• Jay-Z & Kanye West v. Magico Q7

    Ever wonder what happens when you set a glass of water on top of a loudspeaker and play Jay-Z & Kanye West at 90-113 dB (measured from 3 meters away)? The following video shows clearly what happens when a very bass heavy track is played very loud through the Magico Q7 loudspeakers being driven by the Constellation Audio Hercules monoblock amplifiers.







    Magico - Q7
    Size - 60"H x 15"W x 32"D
    Weight - 750 lbs. each
    Sensitivity - 94 dB
    Price - $165,000 /pair
    Manufacturer's Website


    Constellation Audio - Hercules
    Size - 28.88"H x 11.75"W x 20.25"D
    Weight - 275 lbs. each
    Power - 1.1kW (8Ω), 1.5kW (4Ω), 2kW (2Ω)
    Price - $140,000 /pair
    Manufacturer's Website


    Jay-Z / Kanye West - Ni**as In Paris (Explicit Lyrics), from the album Watch The Throne.










    Magico Q7 external



    Magico Q7 internal


    Click to enlarge



    Constellation Audio Hercules


    Jay-Z / Kanye West track analysis.
    Click to enlarge
















    Comments 60 Comments
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      I feel sorry for the elephant!

      Sorry I was somewhere else for a moment...
    1. mav52's Avatar
      mav52 -
      I feel sorry for someones back ! 750 lbs. each I wonder if they come with a fork lift
    1. DigiPete's Avatar
      DigiPete -
      While the steel engineering is beautiful and heavy, I can't help but think that there must be smarter ways than to stiffen a square box.
      Pressure cast aluminium (aluminum in the US) in double curved surfaces with stiffening ribbes could offer same stiffness at lower cost and weight.
      Then I'm probably just being your usual technology strategies, product development specialist and engineer nerd.

      Genelec may offer some inspiration:


      Attachment 1944


      PS. The Q7 picture is mirrored, probably to fit some marketing material. Sloppy!
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by DigiPete View Post
      Pressure cast aluminium (aluminum in the US) in double curved surfaces with stiffening ribbes could offer same stiffness at lower cost and weight.

      Genelec may offer some inspiration:


      Attachment 1944

      Hi Pete - I'm willing to bet if Magico could make this speaker with equal performance using lighter and cheaper materials it would. Shipping costs of the aluminum and steel have to be outrageous.

      Do you have any measurements of the cabinet resonance on the Genelec speakers? I am really interested in the whole Genelec approach. I wish some high end dealers carried them so I could hear them other than at the AES show flow.
    1. NiHo's Avatar
      NiHo -
      Chris,
      There are lighter and stiffer materials than steel, or aluminum alloys, such as carbon fibre. However very few speaker cabinets use that technology presumably because of complexity and cost. The only manufacturer that I'm aware of that uses carbon fibre cabinets is Wilson-Benesch, whose latest speakers don't have internal bracing as the case is so stiff. This is a link to their description of their latest speaker, the Cardinal, http://wilson-benesch.com/wp-content...te-paper-1.pdf. See pages 7 & 8 re relative stiffness.

      I agree with your comments about shipping costs, however this is a $165,000 speaker so everything is relative.

      Regards,

      Nigel
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by NiHo View Post
      Chris,
      There are lighter and stiffer materials than steel, or aluminum alloys, such as carbon fibre. However very few speaker cabinets use that technology presumably because of complexity and cost. The only manufacturer that I'm aware of that uses carbon fibre cabinets is Wilson-Benesch, whose latest speakers don't have internal bracing as the case is so stiff. This is a link to their description of their latest speaker, the Cardinal, http://wilson-benesch.com/wp-content...te-paper-1.pdf. See pages 7 & 8 re relative stiffness.

      I agree with your comments about shipping costs, however this is a $165,000 speaker so everything is relative.

      Regards,

      Nigel
      Hi Nigel - Thanks for the link. Very interesting stuff. I understand the stiffness and lightness of carbon fiber. I've just never seen a loudspeaker have virtually no visible vibration when playing a bass heavy track at 100+ dB. Do you know if the WB speakers resonate at such high volumes?
      I always feel speakers at audio shows and I can't remember a speaker other than a Magico that hasn't vibrated.
    1. cjf's Avatar
      cjf -
      That enclosure looks like a machine shop workers wet dream! I would love to see all the dirty details on the cabinet resonance testing that lead up to the final product needing such an elaborate array of internal chambers and enough nuts and bolts to build a small aircraft.

      Very cool stuff nonetheless.
    1. DigiPete's Avatar
      DigiPete -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Computer Audiophile View Post
      Hi Pete - I'm willing to bet if Magico could make this speaker with equal performance using lighter and cheaper materials it would.
      Shipping costs of the aluminum and steel have to be outrageous.
      I think the numbers of Q7's sold is probably way too low to warrant a professional industrial design for mass production.
      The weight is a hassle for practical reasons, I'm sure the shipping costs does not matter in that price range.


