Legacy focus 20 20 speakers

I am thinking of buying a pair of the Legacy focus 20 20 speakers. I have heard many great reviews of them but also some that are so bad its given me pause to go ahead with the purchase. Some have critisized them as having poor build quality, (internaly) unmatched drivers, and muddy boomy bass. Has anyone had any experiance with these speakers that may help with my decision. Are the newer models the same as the older ones, or have they been changed in some way. thanks
When I worked there they used 12awg zipcord for internal wiring and not high quil. x-over parts, and no driver matching (but did start that when Allen Organ bought them, who in just in the last year or two sold the company back to Bill). I'm not sure if things have changed, my guess would be no but that is just a guess. I had a pair of Dynaudio when I worked there and didn't change that.
I have the focus 20/20 and couldn't be happier.Just a joy to listen to.People who claim the bass is muddy must not have them set up right.Have mine 2.5 ft from rear wall and 3 ft from sides.Even though they are efficient speakers,give them some juice to control those 6 12 inch woofers.Don't try running these with a receiver.Fit and finish is first rate.Are there better out there? Of coarse,but these will hang with the big boys in the under 15 grand arena.I will never sell these.The all around performance is great with any kind of music.So many times you hear this speaker or that speaker is great for only one or two types of music.Or good for music and not HT.These will please you in anything you throw at it.Highly recommended.
Thanks Cpk and Barone for your response. Cpk, your point about the company not matching their drivers caught my attention because of the companys following statement which can be found on their website. It is as follows. Quote "Only a handful of loudspeaker manufacturers take the time to carefully hand-match loudspeaker pairs. Each pair of LEGACY speakers goes through a lengthy, cumbersome process known as nulling. We will place a microphone equi-distant from each speaker, then feed identical pink noise to both speakers. One of the loudspeakers is intentionally connected out of phase. The goal here is to create the strongest cancellation possible. We then adjust the individual crossover components; turns are wound off inductors and resistors are trimmed. We will often improve the null by as much as 3 dB!" Unquote. Is this just a bunch of bull meant for the consumption of an ignorant comsumer? What was the reasoning behind your statement that they do not match drivers. Ive heard this mentioned before, so your not the only one with this concern.
Barone, thanks for your response also, I've read about so many people that love this speaker, including such industry experts like sterophile magazine. I wonder if the people not liking this speaker are haveing problems with room accustics that need to be resolved. When I built an addition on my house and moved my system into a room that was alot differant from the one before in terms of size and shape. The differance was like day and night. (alot worse unfortunatly) The bass response almost disappeared, what remained was boomy and unlistenable. I'm convinced that the accustics of a room can affect the actual sound of a speaker almost as much as the design of the speaker itself. It makes perfect sense if you think about it.
I used to own a pair of the original Legacies. I struggled for a couple of years trying to get the speakers to sound right in my dedicated listening room. A very capable friend who is also a high-end cable manufacturer looked at the guts of the speakers and remarked at the abundance of low cost, off-the-shelf parts. Even after several upgrades of resisters, crossovers, and added baffling I couldn't live with the Legacies and replaced them with a pair of Avalon Radians. A huge improvement. Despite my loyalty to Bill Duddleston and his staff (all very nice people who provide excellent customer support), I realized their products are far from reference quality. They make very dynamic speakers with a lot of Wow Factor but little refinement or finesse.
Legacy Focus 20/20 is a good speaker, my dad owned them for 6 yrs and I spent alot of time with them aswell but as soon as he and I heard the Vandersteen Quatro the Legacy were up for sale.
Vandersteen matches all drivers, has twice the bass as Legacy (it is worlds better) and time and Phase accurate with no fatigue that Legacy can give you... but Vandy Quatro's standard version isnt all that great to look at but IT IS ABOUT PERFORMANCE (my dad bought the Wood Quatro which is beautiful but comes at a premium price.
Legacy has many fans and my dad for a time was one of them but you need to hear the Quatro, is blows the Focus 20/20, HD right out of the water, it also has powered woofers and 11 band bass EQ tuning so they can be optimized to most any room...have a listen.
Their explanation of the process is accurate with the expectation of taking turns off of inductors. I did that process at Allen Organ in 1999 using an RTA and my ear to adjust loudspeaker pairs so that there response was similar. If you open up a pair of legacy's you will most likely see that the parts on each crossover are not exactly the same. This is the only loudspeaker mfg. I have worked for so I don't know if the practice is common but any loudspeaker that I have owned and opened up I don’t see this. If you take the time to closely match the crossovers and drivers you eliminate the necessity for this step. What happens though when you closely match drivers is your rejection rate goes up, in think Dunlavy’s was above 50%, this increases costs etc. Logically the closer matched your drivers are the better off you are.
You are going to hear stories on both sides of this issue, which is to be expected on an open forum like this. Beware of people with their own agenda that might not be as objective as what you are looking for. The smartest thing you can do is to find a pair used, try them in your room and see how you like them. It would also not be a bad idea to try to talk to Duddleston - it can be done - and ask him your questions.

