Vivid, Coincident Technology and Magico‏ loudspeakers

To Doug Schneider,

I enjoyed your recent review of the Vivid Audio Giya G2. I'm looking to move up from my Usher Be-10 speakers. For the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed a system that consists of ModWright’s top-end solid-state amp and tube preamp, Linn Klimax data streamer, all connected with JPS Aluminata cabling. I’m looking for a speaker system that allows for a wide range of amplifiers, including solid-state and tube. I’d prefer not to change my current electronics for awhile, yet I want to know that I'm able to get the most of the speakers with them.

I'm curious whether you have any direct experience with the Coincident Technology Pure Reference Extreme (PRE) or the Magico Q3 to compare with the G2 (or G3). The PRE supposedly is very amplifier friendly -- not sure about the Magico. I recall you saying that the Vivid worked well with solid-state and tube amplifiers. Of these speakers, any thoughts on how they compare and which one will work best with my current electronics will be very much appreciated.  By the way, my room is about 15' x 26' and slightly treated.

Van Waldrop

I have not heard Coincident’s PRE speaker, but I will say that I’m very suspicious about the claims for it and its supposedly “amplifier friendly” nature. I don’t have much reason to doubt that the impedance is a nominal 8 ohms, which is something the company states, but their claim of 94dB sensitivity (1W/1m) is certainly suspect given the use of some pretty common drivers that aren’t rated anywhere near that high. My suspicion is further heightened by the fact that we measured Coincident’s Total Eclipse speaker back in 2001. They claimed the sensitivity of that speaker to be well over 90dB as well, but it turned out to be 86dB, which is what you’d expect from the driver complement and the cabinet design. When a company’s claims are that far off the mark, it obviously doesn’t reflect well on anything else they do. Check out the measurements here. If Coincident wishes to send us their PRE speaker to review and measure (which we’d be happy to do), I might be able to comment more fully and, perhaps, more favorably. Until then . . .

The Magico Q3 would certainly make for an interesting comparison to the G3, which I heard in Las Vegas and thought was spectacular, or, obviously, the G2, which I feel to be among the very best speakers in the world right now and that I’d buy if I could afford to. And, yes, the G2 worked well enough with tubes. Unfortunately, “Magico versus Vivid” is not a comparison that I’ve been able to do and, from what I can tell, no other reviewer has done it either. Still, based on what I know of Magico, past measurements we’ve done on the V2, measurements I’ve seen done on the Q3 in another publication, and Jeff Fritz’s write-up of it in Ultra Audio, you’d be wise to seek the Q3 speaker out along with the Vivid models. These companies appear to be on the cutting edge, although I’m not so sure the Q3 would work well with tubes. I hope that helps. . . . Doug Schneider