      Do you have any measurements of the cabinet resonance on the Genelec speakers? I am really interested in the whole Genelec approach.
      I wish some high end dealers carried them so I could hear them other than at the AES show flow.
      I have no measurements, and Genelec keep quiet about a lot of details in their design.
      And while a set of 8260 can deliver 123dB SPL @ 1m, I will refrain from putting a glass on top and doing that.
      Plus the top is curved and not suited for leaving your whiskey on ;-)

      The Genelec 8200 series are so different from what most audiophiles ask for, so I have little hope that we will a lot of them at high end dealers.
      There are also no expensive upgrades, so Genelcs are completely against the normal thinking of dealers.

      Also, you need something that supplies well clocked AES/EBU and the GLM speaker calibration kit just to audition.
      That's USD 14.000,- just to audition (Vintage King).
      I bought a Weiss AFI1 and the GLM kit to be able to audition a set of 8260's at home, most people would probably hesitate.

      The 8260's are not the best speakers/system in the world, but in my book they score very high on value for money, predictability, size and weight.

      The Q7's are a work of art, like a hand build swiss mechanical clock. Some will be proud of owning that.
      The 8260's are a genius industrial topology, mass produced, but no more sexy than an 80' Casio digital watch.
      So: sexy and flashy - or - value for money and more consistent quality?
    1. NiHo's Avatar
      NiHo -
      Chris,
      I have the Discoveries which are an earlier version. The simple answer is I don't play my music that loud, so I don't know. Plus WB speakers have angled tops, so I couldn't balance a glass there anyway. Based on my non-technical knuckle knock they are completely dead cabinets, unlike anything I've encountered constructed using MDF.

      Regards,

      Nigel
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by NiHo View Post
      Chris,
      I have the Discoveries which are an earlier version. The simple answer is I don't play my music that loud, so I don't know. Plus WB speakers have angled tops, so I couldn't balance a glass there anyway. Based on my non-technical knuckle knock they are completely dead cabinets, unlike anything I've encountered constructed using MDF.

      Regards,

      Nigel
      Very cool Nigel.
    1. astrotoy's Avatar
      astrotoy -
      I'll be hearing this pair (they are in NorCal) later this week. However, I'll have the owner play his Ampex ATR-102 and some of his 1/2 inch 15 ips Tape Project and other hirez classical. Don't think I can take JayZ etc. Larry
    1. stereotaipei's Avatar
      stereotaipei -
      Quote Originally Posted by DigiPete View Post
      While the steel engineering is beautiful and heavy, I can't help but think that there must be smarter ways than to stiffen a square box.
      Pressure cast aluminium (aluminum in the US) in double curved surfaces with stiffening ribbes could offer same stiffness at lower cost and weight.
      Then I'm probably just being your usual technology strategies, product development specialist and engineer nerd.
      Hi,
      Besides the Q serie, the S serie of Magico speakers uses pressure cast aluminium, with simple braces. But the Q serie and the Q7 in particular remains the top of Magico range, nothing can beats its stiffness and inertia - this translates into superior sound. If Alon Wolf decided to stick to such an expensive construction, it is because for the Q7, it is because it is the best enclosure he could build, without consideration for cost. I have never heard a better speaker than the Q7 - and I have heard many as or more expensive one!
      PS: but who would buy a pair of Q7 to listen to Jay-Z? ;-)
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by astrotoy View Post
      Don't think I can take JayZ etc. Larry
      You never know if the Tape Project got ahold of this Jay-Z album you might like it :~)

      Only kidding.

      Cant wait to hear your impressions.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by stereotaipei View Post
      PS: but who would buy a pair of Q7 to listen to Jay-Z? ;-)
      If I could afford the Q7 speakers I'd be listening to Jay-Z on them. Instead I'm listening to Jay-Z on my TAD CR-1 / Spectral system as I type this :~)
    1. stereotaipei's Avatar
      stereotaipei -
      Quote Originally Posted by NiHo View Post
      Chris,
      There are lighter and stiffer materials than steel, or aluminum alloys, such as carbon fibre. However very few speaker cabinets use that technology presumably because of complexity and cost. The only manufacturer that I'm aware of that uses carbon fibre cabinets is Wilson-Benesch, whose latest speakers don't have internal bracing as the case is so stiff. This is a link to their description of their latest speaker, the Cardinal, http://wilson-benesch.com/wp-content...te-paper-1.pdf. See pages 7 & 8 re relative stiffness.

      I agree with your comments about shipping costs, however this is a $165,000 speaker so everything is relative.

