Legacy Focus SE or Magico A3


I am looking to upgrade my current speakers, and am looking at the Legacy Focus SE and the Magico A3 speakers, my amp is an Anthem P2 running through an Anthem MRX 520, my Phono stage is a VPI Prime going to a Parasound JC3+,  I also play CD's through a  Rotel RCD-1572, and I do not stream music. Would either of these speakers be a good match for my current set up or do any of you have any better suggestions for speakers at $10,000.00 or less. My room size is 20' X 32' X 8' tall ceilings.
alucard19
What are your current speakers, what are you looking to improve upon, and what sound reproduction characteristics are most important to you?

I am currently listening to Paradigm Prestige 95F speakers, and I am trying to get better clarity on the vocals and more separation on the individual instruments, I mainly listen to Rock and Blues music, I have a sub woofer so I don't need speakers that are heavy into bass. I also listen to moderately loud to loud music.
different speakers will not give you better separation of instruments I'm afraid... Improving your pre-amp/source will

Yeah, running $10,000 speakers through the preamp section of a $1400 AVR, even a good one, will be a huge bottleneck to your sound.  If it were me, I'd split the $10k to get both a good stereo preamp (that you can continue to use in conjunction with your MRX 520 for surround/movies) and speakers.  You'll get much better overall stereo performance than just adding $10k speakers IMO. 
I have a set of SE's. Love them . I tried a set of  Tektons DI's  and sent them back . And , we listen to them loud ( not always) and usually with mild rock and roll and jazz.  Just purchased a Marantz 8805 ( from a 8801) . I was happy with the 8801, but the adjustable sound correction looks like something these speakers might really like. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with them.  
I use the Legacy Signature III's. I know several people who use the Focus' ... From what I understand, the model that came before the SE is better sounding. Very efficient too. 

A'gon member Fleischer loves his Legacy Focus speakers. You might want to hit him up with a PM. He'd be happy to give you some guidance on which model to buy. If you can use the same model Fleischer has, it will save you a ton of money. I think they are going for around $2500 for a mint pair in a nice finish. 

How do they sound? I've heard Steve Fleischer's system several times. With the proper room treatments and specific tweaks, they sound like planer speakers, or point source speakers ... with much better bass and highs.

Good luck ...

Frank 
Alcurd, we sell quite a numberof high end loudspeakers in that price range, including the Kef Reference, the Legacy line, and the Paradigm Prestige and Personas.

The major issue with you system is the Mrx and the Rotel  You really do need to upgrade these pieces. 

The Prestige are actually really good, we do prefer the Personas and the Legacys over the 95 which are great punchy speakers but lack the subtitley in the highs vs the Legacys.

The Legacy sound is also very punchy with a smoother midrange and a bigger soundstage. The bass of the Legacy's is a bit on the wamer side the Prestige bass is a bit more dynamic and punchy. 

The Magico's tend to sound a bit more anaylitical and are less forgiving so if you are planning on keeping your existing setup stick with the Legacy's.

If you are on the East coast we would love to have you over for a demo.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Paradigm and Legacy dealers
I own the original Legacy Focus speakers. I have heard that the Focus HD is inferior sounding despite the higher quality drivers. The SE version is very similar other than the placement of the ribbon tweeter. The Focus has 3 woofers as does the Focus 20/20. The Focus 20/20 has a slightly more difficult impedance than the original Focus. Besides sounding better, the original Focus sells for about $2500/pair. It can be driven for rock and heavy metal with a 35 watt Yamaha CR-600 ($150) and sound great.

I mention this speaker not because it’s the best but because it provides me with a balanced sound with great detail like a planar or electrostat, wide soundstage, good imaging (with Shakti Hallographs), plenty of bass, beautiful tonality, quick transients (not as quick as a Magico) and dynamic (not as dynamic as a big horn system). It is revealing of your equipment and tweaks, so there is always an upgrade path to owning them. I used to own electrostats, big ones, for 20 years. Then I found out about the Focuses from my friend Robert Pincus. Steve Hoffman, Tom Port and several other friends own(ed) Focus speakers (the originals). There is a good reason for this and it wasn’t because we couldn’t afford a better speaker. My wife of 20 years thoroughly disliked my electrostats because they lacked dynamics, bass and required center only seating to enjoy them. She likes rock and heavy metal. The Focus and Signature IIIs were a perfect replacement for both her music and my music (opera, jazz, orchestral and earlier pop).

Also, Magico’s are more difficult to drive and you can buy 4 used pairs of Focus speakers for the cost of one Magico pair. I hope this helps.

