Legacy 20/20 and Tubes

I am running ARC VT-100 mkIII and a LS-25 pre-amp. Would this combination mate well with the 20/20.
If you can deal with a speaker that has frequency response abberations that diverge from "flat" as much as +8/-3 dB's to start off with, you're amp should have enough power to drive them. The speakers are relatively efficient, so gobs of power wouldn't be necessary for most people with typical listening preferences. The thing that would concern me the most would be that the lower current capacity of tubes wouldn't be able to come remotely close to controlling the multiple woofers, producing even more of what is already poorly defined and over the top bass. Then again, ARC tube gear isn't overtly "tubey" sounding, so the slight lack of bass bloom might balance with these speakers reasonably well. Having said that, the fact that ARC gear tends to lean towards slightly bright sounding ( especially as far as tube gear goes ) may aggravate the brightness and treble boost that these speakers already demonstrate.

Obviously, you'll have to listen for yourself and see if YOU like it. Personally, i think that it would be a poor match as these speakers require a soft top end with a slightly lean bottom end. Finding an amp that offers these sonic traits and has GOBS of current available isn't that hard. Sean
Sean, Wow! Those are some scathing comments on the Legacys. Considering how well-reviewed they are, I wonder, have you actually heard the speakers? I know there are many fans of the 20/20 on this site. I wonder what the real story is on these speakers.
Wow is right. Ask him to list the speakers he uses. A joke indeed.
Kevziek: Yes, i've heard the speakers on multiple different occassions in different locations with different gear driving them. As to the comments that i made pertaining to frequency response abberations, try looking at the Stereophile review of them. Not only is the frequency response attrocious, the step test that examines transient response and phase / polarity is just as bad. This is why i've stressed learning what spec's mean and how to interpret them. If you didn't know how to interpret the spec's that John Atkinson provided yet read the printed text "review" that accompanied those results, you would have thought that they were fabulous.

Reb: If you know so much of what you speak i.e. what speakers i own and run, why don't you list them here for us? Please be specific as to which speakers i have running in the five different systems in my house and which i own but am not currently using.

As to Legacy's in general, i am well familiar with them. My Brother and i just got done rebuilding the mains that my Father uses, which are Legacy's. Believe me, these speakers were designed and put together so poorly that we we didn't know whether to laugh or cry on a regular basis. If you like, i can provide a list of the multitudes of problems that we found with them to demonstrate just how poorly they were put together / how little the designer really knows. The fact that most of these problems are still inherit to currently produced models tells you how little those designing & building Legacy speakers have learned over the years. Sean
I have heard the 22/22 and liked them for what they are-great pop/rock speakers. But I also totally agree with the first comments above as I think he is right on target with his comments. You really need to get these into your system and listen first before you buy-can't do that, then pass.
Their once was a review of the Legacy Signature III , where the reviewer used a similar tube amp and found the results so outstanding , that he started crying , and stayed up for days playing his entire CD collection and eventually he had to be sedated. Previous to this review , he had tried the same tube amp on a Pair of Bose 901's , but found the results less than satisfying .
In a perfect world , everyone would own Legacy Speakers
Yeah Baby, Legacy and and some of those Martin Logan's are among the finest speakers on the face of the planet !
If a 3 octave bass plateau that starts at 300 Hz and levels out at 40 Hz with a +7 dB peak centered at 100 Hz combined with a +4 dB peak at 6 KHz, a -3 dB dip at 9 KHz and another big +8 dB peak at appr 12 KHz with horrible transient response factored in is someone's idea of a perfect world, i think that i have a VERY different idea of what "perfection" is. Obviously, the "Cerwin-Vega Sound" has had a bigger influence on the audiophile market than i thought it did. Sean

PS... All test results & measurements were taken from the January 2004 Stereophile review of the Legacy 20/20. If you want the truth, learn how to read and interpret unbiased test results, not the sales hype that some call a "review".

PPS... Bare in mind that Legacy posted a copy of this review on their website without contradicting or even a single comment trying to refute how non-linear Stereophile's measurements were. Given the amount of rave reviews that Legacy products have garnered over the years, ALL of them from publications that lack testing facilities, you have to wonder just how "golden eared" these reviewers really are!?!?!?
Transporter, I couldn't agree more.
As a very proud owner of the 20/20, listen for yourself; throw out any measurements someone publishes if you like what you hear go with it.

