Legacy Audio Focus Floorstanding Speakers

Focus

3 12-in woofers, 2 7-in midbass, 1.25-in mid, ribbon tweeter

User Reviews (121)

Showing 1-10 of 121  
Donald Eaton   AudioPhile [Jul 27, 2013]

I have owned the Legacy Focus for 20 years (1993-present) The bottom line: very disappointing in claims, quality control, build quality and internal components, including drivers and cross over parts and most of all, performance. These are a very poor value. Claim: subwoofers built by Eminence to Bill Duddleston's spec. Fact: they are stamped steel frame off the shelf Eminence Eclipse W1238R that sell for $61.00. The so called transition woofer is also the same Eminence Eclipse. The ribbon tweeter that is supposedly Audax is actually marked Aura made in Japan. Could not identify the dome tweeter. The Etons were genuine. There is no evidence of Cardas wire. Inside the speaker is a mess: sloppy unfinished surfaces, magic marker on crossovers. No foil inductors, no metalized polypropelene capacitors just low grade stuff. After I owned the speakers for a while I noticed the woofers missing half the mounting screws. I drive these speakers with a McIntosh MC 275 50th ann. or Anthem P-2 amp and Anthem D2 processor with an Oppo 105 for source. I have had total freedom to position them at the best spots and they sound OK but not high end. Since I just finished constructing my second pair of monitors with Scan Speak Revelators, my wife said "the ones you made sound better than the big ones" (read Legacy Focus 20/20). That caused me to go into the guts of the Legacy and see what was in there. It was reviews like the one in Stereophile magazine that led me to purchase these speakers. Having just read it again I get the impression the reviewer was naiive and did not probe deep enough. I can't in good conscience recommend these or any Legacy product unless they have dramatically improved their quality. I consider myself to be reasonable creditable as I am a retired Navy Rear Admiral, an Engineer with a masters from George Washington University and retired professor from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA I flew A-6 Intruders in Viet Nam and directed all logistics support for Navy and Marine Corps Aviation until I retired. I recommend that all who have written here, take another look. I think mendacity prevailed in the brochures, reviews and interviews that pertained to the Legacy Focus.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Aargonaut   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 24, 2012]

Price paid: $1800 from Van Nuys Pawn Shop

Equipment:

HK ST-8 Turntable (Linear Tracking - Rabco Arm)
Pioneer DV-578A Universal DVD/SACD/DVD-A Player
Carver C-1 Preamp
HK Citation 16A (Upgraded diodes in Power Supply)
Legacy Audio Focus Speakers

For the several detractors of these speakers, I refer the reader to the stereophile review of the next generation of focus speaker

http://www.stereophile.com/content/legacy-audio-focus-2020-loudspeaker

One reviewer below said these speakers sound "boomy." In my opinion, this is because these speakers produce an amazing amount of bass. They are essentially a subwoofer with 3 - 12" woofers combined with a large satellite unit. They are solid down to the bottom octive. I'm not in love with Diana Krall, but I picked up a copy of her "Best Of" album. Audio stores love her because (I suspect) of her clean, if less than exciting, female vocals combined with well recorded "real" instruments. On "I've Got You Under My Skin," the upright bass actually appears to get stronger as it goes down the scale towards the bottom of its range.

The reviewer below also said he feels the midrange sounds like a PA. I understand his complaint -- there is a slight hollowness to the midrange which you stop hearing when listening to the music and not the midrange. This is offset by the detail these speakers exhibit. When listening to "Something In The Way She Moves Me - James Taylor's Greatest Hits - the guitar sounds a bit too "twangy."

By comparison, I have a set of Infinity Kappa 9s in my home theater system. (Integra 40.2 pre/Oppo Blu Ray player/Harman Kardon Citation 22 and Signature 2.1 amplifiers). When listening to a jazz guitar such as Larry Carlton or George Benson, the Kappa produce a smooth silky OMG this is beautiful guitar. Still, when listening on the Focus, they sound better.

These are very large speakers, weighing about 175 lbs each. They produce a large scale image. Stereo imaging is very good, with solid placement of the instruments and the ability to produce the dynamic range of a full orchestra.

Some audiophiles prefer a thinner sound such as produced by B&W. These produce a large, lush musical landscape. As Bill Dudleston, the founder of Legacy Audio, said, these speakers aren't designed for audiophiles, they are for perople who listen to music.

