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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Jeff Fritz,

I would greatly appreciate a few quick words comparing the Magico Q7 to MartinLogan's CLX and/or Magnepan's 20.7, both of which I love for their large, textured, three-dimensional imaging and staging. I imagine you've heard these two, and any comments you have I'd love to hear. I am amazed and at the same time in awe of the attempts at defining the "best" speaker in the world, and my hat is off to you for declaring your choice.

Thanks,
Van

These speakers are about as different as you can get -- not the least of which is in price -- but I do understand the comparison because of some very specific things that these three loudspeakers do have in common. I'll keep my comments to the MartinLogan CLX since I've heard that speaker more times than the Magnepan 20.7.

First, the CLX sounds -- like most good electrostats, planars, and ribbons -- extremely fast and resolving. I think this has to do with the lightness of the diaphragm materials in the drivers themselves and the way these drivers couple to the air. I've heard this "quick" quality many times and it can lead to the type of imaging and soundstaging you have described. Some people call this "transparency," and though I would not completely agree with that descriptive -- because I think you must also have a neutral frequency response to be truly transparent, and I'm not sure these speakers always succeed with that -- I do know why that term is used with them.

The comparison with the Q7 is interesting because that speaker does have the subjectively quick nature of a speaker like the CLX. In that way the sound is very similar. Where the Q7 pulls away, however, is that it also has the traditional strengths of an exceptional dynamic-driver loudspeaker like low distortion, a neutral tonal balance, and weight and slam in a low end that extends extremely deep in the bass. In those senses, the Q7 marries the best of both worlds better than any other speaker in my experience. And that goes a long way in explaining why I think it is currently at the state of the art. . . . Jeff Fritz