This space on SoundStage! Hi-Fi is reserved each month for components that fit the category of Recommended Reference Component. We’ve profiled many different hi-fi products of all types since this column’s inception in September 2010, and each has been easy to recommend almost without qualification, depending on specific system context and budget. This month we’re writing about what could be the Recommended Reference Component for cost-no-object, state-of-the-art reference loudspeakers. You need a good room, ancillary gear that can keep up, and lots of cash. But with those prerequisites satisfied, there’s no reason to continue your search for the current “best” loudspeaker. It’s the Magico Q7.
At $165,000 USD per pair, the Q7 is the most expensive product we’ve profiled here and it’s the most ambitious that Magico has attempted. Magico’s brain trust conceived and designed this four-way, five-driver, 94dB-sensitive, 750-pound superspeaker to remove any limitations imposed by even the very best, most expensive speakers on the market today. It’s all high-tech: a cabinet of machined aluminum, steel, and copper houses Magico’s own 1” beryllium-dome tweeter and their Nano-Tec 6” midrange, 10” midbass, and two 12” bass drivers. The Q7 builds on Magico’s Q platform, introduced in 2010 with the Q5, adding many innovations, including a more advanced system of internal cabinet bracing, a floating midrange cavity, the latest neodymium-magnet-driven Magico motor systems, and the very best Mundorf crossover components -- even new feet of stainless steel. If some aspect of the Q platform could be optimized, Magico says, they’ve addressed it in the Q7.
The Q7 is decidedly not the product of the old-school tinkering that high-end speaker design has long been known for. Instead, the most advanced computer-simulation software suites were used, as well as the most cutting-edge materials and manufacturing processes available to any manufacturer. With design goals that included extremely low distortion, superb linearity, and the ability to play at any practical sound-pressure level without changing the character of the sound, the Q7 offers what some say is the clearest window on the recording yet available from any loudspeaker.
In his column “The World’s Best Audio System” (Ultra Audio, June 1, 2012), editor-in-chief Jeff Fritz did not mince words as he pondered the Q7’s sound: “When I added up all the individual attributes displayed by the Q7, the net effect was of higher performance across the board. The Q7 sounded more like real music precisely because of where it advanced the widely understood performance characteristics audio writers can easily describe. They didn’t sound the way they did because they’d been voiced in some odd or unique way that resulted in a ‘house sound’ unique to Magico. They were just better in all the individual ways that matter. Taken in sum, that means they are superior loudspeakers.” Jeff felt that the Q7 bettered anything else he’d heard in a number of ways, including “unmatched clarity, resolution, and transparency.”
Jeff rarely speaks in absolutes, but the conclusion of his Q7 review was definitive: “For right now, we all have to live with these facts: The Q7 is very expensive. It’s very big. It comes only in black. And it’s the best loudspeaker available today.”
And that’s that.
Manufacturer contact information:
932 Parker Street, #2
Berkeley, CA 94710
Phone: (510) 649-9700