We own the YG Carmel. I have heard many of the Magicos, but not the S1. My wife picked out the Carmels. They are wonderful speakers. Every Magico I have heard I loved.
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Wow. Tough choice and two great speakers. I will say tough, if it were me I wouldn't buy either without first listening to Magico's own A3, Joseph Audio Perspectives, Vandy Quattros, or ProAc D48s.
On a personal note, on a very serendipitous day at a NYC audio show I got to hear both the Perspectives and Carmels back to back as they were showing in adjacent rooms. Having just heard Satchmo's "Saint James Infirmary" in the JA room I strolled into the YG room just as they started playing "Saint James Infirmary!" What are the odds? Seriously!!! Of course there were differences in electronics, recording, etc., but on that day there was no doubt the Perspectives were more dynamic, transparent, and just sounded more honest and real. By comparison, although sounding good on an absolute level, the Carmels sounded relatively flat and lifeless compared to what I heard in the JA room. Had I been offered either speaker at the same price that day, no question I would've walked out with the JAs. I'd encourage you to read the Stereophile reviews of both speakers as Atkinson did both reviews. To be sure, neither speaker is perfect, but they are very different. I'll just end with a quote from the S'phile measurements section -- "The Carmel 2 maximizes low-frequency transparency and articulation at the expense of body to its sound." That echoes what I heard that day in NYC. Anyway, FWIW and best of luck in your search.
@soix . Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I hadn’t been considering other speakers,partly because the looks of the Carmels and S1 were pleasing to my girlfriend and we spend significant time listening to music. I will now look at the other speakers you’ve mentioned and feel it will be most helpful in feeling confident going forward. Cheers ! Pete