Legacy Classics and bottom end?

I love the top end of my classics but the bottom bass can be bloated at times. I have a Coda 300w / 600w into 4 ohms so power is not the problem ( I assume ). Has anyone bi-wired their speakers and had good results? I am looking at the Signal speaker wire. ( oh, I am using a Kimber cable built for legacy... kind like a 8TC. Plus.... do spades seem to do better than banannas? Any help would be welcome. I have checked all connections.... speaker wire is not near any power cords.
Bloated bass is far more likely due to speaker design and set up in your room than the effect of any other single component. If you're not confident you have the best set up, why not ID your speakers, the size of your room, and the present placement of your speakers and listening position and folks here will give you some feedback. If you try to solve this problem with cables you will get a broadband solution to a narrow band problem.

Good locking bananas and spades are beyond my ability to differentiate. If you can get a very tight connection spades are fine and cheaper. If you have plastic nuts on your speakers or amps I would use locking bananas.
Some of your problem may be system related ( sonic combo of electronics ), but your speakers have very definite problems internally. Changing cabling and electronics may help to reduce how obvious this is, but short of re-designing or getting rid of the speakers, you're always going to have to deal with this type of situation to one extent or another. Been there, done that and you can read my comments about it in the archives.

Probably the easiest thing to do would be to seal the ports as best possible and fill the cabinet up internally with either polyester fiberfil, acousta-stuf, acoustic foam or fiberglass. Changing the quantity and density will vary the bass transient response and extension to your liking.

It may initially sound like the speakers have "no bass" to you after doing this, but that's because you are used to hearing a massive amount of bloated ringing. Careful listening should instantly tell you that bass definition is improved and that bass notes actually do have "pitch". After a while, the drivers will start to produce more bass as they break-in further.

I know that others will say that this is "impossible" if the speakers already have many hours on them, but guess again. Due to the vented alignment, the woofers never really moved much. As such, their suspension was never pushed very hard. Sealing the cabinet causes greater excursion of the driver, which will alter the suspension as compared to what it was prior to sealing and stuffing the cabinet. Once this takes place, and you get acclimated to what more accurate bass actually sounds like, i think that you'll be pretty happy with the results.

The reason why sealing this cabinet works better is that most of the bass extension that the ported Legacy speakers enjoy comes from producing a huge peak in the upper bass region. By the time the output has fallen to the -3 dB point coming off of that huge peak, the measured frequency is quite low. While this looks good on paper in terms of printed measurements, it sounds like hell.

The main problem is that the huge peak is based on a complete lack of control, no damping and the sound reflects that. That is, it is very slow, indistinct and rings uncontrollably. There is a GREAT quantity, but the quality is phenomenally low. As i've said in the past, sealed vs ports is a matter of quality vs quantity.

By flattening the peak via killing the ports, and sealing and stuffing the cabinet, which makes the box appear physically larger and restores internal damping characteristics to the drivers, not only is sound improved, but so is extension. That's because vents fall off at a much sharper rate below resonance than sealed cabinets do.

If you have questions on this, feel free to either drop me a line or post your questions here. I would prefer to do things publicly if at all possible though, as others can share & learn at the same time. Sean

I can help.Legacy makes a bass filter to reduce bass.I have a pair. If you call them they might provide them no charge...I sold my Classics because I thought they were too bottom heavy,I now have a pair of Legacy Soundstage that have two sevens.a five inch kevlar and a ribbon and I love them!Please let me know if I can help you [or if you know anyone that has ANY Legacy stuff for sale.} Dave 513 616 7028
Hmm. I have a set of Legacy Classics, as well as a set of Legacy Signature IIIs, which are NOT ported.

I have the Sig IIIs bi-wired with Tara Labs RSC bi-wire, and the sound is pretty good, except that mine have the polypropolene mid drivers rather than the kevlar ones that came later. So, there is just a touch of mid-range ringing with vocals at high volumes. The bass is good and tight, but that may be more a function of the sealed box design.

I just have the Classics connected with some plain monster heavy stranded cable, not bi-wired. They do seem to have a lot of bass, but that may be largely a function of my only possible listening location(in that room) right against the back wall. I am interested in bi-wiring them with some better cable soon.