Being in the car business, you see this all the time with road tests. Car A beats car B in measurements, but car A actually stinks. Take them both to a track and B, sure enough, stomps A.

Here's a good way to tell...Anyone NOT happy with their Legacies? I have toured their plant and must say it is impressive how hand built and finished these things are. If you have a quality issue, call them direct. They are a small company, if you call them a second time, you can get the same person, and they remember you - that is nice.

It seems only Sean doesn't like Legacy, and he continually refers to the measurements from one review. A review, by the way, in which the reviewer praised the Focus in the text (regardless of measurements...if you actually read the review).
I had a pair of 20/20's in my home for a two week demo in June of '04. I ran them with an ARC sp16l pre, Manley-Neo Classic 250 tube mono's on the top and an Aragon 8008bb on the bottom, I won't bother listing all the gear. I did not run them with either the Manley's or the Aragon solo. After one week, I could stand it no more! I yanked them out and put my PSB Stratus Gold's back into service. My system is much different now, but I feel compelled to chime in here. I just HAD to demo these speaks after the rave review in Stereophile. Sean is right on the money and I am not a Legacy basher. They were pretty and seemed to be well built, but pretty doesn't always sound good. And from a functional standpoint, I didn't care for the layout of the binding posts or the posts themselves, somethiing I feel is important on a 6k+ speaker. But these speakers were so shrill and fatiguing that after 20 minutes, my ears were cooked, everytime.
And it wasn't just me, two other friends felt the same way.
It appears that, as so often happens, when a question is asked here about Legacy Focus speakers, the bashers take over and the discussion turns to their opinions about the sound quality of these speakers. I thought what Taters was asking was whether his ARC tube amp and pre-amp would mate well with the 20/20's.

If one reads the Stereophile review(available on the Legacy Audio website) and looks at the Measurements section, one can see that despite their relatively high sensitivity, these speakers present a difficult impedance load to an amplifier with 2 modes of less than 2 ohms at frequencies under 100 Hz. The reviewer suggests that SS amp with high current capability would be a better choice than a tube amp.

I have owned the original Focus since 1992, mostly driven with an Eagle 4 SS amp which was capable of putting out 50 amps into low impedances, and now use Legacy's PowerBloc 2 and Steradian processor, with good results.

My suggestion would be to call Legacy Audio and discuss the issue. However, personally, I would recommend either using a single SS amp with high current capability, or consider biamping using a SS amp for the bass section and your ARC on the upper drivers. The 20/20 does have biamp connectors.

Having owned Legacy speakers since 1987, the original Legacy 1's(now the Classics), the original Signatures, and now the Focus, I remain ignorantly happy with my choices. Since Legacy has stayed in business for 25 years, I guess they have other satisfied customers as well.

There is an ongoing thread on this forum regarding the Best Speaker You Have Ever Heard. If there is any general consensus, I can't seem to find it. So, listen for yourself and view others' opinions with skepticsm, including the golden-eared reviewers....and me.
Dbld: My comments were based on hands-on experience with Legacy products and two independent reviews ( Australian Hi-Fi ) of two different Legacy products ( Legacy 20/20's & Signature III's ). The results obtained were published by industry professionals and are available for all to see on the Legacy website. I would only add that the test results as published by Australian Hi-Fi are somewhat misleading and do require careful attention in order to interpret them properly.

In both reviews, the speakers produced large deviations from neutral response, especially in the upper bass and treble regions. Given that two different reviewers working with two different products from the Legacy line in two different parts of the world obtained very similar results, it would seem logical that Legacy voices their products to share a similar "house sound". If one likes that sound, by all means, they should buy and use what they like. As mentioned, i've heard that sound and that has also contributed to my point of view as expressed in a few different Legacy based threads.

Dalinden: Good point. I let my personal point of view cloud the issues and never even responded to the questions at hand. With that in mind and based on the information provided to us in those reviews, my personal thoughts are that an ARC tube amp probably wouldn't be an optimal match for these specific speakers.

