MAGICO S5 MkII - Truly less is more. It’s the clearest definition of ‘non-sound’ I’ve ever experience. - HIFI CRITIC "AUDIO EXCELLENCE GOLD AWARD"

JON HONEYBALL'S MAGICO S5 MkII conclusion:
The problem with moving the state of the art forward is that it is a voyage of discovery, hearing entirely new instruments, and with reproduced acoustics becoming clearer than before. Things start to get quite spooky on modern pop or jazz music, where the individual acoustics around each instrument or vocal part are laid bare. This is especially true when effects like reverb are separately applied to each instrument in the mix phase of a production. 

Hearing ‘more’ can actually be quite disturbing, as you realise that the sound space around one instrument is neither the same size nor in the same context as the sound space around another. And yet they are overlapping in the physical space in front of you. This can be quite disconcerting, when the loudspeaker resolution allows for such easy and stress-free clarity. 

This is what has happened in the move to the S5 MkII speaker from the S5. The improvement in clarity has enabled a precision of analytical listening to the soundstage presentation, to the point that any production falsification is laid bare. It’s like looking at a high resolution photo only to discover that you can actually see each brick – and discern the crumbling mortar between each layer.

This is what the S5 MkII does. It goes deeper into a soundstage, and defines it more cleanly than anything I have ever heard, including the finest ribbons and electrostatics. This has come about because of Magico’s obsession with the computer modelling and analysis of vibration and energy flow within the speaker, to a level that seems to be streets ahead of anyone else. 

This is not an overly etched sound, brought on by a slightly rising frequency response adding a “two lumps of sugar in your tea” artificial sweetness. This is the absence of smear, of trapped delayed noise, and of resonance. 

The combination of S5 MkII/500DR clearly sets a new high level for every aspect of power amp/speaker performance. And it’s what it doesn’t do which is so significant. Truly less is more. It’s the clearest definition of ‘non-sound’ I’ve ever experience.
….. Jon Honeyball