Interesting comments about stuffing the ports of the Classics. I would like to find out some more about that.
Sean..... what is "sonic combo"? Plus, If I shut off all ports can it damage the speakers? I have always thought Legacy could have built/ wanted > the Classic with 2 8" drivers. ( a Classic 8 ) 2 fast 8" drivers could put out a lot of bass and maybe not go as low.....add a sub to tweak the low end if wanted m o r e..... You are right about one thing... when you bloat the low end it smears bass detail and clouds what is above it.
By "sonic combo", i meant a combination of gear that adds up to a specific sonic presentation. In your case, it could be possible that your gear adds to the heavy bass that you're hearing.

As far as driver size goes, a smaller driver is NOT necessarily "faster" than a larger driver. This is a very common yet completely inappropriate belief. The "speed" of a driver is determined by driver mass to motor structure ratio, several different electrical characteristics of the driver itself and the bass alignment ( cabinet tuning ) used. While a smaller driver will typically have less cone mass, that's not always the case. Factor in that some smaller drivers have very small motor structures and they could still be "slower" than a bigger cone with a much stronger motor structure.

As a side note, some of the Morel and Dynaudio drivers use HUGE motor structures for their drivers with very lightweight cones. My Brother is using Morel's for his mids and woofers for this reason. His 9" woofers have 3" voice coils, which is as big or bigger than some 12's, 15's and 18's. To top it off, the cone mass on these 9's is about 1/4 that of the typical 10" - 12" woofer. If that's not impressive, the 5" mids that he's using share the same 3" voice coils. This is equivalent to shoving a built 454 into a Vega chassis i.e. massive power to weight ratio. While this makes for potentially excellent transient response, you can't get the extension that you want out of a woofer without mass. As such, he's using subs to fill in the bottom end that these otherwise excellent drivers can't provide. Sean
Besides suggestions that others have made above, I believe that bi-wiring the classic can help increase bass however will not correct a bloat type problem.
I ordered the Signal bi-wire speaker cable. Plus the whole set. Interconnects,power cords ect. I got one set of the silver interconnect. I thought I would try it between my cd player.
I own a Legacy Focus. I am using it with an Older Krell Amp KSA 250.
I am bi-wiring with Ridgestreet Audio Poemia Speaker cable which is a silver ribben type cable. It truly brings out the clear bass notes.

Of course the Legacy speakers will have to placed out into the room 3-8 feet from the front wall and be away from sidewalls by about 3-4 feet. Small changes towards the center and front and back brought the bass in tune.

But again, I have tried many, many speaker cables and the Ridgestreet poeimia is the best for me.
Legacy tower speakers have always suffered from room placement where the bass output is increased to a point of negitive. I have always woundered why they do not have one of the switches on the back "adjust" for what seems a common problem. They even made a Steradian unit to buy to do just that. But I think a simple switch (or 2) would be the best. No one I know who likes the Legacy sound has ever complained about the top and midrange. In fact.... this is why I love them so much. I have never heard any better. Bottom end> low/sub bass sound is the only .... non user friendly part. My Classics are 1997 issue and I would like to know if some new Classic owners have less of a bass issue. I also wounder if I may have some driver issues I am chasing? Plus.... what I have is not BAD.....just there. And as some of you may agree..... you just want it "right". But I have a new amp....ordered new cables, power cords and interconnects. I need time to set things up......give some "burn in" time for things to set.... and I will post an up date. Let me say this..... my room is big and my sound is almost there..... but almost is why we all strive for a great set up.
sean.... I plugged the ports. I called Legacy and they said it would not harm the speakers. I am going to give it time as you suggested. I have also ordered a burn in / work out cd to see if that will "speed up" the process.
The original Legacy 1's had a switch that controlled the upper bass region. This came into play at about 180 Hz if i remember, which was too high to do any good. Most of the larger Legacy's have a big peak centered at appr 100 - 110 Hz, save the Whisper. It is this huge peak centered quite high in frequency that makes them sound bloated. Then again, without that big peak, the speakers would not have anywhere near the extension ( -3 dB point ) that they claim.

Out of curiosity, what did you use to plug the ports?

As to the treble response, it isn't all that great either. Most of them have a large peak ranging from somewhere around 8 KHz to 12 KHz or so. The thing is, without this peak, the speakers wouldn't sound balanced due to the tremendous bottom end bloat. In effect, Legacy has built in somewhat of a "flying V" type equalization i.e. boosted bass and treble without having to use tone controls or equalization devices. This keeps the "audiophiles" happy because they aren't using "tone controls", yet they get all the boom and sizzle that they desire without having to resort to Cerwin-Vega's. If you doubt this, look at the Stereophile review of the Focus 20/20's and you'll see both the bass and treble peaks that i speak of. The Classic's, Legacy 1's and Signature's also share a similar bass peak with the Classic's and Legacy 1's sharing a similar treble peak. The Signature's are noticeably softer on top.

