I'm lucky to be close enough to Dennis's that I could drive over and listen to a few of the Legacy speakers he has on hand. I've been gathering my thoughts since then so I could do them justice and give a sense of their sound to the voyeurs/lurkers out there.
Since I'm on a budget I only listened to the Signatures and the Studios. I definitely did not want to fall for the Focus.
We started with the Studio with a few Jazz pieces I brought with me. The sound was crystal clear and the soundstage was enormous! Where I was sitting it seemed to extend several feet to the left and right of the Studios and maybe 4 feet above them.
The percussion instruments really popped and had that nice visceral impact they should. Wind and string instruments had a presence that's hard to explain.
Going in I thought that the bass would be overwhelming, since everyone raves about the bass that Legacys put out. But it wasn't. The bass was definitely palpable but it didn't crowd out the other instruments. Every instrument was audible and had its own place in the soundstage.
Then we put on a live recording of Chrissy Hynde. As I said to Dennis, that's my wife's music so I didn't really know what to expect with it. But, for me, it ended up being the defining song for the speakers. You could hear the audience in the background, you could sense where Ms. Hynde was on the stage, and again the instruments sounded gorgeous. The bass guitar was really something.
All of that was with the Studios. So, I'm thinking to myself, I can get out of this fairly cheaply.
Wrong. Next up were the Signatures.
OMG! Now, while the Studios were great and put everything I've auditioned so far to shame, the Signatures were a cut above.
The interesting thing to me is that the Signatures did not sound different than the Studios. I could finally understand what it means when they say that Bill Duddleston voices them to keep the tonal qualities he wants across the line. You got the same clarity, the same presence of instruments, the same soundstage, in a way. But everything was done better.
Boy! did those Signatures sound better than the Studio. Not only could you tell where Ms. Hynde was standing but you got the sense that could tell how she was holding the mic. The plosive sounds you could hear when someone is singing really close to a mic were very audible with the Signatures while, if you listened and knew they were there, you could make them out on the Studios. And the bass guitar! You could pinpoint exactly where it was and what the guitarist was doing.
The Signatures really extracted a ton more detail from the song than I'd ever heard before but not in a cold, analytical way. I've been lucky enough to sit a few feet from performers in pubs. The Signatures gave me that feeling. With the Studios I was listening to a recording, albeit a really well reproduced recording.
Then we put on this huge orchestral/choral piece (Berlioz's Requiem) I brought to really challenge the Legacys. The wikipedia page for it says that some of the movements don't need all 800 voices, 400 should suffice. Of course, I brought the movement that needs the entire chorus, Dies Irae. On my current system, it all turns into a big blur of sound and you can't really tell what's making all the noise in terms of instrumentation.
The Signatures kept the chorus distinct while playing all the horns and drums. It was amazing and, frankly, a bit of a stunner.
I really enjoyed listening to both sets of speakers. My space cannot really accommodate the Signatures so I think it'll be the Classics for me. Because of the voicing I mentioned above I know they'll sound great.
Oh! one more thing. The last song we played (not counting the insane War of the Worlds thing) was a piece that Dennis had. I had mentioned to him one of the things I listen for is the shimmer of cymbals. The piece Dennis put on had the musician tapping with the mallet(?). It was so realistic I still don't know what to think.Edited by artur9 - 7/3/13 at 8:34pm