      Regards,

      Nigel
      Yes, carbon fiber is an interesting material for speaker design. Stiffness matters, but don't you need also some weight for total absence of vibration? Every time a woofer moves, there is an opposite force on the cabinet... and that's where mass helps to keep cabinet completely still. Or I am missing something?
    1. stereotaipei's Avatar
      stereotaipei -
      Quote Originally Posted by NiHo View Post
      Chris,
      There are lighter and stiffer materials than steel, or aluminum alloys, such as carbon fibre. However very few speaker cabinets use that technology presumably because of complexity and cost. The only manufacturer that I'm aware of that uses carbon fibre cabinets is Wilson-Benesch, whose latest speakers don't have internal bracing as the case is so stiff. This is a link to their description of their latest speaker, the Cardinal, http://wilson-benesch.com/wp-content...te-paper-1.pdf. See pages 7 & 8 re relative stiffness.

      I agree with your comments about shipping costs, however this is a $165,000 speaker so everything is relative.

      Regards,

      Nigel
      Yes, carbon fiber is an interesting material for speaker design. Stiffness matters, but don't you need also some weight for total absence of vibration? Every time a woofer moves, there is an opposite force on the cabinet... and that's where mass helps to keep cabinet completely still. Or am I missing something?
      Agree that shipment cost is not much of an issue these days... I paid a bit more than 2k to ship my MM3 to Japan (6 crates with nearly 2000lbs)
    1. blueixus's Avatar
      blueixus -
      Nice and relevant to see mention of the Genelec in the thread given their amazing physical construction.

      I have heard the full Genelec 8260A set up running and it was absolutely mind numbingly awesome and all for about £10,000 ( a big number until you consider what you get 3 way + sub, fully digitally active with DSP).

      Coming, as they do from the wrong side of the tracks, the studio world, they simply fail to tick the right audiophile boxes, until I heard them and then all my prejudices set in!

      1) They have DSP 2) They don't have Class A amplification 3) The DACs oversample unlike my hairshirt NOS Audio Note 4)I can't feed them I2S instead it's legacy SPDIF

      Furthermore aside from the DSP they are untweakable, they just get on with the job. They are still messing with my mind, after 30 years of audiofoolery (and they have made me realise that) the best speakers I have ever heard by a mile within sensible price parameters.........
    1. DigiPete's Avatar
      DigiPete -
      Quote Originally Posted by blueixus View Post
      Nice and relevant to see mention of the Genelec in the thread given their amazing physical construction.

      I have heard the full Genelec 8260A set up running and it was absolutely mind numbingly awesome and all for about £10,000 ( a big number until you consider what you get 3 way + sub, fully digitally active with DSP) . . . . . . . .

      Furthermore aside from the DSP they are untweakable, they just get on with the job. They are still messing with my mind, after 30 years of audiofoolery (and they have made me realise that) the best speakers I have ever heard by a mile within sensible price parameters.........
      Good to hear blueixus, so I'm not going mad here ;-)

      I had Encore over the other day for a listen.
      His current rig: Meitner MA1 -> Nagra PL-L -> Parasound A21 -> Verity Fidelio Encore.
      Note his P
      arasound is a temp stand-in for some tube gear.
      Still, it's easily twice the price of my Genelec 8260 (stereo part).

      His comments to my rig were mixed!
      a) He thought that the sound was a little too much in his face somehow.
      b) He noted that he heard details he had newer heard before - on material he brought with him.
      c) I played him some surround stuff from 2L + Pink Floyd, and he had to admit he finally understood why surround makes sense.

      All in all an interestig evening with good
      discussions.
      Hope the quotes are precise enough for you, Jens!
    1. AudioExplorations's Avatar
      AudioExplorations -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Computer Audiophile View Post
      If I could afford the Q7 speakers I'd be listening to Jay-Z on them. Instead I'm listening to Jay-Z on my TAD CR-1 / Spectral system as I type this :~)
      And do the CR1's pass the drinking glass test? :P They do incorporate SILENT (Structurally Inert Laminated Enclosure Technology) cabinet technology so seem to stand a good chance...
    1. DigiPete's Avatar
      DigiPete -
      I have no Jay-Z and Kayne West, but i used "Bass Head" by Bassnectar on Genelec 8260s on brackets bolted to a concrete wall.
      It is a ground shaking album, and I wore ear protection during the test.

      There was a little shaking visible in the glass once I got north of -15dB ;-)
      Speaker is rated to 113dB SPL @ 1m equal to 0dB, weight 27,5kg / 60,5 lbs

      I suppose those additional USD 150.000,- does buy less shaking :-)

      I'm not really a bass head, but I do enjoy well recorded acoustic bass.
      I am however fascinated how great this distorted album sounds.