No, I tried two years ago. I called, made an appointment and drove 300 miles to the auditioning location. I waited an hour in a not so great neighborhood and nobody show up.
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You will read both positive and negative comments about Legacy speakers. I own several different complete systems from mid hi-fi to hi- Tec. I also own two pair of Legacy speakers by choice, (Studio and Signature III). In my opinion not only does Legacy make beautiful cabinets, but they also use quality components and you get a lot of bang for your buck. In order to get the correct sound from the Legacy speakers one must use a good hi current amp, the bigger the wattage the better (200 watts or more for solid state in order to really make the speakers sing). What branch of the military are you in and where are you stationed?
i have owned the legacy classic since march of 1996 and have never had a single problem. the build quality is flawless and the sound is super. the bass has put to shame many other speakers i have compared them to. i run them with a bryston b60 and even with only 100 watts(into 4 ohms)the sound staging and stereo seperation and imaging are most impressive. i use the steradian bass correction room device fom complete low range control and am happy to report the stereo seperation of even the lowest frequencies in very tight and tuneful. the midrange is second to none and i have listened to theils,hales,soliloquy and b&w to mention a few. the only set up i ever heard that made me want to own something different was some mark levinson/revel equipment. of course the cost difference was easily a factor of 7 to 8 times the cost of my little bryston/legacy set up! in adddition i have seen/heard all of the legacy speakers from the whisper to the classic and the entire line has value and musicality for someone who wants to own quality speakers and still have bucks to spend on other pieces in a stereo system. i have complete satisfaction in my ownership of my classics. hope this helps.
Lak has probably got the two best models that they build ( in my opinion ). The Studio uses the same "mid-woofer" that the highly reviewed ( and excellent sounding ) $4000+ two way Legend mini-monitors use. As to the Signature III's, they use a completely different bass alignment than any of the other models use. As such, i think that this results in MUCH better ( and tighter ) bottom end output and control.
Contrary to popular belief and even though the cabinets look very attractive, the internal build quality on these speakers is NOT as good as one would hope. I have worked on and repaired a few different Legacy speakers, each time finding various design / construction flaws. Let's just say that "consistency" is not one of their strong points. They do use very good quality drivers though and the prices compared to other speakers using similar drivers is very reasonable.
Given this information, a "tweaker" can take a pair of these and REALLY go to town on them. I am referring to internal wiring, tightening of connections, proper placement and amount of damping material, re-alignment of ports / port size, etc... The results should be very good if done properly since you're starting out with good quality drivers and a nice looking cabinet to begin with.
As such, i will state that these speakers in stock form are VERY system and taste dependent. You have to work with them quite a bit in order to squeeze the best performance out of them. They are MUCH pickier than some other brands. While this won't make me any "brownie points" with Legacy owners, there is a reason why they have the reputation of being the "hi end version of Cerwin Vega". They are relatively high in efficiency and tend to "boom" and "sizzle". HIGH current amps are a must to help control the bottom end on these speakers. On top of that, something that sounds "laid back" or slightly soft on top would probably help things out in terms of the "hot" high end that these speakers typically produce.
The larger models with open air woofers might be a different story in terms of the bass response. Due to the overall lower Q of this design, they might actually come across as being "lean". Sean
PS.... Please don't hate me for sharing my honest opinions and experience. After all, if we all liked the same thing, there would be no need for this forum or multiple brands of gear. If you disagree, please share your opinions and findings. After all, that is what the poster is looking for: feedback and multiple points of view.
I've been a Legacy owner since 1987 and I hate you Sean. Just kidding, I've been around long enough to know variety is the spice of life. Currently I own the Classics, I feel Sean's post is fairly accurate, I describe them the same, I wouldn't use less than 200 wpc on these even though the rated sensitivity is 92db. Those big woofers generate back emf that needs a muscle amp to keep them under control. I've also found that Coda and Classe amps sound better than Krell or Madrigal products. The former being a tad softer in the highs than the latter. I would say the highs are detailed and sound better mated with more musical type componants than the componants more noted for being detailed. In their price ranges I think they are still good values. I don't think them as good a value as they were in 1987, but they have much more advertising to pay for nowadays. That means more overhead, oh well, maybe I should start looking for a new up and comer. I still recommend them though, one pair of Focus would probably rock that whole sub, might give away your position. Enjoy.
