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Magico’s S3 Floorstanding Loudspeakers Might Be What We Buy With That Winning Lottery Ticket: High-End Munich 2023

Starting at $45,500/pair, the 2nd generation Magico S3 loudspeaker implement advancements from the company’s flagship M9.

Magico S3 Loudspeakers Pair Front and Back

Spending tens of thousands of dollars on a pair of loudspeakers is not something that I have ever contemplated because I’m generally sane, don’t want to get divorced (again), and have enormous education bills every single year. What I spend on private Jewish education and college in New Jersey and New York for all 3 of my children might shock some of you; which is pretty rich coming for a guy who owns 11 pairs of loudspeakers.

That being said, having listened over the past 8 years to more than a few pairs of Magico loudspeakers driven by some of the best amplifiers on the planet — I would certainly consider buying these if I had that kind of money.

Magico’s CEO, Alon Wolf, graduated from one of the top engineering and science universities in the world (based in Israel) and has proven over the past decade that he knows how to push the engineering envelope.

Magico S3 Loudspeaker Lifestyle
Magico S3 Loudspeaker

The new Magico S3 3-way loudspeakers are bomb-proof loudspeakers; I almost want to call them the “Iron Dome” of high-end loudspeakers.

Some will bemoan the price but do you really walk into a Mercedes or Porsche dealership, pound on the roof of an S600 or 911 and scream “overpriced.”

Don’t be that person. I can’t afford these but I have listened to enough of their products to know that they make exceptional loudspeakers.

One could make the argument that $5,000 loudspeakers made in China for specific European brands are overpriced and that these Merkava tanks which are handmade in the United States using the most advanced materials and construction available are priced accordingly.

Some history first…

Magico M9 Loudspeakers
Magico M9 Flagship Loudspeakers

Magico’s flagship loudspeaker, the incomparable M9, was as much a tour de force engineering exercise as a finished product. The knowledge distilled and technological advances gained in the M9 development have been applied to the new S3 which reaps the rewards of those monumental efforts. With new state-of-the-art R&D capabilities, the California-based company set out to redesign the S3 Mk II loudspeaker to achieve audible improvements in every parameter.

With new enclosure, drivers, and coupling system, the S3 accomplishes far more than the initial design brief.

Enclosure Technology

The new S3 features an appearance that is at once refined and fortified. With a newly engineered enclosure assembled from four separate extruded aluminum panels ranging in thickness from 1/2” to 2-inches, the S3’s enclosure is ambitious to say the least. Each panel, including the front baffle, is carefully machined to take on an overall edgeless-shaped perimeter.

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Magico S3 Loudspeaker Interior Bracing Cutaway

A massive machined top plate is curved and has an upward pitch to minimize enclosure diffraction and break up vertical standing waves. A thicker and more substantial baseplate incorporates a newly designed 3-point outrigger system with a new foot design that lowers the center of gravity of the speaker and increases overall stability, resulting in a lower noise floor and increased dynamics.

Magico’s new in-house 3D laser interferometry system measures each S3 enclosure panel, up to 1000 points a side, and calculates the aggregate SPL resonance of the entire enclosure.

This highly accurate analysis enables us to compare the enclosure resonance contribution in relation to the acoustical output of the transducers and strategically apply internal bracing and damping techniques to optimize the overall sound performance of the S3 in its finished form. The new S3 enclosure is 30% quieter than its predecessor.

Acoustic Design

The Klippel Near-Field-Scanner (NFS) uses a single microphone that rotates around a loudspeaker enclosure that is suspended in free-air. The microphone analyzes the environment space first, and then takes fully automated 3D acoustic measurements (on and off axis) in a minimal amount of time without the need for an anechoic chamber.

Klippel Near-field Scanner testing Magico S3 Loudspeaker

The 360-dgeree sphere of measurement points are then calculated with the initial room measurements deducted from the equation. The Klippel Near-Field-Scanner provides Magico with unprecedented, highly accurate data and allows us to predict the in-room reflections and response of each loudspeaker in a standard listening room environment.

The new S3 greatly benefitted from this uncompromised investment in measurement technology. The result is a speaker with clear technical superiority that results in unparalleled sonic performance.

Driver Technology

Three years of engineering research brings a new generation of transducer chassis designs that provide improved mechanical and acoustical parameters. New chassis profiles have been developed for the S3’s midrange and bass drivers, which result in ideal stiffness and damping properties to minimize any acoustical contribution by reducing resonant modes while also maximizing air flow.

No aspect of the S3’s design was left to chance. Magico’s commitment to leveraging its R&D resources for the best acoustical performance is unrivaled.

Magico S3 Loudspeaker Drivers Closeup

Tweeter

Using key elements of the M9 tweeter platform, the newly designed S3 tweeter features the vaunted Magico 28mm diamond-coated beryllium diaphragm. Optimized geometry, created using state-of-the-art Finite Element Analysis modeling tools, brings the S3’s high-frequency reproduction one step closer to perfection.

This was achieved by skillfully leveraging beryllium’s physical properties, making the tweeter closer to the theoretical ideal without gaining the extra weight normally associated with a material such as diamond’s specific gravity.

This applied technology allowed Magico to increase the dome diameter from 26mm to 28mm, improving many aspects of performance and allowing even greater power handling and vanishingly low distortion.

