Just wondering if there is anyone out there after the M5-Q5 debacle willing to put out the cash... Even if you like the Magico house sound, the new aluminum speaker will be out in no time at 25-45% less.
The jury is still out on this one!
Only the clueless and those suffering from Abuse Victim Syndrome.
Curious, u just messing around or is there some new news/development at magico? My logical guess is that other wood hybrid models will be replaced by the new stuff he's making at his new mill shop. But is there word on another new material? I'd hold back on any magico products Purchase for now(if on shortlists of audiophiles). The prices are all over the place and reviews mixed. For the extra 30k loss here and there might not be a big deal for some but I'd rather spend it on a car or home upgrade or vacation or something useful other than flushing it down the drain over a move expensive and lower quality speaker.
No, Sam. Looks like the aluminum speaker has become the dominant design. Magico and YG got it. I don't know how other companies will compete.
I am glad you are holding off purchasing Magico and I would hope everyone else becomes aware and holds off as well. New aluminum models will be out shortly. They are likely to be cheaper and better.
As for the case of Q5 / M5 , Magico has really done a dirty and disgusting deed. Sure it's a pittance for some, but for many who have been working 6 or 7 days a week for decades to reach their goals, it is not. Those who bought an M5 will be lucky to get half for it right now. And that doesn't include the "hassle factor". It would be nice to see an apology from Magico, but I am not holding my breath.
Curiousmind, what are your motivations for saying this? Have you actually sat down and listened to V3s and M5s in home listening situations? What is your basis for suggesting that aluminum enclosures will "sound better" than non-aluminum ones? Similarly, have you auditioned the various YG Acoustics speakers, preferably in home systems? Personal preferences being what they are, I see no problem with someone preferring wood over aluminum or vice versa.
Not all loudspeaker enclosures are designed to be non-resonant, but those which are are built of a variety of materials, some of which are engineered to not only be exceedingly stiff but also have significant hysteresis losses, given off as small amounts of heat, to absorb mechanical energy. But there's so much more to loudspeaker design than cabinet materials. Crossover components and drivers, for example.
Like them or not, Wilson Audio has created proprietary materials for their cabinets, some of which are very hard. Recent models employ a new material containing sawdust or other wood particles, I suspect in an effort to "warm things up" sonically.
Your message indicates strong displeasure with what Magico has done and may be thinking of doing (but hasn't done so yet). Even if they plan to build only speakers with aluminum enclosures, that's no assurance the speakers will sound better than current non-aluminum ones. The "Chicken LIttle" the-sky-is-falling sound of your strongly worded post in the Wilson Sasha vs. Magico V3 thread is based on pure speculation on your part and hints at an agenda of discrediting Magico.
All of that said, if you or a friend are looking for a pair of YG Anat II Reference Pros in great shape, step right this way for a screaming deal :-)
Essential Audio ~ Chicago area ~ 773-809-HIFI (4434)
I guess I don't understand your post. You mention sound quality preferences, Q5/ M5 sound differences, speaker enclosure materials, YG's for sale. If you want to discuss these topics, start new threads. I will be happy to contribute.
My post really deals with a couple of issues. Let me make it crystal clear. First, from an economic perspective, it doesn't make much sense to purchase a non aluminum speaker from Magico right now. You will spend near $30K. Magico will likely release a new speaker at a discounted price in the very near future. You will be lucky to get back half of what you spend on this speaker. Second point has to do with ethics and fair business practices. Imagine you are out in your town on a sunny day in January. You walk into your hardware store and see snow shovels on sale for $15 bucks. You think you should pick one up, but you forgot your wallet. You come home, fire up your system, pour some nice aged cognac, get your tubes to glow, and get lost listening to your system. You wake up the next day and look outside, but you can barely get out of your house due to 30 inches of snow. You manage to struggle to your local hardware, but you notice the shovels are now $75!!! Is this fair or ethical? Personally, I would not want my friends, neighbors, and members of my community to deal with anyone who does not have a sense of fairness.
I think my post was clear. While I mentioned that people have different preferences in terms of sound, I made no mention of nor expressed an opinion on Q5/M5 sound differences. I was responding to your post on topic, not starting a new topic thread.
Your first point about pricing is taken, but you are assuming the two speakers sound the same, which they don't, and that new models from the same manufacturer which may have aluminum enclosures will replace current models and will be priced substantially lower. Those are pretty big assumptions.
Your second point is a red herring and an appeal to emotion. If a speaker manufacturer sets prices too high, people won't buy, but he can charge whatever people are willing to pay to maximize his profits. It's simple economics and free enterprise at work.
Relax and enjoy your music.
Good post! I also doubt(guess) the prices will be reduced that much on the other models. These guys have gained enough attention and name that those willing will shell out whats asked.And its fair enough. If BMW and Mercedes can do it so can everyone else. Our country drives on free enterprise with 2 best ways to get money out of people. One with a luring product: cars, homes, electronics, etc....at any price people are willing to pay out of lust or greed. OR Two, a free enterprise on those desperate...i.e. if in serious illness, or legal trouble(legal fees)...drain them out baby........I read somewhere the "party is over".....well not for those on the taking end....as for those on the giving(cauging up at any cost greed or need)....I guess the party is over. Thats the economics... As far as enjoying, anything can be turned into enjoyment and relaxing....its a state of mind and people handle it all over the world no matter what conditions they are in, good or bad. Life goes on.