I have had a pair of 20/20s over 5 years now and a pair of Whispers for three and have had no speaker problems whatsoever.

You are also correct, the room treatment is very important and should absolutely be addressed as early on as possible. My room definitely changed with treatments, for the much better. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the additional input everyone. A good point about people may having an agenda Fplanner2000. When theirs more emotion that usful information in their comments, it may be an indication of some kind of an agenda, either for or against the product. I guess my next step is to audition a pair. Whatever speaker I wind up getting, one thing is certain. I do need some serious room treatment. Any help in that area would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps some literature that could quide me. I know some of this stuff is quite expensive. Whether its warrented or not I have know idea giving my limited knowledge of all of this. Unfortunatly my desire for good sound doesn't see eye to eye with my wallet. If theirs any snake oil out there, I cant afford to find out about it the hard way.
RE: room treatment - I had very good luck with the folks at Echo Busters about 5 years ago calling their 800#. At the time they also offered a money-back guarantee if not satisfied - don't know if they still do that. Good Luck.
I have been biting my tongue on this thread since it started. I am pleased to announce that the first half of my review of the Legacy Focus HD is now on Dagogo.com - the second half will be posted on Feb. 15th.
Thanks for the Echo Buster info, will check them out. Anxious to check your review Douglas
Douglas, I have just read your first review of the lagacy focous hd speakers. I sense that comparing these to the legacy 20 20 focus is like camparing apples and oranges. Is there that much of an improvment between the two? Have you ever auditioned the 20 20's I'm looking forward to the second part of your review. The first part seemed to address the build quality and design aspects. I assume the second part will let us know what your ears have to say about them. I hope my system is, for the most part, able to bring out the best in these speakers if I get them. It is quite modest. I'm using a Hafler 9300 trans nova power amp, adcom gcd 700 c-d player, strightwire laser 8 speaker wire, and a yamaha cx-630 preamp.( I have an Aragon 18k pre-amp with seperate power suppy and the penny and giles volume control upgrade) Are you familiar with any of this stuff? will they so these speakers any justice?
Ghoeper, No, I have not heard the 20/20 or else I would have mentioned a direct comparison; I tried to be careful not to mislead on that aspect. I surmise that there is quite a difference in sound since the "transition" driver is eliminated, and a second true woofer added in its place. Bill made quite a point of the advancement of the 7" silver-graphite drivers over the Kevlar. The soft dome in the 20/20, which always caused Bill grief in its difficulty to adjust and integrate is totally removed, and an absolutely stunning sounding (IMO) mid planar element added. The Neo-ribbon tweeter is superb in delicacy. Because of these things I think the presentation would be quite elevated over the 20/20.

The second half of the review is really the marrow of the matter, with mention of the electronics paired with them. I think most audiophiles in the hunt for speakers will find that the most helpful aspect of the review.

The first part of the review is concerning design and the second part will delve into the listening experience. I put quite a bit into description of the sound in the article, so you should get a good feel for it.

What speakers are you using now? Impossible to say what your experience would be, unless I know what speakers you now have. Then I can most likely let you know what to expect if you change.
Hey Doug,