Due to the low impedances presented in a frequency range that already requires higher levels of current, i would think that the tubes would end up failing at a faster rate than normal. Given ARC's propensity for "bad things" to happen when tubes give out, namely "flaming resistors", this might be a combo that one might want to avoid.

Having said that, if one listens primarily to acoustic based music that requires low to moderate listening levels, such a combo may work fine with nary a problem. This type of music at those types of listening levels won't really aggravate what could be a sore spot, negating some of the cautions mentioned above. As with most things in audio that are based on personal preference and subjective results, the only way that one would know for sure if they would like it would be to try it and go from there. Then again, using this type of an approach to system building can get pretty expensive. That is, unless one has a local dealer that is willing to work with them in terms of in-house equipment auditioning, etc...

Hope this helps and clarifies my previous comments. Sean
I will have to back Sean's statements on the quality and fit and finish. A buddy of mine purchased a pair and the cabinets were very attractive. However, we could NEVER get the speakers to do anything right. These were a pair of the Legacy Focus I believe. Needless to say, he sold the speakers only months after waiting for them to "break in" and sound better. (That never happened BTW)

I guess the more drivers in a cabinet, the better the speaker! Anyway, my advice is to listen to all the speakers in your price range then make your decision. I think you can certainly do better than the Legacys. Just my opinion. Good luck!
I responded to this thread because I was running an ARC SP16L and Manley 250 monoblocks(on the top), both tubed products. I felt this was a proper response to this thread.

I wasn't bashing Legacy in any way, shape or form.
I have no grudge against them or past experience with their products.

My findings were that these speakers were extremly harsh and fatiguing with good tube gear running the upper freq's.
But, in all fairness, I didn't run them with just the Manley's or just the Aragon. Perhaps doing so would have yielded different results.

Although, I have used this bi-amped setup with other speaks with much better results.
Part of the issue is how much lab measurements can be trusted to tell us how a speaker will sound. No one listens to a speaker from one meter away. And playing a 1-watt signal through a highly efficient speaker such as the Focus would be louder than listening volume. And moving the lab microphone up or down a few inches could change the whole frequency plot. The Focus design is intended to sound right in a room at the listener's position. That is one rationale for the d'Appolito (MTM) array--to adapt to room reflections. So all those dips and shelfs in the frequency plot don't mean much.

But if they sound nasty (or great) in your listening room, that does matter. Maybe the difference between successful and unsuccessful experiences with Legacy speakers comes down to how much carpet and furniture there is, or how high the ceiling is?
Mcargill: The Focus doesn't use anything close to a true D'Appolito design. D'Appolito's follow a specific pattern in terms of driver sizes, spacing between drivers, crossover slopes, etc...

Having said that, i do agree that mic placement could change things pretty drastically, especially with this design. This has to do with the fact that the drivers are mounted not only vertically staggered but also horizontally too. This will produce a pretty strange and random radiation pattern that will be plagued by peaks and dips due to comb filtering. Using this type of design, the ability to localize specific imagery is also reduced.

Comb filtering takes place when you have more than one driver covering the same frequency range and they are spaced apart from each other. While bringing the drivers closer together may reduce comb filtering to a certain extent, all it really does is raise the frequency at where it will take place.

John Atkinson commented that best results would be obtained if one were sitting with their ears slightly above tweeter level. Given that the tweeters on the 20/20 are situated 45" above ground level, this may be pretty hard to achieve for most people of average height sitting on a typical chair or couch. Sean
Sean, if people LIKE their speakers, would you please LET them? Without telling them why "technically speaking" they SHOULDN`T like them?????
Froggerz: People can like whatever they want. Given that this is an open discussion forum where different people share different points of view and exchange ideas, it would be nice to have some idea as to where someone is coming from i.e. having a point of reference to better understand their comments.

As an example, if someone says "Brand A is the best i've ever heard", yet Brand A has a very unique presentation that widely deviates from the accepted standards of neutrality, others may want to be made aware of this. On top of that, if a product fails to meet its' own published spec's, others may want to be made aware of this. If i'm wrong for pointing this out or making others aware of such facts, then i'll stop posting technical commentaries.