P.S. Be sure that the Focus mid-range drivers have plenty of dacron or other dampening material behind the drivers; otherwise, they are brash and especially bad on brass instruments.  My pair needed a pillowsworth of dacron for the 4 drivers because the prior owner left the chambers bare when he rewired them.
I’m with Audiotroy in that if you were planning on keeping your current amps, I would steer toward the Legacy Audio speakers (which are also more efficient than the A3’s). However, if you’re prepared to do some more upgrading down the road, based on the qualities you’re looking for my pick would be the A3’s. However the Magico’s will expose the weak points in your system, being your amplification and Rotel cdp. But that’s ok. You could start with the A3’s, then save up for a good integrated amp such as a Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary, Audia Flight FLS-10 or Vitus RI-101 later on. You’ve already got a very good analogue front end.

In terms of other speakers which meet your requirement " to get better clarity on the vocals and more separation on the individual instruments" for rock & blues music, you could look at the Joseph Audio Profile ($9.8k). The Profiles only dig down to 39Hz, but you would be crossing over to your sub around 70Hz anyway. Another speaker you could consider as a mint, pre-loved option is the Devore Fidelity Gibbon X. The Gibbons have spikes, but no outriggers. But providing you don’t have young kids running around or an over-active dog, they’re fine. Msrp is around $16k, but they can be found used in minty condition circa $10-$11k if you’re patient. The benefit of those speakers is they’re both efficient and give you more amplification options, including tubes.
Audiotroy, I don't see where my Rotel is a weak point, just because a CD player does not cost 5K does not make it bad.Fleschler, I will look into the used Focus to see what is out there, I live in Illinois and am only about 2 hours away from the legacy factory, which is where I heard the Focus SE's, and was impressed with their clarity.Thanks you all for your opinions and suggestions I will definitely look into some of the other choices you have presented me with especially the Joseph Audio speakers, I have checked them out online but have not heard them in person yet.Please keep the suggestions coming, but as for my amp the Anthem P2 that is staying the MRX is in the process of being replaced with a dedicated preamp.

Post removed 
Post removed 
+1 Joseph Audio.  Some of the best imaging speakers available and well worth seeking out to audition.  In addition to the Profiles you should also audition the Pulsars just for reference if nothing else.  ProAc and Vandersteen also image superbly and would be well worth auditioning given what you're looking for.  Best of luck in your search, and enjoy the journey!

D2girls move on.

We are Anthem dealers as well as Paradigm and Legacy.  We are very qualifed to discuss these matters.

And actually we do not make recommendations based on price but on performance.

If a system is not throwing a big soundstage and is masking clarity that has a lot to do with the quality of the source and ancillory components

The Prestige image very well and are quite clear which points to better preamp and source and possibly cables.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Post removed 

If a system is not throwing a big soundstage and is masking clarity that has a lot to do with the quality of the source and ancillory components.

AMEN


Yeah, running $10,000 speakers through the preamp section of a $1400 AVR, even a good one, will be a huge bottleneck to your sound.

Totally Agree here.

@alucard19 Good advice from fellow Audiogon members.

It appears your heart is set on changing your speakers...despite this, I encourage you to keep an open mind regarding the recommendations from members to consider replacing your components prior to your current speakers.

A 10K investment in amplification or an integrated with DAC will pay off now and in the future if you choose to upgrade speakers then.

If you move to higher quality speakers your current setup (even with minor change-ups) will likely be revealed to an even greater degree (NOT necessarily for the better).

That 10K investment paired to your current speakers will pay off much more significantly in terms of musical quality and enjoyment.

All the best, whichever way you choose to go.
@bigkidz I agree with your first comment, and somewhat with your second. However to be fair, the OP did say in an earlier post -“..but as for my amp the Anthem P2 that is staying the MRX is in the process of being replaced with a dedicated preamp“.
@david_ten Thanks for your generous words, though I have to respectfully disagree with your suggestion to spend the budget on amplification in lieu of speakers for a couple of reasons. Firstly as I eluded to in my previous post, the OP has plans to add a dedicated preamp in the near future. And secondly, I agree with Paul Mcgowan’s approach to system building, and that is to “Build around your speakers”

I subscribe to the view that since loudspeakers have the greatest influence on the sound of your system imho, you should generally spend more on speakers than your amplification, them look for an amp/amps which has good synergy with your speakers, followed by front end, cables etc over time. it’s all about synergy!

Now here’s the thing; the OP expressed that he is unhappy with his current Paradigm speakers, noting “I am trying to get better clarity on the vocals and more separation on the individual instruments”. Could you get that through better amplification and/or a different CD player? Maybe. But I would suggest starting with the speakers, then the OP can evaluate how his upgraded amp setup sounds before considering any other changes.
D2girls..............

