Ultimate Classical Speaker. Magico Q5, Rockport...


I'm considering buying a new "last" speaker (if that ever exists in this hobby). I do like all types of music but my preference is for classical music especially Classic piano plays (eg. Chopin Ballade nr.1 by Horowitz or Rubinstein is as good as it gets for me) and am looking for a speaker that is able to reproduce that as accurate as possible.

A few speaker comes to mind but they all have their limitations (haven't heard them all since that's always easy) when looking at feedback on the various forums.

- Magico Q5 (Very true to source, believe great on piano but bass hasn't got a big slam. Doubt if it can produce the intensity/large scale in a piano concert in the bass.

- Rockport Altair. Stunning in the low end but "musically" voiced. Not sure if it's true on piano?

- Any large speaker with ceramic drivers. Good on classical, but can't play them very loud and generally the ceramic driver don't give the slam a conventional woofer can do.

- Hansen bigger models??

- YG Acoustic?

I own a pair of Hansen Prince and have owed the Marten Design Coltrane in the past. Greatly like the speaker but it's not full scale. Also the tweeter isn't as refined as for instance a diamond tweeter.

Would be nice to get opinions from people here and recommendations about other speakers or the speakers mentioned above since I haven't heard them myself with classical piano.

Many thanks
To project an aural image of a piano requires large scale transducers in a solid and weighty cabinet. A huge, airy sound-stage coupled with well voiced and tonally correct loudspeaker/cabinet interface also comes to mind.

I have always enjoyed classical music on the large Tannoys. Although, not the last word in deep, tight bass, they do project music with a convincing scale, great separation and clarity. In a large domestic space they can reproduce a live piano with great realism. IMHO (and no! I am not affiliated in any way with Tannoy products)
The Tannoys are a great suggestion.

Rockports are better than the Magicos, for sure.

There are a few other good choices, but I would bet a lot of money that Magico won't be the last speaker you'll ever own unless you are in your 80's.
Just got MAGICO Q3 they will last me to 100.
If you are not 97 or more I'll bet they don't......
Classical piano is my reference, in addition to violin sonatas and concertos. I used to this orchestral works were the hardest to reproduce, but it is definitely piano and violin.

The speaker is important, but just half the equation. One can have the sense of tonality and weight, but the "aahhhhh..." factor is in the decay. If you have a system that does decay from an acoustic instrument into the venue, that is not something very common. As you listen to certain pianists, they maximize the decay effect with the speed and phrasing. Peter Takacs (Beethoven) and Stephen Osborne come to mind. Some may find them dull if their system does not properly reproduce the effect. Decay is not necessarily something I would ascribe to Horowitz, who is more about the attack of the note, joy, and the ability to always find something new in a piece.

I have a video under my system page of Osborne doing Rachmaninov. Interestingly, while the little iPhone speaker did pick-up the weight and tonality, it didn't really pick-up the decay.
Marten Coltrane not full scale? I've owned it, and it most certainly is full scale in a reasonably sized room. Accuton diamond tweeter is standard in the Marten Coltrane, what happened to yours?
I too listen to a lot of classical music, and recordings that feature/include the piano and/or harpsichord are at the forefront of my interest. I recommend you audition Verity speakers. In my experience, the only conventional multi driver speaker that I have heard that betters my Verity Amadis for piano is the considerably more expensive Vandersteen 7. Both of those speakers are excellent for all music genres.

Best Regards,
What do you have thats so great!!
Hi Psag,

Although I enjoyed my Marten Coltrane a lot however the amount of air the speaker was moving just wasn't enough in my room. Liked the speaker a lot though (as well as design/build quality). The Coltrane has indeed a diamond tweeter which is very refined. That I meant was that I like the Hansen Prince a lot, but it's hasn't got the diamond tweeter which I enjoyed so much in my previous Coltrane.
For many classical musicians, the two halves of the equation are a) horn speakers b) driven by tube electronics. There are many good choices within those parameters. Key reasons are the dynamics, on the soft end as well as the loud; the resolution of many of the subtleties of timbre in classical music; and the efficiency of the horns means much more low level detail is retained, also very important for classical. If you are into piano music, you will also appreciate the fast transient response.
4musica, Steven, knows quality sound. The speakers he mentions are fine speakers indeed, more truth from those speakers than from any M-brand model ever made other than possibly the huge horn.
IME for classical and especially to reproduce a 9' grand piano, it helps if the speakers energize the room in a manner similar to the piano. A dipole helps, but an omnidirectional gets it spooky right, of course with the other characteristics mentioned already--low level resolution, dynamics that can jump, truly full range, etc.

For example, the MBL Radialstrahler 101E Mk.II seems like a good candidate, especially when you consider this passage in Michael Fremer's review:
With all of these recordings, the MBLs produced as believable a rendering of the sound of a solo piano as you're likely to hear from any speaker, whether the instrument was recorded in a reverberant church (Hegedüs, Artymiw) or the drier-sounding Henry Wood Hall in South London (Lill). I played them at the approximate SPLs I hear from my seat in the center of the 20th row of Avery Fisher Hall …

The upper end Wilsons would also really do this well. I've heard orchestral and piano on the Maxx 3's, Alexandria X-2s, and XLFs. Fremer's review also compares the Radialstrahlers to his newly delivered Maxx 3's, which also did piano well in slightly different ways.

You may also want to consider Magneplanar 20.7s augmented by a pair of JL subwoofers to fully flesh out the slam and bottom octave. I've heard the 20.1s with a pair of Fathom F212s and they were also excellent. The lower price leaves more resources for top-rate cables and electronics, and the separate subs make it easier to place the 20.7s for best imaging and the subs for best bass. However, they can also be positioned right alongside the 20.7s for maximum phase coherence, which is how I heard them set up.

The large radiating surfaces of the Radialstrahlers and Maggie 20.7s definitely help capture the presentations of orchestras and grand pianos, but they also appropriately scale down for small acoustic ensembles.
I'd put AudioMachina Maestro and Tidal Agoria on your audition list.
Venture Grand Ultimate MkII?
The Verity are more “more true” than the M-brand?? The Verity measure so poorly that even the politically minded, JA of Stereophile, suggested that “more than usually, a home audition will be essential before a final purchase decision is made”. You can say many things about the Verity, and other speakers you mentioned and prefer, truth Is not one of them. On the other end, Magico S5 performance are flawless and has the lowest THD ever measured by Soundstage, (and bunch of other magazines all over the world). Like it or not the “M-brand”, which I bet you never heard, or simply can’t afford (your passionate hatred suggest such conditions) is a superior loudspeaker to just about anything on the market today.

Congratulation on your Q3. How do you like them in comparison to you Mini?
The KEF Blade is the one I am anxious to hear. I like the idea on a huge sweet spot.