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Legacy Audio Speakers - Page 2

post #31 of 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark1 View Post

Hi Wasaaaab:

Your best bet might be to call Doug Brown at Legacy (1-800-283-4644), and ask him if he knows of any Focus SE customers in your area, or maybe in the Buffalo, NY area that he could put you in touch with.

I just had a set of rosewood Focus SEs here for a few days, and I can say they are phenomenal sounding and gorgeous speakers. I was able to put about 30 hours on them before I delivered them to Anthony Cordesman for his upcoming review in The Absolute Sound magazine.

Are you in close by lol, i have been reading how outstanding these speakers are, there is only one dealer that has legacy speakers but i have to drive 45min out of town.

I want to upgrade my speakers from what ihave to something way better and make it my last time i buy speakers unless i win the lottery
post #32 of 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by whasaaaab View Post

Are you in close by lol, i have been reading how outstanding these speakers are, there is only one dealer that has legacy speakers but i have to drive 45min out of town.

I want to upgrade my speakers from what ihave to something way better and make it my last time i buy speakers unless i win the lottery

Well, if you have a Legacy dealer only 45 min away, you should go and check them out yourself! What are you waiting for?
post #33 of 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark1 View Post
Well, if you have a Legacy dealer only 45 min away, you should go and check them out yourself! What are you waiting for?
to drive for 45min to listen to speakers is whats killing me i have to gothere for more than just.was under

I first have to call the store see if they carry the SE'sthere. They carry legacy adudio speakers but we all know if they move sloe due to the price they wont have them in stock but only to buy when ordered.

Some Se's went on sale and on a candian website but got sold for a sweet price but there is no way for me to contact the guy who sold them and find out whom he sold them to.

He sold them for cheap $6'200 i would have jumped on those if i knew sooner about this speaker company
post #34 of 469
A Legacy Factory Tour

Hi everyone. I've been meaning to get these pictures posted for a while now, and I finally sat down to do it. I have a lot of pictures, so I think I will break them up into a series of postings over a few days. I will try to describe them as much as I can. Please feel free to ask any questions as we go along.

These pictures were taken while I was at the Legacy Factory in Springfield, IL in January (hence the snow!). While I was there I met Bill Dudleston, President of Legacy Audio, Doug Brown, Director of Sales, and the whole crew that builds these amazing speakers, right here in the USA. I can say without a doubt, that Legacy is a first-rate company from top to bottom. The products are excellent, and the entire staff cares very much about the product quality and excellent customer service that they provide. And I'll say it again, Made in the USA with American jobs.

Here we are arriving at the front gate, where you can see the Legacy sign out front, with a picture of the Classic HD speaker on it.



The factory is divided into three buildings - the administrative offices and final assembly building, the factory where the cabinets are built and finished, and the showroom/studio building, where there is a listening room and home theater demo room, and a large working recording studio.





post #35 of 469
Going into the office building, you can see some older Legacy models, cut-away for show demos. These are the older Focus and Signature III designs. Also, an older original Marquis center channel on the floor.





I think these might be a pair of first generation Focus speakers (??) And a bunch of drivers, not sure what they were doing with those.



Here is a storeroom that Legacy keeps stocked with replacement drivers for older models that need repair. They are really good with customer service, years after the sale! I know, because I blew a midrange in a pair of Studios I bought over 10 years ago due to an unfortunate amp mishap, and Legacy had a replacement Eton driver still in stock for me.







I thought this was interesting. It's an 8 coaxial driver made by B&C in Italy. Bill Dudleston is constantly testing new drivers to continually improve his speaker designs. These B&Cs did not make the cut.

post #36 of 469
Out on the final assembly floor now, here is a rack of new drivers, matched into sets, and ready to go into new speakers. Look at the size of the motor magnets on the midrange drivers and woofers! These are serious drivers. The cones are made from a woven material made from carbon graphite and metal strands, backed by a rigid aerospace material called Rohacell. The Rohacell backer is an ultra-light and ultra-stiff foam, and the 2 types of materials in the cone material are chosen to damp each other’s resonances out. These new drivers are a big upgrade from the earlier Kevlar coned drivers in terms of sound and accuracy.



