B&W 805D2 or Magico Q1?

Has anyone compared these two speakers? with all of the over-the-top reviews for the B&W's and the reputation held by Magico for their pursuit of a new paradigm of perfectionism i am left wondering if there is any real competition or should i just trust the numbers, i.e. $24,950 vs $5,000...? i am not trying to start a fight here either, but theoretically what more can "anyone" do with a woofer and a tweeter with a single crossover and a rock-solid cabinet?
just as an aside, $5K used to buy you a (new) state-of-the-art FULL-RANGE B&W speaker system that could play at LIVE SPL's. of course they couldn't compete with Wison's or Sonus Fabers for resolving fine detail, but umteem improvements later we (supposedly) have a whole new ball game out there.
I expect you'd find the cost price of the crossover components in the Q1 are similar to the cost of an entire 805D at retail. I've not heard them so can't comment on what difference that might make in terms of sq.
I think you would have to really like the sound of the Q1 monitors to spend $25,000 on them.

I listened to the Q1 at RMAF and though they did not sound bad I was not wowed by the sound. For 25k I would personally buy a full range speaker or monitors and two good subs.

I have not heard the new 805d but used to own 805n. I have heard the 801d and the diamond tweeter was preferrable to the old aluminum dome.

If you like the B&W sound then it makes more sense to me. Have you listened to the 805d?
If you are going to spend 25K on a speaker, why not just get the 802 or 800 Diamonds? You will get a full range speaker that sounds terrific ... like real music with correct overall tonal balance and timbal accuracy, sound like you would hear at a really good orchestra hall like Avery Fisher in NYC or in Boston.
there's no argument that the Q1 speakers are expensive, and lack the birch-ply and matching stands that the MINI's had, which i thought was really stunning.
OTOH there's nothing wrong with the clean lines of the newest monitor from Magico especially if it CLEARLY outperforms what has gone before. but i can't get past the thought that the new 805D2's are so well made. and at $5K a pair (stands are extra) these are not the economy model, and a number of reviewers are really in awe of what it does regardless of size and cost.
admittedly the last B&W's i personally auditioned relevant to this thread were the silver signatures, which threw amazing images and looked a lot cooler than my 801s3's. but i never auditioned a small speaker that cost anything near what the magico's are going for.
even if i did go back and review what the crossover is all about i still
am at a loss to understand (keeping an open mind) how the Q1's get out of the way to such an extent that they don't have any competition in that size category. but i don't (completely) rule out the possibility that they transcend the current standards for really excellent loudspeakers and enter into the "musical instrument" realm.
We need to factor in the resistance to termites and other wood boring insects (and warping) when considering new Magicos...I think they'd make great outdoor speakers to put by the pool. Now if only Magico would make a speaker that looked like a rock...
"i think i got it"--- like in the movie with rex harrison. these speakers are designed for "European" style apartments owned by millionaires who like to live 4 blocks from the opera house. they have Soulution amps and preamps, a hand-built turntable, and an equally exotic CDP. their wires are all (real) gold plated.
a picture out of a B&W advertisement with ultra-modern Italian furnishings complete the picture. this of course is no match for their country estate which has a great room- 40 x 60 x 25 in which the top Kharma speakers pump out enough sound to comfortably reproduce the sound of Boeing 747's on take-off.
no, i am NOT being cynical here, but in America if you have MONEY you can afford a MUCH larger room. except perhaps in Manhattan there is an apartment small enough to fill the bill not far from Lincoln Center...
If your loaded and want a second system but only have a small room for it maybe Q1 would scratch that itch.

I like the looks of the Mini much more. Though I would take sound over looks any day. I would think you could get both at that price.

