More Magico/Luxman

For two years now, pandemic-related supply-chain issues have racked (but not wrecked) the high-end industry. Things still aren't back to normal, and sometimes planned product launches have to be pushed back. Today, when I visited the room featuring Magico loudpeakers and Luxman electronics—see KM's report here—I found out we'll have to wait just a little longer for the next Magico speaker, but I can't imagine that anyone was disappointed when the company's Peter Mackay brought the M6s ($185,000/pair) to AXPONA. A known quantity they may be—the product was introduced five years ago—but I was whistling Eric Clapton's "Hello Old Friend" as soon as I saw them.

The Magicos were set up in a large room chockablock with gorgeous Luxman gear, including two just-launched M-10X class-AB stereo amplifiers ($19,995 each) switched to mono, each powering one M6 with a monstrous 1200W. The preamp was a Luxman C-900u ($15,995). To tame room reflections, the Magico team had placed striking sound-shaping panels from Connecticut's RealTraps in strategic places.

It's true that jazz chanteuse Trijntje Oosterhuis sounded smooth and exquisitely spiced with sweetness when she crooned "Lady in My Life," but I wanted fireworks ... and I got them when Mackay played first a Brian Bromberg solo bass track ("My Bass"), and then an unnamed live recording of Toto drummer Simon Phillips. The sound pressure changes in the large room were felt more than heard, but they came as a package alongside topnotch dynamics, slam and impact, and probably the best start-stop speeds I've heard from any speaker in my lifetime. It's hard (but fun) to imagine that the $750,000/pair Magico M9, which I've sadly never auditioned, is several orders of magnitude better than the M6.

Coda: Even at AXPONA, I've heard people scoff at cost-no-object components, as if the pursuit of perfection is somehow gauche or foolish or disreputable. Me, I find it thrilling that some designers and manufacturers, Magico included, are aiming for the most ambitious of peaks. If their best efforts are crazy, well, it's the kind of crazy I like, and it's one reason why I'll always have a soft spot for this industry.