In summary, these are extremely listenable to speakers, and probably the best value in a speaker on the market.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
cmonfils   AudioPhile [Oct 15, 2010]

Sorry but I have to tell the truth. Dont buy these unless you just want to show them off for the size of them or all the pretty speakers and colors. Yes I had quality gear running them and did try many different set ups but they all had the same result poor sound!!! Midrange was the worst, sounding like a PA speaker without any detail or space to the music. I would not buy this speaker at any price unless you dont care about sound quality and more about nice furniture.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
greg   AudioPhile [Aug 12, 2007]
Strength:

they are the best, they dont need a sub woofer, inputs are great hi bit live vocals and most live recordings are wonderull.

Weakness:

expensive for most people and big. you will not like bad recordings anymore. you will even change the type music you listen to to get a good recording. untill they remaster your old favorite recordings you wont want to hear them.

The Focus 20/20 redefined my music listening,Im bi amping one unison integrated amp and one coda (same mfg.) Im very sory I dont really subscribe to watt rating because a 30 watt Jolida rocks more than 500 watts of xy or z brand name amp. So I really dont know the watts Im using,I think 100 watts will sufice to claim. Im using 12 ga. bulk wire from radio shack . and very much needed high bit (24 ) cd /dvd/sacd player.. the patrica barber "companion " cd is sacd and its BREATHTAKING. you can hear hers and not your own. I dont think rock projects well from them ..but when blue note does a recording its the a real experience ...I will never go back to listening to bad speakers and dont know of better,unless you want a subwoofer and a pair of Whispers and double the price. and watt requirement. and have a crane to set them up with.

Customer Service

get me more hi bit recordings of anyone except Kenny G

Similar Products Used: James #10 spkrs.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian Trhlin   AudioPhile [Dec 16, 2003]
Strength:

A wonderful, minimal compromise speaker that does some things superbly and most everything very well. Highly satisfying listening experience. An visual asset to any room.

Weakness:

Size. Would like greater range of adjustment for the mids and highs. External crossover for bi-amping would be convienient.

This is for the FOCUS 20/20. I smile whenever I look at them and just knowing their incredible sonic competence whets my appitite for a prolonged listenting session! I have owned Infinity Betas, Genesis 201s (updated ribbon and bass amp) and, most recently, Revel Salon Ultimas. Each of these speakers was spectacular overall and had its own major strength. Where the Focus 20/20 is so unique is that it comes very close to the major strenghs of each of those great speakers and does it at a small fraction of the cost of any one of them. THIS IS THE FIRST AUDIO EQUIPMENT FOR WHICH I HAVE EVER PAID FULL PRICE!!!! I'm talking 30 years of buying used gear, dealer demos and and on the rare occassion of buying new, wheeling and dealing until I got an acceptable price. Yes, I could have waited until I found a pair and bought off the internet, but for only $6,400 + tax, I was able to order the custom curley maple finish we wanted, own them brand new out of the box, support my local dealer who allowed me to audition them hours and hours on end, delivered them to my house and took care of me when I had a minor problem early on. The 20/20s repesent such an unbelieveable bargain, I felt that even at full retail, I was STEALING them! Legacy and Bill D. deserve a fair profit for what they've pulled off. If that's not a testament to one of most crowning acheivements in audio, I can't think what is. I have NEVER, ever paid full price for a piece of equipment in my 30 yrs of supporting this great hobby. Describing the 20/20s sound isn't a challege - GREAT! Deep clean tight bass, never boomy (I use a Steridan for base optimization - HIGHLY recommended). The sound at my listening position (approx 12 ft fm spkrs, toed in so no side cabinet visible, 13 ft apart center-to-center) is totally coherient, solid center images, deep sound stage and width well beyond the speakers and, on some recordings, the room walls. What surprises me most about the 20/20s how much they remind me of the Maggies 3.6 on vocals. Absolutely finger-walking-up-your-spine realism! Holly Cole, Jennifer Warrens, Arron Neville, et. al. give a private concent in your listening room. Deep solid, tight bass and the effortless realsim of ribbons/panels in one affordable gorgeous speaker. This is a major accomplishment! I drive them with a Sonic Frontiers Line 3 into a pr of Power 3 monoblocks (220W). I've used up to four 600W monos to drive previous speakers, the high efficiency of the 20/20s have never audibly stressed my tube amps and I like to listen at whatever the live level would be for the acoustic source - which can be very loud at times. Overall, there are only two or three audio products I've owned that truly delivered on the cost/performance expectations I had for them when I made the purchase decision. The Focus leads that small group. The Betas and the Power 3s are the other two. I confess, I've been an audio snob. Friends have been telling me for years to audition Legacy. How could speakers so low priced be cabable of TRUE high end sound??? I prejudged that yeah, they may be good to someone moving up from mid-fi but, hey, I was in the "HIGH" end and how could a $6K a PAIR - not even each! - speaker meet my expectations? Well, I stand humbled and awed. And the true test - I had to put my money where my ears fell in love. I compared the Legacy's against everything I could audition up to $20K. Don't get me wrong, I like many of the speakers I listened to, I just could no longer justify the price differntial. I keep coming back to the 20s, transducers that cost less than my CD player. All my doubts notwithstanding, I have always trusted my ears and once again let them guide me. I have not looked back. Legacy has really pulled off a stellar coup and they are to be congratulated. It's not one of the typical cases where they are great sounding but of questionable quality, no they are great sounding AND full of premium components; its not that they are technically outstanding but of mediocre finish - they are technically outstanding AND have an beautiful, wife-pleasing hardwood finish with intricate cabnetry - there just isn't any obvious compromise in this speaker, especially in its sound! It has to be rated as overall superb. I look forward to many years of listening pleasure, and I doubt anything else will my attention for quite some time. Well, except maybe the Whispers.... Naw! I'm a happy camper.

