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