My points have nothing with limiting and enhancing free markets. Mr Wolf is free to do as he wishes. But running a successful business is about creating good feelings between the customer and the company. Fairness has a lot to do with building a brand people can trust. Mr. Wolf doesn't understand this or doesn't care about this.
Imagine you were the dealer who purchased a demo pair of M5's to demo for your customers, and now
(1) you would have to unload it at a big discount, and
(2) explain to your big item purchasers that there is something better out there at a fraction of the cost after you told them M5 was the best in the world.
I am sure you would be chirping a different tune.
Have a beverage and enjoy your system!
As I see it, your problem is with how quickly Mr. Wolf increased the quality and price/performance ratio of his latest Magico model, the Q5 compared to his past model, the M5 etc., and likewise, the competition. You would he, to "run a successful business", delay the introduction and announcement of the Q5 for a year or two, to allow for sales of the existing model? In other words, not do and give his customers his best? That would be unfair to him and the customers of the Q5.
I'm a headphone guy, as you can tell from my name, and currently use a pair of Stax Omega II headphones with a SRM-007t tube amplifier which I picked up in Tokyo for a song. They sounded nicer than the Wilson loudspeakers I was considering at the time, and the mid-fi PSB Stratus Gold's that a friend had passed on to me, which I still use in my bedroom, computer room, and living room, for background music. Now since I purchased the Stax package, Stax has come out with a number of more advanced headphones and headphone amplifiers at better price-performance ratios. I think I paid $3000-3500 USD, which was good and I gave my old pair of Stax Sigmas with their headset/amp adaptor to a friend who was going away, as I didn't need them anymore. Also I saved a song, around $100,000-$150,000 on not getting those Wilsons and some Mark Levinson gear to drive them. Also since that time, Sony came out with their bio-cellulose technology for around $4000, which should be better than the Stax with a good headset amplifer, and look at all these new multi-driver in-your ear headphones, that would eat my IPod Entoymotic ER 4's for dust.
After I heard how much better my Stax headphones sounded than my PSB's speakers, I didn't bother to sell them and waste my time that way, I simply moved them out from their in-room "hi-fi" positioning, to by the room's corners, where they were/and are better for parties (think bass-reinforcement) and house-guests who no longer would have to move around them to get to my kitchen, etc. Much more logical layout, since I live in a Condo, and never built the home with a dedicated listening room I was going for.
Now before I had my 5 mid-fi PSB Stratus Gold's which I got from a departing friend for initially home theatre use (though they would be good, since they were all identical and had a deep bass response), I had a set of Klipsch Heressy II's (initally 2 then 3) and then KG 1.2's (rear) with a Velodyne F1500 (sub) which I had got for my long ago as a music student interested in blasting my other college mates with low-frequencies from my res-room. I simply gave my Klipsch/Velodyne "studio" setup to another music friend, who has them now mated to a receiver in a nice wood-walled home theatre setup with a good front-projection screen. When ever I go over to visit my friend, I can watch movies or play silly video games on this old system which still gives me some nostalgia, and some nice happiness to see it well-used and looked after. Same with another brief system, consisting of Rotel and NHT gear (loved that black piano finish) which went to a friend's daughter as she got into music at an old school of mine.
What am I saying with all my rambling? First, it's rare for an audiophile to just have one system. Some of us have had little museums at one times of cherished components, like car people collect cars. I have one friend who seems to buy a used Mercedes or BMW a week, though I think they all look alike, and I have no idea where he finds the garage space for them all, or buyers for them, when he gets bored of them. Think if you had to keep all of your girlfriends? Where would that put your sense of adventure as a young man? When we have space, we tend to keep things, and move old things to less used rooms or rooms with other functions. Otherwise, we adapt. Unless we're addicted to purchasing, it's pretty easy to find the space, or a friend who wouldn't mind an "upgrade".
I can't see how someone with a Magico M5 can't find the space in their palatial abode to move it, should they upgrade to an Ultimate II or say, to a Q5, as you seem to have in mind. Besides the two (M5 and Q5) look quite different. An M5 might look good in an office if someone was music minded and had a similar wood decore, while the Q5 wouldn't, to my way of looking.
I'm sure a lot more of us would of gotten B&W Matrix 800's when they came out, had they not looked so odd: I was struck with 801's at the time, which were odd themselves (still can't stand the look of the newer "Nautilus" 800-series) but couldn't find a suitable amp to mate with them at the time with enough power and really make their bass shine despite countless recommendations and consequent auditions. Maybe the Aragon 8008 did it for the bass, but it wasn't as nice as the YBA gear on the high-end. Oh well.
