To Jeff Fritz,
I read your “What I’d Buy: Loudspeakers Over $15,000” with pleasure. As we are looking for a new set of speakers we would like to know where you would put the Magico Q5 on this list. Thanks in advance.
With kind regards,
The Magico Q5 ($65,000 USD/pr. in M-Cast finish) is currently the oldest loudspeaker design that the company makes, as it was introduced in 2010. I was super impressed by it when it was launched and it is still a formidable loudspeaker capable of very transparent sound even when compared with today's best designs. The main caveat with the Q5 is that you need a very powerful partnering power amplifier. I would want at least 500W into its 4-ohm load along with excellent drive capability in terms of minimum impedance. Given that prerequisite, I think the Q5 could easily be the heart of a state-of-the-art system.
The counter to that advice is that the newer Magico designs are less expensive and more approachable. The Q3, for example, is $38,950/pr. and is quite a bit more efficient, meaning it will require less amplifier power. I think that model would provide most of the refinement of the Q5 and bass that's almost as deep. The Q3, being a more recent design, also has a greater helping of Magico's current driver technology -- in this case, newer is better. Obviously, it is much less expensive too. Would that model satisfy you? I'm not sure. Only you can answer that question. I feel that if you are hooked on the sound of a Q-series speaker, one of the S-series speakers like the S5 will just not do it for you. If you want a Q, get a Q.
So, to sum up, the Q5 is still a great choice if your wallet and amplification are up to the challenge. But if you want to save some money and open up your amplification possibilities, then the Q3 would certainly make a fine choice. Either way you go, you really can't lose. . . . Jeff Fritz