Legacy Audio: The V


#1

Over the years I’ve had the priviledge to know several High End Audio Designers and become fans of their products. Of course Paul McGowan, (betcha never heard of him) is one. Another is Bill Duddleston of Legacy Audio in Springfield, IL. Mr. Duddleston has been designing and building speakers for over 30 years and is at the apex of his game. I’ve owned several pairs of his speaker systems, the Helix, Focus SE, Extreme HD subwoofers, and am a big fan of Aeris and Whisper. Many of his designs are considered some of the best in the world today by reviewer and audiophiles alike. I don’t know if Bill and Paul have ever met, but they do share at least one of the same philosophies that is providing products that real people can enjoy, own, love, and are affordable compared to much of the products in High End Audio Land.

For the last three years Mr. Duddleston has been designing and building a brand new speaker that I believe is SOTA. It is called the Legacy Audio V. I’m not going to include all the details here. I’m just providing a link to the Legacy V website. But I had an opportunity to hear this speaker myself a few days ago. I can tell you they are in person one of the most beautiful looking speakers that I’ve seen. In some ways like the Aeris if you’ve seen or own this speaker. So far no pictures I’ve seen capture the style and grace that these speakers possess. I’m not sure why. But believe me once you see them the old, “I want a pair” hormones kick in big time. I will say they stand a slender 6 foot tall and are finished in a combo of gloss black fronts, rosewood back and sides, and are trimmed with a beautiful aluminum and copper highlights. The pictures don’t even come close to reveling the beauty of the aluminum. Perhaps the camera flashes make it look bright and shiny. It isn’t.

Here is the video link: http://legacyaudio.com/backstage/blog/watch-legacy-v-speaker-preview/

Here is the description from the Legacy Audio as for as the components go. http://legacyaudio.com/products/view/v/

One of the critical parts of this speaker is the Wavelet processor. This processor serves as a time aligned 4 way crossover, DSP, preamp, and DAC all in one. It is the brain child of Mr. Duddleston and a co engineer and close friend in Sweden, the head of Bohmer Audio. To set up the speakers one positions them in a likely spot, attaches the custom microphone, place it in several spots in the room, and presto it sets up the speakers and configures them to your room. One can use all of its features or in most of our cases, we can use our PS Audio Perfect Wave Directstram DACs.

Now for the sound.

As I said I’m very familiar with other Legacy products like Aeris, Focus, Helix, and Whisper. I’d say the V sounds like the best of Aeris combined with the best of Whisper. And then magnify that about five times. We used an Oppo 95 as a source, the Wavelet, and CODA CSX amplifiers.

Vocals: We played lots of Diana Krall. In a word wow. She was in the room. I’ve had the opportunity to hear her live. The Vs reproduce every subtle, sultry, playful, sexy nuance of her voice. With 3d holographic precision. Muddy Water’s Folk Singer is also a favorite. It is amazing to me how great this recording is. I would consider myself very familiar with it. I’ve never heard the detail and subtle shadings in his voice before. Uncanny.

Whenever we played a CD with several artists singing together one could here each voice in its own space and then hear the voices as they blended together harmonically. The V unraveled mass instruments just as well. One could pick out an instrument during an ensemble follow it, and never lose track of it with the other instruments and voices.

Jump-factor: SOTA here. While Mr. Muddy was playing his guitar and hit the strings I was jumping every time he popped a string. No system I’ve ever heard has had that effect. I can hardly imagine what it would sound like in a dark room.

Wow, there are many other things I could say but I’m running out of time. If you have a question about the speakers or their sound I’ll do my best to answer them if there is any interest.

Paul, if there is a speaker that can compete with the IRS built today the V may be it. You should check them out if you get the chance at one of the Shows. Your meeting with Bill Duddleston would indeed be a meeting of some of the most creative souls in audio today.

Hope you all enjoy.

Good listening,

Steven

P.S. Lord help me, I’ve got the itch to buy a pair.


#2

Stunning speaker, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to hearing more about then after you get them :).


#3

Steven, I heard these at length at this year’s RMAF. I’ve heard the Aeris many times and also at length, but in this first listening of the new V I honestly thought the Aeris was better. I didn’t find the V was as clear and natural sounding. It sounded a little “processed” to me.


#4

Thanks to this thread I got in contact with Legacy Audio speakers for the first time. Since they were not distributed in Germany I went to Chicago (Axpona) to hear them. To make a long story short: I met Bill Dudleston, his daughter Victoria and their sales manager Doug Brown in Chicago, listened to the V, the Aeris, FocusSE and SignatureSE.

Since beginning of August I’m the official distributor of Legacy Audio in Germany. On the first weekend of October I will present the Aeris and the SignatureSE at a hotel show for the first time in Germany. After that event I will use the Aeris at my home for demonstrations to prospect customers.