Legacy buys large numbers of custom designed drivers in each shipment. Then, they test and record every driver’s specs and hand match them into sets within 1% tolerance of each other. The Focus SE models are matched to within 0.25% tolerance, and I’m pretty sure the Whispers and Helix are too.


Here we can see some new cabinets fresh from the finishing shop, ready for final assembly. I see Focus HD, Studio HD, Extreme HD subs, and a Cinema HD center channel in there.



Here’s another angle. The triangular cabinets lined up are Phantom HD surround speakers (upside down). In the foreground is a pair of Harmony HD inwall speakers, and to the left are 2 Marquis HD center channels in cherry finish.



Here is a pair of Whisper HDs, waiting to be crated and shipped to a happy customer. The Rosewood finish is just gorgeous! Behind it you can see a pair of Rosewood Phantom HD surrounds, a pair of Cherry Focus SEs, a single Focus SE cabinet in Black Pearl, a pair of Cherry Focus HDs almost complete, and some Studio HDs in Black Pearl and Rosewood.



Here is a closeup of a completed Marquis HD center. These guys are bigger than they look in the pictures! Two 12” woofers, a 7” Silver-Graphite midrange, and a 1” ribbon tweeter make this center channel an easy match to the Focus and Whisper speakers.



More to follow!! Comments and questions welcome.
post #37 of 469
I am going to interrupt DMark's posts to say that I was fortunate enough to be at his house when the Legacy Focus SE's showed up. I helped him set them up and then I participated in the listening session. I previously had a set of Strata Mini's, which had planer magnetic/ribbon midrange/tweeters. I loved the sound of those drivers. Unfortunately, they didn't have enough SPL output capability for my system, and I ended up moving on from them. The Legacy Focus SE's had all the same sound quality of those Strata Mini's, but *much* more output capability. And they retained that same sound quality right up to the loudest levels. In addition, the dual 12" woofers belted out bass that was intense, tight and articulate.

Dennis initially set up his system with one of his Studios as the CC. It quickly became obvious that, as good as the Studio is, it was clearly out-classed by the Focus SE's. We ended up listening with a "phantom" CC as the Focus', (Foci?), did a better job of generating a believable and focused central image, with a perfect timbre-match and equivalent output and bass extension.

We also spent a lot of time playing around with using Bass Management with Dennis' M&K subs vs. running the Focus SE's full range. The SE's had flat output to 30 Hz in Dennis' room and they actually had more output than the subs down to 30 Hz. However, below 30 Hz, they fell off pretty fast, typical of a ported speaker. In fact, within their limits, the sealed subs had deeper extension than the speakers, and they had flatter FR, given their ability to be better placed in the room than the large floorstanders. Overall, though I loved the bass output of the SE's, I preferred the Bass Managed output of the subs, (up to their limits, which were lower than the speakers!)

Bottom line, for me, the Focus SE's are fantastic speakers with incredibly believable and realistic midrange and high frequencies. The imaging and soundstage are as good as anything I've ever heard, with phenomenal detail, transparency and articulation. I, (personally), prefer a system with the speakers crossed to subwoofer(s). Therefore, I would not opt for a speaker with the kind of bass response the SE is capable of. I would prefer a speaker with high output capability to about 60 Hz, and then send the bass below that to subwoofers that are properly placed and EQ'd to reproduce that bass.

For a 2-channel system with no subwoofers, the Focus SE's would be hard to best. They will reproduce almost the entire audible range, (30 Hz and up), with fantastic realism, impact intensity. If I were looking for a "full-range" 2-channel speaker, my search would be over.

Craig
post #38 of 469
Thanks for the pics. As a current Legacy Owner, I would have to say that Legacy is one of the most under rated speakers out there. I think that is about to change with all of the positive press in the recent months. I demo'd the Focus SE's at CES this year and can say the were Amazing! It was the only room I went back to - 3 times!

