I read your CES report and am glad to know that you'll be reviewing the Q3 speakers from Magico. I read in a previous letter that you do not have the speakers yet, but my question is more general in nature.  Anyone that has paid attention to your writing over the past five years or so has seen you gravitate toward certain brands -- Rockport, and now Magico most obviously -- but I've also seen where you've said good things about a few other brands as well. Over that time I've seen you steer away from certain brands that are still somewhat loved by many others in the audio press. Can you enlighten me on why that is the case? For the record, I agree with our choices. I'm just curious as to whether your reasoning is similar to mine. And for the record, I'm considering the Q3s for purchase myself.

John Boyd

I've reviewed many speakers over the past five years and, although you might assume that the sphere of loudspeakers that I admire, or would own, would have expanded in that time, the truth is that it has contracted. Don't get me wrong, there are many really good speakers on the market, but there have been very few that I would personally consider owning. Although I've admired many of the designs I've had contact with, there are always a few nagging issues, or the speaker hasn't really set itself apart to a great degree in terms of its engineering, build, and of course ultimately, its sound. Being merely really good just isn't enough anymore.

The brands you allude to -- Rockport, Magico, TAD, Vivid, a couple of others -- have set themselves apart in my eyes and to my ears. They are all highly engineered, expertly built products. And they perform at a higher level than similar speakers from other brands.

As to the Q3s, I'm very excited to get them in. I'd be happy to review them if they were priced at $49,500. I don’t think many audiophiles would blink an eye had they been introduced at that price. But at $34,000 per pair, they have the potential to offer great value at their asking price. The same can't be said for many speakers costing 34 large these days. . . . Jeff Fritz