If your crossover parts cost $5,000 alone it must sound awesome. I would like to know what combination of crossover parts for a two way design would add up to 5k? Don't get me wrong I think good parts are important but the implementation is probably more important.
IMO,your post makes no sense.You want to compare the Q1 which is a worldclass monitor against a mid entry level one at best,not a fair fight...and Ive never met any serious audiophile that I respect suggest " B&W has correct overall tonal balance and timbal accuracy"
I have never been convinced by the big models of B&W but ...

they are used in the best studios for classical music recording as monitors ...
?? Missioncoonery incorrectly describes the B&W speakers as ENTRY LEVEL. FACT- Professional Reviews of the B&W's strongly suggest they are world class. FACT-a lot of money and technology plus YEARS of product development by a company that makes "THE SNAILS" amongst other amazing SOTA designs deserve anyone's respect whether or not they would prefer a different speaker for their own system.
there is EVERY REASON to compare these two loudspeakers. (and what about the latest mini monitors from Sonus Faber?- costly but not anything like the Magico's). the thread makes sense in that if someone listened to both speakers i would welcome their impressions. this is not "a fight" but an attempt to evaluate, nothing more, nothing less. if i learn something NEW here instead of generating derogatory comments then we all benefit. if i personally went to some recent audio shows and auditioned these (or even similar) speakers i would only be too happy to offer my observations.
i like small speakers that do a lot as do many people. high definition in a small package is a lofty goal (as opposed to a large speaker that is poorly put together but plays Black Sabbath albums that shake the walls).
all i am saying is, even IF you're real fussy about quality, you're not going to get Beethoven #9 to spill out of a 6 or 7 inch driver. so i feel it DOES MAKE SENSE to set some reasonable parameters when considering a certain class of product.
THIS FORUM is intended to foster intelligent discussion, but IF you LUV making cynical remarks instead perhaps you should find a dumb-retort discussion group that would better serve your purposes...
French Fry...Exactly!!.Your post makes no sense.Your trying to compare or ask for opinions comparing the 2 speakers.A 25K+ speaker to a 5K speaker and you call my comments cynical.You asked what we thought.Ive heard both speakers at the same dealership on the same day,have you?If you like or love the B&W then buy it,do you really need us to tell you what to buy or justify yout thoughts to buy?If you dont like what I say of I hurt your feelings then dont post,,simple enough!
The difference between a Subaru Forester (a great car, BTW) and an BMW X-3 can best be appreciated by driving them both. What more can one do with 4 wheels and a motor?
To me, the difference in the driving experience was well worth the extra money, but I'm sure there are people out there who would not have noticed the difference. In that case, it would be silly to purchase the more expensive vehicle. Same with audio. I like the small B&Ws very much, but I have heard the Q1s and I think they are that much better. Unfortunately, I can't afford them, so I have to settle for the Subaru. That's life.
Missioncoonery, Since you got to listen to both in the same dealer on the same day your observations may be more relevent. Was the comparison in the same room with the same gear?
I own the Magico Mini II. Though I haven't heard the Q1 yet, I've read it is even
better. Less cabinet noise, more extended high and low. I listened to a few
speakers, both full range and more limited, and given my room and appreciation
for what these Minis do, I decided it was worth the cost. They are remarkable

I've heard some of the larger B&Ws, but not the 805D2. I prefer the coherence,
clarity, neutrality and naturalness of the Magicos. The bass, too, is quite
outstanding, if not the most extended. Though the bass of my Minis does sound
deeper, and more natural than the bass of the larger B&Ws that I've heard.

