Thoughts about the Magico A3, Revel Salon2/ Studio2

Just curious to find out what are the thoughts of the Magico A3 ? I do not have the opportunity of listening to the pair as the dealer is in another state but it maybe worth heading upstate to audition them.

So far, I have listened to the Revel Salon 2s that I really like. The Revel sounded very extremely neutral, detailed and are easy to position. As much as they are good, they seemed pretty dated judging that they are over 10 years old but that being said, there are not many speakers like it these days.

Just wanted to find out what the overall characteristics of the A3 are, pros and cons. 
I don’t know your tastes, but I generally have a lot fewer nits to pick with Revel than Magico.

To my ears, they are more neutral, and can play a variety of music at a variety of levels.

Magico’s tend to always have something about them which is accentuated which IMO kind of narrows their use.

If you really like Revel's, then maybe a better contender is Monitor Audio.


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Get the MAGICO A3s for best sound and best build quality.Matched with the best amp,preamp and cables they will sound wonderful.Or listen to the nay sayers that know nothing.MAGICO has sold over 700 pairs of A3s they must be doing something right can Revel say that i think not.Enjoy and good luck.
Karl Rubinson of Stereophilerecently visited Harman and blindly listened to the Salon2 and the F228Be, he stated they were so similar in sound that he thought they switched which speaker was which. So, if their new $10,000 sounds almost identical to their older $20,000, I would look into those savings.

I would also look at the KEF Reference or Blade lineup. 
I would wager that either Revel would have better imaging than the Magico, but Magico is more than decent.
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I haven’t heard the Salon 2 at length (it sounded spectacular at a show), but I auditioned a few lower models (e.g. Performa) and I had a long audition of the Magico A3. The Magico certainly seemed highly resolving of detail, and had nice spacious qualities. But the Revel did strike me as more even, full and neutral, a bit less colored.

FWIW, results of blind testing at Harmon of the Magico A3 against the Solon etc:

One may be inclined to say "Well, yeah, sure Harmon employees picked the Harmon model." But keep in mind it was double blind testing so they could not know which speaker they were listening to. As well, a great many non-Harmon subjects (including reviewers) have produced similar results when comparing the Revel models blind to other speakers.

Not that I’m advocating buying simply on the Harmon data, but it, along with information from Floyd Tool, is something to consider.
Calm down there. Also, Samsung only recently purchased Harman, the company is still outputting quality gear (such as the F228Be). I also don’t think Harman would like it advertised that their $20,000 flagship doesn’t sound much different than their new $10,000 speaker. Rubinson likely can’t even hear above 10kHz, so that is a factor, but measurements show they are pretty similar.
Harman’s own research says 35% of a speaker’s weighted preference comes from bass extension. Both the Salon 2 and F228Be have more bass extension than the A3, so that alone should account for a significant amount of the preference. In fact since the Salon 2s have extension down to 30hz, you could argue that might be why it’s preferred over the F228Be, even though the F228Be actually measures flatter than the Salon 2 in the mids and the highs.

If you look at the artists chosen, the one with the least warmth/bass is Diana Krall, which also had the smallest perceived difference in preference between the Revels and Magico A3. The other thing is, we know from Earl Geddes psychoacoustic studies that humans prefer speakers with a wider soundstage/dispersion for live music, and prefer narrower staging from studio music, which probably also explains why the difference in preference was widest between the most acoustic/live music vs something that's closer to a studio mix.

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seasdiamond wrote:

Both the Salon 2 and F228Be have more bass extension than the A3


The Revel F228Be is spec’d from 27 Hz - 44 KHz

The Magico A3 is spec’d at 22 Hz - 50 KHz

When I auditioned the Magico the bass sounded very deep and full, so I’m not sure where you are getting your specs.


Perhaps I'm reading the graph wrong - the F228Be's frequency graph isn't labelled like the others - but I'm not seeing a significant bass advantage over the Magico.  Also, note the kind of weird downward tilted response of the Magico noted in the measurements and by listener comments.  That seems to have been an issue as well.

Both speakers “sound power” are down ~15 dB at 20K ("listening window" on the Revel actually deviate down more then the Magico), they just, conveniently, gave the Revel graphs more smoothing, so it is harder to see (Note the Magico scale is a bit larger). I also like how they pick on some Magico “bumps, but say nothing on their own (look at the 228 tweeter at 5K). The biggest difference will be the upper midrange, the Revel is more forward, and will sound more “present”. That can also explain a preference in A/B testing but may prove fatiguing for long terms listening (i.e., the "BBC dip"). Most experience audiophiles will agree that flat FR tend to sound too bright. These speakers were design by engineers, that may be doing too much A/B testing and not enough listening ;)
There are other things to consider, JA just published his own measurements, where you can see some serious issues with the enclosure around 250Hz (you can also see it in the impedance curve). I suspect the A3, being made out of aluminum will have none of these issues. Nevertheless, two well engineered products.

