Legacy Audio AERIS: RMAF/listening impressions?

I made a trip to Legacy this past week to hear this speaker in a non-show environment which would also afford more time to listen and hear music that I took with me. I don't see alot in the way of RMAF postings here as yet and would like to hear people's impressions of this speaker as I thought it an amazing speaker with huge potential. I've started a section on my system thread for anyone that wants to add material or please put your thoughts and impressions here. Thanks!
Did anyone attending RMAF other than those who are queuing up to formally review the speaker hear the Aeris and have thoughts to share?
I was there and heard it. There was one big glaring problem that I couldn't get past. There was an obvious discontinuity between the tweeter and rest of the lower range. I believe it was first or second day of RMAF. Not sure if LA found a cure.
Thanks for your response; I heard them at LA a few weeks ago (2 weeks) after RMAF over a 4 hour listening session and did not pick up on this so I wonder if it was a function of the room, time to properly tune with the processor to the room, etc.....The speaker had only about 150 hours or so on it when I heard according to what I was told so full break-in was quite a ways away (IMHO...big fan of proper break-in here). It will be interesting to hear them fully broken in which I will be doing in December as it's time for another trip to meet these speakers :-)
I was just at Legacy Friday afternoon. Bill had pulled a pair from production and walked me through a room tune. There have been a few changes since RMAF. Probably the most significant was the change to the Xilicia XP 4080 processor which is the baby brother to the XD 4080 used with the Whispers. The other change was to go with 1000 wpc amplification for the bass section.
Thanks for letting me know this....they tell me they have the RMAF pair that would be broken in fully by this week so since I happen to have a business trip to a client south of Chicago coming up on Wednesday and Thursday morning I am thinking of going back for a listening session on Thursday afternoon before I catch my flight home on Friday. How did you like what you heard?
They are definitely in a different league than my Focus SE. Bill put a Signature SE in on the left and tuned it and it was amazing how the Aeris wss just so much in a different league.
Thanks...have a great week!
Had a chance yesterday to swing down to Legacy after client meetings up north and hear a broken in pair of the new production version of the AERIS with dual amps for bass in each tower. All I can say is 'Wow'...I heard things that I never heard out of Focus SE or Whisper in such a plentiful amount and a density of soundstage that I've only heard out of Helix but even more refined. These speakers pull you into the recordings and music in a way that would take a lot of writing to describe. AERIS is one hell of a speaker...it is definitely going to have to find a way into my room as soon as possible!
Sounds like the processor and dual bass amps upgrade have improved the performance dramatically.
Could you please indicate what other eqipment was used to drive the system?
I am wondering if they are planning amp or other improvements for the XD?
I am currently talking with a dealer on a pair of XD's
Any info appreciated
If memory serves me, the amplification was a stereo amp by Coda. I believe the preamp was also by Coda. The front end was an Oppo blueray player.
What finish were the Aeris? The pair I listened to were in black oak, which is nowhere close to the Black Pearl finish on my Focus SE.
My first trip to hear the AERIS after they had just returned from RMAF had the following equipment hooked up to the single amp version of the speaker; Coda Mono Amps, Coda Pre-amp and Oppo95 player with the Xilica XD-4080 processor in use. I had taken a large amount of discs with me to audition. The finish was the one displayed at RMAF with the ostrich leatherette finish which is still pictured as the lead-on for the AERIS annoucement on the website. This pair was sold in the last few weeks. Legacy told me that they have already sold at least 15 pairs that have shipped since RMAF and more are being built to fill current orders.

In this past week when I heard the dual-amp version of AERIS, the following equipment was in use; Coda Stereo Amp, Code Pre-Amp, Ayon CD-07 (I used the USB input to the DAC from my MacBook Pro playing iTunes stored discs ripped with Apple Lossless encoding) and the Xilica XP-4080 processor. The finish was Black Oak.

I inquired about Black Pearl as well; they are working on this however it would be available in the future as this is one finish that they have to send out the speaker cabinet for the high-end finish to be applied. They told me they are working on additional high-end veneer finishes as well.

Nutreez: For the XD, I would ask Bill and Doug if they have anything underway. I would suggest hearing both the Whisper XD and the AERIS before you decide which to purchase.
I am surprised they will have to outsource the Black Pearl finish as I didn't realize they were doing that for the other speakers.

So did you put in your order :)
Yes...will wait until Spring for the BP finish. It is the same as what is on my Focus SE pair; it is high grade piano finish quality...
Saw the AERIS in Rosewood in pics from CES with a black front baffle; the result was startling and beautiful. Further, if that front baffle were black pearl, that combination would be fantastic. I think that's in their plans from what I understand so I have to wait a bit longer.

