Holy hallucinations, Batman!

A first meeting with the Magico M7

By Roy Gregory

Has any speaker – at least any speaker since the Wilson XVX – been as eagerly awaited as Magico’s M7? Just as the Wilson might be considered the ‘almost attainable’ offspring of The WAMM MC, so the M7 is the physically and financially more manageable smaller brother to the flagship M9. I don’t need a lot of encouragement to hop a train to Paris, but news that the M7 was going to emerge for the very first time, blinking in the cold, harsh light of the French autumn was certainly reason enough. In fact, that’s a story in itself: for a Californian speaker manufacturer to launch what is, if not its most important product in years, then certainly one that has significant financial implications for the company, in the showroom of its French distributor, is going to raise more than a few eyebrows. But being selfish about it, Presence Audio Conseil is considerably closer to me than San Francisco and I stand to learn a lot more from listening there than in some hotel room. Alongside a suitably impressive range of listening rooms, it also stocks a host of ‘Magico approved’ associated equipment, eliminating most of the sonic risks associated with the lottery that is even the best organised audio show. If this is the future – and I strongly suspect that it is – then bring it on.

Those who know me well might well be slightly bemused by my enthusiasm. Despite serving hard time with a number of the larger Magicos – including the Ultimate and Q7 – and whilst I have found much to admire, the speakers have never succeeded in stealing my heart. That started to change with the carbon monocoque M-Project and M6, models that started to display the greater sense of dynamic integrity and musical articulation I seek – although it would be overly simplistic and reductionist to ascribe that shift to nothing more than a change of enclosure material…

Then came the M9 and a conceptual step-change that ticked an awful lot of boxes for me, from the part active configuration (removing the awkward bass leg from the passive crossover equation) to the further development of the carbon enclosure, whose bi-directionally curved form has far more than simply aesthetic implications. I haven’t heard the M9, but just talking about the thinking and engineering behind it with those in the know at Magico left me sufficiently impressed to harbour a serious hankering to hear its trickle-down derivative…

Which brief history brings us to the M7, a speaker that on looks alone, makes no secret of its relationship to the larger M9. At 65” high, 22” deep, 15” wide (1651 x 559 x 381mm) this is definitely a man-sized loudspeaker, but the curved enclosure and carefully profiled baffle make for a surprisingly elegant visual package. A four-way design, featuring two 12” bass drivers, two 9”mid-bass drivers, a 5” midrange unit and a 28mm dome tweeter, the M7 is an all-passive, infinite-baffle loudspeaker. The cone (or maybe that should be ‘bowl’) drivers feature Magico’s aluminium honeycomb/graphene/carbon-fibre sandwich diaphragms. The tweeter sports a diamond coated beryllium dome. Despite being a wide-bandwidth, sealed-box, four-way design, Magico suggest a realistic sensitivity of 91dB coupled to a 4Ω and relatively unreactive load. I don’t think anybody is saying that the M7 is easy to drive, but it certainly isn’t cussed either. The crossover is single-wired and the whole enclosure stands on a polished alloy plinth, that mirrors its footprint. I for one, was especially pleased to see that it also stands on four feet (rather than three) and that the rear pair are adjustable from above; any speaker this tall is definitely going to be sensitive to rake angle.