My thoughts were that, given that many only know what they see in these forums & glossy mags, don't know how things work on a technical level and / or how to interpret spec's, the more background that they have on a subject, the more they can form their own opinions. Given that the comments that i've made in this and other similar threads can all be verified and supported by third party sources ( published reviews & reference grade text books ), what difference do you think my comments will make in terms of someone liking / disliking what they hear?

Like i've said in the past, one should buy and use what they like and will enjoy. I'm simply offering my point of view and explaining why i look at things the way that i do. If that can help someone to better understand the why's and how's of what they like / dislike in a product, i've done everything that i've hoped to achieve. Other than that, my comments are worth whatever an individual wants to value them at. Sean
I have read many posts' by Sean and appreciate his input.
He is obviously very experienced and knowledgable in the
high-end audio arena. One shouldn't dismiss a posting because
he/she doesn't agree with the content. I have learned not to take offense
when someone doesn't happen to like a piece of gear that I may own and love.
Audio is very subjective by nature given the multitude of variables,
e.g., gear synergy, room, power, cables, ears, etc.

But on the subject of the 20/20's, the one common thread that I have read/heard over and over from experienced audiophiles is, TOO MANY DRIVERS. Another common thread amongst audio folk is,
many mag's, especially Stereophile (to which I subscribe) seems to love everything they review.
Often times, there is a piece of gear that I am interested in, but don't have a dealer in my area and have to rely on print and word of mouth. I for one, can find it very difficult to make audio decisions when everything in the mag's is great.

To reiterate, when I read the rave review in Sphile on the 20/20, I said, "I gotta have 'em"!
Thank goodness I had a dealer in my area that (reluctantly) let me do an in home demo for two weeks with the 20/20. Which allowed me to find out that I didn't like them, without spending/losing a lot of my hard earned cash. I would have been absolutely livid had I bought a pair of these just based on that review.

More to the point: I have found that I can put more credence behind what I read in the forum section here than most of the mag's in regards to a particular piece. I have made many good decisions doing my "homework" here.

Audiogon is an invaluable tool to learn from, as are many who post here,
you just gotta learn how to discern who is "blowing smoke" and who is the "real McCoy".
Perfectionist, I agree that Audiogon is a great place to learn new things... I cetainly do not doubt Sean (or your)experiences with Legacy, nor do I feel they are unreasonable to have or talk openly about.

My one concern is that the poster never asked about what you, Sean or I feel about Legacy speakers. He asked about using a specific preamp/amp combo with the Focus 20/20. He never said "Legacy is the best" or any such statement. Instead, you and Sean have given your personal negative views on Legacy speakers. In my opinion, that is off topic to the original post.

I am sure you and Sean's feelings toward the Focus 20/20 will be appreciated in many posts... I just feel this one is probably not the best place for them.

Happy Listening,

I made a BIG mistake here. I confused the design of the Whisper ( multiple stacked and staggered mids ) with that of the Focus ( vertical array ). As such, some of my comments, primarily those about lobing within the horizontal plane of the Focus, are not quite as applicable. I am sorry for any confusion that this may have caused. There will be comb-filtering taking place in the Focus though as it does use dual drivers spaced widely apart in an MTM array.

Having said that, all of the info included is correct pertaining to lobing, cancellation, peaks & dips, limited specificity of imaging, etc... on designs that use multiple drivers sharing the same frequency range mounted side by side and / or staggered pairs that are mounted both vertically and horizontally.

One can see the differences between how the Focus and other Legacy designs function and what i'm referring to here by reviewing pictures of their product line. The wider that the similar drivers are spaced apart, the more erratic the dispersion and more sensitive the sound will be to listening height, distance and angle. This is why most designers have abandoned horizontal driver alignment and have switched to vertical driver alignments.

All of the designs pictured will require greater than average listening distances in order for the drivers to blend together. As i've mentioned in other threads, this is true of any design that uses a large quantity of drivers and / or a design that has the drivers spaced widely apart. Trying to use a speaker of this size and design in a smaller room and / or in a nearfield listening situation will result in sound that is far less than cohesive. Once again, if one wants to achieve good results, you have to pick and choose components that will work well with the environment they will be working with and electrical demands placed upon them. Even then, one will not be able to achieve the level of image specificity that one might experience using a speaker with fewer drivers in a more conventional configuration. Whether or not imaging is important to the individual is obviously a matter of personal preference.