Why do you constantly attack the Audio Doctor?   Since you have never been to their establishment, your rude and nasty comments are speculation at best.  It gets tiring with you bashing almost every post they make.  Please learn to play nice or simply go away. 
Let it be known that price does not equate to performance, except at the high end. To better the Focus speakers, I’m looking at $50-60K for Von Schweikert VR55, Einstein and Luminwhite Kyara (also all high efficiency speakers). The Focus will save you big bucks now and can be used with most good amps. As to CD players, I have two, a $6K EAR Acute and a $150 souped up Pioneer DV05 DVD player (twin lasers) which has 6 big new capacitors and a high end A/C cable. The Pioneer sounds 98% as good as the EAR. Shocking. Just ask Oregonpapa about his unit. So, it’s not so much about the cost as it is in the execution of the product and the equipment’s complementing each other. I don’t know about your Anthem equipment sound, but you have a good analog front end. Even Focus SEs used are about half price and probably just as big a bargain.

From a personal perspective, I would not own a Magico speaker and probably not a Wilson. I don’t care for their sound and power needs either.
I auditioned Paradigm's Prestige 95F and found them to be too "brassy" and lacking in the lower end bass. I also auditioned a variety of speakers including the Elac Andante AF-61s, the Goldenear's References, Focals,  B&W 804s and 803s, the Magico A3s, and  ended up ordering the Magico A3s. I have not received them yet. I did not considered the Tekton Double Impacts, despite reading numerous positive reviews, because of aesthetic and size considerations.

I belong to the "old school of thought" that believes that the most critical components in an audio system are the transducers: the speakers that produce the sound, and the ears that receive it (unfortunately, there isn't much that we can do about the later). 
Post removed 
I would not own Tekton Double Impacts because it is noted in reviews that it has a small listening area.  I often have guests (including my wife) and I want them to enjoy the music as much as I do.  It is one of the reasons I sold my electrostats and bought the Focus and Signature IIIs
The Anthem P series of amps is very well built and can basically drive any impedance speaker, check out some of the reviews and you will see that they do not cut corners on quality and are a very dependable amp.
d2girls we are talking to you earlier  because you are the one that is casting aspersions  on our character.

We do not recommend components just based on price, in fact we have frequently recommend products that are less expensive than some of our other products such at the Quad S2 monitors which are a $1,000.00 pair of monitors which we think are very competitive to another brand of $1,500 monitors we also sell!

We list prices on discussions because far too many people get discouraged about being able to afford gear and then by knowing the price it may be helpful for those people to know where in the scheme of things this particular product lies or the other part of that discussion is to show how for example an $18k T+A intergated amplifier has been compared to a $120k worth of CH Precision gear which helps to show the kind of value the T+A gear is even though it is expensive compared to the other uber class products it is being compared to.

As per the Anthem STR we never said it isn't good, what we have said is that is has a clean, detailed and punchy sound which is drier then the Micromega M100 which has a much warmer midrange and so we tend to prefer the Micromega, however, according to our rep the recent firmware improves the sound of the STR we haven't listened to it yet with the new firmware

As per Anthem we display quite a lot of it including the MRX receivers, the AVM 60, we have an older MCA 50, as well as the STR integrated amp and the STR preamplifier, and matching amplifier. 

We have said that the STR integrated is a very fine piece, but matches welll with warmer speakers and people who  crave a more neutral sound. 

We have also said that the Anthem STR separates are way better and are a huge improvement over the STR integrated and considering we have both sets of gear in the same room makes us pretty qualified to talk about both lines. 

https://www.facebook.com/audiodoctor1/photos/rpp.122499304489958/1766584860081386/?type=3&theate...

However is a product that is more expensive such as the T+A gear with the PA 3000 HV integrated which is an $18k integrated vs the $10k separates, better yes it is considerably better.

You have to experience a product like this to understand there is a naturalness to the sound of a product like this that most of the less expensive but good and capable gear just hints at but doesn't deliver.

Perhaps you should stop in for a visit and listen in the exact same room all of these components. 

https://www.facebook.com/pg/audiodoctor1/posts/?ref=page_internal

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ, 
Let it be known that price does not equate to performance, except at the high end.

IMO, this is not exactly true.  The price has really nothing to do with performance.  Since I build components (DAC, Phono, Preamp & Amps), what sets mine apart is the build.  For example, my power supplies are 25 to 35 lbs, even for the DAC.  We have compared it to many higher priced known and not so well know manufacturers.  If you know what to look for and understand how parts have an impact on the sound, the normal manufacturers are not using the parts that I use.  You won't see capacitors like Dueland, V-Caps, Jupiter or Vishay, Caddock, Shinkoh resistors in any of the high priced units even when they are priced at $25K and higher.  So I ask you, do they use custom wound transformers and chokes?  So what does that higher priced component get you?  I am not saying that they don't sound good, some of them do, but once you understand how the total sum of the parts comes together, then you really have not heard the potential from your components IMO.