Similar Products Used: Infinity Betas, Genesis 201s, Revel Salon Ultimas. Others auditioned: Vandersteen 5A; Maggie 20.1; ML Prodigy; Dynaudio Evidence Series; B&W 800 Signatures; BW 802s; Avantgarde Duos (very nice); VMPS
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Wayne   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 26, 2003]
Strength:

I love the sound of the human voice and i also like to experience lot of punch. I am also, at times, fond of mass quantities of bass. The Foccus deliver all of these in spades, big time. When I switch them in as part of a multi channel set-up (i.e., using a dvd, etc. as source material) they are just mind-boggling.

Weakness:

Originally I had trouble communicating with the company (REEL to REAL) when I encountered a couple of problems during the first year with one of the Kevlar mids. I suspect that REEL to REAL was undergoing growing pains. Obviously over the years they not only changed their name (to Legacy) but their location (Springfield, IL to Allentown, PA) as well. I spoke to someone in service a year or so ago and received much more information over the phone than I did in person ten years ago. So the company has improved in that area. I do know that if certain drivers (upper and lower mid range) ever go out in either speaker that their replacements will not physically fit where the old ones are. I suppose I'll either have to box the speakers and send them off, get a local carpenter to get the replacements to fit, or just put up with the defects.

I must have too much time on my hands to be doing this, but here goes. I purchased the Foccus speakers in the Spring of '92 from Reel to Real in Springfield, IL via the mail order route (known today as Legacy in Allentown, PA). So, like me (soon to be 57), they've got some age on them. Unless I win the "Power Ball" or some other significant lottery soon these will be my last major purchase for main speakers. I recently did purchase a Legacy Cinema Grand center channel from a Legacy retailer in Columbia, Missouri. It was a pleasant experience and I received a "Grand Opening" discount. When using the speakers I switch program material between an old Hafler Iris preamp for stereo and a new Outlaw prepro for multichannel. The Foccus are horizontally biamped -- an old MTX Soundcraftsman for the bottom half and a semi-old Adcom for the top half of each speaker. Both stereo amps are capable of putting out almost 400 watts rms into a four ohm load, and over 200 watts into an eight ohm load. When one of my old Soundcraftsman amps went bad (which led to the purchase of the Adcom) I used the remaining good Soundcraftsman to power the entire speaker system in the typical stereo configuration. I did notice a difference in the sound of the speaker systems in this configuration and could hardly wait to go to the biamp configuration again. I suppose all that has to do with the subjective crap that the "Stereophile" and "Absolute Sound" magazines tout. Maybe there is something to subjectivity in listening to electronic reproduced music, although I'd prefer to read what the "Audio Critic" has to say than the other two aforementioned mags and pretenders similar to them. When I purchased them originally they were set up in a 25' x 17' room. I would think that this is close to ideal for these speakers. At the time they were simply the best damn cone speaker I had ever heard. I've not spent a great deal of time in high end audio shops auditioning speakers over the last several years, so I'm not sure what I would compare/contrast them to/with today. Currently they sit in a 14.5' x 14.5' room, a little overkill I must admit. I made the decision not to trade them in for something smaller (actually there was no decision that had to be made). After over eleven years I am still quite pleased with them. I know new ones cost considerably more today. When I do frequent a high end shop (maybe every other year or so?) I'll give a casual listen to what's set up. I've never heard $100K Wilsons, or anything close to them in price. A couple of years ago I did hear the Whispers in Springfield (had to be sometime before they moved to PA). What I heard out of the Whispers in a listening room significantly different than mine wasn't enough to make me foam at the mouth for the Whispers, although they certainly looked a lot cooler than the Foccus -- old or new. At this time I am still enjoying the Foccus pair immensely. Even if I hit the lottery I may elect to spend or waste my new ill-gotten booty in other ways and continue to enjoy the old Foccus pair.