As a side note and for sake of clarification, imaging and soundstage presentation are two different things. Many people confuse the two thinking that a system with a wide / deep / tall soundstage is the same as having good imaging. This is not true as imaging is the specific placement of individual notes / performers within the soundstage itself. Kind of like looking at a picture of a crowd of people, but being able to see all of the people as individuals. Sean

PS... I have speakers that image very well ( vertically aligned drivers ) and i have speakers that lack image specificity ( omni's ). These are simply different types of presentation with both sounding good, just different. Some may like one type of presentation more than the other. As mentioned, one has to judge for themselves what they like and want to end up with over the long haul.

Having said that, i think that most would agree that knowing more about such things before making a large investment in speakers may help them to look, listen and recognize that such differences do exist. Finding out about such things and / or being exposed to different types of presentations AFTER an expensive purchase has been made can be very disappointing to say the least. Sean
Drseid: Based on the content of the original question, the poster didn't own the specific Legacy's mentioned at the time. While i may be making a big assumption here, i would guess that they would like as much info about a potential product as is possible prior to making this type of investment. I could be wrong here, but the fact that they posted such a question tells me that they were still pondering the situation and unsure about the product in question.

On top of that, i need to correct one of my previous statements ( "I let my personal point of view cloud the issues and never even responded to the questions at hand." ) If you go back and read my original post, you'll see that my comments directly pertained to the question at hand. That is, the compatability of such an amplifier / speaker interphase, the basic sonic compliments of the components he already had and the electrical characteristics that the speakers inquired about typically work best with.

I then went on to share my own personal opinions of how i thought such a combo would sound and told them that whether or not they would like such a combo would be up to their ears and personal preferences. Things progressed from there based on other input generated within the thread.

Can you please point out to me where i led the thread astray? After reviewing this thread again, it looks like i was simply responding to comments made to or about my previous comments and / or offering further clarification as to why i had made them in the first place. Sean
Sean, I do not doubt your intent to be helpful... That said, I believe the initial poster can listen for himself and make his own judgement as to whether he likes the Focus 20/20 or not (maybe he already did before posting for all you or I know).

All of this technical jargon though is not answering the poster's initial question, and most likely would put anyone off *any* speaker, Legacy or otherwise. Really no offense is intended, but I feel sometimes it is better to keep things simple and on track.

I have a pair of 20/20's and I have found that the electronics and interconnects make a world of difference. I guess that goes with any hi-end speakers. I find they sound best, from the components I have tried, with the Anthem Statement P5 and D1. I am not a tube lover but I would tend to agree with the folks on the thread that the load for the low end would be difficult. Try bi-amp with a mosfet power-amp on the bottom and tubes on the top.

I am not as technical as some of the folks here, but I have played an instrument in wind ensembles and orchestras for 20 years. I just know what instruments should sound like and where they should be placed. And the same goes for your listening environment. I dont know what the best pair of speakers are in this price range, but I bet if you ask 10 folks, they would all have their own version of the best.

Good luck in your search and remember, after you decide and bring it home, there will always be something else out there to come along that will seem to be better.
I think Seans input is valid.

I agree with Nickcal. My system with the Focus 20/20 is very sensitive to any changes in gear and cables. And with all SS pieces, I have an incredibly realistic musical presentation with a high, wide, and deep soundstage. They thrive on current and that seems to be a tough challenge for many amps [no pun intended].

I admit to have heard better, but those better systems were priced beyond my priced beyond my limits.
I have owned the AR-9 wich sean has, I know that his are highly moddified and I loved the AR-9 but the focus wich my father owns and has had for maybe 4 years now trounces the AR-9 in every way, the ribbon tweeters are sweet and detailed, the bass attack is fast and tight and the mids are exceptional to say the least, I never have listened to a test but I have listened to speakers of all makes models and ranges, can you get better? ofcourse...but at the 20/20 price point they are exceptional speakers and the cabinets are excellent, tests dont tell the whole story, look at any test of a tube amp and most leave you wondering how they can sound good.....but as said before nobody has ever tapped their toe to a test, but many have to the 20/20's strong,detailed, and controlled sound.
P.S. I thought this was about the music?
Chad: You're comparing a 25 year old speaker with normal age based decay in stock form to a new production model that has decades worth of technoligical improvements in raw parts and retails for appr five times the price. Hmmmm...