Did anyone hear them at CES and willing to share some listening impressions???
The Legacy black pearl finish is of extremly high quality- I know when I was looking at Focus SE, I noticed that the finish is incredibly smooth, and also has a lot of detail and depth to it, when you look at it under close light.

(Allow me to geek out about their finishes, for a moment!)
The black pearl finish is done in large batches by ILVA in Italy. The finish was bowling pin tough, but it is best applied in warmer weather when sprayed on larger surfaces. There are 7 application steps and several polishing stages-it is very expensive to import. The last stage takes a half an hour for every square foot, with a Mazerna polishing rouge from Germany!

My colleague was one of the few who got Whisper in black pearl (I believe there were only two sets ever built). He had to wait months for it in black pearl, since they are not one piece units, and are more complex to finish.
Aeris in black pearl is the same way, it doesn't appear to be a monolithic unit. The BP finish on it should be impressive- I loved the finish at CES, but didn't get a chance to hear them there.
Their manufacturing facilities are open for viewing- their craftsmen do an incredible job- I recommend visiting.
Thank you very much for your comments; given I own a pair of the Focus SE, I am very familiar with the black pearl finish and its quality. I am looking at the geometry of the new Aeris cabinet sections and in Rosewood with a black pearl front baffle, it should be striking. I still am going back and forth regarding having the entire speaker done in black pearl. A friend I trust very much suggested that some of the gorgeous detail of the Aeris cabinet might get 'muffled' if the entire speaker is in black pearl.

I hear what you are saying about Legacy craftsmanship; I've been to their place 3 times in the last year. I always enjoy my visits very much...
Did anyone hear these at CES...?
I think they were at T.H.E. Show, not CES. :D
Sorry...same town, same time frame...thanks for pointing this out. Hopefully, someone heard them and can write back!
Oh no worries! :)

Yes, of course. I'm curious myself!
Hi all got my new Aeris in about 2 weeks ago traded in my focus se in bp asks Doug Brown to make sure he finds a good home for them (I will miss them ) So anyhow still breaking them in I find with the help of the Xilica I was able to dial in the bass better than the focus se for my room The new amt is so clean sounding but so far I would have to say it"s the midrange that"s so impressive there is something about it that just draws you into the music I here things I never heard before it will be interesting as I put some more hours on them to here changes as they break in
Thanks Cobraman...I had the opportunity to travel to Legacy again last week and hang out to listen to a brand new pair that had been built the days preceding my visit and was able to observe Bill dialing them in. Of all the Legacy speakers I've owned since 2005 (there have been a LOT), the AERIS amazes me with its ability to sound good right off the line (literally). I've also been able to hear a pair late last year that had 200 hours on them and can tell you break in like anything else I've owned will make a difference. Given the various levels I've heard (day1, 50 hours or so, 200 hours), my gut tells me that these speakers will 'come out' at 350-500 hours extremely strong and impressive. The best part is, they already sound great on day1! Please let us know how your break in results come in and what you are hearing. I agree with you about the AMT and the new midrange and midbass drivers. They are all something special. The thing that stands out the most is the integrity, sound profile and accuracy to real-life instruments that the mids and highs on this speaker render. You can really hear the differences between different metals (for cymbals, guitar and bass strings, etc...) and other materials (drum heads, pipe organ metal versus wooden/reed pipes, etc....In addition, based upon hearing the Aeris dialed in on 2 different occasions, I can tell you the AMT tweeter assembly appears to never show a harsh edge; you can keep throwing more level at it and it does not ever seem to distort,...all you get is more detail. This is an extreme rarity even in the best speakers I've heard. If first impressions (or third and fourth also in my case) are accurate, and break-in simply reveals and refines more about what it can do and how it does it, the AERIS is to me one hell of a speaker and an entrant at a reasonable price that should make some pricier manufacturers sit up, take notice and get very nervous (IMHO).
Hi Zephyr thanks for your input on the Aeris ...I only have about 30 hours on mine as of now ...I was first introduced to legacy way back in the early 90"s back then I owned B&W matrix 801 when a friend introduced me to the new legacy focus well I bought a pair in rosewood and had them for 20 years! the second pair where focus se in black pearl an now the Aeris ...It"s been a lot of fun thru the years and in seeing how far legacy as a company has come over the years Aeris is one hell of a speaker...It will be interesting to here what the audio press think of It as time goes on.... I have never had the opportunity to travel to legacy you must have had a great time! hope to make it there someday
My trips there have been a nice side benefit from having major clients about 1-2 hours drive on I-55 in both directions. The folks at Legacy have always impressed me with how they truly care about and care for their customers. It's not often that you can have a real set of conversations with, and just sit down and enjoy music with a designer in this industry that spans several hours and is more like hanging out with a great audiophile friend and not being overtly business or audio show-like in nature. Bill, Doug and everyone else there has been incredibly good to deal with and have always bent over backwards to take care of the small as well as the big things with a truly positive attitude and enjoyment derived from their chosen line of work. Touring the shops and meeting all the people who do the various stages of construction from raw materials whose over the top quality is immediately obvious (such as their raw veneers) to walking into the finish shop and seeing Bill with a stain rag/brush in his hand going over every bit of finish on a speaker to make sure every speaker comes out as perfectly as possible is something you don't see every day.

