What else should I be looking at? Zu? Magico A3? Help!

Long time lurker first-time poster-

Starting 2ish years ago I got a very nice system passed down to be from my dad. I’ve most recently added a Directstream DAC with the bridge ll which I love the sound of and found more richness and detail coming from a Lumin D2. But now I’ve been thinking about speakers…

A few weeks ago I got to hear some Zu Soul Supremes (in a small but well set up room) which I really liked (both the sound and the look). Zu then released the new Soul6, which costs more and Zu says it’s a better speaker than the SS.

I’ve also started daydreaming about finding a used set of Magico’s A3’s or V3’s as they pop up at the very top of my budget ($8,000) and I wonder if the rest of my system would work well that level of speaker or do I need to get something a bit more forgiving?

My current speakers are B&W 805 Nautilus (which can be bright but got better when I went to the Directstream).
I’ve got a choice of 2 amps
LFD/Mistral 50 watt or a Balanced Audio Technology vk300 se amp
The rest of my setup is a
Directstream DAC with bridge ll, Rega Plantar 2 with an Ortofon Blue cart, REL S3 sub, ISOTek EVO 3 Polarus power strip, with upgraded power cables, LFD spearker cables, Anticables 3.2 RCA connects when using the Mistral amp and Timeportal Reference XLR connects when using the BAT amp.

I like to listen to a wide verity of music, Black Sabbath, LCD Soundsystem, James Brown, Fleetwood Mac, Queens of the stone age.

I’ve got a medium-sized livingroom 14’/20’ with the speakers along the long wall and seated 6-8 feet away from them.

I just got Pauls new book and know I’ve got some work to do with the room set up and hope to spend some time working on it in the next few weeks.

What do the lovely people here think might be a good choice?

Thank you very much and thank you for being a much nicer bunch than another audio forum that we all know about.



Welcome to the forum. Looks like you got a great setup. I’ve not heard either speaker, but I’m sure others will jump in and share their perspective. Ideally, you could try a pair out in your living room.

Good luck in your research. This is a fun hobby.

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I really like it and have been able to make some very worthwhile changes along the way. I know the Zu have a good in-home trial if I buy new but that would be unavailable with the Magico’s.

I’ve been lurking here for a few months and really enjoy the conversation and passion with everybody here. Hope you have a nice Sunday!

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The gear you already have and the speakers you’re considering are excellent.
But asking if you should go with Zu or Magico is like asking “will I like what you’re eating?”
Listen for yourself. If you can’t find them to listen to in person, then go with a return policy like Zu or PS Audio. It’s a fun process.


Your long wall set up with a seating position around 6 ft from the speakers is getting close to a near field set up. I would encourage you to get to a city that has a variety of dealers and listen to a bunch of different designs if you can. Or wait until October and head to Axpona in Chicago or RMAF in Denver. If your going to spend 8k it might be worth a $1k weekend to listen to a wide variety of stuff


“If you’re going to spend 8k it might be worth a $1k weekend to listen to a wide variety of stuff” Minnesotafats gave you some really good advice. We audiophiles have a tendency to confuse the “new” with the “better” sometimes, especially as we start discovering what sort of equipment and sound really appeals to us in the long run. Going to an audio show and being able to hear and see a wide variety of speakers really helps to hone your preferences and get a good sense of the wide range of options out there. I’d have saved myself SO much money and aggravation in the long run if audio shows had been available when I started my audio journey!

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All good advice, but I would give that advice with the warning that whatever “it” is at a show, will sound very different at home.



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The two speaker lines you happen to mention are very different. Both excellent but different. The suggestion of demoing at a local dealer or attending an audio show is advice well heeded. While neither is as good as an in home audition, it is a good way to begin to identify contenders that conform to your taste.

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Thank you all for the thoughtful advice. Going to a show really seems like a good option. I am gonna be in the Bay Area in 2 weeks and arranged to hear some of the Magico A3’s. I know the Zu and the Magico are very different, but they both seem interesting and “special in their own way”.

