To Jeff Fritz,
I have settled on buying Magico speakers to replace my aging Wilson Audio Specialties Sophias, but I am torn as to which model. My room is small-to-mid-sized at 14' x 17', so I know I don’t want a speaker that overwhelms it. The issue is that I still want good bass extension, so a stand-mount model is out (so no Q1). I have heard that the Q3 is superior to the S3 in terms of resolution, but what about bass extension? Both speakers are rated down to 26Hz so I don’t know what to think. Since you seem to know a lot about the Magico products, your help would be much appreciated.
The Magico Q3 ($38,950/pr.) is almost double the price of the S3 ($22,600/pr.), so in that respect these products are not direct competitors. But in terms of size, driver complement, and bass extension, they are somewhat similar. As you have pointed out, the Q3 is the more resolving speaker not only due to its cabinet construction, but also its drivers -- the Q3 has all Nano-Tec drivers, whereas the S3 has Scan-Speak-derived hybrid bass drivers. The Q3 also has a better tweeter.
In terms of bass extension, if we take Magico's specifications at their word, then both speakers will have strong bass response to below 30Hz in-room. I suspect you will get very similar results in terms of bass depth and slam with either speaker. However, I think the bass-quality advantage would be firmly in the Q3's favor -- the better drivers and cabinet are just too much for the S3 to overcome in that regard. Ultimately, I believe either speaker -- the S3 or the Q3 -- will be a significant upgrade over what you currently have. The issue is really how far you want to go. . . . Jeff Fritz