Bill is a vast warehouse of knowledge and experience having been a recording engineer for many years; he clearly loves what he does and puts his soul into constantly seeking a more musical and involving speaker.

I will never claim extensive experience or expertise at any of this however based upon what I've seen and experienced I do believe firmly that Legacy is in a very small list of 'special firms' that one would choose to stick with over a life time with confidence and happiness at money and time well spent.
Cobraman: I just saw your system thread...the new Aeris look great in your room. They are visually stunning on top of an amazing sounding speaker. Glad to hear you are happy with them and have them dialed into your room!
I am about to pull the the trigger on Legacy Speakers and wanted some information on which might be better option.

The Aris vs The Whisper XD?
I was wandering if anyone can help me out. I am interested in both the Aeris and the Whisper XD, and if money was no object which would you go for and why? I am rather confused between the two and i live outside of the USA.
That is a very touch question for two main reasons; they are both great speakers and a very reasonable price point relative to the market and the capabilities of each speaker and secondly, the real answer depends alot on what you like to listen to. People will need more data on your listening prefs, your system, your room, etc....to help answer this question...
Dragon the room has no real bearing on your choice.
The Aeris is a phenomenal speaker for the money.
Having said I don't know how it can replace the new Whisper VD or for that matter even without the new AMT.
It's really a question of dollars 17k or 22k.
What I can tell you is the Whisper XDs are a tad more warmer and revealing.
Both will change and revolutionize your listening preferences.
My personal preference is the Whisper XD.
I will agree with Zeph on one point however no matter which one you choose there is no equal at these price points.Either provide unparalleled value!
I just heard these at CAS. The sound was amazing. Talking with James at Legacy, he informed me that the sound is largely due to the new DSP unit being able to dial in to your room. Of course, the rest of the speakers and electronics are paramount, but being able to adjust them to your room is key. My impression anyway. I'm only trying to decide on a finish myself before ordering. I won't be listening through the marvelous Plinius amps that I heard at CAS, but the sound should still not disappoint.
The Aeris certainly looks impressive and the TAS review by Cordesman is as high a rave as I have read. I agree that DSP as Legacy implements it is the way of the future.

How is the Aeris in terms of internal construction? A big cabinet like that has to be well braced to not resonate.
I heard these at the Cal Audio Show (CAS) too and IMHO they were the best sounding large speakers on hand.
I've seen most of the internal structure of the AERIS while at Legacy this past Spring and they are built like all the other Legacy's I've owned as well as those (like Whisper and Helix) that I've seen in person; extremely strong construction, internal bracing, etc....there is no evidence of cabinet resonance affecting the sound or any other side effect of the large cabinet. In short, they are built beautifully and extremely strong.
I placed the order for the XD, I also got some Vcaps from Chris for the Bypass on the Tweeter and Upgraded all the internal Wiring to Solid Copper Core Cables and Solid Silver for the AMT Tweeters that are using the Vcaps. Waiting for delivery its a long way to the Asia. I will run this with Atma MA2 OTL Amplifiers.
Any outstanding reviews on a site/in a magazine other than TAS? I like their reviews, but given how much advertising Legacy does and how challenging ad revenue is these days, it's fair to look at the TAS with a jaundiced eye.
There was just a favorable review on Stereomojo.com. It's probably a very good speaker, but I tend to read reviews on that site more for a laugh than anything else.

Putting the reviews aside I can tell you I've heard them in person with a wide variety of my own material in-hand on several trips to Legacy where they just let me listen for quite a few hours by myself and the AERIS were extremely impressive. The last/final design modifications with dual ICE amps in each tower (1 for each bass unit) and the downward-firing passive radiator with the latest EQs on the processor really blew me away. I read reviews as well and then put them aside and trust my own ears. My last trip was within this past week and over an above the fantastic sound and performance, I was able to see the 3 latest finishes (total black pearl all-around, rosewood with black pearl front baffle and Sapele Pommele/Cabernet) and can tell you the way they look is beyond simple description as well!

