MAGICO A3 floorstand speakers w grills 22Hz-50kHz 88dB 4ohm

MA 06 SF A3
NZ$ 24,195.00 pr (incl. GST)
Magico

We create industrial “works of art” that simply out-perform any custom or commercially available speaker system in the world.

New

YOU SAY YOU WANT "A" REVOLUTION - Through Dedication. Passion. Knowledge. 
We welcome you to the impossible made possible. Magico is proud to introduce the new A3. At long last a Magico loudspeaker is now obtainable for a wider audience; the A3 combines a bevy of Magico technologies unheard-of at its price point. A fully braced anodized aluminum enclosure, beryllium tweeter, carbon Nanographene cones, neodymium based motor systems and our renowned elliptical symmetry crossover,

"THE A3 IS THE IMPOSSIBLE MADE POSSIBLE". 

Alon Wolf is delivering a fully braced and anodised aluminium enclosure, beryllium tweeter, carbon Nanographene (Nono-Tec) cones etc. Dive into the full in-depth info below under "Read More" section...

We are very excited to introduce the new A3 loudspeaker which sets the stage for a new entry level series of product offerings from Magico. The inspiration for the new A3 was driven by the engineering challenge to create a full range loudspeaker that incorporates similar design philosophies found in higher-end Magico products at a new entry level category that is accessible to a wider audience of music enthusiasts. 

"Machined into the metal of every Magico loudspeaker is a subtle, yet permanent, “M”. Our symbol is a simple reminder to the owner of a Magico product that they have purchased a product born of an uncompromised, unapologetic pursuit of performance excellence. The standards we have set for a product bearing our M logo are not without consequence. The push forward into the development of new, exotic, costly technologies and materials has meant that these products are accessible only to a fortunate few. While we have long wanted to bring a more affordable product to the market, and despite constant experimentation and testing of various methods for reducing costs to achieve this goal, the results have always fallen short of earning the Magico M engraving.  

Magico is proud to launch the A series. At long last a Magico loudspeaker obtainable for a wider audience; 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 our renowned elliptical crossover, the A3 is the impossible made possible.

"Hi Terry, I think it's about time to give you some feedback on my Magico A3 and Vicoustic products, The Magico A3s have had 120 hours burn-in -time so far, the mid and high are starting to open up, but I think the lower end still required more time but i am really happy with the result. (needs to allow 300hrs)  Happy to report they work beautifully with my Vitus SAI-025 integrated amp and Accustic arts CD player, its transparent and present great timing, i can't believe the incredible bass coming out of those little 7 inch drivers, image is also great too, the speakers easily disappear, iI happily sit there listening for hours and hours......
Regarding Vicoustic acoustic treatment, I have installed the 8 x SBE -Super Bass Extreme traps in front corners, 10x DC2 diffuser on the front wall and 8x DC2 diffusers on the ceiling. The muddy lower end seems to have cleared up dramatically, and I notice some fine details on bass note that Ive never heard before, the lower end is more in time with the mid and high which results in an intact presentation. Ive also notice my room also sounds a lot "bigger" then before, especially on classical music, now I can clearly pick up the distant between the violin in front and cello at the back, is wonderful!"….. Martin

High Frequency driver 
Extended high frequencies are provided by a newly designed Magico pure beryllium-diaphragm tweeter with an optimised 28-mm dome surface based on the fundamental design platform and geometry of the M-Project tweeter. 

The customised neodymium motor system is encased in an improved back chamber with our latest generation damping materials that facilitate ultra-low distortion, higher power handling, massive dynamic capabilities and extended linear voice coil movement. 

Midrange Frequency driver 
The newly developed 6-inch midrange employs a Multi-Wall carbon fibre cone with a layer of XG Nanographene, providing optimal stiffness to weight ratios and an ideal damping factor. 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.

Low Frequency Drivers 
Dual 7-inch woofers incorporate a version of the new Gen 8 Magico Nano-Tec cone. The same properties and materials that allow for the proper combination of stiffness, mass and damping are carried through to the lowest frequencies. The chassis has also been simulated and tested for the optimal combination of stiffness and damping. Minimum acoustical impact is achieved through reducing vibration modes while maximising air flow. A new overhung neodymium (N48) based motor system anchors the low frequency reproducers to accomplish a super stabilised magnetic field. A pure Titanium, 75mm voice coils are consistent with the technology utilised through the midrange. The A3 Midrange and Low frequency drivers were optimised for minimal music related distortions in its band pass, in both the frequency and time domains using latest state of the art FEA simulation of acoustical, mechanical, electromagnetic and thermal behaviour. All of this is now being done on a single platform, allowing Magico to take the next step in performance optimisation.  

Crossover 
All four drivers in the A3 are acoustically integrated using Magico’s proprietary Elliptical Symmetry Crossover topology that 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.   

Enclosure 
The A3’s massive sealed-enclosure is, like all Magicos, a tour-de-force of engineering. The enclosure is made entirely from 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminium, identical materially to the enclosure developed for the Q Series. This braced, complex internal structure is finished externally with an elegant brushed anodised “skin”.  The A3 enclosure is best considered as a simplified Q Series design, with the same materials, the same craftsmanship, and the same attention to design and build detail.  A Magico The A3 is in design, execution and performance a Magico. Unapologetic. Uncompromising.  

The Magico A3 - the impossible made possible. 

Features

Specifications

Reviews

Testimonials

Videos

Features

High Frequency driver 
Extended high frequencies are provided by a newly designed Magico pure beryllium-diaphragm tweeter with an optimised 28-mm dome surface based on the fundamental design platform and geometry of the M-Project tweeter. 
The customised neodymium motor system is encased in an improved back chamber with our latest generation damping materials that facilitate ultra-low distortion, higher power handling, massive dynamic capabilities and extended linear voice coil movement. 

Midrange Frequency driver 
The newly developed 6-inch midrange employs a Multi-Wall carbon fibre cone with a layer of XG Nanographene, providing optimal stiffness to weight ratios and an ideal damping factor. 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.

Low Frequency Drivers 
2x Dual 7-inch woofers incorporate a version of the new Gen 8 Magico Nano-Tec cone. The same properties and materials that allow for the proper combination of stiffness, mass and damping are carried through to the lowest frequencies. The chassis has also been simulated and tested for the optimal combination of stiffness and damping. Minimum acoustical impact is achieved through reducing vibration modes while maximising air flow. A new overhung neodymium (N48) based motor system anchors the low frequency reproducers to accomplish a super stabilised magnetic field. A pure Titanium, 75mm voice coils are consistent with the technology utilised through the midrange. The A3 Midrange and Low frequency drivers were optimised for minimal music related distortions in its band pass, in both the frequency and time domains using latest state of the art FEA simulation of acoustical, mechanical, electromagnetic and thermal behaviour. All of this is now being done on a single platform, allowing Magico to take the next step in performance optimisation.  

Crossover 
All four drivers in the A3 are acoustically integrated using Magico’s proprietary Elliptical Symmetry Crossover topology that 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.   

Enclosure 
The A3’s massive sealed-enclosure is, like all Magicos, a tour-de-force of engineering. The enclosure is made entirely from 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminium, identical materially to the enclosure developed for the Q Series. This braced, complex internal structure is finished externally with an elegant brushed anodised “skin”.  The A3 enclosure is best considered as a simplified Q Series design, with the same materials, the same craftsmanship, and the same attention to design and build detail.  A Magico The A3 is in design, execution and performance a Magico. Unapologetic. Uncompromising.  

The Magico A3 - the impossible made possible. 

Specifications

Driver complements 
Highs: 1x 1" MB7 Beryllium Dome  
Midrange: 1x 6” Midrange Graphene Nano Tec 
Bass driver: 2x 7” Bass Graphene Nano Tec

Measurements
Sensitivity: 88dB 
Impedance: 4 ohms 
Frequency Response: 22Hz – 50 kHz 
Minimum Recommended power: 50 Watts  
Dimensions: 1120H x 270D x 230W mm  
Weight: 50 Kg ea 

Reviews

Magico A3 speakers review - first impressions!
Matej Isak

SUMMARY: There are loudspeakers and there are THE  high-end audio loudspeakers. Magico A3's laboratory-like precision and stand out potent nature allows an extraordinary music voyage. Literary out of the box they were capable of painting the sonic canvas with what a grander portion reality than expected!

