In just a few years, Magico has gone from being a brand no-one had heard of, to being a brand that helps shape today’s high-end audio industry. Although this comes down to many factors, it’s easy to overlook that the biggest factor is that Magico makes a fundamentally good loudspeaker.
However, that loudspeaker can be extremely expensive, even by high-end standards. Although a quick investigation of what goes into a Magico loudspeaker goes a long way to explain why these loudspeakers are expensive to build and ship to clients, explanations are as nothing if the product is ultimately more money than you could ever justify or afford to spend on a pair of loudspeakers. The new S1 goes some way to addressing this conundrum; it’s not exactly chicken feed at £13,900, but it’s a step toward a more ‘everyman’ Magico.
The S1 is a sealed, two-way floorstander, with a cabinet made of solid aluminium that sits on heavy outriggers and armour-piercing spikes. From a passing acquaintance with Magico, it’s clear it’s part of the brand’s more approachable S-line in that it has curved side panels and can be supplied in a range of colours, including premium M-Coat gloss finishes (the Q-series products have adopted a ‘any colour you want, so long as it’s matt black’ Model T Ford approach to aesthetics). This also means the complex aluminium Meccano set spaceframe that holds every Q in place isn’t a feature.
The S series are still built on a thick aluminium skeleton, with the aluminium tube that forms the outer cabinet and the top and bottom plates bolted to this frame. That outer cabinet
in the S1 is a fascinating bit of engineering in and of itself. It’s a solid aluminium tube, a softly curved triangle in crosssection with the base of the triangle forming the front baffle of the loudspeaker. Yet again, this is the kind of small-batch engineering development that’s only possible if you own the means of production. This makes for a seamless loudspeaker (there are holes in the tube for the drive units, one each for the large red and black speaker terminals and a back plate for the logo at the front and the serial number at the back). Protective grills are supplied too.
The tweeter is the MB30 25mm beryllium dome unit found in the Magico S5, while the single mid-bass driver is a 178mm version of the 165mm M380 mid-range driver also found in the S5. However, where the M380 had a pair of 250mm bass units bringing up the rear, the M390 unit has to reach further down into the bottom end, in a manner not dissimilar to the 178mm Neo-Tech unit found in the Q1 standmount. On paper at least, the performance of the Q1 standmount and S1 floorstander are identical, but although they have commonalities of performance, they are actually very different beasts with very different clientele.