Just caught a glimpse of these online as well. Very interesting, wonder how they would compare to the more expensive (and older) Q1s?
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As someone who produces a $7K pair of speakers out of carbon fiber I am going to do some competitive intel at Capital Audiofest. Argument is a rising tide raises all ships so having them promote interest in this price point will help me and Raidho and a few others that produce great speakers at this price point as it will help normalize it. Not that many people are willing to consider stand-mounts for $7K+.
I would expect these to be like the A3's, very good but will likely fall well short of "ultimate". You want ultimate, give the Kaiser Chiara's a listen next time you are in NYC. Those are probably the best standmount's in the world but at $22K, ouch!
I agree that the A1 will be similar to the A3s given same components.
Further reading - Magico's A line is not the "ultimate" nor intended .... however the A3 have been extremely well received. Magico is also adding a center channel and sub to the A line.
I've never heard of the Kaiser Chiara. They look impressive. A two-way with a passive base (radiator) in the back? How does that work when placed close to a wall?
The Magico A1 is fully enclosed (no port) and can be placed stand free which makes it attractive to me.
At the size, price point and required stand mount of the Chiara Wilson's Duette II fall right there.
Have you ever demo's Wilson and Chiara side by side? Could be a great listen.
You want ultimate, give the Kaiser Chiara’s a listen
And what makes these the "ultimate"? Is it the price? Or the look??
Not as good as drivers ( Scan-Speak, paper cone mundane woofers, and an AMT shrilling tweeter), passive radiator; a concept that never works, all in an MDF box (albeit pretty). Never heard the A1, but on paper, it will blow the Kaiser.
I heard the Kaiser Chiara's in a shop in NYC side-by-side with the Magico S1s and Scansonics top of the line and they delivered as much detail as the Magico's with soundstage that was jaw-droppingly wide and deep. It is a special speaker.
IMO, what makes them the "Ultimate" is strictly sound. They look nice though I did not love the integrated stand. Could be the shop I was in and the way they had them setup. Could be the VAC gear that was driving them. They were also 8-10' from the back wall which is not terribly practical. They were phenomenal sounding with the above caveats and I say this as someone who makes a $7000 stand-mount speaker that competes with the A1s. They are better than mine (though they are 3x the price).
I am not sure how they are making such a great sounding speaker using such mundane components. I am definitely not convinced advanced drivers are critical. Listen to Wilson. Regarding the tweeter, not even a tiny bit of shrillness but it was driven by VAC gear which maybe tamed it a hair. I hate MDF and make my cabinets out of composites (and I am working on "solid bamboo" products that will be less expensive). I have no idea how Kaiser isolates the drivers enough so that resonance from the MDF is not impacting the sound. I would love to get my hands on a pair and take them apart.
Regarding the demo, the dealer did a side by side hot swap Magico for Kaiser mid song. It was as clean a swap where memory, dealer suggestion, bias, price, etc.. would have the smallest possible impact. They are magnificent.
On paper, you are right. The A1 should win. In practice, the Kaisers beat the S1s.
I have not heard Kaisers side-by-side with the Duette IIs. I have heard the Tune Tots separately and although lovely, the soundstage was lacking compared to Kaiser, Raidho and IMHO, my Blackthorns. Though, I heard the Tune Tots driven by a Naim integrated rather than VAC mono-blocks.
Both the A1 and Tune Tot seem to be optimized to near wall placement which is cool. Mine are rear ported and the bass gets a little boomy with near wall placement. A bung works wonderfully but you are going to lose 10hz in bass response where I will bet the opposite is the case with the Magico's and the Tune Tots.
I know for a fact (having owned a pair) the Raidho's need 9' in spacing between them and 3' of space from rear wall. Without that spacing, they are rather mundane. I would be the Kaiser's need as much if not a little more with that passive radiator to be at their best.
feel free to look at mine at verdantaudio.com. My carbon fiber cabinets are the Blackthorns and I use magnesium composite drivers and magnesium & ceramic tweeter. The Nightshades are fiberglass cabinets and use paper cones and a silk dome. All drivers are from Eton.
Was it the S1, or the S1 Mk2? Big difference.
Also, to the unsuspected ear, the AMT tweeter will always win on a/b testing. Try long terms listening, and the craze of changing amps/cables etc. start in the hope of taming the highs (plastic coloration stays). There is a reason they always play these with AN, Kondo or, in your case, VAC amps. Not my idea of fun, YMMV.
Thanks for the input so far ... very appreciated.
Back to the point on the A1s, I'm guessing it's too early for any of the sites and rags to have reviewed them?
Guess we'll have to wait a few more months.
I'm encouraged but also have a feeling the A1s are going to need a good deal of (clean) power to run them well.
Since it is Magico, I would expect reviews within a couple months of launch. Should see something in Q1, 2020. Regarding power, it would not shock me if the impedance is lower on those speakers and they will require a bit more oomph to do their best. I said before, I expect them to be very good.
My demo vs. Kaiser was the S1s not S1 MK2. That being said, I almost bought the S1s and I really find Magico to be one of the only beryllium tweeter implementations I really like. This was a few years ago right as the MK II was coming out.
Also, I thought it was MDF. Just looked and the cabinet is made of "Tankwood / rubber / glass fibre high pressure sandwich cabinet without parallel surfaces." That explains why they can use a paper cone and get such good results.
I have not spent an extended period with an AMT. Might need to make a pair of speakers with one of the mundorf AMT used here and an Eton driver given the high impedance values of both. .
I personally like tube amps a lot and am the importer for Art Audio so I am sure I will be able to find amps that will make them shine. .
Many top shelf stand mounts out there, like Tune Tots, 805s, Guarneris, and I could name drop many others. Some folks prefer them as they are more fit for smaller rooms (I do).
It’s entertaining to see Magico distillate their design codes in order to offer price-point products that still has the Magico DNA. If they weren’t developing and selling 100k+ speakers they wouldn’t be able to offer those.
I’d love to hear them with some Accuphase gear, now!
Its part of a suite for HT/multichannel including a sub and CC. My biggest question is how the A1 will handle bass tradeoffs, and another is if Magico will offer factory stands. It's great they are continuing with the sealed cabinets. Magico seems to be very good at marketing, although they do not have gloss sopra paint. I wish the company the best. (The best stand-mount is the Wilson Benesch Endeavour. Its a scientific fact :))
I don’t know about "ultimate bookshelf." I would still consider the KEF Reference 1 the reference (no pun intended) at this price range given it’s mseasurements. Magico, whether intentionally or not, still have narrow directivity at the crossover region with their speakers, likely because they don’t use waveguides. I would expect a product at Magico’s price ranges to at least have directivity issues resolved.