There is more to a speaker than sound when it comes to selling, I am saying: look at home many speaker models are shown through the years pictured next to fairly attractive models to illustrate the "hi-fi" lifestyle. Magico speakers are OK in the looks department, and OK in the sound department also, n'est pas? I'm not really a hi-fi guy, but like audio as a means to play my own music and that of my friends. More mid-fi / studio, I'd say, with an emphasis in the bass department, though my natural instruments are the saxophones and electronic ones, after that.
Magico's may or may not be my cup of tea - certainly the Ultimate II's look interesting, and I've always wondered about GOTO and such compression drivers and the like, and how some Japanese and others build whole-home audio systems, with wonderfully large horns.
I do like how Magico tends to come out with better-sounding and now cheaper-pricing models, which seems to be your contention.
In my way of looking, someone with $90,000 (about the same as what I was once thinking with Wilson's) to spend on speakers, can afford to give away that money, and certainly afford to upgrade, when the time comes.
My only one regret with hi-fi was purchasing a used Lyra Clavis DC, ET-2 tonearm, and VPI HW19 (with better pump and the speed-selector box) turntable setup, which was so finicky that I was always adjusting it to get those heavy Blue Note jazz pressings to sound good, and ending up accidentally breaking the cantilever on the Lyra off, so eager was I to replace a turntable belt after a long wait for them to arrive, and listen to some records I had bough in the meantime. So I ended up trading the system, minus the cartridge for a couple of DJ style speed-adjustable CD players for a dance studio I went to, which felt good. I lost $3000 value on the cartridge, and never quite enjoyed the system, compared to CD's, what a fuss it was, especially around visiting children, but I chalk it up to experience. Now I have a low-fi Sony turntable in it's place with a low-end Grado MM cartridge, the turntable I found while throwing out my garbage, and I get at least as much pleasure out of it than I did with my Lyra/ET/VPI system.
Anyway, while a $45,000 loss isn't pocket change, I'll admit, if you happen to by a hypothetical M5 seller in your scenario bitten with the Q5 upgrade bug, it's a good salary these days, or abouts, I'll give you, it's "Stereo money". :)
Considerably less than what would you pay for a car or home, I'm saying, in the scheme of value. Hopefully you should have more in the bank, to tide you over between paycheques, if you're a working man, and happen to be between jobs.
Now I'm not sure, if I would give away a M5 (it's a big-think physically big and heavy) item, like a bottle of wine, or like I've given away my NHT/Rotel's, Stax, Klipsch/Velodyne, or, in trade, VPI/ET/Lyra rig. I'd probably trade it in, or sell it, since it's a "big-ticket" item in most people's minds, and might hurt a friendship, like lending money has proven to be, in my experience.
The friend of mine who sort of collects cars who I mentioned, also sort of collects luxury brand goods, mostly out of laziness, I feel. When I noticed he had more than one Rolex, and two nice ones at the $60,000 "El Presidene" level which I admired as a kid (with the diamonds around the bezel!), and he typically wore when we were out hitting the town together, he offered to sell me one of them for $10,000 - my choice of the two. One was in a dark gold, and the other was with a lighter, more flashy, still yellow gold, which I liked more, but also looked "cheaper." Now this was really nice of him, I felt - take a $50,000 loss on a watch he liked and wore. But I didn't want to wear something "used" -no such scruples with my electronics- as much as I liked it, and didn't want to take advantage of his purchasing power, also. I was happy with my metal $20 watch with a sport-car like yellow face and still ran like new.
If someone's paying $100,000 on a stereo and doesn't have a nice income, and at least a million in the bank, I feel sorry for them. It's a poor sense of priorities, when it comes to dealing with the necessities of home economics, especially if future income earning potential is in question. You may see economics and spending differently, but most of my non-audiophile friends usually spend a few thousand on a stereo and think that's a lot of money for "hi-fi" as they see it.
So we've talked a bit about numbers, which was your problem with Magico.
If Magico prices were increasing like those of Solution Audio, say, and their new models were getting worse -and- more expensive than their previous models, then I would feel something is something is wrong with the picture, but that isn't what is happening here. We have a very nice increase in affordability and corresponding decrease in size. By your logic, maybe we should feel "sorry" for the Model 6 owners, since in my mind, the Q5 looks much nicer for a newer model, and I imagine it's also much cheaper. I'm not sure if Model 6 owners would agree with you. Maybe they've already moved their Model 6's the pool-side and moved in big MBL's if they're "dissatisfied" with the Magico sound, long-term? :)
I just don't see how people with millions or more at their discretionary disposal can feel upset at the release of newer, better models. Rather, it adds fuel to the purchasing fire, I expect: more to look forward to, more to be interested in or wonder about?
If this is the case, let's feel sorry for car enthusiasts who have newer, sometimes better models coming out ever year or so, leap frogging the competition in real, easy to measure statistics, like top speed, etc. Let's feel sorry for kids with nicely coloured Bughatti Veyrons who have to get rid of them because they're now "obsolete" because of the Super Sports' 431.072 km/h beating their 408.47 km/h (253.81 mph), and nice orange-accent and "bare-metal" look.
