It’s questionable whether this product needs a review in the conventional sense. Just 50 pairs of Magico’s M-Project speakers were made, all of which were sold long before the first model rolled out of the factory. By the time we got to hear them in Lisbon last weekend, the whole story was done and dusted, and even if it were to become a product line, the cost of the speaker is intense enough to make it a tough call to discuss. That said, paying $129,000 for a pair of loudspeakers is, by super-high-end audio standards ‘intense’, but not ‘extreme’.
Of course, in some respects, it’s best discussing this with the engineer, not the oily rag. So, before hearing the M-Pro at its European launch, I spoke with Magico CEO Alon Wolf on the subject:
AS: What was the motivation for the M-Project?
AW: The way this concept started was that we wanted to build a new thing. We’d been working on this tweeter for a couple of years, and this tweeter was the hardest thing we’d ever worked on. We also had new cone material. We also had started working with carbon fibre. But we were not sure where it was going to fit. Is it a Q? Is it an S? Is it something new? So, it was our tenth year anniversary, and we thought ‘Let’s just do a special project, and see where it takes us.’
It’s almost like when you do a concept car: you gather together your current and future technologies, and you show people what you can do, what you should be doing. So we decided to do just that, a kind of a special project, just 50 pairs, and that’s how this thing started.
What technologies separate the M-Pro from existing Magico loudspeakers?
The M-Project has our core technology. It’s mainly an aluminium loudspeaker, but with carbon-fibre sides, which allow you to create the curvature in an easier way than if we made it from aluminium. The carbon-fibre also adds a good amount of damping: it’s basically a carbon wing, so it has a core of foam, which acts as a good damping material to the aluminium enclosure.
We also use the latest and greatest Mundorf capacitors. In fact, we used all of them: we took the entire first and second production of the film that they made for these capacitors. I don’t need to go into the technical detail of what’s better about these capacitors, but they are better, and a great deal more expensive than the already expensive capacitors; but they also add to the mix of the M-Pro.
The most profound difference in the M-Pro, however, is the tweeter. It’s unique in many ways: it’s the first beryllium tweeter to be coated with a five-micron thick layer of diamond. It’s a new dome that took us a long time to achieve because we not only increased the size (it’s a 28mm, in place of a 26mm), it also increased the radius of the dome.
That tweeter was very difficult to develop; I think we broke 10 tools trying to design it, because it’s a very stiff material. Trying to push this material and keep the structure intact was very challenging! But this resulted in a tweeter with a resonant frequency that is pushed up thanks to the diamond without adding any significant weight (because we’ve basically added five microns of carbon), and better power handling (both because it is bigger, and because it has a larger magnet system with more ways to dissipate heat).
The rest of the drivers are unique to the M-Project, although the motor systems are similar to what we have been doing in other models. What’s new on the driver section is the cone. This is our seventh-generation actually; it’s a sandwich cone as we used to make before, but instead of using carbon nano-tubes to enhance the stiffness of the cone, we are using graphene. What that does is reduce the weight of the cone by 30% and yet stiffen it by 300%! We would have never dreamed this would be possible.