- Legacy Audio
Building a Legacy
In 1983 engineering prodigy, Bill Dudleston, and co-founder, Jacob Albright, a seasoned craftsman who set the cabinetry standards that Legacy still lives up to today, began their remarkable quest to develop the world’s finest loudspeakers.
A rich background of physics and an uncanny grasp of acoustic modeling, combined with good old-fashioned craftsmanship led the team to produce the renowned Legacy-1. Word soon spread through the audiophile community of a little company in Illinois who delivered unprecedented performance and value. Since that time, the Legacy-1 has become a Classic and Legacy has produced such legendary models as the Focus and Whisper systems.
We take great pride in building each pair of speakers as though we were building them for ourselves. Handcrafted in Springfield, Illinois our systems consistently provide wider bandwidth, lower distortion, great efficiency and higher reliability than our competition. Our 7 year performance guarantee assures your Legacy speakers will provide the highest level of enjoyment.
We fabricate our cabinets from 1.125” medium density fiberboard (MDF). Subwoofers, such as our Xtreme XD, are machined from 1.5” MDF while larger towers such as Aeris, feature 2.25” front baffles with the driver frames sandwiched between 2 layers. Precision milled on our CNC, our cabinets use interlocking parts, glued and clamped.
Our philosophy is to brace extensively above and below each driver compartment, which adds mass & increases panel stiffness. With loudspeakers it is desirable to keep the audible contribution of cabinet wall vibration to a minimum. We use thick walls (high mass) and a well braced enclosure where cabinet panel displacement is minimized (amplitude reduction).
Legacy cabinets are impeccably finished in select veneers and solid hardwood corner moldings. The exquisite finishes are book matched for each pair and hand-rubbed several times to assure a patina that is at home with the most elegant décor. We source our cherry, walnut and oak hardwoods and veneers from North America. The exotics come from all over, with the exception of Italian burl woods and South American rosewood. The high gloss finishes are cured for weeks, prior to hours of hand polishing and buffing.
Virtually every component is first conceptualized at our factory in Springfield, IL. Once a Legacy designed part is finalized, we search out the best fabricators of that type of part. Since we typically require exotic cone materials, cast frames, etc. a lot of custom tooling is required. We have worked with driver suppliers such as B&C of Italy, Beyma of Spain, Eton of Germany, Focal of France, and other international suppliers as well as Eminence in the States on larger woofers. Each coil is hand-wound and crossover boards assembled in-house, offering us tremendous flexibility for fine tuning. Polyester fiberfill is selected for internal damping.
Testing & Tuning
Legacy’s tuning and testing process is very meticulous and involves pair matching each pair of loudspeakers. We hand- tune the crossovers of each and every pair of speakers to a “master curve”, which is the target function we try to achieve. Each loudspeaker is first individually tested to the master curve. Once we’ve done that, we then look at the deviation of each loudspeaker from the master curve and how they relate to each other with the two speakers equidistant from the microphone.
Adjustments are then made until the two loudspeakers are as close as possible to the target response. Next we invert the polarity at one of the speaker inputs to test the summation null (quality of cancellation). Final adjustments are made to the pair until one speaker nearly cancels the other.
We additionally measure pressure response, impulse/polarity and impedance. Multiple tests are run at soft and loud volumes. In our lab, we have LoudSoft, Clio, LMS, several Audio Control spectrum analyzers, Audio Tools and REW. All mics are calibrated against a single Earthworks for consistency. While we have used anechoic chambers to calibrate mics and speakers kept for references, we prefer to use a combination of other methods which are more useful in the real world.
Legacy speakers are sold through exclusive domestic audition sites and international distributors worldwide. Just as in the beginning, our doors are open and all are invited to hear our fine products and see how they are built.
Take a tour of the Legacy Audio factory with Mark McDonald of Illinois Stories: