To Jeff Fritz,
First of all, I would like to express my appreciation for your writing and insights into the audio world. I love reading your articles and find that I often learn something that helps me to more deeply enjoy my music. I would love to ask your advice about upgrading my Magico S1 speakers to either the Magico S3 or the Magico Q3. (I currently have a VTL S-200 amp, VTL TL5.5 preamp, a Luxman DA-06 DAC, Synergistic Research Tungsten interconnects and Organic speaker cables).
I want more bass in my system and have listened to both the Magico S3s and the Magico Q3s at my dealer. The limiting factor is that my room is 10’ x 12’ with a slightly vaulted ceiling. I absolutely loved, loved, loved the Magico Q3s playing with my same equipment at the dealer, but worry about the bass and size of the speaker overwhelming the room. I also loved the S3 -- simply amazing speakers, but they are not anywhere near the Q3 [in terms of performance]. If I had a larger room I would get the Q3, but I worry that even with acoustic treatments the Q3 will overwhelm the small space.
I trust your opinion and know that you are familiar with the S1, S3, and the Q3, and so thought my question worth asking. Which would you recommend?
Thank you so much for the kind words! They are very nice to hear.
In your case the easy answer is the Q3, and here's why: First, as you have heard, the Q3 is a superior loudspeaker in comparison to the S3. It has a better tweeter and full-on Magico Nano-Tec bass drivers; the S3 has a less-advanced tweeter and hybrid bass drivers that are not fully Magico creations. Of course, there is also the better cabinet, higher-grade crossover, and on and on . . . all in favor of the Q3. Bottom line: The Q3 is a clear step-up from the S3.
The other significant reason to go with the Q3 versus the S3 is the bass voicing of each model. The Q3 is actually more linear, whereas the S3 has a more pronounced bass signature. I believe this will actually benefit you in your room because the Q3 should load it more linearly. Ultimately the more linear bass and the more resolving loudspeaker should prove to yield longer-term satisfaction. So, short answer, get the Q3. . . . Jeff Fritz