stage III magnus - a gem of an interconnect

for some time, i have been puzzled as to why the current-generation (circa 2007/2008) stage III magnus (my reference interconnect) doesn't sound as good as the older-generation (circa 2005/2006) magnus, which i bought for RM6000 (USD1,500) for 1.5m XLR.

now that my dealer has lost the distributorship for stage III concepts, i pushed them for an answer to my puzzle.

apparently, when stage III first released my version of magnus, 2nd ranked interconnect after the USD5K (RM20K) vacuum gold reference (VGR), they didn't know that magnus is so good and so close in performance to the VGR. my dealer admitted that the magnus has 70% of the VGR's performance, at 1/3 the price. they brought in only 4 pairs to malaysia and i was the lucky owner who bought 2 pairs.

the problem with stage III concepts is they keep evolving (changing models and changing configurations), while supposedly increasing performance. when they released the current version of magnus in 2007, i borrowed a pair from my dealer and tried out. i wouldn't say the new magnus wasn't good but its winning attributes are all gone. the new magnus is way too refined and "dainty" and the way it compacts images (everything shrinks and becomes smaller!) is not to my liking. i expressed my views to my dealer but they didn't make much comments then.

now, i confronted them and they too, admitted that the new magnus is falling short of the old magnus. my dealer actually sent back the old magnus (my version) to stage III and demanded that they reproduce the same magnus using the same specs and materials, for the malaysian market. what happened was really surprising - stage III confiscated the old magnus but agreed to refund money back to my dealer.

so, what does this all amount to?

i don't really know and i don't want to guess but i am elated that i am the owner of 2 pairs of outstanding interconnects that can compete with the best of the best even at the USD3K price point (like the AQ sky and kubala-sosna emotion, the subject of my next review) ;-)


Anonymous said...

Don't repair what is broken.

Wish a lot more manufacturers listen to that

Anonymous said...

sorry don't repair what is not broken,

ken said...


Having listened to the Vacuum Gold Reference before, I don't think Magnus is anything near it.
The mids and the bass of the VGR are very well developed. The Magnus may only come close at the highs.