Happy Listening.   
You have to experience a product like this to understand there is a naturalness to the sound of a product like this that most of the less expensive but good and capable gear just hints at but doesn't deliver.

"...just hints at but doesn't deliver"  +1

Very well said, @audiotroy  
Much of my equipment is custom built using NOS tubes, NOS capacitors, silver solder, NOS transformers (Altec/Peerless 1568s), NOS subminiature tubes. etc.  It is difficult to duplicate the quality and sound of many of my gear's components in my main audio system. 

However, for the video, I'm cheap and using a Yamaha CR620 with ADS L620 speakers, custom cabling from GroverHuffman.com, stillpoints, SR red duplex and an Omega E-Mat on the circuit breaker panel.  Unbelievable deep bass from this setup and quite dynamic too for a Sony SBR x940d 75" TV.   
Neither. Get the new Revel F228Be. Same price ~ $10K
+Joseph Audio, go listen to your music run thru a dac, spend some coin on room treatment (if you haven't) and cable it up right.  
Enjoy!

melbguyone


the Audia Flight FLS-10 is a beautiful piece. Have you test driven this amp in your system?



Happy Listening!

@jafant It is an very well designed & immaculately built amp with plenty of power on tap. Though personally I think the Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary is the better looker and equally nicely put together.

I haven't listened to the FLS-10 in my system, though I got to hear it recently in my friend's system. I've also heard the flagship Strumento amps in a familiar room which sound great at their respective price points. The FLS-10 gives you a taste of the Strumento's sound at a fraction of the price, and is has enough power to drive all but the most demanding load (eg: Magico Q5, Apogee Scintilla 1 ohm). The FLS-10 sounds a bit like the Classe CA-2200 (ie: clean, smooth, detailed), but also has a bit of the warmth, richness and flow of the Strumento amps. If you need a lot of power, it is an easy recommendation.
I'll add one more vote for Legacy Audio, particularly since you're so close to Springfield. I was there a couple of months ago and Bill had several extremely nice sets of Focus' available, and seems to regularly have a good selection from trade-ins. Most importantly he makes sure they are working "like new" and stands behind used ones like they're new. SO much better than other used options, even from good dealers.

For all of you out there talking about upgrading cables all of my cables are Kubala-Sosna cables, so I don't think I'm lacking in that department.

Thank You - melbguyone


I wonder if Audia Flight has U.S. dealer/retailer representation?

The power specs do look impressive. I would be interested to learn more about its 2 ohm stability.  Happy Listening!

Sorry folks but I'll stick to my 325wpc Anthem P2 that is stable all the way down to a short (o ohms).Also I'm not looking for an integrated amp I much prefer a power amp and separate preamp.
Also I thought this was about speakers not amps.
Actually I'm looking into a used pair of the Magico V-3 that i have found locally through a dealer here in Illinois. I will be auditioning them next week at my house to see how they sound with my current system.
jafant

The Audia Flight distributor in the US is Paul Manos in Boston.  Great guy also owns a B&M store.  

[email protected]
Post removed 
A3 is a very good speaker but the Focus SE hands-down is what I would choose. It will fill that room with great music, bass that will astound you, great imaging, etc....the low frequency spec is definitely accurate as your spine will tell you with the right material :-)
@zephyr24069 Yeah the A3’s have impressive bass output for thier size, but there are limits. It’s pure physics that a speaker with 2 x 7” mid bass drivers and 2 x 12” bass drivers is going to move more air than a small floorstander with 2 x 7” bass units. The Focus SE is a very good speaker btw. My friend replaced his Inifinity Renaissance 90’s with a pair of SE’s upgraded with Aeris AMT drivers & was very happy. That said, I think he’s moved on from the Legacy speakers since.
Legacy Focus SE... definitely!  

They sound very close to the Aeris, which is pretty well the best sound available at any price.

No contest.
Thanks to every one at this point that have given me suggestions, as I have said I only live about 100 miles from Springfield IL, and I will be visiting the factory again in the next couple of weeks to reevaluate which of the Legacy speakers I can get the best deal on that will fit into my budget.Please keep listing other speakers until then that I might listen to in my area of the country.
I know this is an older thread, but what did you finally decide on alucard?
I recently purchased a set of Focus SE's to go along with my BAT-VK75se's. Can't wait til they arrive!!