I have heard both and previously owned the Legacy Focus SE speakers. The two are very different sonically. Legacy is a more musical speaker with an overall lower tonal balance, but it is just a little harder (not impossible) to get endgame separation and imaging from them. Focal are more “hifi” sounding and need very good electronics for them to sound their best. Their tweeter can be very resolving and fatiguing without quality electronics, and it is easy for Focal to sound “tipped up” if they are not paired with proper electronics or set up properly.
I’m surprised about your comments on the Legacy Signature SE. How big is your room, and what amp do you plan to pair your speakers with?
Thank you for the input. Well stated ..
My room is 15x15. I have Parrasound A51 Amp and JC2 preamp. I use a Gustard 26pro DAC fed from. Bluesound Node streamer
Your room seems small for the Sopra...
I compared the Legacy Focus and Signature with an Apertura Edena, and there was no contest. The Apertura were much better. And not nearly so heavy.
@bobbyloans I have owned the Sopra 2 and had it paired with good electronics (see my virtual system if interested). They replaced a pair of Acoustic Zen Crescendo Mark ll, which I loved. I will say this about the Focal. They are very nice speakers if you can find a slightly used pair at 1/2 the retail asking price. At that price I thought they were a good value. I would have been very unhappy had I bought them new. I also found they were not an improvement over the Crescendos. My take for what it's worth. Cheers.
@bobbyloans That is not a very big room, and I would worry about the Focus SE in that space. Where did you listen to both the Focus SE and Signature SE? What was the size of the space and the electronics used?
The Signature SE easily fills a room that size and can be placed closer to walls due to its sealed design. The Focal will work better at least 3’ away from walls. Also, your electronics are considerably neutral, with the Gustard being a bit more analytical. I would be concerned with pairing this stack with Focal.
My bet would be on the Signature SE. You can even inquire with Legacy to build them with the upgraded drivers found in the Signature XD. Your electronics should be able to control them well, and they fit the space nicely. There are plenty of other speakers on the market as well. I’ve learned that bigger is not usually better, and matching the speaker to the room is most important. I learned the hard way when I went from the Focus SE to the Aeris in my 19x23x18 showroom. I now have a pair of custom Signature SE on the way for the floor, but since the Aeris I scaled my speaker size down to Borresen Z3 Cryo, which only have two 8” woofers. Heck, even the small floorstanding Scansonic MB-2.5B can fill my room largely without subs.
Thanks again everyone…
ELAC 409s. Can get a great deal on a pair
@bobbyloans I like and have owned Elac speakers in the past, but I’m certain even the 409 won’t be on the same level of performance as the other two you are considering. To start, the tweeters on both the Legacy and Focal will be much more resolving, involving, and refined.
I’d have to say I agree with your statement and am probably looking for confirmation…. I appreciate your input. I may also be able to get a pair of PBN Montana EPS-2’s which are a very excellent sounding speaker. Not too many people know of PBN but wow do a little research for fun…
@bobbyloans I actually know someone here who had the PBN Montana EPS-2 a few years ago. I think he was able to get them for $2400 or so. I have a lot of respect for PBN, especially with their new amplifiers, but I was not at all a fan of that speaker. That friend sold them and upgraded to speaker from T+A, purchased from me. I would still push for Legacy for the combination of musicality, coherence, and resolution over that of the PBN, which I found to be more shrill in comparison.
Wow that’s interesting to hear. Are you sure they were EPS2s at that price? Peter makes a lot of speakers with similar sounding model numbers. Example- I currently have spx2s. There are also Xps models …. It gets confusing . How big were his in height ?
Yes I am certain. He was very proud of finding $10K speakers for that price. They were very big, almost the same size as Legacy Focus SE. Legacy have more body in their sound signature. I ended up buying the Focus SE when he had the PBN. I no longer use Legacy, but I still have a lot of respect for them.
I love the Focus SEs. And paired with Ayre electronics, they have superb synergy. I have owned mine about 2 1/2 years and I really wanted to listen to the new at the time Magico A5s, but it was impossible to find a place to demo them. Magico refused a tour due to Covid concerns so I said ok, you've lost a potential customer. So I went back to Legacy. I've owned their speakers since 1999. First the Classics, Silverscreen center and a Powered Impact II sub. Still have them all except the center. I gifted it to my retired father and he adores it. I bought a pair of OG Focus speakers around 7 uears ago and used them for nearly 5 years. I replaced all the drivers in each trying to get a more modern sound. And I succeeded but I lost my butt when I sold them.
Anyway, Legacy with Ayre has fantastic synergy. The clarity, Soundstage, deep, deep bass and articulate midrange are just killer. The funniest thing about the current SEs is they only have two 12" drivers. And compared with my original Focus speakers with three, the SEs are worlds ahead in both depth and output below about 50Hz. Surprised the hell outta me.
That’s great to hear. I’ll be listening to the Focus SE’s again this week and making a decision
@bobbyloans I would love to hear your impressions of them after the audition.
Well gents… I think the verdict may be in. I’ll explain quickly. I went with a friend to listen to the SE’s and we were both very impressed. He currently has high end PBN speakers which are out of this world and not a fair comparison to the Legacy Focus speakers so we knew that going in. He was impressed with all aspects of these speakers from the deep right fast lows to the accurate mid bass and true to voice mids and air tweeters. There was nothing to pick apart. As mentioned somewhere in this post were a pair of PBN EPS-2s which I’m considering. We both agreed the Legacy Focus may have them beat.
I recently saw a very good price onVienna Accoustics
Beethoven Concert Grand Reference. They have 4 7” woofers and mid and soft dome tweeter. I doubt I can audition them. Anyone hear these specific Viennas?
I can’t imagine they could stand up to the (2) 12”s mids and air tweeters the Legacy’s offer …..
Correction as the Viennas have (3) woofers not (4).
If you have no way to audition them, I would recommend going the safe route. Like I did with my Focus SEs and I have zero regrets.