After 16 years with my Genesis 2.5 I have found my speakers for the next decade.circle-of-hearts-smiley-emoticon_gif


#5

Congratulations!


#6

A big +1!

Very nice speakers.


#7

41_gif41_gif41_gifFantastic choice. The Aeris is one of the few speakers I’d consider as a replacement in my own system - and congratulations and good fortune with the new venture!


#8

Thank you.

From now on I´m saving money for adequate amps. Since the Aeris have build in amps for the bass and a sensitivity of >94dB in the mids/hights I believe I´m good with the BHK250. If I only had never read about the (much?) better performance of the monos…


#9
sgrowan said

One of the critical parts of this speaker is the Wavelet processor. This processor serves as a time aligned 4 way crossover, DSP, preamp, and DAC all in one. It is the brain child of Mr. Duddleston and a co engineer and close friend in Sweden, the head of Bohmer Audio. To set up the speakers one positions them in a likely spot, attaches the custom microphone, place it in several spots in the room, and presto it sets up the speakers and configures them to your room. One can use all of its features or in most of our cases, we can use our PS Audio Perfect Wave Directstram DACs.

I'm interested in using the Wavelet for my Revel Studio2 speakers. If I don't use the built-in DAC, how will the Wavelet work with my Directstream? Will the Wavelet do the room processing in the digital domain, and then allow the Directstream to do the analog conversion?

#10

Interesting idea. I have a Wavelet as part of my Aeris system. I haven’t thought about using it before the DS, mostly because, even with the DMP, most of My playback is direct through the Bridge. The Wavelet outputs 24/96 digital vis Toslink and SPDIF. I don’t know if the signal chain you are proposing would work, but based on the Wavelet section in the Aeris manual, I think it might. I would not find this bandwidth sufficient for a lot of the music I have, but you might love it.

I would reach out to the folks at Legacy and ask. They are great people.


#11
mtseymour57 said

I’m interested in using the Wavelet for my Revel Studio2 speakers. If I don’t use the built-in DAC, how will the Wavelet work with my Directstream? Will the Wavelet do the room processing in the digital domain, and then allow the Directstream to do the analog conversion?


I checked in with Legacy about a year or so ago and learned that the Wavelet processor apparently won’t work as a stand alone unit with other speaker systems. From Doug Brown at Legacy:

" At this time the Wavelet can only be used for Legacy speakers. Perhaps in the future there will be a version that works for other brands."

It might be time to check back in with Doug. I would encourage you to as well. Maybe, with enough interest, they might produce a unit for “the masses.”

dbrown@legacyaudio.com

Regards,

Scott


#12

Actually if I had the money the Aeris would be my fiirst audition. The one thing that I was concerned about was having to use the Wavelaunch or the Wavelet was the extra digital conversion, I would rather stay in the analog domain.

But, I have never read a review that mentioned it, in a negative way.


#13

I second Scott’s suggestion to reach out to Doug. Good guy.

And to Jeff’s point, I go back and forth about the analog/digital domain. The Wavelet is not my first DSP [DSPeaker, DEQX Mate, snd some others], but it is easily the best, the simplest to use, and the one I have enjoyed the most, both in its execution and results. Of course, one really cannot compare the sound of an Aeris or V without the Wavelet. It’s an integrated system, and while one could I suppose swap another active crossover in, you still would have a hard time comparing the speakers in such a way as to isolate the sound of the Wavelet in and out of the system. And nearly impossible to A/B/X its DSP effects on SQ.

I will say that I am very happy with the Aeris. The Wavelet was a huge improvement over the Wavelaunch. The BHK preamp and monoblocks were an excellent upgrade. Going all-ICONOCLAST was another. The Aeris just keeps getting better. I had toyed with swapping up to a V, or even the ML Neolith or Sound Lab. But having listened to some of these and many others [not always in ideal settings, I will grant you, and I still haven’t heard the V], I found them all enjoyable, but not compelling. That “gee whiz, I gotta get my ears in front of those” feeling after reading reviews and promos fades with a real demo. The Aeris punch above their weight, and my system is exceptionally well tuned. For now, until PSA releases the AN-1—at which point I will probably get on a plane to Boulder—I am very happy with the music my speaker system makes. And I listen to it now more than ever. The speaker/room correction of the Wavelet is the critical element of that success.


#14

Ditto to all the comments about Doug Brown.

You may want to check with the manufacturer of the Wavelet to see if they have other applications available now. IIRC, they were working on other applications but not sure where that development now stands.

http://www.bohmeraudio.com/J345/


#15

Interesting coincidence that Boomer calls its primary product the PerfectWave Preamp. coffee_gif