Craig,
Are you sure about the 30 Hz, I know the SE's are rated to go down to 16Hz and in my living room they had the most bass I have ever heard. Unfortunately for me, that is why I had to down size. I couldn't give them them the room they needed. I had it too close to the corner, terrible room. Take care,

Jason
post #39 of 469
Great update Dennis and Craig. So Dennis, you now have the Focus SE's in your house? Sweet. I am sure they sound fantastic. I have always liked their look very much and wondered how they sound. Knowing Dennis' musical back round, I am sure they sound very good. I know this is a Legacy thread but I just wanted to thank you(Dennis) and Craig for stopping by and helping me with my system(JM Labs) on Sat.
post #40 of 469
When did Legacy move to IL? I remember them being in Macungie, PA.
post #41 of 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlm9 View Post

Thanks for the pics. As a current Legacy Owner, I would have to say that Legacy is one of the most under rated speakers out there. I think that is about to change with all of the positive press in the recent months. I demo'd the Focus SE's at CES this year and can say the were Amazing! It was the only room I went back to - 3 times!

Craig,
Are you sure about the 30 Hz, I know the SE's are rated to go down to 16Hz and in my living room they had the most bass I have ever heard. Unfortunately for me, that is why I had to down size. I couldn't give them them the room they needed. I had it too close to the corner, terrible room. Take care,

Jason

Jason:

Yes, the Focus SEs are officially rated by Legacy as 18Hz-30kHz, +/- 2 dB. And indeed, they do have output down to 18 Hz - however the Focus SE begins rolling off at 30Hz. If you have typical room gain, you'll get usable output down to 18Hz, (which is the lowest note on most pipe organs, BTW).

When we measured them in my room, we got flat, powerful bass down to 30 Hz before the rolloff began. No question, this speaker can put out clean bass when called for. Bill D. told me the Focus SEs are spec'd at 30Hz-30kHz +/-1dB, and will do well beyond THX Reference level SPL. The 16Hz spec is down in level from there, with a wider spec range, and your results will ultimately depend on the gain in your room.

I can say from having them in my acoustically treated room, that for music, you will have plenty of tight, accurate bass. And for movies, I would always recommend subs for the LFE channel anyway, although they certainly wouldn't be required with a full range speaker like the Focus SE.
post #42 of 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by lulimet View Post

When did Legacy move to IL? I remember them being in Macungie, PA.

Lulimet:

Legacy began in 1983 in Springfield IL, and grew there until 1997, when Bill Dudleston sold 75% of the business to Allen Organ Co. and moved the company to Allen's factory in Macungie PA. This was done to help provide resources for Legacy to grow further, and Bill continued research and developing new speakers while using Allen's larger production facilities.

For various reasons, Bill decided the relationship with Allen Organ had run its course, and he was prepared to buy back control of Legacy from them by 2006. Then, he moved the company back home to Springfield, IL in January 2006, where they have been growing ever since!
post #43 of 469
Dmark1,
Thanks for the explanation . Enjoy the SE's
post #44 of 469
Here is one of Legacy’s cheery technicians, in the process of building some crossovers.



Legacy buys large amounts of capacitors that come in with the Legacy name on them. I know they use Solen caps from France in the Focus SEs. Here are bins full of caps, ready for assembly.



Here is Legacy’s tuning/measuring room. It is setup much like a normal room in a house on purpose, so that it emulates what you might have at home. In this room, each speaker pair’s crossovers are hand trimmed to match each other within 1% tolerance. Focus SEs and above are hand matched to 0.25% tolerance or better. President and designer Bill Dudleston often does the matching personally. In these pictures, some Whispers were being hand tuned.





Here is an LF Extreme sub that they were demonstrating for me. The LF Extreme definitely can belt out ultra low bass with their downfiring, 15" active driver, 15” passive radiator, 3" voice coil, and built-in 1,000 watt amplifier. Max output is 120 dB @ 1m, and the sub is rated 16 Hz-100 Hz. The sub also has a special dynamic braking circuit that Bill D designed that helps the sub stop quicker, for more accurate sound. Each LF Extreme weighs 115 lbs!