If you have the speaker there open it up, maybe they have changed since I worked there 7 years ago..
The speakers I'm using are the Altec Lansing 401. They are about 20 years old. Listed for about $1000.00 a pair new. They are a 3-way floor standing speaker with a 12" acoustic suspension woofer with a woven carbonfiber cone. The mid and high frequency drivers are 2" and 1" dome radiators. They weigh about 60 lbs each. When I first bought these speakers all of my upstream equipment really was garbage, including very heavy 12 guage speaker wire that you bought off a roll. Listening to anything at a high volume level was nothing less than an all out attack on your ears. In their present configuration you can actually get involved and lost in the music for some time. But after a while you still find yourself saying "okay, thats about enough of this" I feel they are the weakest link in my system at this time. What I'm looking for in a speaker is one that will be a big step above what I have now, one that my system will be able to give justice to it's capability's, and one that is good enough so that future epuipment upgrades will benifit from their quality. I really appreciate your time and input on this.
Even including my experience with the speakers which may have been changed, the Legacy's would be a big step up. They are pretty easy to drive, your amp should do fine; a couple of guys who worked in Springfield drove theirs receivers. Hopefully Doug will get back to us as if the internal build has changed it would be good to know.
Ghoeper, Ah, Altec Lansing. Man, I haven't heard that name in ages! Memories...Altec was one of the speaker brands that everyone knew back then. I'll bet a lot of Agoners owned them.

They've seen better days, and the technology is WAY better (on virtually all speakers)now. If they've served you well for two decades, it's time to reward yourself and get some contemporary speakers. You won't believe the difference in sound!

Your goal: "What I'm looking for in a speaker is one that will be a big step above what I have now, one that my system will be able to give justice to it's capability's, and one that is good enough so that future epuipment upgrades will benifit from their quality."

There are many speakers which can achieve that goal. If you're serious about the Focus HD's, while I must leave guarantees to the manufacturer's, let's say I don't think you would have any problem whatsoever in more than meeting those goals with the HD's. These speakers fit very comfortably in $30k rigs. So, you'd have some upgrade room.

If you get them here's what you'll notice, in general:
World's better treble, with far cleaner highs, less enmeshment of cymbals, triangles, and synthesized effects etc. Mids will be magical, extremely listenable and placed at a realistic height to be authentic sounding to the ears. Your gear is pretty strident, so don't expect absolute warmth. In fact, with your current gear, you will hear much more treble, but if it's too much for you the attenuation switch can be activated until you get some more forgiving components. However, as you progress in components the speaker will get more and more rich and captivating, and absolutely non-fatiguing. Bass will be intoxicating; far cleaner and fuller than the Altec. It would be difficult to get this degree of improvement in a speaker without spending much more money (possibly double).

Again, many speakers now can offer vast improvements over the Altec's. I have heard many excellent speakers. I do know that if you get the HD's, you're likely to think, "I've really reached it, the ultimate in sound." Not even close. There's LOT's of upgrade performance in them, even with $20k of components. I'll be curious what you end up doing. Make sure to post it on this thread.
CpK, no need to open it up; I toured the factory and saw everything - crossovers, wiring, etc. for the HD's. Yes, there is some clear 12Ga cable used on the harness and with the bass drivers. It's sourced from an audio cable manufacturer, not generic electrical cord. That cable internally and drivers he's using are working extremely well (I'll leave potential buyers to determine if I have good ears on this matter).

As I said, I didn't get a chance to hear the 20/20, but I'll say this, if Bill could get this sound out of the HD's using chicken wire, I wouldn't care (Well, ok, I would, but I'd really struggle because the parts would bother me, but the sound would be undeniable). As an aside, the drivers are matched. I have heard many speakers which boast pristine, perfect cabling and they haven't overwhelmed me. The HD's are just plain impressive, truly outstanding at the $7k mark. You'll see that I state similar sentiments in the review. I think that anyone who hears them on a good system, with $25k of components and cabling or higher, would understand why.

I had one audiophile in for a listen, and he thought they might be in the range of $20k. When I told them they were $7k he said, quote, "That's a lot of speaker for $7k" It's hard to remain objective when excited by a product. There are several outstanding speakers (maybe four or six?)in every price range. In my world, this is one of them (Anyone can think my world is weird and my perceptions horrible, but I leave it up to the pool of potential purchasers to determine if I am right).

