Legacy Focus HDs

Lust received and hooked up my Focus HDs. Upgraded from the 2020s. Wow! I was worried because I loved the 2020s but yes these sound better. Any harshness in the highs are gone. The mid drivers are excellent and brought the mids to more accurate. The bottom end is still there but more accurate and well defined. No more bass issues. Very pleasing to listen to. If anyone has been scared to make the move to the HDs-Dont be. If you like the 2020s you will love the new HDs. Email any questions and I will be glad to try to answer them. Oh-The fit and finish is also better and the hardware such as binding post are a big upgrade as well. Good job Lagacy.
Glad to see you took the plunge. If you are impressed now, wait until you burn them in about 300 hours. You'll be amazed at how they mature and how everything gets even better. They are an entirely different speaker in terms of bass attack and decay (and transients), imaging, musicality, etc.....
I hope they are worlds better in bass, my dad had the 20/20 and did enjoy them for a few years but the Vandy Quatro left them aadly in the dust... in all areas by a huge margin.
If they are as good as new owners say thats great, but they had a long way to go.
Tried to edit but could not. Wish my eyes were as good as my ears.
I meant Good Job LEGACY.
Sorry for the mistake in spelling.
I think the 2020s are great but these HDs are just greater.
Ears of the beholder. I doubt we all hear the same or like the same things we hear. Or we would all want the same speaker. Speakers are very subjective. Take this from someone who sells them for a living.
I am interested in the HD's myself, I wish I could listen to them. Funny I read Chadnliz comment on the Quatro. I have Vandy 3 sig's now and I really like them but I want something I can crank up the volume without fear of harming the speaker. I just listened to the Quatro yesterday and I must say I wasn't real overly impressed by them. I fealt they had no bass. They imaged nice and they were nice sounding speakers, but my 3 sig's and old school Velodyne ULD II Sub seem to have better bass authority. Could be the system I was listening to (VTL Preamp and Ayre 300W mono blocks with alpha-core cable). I listen mostly to rock, and I find if I crank up a pinkfloyd concert DVD (for ex) I bottom out the midbass drivers when I turn up the volume. So I would like to haer the Focus HD.
I dont know if you heard a properly set-up Quatro but when my dad swapped out the Legacy for the Vandy it was like he had real bass for the first time, he can listen much louder as the Vandy doesnt shout at you and the bass is tight. My dad really liked the Legacy, but found it hard to come to terms of how bad they were compared to the Vandy.
You would think the Legacy bass would dance circles around the Vandersteen with its larger drivers but we both always felt the Legacy started sounding stressed at higher volumes, the bass just got sloppy and the mids and tweeters were very aggresive, they were fed with 300w Classe mono amps so non arguement about quality power.
I would like to see you hear another pair of Quatro only to confirm you must not have heard a well setup pair, with the bass tuning I find it hard to believe you thought they didnt sound good but this hobby is very subjective.
Maybe the new HD trounces the old Focus but I doubt it is a super huge step up, my dad thought he was serveed well by the Legacy and still does.....but the Vandy was just better... also better then Wilson Sophia wich he thought about buying.
I'm not saying they sounded bad but remember I'm compairing them to my set-up. I haven't heard a Legacy speaker, but I'm interested in them. I will say I love my Vandersteen 3 Sig's. Read my system drescription about when I auditioned amps. I pissed this guy off because I said his $25k speakers sounded like crap and the bass was muddy. I run my 3A's with McIntosh MC-501'a and Preamp is AR Ref II MK II, so equipment my have something to do with it. But they were set up right, the store that sells them has carried Vandersteen since they first came out and Richard frequents his store from titme to time. We listened and played around with them over an hour, we had the store to ourelves. I just wasn't sure how much improvement I can get from them. Sometimes I like night club sound and I fear the Vandies can't take it. What kind of music do you and your dad enjoy. I like lots of rock for the most part. But I have added the Quatro's to my list and like to hear opinions on them, but no two of us are the same...
Where are you located?
Well with your love of Rock maybe Legacy will please you, the Vandersteen wont play at those levels, I would look at ZU speakers seeing how you like high volume from time to time.
My dad does not play any rock ever, Classical, Opera, Jazz, World Music is his style, but I play rock on his gear when I am there and able. But I know wich recordings sound good so I only travel with my best selections.
I'm located in WA state. I listen to more types of music now but opera I just can't listen to. Classical is fine but not knowing much about it, it's hard to know what was a good recording. I mostly listen to rock and have a bad habit of playing it loud from time to time. Problem is some rock is so poorly recorded it doesn't sound good no matter what you do. I listened to the quatros at Advanced Audio in Tacoma WA. We even played some vinyl and it made me want to get into vinyl again... just more $$$$.. It's just that when we played Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon (on vinyl) it didn't have the punch and authority like when I heard it turned up on some Martin Logan Summits. The Summits actually impressed me allot. They have 2 10" powered subs built in also. They are more efficient than the Vandie's, you should give them a listen. For the type of music your dad enjoys, I would say he made a very good choice in speakers.
I still own Innersound Eros Electrostat hybrids wich are the same as a Logan minus the curved panel and Powered woofers (Innersound are passive 10in) but my dad doesnt care for that huge wall of sound.
The Summits are the best yet from ML and a pretty good value for the money but stats get old after awhile, atleast mine did, a friend in our audio club has been runing them in his system for over a year now and I visited them the other day, funny thing was I couldnt figure out what I really liked about them....go figure.
Take a look at VMPS they offer alot of what is great with Planars and fast stats but have always been known for killer bass.....I own the FF3 SRE with outboard crossover.
The only thing about Legacy is they are a "hotrod" in that I mean they are always ready to getty up and go but sometimes they lacked the finess you crave with multiple musical taste. I agree 100% about rock music being very hard to get too picky about as it is almost always crap recordings, the guy I talked earlier about has $10K PassLab mono amps, a near $10K Sota table with SME V arm and so on, and when he plays rock it almost seems silly to have all that money wrapped up into playing the crap the spit out of the recording booth....loud compressed garbage.
Yeah, that is what sucks about rock recordings but vinyl does help that. Never heard that about the stats, but loved the imaging and the way treble and simbles sounded. The summits have good punch. I remeber VPMP's from years ago, big huge 15 driver speakers. The speakers are much smaller in size now but pricy. They started by making kits. We had a co. in Seattle called SpeakerLab. They used to make some decent stuff years ago and you could get them in kit form. I went through a tour there when I was in Electronics school. Our teacher was a tube audio fan, he had quite the system back then. I looked at those ZU speakers, strange looking and almost to good to be true. I would think they would be blaring with horns and full range speakers. Sure would like to listen to them, they sound like they would be quite impressive. It's hard when you start getting quality stuff, but most you CD collection sounds like crap. My friends give me crap because I listen to different stuff more for a quality recording. I have this Boz Scaggs CD that just sounds incredable.. Dave Matthews, Sting, Mark Knopfler all sound good too.
I hear no Harsh sound from the 20/20's tweeters. In fact, just the other way around. They are one of the most relaxed speaker Ive ever heard! The 20/20's are the only speaker Ive ever heard that sounds close to a magnepan/logan sound, but with more dynamics, full range, and easy to drive.