I guess I will have to be the bad guy in this thread. More playing devil's advocate, someone with a different perspective. Legacy speakers look very good on paper. And, in person. Ad copy and cabinets are beautiful. However, this hobby is about sound. It is here where I have to criticize them. First, let me say that if someone is looking for a dynamic speaker, one capable of moving a lot of air, Legacy is quite good. The Focus is a nice sounding speaker. If I was considering Legacy, it is the only one I would look at. I find it has the least amount of negatives of any speaker in the line. But, as Sean says, Legacy is definitely boom and sizzle oriented. Nothing wrong with that, if that is your cup of tea. The other speakers in the line make enough serious mistakes, that I believe a lot of people will find them fundamentally flawed. Let me start with the models larger than the Focus. The crossover between 15" woofers and the 7" mid/woofers is more than audible. It is as if the drivers are playing audible ping-pong. One thing about music, if you notice that sound is bouncing back between two drivers(which aren't even positioned close together), you should find it quite off putting. At least I did. Treble is overetched across the line, and another thing that draws too much attention to itself in the bigger speakers. Shifting toward their smaller speakers, I will use the treble as a springboard to the Studio Monitors. The metal dome tweeter is harsh, bright, and shrill. Definitely ranking as one of the worst sounding tweeters in high end. The 1990's saw us make a lot of progress in tweeters. Well, here is one that is definitely stuck in the 80's. This driver would easily cause fatigue, making this a difficult speaker to listen to for more than a short period. On the plus side, this speaker(and Legacy speakers in general) does a very good job of not falling apart when the volume control goes up. Far, far too many high end speakers CANNOT rock. Legacys CAN. The best characteristic of the Studio Monitors is that they play clean when faced with a lot of power. Most high end monitors become distorted, congested, and lousy when faced with the spls this speaker doesn't even flinch at. But oh, that treble... The Classics and Signatures(not exactly sure what they call this speaker today) are amazingly unremarkable and bland. I find them both the definition of uninvolving. Really suprising considering how impressive they appear with all of those drivers. The one thing I have to say is that like anything else in audio, a thorough audition is essential. Do not buy anything based on ad copy. I almost did that a decade ago with Legacy speakers. The fact that I did not was one of the best moves I ever made. When I did audition them, it turned out to be my biggest disappointment in audio. Ever. And, it forever taught me that one should always approach things with their eyes closed, and their ears open.
Trelja, could you tell us how you REALLY feel ??? : )
No, i have never worked on any Focus'. I have been told that they use some very low grade wiring internally though. I do know that some of the wiring that they used to use had REAL problems with heavy oxidation and corrosion. This can be evidenced by looking for GREEN colored copper : (
For the record, my Father has a set of the Legacy 1's (early version of the Classic's) and three Studio's ( used as center and surrounds ). Much of my experience that i have spoke of has come from working with these specific speakers. I also know a few other folks with Legacy's that i've done some work for.
My experience with ALL of these has been that their crimping of wire terminals and spade lugs is TERRIBLE. I have literally had spades FALL OFF the wire as i have unscrewed the "factory jumpers" from the bi-wire terminals !!! I have also run into very poor soldering resulting in intermittent operation of drivers, unequal amounts of damping material from one speaker to the next, different placement of damping material inside of identical speakers, a stereo pair of speakers where one had damping material inside and the other had none, etc.... These are the things that i was talking about when i said "lack of consistency". Unfortunately, this is not THAT different from MANY other mass produced products. While we have come to expect this from many of the "low budget" products that are imported, it is the last thing that we expect from a product that costs hundreds and even thousands of dollars and is "built & designed in America". Maybe Sony was right..... Sean
As Lak said early on, you will hear different opinions on Legacy. I believe they have become very controversial due to their claims in their ads and brochure. I had owned the Classic for a year then upgraded to Focus the last 2 years, after auditioning speakers for about 5 years until I found what sounded good to me. I basicly built my system around the Focus with a 300 watt high current amp initially but now bi-amp with solid state on the low end and a tube amp for the mids and highs. This combination gives me solid controlled bass and liquid midrange and highs. I am no longer looking for better speakers or better amps or preamps. I can now enjoy the music. I would also take with a grain of salt my opinion and others here as well, as people tend to favor what they own because that is what sounds good to them. I would personally give more weight to reviewers in the audiophile publications and they would seem to have heard a wider range of speakers. For more opinions, due a search on this board under Legacy and also over at audioreview.com. But to find the correct answer to your question, listen for yourself. Legacy allows you 30 days to return the speakers. Very few are ever returned.
