MAGICO’S NEW A3 LOUDSPEAKERS WORTH THE WAIT
Few people outside of Magico have been lucky enough to see and hear Magico's newest and most affordable loudspeaker, the A3. I consider myself very fortunate to have been invited to the world premier held at high-end hi-fi emporium, KJ West One in Marylebone, England recently.
Even though the A3 represents the entry-level for Magico speakers, a pair still commands an investment of NZ $16,995 RRP.
Should you want to upgrade from the A3 at some point, you’d best be ready to part with around $50,000.
Introduced at the invitation-only world premiere to a small band of journalists by Magico's CEO Alon Wolf, after some formalities and the introduction, the evening moved on to a listening session for customers and enthusiasts in attendance.
As you would expect at this price point, they sounded great. Of particular interest is that the A3s still manage to sound like Magico speakers.
So, what does it take to build speakers that Magico are still proud of, but cost a third less than their next full-range loudspeakers?
The enclosure is constructed by a full CNC rig that machines the 0.5-inch thick 6068 T6 aircraft-grade aluminium plates. Materially, this is the same as used in the Q-series. However, the new CNC process is part of what enables Magico to be able to produce the A3 at a keener price than the rest of the line.
This braced, complex internal structure is finished externally with an elegant brushed anodised “skin.” Each speaker weighs in at about 50ks.
It’s no surprise that the first available stock apparently sold out in 2 days. Magico said that they are well on their way to their year-end sales target of 1000 units.
The A3 sports a three-way driver design capable of going as low as 22Hz and extending itself to just about 50 kHz.
The A3 brings together a bevy of technologies unheard of at its price point. A fully braced and anodised aluminium enclosure, Beryllium tweeter, carbon Nanographene cones, Neodymium-based motor systems and the company’s renowned elliptical crossover.
Firstly, up top is a 28 mm dome tweeter that sports a pure Beryllium diaphragm. A custom Neodymium motor system is encased in an improved back chamber. Magico's latest generation damping materials has also lowered distortion.
Furthermore, according to Magico, there’s higher power handling, massive dynamic capabilities, and extended linear voice coil movement.
The midrange driver is equipped with a carbon fibre cone coated with XG Nanographene. Additionally, overhung Neodymium-based motor systems incorporate extra-large magnets to ensure a stabilised magnetic field in the 75-mm pure titanium voice coils of both the midrange and bass drivers.
Lastly, the low end is handled by two 7-inch woofers making use of Magico’s Nano-Tec cones.
All four drivers in the A3 are acoustically integrated using Magico’s proprietary Elliptical Symmetry Crossover topology. This utilises state-of-the-art components from Mundorf of Germany.
The 3-way network features a 24db per octave Linkwitz-Riley filter that maximises frequency bandwidth while preserving phase linearity and minimising intermodulation distortion.
Magico says much of the design and tech know-how of the A3 owes a great deal to stablemates, the S3, M3, and Q3.
Magico has allowed much of its premium range technology and lessons learned to trickle-down to a more accessible price point.
As you would expect, the new model won't offer everything found in those higher-end models. For instance, the Beryllium tweeter might be based on the 28mm dome created for the M project, but the A-series lacks the special diamond deposit covering.
Graphene is used in the A3 but not to the extent that it is used on the M and the S series.
Where the Q series is bead blasted with hard anodizing, the same finish could not be achieved for the A series. The finish on the Q range is probably more expensive than A3s actually cost to manufacture!
However, the A3 still gets the same metal, it’s anodised, but brushed rather than bead blasted. The result is still an attractive speaker.
Before the listening sessions, Wolf stressed that the system used to demonstrate the Magico A3 was “overkill.” Still, it was impressive nonetheless.
The system included Dan D’Agostino pre/power amps and a full rack of DCS gear including CD transport and streamer.
What followed was a truly impressive audio presentation and demonstration. It was as if I was only hearing the drivers themselves as there no audible colouration coming from the hand-bolted aluminium cabinets.
This is, of course, what Magico aims for. Wolf stated that, as a loudspeaker is not a musical instrument then it should be built as rigid as possible.
As the loudspeaker’s job is to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy, any loss at this point needs to be minimal. The only thing that should move in a loudspeaker is the driver cones.
Nothing else should move. This means the frames of the cones have to be attached to an apparatus that is completely still, i.e., extremely stiff.
Additionally, they need to be damped so that there are no extraneous vibrations. Aluminium ticks all the boxes as it’s an extremely stiff material that is very easily damped.
Apparently, Alon Wolf’s perfect material would be titanium, but the end product's price would be eye-watering!
With a rendition of part of Igor Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ (I didn’t get which performance), the attack and decay of the notes were presented naturally.
Making me sit up and listen, the orchestration had room to breathe. The wood, reed and brass sections came through naturally, as they layered with percussion and strings it was jaw-droppingly gorgeous to hear.
Are they the prettiest, most eye-catching speakers available? Not in my opinion. Unless you knew the brand and construction, I very much doubt that anyone could guess the price. But this is more the point. All the technical know-how and years of R&D has created a 21st-century loudspeaker fit for the 21st century.
Following Henry Ford’s colour options, you can order them in Black, or Black, with a brushed finish.
Magico's A3 loudspeakers were originally expected towards the end of February, however due to unprecedented global demand they are expected in New Zealand in April. They'll be available for NZ $16,995 RRP.
For more information visit Magico.
StereoNET's Bass playing gadget junkie and UK correspondent has captained the GadgetyNews good ship for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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