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RMAF 2014: Legacy Audio V is a stunner

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Logo - Blue VectorEvery now and again, your friends surprise you. And not in a “hey, is that a head in your fridge?” kind of a way. More in a “hey, did you just just add a president to Mt Rushmore?” kind of way.

That’s kind of how I felt in the Legacy Audio demo at RMAF this year. And it was the first system that had me babbling about “Best in Show.”

The Legacy Audio V is new. It’s also huge. And by huge, think of that Mt Rushmore reference. They’re big. The Whisper was always on the large side, but this speaker feels like it’s at least 10 feet taller. It’s not. It just feels like it. It certainly sounds like it. It’s b-i-g. Biggity big. Mr Biggerstein from Biggersville. Big.

This system did a couple of things for me. One, it dropped my seat somewhere in the first three rows of a concert. Two, refer to the last sentence. This is something I’ve found to be somewhat problematic with modestly sized systems. You want Diana Krall in your listening room? I’ve heard systems that can weave that illusion that quite compellingly. But an electrified Bob Dylan, a big-band like Basie or Ellington, or heaven forbid, a full-scale orchestra? That’s a much harder trick. It takes something different to pull that off.

Something like the Legacy V.

Like many of Legacy’s top speakers, V has quite a few drivers, including:

12” aluminum bass driver with a massive magnetic structure complemented by another 12” aluminum very low-frequency radiator which drives three 10” mass loaded pneumatic radiators. The result? Unprecedented excursion at the longest wavelengths with superior dynamic response. The V speaker system even shapes low frequencies into a cardioid pattern to avoid room coloration. The bass sections are amplified by the included 2,800 Watts of the latest generation of ICEpower® amplification …. The Legacy V is the first system to use the new dual 4” long Legacy AMT neodymium tweeters, arranged in a specially optimized post convergent array that masterfully presents treble which extends up to 30kHz.

The result is a system that can generate some of the largest-scale images I’ve ever heard, and do so with a huge sweet spot. There really were no bad seats in the demo.

At (a projected) $50k, it’s a big-ticket item for sure. That will get you the giant pair of speakers and the secret sauce, the Wavelet preamp/processor. This box is actually an 8-channel/4-way computer crossover, based on a Raspberry Pi platform, that’s doing to some rather complex math — it’s is responsible for time alignment, speaker and room resonance correction, and is also a high-end DAC with apodizing ability. Bill spent some time attempting to explain this to me, but I was completely distracted by the insanely real textures slapping and thrumming out of an upright double-bass. Holy cow.

Here’s the specs on the system:

  • System Type: Frequency and time domain optimized four-way directivity controlled array
  • Tweeter: Dual 4″ AMT Ribbons configured in post convergent array
  • Upper Midrange: Dual 6″ curvilinear with phase plug sonfigured in dipolar array
  • Midrange/Midbass: Dual 14″ Carbon/pulp, neodymium motor, cast frame, dipolar pattern
  • Bass: 12″ Aluminum diaphragm, Aura neodymium motor, sealed sub-enclosure
  • Subwoofer: 12″ Aluminum very low-frequency radiator driving three 10″ mass loaded pneumatic radiators
  • Low Frequency Alignment: Coumpund B6, B2 handing up to dipole
  • Freq. Response (+/-2dB): 16Hz-30kHz
  • Impedance: 4 ohm upper range
  • Sensitivity: 98 dB @2.83 Volts/1m in room
  • Recommended Amplification: Sub and bass sections are powered with 1400 watts of internal power, two external channels of 30 watts or greater required
  • Crossover: 80 Hz, 400 Hz, 3kHz
  • Binding Posts: 2 pair external binding posts, 2 XLR balanced inputs
  • Cabinet Dimensions HxWxD (inches): 72 x 18.75 x 19

At this point, availability is set for early 2015.

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About Scot Hull (979 Articles)

Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.