Auditioned Magico A3 at my hi fi dealer
Posted by: Bart on 31 October 2018
I got to listen to the A3's ($9800 +/-) for about an hour yesterday. Setup at my dealer's very acoustically perfect (meaning, "dead") room was Uniti Nova / 250DR. The Nova was the only pre-amp they had that could connect to the 250; they don't stock much Naim. I used their library via Roon, and I brought a usb stick (into front panel of Nova) with my usual test listen tracks.
My current speakers are Devore Nines.
The presentation by the A3's could not be more different than the Nines. Perhaps these are about as far apart on the spectrum as one can get? I don't know. The Nines are very midrange-forward, which (perhaps up until now) has been something I really like about them. In contrast, the A3's sound much 'flatter' meaning the midrange is not emphasized. I don't know what adjectives others use for this sort of presentation. So with female vocals (Norah Jones), the vocals seem to fit much better INTO the mix with the A3's vs. being way out in front with my Devores. With the Devores, maybe the vocals are a bit 'larger than life.'
Soundstage and imaging with the A3's was spectacular. Now much of this is due to the room, but the soundstage in that context extended much further back (away from the listener) and a bit wider vs. the Nines.
Bass on the A3's was "interesting." This flatter response aspect extended to the mid-bass. At the very very bottom, the A3's could 'punch' me in a way the Devores can't. But between there and the mid-bass, there was simply but enjoyably very controlled bass. Not boom; none. Bass is definitely a bit fatter on the Nines.
Treble from the beryllium tweeter on the A3's was fabulous, but no more so than from the silk tweeters of the Nines to my almost 60-yr old ears. Although on one track I'm sure I heard the drumstick hitting the high hat much more accurately than I'd heard it before.
At 50-60 on the Nova's digital volume control, the A3's were PLENTY loud. So I do believe that the 250DR can drive them effectively. While more current might help in transients, I'm thinking that they are served OK by a 250DR.
My initial reaction was that the A3's were not quite as emotionally engaging to me. I'm sure that's because of their 'flatter' presentation. (I think that's a common 'dig' at "accurate" speakers, right? Not so emotionally engaging?) On the other hand, I've come to realize that in my rather boomy room at home, I do get fatigued by the midrange from my Nines at volume. So if there's a trade-off, it remains to be seen which presentation I'll be happier with. And I'm going to get them to let me listen to the A3's at home for a few days in the not too distant future. (Or maybe the Kudos 606's and 707's are somewhat in the middle??)
As for looks and finish, the black rectangular anodized aluminum boxes of the A3's suit me fine. Black anodized aluminum...sounds familiar right? They'll look good with my black Fraim.
All input welcomed!