We can feel sorry for the fathers that "have to" purchase these cars for their kids, but I have yet to meet a father who gives their kid a Magico/Solution based hi-fi, which seems to be the audiophile equivalent today.
I guess your attack on Magico and dire warning to potential Magico customers really "got my goat." :) I wished I lived in a word where there would be a Magico dealer in my city (Vancouver, BC, Canada). We have billions to spend in taxes here for faux Olympics (not enough snow on the mountain they chose, etc.and poor conditions, etc. - why they didn't move the venues to one that did, I have no idea :)), and yet not enough to provide cheap public loudspeakers for our annual "Symphony of Fire" summer fireworks extravaganza, set to music by the beach, I have no idea.
Now, with the economic recession, we hardly have hi-fi dealers anymore, with both listening rooms -and- a decent selection of higher-end equipment. Most have either gone mid-fi our out of business. One has prospered, but an upgrade in renovation has left it feeling cold to visit, so I can't care for what brands it may carry. One has come into business with lots of equipment, but no space to audition, after I would rather listen in a listening room than in a showroom floor, if I am to consider spending my money. What is the point of hi-fi stores if they are not salons for us to visit and congregate in, exchange views, and perhaps pick something up, if we are in the mood?
I feel it must be wonderful to live nearby a city better endowed with dealerships such as Tokyo, New York, many even in Greece, where they value hi-fi more than here, and serve brands like Magico.
I would say hi-fi is a curious / cute hobby in the scheme of things, if I were a woman looking at it. One can go to dinner parties, and exchange conversation in interesting places, if one has a husband who likes to travel to curious places like hi-fi dealerships and friends with hi-fi systems. One can meet the families. One is catered to, and entertained, with conversation and lattes, or perhaps wine if it is some manufacturer's demonstration or a dealership. One gets the chance to browse around timidly and listen to minutia in things. Despite this paragraph, and one comment earlier of mine on a man and his girlfriends, there is very little sexism in hi fi. It's very pleasant and reserved. Not at all like boat shows or hunting / camping / beer. I've never seen an accident, or someone who got poor, buying hi fi.
Hi-fi is very less dramatic, than you make it out to be, I feel. We have good feelings when we purchase, and hopefully, good feelings as we upgrade and occasionally, sell. You make a new fried, when you give him a deal, after all.
There's noting at all, "fair" about hi-fi. You can either afford it, or you can not. It's not very mass-market.
I'm sure Mr. Wolf cares very much about his customers and his business: he wouldn't be succeeding and expanding from a very small base, if he weren't!
Besides he looks like a nice, normal man though I have not met him, does he not, with a nice taste in sensible clothing, from his photos, can you not tell?
He smiles genuinely, and seems to be doing well at something he enjoys and is well suited for!
Let us all wish him luck, and hope that his products will continue to improve and shine as they have, perhaps to a price point when more of us here can afford such wonderful excellence!
I can imagine any orchestral player would love to have a loudspeaker such as the M5 or Q5 to listen to their recordings, or any other, for that matter, in the Magico range. Most of us listen to music on such crappy stereos. Most jazz musicians, that I know, on ghetto blasters, at best, and this was when they were in music school, and trying to transcribe difficult passages of hard-to-hear instruments because of the frequency range and distortion of their systems :)
I hate to see the best attacked, as if we must somehow live in a Ayn Rand universe, where things don't get better, for fear of the consequences.
I remember staying at the Regent Hotel in Bangkok as a child, and wondering what I was missing out by not staying at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, which was more famous, and highly regarded, on the river. Maybe I even felt sorry for myself. :) My parents and I were on vacation, and our tour only included the Regent, the second best hotel in town, at the time. The Mandarin Oriental, however, was the "best in the world." You know, I really didn't miss out. We saved a little money. We had our fresh orchids on the bed each morning or afternoon after we returned and chocolates or sweets as I remember, I had my introduction to the wonderful sensation of drinking water melon juice in the morning - how wonderful in the climate - there's noting quite like watermelon juice for refreshment, not even alcohol -, there was an amazing Thai silk tapestry on one wall of the lobby, on some mezzanine halfway up the central staircase - just gigantic by a child's sense of proportion, and no less than three hotel workers on staff duty for each guest at the hotel. Quite above typical standards here in North America, and what I had been used to, here, and in Europe. Sure, it was only second best, but after the week or so that we stayed there, I hardly felt "ripped off" by my family for not abandoning the tour, and moving to the more "ubber" Mandarin Oriental.
In the same comparison, I can't imagine one would fell ill-at-ease living with and listening to a Magico M5 today, as if their needs as some who likes to listen to music, weren't being served by their "investment" - I'll use your sort of words to try to grasp the way you're looking at hi-fi.