Whatever Bill Dudleston is doing, my ears tell me he's doing things RIGHT at this time with this model.
Well Douglas, the first thing I'll probably wind up doing is auditioning a pair of these things. There's a dealer about an hours drive from me in NJ. Will probably wind up buying a pair. But all this is pending on what the second half of your review of them is like. If you dont like them I doubt I will even bother. If I do get them, I will certainly and anxiously tell all what I think of them. As for future upgrades, you'll have to be pretty patient before you hear about any of those. Being married with kids, one of whom just graduated from from The American Acadamy of Dramtic Arts and wants to be an actor, can take its toll on ones descretionary spending. Thats a pretty tough racket, he may need alot of help for a while. But who knows he may get lucky and strike it rich, than I can go out and buy the latest flagship speaker from Wilson Audio. In the mean time I'll continue buying most of my stuff second hand. Seems to me thats the way to go for me considering most electronics dont go bad or ware out like cars do. ( I think ) At least speaker cables and interconnects should'nt, If anyone knows any other good site's on line where you can find used, sorry, preowned audio gear, I would love to check it out. Thanks
They better be worlds better than the original Focus 20/20 to even compare to the Vandersteen Quatro, I doubt they have jumped high enough in performance.
What are the Vandersteen's going for
Ghoeper.... The drive will be worth your time.
I've heard 20/20 several times in different systems and it has always been a very musical speaker where you forget about the system and think only about the music. I've heard Vandersteen 5 and was drawn to the speaker, imaging, bass etc. The music was secondary. Both are excellent sound speakers, Legacy is my prefer from the two.

Ive gone to stereophile and read the review on the Vandersteens. They definatly think they are a great speaker at a good price. Will keep them on my short list if the Legacy's dont work out
I should have mentioned the Vandersteen's in the review where the Quatros, not the 5's
The quatro is surprisingly close to the 5A for alot less cash, and tho the Wood Quatro is closer to the 5A than the Quatro sock version it comes at a large premium price increase. My father auditioned the Sock version but bought the Wood and has decided not to upgrade to the 5A, he has the money but the are so closein performance it simply isnt enough of an issue to jump into the 5A.
Douglas, I read the second half of your review of the focus HD. You are obviously quite impressed with it. I intended to audition a pair but when I called ahead of time they informed me that they had sold their display pair. Would be getting a new pair on friday. (2/8/08) Was wondering, do these speakers need to be broken in for any length of time before they reach their potential? Or do they sound reasonably well out of the box?
Gheoper, You beat me to it; I was going to announce the second half of the article. I guess I did like them, didn't I? :)

Don't worry over the break in; you'll know if you like their sound or not when you hear them. I wouldn't make any purchase of a component based on hopes that it will sound better after break in. You need to know you love its sound as is, even if it never improved. Any break in would be bonus.
Douglas...A thousand people could tell me they were impressed with these speakers. But not knowing who they where, it wouldn't mean a thing. You on the other hand have owned and listened to systems that I could probably only dream of having. You giving them a thumbs up is pretty encouraging. "A bass lovers dream" you said. I am definitly one of those. When I listen to some music, I can sense that it's intention's are to be so huge and powerfull, that if you could put it on a scale, it would weigh in as much as the worlds oceans or mountains. But with my system, it gets trimed down to something more on the order of a fish pond, or hillside at best.
Ghoeper, I'm flattered at your compliment. (To the community: Seriously, I'm not paying this guy to say these things!) :)

Frankly, I haven't heard a speaker yet which has 8" bass drivers or less which has, as you so aptly put it, weighed as much as the world's oceans or mountains. While there are certainly other speakers which can do so more than the HD's, I've not seen many in this price range that do so. I certainly don't think the Focus HD's are fish pond or hillside quality.

Ever been to Lake Louise, Alberta? I have (I'm not Canadian; my wife is - er, was - she's a U.S. citizen now. Ironically, the day we went downtown to have her sworn in after she went through the long and somewhat expensive process of obtaining U.S. citizenship there were thousands of illegal aliens in the streets protesting, demanding they be excused from the law and granted citizen status. Needless to say, it left a very bitter feeling in our minds - not toward any specific individuals, but to the mentality that says, "We can defy the laws of a land, then turn around and demand we get all the benefits of citizenship.").

Anyway, Lake Louise is stunningly beautiful; a hanging glacier looks over a world class mountain lake, the sky mirrored in it's crystal clear surface. One can take in the beauty for hours. Can a speaker create an emotionally equivalent feeling of experiencing something of tremendous beauty in the sonic realm? If it can, it's a winner!