Some of the "sizzle" comes from their choice of drivers, oher parts come from how the drivers are mounted on the baffle. What i could never figure out is why Legacy would countersink ( "flush-mount" ) the woofers and lower mids but not the upper mids and tweeters, where it really counts. As such, one can typically help reduce the "shouty" treble response of these speakers by covering the upper baffle area with felt and double sided "hem" tape. Both the felt and hem tape, which can be found at any local fabric store. Simply cut the felt to shape around the drivers and tape it in place on the baffle. The improvements in treble clarity, imaging and focus should be instantly noticeable. Sean
sean....I pluigged the ports with hard foam. I have not had the "sizzle" you had or the flying V effect. What I do and have is room/speaker placement .... sub effect increase. If you remember the old B&W 801's they suffered even more than my classics......and for total sound the classics "to me" fit my liking. My classics do have a bass switch. But not one I think is "enough" of a change. I love my speakers and I am only talking about a 5% "desire" to make them "right for me". Plus I have never been in a high end home or store. So I am limited. I do use Genelec near fields and adjustable sub in my home studio. I have also been to a high end studio. So I have some "idea" what I am after. I also think? sub sound 80 and below are a pain to fine tune.
Take a thick wool sock, ball it up and then completely wrap it up in cellophane wrap aka "saran wrap". Shove this into the port with the open side of the saran wrap firing out of the port. The thick foam that you are using will only change the port tuning, not seal it. The saran wrap will act as a more efficient air-tight seal and the sock will provide enough mass to keep the woofers from forcing the seal out of the port via internal pressures. If you don't get it wedged in there tight enough though, the pressures within the ports can launch the plastic wrapped sock out of the ports much like a cannon launches the load placed within it. Sean
I have been using a Classics for about 6 months now. The bass in my situation seems tight and deep. They have been updated with the newest crossovers. I have never found the bass bloated. It is reasonably quick and tuneful. Cable is a biwire JPS superconductor and I am powering with Manley amps @ 60 watts in triode (KT 90 tubes). I have found solid state with these speakers less to my liking. By all means turn off the rear facing tweeter-I think it really degrades the soundstaging. It might be workable if it had a volume control like the Von Schweikert VR 3.

Placement & room acoustics I think is the real key. I have mine almost 6 feet from the back wall and 4 feet from side walls. I am fortunately able to do this in my listening area which is carpeted and fairly large (16' X 22'). This placement results in a deep soundstage with excellent imaging.

Is it possible the room is just to small for the speaker? Is the abundant bass overpowering room acoustics?
Entrope brings up a good point, but in kind of an indirect manner. That is, specific rooms can really compound specific loudspeaker non-linearities. That is, placing a speaker with large frequency response deviations in output inside of a room that happens to create peaks or dips at the same appr frequencies can really bring such problems to the forefront. Even if the room itself doesn't reinforce the speaker response deviations, certain speaker placements within the room itself can do so.

Not to harp on the subject, as i've already pointed this out amply in the past, but different Legacy models have been shown to demonstrate large bass peaks in different reviews as conducted by different magazines in different testing facilities. The fact that the peaks are almost identical in amplitude and center frequency tells me that this is part of their "house sound" rather than just some random coincidence.

The fact that all speaker designers know that a speaker of this type will be used in a room, and all rooms share some similarities in terms of bass reinforcement, tells me that the speaker is either purposely designed for this type of response or is a highly under-designed product. To top it off, Legacy also offers their Steradian processor, which is meant to deal with bass related problems, so they must at least be aware of the situation.