Similar Products Used: I've never had a product similar to the Foccus. The mains that they replaced were Marantz Imperial 9s. The Marantz speakers are still around, in my brother's home. When I got the Foccus I did an AB te
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Gary Bradley   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 23, 2003]
Strength:

Overall soungstage and imaging in very high...highest soundfield I have ever experienced in a home.

Weakness:

Size, they are big and heavy.

I have owned and enjoyed a pair of Focus speakers for several years. I am also a part time recording engineer. I normally do not like any type of processor in the chain of a good home stereo, as I fnd they usually add some unwanted distortion or effect. One day just for fun I put a BBE sonic maximizer (model 482) between the power and preamp. I was absolutely amazed at the affect it had on the Focus....with no detrement to the audio. I thought they were really good before, but now I am absolutely stunned by the sound quality. The difference is overwhelming, and I am not easily impressed. I feel like I have a new set of speakers. I purchased the BBE on E-bay for $100. You can also hear demo's on the BBE website, but nothing like a live demonstration. I suggest all Legacy owners give it a try....mine is never coming out!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
CSky   Audio Enthusiast [May 12, 2003]
Strength:

Spectacular bass, mid-range, trebble, imaging. Beautiful Rosewood. OK, just about everything is a strength with the Focus.

Weakness:

Not exactly petite, is it?

In short, the Legacy Focus facilitates a perpetual celebration of recorded music. Rarely have I auditioned a loudspeaker that is in its element across such a wide range of source material. Three years down the line I am still amazed by their ability to play so warmly at low volume. Don’t get me wrong, when the volume goes up the entertainment and delight factors go right along for the ride. You can read all about the specifications and design aspects at Legacy’s website. So, I won’t rehash those here. In fact, forget about frequency response and/or efficiency and have a listen to your favorite artist on SACD or DVD Audio via the Focuses. Take track 6 on James Taylor’s October Road SACD for example. Vocals, piano, guitar, bass, and drums – all present in your listening room. Switching gears to the 5 channel SACD mix of PF’s Dark Side of the Moon, all I can say is “be careful.” At the very least turn on the lava lamps and invite the neighbors over in order to keep the peace. I’m using the Focus as part of a home theatre set-up. I had a subwoofer in the pre-Focus days. I suspect in most situations, even home theatre applications, a sub is really overkill. Given their physical size, which is not small, it’s nice to get a little floor space back vis-à-vis not having to have a subwoofer. If you are buying a new pair of Foci let them get through their break-in period before you shell out the ducats for an appropriate sub. I admit that I was naïve about break-in…now I know. Amplifier power is important, but high end receivers don’t seem to have any problems. Separates are nicer. The only set-up that I’ve ever heard that was really tragic included a pair of Sig III’s (a great speaker in its own right) mated to a lowly Harman Kardon AV Receiver. For me, 200 watts per channel (8 ohm rating) gets the job done very well. My experience is that any quality receiver or amplifier with power north of 100 watts per channel will do. I’ve gone on high-end speaker listening treks a few times when the ever diligent hi-fi store (different stores by the way) sales rep explained that the $20,000 ‘Whatevers’ won’t sound right without spending another $10,000 on a new preamp and amplifier, speaker wire extra. The Focus is not exactly chump change I realize. However, when you consider that spending twice or three times the money on a lot of other speakers often produces lesser results, it seems like a pretty good value.