This is my second pair of Legacy speakers. As a compulsive and heavily addicted trader, speakers sometimes come and go more often than bowel movements. Oddly enough, I ended up trading a pair Planars (one pair stats and one pair ribbons) for each of the pair of Legacy's. My first trade was for a pair of Legacy Classic's. I was heavily impressed by their good looks. Stunning rosewood and (what seemed to be) a very technically sound design. It seemed that everything that one needed for a hi-end speaker was there. Obviously, there was much attention paid (by Legacy) to the cabinet work. Trendy mat'l usage, such as Kevlar mid's, ribbon tweets and WBT terminals suggested that these may be the mother of all box speakers. After about a month with them, I could not have been more disappointed. The bass seemed weak and anemic, the midrange was honky and directional. Then there were the highs !! They could bore a hole through you with their bright and sizzling edge. The crackling sound that water makes as it strikes a cast iron skillet full of boiling oil, or perhaps the last sibilant sounds of a wheezing road kill snake is my best explanation. Zero imaging and the transparency of lead. I couldn't get rid of them fast enough. The person that bought them (thankfully) did it for home theater. He loved the sound. It has been two (speaker filled) years since the. I decided to give a somewhat different style of Legacy's a try and completed the trade with my planars. These are (and I still have them) a pair of Legacy Convergence (in a nice gloss black oak). The Convergence is an early model "Focus" (The name "Focus", according to Legacy, is an acronym for : Field Optimized Convergent technology wahoo). Production stopped for the Convergence in 1993/94. They used top quality drivers in this speaker. Two 12 inch Poly's (Eminence ?), two Focal 6.5 inch Polyglass mid/bass w/phase plugs and two high quality metal dome tweets (one mounted on the back baffle). There are no ribbon drivers and no passive radiators as in the Focus. The Legacy Convergence is 51 inches as compared to 55 inches for the Focus. Otherwise, they look nearly identical. The Convergence sold for 3500.00 (black) and the Focus for 5400.00 (black). It looks like 2000.00 is the difference for a just couple of years in age, two ribbon's and passive woofs.
To say that I am impressed with the Legacy Convergence very understated. There is no nasty high end and the bass is rich, full and tight. The Legacy's are open sounding, very involving and musical. The imaging is solidly defined with the resolution and detail of an electrostat. They throw a very large and transparent soundfield with images extending beyond the outside boundaries of the cabinets. They can get intense without edginess or listening fatigue, both at low volumes and at high. They are efficient (Very: 98 db). I would like to try a pair of SET's or new generation "Mini" Triodes with them (ala: VTL, Quicksilver, AES on and on). They can also absorb mega watts and play loud enough to remove paint..... so you can unpack your Bryston 7B's.. The Legacy's will draw one into the "music" and they will seem to disappear into their vast soundstage. They will (with the best recordings) leave just "you" and the "music" in the room. As the dynamic range increases on the recording, so does the speaker, without compression or signs of strain. They (the Convergence) shrink and grow as the music demands. From Leo Kottke's 12 string Martin guitar to the Dorian recordings of Saint-Saens Organ, these speakers can outperform anything that I know of (with a reasonable price tag).The mid's and high's are equal to the feeling that one gets with the light and airy presentation of the best mini-monitors. Voices are very seductive, involving and delicate. Pianos have weight, impact and authority. The taunt skin of drums is reproduced with snap and presence so fast it seems that it is felt instead of heard. The bass-lines are much better than most separate subwoofers. The Legacy's drop lower in their reach and they are much faster (Legacy say's: 21 hz). The low end also sounds like it is a part of the rest of the system .... rather than a separate entity. Cellos and string bass have that vibrant rasp that comes up through the floor and envelops you. Kick drums lock onto the room as if it had been shaken by a small quake. Amazing power. I have not looked inside them. Perhaps I should. If there is a way to make them sound even better (wire .. cap's .. terminals, etc) it would be worth any and all effort. These just may be keepers ..... although (unfortunately) I doubt it. I am certain that this sick and pathetic hobby (spelled: addiction) will force me to inject myself with the needle of audio change at some point. I am certain to grieve the loss of these fine performers as I claw my way on to the next fix. It's too bad. After hundreds of different speakers in my life, these are among the best .. if not 'the" best. I will assume that the Focus sounds similar. I am very suspicious of that ribbon/dome combo in the newer Legacy's though. The Legacy Convergence is at the very top of my list of the speakers that I truly enjoy the company of. That long list must even include my all-time favorite ... the Quad ESL-63. In some ways the Legacy's are as good and perhaps better. I feel that they can be as involving and perhaps as musical (on some mat'l). Of course they can play louder, but I have heard some people flatulate louder than a straining Quad (although it was impossible to determine who or what was straining harder). The strain of loudness is not the point. It has become trendy fodder for audiophiles to use the cliche regarding the inability of the Quads to become Klipshhorns. The point is that they (the Quads) are a fine instrument built with art of musical reproduction as it's intended purpose, but only within it's limitations to absorb power. The same is true for the Legacy's, but with far more impact and dynamics. They do all of that, and without showing themselves in the picture. What more could one ask for ?? What-cha got to trade :-)
BTW: All amps and pre-amps used for this evaluation were either Tube or Solid State.
All CD players, Dacs, Transports, Turntables, Tonearms, Cartridges and Head Amps were either Digital or Analog.
All CD's and Records were flat and round.
