Magico M2 loudspeaker

June 30, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

On a snowy day in March 2019, the first room I visited at the Montreal Audio Fest, hosted by retailer Audio by Mark Jones, featured the world premiere of the Magico M2 loudspeaker. The soundstaging produced by these elegant towers was palpable, the full-range tonal balance superbly uncolored. Both aspects reminded me of my experience of Magico’s S5 Mk.II loudspeaker, which I enthusiastically reviewed in Stereophile‘s February 2017 issue. Accordingly, I made a note that the M2 was going on my “must review” list. Seven months later, Magico’s Alon Wolf and Peter Mackay visited to set up a pair of M2s in my listening room.

The M2…
. . . costs $56,000/pair plus $7600/pair for the MPod three-point outrigger bases. Like the S5 Mk.II, the M2 is a three-way, floorstanding design using two woofers in a sealed enclosure (see later). But whereas the S5 Mk.II’s enclosure used aluminum panels mounted on an aluminum space frame, the slightly smaller M2 features gracefully curved, 3/8″-thick side panels formed from multiple layers of carbon-fiber composite. Magico says that this construction increases the structural strength-to-weight ratio by a factor of 60 compared to machined or extruded aluminum parts, while reducing the overall weight by 50%. The M2’s curved front baffle still comprises two hefty pieces of aluminum attached to an internal skeleton, and three tension rods run from it to a vertical aluminum spine at the speaker’s rear.


The M2’s drive-units are all new. The tweeter is the third version of the 28mm unit that Magico originally developed for their “M Project” loudspeaker. Like the 26mm tweeter that was used on the S5, the M2 tweeter’s beryllium diaphragm has a layer of diamond vapor-deposited on it to allow it to operate pistonically to well above the audioband, without compromising the moving mass. The dome has a steep profile, which confers wide dispersion despite its larger-than-normal diameter.

The internal midrange enclosure is similar to the one used in the S5. Formed from a proprietary polymer, it isolates the midrange driver from the woofers’ back wave. The cones of the M2’s 6″ midrange driver and 7″ woofers use multiple layers of woven carbon-fiber, incorporating graphene, a form of carbon in which the atoms are assembled in a sheet just a few atoms thick that is said to be 100 times stronger than steel. The resulting cone is both light and stiff, pushing breakup modes well above each unit’s operating passband. The midrange driver features a titanium voice-coil and an underhung motor system—a short coil operating in a long magnet gap—to maximize linearity. According to Wolf, all of the M2’s drive-units were designed by Magico. Some are sourced from OEM manufacturers; others are made in-house.

120magicom2.back300The M2’s crossover features Magico’s Elliptical Symmetry Crossover topology. Wolf told me when he visited, “We have been using an elliptical crossover from Day One, which basically allows us to create a 24dB/octave slope with only two legs. So you have less parts in the crossover, less losses. . . . The tricky part with elliptical crossovers is that you need to have precise values; . . . these are not off-the-shelf values, so we have to have custom-made capacitors. But the results are quite desirable. You get the cleanness of the [24dB/octave crossover], yet you get some of the lush, free sound that you get with lower-slope [filters].”

Infinite baffles
Like all of Magico’s models, the M2 uses a sealed enclosure to load its woofers and, as Art Dudley wrote in his November 2019 Listening column, such loudspeakers “are now as rare as tooth fairy sightings in West Virginia.” I asked Wolf why he was one of the few manufacturers to use exclusively sealed enclosures. He responded that while he had experimented with ported enclosures—known as “bass reflex”—early in his career, he quickly realized that it just wasn’t possible to make ported designs work. “Don’t get me wrong,” Wolf explained, “I like some of the aspects of [reflex designs], that big, full, charging bass, which is more difficult to get with a sealed design.

“But unfortunately, the cost you have to pay for that is too great. What you gain from the sealed alignment is, first of all, your group delay goes down to almost nothing. Everything becomes much clearer, not just in the bass but across the midrange as well. Not having that noise that a port generates, being able to have a linear bass where no note is sticking out, and you start hearing things that you didn’t quite hear before. Once you hear that, it is difficult to go back to a ported design. If you look at the way we hear the world and how we respond—the Fletcher-Munson [equal-loudness] curves—you can see why [ported speakers] have a problem. While the sound might seem more natural [at low levels] if you have more bass at low frequencies, because in effect you’ve EQ’d the speakers, as you increase the volume the bass continues to rise as well. It messes up the midrange because the level of the bass is now too high.”

“And there’s also what people are accustomed to,” Wolf continued. “People are used to ported sound. I cannot tell you how many times when people hear our speakers their first reaction is ‘where is the bass?’ when, in fact, we have more extension in the bottom end than a typical ported design would have. So, even though measurement-wise the sealed enclosure goes lower, it doesn’t necessarily sound like it, because you don’t have that extra oomph at 60Hz or so that ported designs will give you.” I asked Alon if one reason ported loudspeakers are ubiquitous was that most of the low-frequency drive-units available from OEM suppliers are optimized for reflex designs.

“Yes, exactly,” he agreed. “You don’t really see many off-the-shelf drivers designed for [sealed enclosures]. It requires a lot more of a robust design for a woofer to be able to work in a sealed environment. Because you are actually 12dB up at 20Hz [compared with a ported design], it puts a lot of stress on the drivers. Of course the drivers will still work, but your distortion will skyrocket. So unless they actually design and manufacture their own drivers, the go-to [woofers] used by most companies work better in a ported design.”


The M2’s MPod three-point stand is said to act as a low-pass filter, coupling low-frequency energy to the floor while dissipating higher-frequency energy as heat. Wolf explained that the objective is always to couple the speaker well to a floor, “especially since with sealed designs, there’s a tremendous amount of pressure inside of the box. You don’t want the box to be moving while that pressure is being generated. Spikes . . . create a very good coupling mechanism. However, a spike is also a tremendous channel for noise. So though spikes prevent speakers from moving . . . any other noise in the speaker, anything above 300–400Hz, reflects right back into the speaker because there’s no way for that energy to be dissipated.

NEXT: Page 2 »


Magico, LLC

3170 Corporate Place

Hayward, CA 94545

(510) 649-9700


Page 1
Page 2
Associated Equipment
Jim Austin March 2021

Click Here: newcastle knights shirt