That must mean Magico is the first audio brand to use graphene
Not just in audio – I think Magico is the first company in the world to use graphene commercially. The company that supplies graphene to us (we source it from Japan) tell me they are not aware of any product already in the market actually using this. In fact, it wasn’t to be part of the project, but it came available literally while we were closing things up, so we had to reopen the project, which was why there was a delay of almost three months to get the M-Project to market, because I just had to use it once we had the chance to do that.
Using graphene is very expensive, but so is using nano-tubes. The graphene is imbedded in the carbon of the driver itself, which is how we save the weight, because there is a lot of resin involved when using nano-tubes. So, it’s quite an extraordinary thing. And it does improve the sound tremendously. It’s not as revelatory as the tweeter, because the tweeter – at least to my ears – is a new thing. The mid and bass units are just doing what they know how to do, but better… it’s not like the tweeter.
Why do you think the new tweeter is so important?
When you design something like this, you look at the specs and you know it’s going to be better, but you never know what it’s going to mean until you actually hear it. I was expecting the usual thing when you hear a better tweeter: more of this, more of that! But when I first pushed the ‘play’ button and sat down in front of the prototype M-Pro for the first time, I was quite shocked. It had none of what I expected… in fact, I was not hearing the tweeter at all. Everything was there, but there were no ‘highs’. It really threw me. But all the information, the extension was there, and there to the point where you start hearing things you never heard before, especially in terms of tonal colour and harmonic structure of instruments.
It is not like the tweeters we are used to. The violin is more of a violin now, the flute is more of a flute, and doesn’t sound like its trying to be reproduced through the elaborate apparatus of a loudspeaker. We managed to remove a lot of the artefacts that create these ‘highs’ we are all used to from tweeters, and in the process it allows us to get a lot closer to the real experience: if you go to a concert hall, you don’t say ‘oh, listen to the highs!’, you just listen to the music.
This was quite a profound experience to me. I think this is… I don’t want to say a breakthrough – I don’t want to be too dramatic – but it’s a new musical experience, and when you start listening… it’s intoxicating. It’s something we are not used to hearing in audio and only now can I go back and listen to even our own tweeters (which I think are spectacular in their own right) and can hear that they are working very hard to do what they are doing.
Removing that is a new thing!
Back to the enclosure, can you envisage using carbon-fibre in more Magico speakers?
I don’t know yet. It’s a rather costly and complicated process to include. It’s definitely something we’d like to include, but there are other considerations aside from wishes!
You designed the M-Project as a strictly limited-run design. Was that wise?
We built 50 pairs and they were all sold in the first month: sight unseen and unheard. I thought we’d sell maybe 25 pairs and the rest would sell after that, when they were auditioned, but it was all gone in one month. There are some distributors that bought quite a few M-Project, and they might have stocks left, but from our perspective, they’ve all gone. On the one hand, that’s a reassuring feeling, because it means the market has trust in us, but it put a lot of pressure for us to ‘come up with the goods’. Fortunately, I think it all worked out well!
As the M-Project has been so well received, have you considered making a second run?
No. I’m very protective of the M-Pro. This is my gift back to the people who gave us the trust, and paid a lot of money up front for something that really at the time did not exist. It was just a concept coming together.