REVIEW:  A few hours ago the Magico A3 speakers finally arrived. I'm not sure if any of floor-standing speakers created such interest as these four-ways. As always even before hearing them people were instantly opinionated in one way or another and this is where the unbiased evaluation and reviewer's integrity is of utmost importance in reporting factually. Here's my take on... 

I've had a chance to hear A3s in few different installations and like what I've could decipher from the unknown setups. It's one thing to audition speakers in a non-familiar environment, but any reviewer's real-world objective assessment should only be conducted in his own reference system and listening environment.

I've couldn't keep my excitement bottled and went right away with unpacking and installing. My listening room has a few calculated and re-checked spots and to my biggest surprise, the A3s instantly felt comfortable without getting entangled with the room modes. 

I've started to scratch my head. This really shouldn't work out of the box and so trouble free! Certainly not with the speakers of such size!? Well... The sealed box certainly helps with a bit less problematic installation, but it cannot be the only attribute of such positive impact. 

Wait, there is more... The next big surprise was the A3's ability to handle the energy. I tend to push speakers quite loud to find the proper gain level and at one point I've just walked to the speakers to check how the enclosure is responding to ... Almost no inertia and resonances! I've attended more than a few controlled presentations and the listening levels that some of the attendees' demands were beyond ridicules. Each and every system and consequently speakers had a certain optimum gain where they start to works properly. Our inner listening mechanism is designed in such a way that we simply cannot perceive the lower register objectively at the "whispering" levels. Ever wondered why there was there a mandatory loudness knob on the many if not most of the receivers a few decades back? Any audio professional knows this for fact and I was more than happy to hear how well the A3 speakers could lock and load at their needed gain momentum. Clearly, they were designed from the ground up to handle proper gain distribution. Back in the '50s, '60s, and '70s of the 20th century there was a well know expression "raiding the gain". Somehow this applies to our niche industry as well, but this is the subject of a separate article. 

The third grand surprise? I've could somehow capture the main idea about the A3's lower octave performance from various events and closed listening sessions and I'll focus more about it in my final review. What I really want to dig deeper right away was the higher frequency impact. Magico M3 and M6 diamond coated beryllium tweeters already shifted my paradigm about the typical dome (calotte) tweeter driver. Magico A3's price tag certainly doesn't allow the diamond coating but the familiar stress-free highs were instantly recognizable and so was the feather-like the lightness of portraying acoustical cues and focal points. This was at once confirmed with the metallic percussions. The usual dome tweeter will go to a certain degree and then start to literally distort. Sadly even some of the seasoned reviewers got accustomed to this phenomena and embraced it as a standard... 

Yours truly could never really settle with this irritation and this is why I generally prefer ribbon tweeters or compression drivers. As written above M6 and M3 were the first speakers that introduce the qualities I've to feel home at and in some ways even transcended them. This is no small feat and A3 speakers follow this path exemplary. Perhaps with a bit less sense of refinement as the bigger brothers but nonetheless impressive. Even with the simple test of replaying the hi-hat with increasing loudness exhibit their unique capability easily. Magico A3s are following the real world inner mechanics of aural density where the loudness amplitude is increased and not twisted when the drum stick hits the metal harder. What M3, M6, and A3 can deliver in this regard is more of a breakthrough rather than the simple evolution! 

SUM UP

Make no mistake! These are no ordinary floor standing sealed speakers and calling them an entry level Magicos would probably offend Alon and his team. They might not sport the S series curved design cues or M series carbon panels and other upper echelon paraphernalia, but these are by all means full bloodied Magico loudspeakers. 

Minimalistic aesthetics might not project the complex internal bracing structure and painstakingly well-thought enclosures made from 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum. There is so much hidden to the casual eye, but the sonic benefits of Finite Element Analysis simulations and optimized acoustical, mechanical, electromagnetic, and thermal behaviors deliver the aural impact that could be easily associated with the double the price. 

The minimization of unwanted accumulated resonances and the absence unwanted energy dispersion shows just how well the calibrated sub-enclosure handles the mid-range drive behavior and in absence of multi crossing with the back wave pressure of the bass drivers. This translates into the stressless music rendition that removes the thick layers of typical enclosure's unwanted interactions that not only fatigue the atmospheric perception but also considerably slows down the music. 

Yes, this is quite an enthusiastic first impression write up.  Magico A3 speakers managed to entrapped me with their character free nature into the instant and unplanned prolonged initial listening. 

Stay tuned for more in due time......  Matej Isak

Magico A3 Loudspeaker -- the Sound - the 1st A3 listening session
Doug Schneider

SUMMARY: What I saw and heard at Magico’s factory is certainly noteworthy. Alon Wolf, via Magico, has managed to bring his lofty speaker ideals down to a price point that’s not necessarily affordable -- $9800 isn’t cheap by any stretch! -- but is, as I wrote in my first A3 article, “attainable for someone with a good job and income.” These ideals are not only about top-drawer build quality, but also about reference-quality sound, which, based on my audition, the A3 leans toward. In sum, the A3 has all the necessary earmarks to become the best-selling Magico speaker yet,

EXTENDED SESSION: Magico’s founder, Alon Wolf, isn’t the kind of person to say things just to appease you; he’ll tell you what he thinks with absolutely no softness in his delivery. It’s hard, just like the metal used in the cabinets of his speakers. For example, he’s told me that my Canon camera is crap, my recommendation of the 2013 movie Gravity is a “stain on my résumé,” and that my high praise for a well-regarded two-way standmounted speaker that many other writers also like is an embarrassment. Don’t talk to him if you’re easily offended.

On the other hand, I take little offense to what he says for four reasons. One reason is that I, too, can be opinionated and blunt, so I understand where he’s coming from when he talks like that. Another is that I’d rather listen to someone express what he or she thinks rather than listen to them say what he or she thinks I want to hear. You get to know the real person that way. Third, he won’t disagree to simply disagree, at least not always -- I’ve seen him give credit when credit is due. For instance, we agree that Sigma is making some great camera lenses these days; that the little-known Wind River was probably the best movie of 2017, even though most think it’s Dunkirk; and that Norway’s Hegel Music Systems is one of hi-fi’s highest-value electronics leaders these days, a point I’ll come back to in a bit. All three topics came up on my December 13 trip to his factory because they usually do -- photography, movies, and hi-fi are what we often discuss. Finally, the way he expresses himself verbally mirrors the products his company creates -- they follow their owner’s vision, which is admirable and results in things that aren’t “me too” creations. That also goes for the new A3, which at $9800 USD/pr. is the company’s most “affordable” speaker yet.

Since I know Alon’s demeanor well enough, it came as no surprise to me that, mere seconds after I arrived and sat down in Magico’s main meeting room to learn more about the new A3, he said, “I am going to do something that challenges you as a reviewer. You might not even write about it.”

He was, as he often does, saying something to startle me and put me on the spot. It didn’t do that; instead, I was intrigued with what he had in store.

The moment I walked into Magico’s listening room, I immediately recognized a pair of bright-white Focal Sopra No2s side by side with the new A3s. What he had said when I first got there now made sense. I’d not only reviewed a pair of No2s on SoundStage! Hi-Fi in October 2015; the No2 was given a Reviewers’ Choice award at the time of the review and was recognized as one of our Products of the Year a few months later. The No2 sells for $13,999 per pair, so about 43% more than the A3. He told me that he brought the No2s in for their own price-point frame of reference, but knowing I was coming, he decided to keep them set up. Allowing me to hear the A3s alongside the No2s was a bold move by Alon, given the strong reputation of the No2 and how much more it sells for. I think the reason he thought I might not write about it is that I wouldn’t want to bring up a speaker I had reviewed so glowingly. Little did he know . . .

After a cursory glance at the No2 and A3, some might think they’re nothing alike. The No2 is a bit bigger, has a wood-based cabinet, shows itself off with ultramodern industrial design, and is available in multiple colors. The A3 has a basic-looking rectangular cabinet made from panels of aluminum, and comes only in black. Yet a closer look reveals something more important -- they are both three-ways with one tweeter, one midrange, and two woofers, and the drivers in both speakers are roughly the same size. As a result, they can be thought of as two takes on floorstanding, four-driver, three-way speaker design that can, on paper at least, move similar amounts of air.

