Sophia 2/Magico V2 versus Sasha/Magico V3

So I'm currently enjoying Wilson Sophia 2s and Magico V2s in my home.

Amplification is Pass XA 100.5, preamps alternate between H20 Fire (solid state) and Audio Valve Eclipse (tube). Sources are Modwright Transporter and Raven One/Tron Seven.

These speakers are very different. The Sophia 2s are more energetic and vibrant, have more robust bass and a lot more forward presence. They can bark at you with certain recordings (upper midrange glare), they are not gentle. Used with a tube preamp, I find the timbre to be very natural sounding, giving a great deal of the 'instruments are in the room' feeling. With solid state preamp, they sound a little cold - a little 'ceramic' if you will.

The Magico V2 is slightly colored in comparison - more of a wood sound, not as much as Avalon, but it's there. The highs are nowhere as crisp, the bass comes up a bit short and they do not have the dynamics of the Wilsons. However, they offer a heck of a lot more detail in the upper midrange and highs. I hear so much more of what is going on than the Sophias. For example, horn sections on the Wilsons almost sound compressed, whereas on the Magicos they open up and come to life; I can't get over the difference.

So here's where I'm going with this: the natural upgrade path for the Magico is the V3 and the Wilson, the Sasha. Can anyone speak to what characteristics are retained versus gained (or lost for that matter) in the two upgrade paths? If it were easy to hear them in my own home, I wouldn't ask, but unfortunately it's going to be work and I may only get to hear one of these.


Thanks in advance.
Madfloyd - I just upgraded from Sophia II speakers to Sasha. I did not have the time to listen to them at lenght, but the first two traits that cought my attention was much better HF performance (much smoother highs and much more detailed at the same time) and less energy in the upper midrange/lower treble.

If you feel that Sophias had some midrange glare with your system, you should appreciate this change.
GET Q5 very good!!
What about MAXX3/M5 versus Alexandria X-2/Ultimate II?
I spent three hours listening to the Sasha this past Saturday.
They were in an excellent room (friend's house) driven by Mac
electronics. Sources were TW Acoustics Raven/Graham Phantom/Dynavector XX and Musical Fidelity A5. These are great speakers and, maybe, the best I've ever heard in a home.

I know the Sasha pretty well and I've never heard the traits you describe. My guess is what you are hearing is equipment or room related.

Wendell, I'm not describing the Sasha, I'm describing the Sophia 2 and wondering what characteristics of that speaker are retained in the Sasha - or put another way, what are the differences between the two?
Madfloyd, I meant the Sophia 2. To my ears, the Sasha goes deeper and has more extended highs. I heard no glare but I haven't heard glare in the Sophia 2. Sorry for the confusion.

I'm really hoping somebody can compare the V2s to the V3s...
3 different speakers VS is not the case its your cash and your taste MAGICO V3 is the BEST!!
>3 different speakers VS is not the case its your cash and your taste MAGICO V3 is the BEST<


Punctuation IS your friend......

Madfloyd, hope I don't add to your confusion but I did briefly listen to the V3, the mini2, followed by the V2 all at the same dealer, but all with different electronics. All were very good, but all had compromises. The V3 had strong deep bass, but perhaps a little uninvolving altogether. Think I need to listen again, cuz it just didn't bowl me over. Mini had more life, but no real punch in low end. V2 was probably my favorite, very nice detail and beautiful mids, emotionally more involving, reasonable bass better than mini, but not impactful and not deep like V3. I have heard the Sophia 2 at length and totally agree with your assessment. Nice, but I wouldn't buy them. Way too much spotlighting and shouting. Some may consider this heresy, but I'd get a B&W 802D instead. I've been on a quest to hear as many speakers in 15k-25k range as possible, and I've yet to find the perfect speaker however. For you, maybe a V2 and a great sub (REL, or JL Fathom or Gotham?) Good luck.
I heard the V2, V3, and Mini2 at the same dealer, but each speaker was set up with different electronics, so it was very difficult to know what was what. The dealer did'nt want to move stuff around, so I just listened for a while, got some initial impressions and left. If you are serious about learning the differences, call the dealer up ahead of time, explain what you want, and ask him to set up a room similar in size to yours with similar SS or tube electronics to yours and compare each speaker in the same system with your music. A good dealer should be willing to accomodate you. Once you think you understand the differences, take your favorite home for an audition.

I have heard various Magicos at three different dealerships in a variety of systems. For what it is worth, I found the V3 the least coherent of the three, but I only heard it once and it did not seem to be very well set up. The bass was separate from the mid/tweet. I was very impressed with both the Mini2 and the V2. The V2 had more bass weight, but did not seem quite as flat in response as the Mini2. Otherwise, it was remarkable. The Mini seemed the most complete design. Very little distortion, very clean/articluate and beautiful timbre, staging, scale.