I guess that's about a long enough of a ramble, for my first posting to this board.
why don't you spend more time enjoying your system than just shooting off the lip every opportunity you get. I wonder sometimes if you've even listened to an M5.....i guess you would have preferred that wolf had done the usual and just raised the price on the new iteration of the m5 (q5) as is the industry standard even if production costs had dropped. i personally can't fathom why anyone who purchased an M5 would be spending time worrying about selling these speakers when the experience they provide is so damn exciting. As for Wolf i say thanks for bringing some measure of sanity to the landscape........it's definitely gonna affect the price structure that other manufacturers are going to implement in their statement speakers. hopefully, folks like wilson will be scratching their heads about maybe a Max (1v) that's a little cheaper and of higher standards than the last.....i think this is some exciting times........thanks Alon....Here's to..hoping for that cheaper Mini......
Zead, please read my reply to Brian. If you don't have an ounce of empathy toward the M5 owners, feel free to defend Magico. If you would recommend to a friend or client to purchase any Magico other than the Q5 right now, feel free as well...I too hope that someone waits and purchases an aluminum enclosed mini.
I'm hoping for a cheaper Mini too, er also. I own the Mini II and it is great and looks great in my living room, but if Alon could design an all aluminum Mini (Mini Q) with the new tweeter and a modified crossover that goes down to 32Hz and sell it for perhaps $25K, would the audio world not be better off? And how would other manufacturers adjust to compete? These are exciting times.
I get your point and agree that perhaps waiting for the next generation of smaller Magicos might make sense. But I don't understand the angry tone. I actually preferred the sound of the M5 the one time I heard it and do think the Q5 and M5 sound different. They also look very different. One could make a similar argument for the M5 over the M6, ie, some listeners prefer the sound of the M5 at a lower cost.
Peter, it is a bit frustrating with the manufacturers using the reviews to boost sales of out going products and move their inventory as they release new products. In addition to this Magico scheme, Shunyata and Meridian are just as guilty (and these are the only ones I am aware of). A friend of mine, who is not "rich" by any means, bought some Shunyata CX cords after the reviewer hype. And yes, as an Anaconda owner, the CX cords are the best ever. But what does Shunyata do? They discontinue one of their new CX lines right away - the Viper. The newer cord is at a very similar price point and is better. What the heck????
Then there is Meridian. They get a GLOWING review from TAS for their 808.2 - The Best Digital in the History of the World. (Stereophile also thought it was "best ever" - until last month. The best now is the dCS Puccini!). 3 months later, the product is discontinued. 7 or 8 months later there is a review in TAS by a different reviewer of the 808.3.
Bottom line, Peter, is that I do not want it happening to me or to my friends. This is not a good way to run a business. And this is not a good way to build customer loyalty.
I agree with what you are saying for the existing owners. However, for a non owner, suddenly there is a good opportunity to buy something good at a great discount from those who upgraded. I saw this with the Nordost Valkyrji? cables that got a great review comparing them to Valhalla and then they were quickly discontinued and replaced by two models to fill that price point below the Valhalla. Used Valkyrji? cables are a great value if you can find them.
I would side with curious on this one. For those who spent years working hard to arrive to a dream the m5/q5 is a painful thing to swallow. On the otherhand while Alons claim of cost of production of m5 being high is fair enough but why be so sneaky. He could have been open about it that another product is right down the line in a matter of months. Make some kind of a statement on his website or something. Arrogance is fine when you have struck gold but will the magico customers of past be the same as before. Most likely. But some newones might move away.
From my experience, unless you're looking for investment money, or want to "play Microsoft" with some FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt technique) which I see Curious playing here somehow, it's best not to announce your new product in advance of it's availability. It ruins the market for existing products, yours and your competitors', and gives very little customer satisfaction: there's nothing to purchase just when you want to purchase it!
I always hated the thankfully few times I would go out on a date, and have wonderful things promised, and yet not delivered, into my hands. I would much rather have shown and available at the same time. :)
With hi-fi, what's the point of just looking?
Lol you are the second guy comparing the use/pleasure of hi fi gear to pleasure from women. Lol the other was the arc guy from another recent post. Interesting crowd. Happy listening and better luck next time on the dates.
i'm thinking more like the upper teens than twenty-five....at the same time i don't think that would take away from the beautiful music that your Mini is providing you...that's a speaker you could own for a long time and not feel like the state-of-audio has left you behind. Oh by the way, it may be the new TAD that leaves
you wanting (LOL)
I heard the TAD CR-1 ($37K) at RMAF with the Walker table and Technical Brain electronics. The sound was excellent and one of my favorites at the show. It is a very expensive combination though.
It's interesting that so many folks are upset on behalf of us Magico M5 owners, given that I've not read anything from anybody else who is, you know, an actual owner. Perhaps I might inject the perspective of at least one such person.
I've been an audiophile for 30+ years, more than long enough to know that trying to maintain a system at the "state of the art" - regardless of whose state of the art you're talking about - is a fool's game. Not only is it impossible financially and logistically, it is also self-defeating in terms of musical enjoyment, and development on your own perspective of what you find most musically satisfying. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, and a striving after the wind.