Alon used a single Hegel Music Systems H30 power amplifier to drive the A3s and No2s, so we couldn’t go back and forth in an instant. Alon had to stop the music, disconnect and reconnect the MIT speaker cables he was using, and start up again. That’s not ideal, but since he allowed me to listen as long as I wanted, I found it fine for the purpose of this listening session. I wanted to get a handle on how the A3 sounded, not to write a definitive review -- an important point to keep in mind as you read my impressions of the sound below.

Alon said he would’ve used Hegel’s companion P30 preamplifier, which he also believes to be an outstanding performer, but it doesn’t allow for individual input-level adjustment, which we needed to level-match the speakers. So he used a CH Precision P1 preamplifier, which has adjustable input levels. Music files were delivered by a Baetis music server, but I didn’t catch the model name. Ditto the interconnects -- I didn’t look behind the equipment racks to see what they were.

When Alon first played the Sopra No2s, I heard a sound akin to what I heard from those speakers in my own listening room -- a clean, natural-sounding midrange; strong upper bass with tremendous punch when needed; lively highs; but a lack of very low bass. Although loudspeaker measurements don’t always correlate well with how a speaker sounds in a room, the No2’s measurements do -- if you have the skillset to decipher measurements, you’ll see that our frequency-response measurements from the tests we performed at Canada’s National Research Council show just what I described. Our measurements also show that the No2 can play loud with low distortion, which also proved true in Magico’s room. Just as in my room, the speakers showed no sign of strain, even when Alon cranked them up. I wouldn’t call the No2 the pinnacle of accuracy, but it does sound natural and it’s consistently fun to listen to, with a sonic signature that’s a little Technicolor.

When Alon made the switch to the A3s for the first time, the differences were not night and day throughout the entire audioband, but they were obvious at the frequency extremes. The A3s didn’t have as much upper-bass energy as the No2s did, which didn’t surprise me, since most speakers don’t. However, the A3s did extend quite a bit deeper in the bass -- down to 30Hz or so, whereas the No2s dropped off a cliff by about 50Hz. The A3s’ overall bass reproduction also seemed better controlled and more defined.

At the top end, the A3s sounded more relaxed and more natural overall than the No2s did, as well as less hot and splashy sounding. In Magico’s big listening space, the A3s’ highs were still extended and lively enough, but any sort of hotness or brightness was absent, at least when compared to the No2s’ highs. Being as blunt and outspoken as Alon is, I mentioned that aspect to him, and he said that the company has been working hard to constantly improve its tweeter designs. The A3s still sounded extended up top and extremely natural, but never came across as too hot or too bright.

When I asked Alon to play the A3s louder and louder, I didn’t hear noticeable distortion or compression, even in his very large room. Then again, I didn’t ask him to play the pair obscenely loud. This is something I’d like to test in more familiar surroundings. But from what I could glean in Magico’s listening room, even though the A3 is a small-ish floorstander, it seems like it can put out a lot of sound, and a pair should have no trouble charging up fairly large listening rooms.

Going back and forth with more music selections revealed that the high- and low-frequency differences I initially heard remained consistent regardless of the recording we listened to. Eventually, more differences came to light, particularly when we played recordings with male or female vocals. It was with these vocals that I could hear slightly more detail and texture through the A3s than through the No2s. Furthermore, the vocalists and any accompanying instruments were a little more focused in space on the soundstage -- I could determine their placements more precisely. According to Alon, this superior image focus is the result of using aluminum for the cabinet, as opposed to MDF, which is why it’s also used for his S- and Q-series speakers (the M-series speakers use a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber).

I can’t necessarily confirm Alon’s assertion about MDF, because I have heard wood-based speakers display extraordinary detail and image focus. But I can’t completely deny it, either, as I’ve never previously heard any of those speakers side-by-side with a pair of A3s. I can only report what I heard in this instance, and that was that the A3s hung images in space more precisely than the No2s did. On the flipside, I thought the No2s were a little more spacious-sounding overall. One caveat about these two observations: the No2s were positioned to the outsides of the A3s, so a little bit farther apart. In hindsight, after I reviewed my notes back at home, I wished we’d switched their placements in order to see how that would affect image focus and overall spaciousness.

The best I heard the A3s sound on that day was when Alon played a track I’d never heard before -- Avishai Cohen’s “Four Verses / Continuation,” which must’ve been ripped to his server from Cohen’s Duende, released on CD in 2012 (the only format I could find it on when I looked afterward). Obviously, with an unknown track, there’s no frame of reference as to how exactly it should sound; still, I feel the need to remark on it because of how awestruck I was with the A3s’ presentation of it. The instruments sounded exceedingly natural and were placed vividly on the soundstage; the clarity and detail throughout the audioband were high; and there was nothing in the sound that screamed this is Magico’s entry-level design. In other words, any compromises that might’ve been made to bring this speaker to market didn’t jump out at me, which, in my mind, is the mark of great speaker design.

Hearing a speaker in a manufacturer’s listening room, even if you know the other speaker playing in there, doesn’t qualify as a review, which is something that can’t be emphasized enough. There are way too many unknowns -- the associated equipment, the room, the music being played, among others -- to make definitive judgments. As a result, consider what I wrote so far as preliminary listening impressions that may or may not be followed by a formal review; Alon never promised us a pair of A3s to review.

Was there any use to this exercise then? I believe so. When Alon told me about the A3, I was far more excited than earlier in 2017 when I learned about the M6, which is priced at $172,000 per pair -- a price so high that very few can afford a pair. I care very little about what few people can buy. Instead, I care considerably more about products that many more audiophiles can afford, which is precisely where the A3 slots in and exactly why I took the time to visit his factory to see the speaker before anyone else could, since it’s not yet on the market.

What I saw and heard at Magico’s factory on December 13 is certainly noteworthy. Alon Wolf, via Magico, has managed to bring his lofty speaker ideals down to a price point that’s not necessarily affordable -- US$9800 (excl tax) isn’t cheap by any stretch! -- but is, as I wrote in my first A3 article, “attainable for someone with a good job and income.” These ideals are not only about top-drawer build quality, but also about reference-quality sound, which, based on my audition, the A3 leans toward. In sum, the A3 has all the necessary earmarks to become the best-selling Magico speaker yet, so I’ll be interested to find out others’ impressions come February, when it’s officially released.

Doug Schneider
Founder, SoundStage!

Magico A3 Loudspeaker -- the Concept
Doug Schnelder

When Alon was giving me his shopping list of what the A3 had to have for it to “still be a Magico,” he added one thing at the end that I haven’t mentioned yet -- that it had to sound better than any speaker at that price from any manufacturer, no matter if that manufacturer happened to be five, ten, or 100 times Magico’s size. In many ways, this is a brand-new world for Magico, because the company isn’t just up against boutique speaker makers anymore -- it’s competing against the world’s speaker-manufacturing powerhouses, many of which have been making sub-US$10,000 (less tax) speakers for decades and know how to make them sound good. Can the A3 hold up to that? That’s really why I went to California in the first place -- so I could hear the A3. That’s in the next article . .

There’s no shortage of high-end loudspeaker companies whose products few people can afford. Five- and six-figure speakers from these companies line the halls of almost every hi-fi show I go to, with an occasional seven-figure model showing up from time to time. That’s all well and good, but when I see these loudspeakers I can’t help but ask, how many actually get sold? After all, that’s a lot of money for just loudspeakers.

Until this month, Magico, a Hayward, California, company that’s been in business for 15 years, could be included in that exclusive crew, with a speaker-product range that started at $16,500 USD per pair for the two-way, two-driver S1 Mk.II and ended at $229,000 per pair for the five-driver, four-way Q7 Mk.II. With a staff of 35 and a spacious factory, the company has carved out a good-sized niche in the high end. Still, you know Magico would sell a lot more units if the prices weren’t so high.

Thankfully, Magico’s founder, Alon Wolf, knows that as much as he likes to make loudspeakers with only the best parts and finish quality and commensurate high prices, he’s leaving a huge number of potential buyers out of his club -- buyers I’m sure he would really, really like to have. The problem is that, until now, he didn’t know how to create a much-lower-priced speaker and have it, in his words, “still be a Magico,” which is something I’ll come back to.