Ive compared my focus 20/20's to tons of other speakers in my own home. As some have read, I buy about 1 pair of high end speakers per month, listen to them for a while and sell them again. In A/B comparisons, you would be suprised at what you hear.
I waited an entire year before trading in my original Focus speakers (purchased in 1998) for HD's. I just had a hard time believing anything could sound better than what I had.

I have put about 50 hours on the HD's and they sound fantastic! I can't wait for them to burn in at 300 hours! I always thought 50-100 hours was all that was needed.
You'll be very happy with what happens with this speaker at the 100, 200, 250+ burn-in marks. What speakers did you have before? I had the Focus 20/20's and was extremely happy with them overall; the HDs are a world apart (better) in terms of every aspect of their performance. I still have them and will not be selling or replacing them!
I agree that the 20/20's weren't harsh, but neutral and leaned slightly warm if anything. Hifiman should look at "other things".

I had the original Focus speakers which I purchased in 1998. This was before they changed them to the Focus 20/20. Legacy Audio took mine in trade for the HD's.
Another 6 months and 6 pair of other speakers in my home, still nothing better!

I heard the HD's, Im not sure they are better then the 20/20's, but there also not any worse as well. Both are great speakers with there own sound. Listen to both, grab a pair. You wont be sorry. At 3k used price, you cant beat them. You cant even come close, thats how good they are.
Well I have about 300 hours on the Focus HD's and they've really come into their own. They really sound great once you burn them in!

Steve,....glad to hear that! These speakers continue to make me very happy with all types of music.

Hifiman, Steve, et al: How many feet apart, how many feet from back wall, and how much toe-in did you find works well for your rooms? I am considering experimenting again with speaker placement and was curious as to your setup...

