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RMAF 2018: Legacy Audio and Raven Audio; two to tango

KEF R Series

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“Get ready for the new Raven Audio”

Like peanut butter and jelly, I can’t think of a finer synergy in hi-fi on display at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Legacy Audio loudspeakers have defined American design and lineage for several decades, but when the most recent years have gifted us the pairing of Legacy speakers and Raven Audio tube electronics, we’ve entered an era where the Legacy and Raven performance value now have to be considered legendary. Consistently one of the best exhibits in my audio show memory, a Legacy and Raven exhibit room by itself is still be worth the cost of admission.

The Story

The new Raven Audio production facilities are up and running at full-speed down in south Texas. With that, the Raven Audio product line is expanding and refining as we speak. On static demonstration at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest — and new for 2019 — the Avian Series Mk3 of integrated amplifiers, models include; the Nighthawk Mk3 (starting at $2,695 USD), Blackhawk Mk3 (starting at $3,595 USD), and Osprey Mk3 (starting at $4,595 USD). The Avian Series Mk3 features updated circuitry, new high-pass subwoofer output, new output and power transformers. Most exciting is the high-pass subwoofer feature, the high-pass filter provides advantages when using a subwoofer. It removes the bass frequencies, to free the power amp from 65% of the musical load it normally has to bare. It is like tripling the power of the amplifier in terms of its ability to drive speakers. It also frees smaller speakers from reproducing low bass frequencies which can reduce speaker distortion. This is all achieved with a gentle 6db per octave slope making it easy to achieve a seamless and musical transition with any good quality subwoofer. The Nighthawk and Blackhawk models are 20wpc amplifiers, while the Osprey operates at 30wpc. All three models are due to begin shipping in mid-December and are currently available for pre-order on the Raven Audio website. For me, having access to the Raven Audio sound for under three-large is a highly tempting offer.

The Sound

Legacy is still riding high on a wave, or better yet — the Wavelet DAC / Preamp / Processor / Correction unit. That truly is a mouthful of duties for one box to hold, but the Wavelet is the next step in true digital decoding and analog manipulation. As our dearly departed John Stancavage reported just last year (read HERE), you’ll see that what Mr. Duddleston aims to achieve with DSP correction is nearly a revolution in audio.

As for the sound of the display, it’s been a while since I’ve sat with the Legacy Wavelet in a system, but the last time, it was their flagship Legacy V System. This time around it was the Legacy Focus loudspeakers, which also are not small by any means, but still seem physically dwarfed by V System. The music was cooking — and why wouldn’t it — with 325 watts per channel of Raven Audio Shaman series mono-blocks supplying the fuel, this massive room was no challenge for the Focus speakers. Bass was quick and solid, high dynamic extension was smooth and uncolored. Mid-range tone was where the system really shines. Guitars and vocals have a ring to them that regardless of how many times I hear a Legacy system, I am pleasantly surprised by it.

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The Systems

System A: Legacy V System in Premium Rosewood Black Pearl – $51,500 USD
– Legacy Wavelet DAC/Preamp/Processor/Correction Unit – $4,950 USD
– Raven Audio Silhouette Mk2 Mono-block amplifiers, 125 wpc – $24,995 pr USD
– Raven Audio Spirit Mk2 300B amplifier, 26 wpc – $25,495 USD

System B: Alternating Legacy Aeris Standard Walnut/Black Pearl – $19,525 USD
& Legacy Calibre XD Cabernet/Black Pearl – $7,230 USD
– Raven Audio Shaman Mk2 Mono-block amplifiers, 125 wpc – $24,995 pr USD
– Raven Audio Shadow Mk2 Stereo amplifier, 65 wpc – $9,995 USD
– Raven Audio Silhouette Ref Mk2 preamp – $24, 995 USD
– Legacy Wavelet DAC/Preamp/Processor/Correction Unit – $4,950 USD

System C: Legacy Focus in High Cabernet – $13,975 USD
– Raven Audio Shaman Mk2 Mono-block amplifier, 325 wpc – $49,995 ea USD
– Raven Audio Silhouette Ref Mk2 preamp – $24,995 USD
– Legacy Wavelet DAC/Preamp/Processor/Correction Unit – $4,950 USD

System D: Alternating Legacy Signature SE in Premium Rosewood – $7,785 USD
& Legacy Studio HD in Premium Rosewood – $1,980 USD
– Raven Audio Nighthawk Mk3 integrated amplifier, 20 wpc, class AB, auto-bias, – $6,495 USD

System E: Alternating Legacy Silhouette SE in Premium Rosewood – $4,390 USD
& Legacy Array Soundbar – Price (TBA)
– Raven Audio Golden Eagle integrated amplifier, 75 wpc, class AB, auto-bias, – $6,495 USD

2 Comments on RMAF 2018: Legacy Audio and Raven Audio; two to tango

  1. Yes, the Raven Audio Nighthawk MK3 is only $2,695.00. The Blackhawk MK3 is $3,595.00 and the Osprey MK3 is $4,595.00. So you are correct. Thanks to Part Time Audiophile for such wonderful coverage!

    Dave Thomson

  2. Rich Garrad // October 26, 2018 at 9:20 AM //

    Something doesn’t seem quite right with the pricing on these items.

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