Let me explain it. If you know what you are doing, you know that Legacy is as Trejla says - exactly. They bag newbies with the ads before they get to Stereophile (where they then think blah, blah, blah is best, and then they are off to TAS...) and then the newbies say they love them without having a sufficient point of reference - all because the ads tell them , the finish tells them, but their ears don't. Do you know why for years Legacy mated themselves with Coda amps? Yea, being a current suck-hole from the 80's has something to do with it, but the fact that the upper registers on a Coda also can strip wallpaper seems to be illustrative of someone who has no ears but an imaginative marketing mind. Its mid-fi in nice wood with slick ads in beginner mags.If you've got 'em, dump them on the newbie coming up behind you; if you read what Trejla says, and a lot of other people who have been around, steer clear and save yourself that step in wasting money. Oh, and for you souls who post negative responses because no one can see you, and you didn't get picked for dodge ball in sixth grade, get over it and keep it to yourself. You scare off the people who are new here, would like to post an experience honestly, but somehow believe you're someone to listen to.
I'm with you Tubeears - the Convergence model is wonderful.
However don't expect the 98db claimed efficiency, Audio magazine measured 92db.
Sean has heard these speakers...apparently they didn't make his best of Legacy list. He told me they didn't boom; so was it a sizzle problem? I work in a manufacturing plant that employees 800 people. Every year we are required to take a hearing test. Invariably the nurse who reads the results will utter something like "Oh my gosh; you can hear 0db across the board...I have never seen that before". (We seem to have high nursing staff turnover). Anyway, the point is Sean; do you have bat ears or what? How far do them things you call ears stick out from yer noggin. I'm serious...give me a number. Perhaps you could elucidate on exactly what you heard. By the way about two weeks after you were here I had to move a pair of Golden Flutes from in between the preamp-amp to the tape loop...they were sucking far too much life from the sound.
My latest disappointment in speakers were the Martin Logan SL-3. The SL-3 lacked integration between drivers, the treble was hotter than anything I've heard from any Legacy model (past or present), and seemed best suited for background music. Auditioned on the same day and system were the Ariel model 8b - talk about blah. The 8b ranks in my mind as the second worst speaker system I have ever heard. I can't believe all the (seemingly unending) interest in Ariel I hope to hear them again someday to confirm or dispel my impressions.
How long ago did the ML SL-3's come out? That is when I gave up actively searching for better speakers
Muller, as i told you when i briefly listened to your system, your speakers sounded FAR better to me than the Legacy 1's or Classic's. I was being completely honest and sincere in those statements. I hope that you took them as so.
Other than that, i really couldn't pass any type of critical judment on your gear. I was not familiar with your system at all, the specific room acoustics, the recorded selections that you played, etc... I would hardly call listening to a couple of tunes in an unfamiliar environment worthy of a "complete review". Trying to form "set in stone" opinions using such a limited demo would surely result in a less than honest portrayal. As such, i could not pass ANY type of accurate judgment on ANYTHING there.
As you might remember, i did suggest sitting back further away from the speakers than where you had your chair previously positioned. Due to their physical size and amount of drivers, that specific design WILL take some space before everything blends together. I think that anybody that is familiar with the layout of the drivers would agree with my assesment. They are not "nearfield" speakers in any sense of the word.
Other than that, there were several other suggestions that i could have made in terms of how you had things set-up. I refrained from doing so as we were strictly on a time limited basis. Besides that, most people take offense to constructive criticism or suggestions about their system, especially if you aren't well acquainted. As such, i was there to give you money and pick up some gear. I thought that the transaction and experience of meeting each other went quite well overall.
As to your comments about my hearing ability or "bat ears", i can specifically state that i do have hearing loss. I already know this from testing that i've had performed. Nonetheless, this does not eliminate my ability to subjectively listen and / or pass judgment on what i do hear. Given my background in Pro Sound reinforcement, working with electronics for a living, LOTS of experimentation within several of my systems, set-up and tuning of several other installations, the amount of gear that i've owned and been exposed to, etc.., i would consider myself slightly more experienced than the "average" audiophile. Maybe so, maybe not. Either way, i've tried to share what knowledge and experience that i do have and learn from others along the way.
I'm sorry if i said something to offend you. I based my comments about Legacy speakers on what i was familiar with and what i have experienced first hand. As such, i did not even remotely take into consideration the time that i spent listening to your speakers or system. It would have been like trying to write a review of a car that you went on a 5 minute test drive with, but were sitting on the passenger side for the entire trip. Not fair or accurate at all.
I'm glad that you're happy with what you have and hope that you continue to enjoy it. As to the problems that you encountered with your secondary amplifier, i hope that you were able to resolve them in an economic manner. I'd like to Thank You once again for the more than fair deal that you gave me on the equipment that i purchased from you. The spare drivers have come in more than handy and the speakers really filled out after hitting them with a couple hundred of watts for a couple of weeks. The difference in bass output was quite astounding. Sean
Sean, as always your response was polite and well thought out. It was a much better response than my little rant deserved. Thank you!
I tried moving my listening position back as you had previously suggested. It just will not work for me. The ratio of reflected to direct sound is too great, (too much room sound). The speakers and listening position are in an 8' equilateral triangle. Would that be considered nearfield listening? I really don't know that is why I ask.