BTW, here are the subwoofer drivers that go in the LF Extreme subs. Look at that giant, triple stacked magnet! It weighs 40 lbs - Massive motor structure!

post #45 of 469
Unfortunately, I did not get any shots of the finishing room or the cabinet shop while I was there. The cabinet shop has a large CNC machine that cuts the mdf sheets and wood into precision cut panels to be assembled into speaker cabinets. Virtually everything else is done by hand craftsmen, who build the cabinets, veneer them with real wood veneer, and finish them. Speakers like the Whisper and Helix are very complicated, and require a lot of hand work. Many of the visible parts are made from solid wood, more like fine furniture would be. I can say for a fact that Legacy does not cut any corners in build quality or parts, and you are definitely getting what you pay for, along with American made quality and engineering when you buy from Legacy.

Here are some shots from Legacy's listening and demo room. It is acoustically treated, and is a fabulous space for listening. Those are a pair of Helix with their grills off in the picture.



Bill D. has a fondness for Cary Audio tube gear, McIntosh gear, and Coda amps. There was some great equipment in this room!





Here you can see Bill Dudleston, who was working on fine tuning the DSP programming on a set of Helix before they were to be delivered to a customer.

Later, I got a chance to listen to the pair of Focus SEs you see in the picture in this great room. They sounded absolutely heavenly with a simple Cary Audio tube preamp, Cary CD player, and Coda amps. I honestly sat there and listened for almost 4 hours straight, and heard layer after layer of depth and detail that I had never heard before from familiar music I had brought with me. Pure, clean, extended treble without glare or sibilance; deep, powerful, and tight bass; and glorious smooth, full-bodied, 3D midrange was absolutely magical. I literally could have listened to that system all day if Bill and Doug didn't have to go home to their families that night!





Some closeup shots of the $46,000 Helix, the big brother to the Whispers. The Helix come with their own 24-bit DSP unit, which is custom programmed for your room by Bill Dudleston. The subwoofer section is powered by 750 watt ICE amps. It is a 10-driver, 4-way system, rated 16Hz-30kHz +/-2 dB. There is tons more technology packed into the Helix - this is the most advanced speaker that Bill D knows how to make, and tons of R&D went into it. Bill tells me they are selling quite well! You can learn more about them here: Legacy Helix







One more set of pictures yet to come...

Comments and questions welcome!
post #46 of 469
Great pics and info. They look very nice indeed
post #47 of 469
What took you so long, it's been a year already, lol??? So the SE is fantastic? I have B&W N803s and have been strongly considering getting a used pair of N802's or possibly Von Schweikert VR4 Sr mk2 or 3, but have always been intrigued by the Focus SE and Whisper. I would imagine a used Focus SE will be in the 5-6k range, which puts it slightly above the N802 and below the VSA VR4Sr mk2-3. Have you had any experience with B&W or VSA to offer a comparison?
post #48 of 469
Jeff,

I finally heard the Focus SE and Whisper XD.

I've auditioned the Von Schweikert VR-4 SR MkIII as well and the Focus SE has a more extended bottom and top end. The imaging on the Focus was similar to the VSA, but much quicker. The Focus SE seemed to be much more transparent as well.

Listening to the Whisper XD offered even more precise imaging- open and engaging.
The depth and detail of music on both the Focus and Whisper was incredible!
post #49 of 469
Wow, that's quite the impressive showing by the Focus. The VSA Sr4mk3 is very well reviewed and liked by many, and much more expensive than the Focus. I've been on the fence regarding the Focus as there have been a few not-too-good comments on various boards, although far overwhelmed by many many good to great reviews and comments. Its always the few naysayers that make you pause. Glad to hear that it performed so well in comparison to a real player like the VSA. I recently read a few reviews by pro audio guys that love the Focus. How much better would you say the Whisper was? Did you hear the non-XD Whisper too?
post #50 of 469
BTW, Doug Schroeder (sp?), reviewer at Dagogo, dumped his VSA 4Sr in favor of Focus HD, so guess there is a pattern here.
post #51 of 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkad View Post
Wow, that's quite the impressive showing by the Focus. The VSA Sr4mk3 is very well reviewed and liked by many, and much more expensive than the Focus. I've been on the fence regarding the Focus as there have been a few not-too-good comments on various boards, although far overwhelmed by many many good to great reviews and comments. Its always the few naysayers that make you pause. Glad to hear that it performed so well in comparison to a real player like the VSA. I recently read a few reviews by pro audio guys that love the Focus. How much better would you say the Whisper was? Did you hear the non-XD Whisper too?
Hi Jeff:

Unfortunately, I don't have any direct comparison on the B&W Nautilus or Von Schweikert speakers to offer you.

