Older Revel vs Newer Magicos

I have an opportunity to get some Revel Studio 2 for about the same price as some used Magico A3’s. I recently heard some Studio 2’s being driven be a 100w Cambridge amp, not sure but, I think it was not an integrated. They sounded pretty special to my old ears. However, I have never heard the Magicos. Has anyone experienced both of these the speakers? And if so, please provide your opinions on them and whether the Studio 2’s should be considered older technology to be avoided.


For what it’s worth my experience is not the exact same speakers but close. I owned a pair of the original Revel Studios for several years and I now have a pair of the original Magico S5’s. The difference is not even close. The Magico’s are far better in every way. Not even close. Just my opinion. Again, not the exact same speakers that you are talking about but close. I hope that helps. 

Thanks for that hanki! As you probably know, the S series is a lot more speaker than the A’s and, not insignificantly, price wise. That’s why I was thinking A3. If I bought the S5, even used, I’d probably need a new wife. 😆 However the S3, in previous iteration (Mk 1) can be had for about 4,000 more than used current model A3. Question becomes is S3 Mk1 heads and shoulders above current A3?

I would make sure you listen to the Magico. Make sure your equipment is up to them. They are very fast and revealing. I have heard them sound bad on a number of occasions when paired with electronics not up to being completely revealed. 

I have general thoughts.

Both excel at having a wide sweet spot and smooth tonal balance, including rich bass.

This also means IMHO, they need a lot of room to the sides to sound their best.

Tonally they are not the same. I find Magico’s cool in the treble and maybe with an extra chestiness in the lower voice, mid piano. This opinion is my own and not often shared by others. Listen to Diana Krall’s voice and piano in particular as well as some good horns.

I make no judgment here which is better for you, just that these are the impressions I’ve been left with.

ghdprentice equipment was questionable in my mind until I read some reviews of those with the same amp as mine. It’s only 60 w of power (Pass Int 60) but it’s 30 w of class A before going to A-B. And I’ve got good cabling that were all recently upgraded. Should be fine there. 

One reservation I would have with the Revels' is parts support if you ever need a replacement driver in the future.  Those midrange drivers and woofers with the titanium diaphragms are not in production any more, so the supply of replacement drivers will eventually dry up.

the studio 2 is a much better speaker than the studio 1 and probably still has a higher ceiling than the A3 goes, but room acoustics and component matching still matter more than trying to plug and play a new pair of speakers.

Not even close. The Magicos are a far better speaker. If I were a point source kind of guy I would buy a set of Magicos. They also make the best subwoofers available in the Q series. 

Trust your own ears. 

I have heard the Salon 2 many times but never the Studio 2. Keep in mind the “2” is much better than the original. Anyway I think the Salon 2 is without flaw. Spending major money can get you more resolution through better parts (crossovers, cabinet) but you are well into diminishing returns.

Harman had the A3 and Salon 3 in their blind AB testing and the V8 Revel own… done by revel… so take it for what it is but I am sure you can find the article.

The 328be is a pretty amazing speaker too and not just for the money.

Having experienced both quite extensively, for my ears where the Magicos excel over the Revel Salon’s is in the openness of the midrange. The Magico opens up a clear window onto the music that can be breathtaking. They are extremely neutral/ flat and ultra revealing because of sheer transparency. The Revels have the ported woofer design and can indeed sound a bit more present in the lower frequencies. The Magico’s sealed enclosure / non-ported woofers yields a little bit less overt presence, but to my ears sound much faster and with superior pitch / timbre definition, although the Revels are marvelous in this regard too. Overall, the Magico is faster and more of a piece imo. I’ve listened to the A5s driven by Gryphon and they are truly wonderful speakers will all the Magico attributes. A technical tour de force given their quite modest footprint. Haven’t heard the A3s but i am sure they deliver much of what I heard from the A5s.