As far as bass attack goes, you're not going to get "faster" or "tighter" than a Q of .5 at resonance, which the AR offers in stock form. This is why Dunlavy chose the same basic electrical characteristics. Comparing that type of performance to ANY vented design in terms of transient response is strictly ridiculous from a technical vantage point. Vents are to transient response as turtles are to speed i.e. not normally mentioned in the same breath. Obviously, some vented designs are implimented better than others and that's where the noticeable differences come into play. Beyond that technical vantage point, the sound that one likes boils down to a matter of personal preference.

As a side note, most of Dudleston's early advertising literature was based on data that AR had published in their literature years earlier. One can even see the similarities in the charts / lay-outs used when comparing said literature side by side. This isn't to say that i consider the AR-9 to be the ultimate speaker ( NOT by a longshot ), but that i do consider it to be capable of far more neutral and natural performance than any of the Legacy's that i've ever heard. This is obviously in an apples to apples comparison, not in a "25 year old" vs "new" type of shoot-out. Due to the decay that naturally takes place in the electro-mechanical aspects of a speaker over time, such a comparision is completely unfair and unrealistic. Sean

PS... The highly modified 9's are running as the mains in my HT system. After modifying my Father's Legacy's to perform closer to the design attributes of the AR's, he finally understood how grossly distorted and non-linear the Legacy's really were. Prior to that, he thought that the Legacy's were the greatest thing since sliced bread. Not only did he believe all of the reviews of these speakers that were based on subjective opinions, most of it probably had to do with the fact that his point of reference had never matured past his previous Bose 901's at that point in time. Yes, he had many years of being an "audiophile" and thousands upon thousands of dollars invested in previous systems, but his listening skills obviously weren't up to the task prior to that point in time. Bare in mind that this is my Father, whom i love and respect, that i'm talking about, not some sluggard off the street that i don't know.

PPS... Study the design of the AR-9LST and then look at the design of the Legacy 1's. You'll find SOOOO many similarities that it's not funny. Both utilize a four way, five driver design, a larger front firing woofer ( 12" AR vs 10" Legacy ) with a smaller down-firing woofer ( 10" AR vs 8" Legacy ), a large cone mid-woofer ( 8" AR vs 6" Legacy ), high frequency drivers that are vertically aligned, passively bi-ampable, etc... Then again, most designers try to emulate designs that they find to be worth copying. Having said that, how many copies actually supercede the performance of the originals without the aid of newer technology??? Not too many that i'm aware of. In this case, not even the newer technology could duplicate the years of research and knowledge applied to the earlier design.

Legacy has always touted "surface area", but as can be seen, even the older and far more refined AR designs had them beat years earlier. Given that the original AR-9 previous to the smaller and cheaper 9LSi used two 12's and an 8" mid-woofer, it was even further ahead of Legacy's original "top of the line" model.

Legacy is / was marketing hype and Dudleston has laughed his way to the bank and early retirement. Believe what you want, but the measurements and facts don't lie. They are poorly designed speakers that introduce more of their own traits to the signal than many other less "glamorous" products. This is obviously just my opinion and is based on both first hand listening experience and repeated test measurements as submitted by industry professionals. You might not agree with my personal listening observations, but the test results verify that other speakers are capable of far superior performance under identical conditions.
I just think they sound really good, not the best...but really good
I agree with Chadnliz as well as other happy owners.

Frankly I find it peculiar as well as disappointing that Sean has spent so much time and effort bashing Legacy. It is a shame that we are not able to have any sort of discussion on Legacy without having to deal with constant long ranting posts from Sean, like the one above, whether they have anything to do with the original post or not.

Sean, we ALL know how you feel, and you are entitled to your opinion. Many of us would like to discuss what WE LIKE for a little while please without having the overly long negative posts that you have written so many times on this one company. Again, we all know how you feel. Your thoughts are already well documented over and over.
BTW-adding "enjoy what you like" after such a high volume of negative written words is a poor cop-out disclaimer.
I'm not trying to start trouble or severely piss anyone off here, but I'd like to add something that I didn't include in my post from 1/14/05.