Re: Bass, this is a speaker which I have not felt the need to be benefited by supplementing with subwoofers. No doubt, it could be, IF the subs were extremely LF (as in significantly below 20Hz), and extremely high quality. The vast majority of even decent subs would actually muddy the performance.
Douglas, and Community... It is true, he is not paying me to say these things. (Interesting idea though) I hope by those comments the community doesn't think that the only opinion that matters to me are those of Douglas schroeder. What I meant was that not knowing the backround of a person can make it hard to know what their version of good or great is. It may be that the best listening experience they've ever had was through a pair of Fisher floor standing speaker's, the ones with those big ol 15" woofers. Of course they would be impressed with the HD's, even if they weren't any good. (By audiophile standards) So their opinion would not be of much value to me. Of course, I would imagine that most people with a Fisher quality sound system dosen't wake up in the morning saying to themselves "You know, I really have to get around to auditioning those $7000 Legacy's some day". I doubt many of them would have an opinion to share in the first place. So by that logic, the community could argue that I never could have been referring to them, and therefore, must have been referring to the community when I made that comment. I assure you I wasn't, my mistake. The fact that you belong to this community in the first place tells me you have an interest and therefore a knowledge thats above the average person. So I would consider and value everyones opinion here. By the way, I have nothing against people with lousy sound systems. Maybe they cant afford it, or it just isn't their thing. Either one doesn't make them bad people. I can certainly relate to the "can't afford it" part. Considering my first speaker upgrade took place at around the age of nine, (That was a beauty) and now some forty years later I've moved all the way up to the Altec's. Wow! With that kind of progress I could have been in Congress. Of course I always wanted to upgrade quicker, just couldn't afford it.

I can definatly understand your frustration with the imigration issue. Now it looks as though there will be some kind of immunity for those that are here illegally. It is a complex issue, but if they do that, it would be like punishing those like yourselfs who have gone through the trouble and expense of doing it right, and rewarding those who didn't.

"Can a speaker create an emotionally equivalent feeling of experiencing something of tremendous beauty in the sonic realm?" (You ask) Absolutly. Of course it depends on what your feeding it. It's the music that really creates the magic. Most of the garbage being written today that I hear on the radio certainly wont get me to Lake Louise, no matter how good the system. And I'm telling you if that stuff were the only music available for me to listen to, I wouldn't spend so much as $50 on a set of speakers. But no problem, there's loads of music out there that can take you to Lake Louise and wherever else you want to go, you just need a system that will allow it to do so. The greatest music in the world isn't going to transport you very far if your hearing it through a 1960's vintage Global, model GR-711, transistor radio. Don't get me wrong, I love my Global model GR-711 transistor radio, with metal grill, revearse painted plastic, and emergancy civil defense marking's on the dial. But it isn't going to get the job done.