So when I bought M5s, it was with the full knowledge that they would maintain their niche SOTA reputation for a couple of years at the most - and with the full knowledge that this fall from the pedestal of reviewer-created "best" would impact resale value, but not my musical enjoyment. The fact that Magico put their own speaker into potential partial obsolescence so soon was surprising, in some ways - and yet, not so surprising. By most accounts, Alon Wolf is neither a patient nor a tactful man. But he is obsessed with moving the state of musical reproduction forward. It's hardly a shock that, given the choice between jumping on a bluebird opportunity to make what he believes to be a superior product, versus preserving the status and illusions of his customers, he chose the former.
I'd also say, as a businessman myself, that Alon had to be very aware that he was potentially seriously damaging his return on investment in the engineering and tooling of the M5. Should the Q5 prove out with actual customers as well as it has with some reviewers, the M5 might well not turn out to be a great business investment. I'm sure Alon could hardly care less: he's advancing his own obsession with perfection, he's continuing to advance his brand reputation for producing the best, and he's advancing the overall state of the audio art.
To you actual or putative M5 and Q5 owners (and future R5, S5, X5, etc owners), please remember you bought your speakers to listen to music. Don't forget to enjoy them for that purpose.
Scott, you make very good points. I hope that the M5 owners are enjoying their speakers. In a sense this is about them. They are the "millionaries" who got taken advantage of. But they are the customers that should be revered and coveted because they are the customers who are in the best position to upgrade and become loyal repeat purchasers. I am sure that many of the purchasers of the M5 would have appreciated a "heads-up" that a newer and better model is coming out, and many may have waited. And so would the potential purchasers of the lesser priced non-aluminum models.
I would guess - and since I am not good at guessing, I will guess broadly - that Magico sold anywhere between 6 and 48 models of M5. I realize that relatively few people were taken advantage by this financially and even fewer reputationally - dealers, TAS.
But it is also about more than just the M5 owners. This industry, like all industries is subject to innovation. Newcomers bring in creative new processes and techniques that destroy the businesses of old incumbents. The dynamism in this industry reflects this idea. The fact that Wilson - most valuable brand in this industry- has reduced their release time to 24 months or so is telling. No one even talks about Hansen, Kharma, Eggleston, Sonus Faber, and Focal these days. MBL and YG are rarely mentioned. New entrants will come in and it will force the existing players to innovate to outdo Magico. And this is a good thing because the customer will get a better product. But what kind of industry will we have, especially if the customer is not valued and respected?
15 or 20 years from now, many of the speaker designers who are reviewed in TAS today will probably be too senile to remember their names. But Magico will probably be around. It is their choice if they want to act like upstart shysters or as a purveyors of a respected brand.
Well said Scott.
Curious Mind, I'm not sure what you would have them do. Not create a better, less expensive speaker? It's their job to do that, and their competitors certainly aren't going to sit still if they don't.
It's a given when you buy something that the company is going to be bringing out a new, improved model. The details of that new model are rarely made public prior to the public introduction of the new speaker for fear of tipping off the competition, or killing sales of the current model, sales which the company and dealers need in order to survive.
Furthermore, when manufacturers announce new models too long before they're shipped, people start to complain that the model that was promised is taking too long to come to market.
Sure you do. We all want innovation. As I said before in this post, this is creative destruction at its best. Schumpeter must be doing a standing ovation in his grave. But why not copy Apple's model of announcing a new model well in advance, while dropping the prices on the old models? If you do develop a better model at a much cheaper price, why tick off your best customers? Great brands are just as much about positive emotional connection as they are about great products. It's just not a very smart way to nurture your brand.
Products I have purchased recently that were replaced within a year or two with something a) better or b) cheaper or c) both:
Apple MacBook Pro
Adobe Creative Suite
Canon S90 camera
Panasonic GH1 camera
Sony DVD player
Products above for which I received an apology from the manufacturer:
Products above for which I received compensation from the manufacturer:
Products above for which I received advance notice of the replacement product at time of purchase from the manufacturer:
Products above whose functionality changed when the replacement came out:
U wouldn't be happy. If 6 months after u purchased ur iPhone for $300 everyone else getting for a $100. Months later after ur 60k 335i everyoneelse is getting a better one for $30k. And so and so. What u bought is what most others paid around that same time. U were not fleeced for thousands of dollars. U paid true market value for around those times. Most products don't loose value like that. If I was dumb enough to waste stupid amount of money over a cheap trick then yea I'd be ok. Paris and brittany could care less if they loose $50k or $100k overnight. And then again magico m5 owners are also at that level. But 99.9% of common people would not be happy with this outcome. Refund/apology or not. It still sucks. But just one persons view. For those who don't care it doesn't really matter. People get $800 haircuts as well and are ok. Heck u can buy the same bread that I eat for breakfast for $500 a loaf. It gives the same pleasure but some would be ok with it some not.
Actually, this more or less happens all the time. Certainly a 66% price drop is unusual in a year, but a substantial price drop is normal in consumer electronics within months. If you look at a period of more than a year, the changes become bigger. I'll grant you it isn't my favorite thing, but anyone in 2010 who buys a technological product and expects that the price and feature set offered by the company will remain static is either a) clueless or b) deluded about how the world works. And anyone who is paying attention knows that the awesome shiny object he/she wants is attractive because of the very same technological progress that will make it "obsolete" in months or a year. That is, a non-hypocrite can't at the same time love being the beneficiary of progress and then turn around and ask it to stop right after his purchase for his personal psychological benefit.