I haven't had much time with Wilsons.
V2 is a sweetheart. Disappears, tonal purity, great bass. What sounds more natural will win in the end.

The V2's do cost quite a bit more than the Sophia but IMO are worth the leap.

Any further insights, comments, thoughts, decisions, etc.?

I'm in the same situation as you, Sophia II owner looking at Magico as an upgrade. I can post some of my thoughts and experiences, although they are slightly contradictory to the other posters thusfar.
I currently own Sophia II's and was considering changing to Magico V2's; however after listening at length, I decided that the Sophia II's were more balanced. In addition, I loved the dynamics of the Sophia's. On a side note: my listening room is 26' x 28' and that does influence my preference for a certain type of speakers.

Can you give us more detail on how the Sophia is more balanced than the V2. Was it the midrange, highs or bass, etc? Did you feel one had more detail over the other and if so in what range?

Also how far do you sit from you speakers in your large room?

I've been really enjoying the V2s, mostly because (and this doesn't match Ricred1's experience) I find them more balanced. I feel I'm hearing everything in the recording at proper levels whereas with the Sophia 2 the upper midrange frequencies are recessed/compressed.

I'd love a mix of the two speakers because the Wilsons have more slam and presence. I've ruled out the V3 for the time being and am pursuing the Sasha. I will be auditioning them again this coming Thursday.
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!
I think Magico mids are much better than Wilson mids in general--though the Maxx3 is amazing.

on the V3 vs. Sasha---while Sasha may have more apparent bass due to the mid bass hump of the ported design, the Magico is certainly no slouch and has real bass.

but the Sasha just doesn't have the musical quality of the Magico and does not match its coherency top to bottom. i value coherency a lot--and why i had Sophia Is vs W/P 7s years ago.
once you move to Higher End, you will be more amazed with result of Sophia 2. Regarding your system context, you haven't heard anything yet with Sophia 2. Keep going, keep going.....
I have already upgraded to Densen B-350 mono-amps and Densen B-250 preamp. In additon, I have upgraded all of my AC cords. The results is a more natural sounding system. My next step will be to upgrade from the Rega Apollo as the source.

I haven't listened to the V3, they are out of my price range. My comments were about the V2's. If you read my previous post, I mentioned that I thought the V2's had great mids and the Sophia II's had very good mids. I used different language, but essentially said the same thing you did.

I've listened to many speakers and really enjoy the Sophia II's. That doesn't mean that someone won't prefer something else.
Thanks for the feedback Madfloyd.

Curious as to why you ruled out the V3?

IMO, the Sashas are best suited for your current system. I find Wilson and Pass Class A amplification to be very synergistic. I found Magico and Pass Class A amplification to be a mediocre match. The highs seemed attenuated, the bass became wooly and the midrange lost it's definition (in comparison to VAC, ASR and Soulution). Something to keep in mind as you listen to the V2s (the V2's you're listening to have greater potential). Also, IMO, I get the feeling you no longer REALLY like the Wilson house sound. The Sashas improve on many of the earlier generations, but at the end of the day, it's still voiced like a Wilson. Wilson, as you know, should only be heard when they are set up perfectly in a great sounding room. They have the ability to disappear and sound natural (within their natural voicing), but without proper setup, they can be more forward, less detailed, thin, and just un-natural sounding. I think the Magicos are a bit easier on setup, but with the caveat that they don't deliver that last 1-2% of palpability that Wilsons can create. Just another's opinion, but I think Wilsons are more transparent to the source than Magicos (that last 1-2% thing I mentioned), but each speaker is colored. I just hear Wilson speakers morphing with each CD/LP change just a little bit more than Magicos, moving you a bit closer to the source.

I think the V2s give a slightly recessed presentation, and the Sophia IIs give a slightly forward presentation. The V2s are easier to listen to because of this, and sound a bit more natural.

Comparing the V2 to the V3 is a mixed bag. The V2 has new technologies, so you get a slightly more coherent, smooth sound. BUT, I still think the V3 is more capable all around. The highs are debatable because I hear more defintion, while others I know hear more roughness and distortion in comparison to the V2. The midrange on the V3 is more nuanced, defined, and textured than the V2's. To me the V2's midrange sounds more colored to the warm side because of the woofer below it, augmenting the bass and creeping up into the true midrange. I think you loose some separation and detail in the V2, whereas the V3 has a truly dedicated midrange driver. Lastly, the bass is great on the V2, but truly better on the V3. The V3's bass move air. You can feel the air change and pressurize, even when you can't hear it. The bass adds weight, presence and ambiance to just about any type of music. The V2 feels weighty because of the warmer midrange (I think), but it can't match the foundation the V3 lays down in the bass.

