Magical Magico Midrange

Ever since blogging about the Magico V3 loudspeaker a few years back, and then interviewing Magico's Alon Wolf for a Stereophile feature, I've been eager to hear every sonic and technological advance that Alon and his team have come up with. Thus I made my way to the huge Magico suite on the Venetian's 35th floor—whose exquisite lighting and overall aesthetic were on another plane from most of the exhibits below it—where Magico was unveiling the much-anticipated Magico Q5 ($54,000/pair), which has a heroically constructed all-aluminum enclosure.

With Alon playing tracks sourced from Paul Stubblebine's Tape Project through a custom-built, state-of-the-art Matan server and Pacific Microsonics DAC; Japanese-made Technical Brain TBP-Zero monoblocks (price not set, and not yet available in the US); and MIT Oracle MAX cabling (speaker cables $34,500 for an 8' pair, interconnects $10,900 for 1.5 meter pair, and Z-cord III power cables $1100 each), the midrange was to die for. To die for. It truly was the kind of midrange you'd want to accompany you on your way to heaven. Perhaps due to room interactions, however, there was also too much of it, which on classical recordings made for too great a contrast with the top octave. I look forward to hearing the Q5 in another setting and system configuration. And JA tells me that Mikey Fremer is scheduled to review the Q5 for Stereophile

John Z.'s picture

Also, you can often find speakers at less than retail; show specials or demo units, for example. In addition, there are speakers on the used market; if I could not afford these new, then I might be able to buy them in about 5 years at half price...

Nathan's picture

I'm glad that people are pushing the envelope. I'm sure it costs a lot of $ to develop small runs of these speakers, and it takes passion and skill to produce new technologies. I don't know why people complain about the prices. I can't afford these, but that's no reason to rip on them. People like Wolf who push the boundaries, eventually cause the budget components to increase in quality in the long run; technology filters down, and expectations continue to rise.Also, its always to see a review where good and bad are mentioned.

stu gatz's picture

You'd think for that kind of money, the speakers would come with cables.

WDW's picture

I have no objection to hearing about these mega speakers...have to live vicariously at those prices but I do object to the general dotting on these few brands. For example, one of the most highly anticipated product introduction at this CES is certainly the new Maganplanar 1.7. This company rarely renews its product line and is so musical and of such great value that this new revised 1.6 should have been keenly reported by Stereophile but apparently not so. Lots of slavish dotting on these mega-brands. I love high-end audio but to be frank, these reporters can't really rub two nickels together while freely expounding on products that only a few select can enjoy and they, like most of us, cannot afford.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Do you mean the Magnepan 1.7? Not all blog postings are up. You'll see some words about it when JA finishes posting sometime on Tuesday, January 12.

WDW's picture

absolutely....the new maggies are the greatest news of all...we can all wait to read if the angels truly can truly dance on the head of a pin (tubed or solid state, we'll just have to wait for that cloud of smoke)but until that time you little darlings should get real.Love and KudosWDW

bobvin's picture

Somehow I think the megabuck wire guys have gone over the top with the idea some people percieve high price equates to 'much better'. And if you're in this high-end hobby with deep pockets, and you perceive these megabuck wires to be the greatest thing in terms of realizm, PLEASE do not buy them and fuel these mfg's confidence in their capabilities. When will someone develop a simple A/B/(c) switch for these ulta-wires? If all the wires in comparison are hooked to the switch, they'll all suffer equally from the switch's artifacts (accepting the premise there will be artifacts?) so we can actually compare instantly. Since aural memory sucks the only real comparison must be 2 cents

nunh's picture

I would love to hear these! Love their look!I hope the statement and high end continues to push the envelope to bring better sound to the market. Regardless of price (even though I will probably never be able to afford these :( ).

bob D. Stuckiez's picture

Before buying one of these, think of the poor injured children in Haiti and see if you can see it in your heart to throw a c-note their way. Ciao, Bob

bwright's picture

I was at CES, and also spent time in the Magico room - Jason's assessment is spot on. The treble, midband and upper bass was insanely well integrated. I have never heard better. I didn't notice any separation or dominance of drivers, as the sound was completely seamless. However, they did seem to be missing the lower bass, which could have been the recording, the prominent midrange, or the lack of a capable subwoofer. It wasn't that the lower bass was more accurate in some sense - it just wasn't there. A bit like listening to the greatest standmount speakers you have ever heard. You'd have to literally hear them to understand, because despite all that, you'd soon realize this is an incredible achievement in speaker technology, as I did. If I had the money, I would gladly buy the Q5s as a desert island first choice (along with a pair of REL B1s).