I've auditioned the Legacy line-up twice - largely because there were qualities I liked a lot about them and some that I really didn't. I understand why so many people are happy with the speakers, they are definitely a "rocker's speaker" and I'd recommend anyone to audition them. But, with that said, I didn't end up buying them.
First, I felt the Focus was the sweet spot in the line-up. I didn't like the new Empire speakers - they were not natural sounding to me. And, the Whispers are just not a real-world speaker for my home (speakers too big).
I thought there were significant benefits of the Focus versus the less expensive speakers, particularly in the area of mid-range and vocal transparency.
If you love rock, love moving a lot of air, this speaker will immerse you in the sound. And, if you want a fairly revealing mid-range, then the Focus may be the speaker for you.
My problems had to do more with coherence and the boom. But, everything is a trade-off. If you end up getting them, enjoy.
By the way, I ended up going a very different direction than the Legacy. After auditioning Thiels, Revels, B&W's, Ariels, Dynaudio, etc. over a two year period I narrowed my search down to Revel and Harbeth's. If you like the full sound of the Legacy, you may love the Revels (which I did), and I strongly recommend them. But, I ended up with the Harbeth's 7ES. It's a much smaller speaker, but I love the mid-range. I heard the Red Rose the other weekend in NYC and found them an even more revealing speaker. I loved them, but they were another $1,000 more than the Harbeths ($2,400).
This thread is greatness and I hope that noone got any negatives. My only feedback is that some (can't remember who) need to use spaces in long passages, much easier to read.
I became interested in the Legacy focus because I read in TAS that mega producer Rick Rubin runs them and says they make the big noise in the right way. He bought them over the Dunlavy SCV's and B&W 800's; Dunlavy didn't go low enough-boxes too big and B&W too modern looking in his listening room. He described the Legacies as "open-airy on top" and "boom and punch...in a bombastic way" down low, going all the way to 16 Hz. (typical reviewer gibberish).
According to some of the above though, Rick has bought the wrong speakers. Now, my question is where do I go to hear a set? Do you just order them up and send them back if you don't like them? I need a little help here. My psb silvers are running out of steam when I try and teach my neighbors the words to all the songs on Boston's first album. Did I miss it above, or is there a dealer network? Thanks, my neighbors would really appreciate it.
There are two ways to audition the speakers without "buying" them on a 30 trial basis. First, you can go to one of 8 or so audition locations. Check Legacy's website (I think it's legacy-audio.com) for locations. Second, you can wait for them to come to you (or close enough for you to drive to). Legacy does road shows across the country to major metro areas. This is how I auditioned them.
Kimber Kable, heavy guage angulated tube ports, compartmentized internal bracing and silver solder is what I found inside the Legacy Convergence. After reading the horrors, in the postings about the "bad wiring", (on selected Legacy's) I wanted to see for myself. What I found inside the Convergence was more than just a relief. The overall construction and material is some of the best that I have ever seen. Each driver is wired with Kimber Kable and with double runs to each of the woofers. The soldering is first rate and done with silver solder. The internal bracing is compartmentized for the optimum cubic needs fr each driver. All bracing is done with at least inch thick board. There is heavy use of doping at all the vent and internal encloser joints. The venting tubes are shaped to proper cabinet length to maximize the air flow ... in other words, not just a hole with a pretty cap around it. Indeed it is a plumers nighmare. I did not get to the crossover, but did pull the Lexan panel that holds the WBT speaker lugs and switches. Yes, for what appears to be a resistor switch loop (for tailoring the highs and mids) there is small gauge sheathed hook-up wire (not "telephone" wire) soldered (again with silver solder) to high quality Microswitches (brand). The neccessity for wire (with this purpose in mind need) only be of small gauge. The by-pass switch (Microswitch) is wired with Kimber and the wire coming off of the WBT speaker lugs is OFC heavy gauge standed copper. Impressive to say the least. I seen a lot of speaker guts and these are amoung the best. It is like the mods were done so that one would not have to do any mods. I'll get to the crossover later and report on what I've seen (if anyone want's to know).
This is my first post on this board. I have followed the Legacy dialogue with interest, being an owner of the Signiture III's. Some points I would like to add to the conversation:
Timeframe - I think it would be helpful if people would give a timeframe when mentioning their experiences with the Legacy product. Sean mentions Legacy 1's, which haven't been manufacutured in at least 8 years. Another poster mentioned that they weren't aware if the Classic and Signature brand name was still being used, which shows a lack of current information. Manufacturers of Hi End audio equipment normally are updating the materials used in their products periodically, so what is being used 5 years ago may not be in the current product. My Sig. III's are 1.5 years old, so my experience is fairly recent. My wife and I went to the Legacy factory in Springfield to audition the lineup. We heard the Classics and the Sig. III's. One look at the Focus and it was obvious that they were way to big for our room. The Signitures were clearly more open and relaxed than the Classics, which made our choice fairly easy.