IMO, with the Magicos, one is paying for very good, inert cabinets, proprietary
driver and crossover technology, lots of R&D and lots of marketing. I love the
sound, but clearly, it's not for everyone. And the question of value is extremely
Dear Difficult M-coonery,
i asked for opinions regarding how both speaker systems sounded being that both absolutely represent the high end. the B&W's in no way are "SUBARU'S"; THEY are perhaps better described as Audi's (vs Bentley's). with your eyes closed you might be able to tell the difference riding in the back, but perhaps not.
but since you NOW tell us that you DID get to compare BOTH speakers, and under almost ideal conditions. so what have we learned so far from your contributions to this thread? other than your "how can you compare a very expensive speaker to a less-expensive (actually you stated an "entry-level") speaker i am no better informed now than i was before.
the POINT i was trying to make is that both speakers are very, very good, and both could be expected to play music with excellent results. i am not a LOVER of B&W or MAGICO; i don't have a preference. but with the refinement that B&W has attained over a LOT of years of tweaking their designs, and the perfectionist philosophy of Magico's designer (as well as D.Wilson, Kharma, S.Faber, Focal, MBL, Burmeister, you get the point yet?) what is the practical as well as the aesthetic result SEPARATE FROM the MSRP? let us assume you don't KNOW which speaker costs more, as well as how much more- what would several music lovers conclude from a comparison of the two?
if one is clearly better every time, how MUCH better an improvement does it represent?
i don't know any other way of trying to OPEN UP a discussion amongst real folks (and not just what i read in a magazine) in finding out more about a subject which has piqued my curiosity for some time now. but if i am annoying or offending the very person(s) who might actually provide some answers then i guess i'll just shut-up and "be done with it".
BTW, Great Forum- keep up the good work guys...
Well, at least you've learned there's very little of value here. Most people take a long time to figure that out.
French_fries, don't take Missioncoomery's comments seriously. He's known here only for being a b&w basher.
Good small speakers I have heard lately:
Magico Q1
Joseph Pulsar
Magico Mini II
Fritz Rev 5
Fritz Carbon 7
Sjofn Clue
Spendor SA1
B&W 805D
Audience 1
Silverline Minuet Supreme
Missionloonery, wow, you must have sat up all nite thinking up that last post...LOL

That is a nice list of speakers. Do you care to elaborate? I'd be interested in reading your impressions of the Q1 vs. the Mini II in particular, but also some thoughts on the others.

Have you ever heard the Evolution Acoustics MMOne? It has received some good show reports and is supposed to be a great value.
You can add the Studio Electric Monitors to that list right after the Fritz speakers.
Had a long listening session at the Burlingame Show with the Q1s. They have a new tweeter, it seems even smoother and more involving than other Magicos. You could listen to them forever.
For some reason the Evolution speakers didn't stand out to me as the other speakers on the list do.
I think the real sleepers are the Fritz Rev 5s, not far from the Q1s in performance.
Thanks for the information. Is you list written in order of preference? If so, yours would seem to be one answer to the OP.
Peter, in order of preference.
The Fritz Rev 5s really were punching way above there weight class in Vegas. Had heard the Carbon 7 several times before and thought is was pretty good. The Rev 5 has much more detail with slightly less lower end.
There is always the Harbeth 7s, but they tend not to rock very well.
I have to take Missioncoonery side here.

Just to put things in perspective French_fries, if you would go to say 10 dealers and tell them this story most likely all of them will demo for you the B&Ws with decent electronics but not the Q1s and their top of the line electronics. At least some of them will justify this by telling you that you are not determined/motivated enough.

Secondly, none of the various iteration of the 805 B&W monitors have ever been considered SOTA monitors. While all these B&Ws monitors were good speakers, they were often outclass by similarly priced monitors from Dynaudio, Focal, etc. Sometimes not even by the top of the line monitors of the competition! Consequently, I see no reason why suddenly this new 805 iteration will be a SOTA monitor and will be able to compete with monitors costing 5 times more.

I understand your "dilemma", we all have similar thoughts (we all know that many of these hi-fi toys are extremely overprices). However, I do not understand why would you attack someone who has just stated the obvious, i.e. Missioncoonery.
Magnamupi205 answered your original question with his ranking of monitor
speakers. This list is based on his own listening experiences with the speakers.
The Q1 came out on top with the B&W quite a few places down.
I'm sure others might have different opinions, but I haven't read any responses
from anyone else who has heard both of these speakers and ranked them.
Im now reading most of the B&W line is made in China,lol...One more reason to scratch em off the list!!!
I had no idea the 805D was made in China.This is just typical of so many manufacturers.
Comparing B&W to Magico or Wilson is just plain dumb. B&W is the speaker equivalent to junk food. Tempting to look at but empty calories. Sorry but sometimes the truth hurts. B&W's look good but when compared to other speakers in the same price range they suck hind tit.
The day I audition the new Magico Q series I also listened to offerings from B&W as this dealer has both.I told the dealer "I dont get it,whats with this following of B&W"?.He stated this (lauging and shrugging his shoulders)."People want what they want,they come in and request B&W without listening to anything or allowing me to do my job,I just keep my mouth shut and sell em what they want".."but if a guy like you comes in and really wants to hear what its all about we listen to the Magicos"