I hate to say it, but I think the V2 is a more engaging speaker, but the V3's a better speaker, so it's tough to choose. I'm interested in hearing the Q5 and eventually a Q3 when it comes out...
Excellent comments, Hce4!
That's a great post Hce4. Thanks for describing is such detail your experience with Magico and Wilson. I'm going to join Madfloyd on his Sasha audition. It will be most interesting because a rep from Wilson whose name I have forgotten is setting up both the Sophia II and the Sasha at a dealership for a seminar. I don't know what electronics we will be hearing.

I have recently bought a pair of Magico Mini II's to replace my Egglestons. The Egglestons are known to be a great match for Pass class A amps and I found this to be the case. However, I also find my Pass XA160.5 sounds great with the Mini II. I do not hear what you describe as wooly bass, attenuated highs or midrange lacking definition. My combo is still fairly new and I'm still playing with speaker positioning, but male and female voice is incredibly present and involving which I don't think would be the case if it lacked definition. One of the LPs I have been using for set up is Ray Brown and Duke Ellington's "This One's for Blanton" at 45rpm. The bass and piano have great definition, extension and explosive transients. The timbre and scale also seem quite natural. There is also plenty of inner detail. I think this is partly a result of the Mini II's being very appropriate for my small room. The speaker/room interface is better than it was with my Eggelstons.

I did upgrade from the XA100.5 because I felt it did not quite have the power to control/drive the Magicos which are very demanding. It's interesting because I do not see many Magico/Pass pairings in systems, but to my ears, the combination is very good. Magico is a demanding load and perhaps the Pass amps have not had appropriate power ratings.

I'm sorry to go on a tangent to this thread, but I thought I would share my experience with Magico. I have also heard the Sophia II's with Pass amps and the V3 with Simaudio did not sound good. The V2 with Spectral was excellent and the M5 with Solution was the best I've heard. The Magicos have sounded great in some demoes and terrible in others, depending on electronics and set-up. I agree that the V2 has great potential. It also has a slightly warmer midrange as you mention which I did not realize until I heard the Mini II.

I think Madfloyd would do well to compare the V3 to the Sasha in his own system if possible. Set up, though, will be very important.
Congrats Peterayer, update the system photos!

I knew I might be stepping on some toes with the Pass comment. In all fairness, I used the XA30.5 with the Magico V3 and V2s at the dealer with an Ayre K1xe pre and a VAC Sig II pre. We played the XA30.5 within it's limits, then cranked it. I heard the same results at both SPLs, that's how I came to the deduction that perhaps Magico and Pass are not the best match. I played with the XA100.5s for about 6 weeks in my system at home, and lived happily with the XA30.5 for about 6 months on the Sophia IIs. Of course, the XA160.5 and XA30.5 are different animals, and it's more than just power, wattage and control. The XA160.5s are better amps, period. Glad you moved to the XA160.5s, the Mini IIs are the most demanding of clean and powerful current.
Another excellent comparative post! Awaiting your sneak thoughts on Q5 should you be able to get to them sooner. I will be auditioning a pair when they arrive in my country--hopefully by May. A friend who has heard, actually preferred them over the M5, so seems Magico is on to something quite special here--we'll see.

Congrates again on your new speakers and amp! Hope they bring you countless hours of blissful listening.. By now you should have found that perfect spot for them--or at least close to its thereabout? In your smallish room, with ample current and control from new amp, my guess is that you should also be getting a linear and satisfyingly close to full range bass response from them? Work them till they truly disappear! And oh yes, do update your system with some new pics. Enjoy!
Hce4, thank you so much for contributing to the thread. Your post was very helpful.

I think bass & palpability are the weak spots of the V2s. When I switch back to the Sophia 2's, the first thing that hits me is the character of the bass and the dynamics. The V2 *is* wooly by comparison, but not enough to keep me from enjoying it, especially with its overall coherence.

It took me a while to warm up to the V2s as I normally do prefer a more forward presentation. I like the Wilson house sound in this regard, and really prefer the dynamics on the Wilsons, but that being said, if I had to choose between the Sophia 2 and the V2 I now think I would prefer the V2. I can listen without fatigue - at any volume level, and feel I'm hearing more information - even though they are colored (I agree with you on this). Pop recordings that are etched and painful on the Wilsons are enjoyable on the Magicos. I really think the Wilsons have a upper mid 'hump' that, while exciting, hurts.

I am also curious about trying different amps. TAS' review of the V2s claimed they needed 250-300 watts to sing and my XA 100.5's aren't less than this.