I met with Alon at his factory on December 13 to discuss his company’s new loudspeaker, the A3, priced at US$9800 excl tax) per pair. It’s Magico’s foray into the four-figure-per-pair loudspeaker world and, most likely, into the pocketbooks of many more customers than in the past. That day, Alon was candid about the issue of price, saying that, from his experience building and selling expensive loudspeakers, he sees $10,000 as a really important price point, because he considers it a “financial hurdle” that’s difficult for some people to get over -- not just audiophiles, but buyers of many goods. “That’s why you see so many expensive watches priced up to $10,000, but not nearly as many priced over,” he said.

I agree -- there’s something about that US$10,000 price point, particularly in hi-fi, that elevates a luxury-type purchase from somewhat reasonable to, in Alon’s words, “an unreasonable amount to invest.” Obviously, a lot has to do with what people can afford to spend. In Canada, where I live, and the United States, where most of our writers live, average annual incomes are well under $100,000, even for those with university educations. That’s before taxes. So think about it: who in the world can pay $50,000, or even $30,000 or $20,000, for a pair of loudspeakers? Either a member of the small group with incomes well above the norm, or someone who’s so dedicated to audio that they’re willing to skip a lot of meals to afford the speakers of their dreams.

To me, a US$10,000 price tag, while not cheap or even affordable, is attainable for someone with a good job and income. To well-heeled individuals for whom hi-fi is a passion, it’s also a reasonable purchase to make -- reasonable in the sense that someone with a good salary can realistically pay that much without starving or skipping mortgage payments.

That said, a US$10,000 price tag was also a hurdle for Alon. “There was no point in doing something like this if it were more than $10,000,” he said. Yet that challenge intrigued him, because he wanted to prove his company could make something less expensive and be competitive.

As I said before, this new sub-$10,000 speaker had to “still be a Magico,” which was a sticking point for Alon in achieving this goal, so I asked him exactly what he meant by that and why that made it so difficult. This is what he said in rapid succession:

It had to have a stiff and rigid enclosure, which is not possible to do with MDF or resin. It had to have a beryllium tweeter; after all, after achieving the level of high-frequency performance in the M- and S-series speakers, we could not go back to a silk-dome tweeter like we had before. It had to be a sealed-box enclosure, since we have always done acoustic-suspension speakers -- and we believe that this is the proper bass alignment. The cone had to be stiff and damped, so a carbon-fibre sandwich with a graphene layer was necessary. It needed our Elliptical crossover, which produces a 24dB-per-octave acoustical slope with a 12dB-per-octave electrical crossover. It also had to have Mundorf parts in the crossover, like our other speakers.

Alon told me that from an engineering perspective, the most challenging part of the A3 project was the drivers. “When you need to make a stiff cone for $20 instead of $60, it’s very hard,” he explained, reinforcing the fact that when it comes to meeting a price point, every part must be looked at carefully.

Insofar as keeping the cost per pair to below $10,000 at retail, he said that had mostly to do with the cabinet, the speaker’s most expensive part. As a result, the A3’s cabinet is still made using aircraft-grade T-6061 aluminum, like with all the Magico speakers, but the company went with a rectangular enclosure instead of a curved one, like it uses in its S-series speakers. Doing so is less expensive. Alon also said that they “had to use a high-volume contractor to do the heft of the machining.” In other words, they outsourced it to a company having great economies of scale. However, Alon said there was one unforeseen benefit of doing so -- the quality of the brushed-aluminum finish ended up being better than what the company could produce in its in-house machine shop. I looked closely at every A3 panel on the pair there and couldn’t see a flaw. Flawless finishes are hallmarks of the Magico name, and the A3 is no exception.

The outcome with the A3 is an impressively finished floorstander with an all-aluminum enclosure that measures 44"H x 11"D x 9.25"W and weighs a hefty 110 pounds. From what I could tell, the walls are about 1/2" thick -- so sturdy -- plus it’s braced inside with more aluminum pieces.

The drivers the company developed are also noteworthy for their quality and quantity. Unlike the S1 Mk.II, with only two drivers, the A3 is a three-way design with a 1.1" beryllium-dome tweeter and a 6" Nano-Tec midrange near the top part of the front baffle, and two 7" Nano-Tec woofers also on the front baffle, but closer to the floor. The midrange and woofers both have carbon-fiber-based cones, with a swipe of graphene that Alon wanted for added strength and rigidity.

To those who know Magico’s history well, the driver sizes, configuration, and placements should be familiar -- they are similar to the V3 model ($27,000/pr.), which the company produced from 2007 to 2011, and which was the starting point for this one. The speakers aren’t the same, however -- the V3’s enclosure was wood and aluminum, while the A3’s is all-aluminum. The drivers are all different, of course, though the midrange and woofers look alike. Still, using the V3 as a platform gave them a head start, which helped to keep development costs down and allowed them to aspire to or even surpass the performance of the V3 at a fraction of the price.

What’s also apparent on this speaker is that, despite the lower price, corners haven’t been cut. You can kick and punch that cabinet, and you’re likely to wind up with broken bones -- it’s as solid as can be. The supplied floorspikes aren’t the cheap, throwaway 1"-tall threaded ones you get with so many speakers; instead, the A3’s spikes are about 2.5" long and 3/8" thick. Its front nameplate isn’t black paint on thin metal or foil: “Magico” is engraved onto a thick plate. With its rectangular shape and black color (the only color), the A3 is not a thing of beauty; it looks more like a lab instrument than a piece of fine furniture. Yet there’s still a spare-no-expense feel to the way this speaker has been crafted -- again, something common to all Magico designs. Finally, there’s the care in assembly, which takes place at Magico’s factory. When I was there to see the A3, I also noticed M3, M6, S7, S5 Mk.II, S3 Mk.II, and S1 Mk.II speakers in various stages of production. The A3 is the smallest and least curvy Magico family member, but it still looked right at home with the rest.

When Alon was giving me his shopping list of what the A3 had to have for it to “still be a Magico,” he added one thing at the end that I haven’t mentioned yet -- that it had to sound better than any speaker at that price from any manufacturer, no matter if that manufacturer happened to be five, ten, or 100 times Magico’s size. In many ways, this is a brand-new world for Magico, because the company isn’t just up against boutique speaker makers anymore -- it’s competing against the world’s speaker-manufacturing powerhouses, many of which have been making sub-$10,000 speakers for decades and know how to make them sound good. Can the A3 hold up to that? That’s really why I went to California in the first place -- so I could hear the A3. That’s in the next article . . .

Doug Schnelder
SoundStage Founder

EXCLUSIVE FIRST LISTEN – MAGICO A3 - I honestly can’t think of a system that will deliver more for less.
Alan Sircom 

SUMMARY: Putting a scoop of audio journalists in the same room is like herding cats but getting them to agree on something is practically impossible. But for once, there was consensus. The technocrat loved the engineering. The rhythm-kings loved the way the sound ‘timed’. The penny-pincher loved the idea of getting a £28,000 sound in a £11,998 package. The Magico fans found their new entry-level to high-performance audio. Even the curmudgeonly tech scribe who doesn’t normally deal with high-end audio was impressed.

EXTENDED REVIEW: Magico is one of those brands that helps redefine the shape and scope of the high-end loudspeaker world. Although it has made some products that fit into the ‘attainable’ end of that market (such as the S1 Mk II), the company’s attentions have long been focused on the more uncompromising end of the market. The company makes products that deliver what Magico and its customers feel is the best loudspeaker you can buy at the price, but that performance would never be sacrificed in favour of a cheaper price tag. But, what the rest of us would want is a loudspeaker that has the same uncompromising stance but does bring the price of Magico to a wider audience. That’s a big ask.

Of course, alongside that uncompromising engineering stance, there’s one other heady wine supped by designers… they love a challenge!

That’s the impetus for the new Magico A3: trying to shoe-horn the technologies and standards of loudspeakers often costing hundreds of thousands into a package that costs a shade under £12,000 in the UK, but without sacrifice or compromise. Frankly, most of us who know what Magico stands for thought it wouldn’t be possible. The A3 would have to be compromised, somewhere.

Alon Wolf of Magico is currently on a bit of a world tour with the new A3. Last week, it was the UK’s turn, and a select group of journalists fell upon KJ West One in the heart of London’s West End to see if the loudspeaker would live up to its potential.

