Magico A5 Loudspeaker Page 2

A quick burst of improvised jazz with Nasheet Waits opening 'Untitled' [Shift, Blue Note 00600406671585; 96kHz/24-bit, FLAC] perfectly illustrates the A5's ability to deliver the punchy rhythm of a firmly-struck drum while maintaining the delicacy and air of accompanying cymbal strikes. Described as a 'dream band', the headline pairing of saxophonist/composer Logan Richardson with legend Pat Metheny does not disappoint here, especially with the atmospheric 'Locked Out Of Heaven' where that gorgeously brassy sax sound just spills into the room illuminated by flashes of percussion. The precision of the attack and poise of the decay is fabulous and just so... believable.Neither does the A5 lose its composure as Richardson and Metheny start trading blows in the deceptively unassuming 'Slow', building in a crescendo of strings, piano and brass that would challenge the most confident of amplifier/loudspeaker combinations. Frankly, the Constellation Inspiration/Magico duo breezed it.

A Sensitive Side
These are big speakers, but they'll take on diddy LS3/5As when it comes to creating 'intimate'. The exquisitely close-mic'd soprano Barbara Hannigan, joined here by a marginally more distant Reinbert de Leeuw on piano, brings a hushed immediacy to Erik Satie's three-part avant-garde symphonic drama [Socrate; Winter & Winter 9102342, 192kHz/24-bit FLAC]. Again, there's that sense of weightless drivers imprinting every lisp, sibilant and vocal inflection on the air, whispering in your ear while the firm tone of piano retains a stoic but undemanding presence, both participant in and voyeur to the sensuality of the piece. The music is simple, elegant, ravishing and the A5s reveal every lyrical note and breath of air without artifice. They are confident but invisible.


The A5's sealed and heavily-braced aluminium cabinet hosts a 28mm beryllium dome tweeter, a new 105mm graphene/carbon-fibre sandwich mid unit and no fewer than three 175mm sandwiched-coned woofers, all with a continuous, dust-cap-free profile

These speakers are capable of so much more, of course, and there's no bigger stage upon which the A5s might stretch their legs than with The World Of Hans Zimmer – A Symphonic Celebration [Sony Classical 190758990521; 48kHz/24-bit FLAC] recorded with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in the gloriously ambient Vienna Konzerthaus. The soundscape is truly massive, the scene set by the thundering score from The Dark Knight as the distant roar of tympani and bass roll out to the strain of strings, building an almost unbearable tension into what seems an improbably vast field of sound.

Switching scale entirely, the likes of 'Madagascar: Best Friends' sounds positively breezy by way of comparison but, once again, the A5s got right behind the uplifting mood of the music with high winds, piano, strings and bells combining in perfect harmony to deliver a truly joyous, happy sound. I defy you not to crack a smile...

Listen Till You Drop
The A5s will soar stupendously high, descend into the black depths and expand to encompass the ambience of the grandest venue – a trick they pulled off again with the monumental 'Time' from Inception, the sound swelling without a hint of compression or boundary only to reveal yet another layer of 'performance' as the audience breaks into unexpected applause.

I spent a full day exploring this set with Magico's A5, discovering and delighting in the finesse of musical detail that had otherwise lain hidden in the nooks and crannies of Zimmer's tour de force. Then again, perhaps it truly takes a masterpiece of engineering to realise a masterwork of composition.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
A unicorn among equines, the A5 is one of a very rare breed – the 'impossible' moving-coil speaker that gets very close to the lightness and transparency of the best 'statics/ribbons while harbouring a bass kick that eludes them all. Walk into a room with a pair of A5s on demonstration and it will take mere seconds to realise you are in the presence of something very special indeed. Yes, they are that compelling.

Magico Loudspeakers LLC
Hayward CA, USA
Supplied by: Absolute Sounds Ltd
0208 971 3909