I had the Focus 20/20's for two weeks while my dealer was out of town at a show. I found them so offensive and fatiging that I pulled them out after only a few days and they sat in my office "lookin' pretty" for the remainder of there tour here in my home.
Even my girlfriend (who is not into this like I am) said, "get them F'ing things outta here!"

I promise, I'm not bashing, just posting my observations.
Mo Drivers! Mo Better! I suggest you audition other speakers...

Why would someone as smart as Sean not have enough basic intelligence to see that the poster did not want to hear what you had to say, I cant wrap my head around the bashing of someones hard earned money to enjoy what is a passion for them, it is not productive and a bit tasteless to insult an owners purchase...especially when he never asked what you thought of his speakers, way off center and not even close to being productive rants of personal opinion do no one any good. When a speakers is purchased it has already prooven to satisfy the owner, atleast in the here and now he must love them, so who cares what charts and graphs say? What ever happened to if you dont have anything nice to say......well you know the rest.
I have enjoyed and learned alot from some of Seans posts, I just wish he could stick to positive posting that will actually help others, and step away from insulting rants and product attacks (especially the un-invited ones)
To each his own, I happen to like them but ofcourse there wouldnt be 1000 speaker makers if one fit all
Dbld: My Father was not only a "happy owner" of Legacies, he had been led to believe that what he was listening to was also very accurate and well designed. It wasn't until he was shown otherwise, both in terms of visible design flaws and the sonic byproducts that resulted, that he was forced to change his opinion. Prior to that, he had been living in "ignorant bliss", simply because he didn't know any better or been exposed to better designs. Did this make him dumb? No. It only made him misled and gullible. Now that he knows the difference, he's not only happier with his system, but also less likely to be taken advantage of again anytime in the near future.

I think that most of this was due to being lulled into a state of self-confidence due to all of the poorly conducted "professional" reviews. The same goes for several other Legacy owners that i've modified speakers for that shared similar results. They could not believe how much better their speakers could sound using the same basic components even though "Legacies are some of the very best" prior to these modifications. As such, i had to ask them "if these were some of the best, how come there was SOOO much room for improvement in SOOO many different areas?". The only logical conclusion is that the original product wasn't nearly as good as they had been led to believe.

As such, i'm simply trying to help educate people BEFORE they make such a costly mistake and / or help them to understand why they are experiencing certain situations with said product if they've already bought it. If someone is happy with what they have and aren't interested in improving both the accuracy and the enjoyment of their system, so be it. They know what they have, they know what they like and my comments won't alter their opinion one iota. Then again, i would have to assume that MOST people that are reading this and other audio forums on a regular basis ARE interested in both learning and bettering their systems, otherwise they wouldn't be here.

As far as Legacy products go, consider me "done" on the subject. As you've pointed out, there's a multitude of reference material in the archives both here and at AA for those interested in finding out such info. The only reason that i responded to this thread again was that i had saw that Chad had responded and was making an apples to oranges comparison of two very different, yet somewhat similar products. As such, i wanted to point out that comparisons of products is only fair when the comparisons are conducted in a fair manner.

What he was doing would be equivalent to putting a 50 year old Cassius Clay in the ring with Mike Tyson in his prime. Obviously, the results are somewhat predictable even though one was a FAR more skilled and well-rounded performer than the other, but you would never know it because that performer was also well past the point of prime operation. This is why Component A beats Component B hands down, why Component B beats Component C hands down, yet Component C beats Component A. The bottom line is unequal comparisons with less than accurate judging or criteria. Sean
I have tried several very well regarded speakers, and listened to tons in different stores. I even listened to some amazing speakers that had something like 60 tweeters and 30 mids or something crazy like that. I cannot remember who made them but they were incredibly natural sounding in spite of having so many drivers.

I have a pair of 20/20s and find them very natural, not at all harsh or edgy. I have had some electronics that were harsher than others, but then again my 20/20s seems to reveal any change in my system, even powercords [which I still can't come to grips with]. For me they sound very realistic and I enjoy them as often as possible.

