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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Jeff Fritz,

I have enjoyed your articles about speakers and I share your admiration for Magico speakers. I currently own the V3s and may be looking to upgrade. In a classic case of yesterday’s heroes being forgotten, prices on the “wood” Magicos have descended to downright affordable levels; particularly, the big M5s can be had for reasonable money in my opinion. Would you choose a new S3 or used Q3 over an M5, assuming I have the amplification to make each one work? I have to say that I have heard the Q3s and think they are great -- but I really like the treble balance of the V3s and I am a little skeptical of the beryllium tweeter in the Qs being unkind to LPs and surface noise. I definitely would like additional bass extension. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Scott Hargadon
United States

I would go with a new set of S3s, and here’s why: First, a new set of speakers ensures you do not inherit any prior issues. You’ll get a mint, quality-controlled product -- in short, what you pay for. That peace of mind is important when spending large sums of money, in my opinion. Second, a new set of S3s will get you the latest technology from Magico, which includes a tweeter and midrange several generations ahead of what the M5 has to offer. Magico has certainly improved their speakers over the past few years. And third, the bass voicing of the S3 sounds right up your alley. Remember, it’s not the beryllium tweeter that determines tonal balance -- that thing is clean and virtually distortionless -- it is the balance of bass to the rest of the spectrum. The S3 will give you a slightly warm tonal balance, because of its increased bass relative the mids and highs. The Q3 will be dead neutral by comparison, which may not be your cup of tea.

So, all signs point to a new set of S3s. I think they’ll be a huge upgrade over your V3s. . . . Jeff Fritz