By blaming the room for what is basically a speaker design problem, they can get away with selling an expensive add-on accessory to those that crave a more linear output and make even more money at the same time. Obviously, this is just my point of view, so take it for what it is worth. Sean
Entrope..... I am glad you like your classics. Sean has a good point. They may not be "user friendly"to some. But the fact remains that there are hundreds if not thousnads by now, people who love the products. I prefer the Legacy "sound" over the B&W. Or at least what I have heard. But that is taste an opinion.I am not qualified or have the "ear" to tell people what they will like. I am aware of the "room effect". Look at all the products for this. While some will blame the "speakers" the same goes for Amps, cables, players ect. The quest for finding "the sound" in ones "room" is what fills these pages of comments. I think..... building a home system to taste and liking is sometimes a case of ketchup on eggs. It's 2005 and I have yet to read a review where the "holy grail" of sound playback has been achieved. Plus, all this starts with a mic pointed towards a sound and then recorded and mixed and mastered. If one has not done any recording, then the choice of ALL that equipment is another topic. ( long too I might add.....LOL!) I am not going to "falt" any one product or brand.
I was surprised by the strong split in opinion over the Classics. Reviews are generally good but there are some very negative opinions on some chat sites. Legacy was on my list to try as when it was trade in time. The Classics were very affordable used.

I find the sound very much "front row", crisp and quick. Vocal harmonies sound particularly good. Great soundstage depth and imaging. Sean's tip about the sourrounding the tweeter with felt was helpful as I have found the highs a little hot on some recordings. Marble platforms also have helped in the clarity department. Well-we know about the bass. Mids are excellent with tube power.

Again I am fortunate to have a large fairly dead basement pretty much to myself to a listening area. It is nice to have intelligent chat rather than mindless flaming. Hopefully, Sean's fixes will work for you.
Entrope: While i'm glad that my comments led you to better sound and greater enjoyment of your speakers via the "felt trick", most everything that i post here is not of my origin. That is, i'm simply passing on insights and tidbits of knowledge that others have shared with me, either in person, over the internet or phone or in some form of printed magazine or book. As i said in another thread, i only know what i know because i've made a lot of mistakes in the past and have tried to learn from them when i could. If what i've learned can help others avoid specific and similar pitfalls, i'm glad to help. Just don't think that i have all the answers, as i only have about 10% of them. On the other 90%, i'm a bloomin' idiot. Just ask my girlfriend : ) Sean
I saw this old thread and thought I'd contribute something I have learned about the Classics' bass. Like the author of this tread, I thought my 1998 Classics were a bit bloated. After tightening the loose screws on the woofers, it helped, but not enough. I biwired, and that helped too, but not enough.

I next tried biamping, which so sweetened the top end I didn't care for awhile about the low end bloat. As luck would have it, my Proceed preamp allowed for stereo sub output, and allowed the crossover to be set at 120z -- thus matching the Classic low crossover point. Assigning my upgraded McCormack DNA 1 power amp to driving bass alone helped tighten the bass too, yet I still wasn't happy.

Next I wondered if dedicated wiring might help. I had been using high end MIT cables for all, but now decided to use it only for mids and upper range. After some experimentation, I reasoned that silver for the bass end might help tighten things, and so tried Signal Cable Silver Resolution, and wala!!! the bass tightened very significantly, and I noticed no synch problems from using different cables for lows and mid/highs. Thinking a cable with more silver might be even better, I tried 12g pure silver Wegrzyn Silver Slams, but I lost the quickness the Signals provided. I suspected skin effect rendered the thick silver sluggish.

For months I lived happily with that set up, but being an avid jazz listener, I eventually missed the bass "weight" that Silver Resolutions sacrificed to get its quickness. Hmmmmmm, what to try. I wondered if thick, flat copper, like that found in Analysis Plus cables might help, and since a pair was selling cheap here at Audiogon, I tried them. Sure enough, they added bass weight, but I totally lost the quickness of the Silver Resolutions.

And here's where the best thing happened. I'd ordered the Silver resolutions with banana plugs, and the Analysis Plus Oval 9s were spades; the posts on the for bass on the Classics of course allows for both spades and bananas, so I hooked BOTH the Signals and Analysis Plus cables to the bass-end set of posts, and then to my McCormack.

All I could say was "wow" when I heard it. Just the most effortlessly quick and weighty bass I'd ever heard from them. And now, a year later, I am still completely thrilled with them. The only thoughts I've had is trying Oval 8s if I ever see a bargain. Also, I'd like to try silver ICs between the preamp and McCormack someday, but I've been so impressed with Audio Metallurgy ICs I haven't felt the need to change.

Good luck . . . I think the Legacy Classics are great speakers for the price, and with the right wiring can be brought around nicely.
Looked at my posting back on 2005 on this thread.
My system has changed completly.

What I still believe is the Focus bass can sound boomy or tight , just depends on the cabling and speaker placement.I was able to dial it in with much trial and error.
Probably the same for the Classic.