Mpit ...be careful stating "your opinion" about B&W on this site,the devoted dont take kindly to it,lol
Funny...and beware this could be a commercial.
Back a few years ago, I took my LSA Standard Bookshelf design into a dealer who sold B&W...(which I find hopelessly colored) and did an A/B comparison.

The patrons of the store were shocked...'shocked I tell you', (think Music Man...sorry, I have ADHD).
Anyway...the questions were...'How at $1K is your speaker better than the 805?'
I was a little more abrupt...'How could B&W, build a speaker that 'sounds like that' at virtually ANY price?'

They have disqualifying colorations which I find a-musical AND annoying.
It's mystifying to me, but true.

Advertising..I suppose it pays big dividends--this would be proof.

Mpit: you are absolutely right! I don't care how they buy themselves into studios etc. or Magazines ;-).....you really cannot take them seriously
805 Diamonds were the finest bookshelves I ever heard. They sound a LOT better than Wilson Duettes and Sonus Faber Cremona Auditors though the systems and the rooms were different. The 805 Diamonds played with Luxman tube integrated.
I have the 805 Nautilus and recently owned the SF Cremona Auditor M. I really tried to like them but stayed with the B&Ws because I connected with them better. My preference is forward soundstaging, bright and sparkly treble. I can only imagine the 805D would be very nice too.

Regarding the other elements presented in this thread, I think it is sad that people tend to talk in near absolutes regarding something that is really a hobby we are all here to enjoy.
Do not want to offend anyone. Just read whole post before jumping. But I dont get it. Dont get this B&W bad feeling among many, supposed to be, higher end aficionados... After having owned them and per instance having listened to the Q5s and other for long periods.

I own TAD R1 now, and before buying them I listend to Magico Q5, TAD CR1 among many other highLy regarded. The speakers I replaced were B&W 800 Di. (so not biased towards any of them anymore), and actually felt the 800s could clearly be improvedi to be in line with rest of my system. So not saying B&W is the best out there... At all. BUT,

Where the Q5s better than the 800s. Overall yes, for sure, but not in every aspect. They lacked the dynamcis, punch and bass extension of the 800s... Although were better in transparency focus and definition, still the 800s sound had something... The others did not. While I would preffer the Q5s if I had to choose, in a price/performance relation, the election is not so clear. I think the 800s are great value. Hard to find something much better overall for the price or even slightly more.

Now the Magico thing is getting a bit boring in my opinion. They are great in some aspects, but by no means the best speaker or game changer at all to my ears (I actually considered buying them and was close, but being aware of their pros and cons, which you get of those as well). .Actually the TAD CR1 monitors were better ALL AROUND when compared to the Q5s. And that includes bass extension, definition, trnasparency, tonal richness and neutrality... To my ears.

I cant imagine how the Q1s may have such great bass at all considering what the Q5s did. I do think they will be very transparent, accurate, neutral and so on, but with limitations that has to be evident also in dynamics and scale.

Now the 805di I have not heard them. i do have a pair of the older 805 as rears for my HT set up. I listened to them in stereo a few times. I think they are very good, moreover for the money, period. If I had to guess, then Q1 will be far more resolving and neutral. You will get much more inner detial, but when it comes to bass extension (not accuracy) and dynamics, I would not bet on it... It then will come down to what one values most, and actually how he/she percieves value. Personally IfmI had to guessmInthink I would preffermthe Q1s but can see others not havingnsuch an electionmso clrearmifmyoumfactor in everything.
Eelii08 - " Do not want to offend anyone"

Whenever someone starts like that, you know where this is going... So here you go;

Look at the CR1 measurements in SP. These speakers, have no bass below 40Hz whatsoever. They also have quite a nasty upper treble grain, which is imposable to get rid of. Audible, and apparently measurable as well (Look at the 6K and up). So if that is what you like, then yes, the Q5 is not for you.

