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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Jeff Fritz,

I see that you’ve had the Magico S1 listed in your system for the past year or so but I have not seen a review of this speaker by you. Your experience with Magico products, in addition to your sampling of some other exclusive brands not widely written about (such as Rockport Technologies and Kaiser), places you in a very unique position. Having said that, I would greatly appreciate any advice you could give me regarding the S1. How does it sound to you? My room is 16’ x 13’ and I plan to use the speakers with an Accuphase integrated amplifier and a music server based on a Windows laptop paired with a Bricasti DAC. I listen mainly to jazz and classical. Thank you for any advice you can give me.


The Magico S1 is a very unique loudspeaker and one that I find quite appealing. Although I am not formally reviewing it, I can tell you based on my time with it that I think it would work splendidly in your setup. Your room size and choice of electronics are just about ideal. As to how it sounds . . .

The S1 is one of the purest-sounding, most fatigue-free speakers I’ve ever had in my Music Vault listening room. Specifically, the S1 is super-easy to like because of its top-to-bottom coherence and full-bodied tonal balance, which, when combined, strike exactly the right sonic chord. First, its coherence: Unlike most three- and four-way loudspeakers, the S1’s two drivers produce a seamless sound that defies dissection. In that respect, I would think the S1 would be the ideal multi-driver speaker for someone who has found the charms of single-driver speakers, but wants to avoid the multitude of problems that those designs bring to the table (such as limitations at the frequency extremes and off-axis frequency-response anomalies, among others). The S1s truly disappear as sources of sound in my room when playing music and that makes me want to listen to them more.

Perhaps most important is the S1’s tonal balance. The S1 does not -- and I mean ever -- sound like a small two-way. You never hear thin or washed-out sound because the bass is extended low enough to provide a fulsome yet firm foundation that always satisfies. Couple that with a detailed top end and a crystal-clear midrange and you wind up with a speaker that combines all the pluses of a small minimonitor with a healthy dose of the gravitas of a three-way floorstander. The balance is just right. There are volume limitations with the S1 -- it will only play so loud -- and the bass won’t shake the foundations, but I can say that it is the most complete and listenable two-way I’ve ever had in my room. The Rolex-like build quality doesn’t hurt the experience either! . . . Jeff Fritz