Dragon_vibe: I may have seen your XD pair; they pointed out a pair of XD that were being readied to go "to a gentleman in Asia..." when I was in the shop looking at Aeris and Whisper finishes. The finished XD they pointed out were stunning. I don't know if they were the pair you ordered but the pair I saw were worth they wait; they were amazing!
Note: The Sapele Pommele/Cabernet that I saw also had the Black Pearl front baffle. The combination was the most unique and beautiful speaker finish I have EVER seen at any price point...I grabbed a couple of photos as well.
I believe they are mine, they are otw to me now. Im waiting for the amplifiers too just ordered a pair of Atma Ma2 and will see how they sound with the MSB DAC.
Wow! It must feel like Christmas at your home very soon!!!!! Enjoy!
It does indeed They are not in Singapore, should have them in 2 weeks I guess. Need to pass it through customs which here its always a bitch.
I'll be hearing the Aeris is my system within 3-4 weeks as my build order is now in the queue; I'll let you all know once they arrive and are up and running. This will be one hell of a jump in the system based upon what I've heard to date and am very exciting about this upcoming change!
I got my Whisper, I done a A/B with the DSP and with out it and honestly I preferred the Tweeter and Midrange with out it. The Sound Stable was larger and more true to the source. Tried it with Silver Cables and Copper. Copper works best with these speakers.
I've been listening to a ton of speakers lately as I'm selling off everything and moving up. It's going to take awhile as I have a few full systems to sell before I can go forward. I've heard all the famous names as well as a ton of the newer companies. I had never heard the Legacy line, but found there was a local dealer here in CT. I hear the last versions of the Heil air mover and it was way too hot for my ears. Part of it was the amplification, but I heard the Aeris with all Classe stuff and was pretty impressed. It did most things right. I have three sets of Proacs , but have been most impressed recently by Vandy Treo's on up. The 7's are the best I've ever heard and that includes the 100,000 plus exotics I've heard. I like the Vandy 5CT better, but they are 8k more. Not sure that matters in this range, but they are substantially more. I like the Quattro CT better also as they are more musical and coherent. I think part of it was that I heard the Vandy's with both CJ, AR and Ayre electronics. I'd love to hear the Legacy's with the Ayreor AR electronics.
Legacy speakers I've owned over many models have always sounded best to me with lots of high grade copper so I definitely agree with what you have concluded. I am glad to hear your Whisper arrived....how do you like them overall? I got word my Aeris are being crated up this week so I am definitely looking forward later this month to receiving them an starting break-in...I'll keep you posted on the results.
I am still debating if its possible to use another Room correction device on the Woofer size to correct or use a Digital room Correction systen to avoid the ADA Process.
dragon I'm not sure if I understand your reply.
Ctsooner...if you are listening at AudioETC in Orange CT, I knew them well and bought some great Classe gear from them when I was living in central CT. They are a great shop; I am glad to hear they are still in business. What Classe gear was driving the Legacy's? For the FocusSEs without any correction (-2db high-end trim switch) or with the Aeris or Whisper without any contouring of the high-end with the processor, the Classe's very revealing high-end may have needed a bit of tweaking with those rooms and the new tweeters. Would like to know more....
They are in New Haven now. Great guys. They carry Hegel, but didn't have it in stock. It was the Aeris and top line Classe. It sounded really nice, but not in the Ayre Vandy league for my ears. Not even close when you listen carefully. I listened to the Vandy's for hours and never got tired. I liked the Legacy's, but hated last years HF driver unit. Hated it. Way too much energy on top. The new one sounds really nice, but I didn't feel it integrated perfectly with the bottom end. The Focus's were paired with Rotel separates and they were nasty. I couldn't listen as my ears were bleeding. I love NAD for that range I guess. Marantz too. HATED Rotel. I used to love it, but no more, wow. I've heard them on B&W's too and hated them. I heard the Diamond B7W there and they were ok. Nothing special, especially for the price. I think you can get way more for your money with a smooth top end and everything else a speaker should do. I think the Vandy Treo/quatro and 5's blow all the Legacy's out of the water for my ear. Ayre is the most tube like from the mid's up with controlled bass that I've heard in a solid state unit.

Liking those AQ cables too.
Depends on Taste and music and also depends on the room. The Whisper are one of the best images you can get. The mid range is very revealing the new High frequency driver is smooth and clear. It really depends on amplifier and cables on how well the mids and tweeter are tamed. Tried it with silver cables and the midrange was too forward, too revealing to the point of getting headaches and the top end energy was too sharp. Changed it to Copper and it was so much more relaxing the changes are so easily noticed on the whisper its very sensitive to cable changes and upstream electronics.

Legacy recommends using a DSP processing to control the high frequency cut off points and delays. I tend to stay away from DSP to avoid the extra ADA process. I like it much better with out the DSP in my room which is heavily damped.