The A3 itself retains a surprising amount of Magico DNA. Like its bigger brothers, the new three-way, four driver design features a fully-braced, sealed, anodised enclosure that is made of aircraft-grade 6061 T6 aluminium. The crossover still features Magico’s ‘Elliptical’ design, an enhanced variation on the 24dB/octave Linkwitz-Riley network, which bristles with high-end components, too. This feeds carbon nanographene cones with neodymium magnets for the 152mm midrange and two 177mm bass drivers, and the 28mm dome tweeter. Here, the tweeter uses a diaphragm of pure beryllium instead of diamond-coated-beryllium. Something of a first for Magico; the drive units are replaceable in the field, rather than necessitating a return to the San Francisco factory, and the 50kg, 112cm tall loudspeakers are shipped in boxes rather than crates.

The blurb from Magico described the A3 as a “simplified Q Series design” (in terms of the enclosure at least) but this didn’t accurately describe how close these come to their bigger brothers in performance. This is a smaller loudspeaker than something like the S3 Mk II (probably the closest product to the A3 in the existing range), but in the context of the sort of listening room a £12,000 reasonable sized tower loudspeaker might wind up being used in, the A3 might just be well-nigh perfect.

It was an all-too-brief listening session, about 20 minutes all up, so deeper impressions of the loudspeaker should be tempered by that, but even in 20 minutes you can hear where something fits on ‘The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly’ continuum, and this was clearly on the side of the Good. It had all those Magico properties of precision and accuracy of stage, focus, detail, and micro-dynamic resolution, just in a package designed for more real-world listening use. On first listen at least, this window into the music could have easily passed for a much bigger, much more expensive loudspeaker. On first listen, I want a pair!

Putting a scoop of audio journalists in the same room is like herding cats but getting them to agree on something is practically impossible. But for once, there was consensus. The technocrat loved the engineering. The rhythm-kings loved the way the sound ‘timed’. The penny-pincher loved the idea of getting a £28,000 sound in a £11,998 package. The Magico fans found their new entry-level to high-performance audio. Even the curmudgeonly tech scribe who doesn’t normally deal with high-end audio was impressed.

This is an important loudspeaker for Magico, as it puts the brand in front of a new audience who hitherto could only aspire to the company’s products. But perhaps more importantly, it’s an important loudspeaker for high-end in general. Yes, we heard it on the end of some extremely high-end equipment (dCS, D’Agostino, Transparent, and Artesania) but it is designed to be used with more affordable partners (Alon mentioned Hegel’s big H360 integrated amplifier more than once, suggesting it had been used as part of the test platform). That means Magico is looking to the A3 as part of a system costing the right side of £17,000, with all the performance that loudspeaker brings to the table. OK, for many that’s still a lot of money, but I honestly can’t think of a system that will deliver more for less.

Taking the decision to crack the $10,000 dollar a pair market, well below current price points, Magico have commissioned their first A3 batch. Having offered the first production run to their dealers found that it sold out immediately, such was the compel

SUMMARY: Unquestionably the sound was modern Magico, so neutral as to be self-effacing, soundstages were wide and deep and there was very little unwanted localisation in the vicinity of the loudspeakers themselves. They played loud when required, seemingly without constraint, vocals, acoustic guitar, classical piano, a full symphony orchestra (Rite of Spring), was reproduced without drama or strain and with natural timbres. Stereo images were well detached from the enclosures themselves. There was an easy transparency, together with little acoustic signature which could be ascribed to the drivers in operation. 

EXTENDED REVIEW: Taking the decision to crack the US$10,000 dollar (excl sales tax) a pair market, well below current price points, Magico have commissioned their first A3 batch. Having offered the first production run to their dealers found that it sold out immediately, such was the compelling value equation. Certainly US$10,000 (UK price £11,998 inclusive of VAT) is not cheap for a pair of loudspeakers but in context it is right in the mainstream of quality brand floor standers from the likes of B&W, Focal, Sonus, Faber, KEF, Monitor Audio and many others. 

While not employing all the build features of the Magico S3II, which design is a noted US$30,000 loudspeaker, the production specification of the A3 is actually not all that remote, as it also has an all alloy braced and fabricated enclosure, a four-driver sealed enclosure line-up with proprietary Magico units. These are a 27mm beryllium dome high frequency, operating from 2.5kHz to 22.kHz , a 155mm graphene reinforced mid range working down to 300Hz and two 175mm graphene reinforced long-throw bass drivers. Their characteristic elliptical crossover topology is also used to optimise the acoustic transitions between the drivers. The quoted sensitivity is 88dB/1m 2.83V, (Alon mentioned 87dB), the impedance is 4 Ohms (not less than 3.2 ohms), while the nominal frequency response is quoted as 22 Hz - 50 kHz ( these presumably the -6dB limits). The minimum recommended power is quite high at 50 watts RMS so a pretty powerful amplifier, say 100W rated, is a good idea. The maximum input is a massive 300W so it will play pretty loudly, in theory to over 110dB at one metre and thus will drive larger rooms to 104dBA if required. It measures a trim 44"H x 11"D x 9.25"W (112cm x 27cm x 23cm) and weighs a substantial 110 lbs. (50Kg).

Alon himself has reported good results with a relatively modest Hegel H390150W channel integrated amplifier noting that more complex high end systems can get top heavy and detrimentally over complicated. 

In appearance it is unostentatious, finished in a brushed satin black aluminium alloy, fabricated from plate sections with near perfect joints. Inside there are multiple circumferential braces machined from thick plate and bolted into place. Planned sales targets are ten times those for previous models and will have to be met if the venture is to be profitable.

Under difficult conditions at KJ West End, serving an audience of 10, Alon played a variety of established material from a server feeding a DCS Vivaldi digital audio stack. The DCS digital volume control was set to full and the audio was then handled by a D’Agostino two-box preamp, then driving two D’Agostino Progression power amplifiers configured for mono option. Including the Transparent MM series speaker cables the drive system was about 20 times the cost of those new Magicos, and the assembled press commented on this potential overkill. As it turned out, logistical reasons had led to the resident high end set at KJ being pressed into service, and at least, while  auditioning the new loudspeakers, the demo system could not be accused of compromising the results we heard.

Unquestionably the sound was modern Magico, so neutral as to be self-effacing, soundstages were wide and deep and there was very little unwanted localisation in the vicinity of the loudspeakers themselves. They played loud when required, seemingly without constraint, vocals, acoustic guitar, classical piano, a full symphony orchestra (Rite of Spring), was reproduced without drama or strain and with natural timbres. Stereo images were well detached from the enclosures themselves. There was an easy transparency, together with little acoustic signature which could be ascribed to the drivers in operation. Asked about the origin of the source material Alon confirmed that it was all standard 16 bit/ 44.kHz.  After the main demo I got an hour or so to myself to enjoy the new loudspeaker on varied material and at different sound levels. 

Taking the decision to crack the $10,000 dollar a pair market, well below current price points, Magico have commissioned their first A3 batch. Having offered the first production run to their dealers found that it sold out immediately, such was the compelling value equation. Certainly $10,000 (UK price £11,998 inclusive of VAT) is not cheap for a pair of loudspeakers but in context it is right in the mainstream of quality brand floor standers from the likes of B&W, Focal, Sonus, Faber, KEF, Monitor Audio and many others. 

While not employing all the build features of the Magico S3II, which design is a noted US$30,000 (excl sales tax) loudspeaker, the production specification of the A3 is actually not all that remote, as it also has an all alloy braced and fabricated enclosure, a four-driver sealed enclosure line-up with proprietary Magico units. These are a 27mm beryllium dome high frequency, operating from 2.5kHz to 22.kHz , a 155mm graphene reinforced mid range working down to 300Hz and two 175mm graphene reinforced long-throw bass drivers.
Their characteristic elliptical crossover topology is also used to optimise the acoustic transitions between the drivers. The quoted sensitivity is 88dB/1m 2.83V, (Alon mentioned 87dB), the impedance is 4 Ohms (not less than 3.2 ohms), while the nominal frequency response is quoted as 22 Hz - 50 kHz ( these presumably the -6dB limits).
The minimum recommended power is 50 watts RMS so a pretty powerful amplifier, say 100W rated, is a good idea. The maximum input is a massive 300W so it will play pretty loudly, in theory to over 110dB at one metre and thus will drive larger rooms to 104dBA if required. It measures a trim 44"H x 11"D x 9.25"W (112cm x 27cm x 23cm) and weighs a substantial 110 lbs. (50Kg).