But my bigger point is this: curiousmind posits that there is a social contract that Magico is (would be) breaking with its customers. I don't agree because the social contract expectation established by the larger consumer electronics industry in particular is parallel to what I think he imagines Magico will do. If Magico does what we are accustomed to (and know we're the beneficiaries of), it simply meets our expectations.
Magico certainly makes fine products and it's free to do as it wishes. But my respect for the company has changed/decreased after this. They are verymuch haywire with pricing. A young company on the rise. I am much more comfy doing business with Mercedes or BMW because I know they won't pull a fast one on me. And same goes for most audio companies. We all know technology doesn't stop, prices drop, no one wants magico to not make profit or give out free speakers. It's a specialty product but don't pull a fast one on ur loyal customers.
I don't see any evidence that they pulled a fast one, though. What they did was bought a machine shop with computer-controlled lathes that allowed them to switch from a very expensive to make sandwiched wood enclosure to a less expensive but more effective machined aluminum one. And they passed the savings on to their customers.
That sort of thing happens all the time. I bought my latest Kindle maybe six weeks before Amazon came out with a newer, cheaper Kindle. Was I frustrated? Sure, but that's life. I couldn't very well ask Amazon to refrain from releasing an improved Kindle, or to keep the price high.
So if these speakers were so expensive to make who is absorbing the loss(if there is one) with a sudden 50% decrease in price/value? The poor dealers who are already struggling or the noble magico? They must have already spent on the existing models to make them and send to dealers. It appears that it doesn't cost as much as people claim to make these. Sure it costs more then norm but the profit margins are set very handsomely. And that's not a bad thing. High end audio is a small market they must do this to survive and thrive. But oh god it costs so much to build is not a valid argument considering the resent drop in price. Sounds like the housing market, the good news is that only a few and wealthy will suffer a bit. The housing didn't spare even the common man. Something to think about. I'm just giving my view. I'm not an insider but can make logical guesses in the free market where we all have done some form of business.
Sam, that's cool. But my respect for them has increased: finally a high-end audio manufacturer trying to rapidly innovate and deliver significantly higher quality at lower cost. Your "fast one" is my "preferred business model".
Great! Like I said each to his own. If u like that by all means keep going. It's ur money and u r free to support a Buisness model of ur liking and taste. Magicos contribution to advancement in technology is certainly not deniable. First time in 20 years dynamic speakers have seen such major improvement.
Discman, good point. But then sounds like you would agree with me that members of the audiophile community should hold off their purchases until the other models come out with aluminum enclosures.
I would not call it a "social contract". But it is an industry norm to have your speaker out for more than year. Additionally, the magazine PR machine was on while they knew they had a better speaker for a much lower price. Why not announce it? Why not pass on more of that benefit or value you are talking about to your best customers? Like I said above, a few dozen people got hurt financially, if that. Magico's reputation aside, who will be buying their non-aluminum speakers at full price? Anyone in their right mind will wait.
Seems to me you're asking Magico to end most of their sales for the year, leave their dealers stuck with their inventory, and disclose their plans to their competitors long before they can actually deliver a product. That's a pretty good way to go out of business!
It isn't often that a manufacturer can offer a huge price cut while making a slightly better product, but -- and I fear I'm repeating myself here -- it does happen. Sure, it's a bit disappointing to buy something and discover that there's a new version, but really, people wouldn't have bought the old version if they hadn't thought it was worth the money, both in absolute terms and by comparison with the competition's.
I'm afraid I just don't see a realistic alternative. Meanwhile, those who bought Magicos can continue to enjoy them, or sell them used and buy the new model.
It's just a simple of game theory. Magico played their hand. Anyone rational will wait for their next move. I would certainly recommend that to my friends and fellow audiophiles. And as for screwing the dealers, I just checked Audiogon: there are 2 models of M5's listed by the dealers who want more than $60K for them. Nice way to treat your stakeholders...
Sure. I'd wait if it were me. Though really -- I've seen a number of people buy Magnepan 3.6's, despite the fact that they're upgrading their line and there are rumors that a 3.7 will be introduced in January. Of course, the difference in that case is more incremental, and the outlay much smaller (though not necessarily less of a sacrifice, depending on income).
Apple actually does a pretty good job of pre-announcing their products and dropping their prices when a new product is ready to be released. The one time they goofed, Steve Jobs did apologize and customers received refunds. For others I agree with you. But that's not a good thing either. Other than Apple, which of these are considered great brands? None of the above. (Sony used to be.)
I would think that in an industry with just a few degrees of separation between all the members you would want to be held in higher esteem. So why not look to surpass the industry when it comes in taking care of the customer? Young basketball players don't just look up to kids in their school. They dream of being like Jordan, Kobe, Lebron, etc. If you are a company, why just look at your industry standards? Why not look at what is possible when it comes to taking care of the customer? Once your reputation is set in stone and people's emotional response to your brand is set, it is very hard to change. Who likes to buy from jerks? I have no doubt Mr. Wolf would sell more stuff if he was not perceived as one.