Combined with a neodymium-based motor system, new acoustically improved back chamber, and customized shape to integrate into the curved front baffle, the new S3 tweeter registers the lowest distortion measurements possible today from a high-frequency transducer. When coupled with even greater power handling, the S3’s tweeter is a technical and sonic marvel.

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Midrange Driver

The 5-inch pure midrange driver in the S3 features an advanced cone material formed of a honeycomb aluminum core sandwiched with outer and inner layers of graphene and carbon fiber.

This enables wider dispersion characteristics and results in greater midrange transparency. The advanced cone is supported by a customized basket assembly and innovative foam surround, which helps achieve ideal cone/surround integration, faster settling time, and impressively low distortion.

The all-new underhung neodymium-based motor system uses two extra-large magnets to facilitate a super-stabilized magnetic field and a pure copper pole cap that minimizes eddy currents and maximizes efficiency. This development in midrange driver technology sets a new benchmark of measured performance in both the frequency and time domains.

Magico S3 Loudspeaker
Magico S3 Loudspeaker Blue

Bass Driver

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) provides Magico engineers a single platform to assess acoustical, mechanical, electromagnetic, and thermal properties. This meticulous testing helps minimize distortions in the frequency and time domains. The S3’s bass driver has benefitted greatly from this advanced research.

The 9-inch bass driver in the S3 features an enhanced version of Magico’s Graphene Nano-Tec cone. Graphene, a hexagonal lattice of carbon, achieves 50 times the tensile strength of high-carbon steel.

The new cone is formed using a honeycomb aluminum core sandwiched by outer and inner layers of CF Graphene, which combine to achieve the highest possible stiffness-to-weight ratio, ideal damping properties, and extremely low distortion.

The new bass unit incorporates oversized components including a 5-inch pure Titanium voice coil and huge copper cap with 1/2” of linear excursion. The super-stabilized magnetic field enables the S3 to reproduce superior low bass output (112dB @ 50Hz measured at 1 meter), while maintaining very low distortion and inductance below 0.25m.

Specifications

  • Driver Complement:
  • 1 1.1” MB5FP pure Beryllium, Diamond coated tweeter
  • 1 5” Gen 8 Midrange driver
  • 2 9” Gen 8 Bass driver
  • Sensitivity: 88dB
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Frequency Response: 24 Hz – 50 KHz
  • Recommended Power: 50 – 750 Watts
  • Dimensions : 44H” x 17D” x 12W” (17” outrigger)
  • Weight: 222 lbs

The Magico S3 start at $45,500/pair in M-Cast finish, $52,500/pair in M-Coat.

For more information: magicoaudio.com/s-series-s3

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Ariel Sharon

    May 16, 2023 at 8:23 pm

    Too many references to jewishness in this article. Talk about the sound.

    • Ian White

      May 16, 2023 at 9:32 pm

      Ariel,

      Rich coming from the guy who gave up Gaza. Did you know that Magico started in Israel? Why shouldn’t I be proud to highlight Alon Wolf’s start at the Technion and that his speakers are built like Merkava tanks?

      Lilah Tov.

      Aharon Ben Canaan of Yagur

      • Chris

        May 17, 2023 at 2:03 am

        I definitely wouldn’t buy magico they sound bright and edgy because of that beryllium tweeter The monitor audio platinum are way more three-dimensional and airy spacious than an open than these speakers and they cost half as much The platinum 300 G3 Will help to form these speakers quite easily, to bother not making a platinum 500 because that G2 version would be better than this speaker that speaker is one of the best speakers on the market at 32,000 it was outperforming speakers three times its price, and that MPD tweeter is probably the best on the market now.

        • Ian White

          May 17, 2023 at 11:02 am

          Chris,

          I’ve only heard great things about the MA Platinum 300 G3. I love the industrial design more than the Magico speakers. Monitor Audio has a new line of in-wall speakers that I’m seriously considering for our home theater room.

          Best,

          Ian White

  2. Jim H

    May 17, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    I don’t care what technology they pour into tower speakers, mini-monitors simply sound better to my ears and many others, like Magico’s own A1, which I heard at Axpona. Minis just have way lower coloration due to the small cabinet, image better, disappear way better, and just have a sheer transparent beauty to their sound that few towers can equal!
    I do like some towers like ProAc K series or Eggleston Vigintis, maybe a few others but not many!

    • Ian White

      May 17, 2023 at 3:46 pm

      Jim,

      Aside from my Maggie LRS, I’m more of a bookshelf/stand-mount person myself. I miss my old Spendors. Didn’t exactly vanish but superb tone and emotional connection.

      I don’t see the need for massive floorstanding speakers (although I am really enjoying the B&W 703 S3 that I’m currently reviewing) anymore considering how much sound quality can be derived now from monitors, but they wouldn’t make these if folks were not buying them.

      Best,

      Ian White

  3. Jim Horvath

    May 17, 2023 at 6:34 pm

    I don’t care what technology they pour into tower speakers, mini-monitors simply sound better to my ears and many others, like Magico’s own A1, which I heard at Axpona. Minis just have way lower coloration due to the small cabinet, image better, disappear way better, and just have a sheer transparent beauty to their sound that few towers can equal!
    I do like some towers like ProAc K series or Eggleston Vigintis, maybe a few others but not many!

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