To Jeff Fritz,
I have been reading your reviews with a lot of interest and I greatly appreciate the fact that you do not shy away from doing frank comparisons of high-end components. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on how the Magico Q3 compares to the previous model -- the Magico V3. I cannot afford the Q3 but I might be able to buy a gently used V3 at an affordable price (I am not in a position to audition either of the speakers). Any insights would be much appreciated. I will be using Pass Labs XA100.5 amps.
As much as I'd like to be able to tell you that a used V3 will get you close to the sound of the new Q3 while saving you $20,000 or so, it's just not so. While I do remember hearing the V3 at shows and noting to myself that it was a fine-sounding loudspeaker, it never had the impact on me that the Q3 had. Further, it is obvious how much more Magico has been able to accomplish by bringing the entire cabinet-making process in-house with the Q series. The truth is that the Q-series speakers are really the first Magicos that I'd personally own as a reference.
Having said that, I think the Magico S-series speakers are the highest-value products the company has ever made. I know the S5 might be more expensive than a used pair of V3s, but it does come in at about 12 grand less than the Q3s. If you have a smallish room, you might even consider the new S1, which is under $13,000/pair.
My hope is that an S3 will be coming to market within the next year to fill out that line -- time will tell. If you can save for the S5, however, I don’t think you'd ever regret purchasing a pair. . . . Jeff Fritz