The Magico M5 floorstanding loudspeaker was undoubtedly the most anticipated debut at CES 2009 and it didn't disappoint. For those of you familiar with the great MartinLogan CLX its sound is easy to describe and uncanny to hear. If you can imagine a CLX with 20Hz bass, 60kHz treble extension, no large-scale dynamic-range limits, no soundstaging limits, and no lack of body and dimensionality, without any sacrifice of the see-through-to-the-source transparency, utter neutrality, single-driver coherence, standard-settingly low levels of harmonic distortion, lightning transient speed, nonpareil low-level resolution, sheer invisibility as a sound source, and breathtakingly lifeilike realism of the CLX then you have an idea of what the M5 sounds like. I have never heard a dynamic or planar or Radalstrahler speaker come this close to the electrostatic ideal without any audible sacrifice of what cone speakers bring to the table. This is quite simply a new standard in transduction, not just the best loudspeaker at this year's CES, but the best loudspeaker I've ever heard at a trade show and, quite possibly (the Magico M6 maybe excepted), the best loudspeaker any amount of money can buy And as you will see, when I post my show report, this was not a show that lacked for stiff competition. In several floors full of very, very, very good speakers, nothing eclipsed this new Magico, which not only takes its place in my little pantheon of great speakers but pushes out several other long-cherished greats of the past. As of CES 2009, the past is now inalterably past. We are in a new Golden Age of stereo, my friends. Not just hitting the same gong at the top of the post that we've been hitting, off and on, for the past two decades, but hitting a whole new level--a whole new height of stereophonic high fidelity and realism. Certainly the fabulous Soulution electronics played their part in this great Magico demo, as did Magico's own fabulous server and the Pacific Microsonics DAC. But the speakers themselves...you can't hear upstream unless what is downstream is every bit as clear and colorless and high in fidelity as what precedes it. And so the M5s are--to a degree I simply never heard before and didn't dream possible.