Before I was made aware of the Legacy speakers, I was considering buying a Valodyne Digital Drive DD-18 Subwoofer, to deal with the issues I'm having with my lack of Bass. It probably would have done that, but at a cost of around $5000, and I still would be stuck with the Altec's. How great would it be if the Legacys, for a bit more money, could solve not only my bass problem, but the rest of the spectrum as well. Mind you I'm still aware of the serious room problems I have, and the benefit that better components will give me. I hope to give the Legacy's a listen this week
Just listened to the Legacy HD's. Used my own source material that I'm very familiar with. After 2 hours of listening, I wound up with mixed feelings about what I had heard. The bass for instance. During the opening passage of "Pictures at an Exhibition" there is some pretty hefty bass provided by the bass drums that the HD's handled extremely well. But when I put on Marrilion's "The Thieving Magpie" a c-d loaded with alot of deep bass, alot of it didn't seem to come through as well as it did on my existing system. (When I had a subwoofer) Did the HD's forget how to produce bass in between the "Pictures at an Exhibition" and the Marrilion c-d. Of course not. So what happened? Room acoustics? It could be they weren't set up the way they were meant to be. Not sure how fussy they are about that. The room was 12' wide and about 30' long. The speakers were about 2' off of each wall. The listener was seated about 10 in front of them. They were towed in so the inner side of each speaker was just visable. When I listened to the opening heart beat of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" I turned it up a bit to see how they could handle it. There was so much in the room that was vibrating, including the drop cieling, it was hard to concentrate on the sound coming from the speakers. These things could definitely move air and shake the room. Why so much of the music I played did not come through with the audible deep bass I was expecting, I dont know. Another critizism I have is in the upper region where some of the music seemed to come through as being a little hard, or strident. One example was a rather loud choral segment on one of the test c-d's I brought with me. I played it at a rather loud level, but soon turned it back down because it was somewhat irritating. Was the room to lively? The walls were all dry wall with some treatments. When clapping you could hear a slight echo, but it decayed rather quickly. There was a large on the wall tv screen in between the speakers. May that have had an effect on them? The speakers were broken in for about 100 hours. Is this enough time? Is there a proper or prefered way to break them in? Is there a wrong way to break them in? All questions I dont know the answer to. I am not giving up on these yet. I did hear alot of breathtaking sound coming out of them. And I've heard nothing but high praise for them, from well respected people and magazines that have heard and reviewed much better equipment then I ever will. There is a Legacy dealer in Long Island that I will at least call, and perhaps go out there to listen to their setup. I should also mention that the associated equipment at this audition was good stuff, but not extremely high end by any means. I should have taken notes, but if I recall it consisted of a Pioneer Elite C-D player, B&K preamp, and a Legacy monoblock Amp. Not sure about the make of the interconnects or speaker wire, but they seemed to be of a high quality. Of course it that doesn't mean they all work together well. If anyone can shed some light on this, I am all ears. If it really is a room environment issue. I would do whatever it takes to make them work. I was hoping I could audition a pair at home with the option of returning them if not satisfied, but the dealer said that really wasn't an option since they are a made to order speaker.
Ghoepher, looks like the Legacy speakers have not changed all that much from what you describe and my long term experience with the 20/20.........now try the Vandersteen Quatro and see what real bass and a speaker that doesnt bark at you sounds like..........you love them!
I hope a dealer is close enough that I can check them out.
I've been standing by on this one. But, I must chime in. I've never in 30 years of this audio journey heard any speaker that didn't benefit from a sub. Exceptions being Vandersteens or some other powered bass speaker and even most of them still need that last little bit of extra that only a sub can do. The sub just pressurizes the room a little better. It's not so much of what you hear but,what you feel. Now, I'm sure that in small rooms, with large speakers that some sub/speaker combos can be too much. I'll have to admit that my experiences have been in larger listening rooms (at least 17X 20). Also, in defense of the Legacy's that you heard, 100 hours is just the beginning for speakers. I wouldn't judge any speaker until they had at least 250 hours minimum. The bass is always,IMHO,the last thing to come around.
My room give or take is app. 18' deep x 24' wide. The cieling goes from 8' high at the front (speaker location) wall to about 12' high above the listener if he were sitting 12 from the front wall. I have plenty of room for speaker placement.
I wonder if the 100 hour break in period may be more like 50, or 40, or whatever because they weren't broken in properly. Perhaps the wrong material, or not played loud enough. Thanks
I agree with Chadnliz, that sounds about right...
Doug during your breif review history you keep a majority of what you review, and you love just about everything, you must be a manufacturers wet dream :)
I don't know that I would have liked the sound of that combination of components with the HD's either. The HD's will absolutely show you what's upstream.
Chad, you're just a bit off...

Try three purchases of reviewed components, and one of them was an upgrade (to the MkIII version) on the Pathos Classic One amps I already owned. The two items I purchased were speakers; Von Schweikert VR-4 SR MKII's, which were just recently replaced by the Legacy Focus HD's.

I purchased the Rega Saturn and Pathos amps full boatload price as a consumer prior to reviewing. Of my own initiative I asked the companies to write up a review for these components I feel are excellent.

So, you're only off by 88%, if you cut me some slack on upgrading the Pathos amps. :)
Chad, I'm guessing you look at the reviews and see "Doug Schroeder's Associated Components" and think I own all that stuff. I wish! I own only a fraction of all the equipment. The review components rotate in, and rotate out. The listing morphs over time, as it does for any reviewer. I try to keep the listing current for each review. I should probably shorten it to "Associated Components" to avoid any confusion.
Doug...curious as to what listening environment you had for the HD's. I noticed they are ported in the rear, and have read that they are designed to interact somewhat with the surrounding walls and such to achieve its goals. this it seems might make them particularly sensitive to room size and placement. Perhaps some rooms simply cannot accomodate them. I understand they should be 3' from back and side to any wall. This was not the case at the dealer where I listened to them. He said that he simply did not have the room to set them up that way. How sensitive do you suppose they are to its enviornment. What are your thoughts as to the break in period. (100 hours when I listened to them)
No I just knew so far you reviewed 4 speakers and kept 2, and now you replaced your reference speaker...that love affair ended fast! (actually I am glad it did as that choise always left me baffled)
I should have limited my comment to speakers and I am sorry, but you have A.D.D or something! I am equally confused about this Legacy deal and I bet a change will be in the near future as you will likely find a much better speaker shortly.............let the hunt begin my friend.
I built my room for specifically audio presentation. The HD's are three feet from the head wall and two feet from the sides.
The room is tuned and does not have brightness and reflectivity problems. If the room you heard them in had a lot of hard surfaces it would effect the experience.

