Ok this has been a long time coming as I've been wanting to share my Legacy experience here with you AVS members.
I visited Legacy last year, as part of my speaker auditions. My room is small so a bookshelf speaker is a better fit and the StudioHDs had me interested. I had not heard a ribbon tweeter before and from what I have read from legacy and other brands is that manufacturers seem to have cracked the egg for making good ribbon tweeters with good performance. I had already listened to Paradigm Studio 20 and studio 10, both v5, the Revel Performa 3 m106 and m105, totem acoustics dreamcatchers and Sonus Faber Venere 1.5 and also 2.0 So far the Performa 3 were winning (m105). Which were closer to my budget. The venere 1.5 was a little cheaper, but I was willing to stretch to the Revel.
So due to a business trip to south of Winsconsin, I checked and was not too far away from Legacy. It was like a 3hr drive, but to me it was worth it since I would not make a flight to IL from Puerto Rico just for the sake of demoing the speakers. (Although I wish I could afford to do so)
So I made an appointment and got there to demo the StudioHDs. I had a chance to meet some people from the crew and Bill Dudleston himself. He is a true passionate of what he does and nothing short of a gentleman. I had a great time during my visit! He showed me around the place and I got to see the whole lineup. These speakers are beautiful! All of them! and their craftmanship is first rate! Bill explained to me about the importance to get the drums and cymbals right, if he does not hear that, he knows something is wrong. Cymbals in particular, with their decay and their different sounds are very difficult to convey properly. If you get that right, you are most lf the way there, so to speak. They have their own studio onsite so he showed me a recording of a drum solo they made and let me tell you.. The studio HDs are very very good speakers! They were very dynamic and played loudly without distortion! I was very impressed. I am also a drummer (a self taught amateur really) and when I listen to music I tend to focus on drums, trying to catch the little nuances of the drum parts. There are dozens of drum sounds that unless you are listening to a good system, you loose them, and these speakers were putting everything there. Next I played some of my music. I took my laptop with JRiverMC and used their audioengine d2 dac and off I went to their amps. I played Maná - el relojito cucú and there was a drum part, very subtle but was clearly audible. Before I could barely listen to that part, but with that speaker, everything was presented there in a wide and very well delineated soundstage and spectacular imaging. I went from latin rock, latin jazz, salsa, some samba, pop, jazz, heavy metal, prog rock, classical... I mean, I listen to different kinds of music as you can see, and I played a lot of music and they handled everything very very well. They are very acourate and even. I didn't feel like anything was accentuated in any way. What comes in comes out. Good 24bit recordings were awesome. Bad recordings sounded bad. Crappy mp3s (yes, I heard mp3s here too, lol) sounded crappy, but some good recordings I also had on mp3 sounded very nice too to be fair.
The AMT tweeter they use is something special. I got to confirm how detailed, airy and smooth these things are! But even more special to me is the woofer. An 8" monster on a bookshelf that handles everything from around 3.5khz all the way to around 47 is amazing. Bill explained how the woofer is more like a super woofer. The rohacel material is very light but also rigid and its what allows it to have such a high range without distortion. There is more to it than the material itself, the magnet is massive and accounts for a lot of the almost 30 pounds this thing weights. They also use another magnet inside the phase plug to control the woofer better as well. A lot of thinking and technology was employed here. Not something you see every day.
I also got to hear the WhisperXD....., it was like, it's not even funny. They are on another level altogether. At that point, the other tower speakers I had heard that were on the same price level were the Sonus Faber Elipsa. I have heard them several times, but thy don't hold a candle against the Whispers. It's like.... Imagine the best speaker you've heard, one that can give you a clean image of whats going on, sort of like looking through a very clean window. Well, with the Whisper, just remove the window. Everything was that much better, the highs, the mids, the bass (oh man, the bass!!). What surprised me most about it is its design. Bill told me that speaker is like an acoustic shotgun. They are very directional speaker, but their listening window is very wide due to their rather big baffle. Bit everything inside that window is even and clear giving you a wide sweetspot and great bass! You move 90 deg to the side, and you dont hear almost anything. It is a very versatile speaker and Bill told me he had been able to make them work in rooms as small as 8 x 8. That's crazy! The trick is in the bass processor that the Aeris also inherited from this design.
At the moment I did the demo I was not in pisition to buy the speakers. But unfortunately after some time saving, I was not able to buy them. The 2014 price increase and the high cost of shipping to Puerto Rico ( these are very heavy speakers) put them on a price level that was out of what I was able to stretch my budget. But wanted to share my story with you as my specific situation is very different from the majority of Legacy's prospective customers who can buy from a dealer directly without worrying about these extra costs.
I want to thank DMark1 for his help and for answering all my questions. I have nothing but very good things to say about Dennis and Legacy, especially Bill Dudleston!
I will later post some pics for your enjoyment.
EDIT: Here are some pictures I took over the visit. EnjoyEdited by eliwankenobi - 2/17/14 at 9:20am