The Journey Begins
As some folks may be aware, I lived very happily with a Klipsch RF-82/62-based system for nearly 6 years; however, as my passion for the Home Theater hobby grew, I began to fall in love with music as well and I soon began yearning for aa major upgrade. My first upgrade plan was for the GoldenEar TritonTwo towers when they first took the industry by storm. Then, I went to demo them and their performance was too close to my Klipsch speakers to warrant the upgrade cost. Then, I began going to A/V dealers across the DC area, demoing many, many speakers including B&W, Totem, Paradigm, PSB, Focal, Monitor Audio, and the list goes on—all in search of the perfect speaker and I did not find it. In my journey, I discovered that I wanted an unconventional tweeter. I use the term unconventional because Ribbons, Folded Motion Tweeters, and Air Motion Tweeters all fell into this category and, to me, sound better than traditional dome tweeters. Trust me, it took months of demoing before I discovered that this was my preference. So, with that out of the way, I needed to define my parameters for low-end performance. In all honesty, the two best Full Range speakers I had heard in my journey to this point were 1) B&W 800Ds and 2) Totem Wind Designs. Both had insane bass extention, and although the highs sound good, they didn’t have that special crispness that comes with unconventional tweeters. So, now I knew that in addition to an unconventional tweeter, I’d also need a speaker that matched or surpassed the low-end prowess of the B&W or Totem speakers. With those two requirements etched, I narrowed my search, and my A/V dealer visits became a lot less frequent since there are only a handful of manufacturers that make products that met both of my newly minted requirements. I was ready to give up and to just continue enjoying my Klipsch speakers, instead of upgrading for the sake of upgrading…but then, I met Dennis…Dealing With Dennis:
Late last year, MikeDuke brought to my attention a music server he was considering. I expressed my interest, at which point Mike told me the person to talk to—Dmark1(Dennis). I gladly accepted the contact information, and intended to touch base with him, but didn’t get around to it. Then, one day, I got a PM from Dennis saying that Mike informed him of my interest in the music server and that I could feel free to ask him any questions I had about it. He ended the message with one sentence that would change my theater forever: “As a matter of full disclosure, I’m also a Legacy Audio Dealer.” You see, I spent a few months admiring Legacy Speakers from afar, but had never come across them in my dealer journey, so I never had the opportunity to give them a listen and always wanted to.
So, I responded to Dennis, explaining that I had been considering giving Legacy speakers a listen (at this point, my only association with Legacy was with the massive Whispers), and after some discussion over models and what could work for me, he invited me up for a listen. Life Changing? Yes indeed. I drove up to Dennis’ place in PA, which was about an hour and a half away from my house (shorter than a DC commute on a workday) and as soon as I got into his basement, the physical presence of his Focus SE’s in their Rosewood finish immediately floored me. The first thing I said was “These things are huge!” Then, I saw his Signature SE’s in black pearl finish, and I finally understood what all the buzz was about. We sat, started some listening as Dennis gave me a quick synopsis of Legacy’s background. I also met Craig John that day, and we all had a great time listening. Here’s what sealed the deal for me. Upon hearing the tweeters in the Focuses, I realized that these were the best tweeters I had ever heard, ticking all the boxes that I needed from an unconventional tweeter. I wondered how the low end performed. Well, we played a track called Hearbeat (Head-FI, Open Your Ears from www.hdtracks.com
) and the low end produced by the Focus SE’s was so authoritative, it all clicked together. We compared the track with the Submerisve on and with only the Focuses having bass, and the performance was identical. Here was a speaker that had the high end crispness I love so much, coupled with the low end prowess that I required. It was at this moment in January that I decided I would purchasing Legacy Focuses, and whichever center speaker was their match.Paying with Dennis
Let me get this out of the way. I do not use credit-cards for hobbies. I did it in college, and I got into trouble that took me years to get out of. So, you see, I had a dilemma. Here, we have Legacy mains and center channel for which the combined MSRP is nearly $15,000, but I refuse to use a credit card to pay for it. So, it had to be pure cash. I spoke to Dennis about my concerns, and he allowed me to split my payments into three installments, starting in March of this year. We got the speakers ordered in April, and they were build and ready for my room by the end of May A Dream [Nearly] Deferred
Now, this Legacy purchase almost didn’t happen. Life-events made it extremely difficult to make that final payment on this Legacy Trio. I was ready to cancel and just get a set of Aperions. Dennis said “give me a call and I’ll see what I can do.” I called him that evening, and after explaining the situation, he made a slight adjustment to the terms we agreed on to assist in this procurement. The adjustment was juuuust enough of a difference to get me back on track for that final payment on the Legacies. Now, here is one of the reasons why Dennis is so awesome to work with…his adjustment ate into his own profit margin. He essentially made a sacrifice to ensure I could get these Legacies. I know of NO other dealer that has ever done that. I couldn’t have purchased these speakers without his ability to work with me, and for that—I am extremely grateful!!Aesthetic Impressions
To call the Legacy Focus SE and Marquis HD “gorgeous” is a severe understatement. They come packaged in a velvet bag, tied with string at one end. Very high quality, to be sure. Removing the bag off these sexy speakers is an experience in and of itself. The slight sparkle of the black pearl flecks really speaks to the attention to detail and pure quality that Legacy Audio offers. I can’t imagine owning a better-finished speaker—and as I mentioned earlier, I’ve pretty much seen all the finishes out there, from automotive-grade Red to plain Oak veneer. These take the cake. The only speaker finish that comes close are Salk’s offerings, which is demoed at Axpona 2013—their finishes are absolutely breath-taking, but the Legacy finishes are Lung-taking! Audio Impressions [TO BE UPDATED ONCE AMPLIFIERS ARRIVE]
So far, my impressions of the audio performance of the Legacies is overwhelmingly positive without a doubt. I recently sold my Emotiva XPA-5 to assist with an amp upgrade and am using a Denon AVR-4310 to power the Legacies. They are quite sensitive and I can play at comfortable volumes (-15 below reference) without any sense of strain. To be sure—these speakers will NOT sound their best with receiver, as I know what they sound like with adequate power driving them. The bass is very tight and is extremely authoritative.
This section will be updated to a full performance review once I get my new amps.