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In my home theater setup I have 803n mains and 805n surrounds and the big center channel speaker that I always confuse the initials for. I gotta tell you the 805n speakers are magical. I love them. I have another pair I use for computer speakers. I tried the later models with the diamond tweeters but they make my ears bleed.

I am running Wilson Yvettes in my main system that I bought for half price. I love them completely. The Sabrina is their new lower cost model that I saw for sale on Audiogon yesterday. Some guy has a virtually new pair with two sets of grills, one dark and one light and he is asking half price for them. Oh my, I can imagine a use for them and at the price he’s asking I should jump.

There are so many possibilities for you, endless possibilities. I just want to remind you that what you have right now is pretty damned good. Especially with the S3. Maybe a second S3 sub would be a smart place to put your money. You don’t want to be one of those guys who buys something new every week. (like me) :slight_smile:

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Thank you, the system does sound really good, I just wonder what newer and bigger speakers would be like… I’m planning on keeping the 805n’s as they do seem pretty fantastic.

I need to hear some Wilson’s and fall in love with the sound as they are not my cup of tea design-wise.

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Ya know, the guy who helped me bring mine downstairs and uncrate and setup says they look like bad 70s furniture. I realized he was of course right, but that I don’t care what they look like as long as they make the sound they make.
Creamy speakers disappear wonderland. With a rubber nose.
My burden alone.


“All good advice, but I would give that advice with the warning that whatever “it” is at a show, will sound very different at home.”

My experience has been a little more nuanced. Rooms at shows vary in size and construction materials. The partnering ancillary equipment may (or not) vary from what you are going to use with your new speakers. When I bought Tidal speakers I first heard the brand at a show and then bought the next smaller size down in the line up for my home. The basic qualities of the Tidal sound translated from show to home very well. On the other hand, I’ve heard several different KEF speakers at a show in a REALLY big room and was slightly underwhelmed. Long story short, I ended up with a pair of KEF R500’s for my second system and it’s obvious many of the excellent qualities evident in my home were less evident in that big cavernous space at the show. The room sizes and hotel construction materials were quite different in each case and it made a big contribution to the overall sound.


So I got to hear some Magico A3’s today at a dealer. They had them set up with a Constellation amp and pre amp, Shunyata cables, and a Chord DAVE dac. They were wonderful and for the mids and highs they seemed to be the Goldie Lox speaker in that range but… They did not have the range and low end that my 805n and REL S3 sub has. I might keep an eye out and see if a good deal pops out on a used set but I’m not feeling the new speaker itch like I was a few weeks ago. Thank you all for your advice!

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I run the A3’s (love them) the bass may not be “epic” but it is fast, tight and punchy. That said I do have thoughts of moving up to the A5 which would most likely be an end game speaker for me, I really enjoy the Magico sound and the A3’s have been a pleasure to own

Have you given thought to running the sub(s) with a pair of A3’s?


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Yes, having the S3 sub with the A3’s would be what I would do if I got new speakers. Having a 2nd would be even better but $$$ and space for the 2nd sub are both things that I do not have at the moment.

How picky are the A3’s for room set up? I’ve got a 14’/17’ room, 1 of the long walls is open on both ends (1 side into a hall, the other is a bigger opening into the kitchen) the short walls have the front door to the house with a large window and a large HVAC grate on the floor that limits speaker placement on that wall.

What is the rest of your system that you are using with the A3’s? When I was listening I was worrying that the rest of my gear would not match well for those speakers.


FWIW, if your budget can swing downward a little (okay, alot), you might consider These, with their 30-day in-home trial period and 7-year warranty…could be all you want/need!?! :wink:


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Since you’re able to get your speakers 6-8 feet out from the wall and you have that nice BAT amp, I’d audition Magnapan .7
And considering your music, with a couple of good subs.
I would suggest that you pull the trigger based on no one else’ ears but your own.

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Listing to the Magico setup yesterday really made me realize how good my system really is and that I’m in no hurry to get new speakers. I like my system a lot! And I’ve got a P15 on order which might even get me a little more out of my current setup :wink: