>Little did I know, that buying the Magico Mini marked the starting point of a series of exploration and upgrades. The Magico Mini simply demands the very best of what is available on the market. In the past few months, I have made more changes to my setup then I have in the past 5 years. Hopefully, I am finally done…
After ‘discovering’ the magical Magico, and one of the most euphonic solid state amplifiers I have ever come across (darTZeel NHB-108B), I have found an excellent solution in integrating the Wilson Benesch Torus to the Magico Mini.
Since I bought the Torus, I have been struggling. But the struggle has finally come to an end, perhaps via a way that not every audiophile would approve. The result now is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s a ‘new’ experience for me.
Here’s a photo of my room. The setup has since been updated, I haven’t had time to take a photo yet:
What seems to be a seemingly proper room has many hidden problems. What you do not see, is that there is about 30 feet behind me. It’s a very long room. This has created a lot of problem for me over the years, and the Magico Mini has been the best speakers (sounding wise) in my room. (speakers I have used in the room includes Sonus Faber Amati, Guarneri, & Revel Salon)
Anyway, the Torus is sitting in between the Magico Minis, not in a corner as one normally would for a subwoofer.
I played with the crossover and level adjustments on the Torus amp for days and no matter how I adjust it, there is always a slight change in coherency. It is perhaps the timing difference, or perhaps it is just the inherent different sound from the Magico Mini and the Torus. Whatever it is, I had a very difficult time making them blend.
So I turned to a ‘high-tech’ solution…which many purists audiophiles may frown upon.
I bought a TacT RCS 2.2XP with an upgraded PSU.
The TacT is connected in a way that could be completely bypassed in the signal path. I have a coax digital cable from my source directly to the EMM Labs DCC2 SE and an AES/EBU digital cable from the source to the TacT. So if I select the coax input on the DCC2 SE, TacT is not in the signal path.
Why TacT? First of all, I am not a purist. Some people think I am a perfectionist, but I prefer to think that I am at best a practical perfectionist. I do not want to be stubborn, nor do I want to believe in myths. I just want good music.
So here’s my current setup:
-D-> = Digital
Slim Devices Transporter -D-> EMM Labs DCC2 SE -A-> darTZeel NHB-108B -> Magico Mini
Slim Devices Transporter -> TacT RCS 2.2XP -> EMM Labs DCC2 SE -A-> darTZeel NHB-108B -> Magico Mini
while the 2.2XP does digital crossover and provide an analog output for the subwoofer. Instead of using the Torus amp, I am using an Acoustic Reality eAR1001 to drive the Torus.
In short, I now have a 2.0 pure path setup and a 2.1 ‘room corrected’ setup.
And let me make this simple. The 2.1 setup is far superior in terms of coherency, tonal balance and ‘substance’. And yes, it is by far the better sound of the 2 setups.
Using the TacT in bypass mode (bypassing room correction, eq, and crossover), I get the following In-Room response for my setup in my room:
The Magico Mini are already the flattest measuring speakers I have in my room. The Sonus Faber Amati, for example, had a -30db dip in my room in the 200Hz region. It was horrible. The Revel Salon did quite well. They certainly go deeper in my room, but not quite as flat as the Magico Mini.
Anyway, now I run the Auto Calibration process on the TacT, and then rerun the measurement, and this is what I get now:
Low Pass Filter = 80Hz @ 16th order
High Pass Filter = 40Hz@ 24th order
I purposedly overlap the crossover a little to give the bass a little boost.
How does it sound?
Smooth yet dynamic, full bodied, and complete coherency.
This is an absolute joy. I can design different crossover in real-time to modify slightly the bass performance to my liking. The great thing is the steep 24th order filter allows very little or no coloration from the Torus. I hear no coloration in the midrange. Finally, the Minis are singing in their full glory with a seamless extension down to the lowest octave.
More measurements here, including one done with a calibrated microphone using a RTA software.