I had ruled out the V3s because my dealer doesn't have a pair that I could audition in my room and I don't want to take a chance (different tweeter, too many 'meh' reviews compared to the V2s). I could easily imagine that the dedicated midrange would outperform the V2 and that the extra bass weight would go a long way, but for all I know there'd be too much bass for my room (14x25x8).

I still have very high hopes for the Sasha. We'll see what happens in the upcoming week. I'm hoping to get a home audition at some point.
Madfloyd, may I ask how do you set up your Sophia 2's and Magico V2's in your home? Do you put them next to each other or do you put one pair aside when you hear the other pair?
Initially I moved the Sophia 2's out of the room when I got the V2s, but as I still use the Sophia 2's for movies, I now keep them tucked in the front corners.

When I watch a movie, I move the V2s off to the sides.

Neither is ideal, but more of a pita than an adverse affect on performance.

Sorry to bring back a dead thread but I was curious if you ever made it out to hear the Sasha? If so what did you think of it?
I did. I've also heard the V3.

The Sasha is one heck of an impressive speaker in the right environment. I've heard it in 5 different setups, PLUS my own (had a home audition).

I've never heard such a dynamic speaker. It does well with pretty much every type of music, but is very system and room dependant. It overwhelmed my room unfortunately (14 x 25 x 7.5 sealed) and shook my entire house with it's subwoofer-like low frequency extension.

I loved the midrange resolution. Not so much 'lush' like, say, the magico, but more textured. Piano had weigh, sparkle and attack. However, in my system the very exteneded high frequencies were alaso a problem - sibilence was painful.

My room is still a challenge. I need more bass traps. I'm still thinking of ways I can make the Sasha work, they're that good.
That is interesting. My room is smaller - 14 x 19 - and I have absolutely no bass issues with Sasha. My room is fully treated though.

You have to give the HF driver at least 300-400h to properly burn in. If you still find that there is still too much treble energy, you may open the 'crossover' compartment at the back of the speaker, and attenuate the tweeter by changing the resistors. You need to ask you dealer for assistance here.

Here are some of the resistors values I got from Jerron at Wilson Audio:


+.5 dB = (2 x 1.0 ohm)
-.5dB = (2 x 2.1 ohm)


+.5dB = (2 x 2.75)
-.5dB = (2 x 3.75)

You may opt for 0,5dB boost at midrange freq and -0.5dB cut at high freq.

I was to do it myself, but the tweeter somehow settled now and I do not feel it is necessary any longer.
Do you think this modification to the Sasha would effect resale value? Would it not be better to try to modify the sound through placement and room treatments? Or even cables?
Not at all. Sasha crossover is user adjustable. IMO it is just another great feature if this design. You may try different resistors, and then revert back to stock if you like. It is like changing fuses.

See the images I posted in this thread:
Thanks Elberoth2,
I though it involved soldering and real alteration. It sounds more like a plug in/replacement. Nice photos on your link.

Interesting to hear that the tweeter settled. I'm pretty sure the pair I demoed had more than 400 hours as the dealer has had them for a few months. The dealer has ordered some resisters to try attenuating the low frequencies. I'll ask about the high frequencies as well.

My room is treated, but more relevant to my issue, it is soundproofed. Between a concrete floor and soundproofed walls/ceiling, the bass doesn't have anywhere to go. I have some RealTrap traps in some of the corners (not all corners mind you).

The difference in low frequency extension between the Sophia and the Sasha is huge though.

I've just ordered RealTraps latest product - 'MegaTrap'

I ordered 10 of these, and it's going to take some re-working of my room to get these into the corners. If that doesn't do the trick, probably nothing will, well apart from the resistors perhaps.

Elberoth2, what is the performance of your room like with regard to bass leakage etc?

Just saw pics of your room - very nice! How high is the ceiling? It looks very high and I'm guessing your room has a lot more cubic space than mine...
Nevermind, just finished reading the entire thread you provided the link to.

There is no similarities between our rooms. :-)
Hi Madfloyd,
Does it mean you have finally settled on the Sasha?

I wonder what your eventual outcome was, of the V2 that you said was more enjoyable although being "colored" and less dynamic.

I am looking at picking up a pair of V2 for my small room of 10' x 18' x 8'. Wilson will be too "exciting" i guess.
Best regards.
Yes, I settled on the Sasha.

I think the V2s will do nicely in your size room.
Shakeydeal good name for you.
Sophia/Sasha is great if you like bloated bass. The V2 creams wilsons.and lets face it, if you want to hear what is playing, go V2. if you want to feel like you cant figure out what is wrong with your system, go wilson.