sorry that it has taken so long. this audio magic thingy needs an awful long time to burn in and to date, i have fed more than 500 hours. potential buyers beware - don't make any judgement until you burn-in for more than 500 hours.
so i am going ahead of master ken's review in av xpress and give you a first-hand, no-holds-barred shoot-out between these two PLCs, two of the best of the lot in the market today.
let's cut to the chase as we are not stereophile nor TAS which go on and on about technical specs and motherhood stories.
the main difference between the audio magic and shunyata is in the tonality, and my god, in this regard, they are day and night apart. the audio magic is decidedly more neutral; the midband is more natural and also blander. and it does not intoxicate the listeners the way the shunyata does. vocals presentation with the audio magic is very matter-of-fact; it is not that the singer has not enough emotions, it is more accurate to say that the singer under audio magic is more sober and more aware of herself and her singing. whereas with shunyata, the singer just immerses herself totally and couldn't care less about the surrounding and the audience - she just sings her heart out. this major difference is very stark.
now the interesting part. the audio magic is more effective in cleansing the AC than the shunyata, as apparent in the midbass and overall dynamic. planar speaker needs the cleanest AC to sound good and under the influence of audio magic, my maggie is transformed dynamically - the midbass kicks ass and the overall P.R.a.T also improves dramatically. more importantly, the audio magic manages to cure my AC problem better than the shunyata. i tested this on a night where the AC is not exactly great and the audio magic comes unscathed and unperturbed while the shunyata just collapsed. so confidently, i could claim that the audio magic has better cleansing power (against bad AC) than the shunyata.
in terms of making music, the shunyata has a little edge in my system and in this regard, i would declare the shunyata as the most seductive and tonally sexy PLC i have ever auditioned to date. the audio magic, meanwhile, is the most dynamic and cleanest PLC. also, if you are into rock music with plenty of dynamic headroom, the audio magic is simply the best PLC for you - it is a rocker's PLC, if ever there was such a term.
whether you choose the shunyata or audio magic is really a matter of taste, musical inclination and even listening mood.
p/s btw, i am comparing two similarly priced PLCs - shunyata hydra 4 and audio magic stealth mini reference, both a shade under RM4K
晴空万里的"天空" [the sky is the limit]
4 days ago