Alon himself has reported good results with a relatively modest Hegel H390150W channel integrated amplifier noting that more complex high end systems can get top heavy and detrimentally over complicated. 

In appearance it is unostentatious, finished in a brushed satin black aluminium alloy, fabricated from plate sections with near perfect joints. Inside there are multiple circumferential braces machined from thick plate and bolted into place. Planned sales targets are ten times those for previous models and will have to be met if the venture is to be profitable.

Under difficult conditions at KJ West End, serving an audience of 10, Alon played a variety of established material from a server feeding a DCS Vivaldi digital audio stack. The DCS digital volume control was set to full and the audio was then handled by a D’Agostino two-box preamp, then driving two D’Agostino Progression power amplifiers configured for mono option. Including the Transparent MM series speaker cables the drive system was about 20 times the cost of those new Magicos, and the assembled press commented on this potential overkill. As it turned out, logistical reasons had led to the resident high end set at KJ being pressed into service, and at least, while  auditioning the new loudspeakers, the demo system could not be accused of compromising the results we heard.

Unquestionably the sound was modern Magico, so neutral as to be self-effacing, soundstages were wide and deep and there was very little unwanted localisation in the vicinity of the loudspeakers themselves. They played loud when required, seemingly without constraint, vocals, acoustic guitar, classical piano, a full symphony orchestra (Rite of Spring), was reproduced without drama or strain and with natural timbres. Stereo images were well detached from the enclosures themselves. There was an easy transparency, together with little acoustic signature which could be ascribed to the drivers in operation. Asked about the origin of the source material Alon confirmed that it was all standard 16 bit/ 44.kHz.  After the main demo I got an hour or so to myself to enjoy the new loudspeaker on varied material and at different sound levels. I did not feel the need to alter any of my earlier positive observations.

With the Magico A3 speakers, the emotional impact was beyond exceptional, it is never ending and the most intense experience I have ever had from the speakers of this size and this price! They could easily come with a two times higher price sticker
Matej Isak

SUMMARY: The Magico A3s deserve only the highest praise. I will do something which Mono & Stereo has never done before, and that is to award the A3 with a triple award—the Mono and Stereo Best Buy Award, Highly Recommended Product Award, and Upper Echelon Product Award! 

 

 

Claude Debussy was right— “Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part.” In absence of self imposing sonic signature, this is possible and it can bypasses our logical sensory-data collection. With the Magico A3 speakers, the emotional impact was beyond exceptional, it is never ending and the most intense experience I have ever had from the speakers of this size and this price! They could easily come with a two times higher price sticker without explaining! 

REVIEW:                  “Le luxe est une affaire d’argent. L’élégance est une question d’éducation.” 
English translation: luxury is a matter of money. Elegance is a question of education. 
 
The above quote encapsulates the essence of the Magico A3 speakers. Its sonic elegance is a result of years of scientific research and technological know-how.
For their size and price point, the A3s encompass far more design details than meets the eye. 
 
THE VERY FIRST IMPACT 
I know of no other speaker on the market which has generated as much buzz as the 3-way Magico A3s. Amongst the myriad of controversial opinions, many of which were formulated before proper evaluations, a reviewer’s integrity rests upon an unbiased evaluation. I have had the opportunity to hear the A3s in a few different settings, though none can provide an environment as good as my own listening room for an objective assessment. 
As soon as the A3s arrived, I couldn't keep my excitement bottled away. I immediately unpacked the speakers and installed them in their rightful position. My listening room has a few calculated and marked spots for speakers. To my surprise the A3s encountered no room acoustic issues and simply began to sing. I must have lucked out, because seldom would a new pair of speakers work so well fresh out of the box—and most certainly not with speakers of this size!? Not at all…
 
Right off the bat, the advantages of sealed box designs came to the fore, but I am sure it cannot be the only attribute contributing to the positive impact. The next big surprise was the A3's ability to deliver higher sound energy levels. I believe each audio system has an optimum sound level that optimizes their performance, and I often have to push the speakers quite hard in order to determine what that volume level is. As I walked over to touch the speaker cabinet, I detected almost no inertia or resonances even at very high volume levels!
 
Have you ever wondered why a loudness knob is found on a lot of the receivers from previous decades? That is because, as any audio professional knows, the human ear is designed in such a way that we simply cannot perceive the lower registers objectively at whispering levels. I was more than happy to hear how well the A3 speakers could lock and load at their needed gain momentum. Clearly, the A3s are designed from the ground up to handle proper energy distribution. 
 
The most grand of all positive attributes is the A3's ability to deliver lower octaves while delivering high frequency extensions. This was consistent in all of the all of the events and closed listening sessions I attended. The Magico M3 and M6’s diamond coated beryllium tweeters have already shifted my paradigm on typical dome tweeters. Magico A3's price tag certainly doesn't allow the diamond coating, yet the stress-free higher notes can be easily recognized by the listener, as is the case of the M3 and M6s. The feather-like lightness of acoustical cues and focal points could also be easily recognized. This was once again confirmed with metallic percussions—where normal dome tweeters can easily distort when pushed to the extreme, this was not the case with the A3’s tweeter. Sadly, even some of the most seasoned reviewers have been accustomed to this phenomenon and have embraced it as an acceptable standard. I could never accept this irritation as the norm, which is why I generally prefer ribbon tweeters or compression drivers. As mentioned before, the M3 and M6 were the first speakers to exhibit stress free highs, and in some ways they might have transcended the performance of ribbons and compression drivers, which is quite an accomplishment.
Thankfully, the A3 speakers carry the same sonic characteristics equally as impressive as their bigger brother, though perhaps they are slightly less refined. Even with the simple test of replaying the hi-hat drum with increasing loudness, they exhibit their unique capability of delivering undistorted highs easily. The Magico A3s reflect the inner mechanics of real world aural densities that defines the timbre of an instrument very intimately. As sound level increases, the drumstick appears to hit the metal harder, yet it was rendered without the slightest hint of distortion. In my book, this is not simply an evolution, it is actually a sonic breakthrough! 
 
THE SOUND 
A number of manufacturers are advertising their loudspeakers as musical instruments. I do prefer musical instruments to sound lifelike, and in this regard, Magico speakers are as bold and as uncompromising as Alon Wolf’s personality is.
 
A year ago, when I was returning from a trip to Tuscany, Wolf invited me to stop by at Italian premiere of the M6 speakers at “Hi-Fi Tomassini.” What was supposed to be a short stopover turned into a two-day association with Alon Wolf. I truly enjoyed our conversations together. Through them I discovered that Wolf is fiercely complex, genuine, and has real passions for music, photography, cars, and life in general. Most importantly, I gained a much deeper understanding of Wolf’s mindset, as well as Magico’s design philosophy. 
 
 
I consider myself a hard worker. Wolf and I share a similar 24/7 work ethic. It is a trait often found with the entrepreneurs of smaller boutique high-end manufacturers or startup companies. Yet what sets Magico apart from other companies is their technological assets, know-how, and contemporary approach. 
 
As much as we want to perceive the audio industry as a gigantic global marketplace, it’s still a niche market compared to other luxury segments. And whether we like it nor not, we embraced the threshold of luxurious dealings in our niche industry a long time ago. We need innovative companies to push technologically barriers forward. Undoubtedly, Magico is at the very forefront of forward-thinking companies, always ready to explore new materials, new design approaches, and technological innovations. 
 
Looking back in time, if there is one speaker that holds a special place in my heart, it would be the Magico V3. It has a beautiful, timeless design that distinguished it from its peers back then, and still sets them apart today. I wouldn’t dare play the V3s as loud as I have pushed the A3s. The A3 speakers are the end result of the many design concepts which Magico has explored over the years.
As with gourmet food, many chefs try to experiment with many kinds of artificial and exotic flavours. Yet, there are those who pursue and follow the path of purity, a quest for tasting and experiencing the real taste of ingredients. This is exactly how I feel about Magico. With each new iteration of speakers, they create musical projections that are closer to the reality, stepping closer to addressing the very essence of music itself.
Speakers are the most important part of any high-end audio setup as they are the only component which interacts directly with the listener. Yes, each and every component matters, but if the loudspeakers cannot act as a transparent medium to reproduce sound accurately, then why do we even bother with the pursuit of high-fidelity? 
Magicos are not made different for the sake of being different, they are one of 21st century’s most potent transducers providing us with a an open window to an endless world of the music. 
 
