The New Magico S3 Mk II Loudspeaker

Under the mistaken impression that I had covered all the new cables, accessories, and $20,000/pair-and-up speakers in the Venetian—save for one cable company whose rep was deeply engaged both times I visited the room and one speaker company whose blare into the hallway discouraged me from visiting—I invited our own Jana Dagdagan and her video camera to join me as I indulged in auditioning the two rooms populated by Magico loudspeakers. I'm glad I did, because I not only heard some great sound, but also discovered a passive display of the brand new Magico S3 Mk II ($28,000/pair in M-Cast textured powder coat finish).

The S3 Mk II completes Magico's S series, which is topped by the S7 ($58,000/pair). The speaker uses a diamond-coated beryllium-diaphragm tweeter, graphene carbon midrange, and the company's most advanced 9" bass drivers, which are made of the same material. Tweeter and midrange have separate sub-enclosures. The cabinet is formed from a single piece of aluminum, and has a convex aluminum top plate and four-point outrigger support base. Magico claims 88dB sensitivity, 4 ohms impedance, and a frequency response of 24Hz–50kHz. Each loudspeaker weighs 170 lb.

I took no notes on the two active Magico systems—my observations, if not too long for posting, may appear on one of Jana's videos—but what I can tell you is that both Magico's M3 loudspeaker ($84,600/pair, accompanied by Constellation electronics, Critical Mass QXK rack, and MIT cabling) and S7 M-Coat White loudspeaker ($64,000/pair, accompanied by Soulution electronics, a Critical Mass QXK rack, and Kubala-Sosna Elation and Realization cabling) sounded absolutely solid, full-range, and musical. Their presentation is distinctively different from all the Wilson loudspeakers I heard, which is where personal preference comes into play. When we copied and played 24/96 files of the Seattle Symphony's live performance of the final two tracks of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in the Magico S7/Soulution room, we all sat in awe at the presentation's absolute top-to-bottom control and musicality. As in my own reference system—Wilson/dCS/Pass/Grand Prix/Nordost—the accomplishment of recording engineer Dmitry Lipay sounded absolutely convincing, and the Seattle Symphony's playing superb. This is a major wow recording.

In terms of overall tonal balance, top-to-bottom, as well as coherence, these two Magico rooms were as solidly musical and satisfying as the two larger rooms in the Mirage where I enjoyed Wilson Alexx loudspeakers with, in one case, dCS and D'Agostino electronics and, in the other, Nagra. (Jon Iverson has blogged his experience with Jake Shimabukuro in the these rooms.) I only wish I had listened to the same tracks in all three. Then again, given how different the room dimensions, acoustics, and setup particulars were, I'm not convinced that anything I could have said would have held much water in absolute terms. (People who pretend that show reports are reviews are pedaling fiction.) So I'll simply note that both Wilson systems had a wetter, more glistening top, which is consistent with my experience of the Wilson Alexias that I use in my reference system, my other experiences with Wilson models issued in the last few years, and any number of Magico auditions.

Allen Fant's picture

Great coverage, as always, JVS.
Happy Listening!