When they came out, about 10 years ago, there were built much better, and cost $14K. It was a pretty good speaker back then.

Hope I did not offend you (-:
You ve got to love this place!

I dont own the CR1 so why would you offend me? And even if I did, they are one of the best speakers I have listened to, and to my taste better than the Q5, so you would not either way.

In general, This hoby is just like real life. Worst thing is when people speak with no knowledge or first hand experience (which of course takes time and effort to get), but just based on what they are told or what they imagine based on who knows what they have in their mind... and still make such strong claims as if they were in posession of the only truth. When if fact most of the times, they have no clue of what they are talking about.,

And In particular, when it comes to your post, the CR1s is a new design that came out in 2010, entirely designed from zero by Andrew Jones. So don't know what you are talking about regarding a CR1 10 years ago, and I doubt you do either..

I had it in my system for quite a while as a trail, and I can tell you they are superb. Also they were flat at 40 and went down to 32 very decently, which for a monitor is quite something... but I guess you won't know that. Oh yes you do. You read it...

Anyway, I do think the Q5 is a good speaker but it has cons like any other design. You eventualy will have to admit it and live with it..., and if you don't, just think it is only my opinion and my taste, and live happy with the thought that finally someone managed to manufacture the perfect box and the absolute best speaker of all times.

Actually I considered it for a while, and was close to goiing for it. Q5 is, as I said very rich and accurate in tone, detailed, what they call now transparent and neutral... but then I found something, that after listening and not just reading (this is important my friend when audio is what we talk about) thought it was better.

So again ,no you did not offend me. i just think you have not listen to the CR1 or if you had, you heard but did not want to listen, or lastly, yes your taste is very different to mine. Although since we both seem to like the Q5 I doubt it is the later....
Same applies to the R1 vs. the MUCH better, and cheaper Model 1. Here is a link to the original:

and yes, I do believe what I read, especially when it comes to JA measurements. Since my hearing experiences with these loudspeakers, correlate to their measurements, I would have to conclude that there is some "wishful hearing" done here on your part, not mine...
I agree 100% with Eelii08, the B&W 800 diamond are a very good value indeed. Firstly, their price is more than reasonable. For example, in Belgium and The Netherlands their retail price is 22k euros per pair, but because most hi-fi shops here sell B&W they can be had for 18-20k euros (i.e. with a 10-20% discount). In Gemany the prices are probably even lower. Secondly, they are very good speakers which when set up right and partnered with adequate electronics will have no problem to compete with much more expensive speakers. I have seen/hear the B&W 800 diamond driven by Accuphase electronics (not top of the line models!) easily outperforming a twice as expensive system from Gryphon and a similarly priced MBL system.

Unfortunately for B&W, this is the case only for the 800 diamond model, i.e. the rest of the models in the 800 diamond series are easily outperformed by similarly priced speakers of the competition. The Q1 may be overpriced, but should have no problem to outclass the 805 diamond. This is the point I made also in my previous post here.

Eelii08 you need to update the pictures on you system page. The TAD speakers are very special indeed. Congratulation!
Usermanual, I have never heard TAD systems sounding bad (unlike other brands/systems stratospherically priced). In fact, whenever I heard TAD system they where always the best in the show (IMO of course). However, we all hear differently and have different preferences when it comes to sound. Also, I would take with a grain of salt everything that JA and/or Stereophile says/writes. Placebo effects are actually running this industry. (If one magazine writes something, then one can be sure there will at least 100 people hearing that something).

Regarding TAD prices, indeed they are very hard to swallow. I remember reading somewhere on a forum a comment by somebody who was wondering whether TAD is selling their electronics or only showing them. While a funny comment, it seems to not be very far form the truth - the TAD importer in the TAD room at Munich 2012 told me that all of his clients are form Russian.