Look at/click on this : http://cgi.ebay.com/Magico-Model-5-speakers-brand-new-crates-/250720269463?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item3a6017b497
Just $60500, thats $30000 off full price !
Beware. Read the threads on Audio Asylum's Shady Lane forum for lots of information on MSS, including some nasty posts by JB himself under the user name 'Massimo'.
I would wait a little bit. Even well reputable hifi dealers would match or better that price. No need to go with mms. Specially if they do cheaptricks removing serial numbers.
I heard MssHIfi is selling Sound by Singer's Magico stock. I pair of Mini II's sold for $16,000 and they were demos from Sound by Singer.
This is no surprise. The old Magico looks like will be gone the new ones should take over at similar stratosphere prices. I don't think all models will drop price by 66%. I'm wondering who gets the greatest pricks award singer or mms? No sympathy for singer here either. Try goodwins or overture.I'd pay a little extra just for the dealer I'm dealing with.
If my information is correct that's just the tip of the iceberg, and I'd be very concerned if I were one of SBS's suppliers.
By the way, where are all the guys who've viciously slammed Magico in the past for making 'overpriced' products? If curiousmind is right about Magico's plans, shouldn't those dudes be here singing praise to Magico in three part harmony?
Of course, they should be. However, a brand is more than a quality product. But again, a lot of animosity toward Magico is Magico's own doing. Their image is impacted by just about everything they do, touch, communicate, or not communicate.
I see the essential complaint here being Magico's success. They're not re-boxing mid-fi compents and profiteering because their brand name, say, like Goldmund with one of their disc-spinners, or as has happened elsewhere in the hi-fi world. And they're not selling high-priced "snake oil" cables or black-boxes like we can see in the hi-fi accessories market. They are priced quite highly, but seem to be regarded quite highly as well, almost reveered in some quarters. You can certainly see a host of higher-priced loudspeakers on higher-fi's speaker list, with serveral others priced above Magico's Ultimate, with both the M5 and Q5 missing the list due to their relative low (sub-$100,000) cost. My wish for Magico would be to see their products locally, where Wilson, Avalon and Focal are what's available, in-store outside of B&W. Personally, I'm happy when I want to upgrade, and the upgrade costs less than my initial purchase: I wouldn't think otherwise but to write-off my consumer "investments" in the same way that I'd write off a meal: money spent on pleasure. As I stated in one of my earlier threads, Hi Fi easily finds new homes - it's not a landfill product in the same category as a personal computer: we still see people lovingly keeping Klipsch corner horns in some corners of the net. Magico isn't inherintly doing anything dishonest in releasing products at price points somewhat related to production cost, and somewhat related to market position. As to anyone worried about owning a wood-alluminum Magico product because it is in some way antiquated, take a look say at 6moons reports on the Vox Olympian, and compare the two approaches. The Magico's (all models) seem like great monitor's to me - sort of the the old B&W Matrix 801s when studios would use them for monitoring classical recoridng sessions and the like. Not the last word on bottom end - no subwoofer towers like Infinity IRS, but highly resolving.
Hi-fi loudspeakers certainly have increased at the top end: From the $20,000 that Infinity was charging for the IRS back in 1980, to the $2,000,000 that Transmission Audio is charging for their Ultimate today. "Non aluminum" (a misnomer, given the alumulim front baffles) Magico speakers occupy the lower end of that range, topping-out at about $89,000 discounted to $60,500 by at least one seller.
Not exactly bargains compared to how hi-fi was priced in the 80's, but relatively priced to their place in the market as of today.
I'll stick to my headphones for now, but may switch when I've had a chance to try some in my home. Even with their rather long "audiophile" extension cable, my phones still loose me some freedom compared to loudspeakers.
BTW, on a separate thread, would any Wilson owners recommend I listen to a Alexandria X2 or Maxx series 3 compared to an X1? That was the last Wilson I auditioned to purchase, but I found it suffered compared to my Stax at home. Has the resolving power of the Wilson's increased like the Magico's into the electrostatic realm of detail? I stopped buying binaural (recorded semi-3D sound for headphones) recordings a long while ago, so Blue Note style stereo imaging (just one pair of loudpseakers) would be fine for me today. My main concern, having played saxophone in many ensembles, is the sound of the recorded instruments themselves: how "real" do they sound - is there -any- illusion of actual timbre and size? I don't need Q-sound imaging, or synthesizer-bass reproduction, though those nice for fun. The other loudspeakers I wonder about are the Rockport Arrakis and Tidal T1, but neither is imported locally, it's a shame. I could probably find some Martin Logan CLX's around here if I tried, probably tied to Bryston next door. Would these be worth an audition, now that I am thinking of upgrading my backgound music speakers? My main thing is to hear instruments sounding like instruments, politely, at chamber-music / recital levels, so I can have some comfort when I am reading, or free entertainment, if I am entertaining. (It's not -always- fun to have live musicians around, if one is entertaining.)