My stance is this: If a speaker sounds very poor to you, then positioning will almost never "save" it or radically transform it. If it sounds mostly good, but off just a bit, then positioning can help it become outstanding. The speaker should sound so good to you that you don't have to worry over considerations/concerns about postitioning.

Truthfully, though there may be some environmental issues at work, I do not believe these would be greater influence than the equipment the speaker is paired with. I can't overemphasize that these speakers WILL reveal what's going on upstream and do so exquisitely. A rough source/amp will sound harsh, and a refined source/amp will sound pleasurable and smooth.

You seem not to believe me when I say that break in will not radically change the sound of a speaker. Do not expect vast differences, only extremely subtle - if audible at all - changes in the speaker after break in. Far too much hope is pinned on a speaker, amp, etc. changing from the audition experience. Don't count on it. I believe I have heard significant differences in performance in some equipment in my room. However, just the different environment alone between the store and your room will be more important than any break in effect.

As far as the size issue; The HD's are larger (185# each)than most speakers I have used in the room, but sound far superior. Actually, the ports are extremely small for such large speakers; the HD does not depend on huge help from ports to achieve its low end. The speaker honestly puts out bass similar to a subwoofer from its forward firing dual 12" drivers. As such they can be put a bit closer to the head wall without ruining the sound. I have had them as close as 1.5' from my head wall and the sound was fine. Not the absolute best, but absolutely better than average.

A great speaker can sound so/so with the wrong components, but no speaker will remake itself after break in. A speaker which will win your heart over will likely be able to do so right out of the box. If nothing stirs in you, even after hearing it with two or three sets of components, then you should move on.

The Vandersteen is a worthy speaker and should be listened to as well. If you hear them both with SS and tube amplification you'll likely have your decision on which one is right for you. They're both terrific speakers and excellent values.
The room my father had them in was similar to yours, a basement room but larger, 14X30 so he actually probablt had better placement than a more narrow room allows.
The Legacy speakers are not bad, its just that when you get out and hear other speakers you realize there are simply better sounding, smoother speakers with better bass. My father had them for 5 or so years and they served him well during that time but he like a few others I see step up to Legacy pretty early in the Hi-End game and then move on in time.........not unlike most but Legacy in particular appears to be a very attractive speaker that many begin their Audiophile journey with. That stands to reason as they are a great value and can really thrill.
Doug...The reason for bringing up the break in period was because the dealership seemed to think the initial hundred hours made a big difference, and would probably benefit from even longer playing time. Perhaps he was over stateing it knowing I wasn't totally satisfied with the audition.
You're forgiven; I have Reviewed five speakers so far, kept (purchased one), then after a year sold it and replaced it with one. Does that qualify me as A.D.D.?

I do not believe it is wrong, after a resonable time, to upgrade a reference if something more to my liking is found. I had to start somewhere with a reference, and I'm trying to move upward efficiently. I do not plan on flipping speakers or any other gear, but it would be foolish to not pursue what I feel is superior gear.

I have owned the Vandersteen 2CE's in the past and heard every model of Vandy, including the 5's. The decision to purchase the Focus HD was not made from ignorance of the Vandersteen line. As I said, it's a good brand.
Doug you and I have talked for a couple years and exchanged more then a few phone calls, my posts were more or less tongue and cheak but its hard to convey in type, you are a great guy and I wish you all the best.
Chad, I appreciate your comment, and no hard feelings. I guess I'm much more serious about reviewing than I was a year or two ago. It's quite a bit of work, actually. I have spent hundreds of hours on communications with manufacturers and distributors, research, interviews, writing and re-writing in addition to set up of equipment and listening sessions.

In some ways I'm not as carefree a listener as I used to be. It is true that when one reviews some of the joy is lost. It becomes more business-like. It's not just about having fun anymore, but trying to have some fun while working.

One of the joys of audio is the camaraderie that builds between enthusiasts. You and several others have been a joy to get to know.

I'm leaving off here for a while; two or three reviews are calling. They'll be good ones - full of enthusiastic rantings about how the equipment "blew me away" etc. ;)

By the way, I've seen the disgust that audiophiles express about such tired expressions in reviews and I work to avoid it. I don't want to become a cliche machine.
Ok Doug, happy reviewing, thanks for your input here. I'll drop in at DAGOGO now and then to see what your up to.