THE MUSIC 
I've already addressed a few points regarding the voicing of the speakers in a paragraph above. One of the main goals of any competent 21st century high-end audio designer, regardless of product type, should be the quest to eliminate lower the level distortions. 
This is also one of the Magico A3’s main advantages. With the most advanced technology in an era of proficient speaker manufacturing, Magico is capable of creating a speaker with the least amount of colouration; they impose no sonic signature of their own. 
 
The Magico A3s are capable of portraying all kinds of music from various genres in their purest form. It delivers to the listener all the emotional triggers which are hidden within the compositions. This is only possible when the music's message is being transmitted in an unaltered way. 
 
During my evaluation I've literally crawled through hundreds of albums once I've been captured by the A3's translucency. Here are a few examples:
 
Pedro Estevan/Jordi Savall - La Lira d'Esperia II - Galicia radiant focuses on the music from Galicia. Cantigas are carefully mixed in with tunes influenced by Galican folk music. I was mesmerized by the directness and copiousness of note overlays, which form an immediate and interactive bonding with the listener. The Magico A3 can also easily depict a non-misconstruing sonic scenery. The A3 projected tighter densities of acoustical anchor points, which rendered a crystal clear, unambiguous, and vivid reconstruction of the music’s atmosphere on songs such as "Alalà". 
 
This characteristic was further reinforced with Christos Tsiamoulis, Dimitris Psonis, and Pedro Estevan’s album Metamorphosis: Greek Musical Traditions Across the Centuries. The engaging straightforwardness and expansive soundstage of the recording demand a lighting fast transducer. Otherwise, the sound may be appear veiled or artificially slowed down, a trait quite common even with some top tier speakers. 
 
There are many factors to consider when designing a well-balanced speaker, but at the end of the day, what matters most is sonic purity. Avishai Cohen, and the Avishai Cohen Trio’s album From Darknesspushes a bit more convulsion and muscularity. The track “Abie hypnotic piano riff” combines expressive drum battery with double bass. To properly project an enormous sonic canvas that extends deeply into the listening space is not a simple task, especially when the sound is to project proper horizontal and vertical spatial cues.
The Magico A3’s ability to refrain from sounding diffused and fragmented has furthered my understanding of a three dimensional soundstage. My reference listening room is rather large, yet the A3 loudspeakers easily filled the room with music, and the impact never ceased to impress, even with large scale theatrical performances. A3 speakers could easily transmit Toscanini's unabridged forcefulness and sense of time's perfection. Orchestra momentum travels as a giant bubble with an enormous kinetic energy. This is easily replicated yet A3s portraying of Tristan und Isolde was most impressive. The impact exceeded given size by far. 
 
The song “Libar Od Mojega Duga” from the Gibonni's Mirakul performed by Vlatko Stefanovski and Miroslav Tadić is one of my favorite performances by two highly accomplished virtuoso guitarists. 
 
A guitarist or a pair of trained ears can easily decipher the phenomena of guitar’s “acoustic power”. Our ears are most sensitive to sounds in between 1 and 4 kHz. Although the classical guitars’ frequency range is not exactly prominent in this spectrum, the sheer acoustical impact is manifested in the higher harmonics. Deciphering this information requires a truly high-end system, and most importantly, the speakers must be able to deliver a high level of resolution without being influenced by the enclosure’s vibration and resonances. In this regard, the A3 has the ability to convey copious amounts of harmonics decay at each of the individual frequencies. The A3's ability to handle high and low pitches is again unparalleled at this or even tripled price point. 
 
Vlatko Stefanovski and Miroslav Tadić’s guitar mastery produces a complex web of overtones and harmonics, which cannot be reproduced effortlessly if the speakers are lacking in the acoustic foundation. The acoustic foundation sets the playground for the expansion and propagation of the soundstage. With the upper octaves, the harmonics gradually become denser Some speakers are only capable of delivering limited portions of the harmonics. The Magico A3s are capable of more information than the norm, allowing the resonance frequencies above the fundamental frequencies to emerge, which was totally beyond my expectations. 
 
Al Di Meola's rendition of “Sarabande from Violin Sonata in B Minor” (Land Of The Midnight Sun), is harmonically less complex, and can be difficult for the listener to decipher musical information. Yet the Magicos open a whole new chapter on this recording, as if removing a few sonically veiled layers. If the A3s can perform this well, I do wonder how much further the M series take can take us. I've also noticed that the A3s are capable of delivering a clearer and more comprehensive distinction of the string vibrato. The A3s have made it far easier to decrypt the pace and rhythm of the performance, as well as the the the slower vibration of mass strings, which can often be difficult to observe. 
 
Similar to the orchestra score, the speakers also demands "con amore." and as well as “allegro con brio.” A3 can be both tender and lively with full energy impact when needed. To achieve this, the technical ardency cannot be avoided on any turn, and the A3's lyrical part was easily displayed with "Libar Od Mojega Duga" and "Sarabande from Violin Sonata in B Minor". 
 
The importance of properly reproducing the sound of a concert piano is too often overlooked. While a guitar has only 6 strings, a piano has more than 200! The piano also has a completely different set of sympathetic resonances, which makes their sound so difficult to reproduce. High-frequency notes are never a piano's forte. If the speaker’s tonal balance is off, the piano will sound as if there is a studio equalizer has being deployed, which is not the sonic purity we are looking for. 
 
On Vladimir Horowitz’s albums, “Horowitz: The Historic Return; Carnegie Hall 1965”, and the “1966 Concerts”, especially “Toccatas, transcriptions for piano in D minor & C major” (BWV 564/565 BBGA 7/3),. The piece “KiV B29: 2. Intermezzo. Adagio” is amongst my personal favorites. With this piece, it doesn't take long for me to gauge the speaker or system’s performance level. The Magico A3s handled lush notes from forte to pianissimo impeccably. 
 
Many composers and conductors see the piano as a script for an orchestral piece. While not as complex as an orchestra, the piano is still most highly demanding when it comes to replicating the original sound. Let us not forget that the piano is a percussive instrument at its core, yet the Magico's magic is to let you forget this particular attribute and enjoy piano’s true raison d'etre. Reason alone of all the high praise! 
 
To my surprise, when driven properly, the A3s can portray velvety and rich tones across the timbre's complete spectrum. Furthermore, the chords’ inner notes are palpable, profound, and sonorous, accurately portraying the sound as originally record. 
 
CONCLUSION 
The name Magico has witty and enigmatic origins. Mágico, the legendary ECM album by Charlie Haden, Egberto Gismonti, and Jan Garbarek, is one of Wolf’s all time favourite jazz albums. Mágico is magic in Portuguese (as Egberto Gismonti is Brazilian).
In Mexico and Brazil, “Mágico” is also the name of a drug dealer. In a way, Wolf offers something similar to his clients, but his trade is in music rather than drugs—a clever implication of the speaker’s effects on its listeners.
 
 
I wish to close this review by pointing out that the A3s do require an amplifier with quite a bit of power and current to do them justice. They may be able to exhibit their virtues even with entry-level electronics, but with proper equipment they will magically disappear into the room. The A3s will tempt you to push them to to their volume extremes with the best of equipment. Paired with my MSB Technology Select DAC, the A3s kept up with the big boys without ever breaking a sweat.
 
There are loudspeakers, and then there are High-end Audio Loudspeakers. The Magico A3's laboratory-like precision and stand out organic potent nature allows for an extraordinary musical voyage. Right out of the box, they are capable of painting the mightier portion of sonic canvas with completely unexpected mastery. Calling them an entry-level speaker would not do Alon or his team justice. They may not sport the S series’ curved design cues, or the M series’ carbon side panels and other upper echelon paraphernalia, yet these are by all accounts, tried and true, full-blooded Magico loudspeakers.
 
The A3s offer so much more than meets the naked eye, reaping the full sonic benefits of “Finite Element Analysis simulations”, optimized acoustical, mechanical, electromagnetic, and thermal behaviors. They deliver a level of performance that could be easily be associated with speakers at the double the price. 
 
Magico strongly emphasizes the importance of the structural rigidity of the speaker enclosure. The M3’s minimalistic aesthetics do not reveal the complexity of the internal bracing structure, which is made with 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum. The result is an extremely stiff enclosure that is well dampened and resonance free. It is almost as rigid as the enclosures found in the Q series.
 