Similar Products Used: B&W 802's.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
gbrown   Audio Enthusiast [May 05, 2003]
Strength:

Build quality,ultra low quick bass,unmatched midrange, silky smooth highs. Pride & beauty of workmanship to behold.

Weakness:

Height. I wish these were 15 inches shorter. Weight. I dread the day I have to move.

I have always had a passion for good loudspeakers. Whether I own them or not, I still go into any high end store I can find to listen to what else is out there. A friend of mine shares this same passion and we have been to many stores and shows to keep up on the new developments in sound and design. It all started in about 1995. I began seeing pictures of Legacy products in audio magazines but I was afraid to buy something from a mail order house. Especially at the prices they were asking for things! Finally after several years, a showroom emerged in the San Francisco Bay Area. I had owned the ADS M15's for about 10 years and I was very curious as to what else was out there.Well, we went to the showroom for a demo. Titanic had been out and I had picked up the CD. When they played the cut "Rose", I had an experience that I never had before. All at once it sounded to me like my speakers at home were seriously defective or broken. Had a pillow been removed? Had I finally met the ultimate truth in sound? A wave of emotion ran through me. When I identified it, it was the instant conclusion that I was not going to go through life without these darlings. I don't make a habit of buying a lot of "stuff". When I buy something, it is something that is going to be with me for a very long time...decades usually. My buddy actually bought the Focus's first. He was replacing his ADS 1290's with them. Everytime I would go to his house, I would leave only to return to my rediculous pair of boxes in serious need of offing. He also had the top-of-the-line ADS sub. Believe it or not, he disconnected the sub because it degraded the bass from the Focus's! Three months after he got his, I ordered mine. Mine arrived with the new oval logo, his had the square logo. Maybe I had been lucky enough to pick up the models with the new "dynamic breaking system" feature.Who knows? I bought my pair with the Silverscreen and the Mists. Why not just go totally crazy! You know, coo coo for coco puffs! These speakers right out of the cartons do not sound that wonderful. But, as time passed, and the break-in was completed, there became only one possible word to describe what I heard everytime I put something on: INCREDIBLE! Ever since, I have continued to listened to everything there was to audition, even when I'm out-of-state. Whenever I would listen to speakers, 10,20,30 grand plus I was continually reminded that I had acquired the best already and looking for better was looking like a hopeless task. Live music is OK but Diana Krall sounds much better in my livingroom than at the Luther Burbank Center. Maybe she should get a pair and really hear how great she can sound. From the very bottom ( get a load of the very deep base energy on the Titanic CD) to the very top this speaker has no equal. The midrange is in a class by itself. Many times while I am listening to them, I am amazed that this is actually originating from boxes (and very beautiful boxes at that). The clarity at the lowest volume is to say the least, impressive. They could probably run off the headphone jack they're so efficient. Every note that comes out of the Focus is to hear it and discover it for the first time.As they say, once you hear it you will never forget it. If your looking to really do something "incredible" for yourself and you truly love sound these are for you. You can buy these for what you will lose once you drive a new car off the lot.I think your Focuses will be running a lot better in 10 to 20 years than any automobile will. This review is not very technical because it didn't want to come off like some geek propeller head from Silicon Valley. But, this pretty much says how I feel about my purchase. I am one in a very long list of satisfied Legacy customers. Do yourself a favor and find out for yourself.

Similar Products Used: B&W 800's, Avalon Acoustics, Vienna Acoustics, Watt Bow Wow's, nothing really within forty grand.Speakers are a lot like wine, be careful, or your going to get screwed.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bturk667   Audio Enthusiast [May 01, 2003]
Strength:

Sounstage, imaging, bass, sweet sounding. The sheer volume of music that they produce was staggering to me. Best I've ever listen to.

Weakness:

Need a large room, the very minimum I'd say @ 300 sq ft.

These are the best speakers I've heard for the money. The sound is so large, sweet, powerful and absorbing. I just have a hard time thinking of another speaker I like this much. They seem to let the recording dictate what you hear and feel. Other speakers I've heard seem to try to control the sound in one way or another, not these. I really do love these things.

Similar Products Used: BMW Nautulis 802, 801, 800, Coincident Total Eclipse, MartinLogan Prodigy, Revel Studio.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 121  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com