Rubinson's high frequency hearing must be pretty limited at this point. I don't see how anyone could think the Salon 2 or F228BE are indistinguishable. The F228BE is a more forward speaker and clearly has more energy above 7k in the off-axis measurements.
Two great speakers.  Trouble is, at this level it really all comes down to personal preference and system synergy, because all speakers are pretty damn good at this price level.  By the way, what upstream electronics are you running and what's your room situation?  These are big variables.  Reading between the lines, it sounds to me as if you really like the Revels, but you didn't really fall in love with them to the point where you said to yourself -- I GOTTA HAVE'EM!!!  To me, at this price level, you have to be fiercely triggered to the I GOTTA HAVE'EM level, or you're just compromising.  So, while you've identified two excellent speakers, there are many others in this price range that could very well trigger that enthusiasm.  Here are some others you should definitely explore if at all possible (especially if you don't get that I GOTTA HAVE'EM response) as they all do their own wonderful things that might give you that big jolt...

Vandersteen Quattro
Joseph Audio Perspective
ProAc D48R
Usher BE10
Boenicke W11
Silverline Bolero Supreme
ATC active 40

Not to muddy the waters, but until you hear THE ONE that just knocks you back on your heels, you owe it to yourself to keep looking.  FWIW, and best of luck in your search!

I own the Magico A3's and become happier and happier with my purchase as time goes by. My dealer told me they take about 200 hrs. to break in, and he was right. The earlier hyper-detail and too forceful bass have given way to magical realism (no pun intended) and very tight, strong bass. For floorstanders, their soundstaging and "disappearing act" are magnificent, nearly equaling monitors. With the right components and cables, these are breathtaking, eminently "livable" speakers. And for the price, they are an absolute steal.
Inviticus you are clueless about revels testing procedures, why the giant grudge against them? 
seasdiamond wrote:

Rubinson's high frequency hearing must be pretty limited at this point. I don't see how anyone could think the Salon 2 or F228BE are indistinguishable. The F228BE is a more forward speaker and clearly has more energy above 7k in the off-axis measurements.

I cannot deny that my HF hearing is no longer that of a younger man. 

The issue, however, is that I found them "nearly" indistinguishable under the conditions at Harman where the listener is offered a single seat in front of a single speaker.  The off-axis differences (and other issues) make the differences between the speakers distinct when using a pair of them in stereo.  Yes, the f228Be is more forward and some may prefer that. 
IMO the Revel Salon's treble is magnificent, and even with my hearing now limited to <18khz they sound more extended than most of the competition. If there's a weak point with the Salon's (2's) it's the low sensitivity, and they seem to lack the dynamics of others including B&W and Wilson. 

BUMP, Shopping in the $10k range and found this thread. As to the Harman listening test. I would put more stock in it if I listened in mono. Recent events might have someone skeptical like myself think KR is on the HK staff what with the glowing reviews and recent conversion to the studios in his own home, but it really shows how impressive revel is in their science and results. I don't put any stock on single speaker evaluating because stereo soundstage and imaging is very high on my priorities and I can't evaluate that with a single speaker.
Having heard the salon 2 and f228 be in the same room with the same gear and the salon 2's being demos and only $1500 more thea the f228 be I picked the salon 2. The most notable differences being the salon 2's top end and the way the speakers disappear while the f228be seemed to be working to keep up at higher spl's. Still haven't got to hear the A3, but did get a little time with the contour 60 and the Dan D' gear driving them was impressive, makes me wonder how they would sound with more affordable gear.
@steve59 Didn't you own the Salon2 and the Usher at some point? How would you compare them and why did you sell them? 
i started with the revel f52 then the salon 1, surprisingly a lateral move sonically, then the salon 2 that I would have probably kept if I could have gotten decent bass from, I’ve learned since selling the salon2 that other owners had similar experience that was solved by using 500wpc or more. Without the bass extension the salon2’s sounded a bit clinical after I got used to them and the be20 dmd are more efficient. I bought them to play with and resell but having them highlighted what I wasn’t getting from the salons. Rear ported speakers do better in my room. The ushers had a wide deep but low soundstage that didn’t rise much above the speakers, imaging was sensational though. My salon2 imaged great but not anchored to the sound stage. Hard to explain but i think my bass problems affected the stage...Salons and be 20 dmd’s we’re both exciting and that usher tweeter compared well to my ears. I only sold the ushers to help finance a pair that retail 4 times the price.
@steve59 What a journey. What speakers did you end up buying after selling the Salons and the Ushers? Are you not happy with them as you're looking for another pair of speakers? 
I landed a pair of DSP8000’s upgraded to’se’ that so far have made everything else I’m listening to sound like speakers. So today I’m happy I need to send the 8k's in for service and don't know how long i'll be without so i'm looking for a pair to use while they're away, they'll either go in a 2nd or back on the market when the 8k's r back
Those look huge. Congrats on finding the speakers. I wonder how they would compare with the likes of Kii3's and Dutch&Dutch. It'll be interesting to see what you end up with for your 2nd room.
I got to hear the kii3 with their bass modules at axpona last spring and if audiophiles ever accept dsp's Into the club I expect them to be keepers