Build quality - While at the factory we were given a tour of the facilities,and I had a chance to look at the materials used. The speaker cabling looks like the original Monster cable. Nothing special, but then nothing subpar about it either. I personally met the lady who does the crossover assemblies because I couldn't understand how the Classics and Signitures could have the same crossover frequencies but substantially different driver arrays. She took the time to show me the crossover of both the speakers so I could see the difference between the two units. I am not sure what the specifics are, but it was obvious that the Signitures crossover was tweaked differently than the Classics. The speaker are built by "people", not machines, so there is room for error, but all and all the manufacturing was very impressive.
Sound - I don't know why Legacy is know as a "boom and sizzle" speaker line. I have never had any problems with sizzling treble in my system. My speakers before the Signatures were Snell Type D's. I also audition Von Schw. VR 4.5's and Platinum Solo's. I am very familiar with my friend's Proac Response 3's, not to mention other speakers heard in various showrooms. I haven't heard anything to indicate that the treble in the Legacies are more prominent than the norm. In my system, they are, if anything, laid back and very unobtrusive. The bass can be problematic. The speakers reach very low in the bass. This takes careful positioning in the room to make sure that the sound is even. No more so than any other speaker that has a significant, true, low end.
Equipment - I don't think that you can expect "any" mass market receiver to have the backbone to drive Legacy's bigger speakers. The control over the multiple woofers is very important in getting the best out of these speakers. I tried Carver, McCormick and Muse before I settled on the Electrocompiniet (sp) 250 watt amplifier. I'm also using a VTL preamp, Pink Triangle/MSB and GyroDec SE/SMEIV.
I have listened to quite a few speakers since I purchased my speakers, but haven't run across any that I am willing to pay the "premium" for to get a better sound. They are not the best speakers in the world. Heck, they aren't even the best speakers in the Legacy lineup, the Whispers are. But for the money, and in my room with my equipment, they give a really nice sound. If you have a chance for an audition, try for the pair that fits your room the best. Sometimes bigger is not better. Hope this helps.
Tubeears, i would like it very much if you could report the crossover info. I am new to the technical side of hi-end. In fact I own some legacy classics and enjoy them greatly. Is it really that important to have big time power with the legacys? What will all the muscle do for my "sound"? If some one can advise me about this I would really appreciate it.
(Sbox) ... I will take a look at the crossover today and report back to you on it. I am indeed a curious puppy now. Just a note about the power. Although very efficiant, the Legacies can absorb tons of raw earth shaking power. They seem to do it without strain, changing it directly into dynamics of high levels. However ... An audiophile friend brought his Kora Galaxy (a 50 watt per channel tube amp) over this last weekend (he also helped with the inspection of the inside of my Legacy's). His 50 watt amp did not strain at all. In fact, the sound of the combo was so lucious in the midrange that it enveloped the entire room with sound that I have never heard before from any solid state amp. I have always loved tubes, but the pick of speakers for them has been limited. The Legacy will play perfectly with low power ... as long as the power that you feed them is high in musical quality.
Speaking of tubes, I have run my Legacy Signature III and the Studio using my Cary 2A3 monoblocks which are 5 watts per channel. The sound was pretty good considering all. Of course I usually run the Legacy with solid state high current. I have personally never had a problem with sizzle or bass boom. My speakers are well constructed and purchased 5 and 7 years ago.
Lak and Tubeears, what kind of music do you listen to? What volume levels? What size is your listening room? I own Classics, my room size is 14 x 22 x8.5 and opens into an adjoining room. I listen to rock, blues, jazz, folk, new age, classical, pretty much anything but country or rap. I would say at moderate to high levels. I think 200 watts a channel to be the minimum I would recommend. Now I haven't used tube amps and rumor has it they play louder than their ratings, but with solid state I think them big drivers need a high current amp to keep them in line. When I've tried lower powered solid state amps, I can hear them strain and the bass gets looser, more bloated, IMHO. I use Classe amps, that's about as warm as solid state gets. I think tubes would sound great, but I don't know if they would get the woofers to snap to attention like the high powered amps I've tried. I think about trying tubes, but I would say about 60% of my listening is rock and I need to feel the power. I believe the tubes would make the folk, jazz or classical sound better, but I think the 200 wpc Classe will beat 'em on rock. What do you think?
The Legacy Convergence crossover. It is very well done.
In terms of quality, structural integrity and/or workmanship the Legacy crossover is as good (or better) than you will ever see in many Hi-End speaker systems. With regard to the construction techniques and material, I have not seen anything that surpasses (at least by any wide margin) the quality of the Legacy crossover (that covers much turf after 35 years of this rabid hobby).
After pulling the top woofer out of the cabinet and removing the absorbing material, I was immediately surprised by the large dimensions and impressed by the obvious high quality of the crossover. Not just on "one" side .. but on "both" sides of the cabinet. Firmly attached by screws and starwashers are two 10" by 10" enamelled layout boards.