I will say that Legacy has always had a strong following of very happy music lovers, and a very small contingent of nay-sayers. Most companies have fans and some pans. IMHO, the naysayers aren't using their ears - they tend to think Legacy speakers can't possibly be better because they don't cost as much as some of the popular, well advertised "audiophile" brands. Well, I can say for certain that Legacy speakers sound fantastic, and are worth more than the cost of admission. At all price points in their line, they represent a fantastic value in today's market.
post #52 of 469
Jeff,

I only heard the Whisper XD, but I asked James, their LA rep, about the HD as well. The XD comes with the 500 watts of internal power for the woofers, which in this demo was matched up with a Coda solid state amplifier powering the mid-woofers and tweeters. I see the value in the XD for a user who owns an amplifier that is powerful enough for the top end, but maybe not the whole speaker- they can power the top section with their amp and let the internal amps power the woofers.
The XD looks to give the installer more control over tweaking it for the room as well- the DSP processor lets the user adjust level and eq of the sections individually. Watching him show me the process, it was easy to see how the speaker could be adjusted to the individual's taste.

As far as comparing the Whisper XD and Focus SE, I agree with DMark1- they both offer great value at their price-points.
post #53 of 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by HSchmit View Post

Jeff,

I only heard the Whisper XD, but I asked James, their LA rep, about the HD as well. The XD comes with the 500 watts of internal power for the woofers, which in this demo was matched up with a Coda solid state amplifier powering the mid-woofers and tweeters. I see the value in the XD for a user who owns an amplifier that is powerful enough for the top end, but maybe not the whole speaker- they can power the top section with their amp and let the internal amps power the woofers.
The XD looks to give the installer more control over tweaking it for the room as well- the DSP processor lets the user adjust level and eq of the sections individually. Watching him show me the process, it was easy to see how the speaker could be adjusted to the individual's taste.

As far as comparing the Whisper XD and Focus SE, I agree with DMark1- they both offer great value at their price-points.

Couple of questions -

1. Does anyone know the ratings and configurations of the ICE PAs used in the XD? In other words, one/pair of 15" drivers which woudl be 4/system?

2. Does anyone know which model of the Xilica DSPs is included with the XD?

3. Does the terminal and wiring configuration on the HDs allow the user to configure the DSP to function as active crossovers prior to the built-in ICE PAs in the signal path?
post #54 of 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by russ_777 View Post

Couple of questions -

1. Does anyone know the ratings and configurations of the ICE PAs used in the XD? In other words, one/pair of 15" drivers which woudl be 4/system?

2. Does anyone know which model of the Xilica DSPs is included with the XD?

3. Does the terminal and wiring configuration on the HDs allow the user to configure the DSP to function as active crossovers prior to the built-in ICE PAs in the signal path?

Russ:

I don't know the answers off-hand, but I have forwarded them to Bill D at Legacy to see if he can shed some light on the subject. I will post his response when I hear back from him. Thanks,

DMark1
post #55 of 469
Those Helix speakers are ridiculous. Would love to hear these one day.
post #56 of 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark1 View Post

Russ:

I don't know the answers off-hand, but I have forwarded them to Bill D at Legacy to see if he can shed some light on the subject. I will post his response when I hear back from him. Thanks,

DMark1

Thanks! Pretty sure I'm going to have to go listen to some.
post #57 of 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark1 View Post

Russ:

I don't know the answers off-hand, but I have forwarded them to Bill D at Legacy to see if he can shed some light on the subject. I will post his response when I hear back from him. Thanks,

DMark1

Whoops, just realized I "misspoke" in the 3rd question:

Quote:


3. Does the terminal and wiring configuration on the HDs allow the user to configure the DSP to function as active crossovers prior to the built-in ICE PAs in the signal path?