The mid-range driver’s sub enclosure within the speaker cabinet has been designed with much thought. Unwanted resonances and energy are almost completely eliminated. The same can also be said of the bass driver’s sub enclosure; it is completely absent of cabinet resonances. This translates into an unrestricted, unveiled sound, projecting a proper soundstage that fills the acoustic space.
 
Yes, this is quite an enthusiastic sum up, but this should have been expected given the efforts Magico has put into A3s. The A3 speakers are completely sonically transparent, and free of colorations. It has turned many spontaneous listening sessions into sleepless nights. Few speakers have managed to captivate me as much as the A3s have. 
 
At NZ$21,995/pr incl GST less grills or NZ$22,995/pr incl GST with grills, the A3s are not exactly affordable by real-world economic standards, yet in our niche industry, they are of a mind-boggling value. Imagine a BMW M series car stripped away of all the unnecessary aesthetic clutter, with the price tag of the normal 1 series, but with all of the virtues of a premium sports car. Who could resist? At this price point, there simply aren’t many speakers that can compete with the A3s.
Wolf has always wanted to offer the Magico experience to as many people as possible—even though Magico does make some of the best speakers in the world, Wolf does not want Magico to be perceived as an elitist manufacturer. Yet, it was not until recently that he was able to lower prices, thanks to economies of scale, resulting in tremendous cost savings, and thus lower retail prices. 
 
The Magico A3 speakers a true testament of 21st century’s exemplary high-end audio manufacturing and will surely be able to withstand the test of time. 
 
The Magico A3s deserve only the highest praise. I will do something which Mono & Stereo has never done before, and that is to award the A3 with a triple award—the Mono and Stereo Best Buy Award, Highly Recommended Product Award, and Upper Echelon Product Award! 
 
Claude Debussy was right— “Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part.” In absence of self imposing sonic signature, this is possible and it can bypasses our logical sensory-data collection. With the Magico A3 speakers, the emotional impact was beyond exceptional, it is never ending and the most intense experience I have ever had from the speakers of this size and this price! They could easily come with a two times higher price sticker without explaining! 
 ...........Matej Isak 
its most obvious competition is the Wilson Audio Sabrina (£14,999 or about NZ$29,000) the Magico A3 feels more transparent and livelier.
STEVE GUTTENBERG

SUMMARY: The rhythm section of Charlie Watts on drums and Bill Wyman on bass was upfront in the mix, and I got a sense of their sound filling the studio.

This new studio recording has a live feel, without any help from digital editing fixes, the music's raw power was in fine form over the A3s.

This woman can really sing, and her noir-country vibe, cushioned by pedal steel guitars bathed in reverberation, was set free by the A3s. The speakers liberated the music.

Davis' trumpet slices through the air with the utmost precision. The speakers' stereo imaging wasn't reliant on their positions in the listening room.  

EXTENDED REVIEW: Magico speakers live in the upper strata of high-end audio, and nearly every time I hear a Magico I'm moved by the experience. The company, founded in 2004, has consistently been in the leading edge of American speaker design, but the last time I reviewed a Magico was in 2011. It was the tiny Q1 bookshelf speaker.

Magico's new one, the A3 tower is a lot bigger, and a whole lot more affordable, at least by high-end standards. 

The A3 sports a 1-inch (28mm) beryllium dome tweeter, 6-inch (152mm) Graphene NanoTec midrange driver, and two 7-inch (178mm) Graphene NanoTec woofers. All three drivers are proprietary, unique to Magico speakers. 

The A3 is a sealed, non-ported design, and impedance is rated at 4 ohms. The A3 stands 44.4 inches (112.6cm) tall. Its impeccably constructed aluminium, heavily braced cabinet weighs 110 pounds (50kg).  

The price per pair is NZ$17,995 (£11,998), which makes it the least expensive Magico speaker. The A3 -- available in black only -- is assembled in Magico's factory at Hayward, California.

A few weeks ago I spent a pleasant afternoon listening to the A3 at the Rhapsody Music & Cinema showroom in New York City. By every measure -- low distortion, wide dynamic range, deep bass prowess, midrange transparency and treble extension -- the A3's sound was remarkable. You get the feeling you're hearing more of the music's energy when the A3s are holding court.

The Rolling Stones' Jamming With Edward isn't a normal Stones album by any stretch, first because guitarist Keith Richards wasn't there, and the band is just jamming in his absence. They're not recording tunes per se, but the engineer had tape running anyway and the free form blues jams give fans a peek into how the band works. The rhythm section of Charlie Watts on drums and Bill Wyman on bass was upfront in the mix, and I got a sense of their sound filling the studio.

When I played Durand Jones & the Indications' new take on R&B, the A3s pulled out all the stops. First and foremost Jones has the best set of pipes I've heard in ages. Whether he's tearing it up or figuratively making love to the mike, Jones has total commitment to the music. This new studio recording has a live feel, without any help from digital editing fixes, the music's raw power was in fine form over the A3s.

Next I turned to Lindi Ortega's new Liberty album, a suite of romance-gone-wrong tunes. Again the singer's voice took center stage. This woman can really sing, and her noir-country vibe, cushioned by pedal steel guitars bathed in reverberation, was set free by the A3s. The speakers liberated the music.

Miles Davis's Big Fun album of outtakes from his early 1970s electric sessions is new to me. The feeling that anything might happen is in the air, and Harvey Brooks and Ron Carter's basses have a tactile presence. Davis' trumpet slices through the air with the utmost precision. The speakers' stereo imaging wasn't reliant on their positions in the listening room.  

The Magico A3 is an expensive speaker all right, and its most obvious competition is the Wilson Audio Sabrina (£14,999 or about NZ$29,000) I reviewed in 2015. I've since heard Sabrina many times, the Magico A3 feels more transparent and livelier, but both are fine examples of state-of-the-art speakers in their respective price classes.
....... 
Steve Guttenberg

All the technical know-how and years of R&D has created a 21st-century loudspeaker fit for the 21st century.
Jat Garrett
SUMMARY: 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.
With a rendition of part of Igor Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ , 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.

EXTENDED REVIEW: Few people outside of Magico have been lucky enough to see and hear Magico's newest and most affordable loudspeaker, the A3. We were lucky enough to be invited to an exclusive event held last Thursday at high-end hi-fi emporium, KJ West One in Marylebone, England.

Even though the A3 represents the entry-level for Magico speakers, a pair still commands an investment of RRP NZ$16,995/pr.

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.

WHAT’S INSIDE?

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.

DRIVERS

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’, 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.

The Magico A3 speakers follow Henry Ford’s colour options. You can order them in Black, or Black, with a brushed finishExpected to become .

Available during the April 2018, the Magico A3 will sell locally for RRP NZ$16,995/pr

Testimonials

feedback on my new Magico A3 speakers and the Vicoustic acoustic products.

Hi Terry,
i think it's about time to give you some feedback on my new Magico A3 speakers and the Vicoustic products.

The Magico A3s have had 120 hours burn-in -time so far, the mid and highs are starting to open up nicely, but I think the lower end still requires a bit more time,  I am really happy with the result. (needs to allow at least 300hrs.... Terry )

Happy to report they work beautifully with my Vitus amp and Accustic Arts Reference front end, its transparent and has great timing, I can't believe the incredible bass coming out of those 2 little 7 inch drivers, image is also great too, the speakers really disappear, I happily sit there listening for hours and hours......

Regarding Vicoustic acoustic treatment, I have installed the 8x SBE-Super Bass Extreme traps in front corners, 10x DC2 diffuser on the front wall and 8x DC2 diffusers on the ceiling. The muddy lower end seems to have cleared up dramatically, and I notice some fine details on bass note that Ive never heard before, the lower end is more in time with the mid and high which results in an intact presentation. Ive also noticed my room also sounds a lot "bigger" than before, especially on classical music, now I can clearly pick up the distant between the violin in front and cello at the back, wonderfu!

Thanks a lot
Martin

Videos

Alon Wolf introduces - Magico A3

An introduction to new A3 speakers

MAGICO A3 REVEAL & UNBOXING VIDEO - Brooks Berdan Ltd.

Magico A3’s in high-end system

Magico A3, Bel Canto Black Ex Int.

Even at $9,800/pair the Magico A3 speaker is a steal

Magico A3, T+A PA 3100 HV