The woofer section is attached to the right side and holds three very large coils (about half the size of beer cans). Also mounted on that board are Sprague capacitors and the "star" termination for the Kimber wiring. The left side holds another 10" by 10" enamelled layout board for the mids and highs. There is one large coil, three medium size coils and the capacitor arrays. The capacitors are (once again) Sprague and also (to my amazement) Sidereal (!). Again, the terminations were "star" grouped. Where they were soldered, it was all done with silver solder. All junctions were done on threaded chrome posts with nuts large enough to cover the entire surface area of the forked spades or ring terminals. Quite to the contrary of some other comments (on the material used), I did not find any (not even one) "clip on" style connector (s). Every connection was tight (held either by the binding posts or solder) and had ample clearance from other connections, terminations and componants. All jumpers (where used) were heavy gage, high quality hook up style wire (at least 12/14 ga.).
I did not recognize the brand of coils, so I opted to call Legacy. I was braced for some "one" or some "thing" to advise me to go to Radio Shack and look for my answers there. Not the case. I talked with a real human (Chris) and he was happy to help. He was very professional and pleasant to talk with. He hasn't been following this string of posts on the Audiogon Discussion Forum, but I suspect that he will. He stated that Legacy made their own coils and that they are tuned to very close tolerance. He seemed very proud of their exceptional quality and performance. I must agree. The quality is obvious ... that was the reason that I broke into these things. Chris stated that they do not use Kimber for their wiring anymore. Too bad. If nothing else it (the Kimber) looks impressive inside the box. They do (according to Chris) use an OFC, heavy gage stranded cable (at this point in time). The Legacy is, without a doubt, a sonic "world class" performer and is outstanding in it's use of material, design technique and workmanship. Perhaps the word work"women"ship should apply here. It is "Gladys" that builds (and supervises the building of) the crossover boards (although mine is signed by a former employee, "Connie", Gladys quite probably had a hand in it as well). I do like that kind of "personal" flavor. It seems odd to spend thousands for a speaker and not know who built it. Strange that audio is coming to that. Music, it's instruments and its makers are about art and personality (aren't they ?). Anyway ..... I hope that this information helps those that are looking to find a few answers. I am (imho) very impressed with Legacy (at least the ones that I have). The "boom and sizzle" comments along with the "cheap crate full of bad parts" rumor is just very wishful thinking for Legacy's competitors. These are fine instruments of artistic value, inside and out.
Tubeears, thanks for the information. I’m sure it took you a while to research and write. Good informative job!
Jmcgrogan2, I basically agree with what you say. I listen to jazz, big band, pop rock, female vocals blues Latin, rock, classic etc. The music room I use tubes in is 12 X 15 X 8. The solid state unit is in the great room 20 X 18 X 8 which opens into the kitchen 23 X 14 X 8.
Thank's everyone for your support on this fun journey into LegacyLand. (jmcgrogan2) My listening area is my living room. It is 15 x 20 x 8.5. The speakers are set at an angle along the "long" wall. They are spaced 7 ft apart and the angled distance from the wall is: (measured at the corners of the front edges) 49 inches on the outside edge and 43 1/2 inches on the inside edge.
I listen to just about all kinds of music. I like to have the system going at all times. My front end is a Rega Planet and a Sonographe SG-3 table. I am indeed fortunate that my partner in all of this is my wife. She loves music and keeps me on my toes if something does not "sound" quite right. I am older than dirt, and was raised with tubes and "monophonic". Back to the Legacy's. The power required for them seems to be a fairly moot issue. The quality of that power is an issue. The 50 watt Kora (that my friend brought by) was just stunning in its performance when mated with the Legacy's. It is a Tube unit. I use (at this time) a very musical and semi-powerful amp that is very "tube-like" in sound. It is the B&K ST-1400 Series II. With my Classic's I had (at the time) a Sim 4070se and a McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe. I was not pleased with either of these amps with the Classics. The amps were, however, superb when mated with other speakers. I was very impressed with the Sims detail at "low" levels and the McCormack was sweet and open (albeit a bit dry). I would like to try an amp with these that is not longer made. It is a N.E.W. DCA-33. I have heard this amp on a few occasions and it is just superb in it's control of the low end. It is 33 watts but sounds like 330. I have heard it with a verity of speaker and it is very solid and musical in it's presentation. If anyone has any experiance already with the Legacy/N.E.W. combo, please let me know you thoughs on it.
Hey Tubeears, you may be older than dirt, but you are a lucky man to have a partner to share your passions with. My wife isn't interested and makes her disapproval clear. Oh the joy. Someday I'd like to try a tube amp, I'll have to wait 'til the kids get older and stop tying up my time and money. Thanks for the reply, it was very informative.
Tubby, Thanks for the very thorough dissection and analysis of your Legacy's. As someone else mentioned, most of the models that i've worked on were from the "early" days of Legacy. One pair was hand assembled by Bill Duddleston himself. Quite honestly, that was the set that we had the most problems with. Believe it or not, it is your option. I have NO interest in promoting or belittling any company or individual as i have NOTHING to gain by doing so. I'm simply reporting what i've seen and experiencing first hand.