Unfortunately Perfectionist's last comment might as well be cut and pasted from his first one, completely missing what Chadnliz had to say. And for Sean's post, well...I know what he thinks, and that is fine. I don't want to provoke any more negative posting. I just don't agree, and he won't change my mind because I have done my own due-diligence and bought the Focus. If I can, I'll get the Whispers.

Can we please move on now?

Regarding the original post, I have only heard of folks using tubes on the satellite portion of the Focus, not really the whole speaker. Having said that, I do know of one guy running a David Berning ZH-270 Tube Amplifier and loves it. It seems this speaker hungers for current which tube amps often struggle with. I did try an Art Audio Concerto II and it didn’t work well for me.
Tubes are tough on the better Legacy speakers due to the lower impedence. If you put enought of the right kind of power to them, they sing. The Focus and Whisper speakers do need good sized rooms to be best appreciated - in a smaller room, or with lower current power, results may be mixed.

I currently have newer Whispers being driven by a McCormack DNA-500 through a VAC Phi 2.0 preamp and the sound is magical. APL modded Denon 3910 and Sunfire Cinema Grand (tuner - direct)as sources, both with Epiphany PC's. Elrod Statements to DNA-500 and BPT 3.5+ conditioner, SIg 2 to VAC, etc., etc.

My experience has been the best way to use tubes with my Legacies is thru the preamp. I also have Focus 20/20's as rears, powered by Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature(for movies).

I too have heard lots of speakers in lots of rooms, and it boils down to what works in your room, with your gear, to your ears. I have nothing to prove to anyone, nor do I care to. To argue about numbers or others' opinions pretty much misses the point. I have heard great numbers that sounded like crap, and vice versa. It VERY subjective. At best, I've used these threads as indicators to point me in different directions. There are no shortcuts to actually listening for yourself.

Sometimes the pontifications (no names - you know who you are, you pontificators) get so seriously wrapped up they lose track of why we do this silly "hobby" - "TO ENJOY THE MUSIC"!!! Relax people....... life is too short.
Sean has never heard probably set up Focuses. Robert Pincus of Cisco Music, Tom Port of Better Records and Steve Hoffman (you should know who he is) love the Focusus. Steve Hoffman mastered a very high percentage of his LPs on them, in a small room yet, with heavy e.q. In a large room, he wouldn't have needed to do that.

My original Focuses are fabulous in the mids, slightly attenuated in the highs and a little bass heavy. I run all EAR gear using Grover ICs/speaker wire (latest 11/07 wire). VPI TNT VI/Benz/SME IV mod./Superplatter/SDS, etc. EAR ACUTE, other quality analog front end, all types of vibration control and a pair of Holographs. I've had all types of electrostats (Acoustat Xs, 2&2, ML Monolith IIIs, tried Tannoy 15" reds, etc). My wife had me get rid of the Monolith IIIs because they had no ability to play rock and metal (we're 50). When I first purchased the Focuses, I also thought they sounded like crap but my gear was AR SP14 and Classic 30s with Cardas IC and OCOS speaker wire. Changing the rest of the system became a believer experience. The Focuses kept improving until they are of high fidelity quality without the problematic frequency response or beaming problems. Without getting some semblance of good ancillary eqiupment, they don't sound good.

Another friend uses a Yamaha CR 620 to drive them and they sound fabulous. He makes a living by grading records using the EAR 324 phono stage and the CR 620 into them. They rock, they play metal. For me, voices sing sweetly in opera, pop or chamber. So, every type of music is easily accomodated. I also perform with a professional orch and know what live and recorded sound is like (different in most cases). I'm the archival transfer engineer for the orch and various choral groups, universities, etc. I don't have a golden ear. Three of my friends claim they do and all prefer the Legacy Focuses (one liked the Whispers which he previously owned as well).

Sorry this is so long, but I hate it when these really inexpensive speakers (used $2200 to $2500) are trashed in posts. I would like to hear the HDs though. The originals can sound fantastic in large rooms with higher current tube amps (I have Grover 125w. push-pull amps and EAR 790 70w. amps).

Vandersteens 5s-not my cup of tea.
Error-EAR 890 amp not 790.