I meant to ask:

3. Does the terminal and wiring configuration on the XDs allow the user to configure the DSP to function as active crossovers prior to the built-in ICE PAs in the signal path?
post #58 of 469
Hi Russ,

The DSP processor in the Whisper XD system functions as room correction, as well as an active crossover for the woofer section, prior to amplification.
Looking at the connections on the back of one Whisper XD speaker, you would find a pair of binding posts and two XLR connectors.
The binding posts are for connecting the user supplied amplifier. The first XLR connection is for the back 3 woofers, and the second XLR connection is for the front 2 woofers.
The processor is the 4080, and it is running an algorithm written by Bill Dudleston for the Whispers.

Hope that helps. If you have any questions, let me know.

All the best,
James
post #59 of 469
Thanks James!

Basically, I'm trying to clarify in my mind the differences between the HD and XD and understand some "system" issues. I see from the on-line manual for the HD it also comes with the 4080 and with the option to utilize xover filtering in the 4080.

Based on your response below, it looks like the external xover filtering is only a LPF for the woofers. In other words, it appears that the four 7" mids (and other high freq drivers) are band pass filtered by an internal passive xover network.

If this is the case, is it necessary to pass the preamp output for the so-called "satellite section" through the 4080? I'm not sure why one would do that since the processor could down sample the input from 192 ksamples/sec to its specified 96 ksamples/sec on high resolution sources. Unless the 4080 is also doing something with freqs >300 Hz...is this what you were referring to by "room correction" (above 300 Hz)?

Along the same lines, if one is already using a pre-pro with room correction equalization (Audessy, etc.), is any processing the 4080 is doing above 300 Hz necessary to optimize speaker performance, and can it be bypassed if the owner desires?

One other question on the equalization aspect...I already have a pre-pro with room correction equalization and am running a Velodyne SMS-1 in the loop with my external sub. How would all three processors be coordinated? Or should one or two be eliminated?

In the XD, I'm also trying to understand if there two ICE modules per speaker -- one for front pair of woofers and one for those on the rear? Or is it just one ICE module wired in series or parallel?

Other than the ICE modules and associated XLR connections, is there any difference between the XDs and the HDs?

I apologize for the barrage of technical questions, but I could not find a manual on the Legacy site for the XD and the one for the HD has no functional or wiring bock diagrams that would explain the internal configurations of the speakers. With a speaker system this complex and flexible, I feel a more thorough user's manual would be beneficial.

Cheers,
Russ

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesAtLegacy View Post

Hi Russ,

The DSP processor in the Whisper XD system functions as room correction, as well as an active crossover for the woofer section, prior to amplification.
Looking at the connections on the back of one Whisper XD speaker, you would find a pair of binding posts and two XLR connectors.
The binding posts are for connecting the user supplied amplifier. The first XLR connection is for the back 3 woofers, and the second XLR connection is for the front 2 woofers.
The processor is the 4080, and it is running an algorithm written by Bill Dudleston for the Whispers.

Hope that helps. If you have any questions, let me know.

All the best,
James
post #60 of 469
Hi Russ

The 4080 in the XD is an active crossover for the woofers. The four 7" drivers and tweeters are band passed internally.

The 4080 is also providing room correction for the entire speaker- it is a very flexible system, offering 8 precise parametric eq points and 31 graphic eq points per input. All of the settings can be changed or bypassed by the owner.

I am not familiar with your specific processor, however there are extra outputs on the 4080 that allow integration with other speakers (center channels, subwoofers etc.)

In the XD there are two separate modules in each speaker. On the back of the speaker there are two balanced connections- one goes to the first channel to power the front woofers, the second goes to another channel to power the rear woofers.

If you would like to email me your address, I am happy to send you a copy of the Whisper XD manual.

All the best,
James
jamest@legacyaudio.com
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