Quite obviously, Legacy has stepped up the quality of parts and construction. I know that the older models used "pretty" plastic vent covers that acted as guards. These had criss-crossed plastic bars that slid into the tube of the port. This gave a more professional appearance than just a cardboard tube stuffed into a hole in the box. As it was though, these were not sized properly and caused great turbulence in the port when "gettin' it". Better performance could be had by simply slipping these out of the port.
As to the Kimber that is in your Convergence, that kind of makes sense to me. I had bought some biwired Kimber ( 8TC / 4TC ) from a gentleman here on Audiogon. He said that he purchased this along with a set of speakers from Legacy. While i was kind of puzzled by this statement, all the pieces are now falling into place.
The "clip on" connectors that i was referring to were not internal, but external. These were hand crimped spade connectors on factory assembled jumpers for biwiring / biamping. Upon loosening the binding posts and removing the jumpers, the spades literally fell off the wire and onto the floor. The person had been using the speakers like that for several years. Needless to say, i was both appalled and amused. When i asked them who had assembled the jumpers ( thinking that the owner did ), they told me "Bill Duddleston". This person KNOWS for a FACT that Duddleston put them together, as he had to wait for Bill to finish putting the speakers together. He went down to pick them up and they were not done yet. Given the findings that we had with that set of speakers, it was quite obvious that they were slapped together and sent out the door. There was not one IOTA of "quality control" that went into that set, even though the cabinets and quality of drivers is quite good. Hopefully, this is NOT occuring today. To show you how long ago this specific incident occured, they were still called Reel to Real Audio and were also using the Legacy name at the same time. Sean
It seems logical that the quality of the construction improved when Bill sold some of the interest in the company to outside interests. Hopefully, there was some capital influx that paid dividends in R&D, machinery(CAM) and QA/build. I don't know who those people are, I didn't ask when I met him. I know that the electronics are made by Coda(straight out of Duddleston's mouth), so I would not be surprised if they had some ownership in the company. He made a lot of statements. Many of which would get him into a major disagreement on this site. I still cannot get over the upper mids/treble(especially treble) of Legacy speakers. I do know how they sound currently, as I attended their Philadelphia showing(Valley Forge Convention Center) on April 21st. As I took my girlfriend, I will defer to her comments on their speakers(women always seem to sum up things better than us - they can see the forest through the trees). "Dynamic, and able to play very loudly without strain. But, very, very irritating". I will simply say it is way past time they upgraded their tweeters. If they want to proudly list the companies they use in their ad copy(Eton, Seas, Focal, Solen, etc.), how about using at least a Vifa D26 tweeter? I found a version of it in a $129 Goky(Gold Sky) speaker my dealer is selling for $79 this month. It had a most pleasing sound. It did get compressed if you played it very loudly, but $79? I have seen a lot of $1000+ speakers that behave no differently. Now, that is audio on a budget.
A few years back I had the opportunity to hear the Legacy's in Casselberry Florida (Bob Howard). Unfortunately the set-up was less than ideal. Low ceiling several columns and less than ideal positioning. I listened to both the Classics which I had read so much about for all these years and the Focus. He didn't have the Whispers there but at his home and I wasn't really interested in the Signatures because Bob really didn't seem too interested.
The Classics seemed ok but in that room how can you know. Imagine columns between the speakers and the listening position. What I was struck by and what Dds hifi noted was the midrange clarity on the Focus. Here you have this big system with what is it 6 or 7 drivers delivering very delicate subtle midrange clarity, very nice. Of course Bob had to crank it up so I could feel the bass but I got lost in the boom. He should have asked me first, I wasn't impressed. Maybe in a bigger room it might be ok. The Focus, a very nice midrange and that was my lasting impression.
I have some news on an excellent amp for use with the Legacy speakers. I have been searching for an amp that is fast, with good control of bass lines and liquid smooth in the mids and highs. The trouble is that it has to be cheap. Fixed incomes are torture for us old folks that like good equipment. The amp that I found is a real jewel. It is an intergrated, 100 watt per channel, all tube unit from Jolida. The model is the JD-1000a. It uses 8 EL-84's, 2 12ax7's and 2 12at7's. It is all that I had hoped for. It is smooth, open, controled and detailed without rasp or metalic edginess. It works wonders on my Legacy Convergence and should be just the ticket for anyone with other models. Since I just got it, I have to spend more time with it and will go into more detail, providing anyoone wants to hear more about the amp. The sure sign of a good amp for me, is when the music just dosen't come out into the room and involve you. It is when each individual instrument seems to pull on you to bring you into the space of the soundstage that it is in. Kind of like the Vulcan "mind meld' that Spock used to pull off when he couldn't be satisfied with a just normal answer to stupid questions about the universe.