Speaker placement was my biggest challenge. I will take some measurements and let you know. Until recently I was making minor adjustments everyday. 1/4 inch here and there made a big difference in stereo separation and bass. It seemed like one day the left speaker would be more pronounced so I would adjust and balance them. The next day the other speaker would be more pronounced.

I think I figured out that my probem was of an eletrical nature and not the speakers. At the moment they are perfectly balanced and I am amazed at the big stage presention!

They are in a big room say 17x28 with a cathedral ceiling.
For general edification, I just last week upgraded to the Silver Edition of the Focus. Quite a satisfactory improvement in many respects. I enjoyed the rosewood finish on the HD, but the black pearl of the SE is appealing and looks suitably hard core/extravagant in my HT.

I have a very simple philosophy regarding upgrades: If you can't hear the improvement in about the first five or ten minutes, much less first minute, then it's not that much of an upgrade. Just as with the HD version, it took about ten seconds to realize that this was something special.

It took approx. 30 seconds to reach the firm conclusion that the SE is a large jump in performance from the HD version. All continuing listening has reinforced that assessment. Particularly the bass is more substantial, better impact and depth as it reaches 16Hz. I was a bit concerned over the possibility that the treble would be a bit "biting" with the silver internal wiring, this was unfounded. It's actually more pristine and delicate.

In time I will likely write up a short addendum to the HD review on Dagogo.com, and I would do so not for any quid pro quo incentive, but purely because I am enjoying the sound and want the community to know about it.

The other review which I point people to which was undertaken of my own initiative and I am still using the equipment out of sheer enjoyment is the twin Pathos Classic One MkIII review. These amps sound voluptuous with the Legacy Focus SE and source under review not yet revealed.

Steve: Thanks for the info on your room setup and for measuring your speaker distances, toe-in, etc...please let us know what you have.

Doug: Thanks for the early opinion on the SE speaker. I look forward to your revised Dagogo supplement on the SE. Let us know when you post it....
Zephyr, they are 7' apart, about 4' from the side walls and about 2' from the back wall. I'm not sure how to measure toe in but it's not a lot.
Steve: If you are able, try to pull them out from the back wall 3-5 feet. Depending upon your room, you may find what I did that this improves the sound stage in all dimensions and deepens/sharpens the bass, etc...In short, these speakers love breathing room. FYI, toe-in is usually measured albeit informally, in degrees...According to various people I've talked to and my own results, a good toe-in is approximately having the super-tweeters aimed at a spot directly behind the listening position though I'm not sure this is the only way to set them up so they sound great. This arrangement works well for me here but results may vary depending upon your room, imaging and staging preferences, etc....

I would love to pull them out but I have a wife to keep happy. Maybe I will see if I can eek out another 1/2 foot or so.

Why do the super-tweeters need to be aimed at a spt directly behind the listening position? I assume you mean aimed at my recliner? What is the benefit of this.

It may be my imagination but I seem to get less bass when I angle them more. I would say they are aimed to the left and right of my chair. Just a slight toe-in.

Could be your room and what works best. Having them angled to L and R of your chair does aim the speakers approximately where I was referring to (behind the listening position) but at an angle that works great for your location.

You reviewed the Cambridge Audio 840c. Have you tried it with the Focus HD speakers? If yes, how did it sound?

Yes, Steve, I did spend extensive time with the combo of the Cambridge 840C and the Focus HD speakers. They are wonderful components together. The Azur is an excellent player at the price, and the Focus HD an excellent speaker at the price - and yes, they do meld together quite, well... nicely!

Considering that personal tastes vary, I found them to be highly compatible, and would not hesitate to recommend them to be used together. Via amp and cable selections I think a vast majority of people purchasing those two would be able to assemble an immensely satisfying rig. I especially appreciate the "Digital In" feature so much that I purchased a second 840C for use at my office. Both of these proudcts are packed with value for the audiophile, and they both perform very well.

I have been experimenting with the use of Digital cables as ICs in order to add warmth to Redbook playback. I have more testing to conduct with different digital cables to determine if the added "warmth" is an artifact common to all digital cables or if it is only with the Wire World Gold Starlight that I am getting such a pleasing sound. I didn't find the Cambridge treble to be harsh or etched, but use of the Gold Starlight digital cables as ICs has improved many components' sound by adding a wonderful golden glow much like a fine tube amp. I found it was especially helpful with putting a touch of warmth in Class D amps' performance.

I would enjoy discussion of this if people have two identical digital cables and would care to comment on how they impact the sound when used as ICs.