Finally, is there also an older version of the CR-1 monitor? At 40k euros here in Europe, they are certainly out of my budget.
Have you listened to other speakers for your own evaluation?? Magnepan, Vandersteen, Tannoy -- these are MY personal favorites, but you have to know YOUR sensibilities. Isn't it interesting that the 3 speakers I mentioned as MY favorites, all sound different from each other...yet...there they are.
Thanks a lot NVP. It has been over a year of listening to many and trying. I really like them and I am enjoying very much. Out of the ones I tried, they are the best sounding to me, and not by a small margin. Yes I have to update. That system is totaly changed now from source to boxes. Will try to find the time.

That is my experience with the 800 di as well and I am very familiar with them. Excellent value. Yes there are better things but you will have to pay a lot more. If my budget was in the 20k € area, I would buy them again everyday. You can buy for that money boxes that do this or that better, but on an overall picture, considering all factors they are the best I know at that price level. I think one problem of some is people tend to drive them with not the best power. They are big with 2X10 in and require lots of power and high current top amps to get that bass controlled.

I also think the Q1 will be better in absolute terms than 805 di, but not in all aspects, and not sure in relative terms either (cost factored, although that is very personal). But in this case I do have to admit my opinion is just that and of not much value since I have not heard them and it is only based on the sound of other models of the brand.

(is good to speak based in real personal experience and first hand knowledge, and if not and just guessing to do the propper disclaimer to help others. If we all did the same this place would be much more informative, and not the playground of kids beting on who can pee longer that sometimes seems. Lots of fun in any case))

Never said they were bad and indeed they do well at shows, especially since Andrew plays them so loud, you cannot really hear what they are all about. I just find them rather hi-fi sounding in the long run. The grain in the treble is untamable and what comes across as details in shows, turns out to be coloration that I could not bear. Also, there is no low bass whatsoever with both of these speakers. It is unfortunate that many people confuse mid bass hump with low bass.
BTW, if you look at their XO board, which they advertise, strangely, you would be dismay at the part quality they use. If there are more than couple bucks spent on these parts, I would be shocked: (http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?6368-Reviews-of-the-TAD-Compact-Reference-1). Even B&W cheaper models are more "invested" then these. That was not the case with the original concept. TAD/Pioneer has really played a number on us, poor audiofooles.

Yes, there was an older version of the monitor.
Nvp, no there is not an older version of the CR1. There was a prototype running around for a few years, but never went into production. Was work in progress for the final CR1,

I do agree with prices, but that is unfortunately a widely industry spread issue and not of one brand or the other. Is funny (not at all) how a manufacturer releases a unit, gets brave reviews either from users at shows or wherever or from the JA and JVs of this world... and after a year they raise an already unsane price level by no less than 20 to 30 per cent. That is common practice now, and in my opinion a very poor practice that shows no respect for clients. But anyway.

Yes the CR1 are very very expensive even more for a monitor, but they are not really your typical monitor soundwise. While not a big speaker, they produce bigger! sound than others floorstanders I listened to costing more while doing all the good things a monitor does and then some. But yes, for 40k euro, they could have at least the (decency?) to include the stands...
Very cool, it seems that the three of us, i.e. me, Usermanual and Eelii08, are online lurking on audiogon.

While this thread has run its course, and thus it is less important that we are off topic, it might be better to continue this discussion on a different thread, i.e. one about TAD speakers/electronics. Other might be interest in the topic. There is not a lot of information about TAD on internet (or at least I did not find much).

Regarding TAD speakers being played loud at shows, it is certainly not my experience. But I have only heard them at two shows. Last time, at Munich 2012, the Evolution one was playing and to me they produced the second best sound in that day (only the 87 years old horn played by Salbatone Acoustics bettered them). The volume was certainly moderate (I typically listen at 60-70 db) and I do not like loud rooms. The sound was very well balanced top to bottom, detailed but warm and full, certainly not forward thin and/or bright.

Usermanual, I hope I do/did not give you the impression I am debating your comments. Just relating my experience.