As curious as I am about the Magico Q5 intro--and I'm deadly curious--I've gotta admit that were I restricted to attending just one premier at the upcoming CES, I would have to skip the Q5 in favor of the unveiling of the MG 1.7 from Magnepan--Maggie's replacement for the speaker I consider to be the single best buy in all of high-end audio, the MG 1.6. Yep, after years and years in the Magnepan line, Maggie's superb wooden-framed two-way quasi-ribbon/planar-magnetic 1.6 floorstander is being put out to pasture and in its place comes the aluminum-framed entirely quasi-ribbon three-way 1.7 floorstander with improved parts, crossovers, and panels. And all this for a mere $100 more than the classic 1.6. (The 1.7 is priced at $1995 per pair.)
Here is Magnepan's press release on the MG 1.7:
The First Full-Range Ribbon Speaker from Magnepan
Announcing the successor to the iconic MG1.6 which was selected [by yours truly] as "Best Value in High-End Audio" in the recent Absolute Sound magazine for loudspeakers over $650 per pair. The MG1.7 is a full-range quasi-ribbon loudspeaker that should continue the tradition of awards for Best Value.
The MG 1.7 os a departure from Magnepan's forty-year history of using planar-magnetic for the bass or lower midrange. The use of quasi-ribbon technology down into the lower midrange and bass will provide a new level of coherence.
The MG 1.7 also boast a quasi-ribbon supertweeter with a wider "sweet spot [taking it] one step closer to the delicacy and detail of Magnepan's true ribbon tweetern.
A new modern styling with wrap-around aluminum trim on the MG 1.7 is also a departure from Magnepan's more conservative cosmetics....
I have been told on the best authority (by someone who actually participated in the blind listening sessions where the 1.7's voicing was compared to that of the 1.6) that the new model is, indeed, all that Magnepan claims it is, setting a new standard in coherence for a quasi-ribbon Maggie, reproducing more detail top-to-bottom, improving low-level resolution and large-scale dynamics, and simply sounding more realistic than the already-quite-realistic-sounding 1.6. Of course, the proof of this pudding will be the listening, and to that end I've already put in my bid to be the first to review the 1.7. (I believe I was the first to review the 1.6.) However, when you consider how much of the absolute sound the 1.6 delivered and how much more you may end up getting from the 1.7 for under $2k...well, that's precisely why the Maggie intro would take precedence over the Magico intro if I could only attend one (which, happily, isnt the case). I can't afford a Q5, no matter how great it turns out to be; I (and a lot you guys) can afford a 1.7.
Frankly, between Q5s and Maggie 1.7s, this CES is shaping up to be one of the best in years. The MG 1.7 will be shown at T.H.E. Show in the Flamingo Hotel in Conference Room A on the 4th floor.