I am fully aware of the "inappropriateness" of using digital cables as ICs, but I like experimenting and once in a while an amazingly good sound will result. In some set ups I have enjoyed the digital cables over even balanced ICs.

Anyway, I highly recommend both the Azur 840C and the Legacy Audio Focus HD as highly affordable products with excellent performance. If you are considering purchasing either I suggest you read the reviews of them so as to be familiarized with their idiosyncrasies and virtues.
Doug, I ordered the Cambride Audio 840C. It replaces my Rotel RCD-1072, which was considred a great player when it was introduced in 2003 (and still is). I only hope the 840C will stand the test of time like the Rotel did.

The 840C is a very good unit, and I hope you will enjoy.
I have very much enjoyed having the "Digital In" function as I can stream audio to the player's DAC. This is, imho, what will save cdp's from the scrap heap - at least for the next few years. Eventually, my guess is that any player which does not have that feature will find little accommodation among the audiophile community. I'm seeing more players with that function, so that's a good sign. I use Sonos currently and I find the sound to be very respectable when fed into the Digital Input of a cdp's DAC.

I have Sonos and the 840C set up both at the office and the listening room (to be clear, the 840C is not the primary/reference cdp in the listening room; it is my "budget reference" player), and I have an Azur 840C both for Redbook playback and Sonos signal treatment at the office. It's a very enjoyable arrangement.
I didn't receive my 840C because the dealer got busted for selling them at too low a price. Cambridge Audio wont ship any more units to him.

I own the Rotel RCD 1072 and it's quite a machine for the money. They are introducing a replacement next month for $995 and Rotel has a reputation as an over achiever with cd players. Is it possible that Rotel armed with more current technology, could introduce a cd player that would be equal or better than the 840C?
Impossible to answer based on the information; a head to head comparison would be the only way to know. The rotel should be a pretty good transport; you could consider adding a dedicated DAC. The Cambridge DacMagic is supposed to be very good for the money. You'd want to find a very good digital cable that suits you. It would likely give you a very good result for a resonable investment.
Doug, it unfair of me to ask that question since neither one of us know anything about the new Rotel CDP. I think I will anti up the extra money and go with the Bryston BCD-1. I'm still researching it but it's starting to sound like the right CDP that will work well with the Legacy Focus HD's. Thanks for attempting to answer my previous question!
Doug, the new Rotel RCD-1520 should be in the stores by the end of March. I talked to the head of the technical deparment at Rotel's USA headquarters and he has listened to the RCD-1520 and the RCD-1072 side by side. I'm told it's a completely new cd player and sonically better in every conceivable way. I've decided to wait. Thanks for your advice on the 840C!

I hope you really enjoy it! Based on the numbering system Rotel uses, it should be 29.5% better. ;)

Before buying the new Rotel I decided to give the 840C a try at home for a week. It was way too bright sounding for me. Elsewhere on Audiogon somesaid said it took a 300 hour burn-in to emliminate the brightness on the 840C. The only way to do that is buy the unit and hope for the best. You once told me if it doesn't sound good out of the box, it wont sound good after breaking it in. Did you find your unit to be bright?
Stephen, I think you made the right decision, as it is very unlikely that any break in effect would get the unit as "...way too bright," down to the level of warmth (lack of "brightness" you want).

"Bright sounding" is somewhat subjective, you know, and there is a continuum from tubby, "chocolate" sound to tight, technical sound. The Cambridge I found to be a pretty good compromise, with an emphasis on detail; yes slightly bright. A lot depends on the associated cabling and components going to the speakers. I am able to reduce what you'd call brightness quite a bit by placing two Digital cables in the system in place of interconnects. This will work in any rig. It's unorthodox, but it does a wonderful job of adding a rich, tube-like sound. The power cords are also very effective in moderating some detail/brightness.

I felt the unit was excellent as a transport and have used it with the Monarchy M24 tube DAC quite effectively. It increased the warmth dramatically, and with Digital cables was even more mellow sounding. I do like the detail that the 840C is capable of, and there are ways to make it less aggressive sounding. One DAC which has a very high degree of the tube sound is the Van Alstine UltraDac.

I still feel the Legacy 20/20's are the best speakers Legacy has ever made. Just my opinion. They dont image, and arent as revealing as some other brands, maybe thats why I loved them so much. These were speakers made for musicians. Blown away to this day. No desire to try to upgrade from these.
I am curious if anyone has compared these to the PSB Stratus Gold originals????