Scott Walker–Soulution–Magico

In their second room, Anaheim retailer Scott Walker Audio was showing Magico's Q3 floorstander ($38,950/pair) with the Soulution 700 monoblock amplifiers, hooked with Synergistic's cumbersome spaced-conductor speaker cable. Source was a Soulution 540 SACD player and a Soulution 700-series preamp. The Q3 was launched at the 2011 CES. A smaller derivative of the Q that Michael Fremer positively reviewed for Stereophile in November 2010, the Q3 uses the same proprietary beryllium-dome tweeter as the Q5 in the same type of space-frame enclosure, with a 6" Nano-tec midrange unit. The lower woofers roll off earlier than the upper one, to optimize the crossover to the midrange unit. Frequency response is specified as 20Hz–50kHz, sensitivity as 90dB, and impedance as 5 ohms.

The sound in this room was tight in the bass yet without losing warmth, with an uncolored, detailed midrange, and smooth, clean highs. Given that the Soulution and Magico products have similar sonic signatures that can sometimes be too much of a good thing, I was surprised by how well-integrated this system sounded. Then I saw the Synergistic ART Acoustic bowls on the walls (see next story) and the Synergistic Tranquility Bases under the electronics (see previous story). To paraphrase Bob Dylan, something is going on here, Mr. Atkinson, and you don't know what it is.