If there’s one thing all audio people think is ‘a done deal’, it’s the sealed-box two-way standmount loudspeaker. We’ve been there and done that, whether it was an LS3/5a, a Linn Kan, or any one of dozens of models; some well-loved, some not so. The sealed-box two-way is a known quantity, and we all know its strengths and weaknesses.
The Magico A1 is a two-way sealed-box stand-mount loudspeaker, bearing more than a close family resemblance to the A3 floorstander we tested in issue 172. And as such, you could be forgiven for just reading that review and truncating any observations about the lower end. You’d be part right, but mostly wrong, because the A1 does a lot more.
Even so, the A1 still takes a lot of its design cues from the A3. It has a single 165mm Graphene Nano-Tec midrange unit (used in this case as a mid/woofer), and the distinctive 28mm Beryllium coated diamond tweeter. We went over just how hard it is to make Beryllium and diamond like one another in that review of the A3, and it still holds today.
Like many of its stablemates, the A1 cabinet is made of sheets of aluminium. Beneath the surface there beats a heart of pure Magico, too. And like its stablemates, it uses 6061 T6 aircraft-grade aluminium enclosure (like Big Boy Magico models) includes a complex series of internal polished aluminium bracing sections, designed to add mass and stiffness while lowering internal resonance. This has similarities with the internal structure of loudspeakers in Magico’s considerably more expensive S, M, and Q series. To make the A1 both attainably priced and not weigh so much it destroys the stand on which it rests, this is just internal bracing (essentially the plates of the outside of the A1 here form the enclosure itself, where in bigger Magicos they are a heavy skin on an aluminium skeleton).
The 85dB sensitivity figure coupled with a four-ohm impedance figure actually holds, with no nasty little phase angle impedance dips that would rip the MOSFETs from many good amplifiers. This makes the loudspeaker slightly more demanding than its tower brother, and that means both quality and quantity in amplification. But not to insane levels; Magico includes some more real-world amplifiers in its design criteria and listening tests for its A-series loudspeakers, knowing that there is less of a guarantee that a loudspeaker at this price point is going to wind up the cheapest part of the system. In particular, the company has been known to use Hegel’s integrated amplifiers in the design process. While you can raise the performance level of the electronics several orders of magnitude above that of the Hegel models (and if you can, you should!), the Magico A1 is not so amp-fussy as to be allergic to audio electronics’ nursery slopes.