David Wilson must be a little annoyed...

the Absolute Sound has pronounced the relative new-comer Magico as having designed the least-flawed loudspeaker in the world (the Q7). the Wison XLF is described as the best "cost-no-object" speaker, and while "flawed" in some respects, is the company's best effort yet. given the lengthy history of attempts at making a perfect transducer, Wilson and its many devotees might take all this as a funny way of saying "better luck next time" instead of "this by far exceeds all that has come before which was already pretty darn good".
i have little doubt that, for $180,000 (or name another huge number) the Q7 is very VERY good. the cabinet is "inert", the drivers weigh next to nothing, and the crossovers are made from premium parts arranged as carefully as technology allows. But once upon a time, the B&W 801 Matrix ($5500) was
called the "audio end of the road" by Stereophile. so ACCURATE was this loudspeaker that you could tell what kind of bassoon the guy in the orchestra was playing, and on what row, completely distinct from every other instrument being played. you needed a chain of superior components upstream of course. but i will never forget personally auditioning this speaker and thinking "WOW"
as the music was clearer and cleaner with the best bass extension than anything i had ever heard before.
of course better speakers HAVE since been designed and the bass i was so impressed with turned out to lag behind the other drivers and needed a better design, better parts, etc. to catch up. but the Kevlar midrange unit is still with us in various forms, and the isolation of the "head unit" from the low-bass is also still a common technique. but how many multiples of $5500 (even allowing for inflation) does it take to clean up the sound of a loudspeaker, and also keep it from "shaking and baking" if you really crank up the volume?
I think everyone knows that probably $20K, maybe $30K, should give the speaker manufacturer a lot to work with. And for $50K you could wrap it in the most attractive materials on the planet Earth.
After 60 some odd years of reading about "OMG" components in the audio press, I would love to congradulate Magico on the one hand, and express my annoyance from another (and another ad.infinitum) article about the new greatest hi-fi thing for [you can't afford it]. personally i just happen to like the shape and appearance of the Q7 a lot, very clean, very uncomplicated. i do favor using grill coverings however, and feel that should always be an option
lest someone comes along "poking" the drivers to see how they move. there might even be some "contour" controls on the back turning up or down the tweeter or attenuating the bass to allow for a less than perfect room (although how could one place a "perfect" speaker in an imperfect environment?)
if this entire argument is exciting, or conversely tiresome, i just would like other persons' reactions to these pronouncements in the audio press.
and WHAT IF the Wilson XLF was placed side by side with the Q7 and you asked pro reviewers as well as music lovers to decide which speaker was better and/or which would be easier to live with long run?
while you're at it bring in a Rockport, MBL, Kharma, Nola, etc. set of speakers and try to decide all over again. Make it even more fun, and limit
the selling price to $50K or below, and see just how close you can come.
Just some random thoughts as we enter into the Audio Cliff....
Get on you're flame suits! I have heard Magico speakers 3 times this year and I wasn't Impressed. Sure they are built great but to my ear they are not very musical. Disclaimer: I only heard them with solid state electronics. Maybe that is the problem.
Sorry for the double post. Apparently, it can take in excess of 24 hours to get a response posted,
Taters, I too have now heard both Q5 and Q7s and don't get all the hoopla either. Not yet. Once for a brief few minutes I did hear the Q5 with tube amps but my dealer quickly had to lower the volume as the tubes started 'sparkly'. Q5 is more tougher load for tubes. Q7 on the other hand is probably should be much more comfortable. I will find out in couple of weeks when I might have an op to audition Q7s with tubes.

However, how can the best speakers in the world be not time, phase and/or pulse aligned and still sound realistic. At least I didn't read no mention of Q7s having any or all of the above three design characteristics in the review.

Evolution acoustics MM3 or MM7 on the other hand does look (by stepped array of speakers. I haven't auditioned yet) like having above design characteristics. Needless to say I prefer to have these characteristics in my speakers to be completely believable. So I may be biased.
It is all about taste, but IMHO, I very much enjoyed listening to the Q7 and the Evolution (forget which model). The Q7 were very fast but still full sounding. The Evolution presented with lots of inner detail but were also very well rounded and not fatiguing. The Wilson X 2 sounded great, but not as good. They were very exciting to listen to, but I also found the mid and lower highs having a little too much bite and the mid bass a little too much. Nit picking, I would love a pair of X2, but sharing my experience.