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  1. #1
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    Cool Magico S3 (2023) Listening Impressions

    I just got back from visiting the Magico headquarters to listen to the new S3 loudspeaker. As soon as music starting playing I thought to myself this is an incredible speaker. It quickly became obvious that it is not just an improved iteration of the previous S3 MkII. In fact, I don't think you should consider it part of the current S- line. It would be better to consider this the first model in a new S- line. Calling it the S3 Mk3 would be a disservice. It is just that good.

    Still, as the obvious comparison is to the S3 MkII, that's what I will use to describe it. The midrange and bass is clearly more detailed and faster, with more subtle content being reproduced more accurately. The tweeter was very smooth. Overall everything sounded very, very detailed and clear. A lot better than the S3 MkII in detail and clarity. The soundstage was also excellent, and I was able to place individual musicians in a symphony.

    There was one track where for a while I wasn't sure if I was hearing the musician breathing or if it was my own breathing, or Alon standing right behind me. But it was actually coming from the speakers and just sounded so realistic, present, and was there in addition to the music.

    The new technology used is detailed on Magico's website, but there were some things in particular I noticed. Despite the larger dimensions, the new S3 still seems short or squat, and not that large in person. The internal volume is on par with the S3 MkII. The new midrange and woofer surrounds are a kind of dark grey foam instead of the black rubber that's been used on all the other speakers. How dark and how bright the foam is differs based on the light (see photos). Foam has a reputation for deteriorating quickly but this is a new kind that is specified to last decades.

    I firmly believe the new enclosure design and construction, and new vibration absorbing feet, is a large improvement over the previous build with SPODs. The S-series has always been great in those areas, but the new S3 is better in every way with respect to enclosure vibrations.

    [I don't know how to post image thumbnails that will open larger when you click on them, so instead you can find large photos on my Imgur Magico S3 (2023) album.]
    Neko Audio
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  2. #2
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    Magico S3 (2023) Listening Impressions

    Fantastic report! Thank you. Can’t wait to get my pair. People that missed out on our trade-in/trade-up program will be seriously kicking themselves.


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  3. #3
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    Re: Magico S3 (2023) Listening Impressions

    Did you compare the S3 mk2 and the new mk3 at the Magico factory?
    Source: Technics SP10mk3 - Thales Simplicity II, TW Raven AC-3 - Graham Phantom, SME 3012-R, Exclusive P3,,Linn LP12 - Naim ARO
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    Preamp: D'Agostino HD, conrad johnson GAT,
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    Speakers: Wilson Maxx3

  4. #4
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    Re: Magico S3 (2023) Listening Impressions

    Thank you for sharing, S3's were always good spot in Magico line, giving so much performance for there cost, however the new version is real bump in price - hopefully performance will at list be equal to the price increase.
    I'll have to wait few more months to discover the differences between my current S3MK2 in compared with the new version.

  5. #5
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    Re: Magico S3 (2023) Listening Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by XV-1 View Post
    Did you compare the S3 mk2 and the new mk3 at the Magico factory?
    I’m fairly familiar with the S3 MkII, having had them here for a long time and also recently listening to them at someone else’s place. Plus we still have the S5 MkII and S1 MkII here.

    Quote Originally Posted by exupgh12 View Post
    Thank you for sharing, S3's were always good spot in Magico line, giving so much performance for there cost, however the new version is real bump in price - hopefully performance will at list be equal to the price increase.
    You’re welcome. It’s always nice if things can cost less, but I think you will find the improvements to be well worth it.
    Neko Audio
    Authorized Dealer: AC Infinity, Acoustic Zen, APC, Audeze, Bryston, Devialet, Elite HTS, Fortress Seating, JVC, LG, LUMIN, Magico, Ortofon, RME, Samsung, STAX, Trinnov, Vivid Audio, & more.

  6. #6
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    Re: Magico S3 (2023) Listening Impressions

    Any thoughts on how they compare to the "M" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by NekoAudio View Post
    I’m fairly familiar with the S3 MkII, having had them here for a long time and also recently listening to them at someone else’s place. Plus we still have the S5 MkII and S1 MkII here.



    You’re welcome. It’s always nice if things can cost less, but I think you will find the improvements to be well worth it.
    Jock

    If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.

    ---------

    House: Naim ND555/2PS, Naim 552, Naim 500, Studer A80/Doshi V3, Magico M2s, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Lumina IC/SC, Shunyata Everest and Omega PCs.

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  7. #7
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    Re: Magico S3 (2023) Listening Impressions

    Neko,
    Thank your informative early impressions of the New S3s. Two questions:
    1. What was the component chain used the drive the new speakers in the demo?
    2. Other than speed/detail, in this venue was it possible to further characterize the new speakers' bass vs. your recollections of the S3 MkII or the A5?

  8. #8
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    Re: Magico S3 (2023) Listening Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by the professor View Post
    Any thoughts on how they compare to the "M" series?
    Yeah...I think it's actually going to become a point of consideration for people: going with an S3 or an M2. Particularly with the price difference. I usually listen to the M2, but obviously with different electronics and in a different room. Whereas before I would easily say the M2 is better in every way than the S3 MkII, I have a feeling the S3 might have better detail retrieval than the M2 while the M2 might still sound more "pure". I'll feel more confident about that assessment once I can hear them side-by-side in the same room with the same electronics. But at the moment I don't know yet which one I'll end up wanting in my primary listening setup. So on one hand that's inconclusive, but on the other hand it shows how good the new S3 is.

    Quote Originally Posted by GSOphile View Post
    1. What was the component chain used the drive the new speakers in the demo?
    2. Other than speed/detail, in this venue was it possible to further characterize the new speakers' bass vs. your recollections of the S3 MkII?
    1. I believe it was the MSB Select DAC, Pilium Alexander preamp, and Pilium Hercules amplifiers.

    2. I guess you're asking about low frequency extension? Adding SPODs to the S3 MkII noticeably improves the low end compared to the S3 MkII with stock spikes, making the frequency response remain flatter as it goes lower. The new S3 has built-in SPOD-like feet, and I thought the frequency extension was comparable to the S3 MkII with SPODs.
    Neko Audio
    Authorized Dealer: AC Infinity, Acoustic Zen, APC, Audeze, Bryston, Devialet, Elite HTS, Fortress Seating, JVC, LG, LUMIN, Magico, Ortofon, RME, Samsung, STAX, Trinnov, Vivid Audio, & more.

  9. #9
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    Re: Magico S3 (2023) Listening Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    People that missed out on our trade-in/trade-up program will be seriously kicking themselves.
    Sign me up now for the new S7 upgrade program!
    Howard

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Magico S3 (2023) Listening Impressions

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