience was the same with both the solid state 300 wpc Musical Fidelity intergrated amp and the tubed 100 or 150 wpc BAT amplifier. The CD player was a Burmester model I can't remember. (Btw, the MF amp smoked the BAT so badly that I could never bring myself to buy a BAT amp.)

Since that experience, I know that Thiel speakers are not for me unless Mr. Thiel completely changed his speaker philosophy. I would not be surprised if the simple reason you didn't like the Magicos is because they lack musicality and fail the tap test miserably despite their hefty price. Look to speakers that are known for their musicality such as Sonus Faber, Focal, Vandersteen or Rockport instead of racking your brains whether a different cable or amp might miraculously unveil what's been so completely missing.

I see you have asked several times about Thiel 3.7s. I was waiting for someone that owned them to chime in but no one has so here are my thoughts. I have heard them a few times (at the dealer) in a nothing special set up and they sounded GREAT every time. I have not heard magicos line but to my ear I like the 3.7 much better than the Wilson Audio alternative (Sophia) and many other brands I demoed. Im sure you have read the reviews on the 3.7s so I won't go into details but I will say it is one of the first (well only lol) speakers I have heard where I agree with the gushing reviews 100%.

But the thing I liked about them is what turns a lot of people off I think. The midrange has a lot of energy (good tonal balance though) and tons of detail! They also have good dynamics top to bottom and good bass punch when needed. But could play soft and seductive when needed. All in all they just seemed to breath life and sound natural. They would be well worth a demo and it would save you money too. That is if buying a $12,000 pair of speakers can be considered saving money....
Wilson Sophia II's
Bass- very good; Mids- very good; Highs- very good; dynamics- great = balanced to my ears

Magico V2
Bass- adequate; Mids- great; Highs- very good; dynamics- good = not as balanced as the Sophia II's to my ears;

My listening position is 12' away from my Sophia II's.

For me you must put everything in perspective. I already own the Sophia II's; therefore any speaker that I would change to, would have to be significantly better in all parameters. There are no absolutes in audio, only preferences!