Magico is perhaps best known for its huge, multi-driver floorstanding loudspeakers that cost as much as a really good car. The S1 Mk II is the first rung on the Magico ladder, as it’s a two-way floorstanding loudspeaker that costs as much as a really good watch. Given that it seems highly unlikely that Magico will make a speaker that costs as much as a really good pizza, the S1 Mk II represents the starting point into Magico’s ethos, and that makes it important.
As the name suggests, this isn’t the first Magico S1 loudspeaker. In fact, it isn’t even the first Magico S1 loudspeaker we’ve reviewed, having looked at the original version back in Issue 103. And at first glance, there might not seem to be that many changes between the original and latest model. Appearances can be deceptive, however, as the only things that are retained from the previous model are the main enclosure and the speaker terminals. Everything else – from the top plate to the outriggers for the speaker spikes – is redesigned.
One of the big changes in the intervening years is the commercial availability of graphene. This technologically innovative carbon-based material, in atom-thick layers, has 200x the tensile strength of steel with the kind of absence of density that makes a sheet of paper seem like it’s made out of black holes. Graphene simply didn’t exist prior to the first years of the 21st Century and it’s taken almost a decade to find its way out of the lab.
Magico is one of the first brands out of the starting gate to use graphene commercially, originally in its limited run, top-end M-Pro model. The wider availability of graphene recently has made it possible for the material to trickle down to the S1 Mk II, which features a graphene-coated 178mm M390G Nano-Tec mid-woofer. The results of using graphene are materially obvious, as at a stroke the cone is three times stiffer and at the same time 20% lighter than before. It also has what Magico describes as a new “underhung neodymium base motor system” and a long-throw voice coil, both of which contribute to better power handling. The tweeter, too, is a trickle-down design from the M-Pro, and the 25mm MBD7 dome tweeter is unique to the brand in that it combines a thin layer of beryllium with an even thinner layer of diamond.
The inclusion of new drive units would necessitate a reworked crossover, but in this case it’s the company’s ‘elliptical’ design, bristling with expensive Mundorf components.
That new top plate is significant, too. It’s machined from solid, using Magico’s five-way CNC milling machine. That much work on a solid billet of aluminium takes an hour and a half to make, and longer still to finish to a suitably high degree in Magico’s M-Coat colour system, and not much less to finish it in the standard M-Cast. This top plate not only further mass loads the S1 Mk II, but has useful diffraction benefits above a flat top-plate. Adding a plinth instead of four spider-leg outriggers not only helps keep the centre of gravity low, but makes the loudspeaker look more elegant in installation.