Join Karl Nehring as he takes readers on his audiophile journey from KEF 105s, to Vandersteen 2Cs, B&W 802s and more, ultimately landing on the new Legacy Audio Focus SE.

“After the KEF 105s came a pair of Vandersteen 2Cs, which seemed to have better transparency and imaging than the KEFs. Somewhere along the way was a pair of B&W 802s, beautifully made but just too warm-sounding. The next two pairs were both from JSE, featuring the patented “Infinite Slope” (~100 dB/oct) crossovers designed by Richard Modaferri (legendary McIntosh tuner designer and one of the nicest people in the business), the medium-sized Model 1s and then the full-sized Model 2s… Then came the Carver Silver Edition Amazing Loudspeakers.”

“I finally decided upon a pair of speakers from a small company in Springfield, Illinois, by the name of Legacy Audio. Actually, I had reviewed a pair of speakers from this same company a few years previously when they were doing business under the name Reel-to-Real Designs. Those speakers showed promise, but the company had made significant progress since then and their new flagship speaker, the Focus was just what I was looking for. Not only did they feature the extended bass response I was seeking from their multiple woofers, but their cabinetry was simply gorgeous.”

“My next pair of speakers was the next incarnation of the Focus model, the Focus 20/20. The 20/20s served as my faithful reference for some years. The model gathered some excellent reviews and began to be used more and more as a studio monitor for mastering purposes. Still, designer Bill Dudleston knew that the speaker could be made even better as better drivers emerged in the marketplace. So, despite the success of the Focus 20/20, Dudleston rolled up his sleeves and went to work to see whether the new generation of drivers could lead to evolutionary improvements to the already solid Focus design package.”

“These speakers served me faithfully for more than a decade. I had listened to other fine speakers, but never heard any that ever caused me to think I might want to make a change.”

“I auditioned various models from Bowers & Wilkins, KEF, Sonus Faber, GoldenEar, Revel, and Paradigm. Although I heard some especially good sound from the KEF and Revel models I gave a listen to, once again it was Legacy Audio that impressed me the most with their Calibre speaker, a three-way studio monitor (4” AMT tweeter, 7.5” midrange, 8” long-throw woofer on the top of the cabinet augmented by two 8” side-mounted passive radiators).”

“Except for the deepest bass, they sounded virtually identical to the larger speakers. Marilyn liked them, so boom! My mind was made up. I was going to downsize! Not too long after I got back home, I ordered a pair of Calibres.”

“So, what was the end result of my, ahem, downsizing effort? I went from a large pair of Legacy Audio Focus to a pair of Legacy Focus SEs. My new pair is nearly a dozen years younger. The two tweeter drivers on the older version have been replaced by a 1” AMT super tweeter and 4” AMT tweeter.”

“The Legacy Audio Focus SE with its beveled surfaces and beautiful finishes, makes an indelibly striking first impression of quality. To my eye, at least, the design of the SE is reminiscent of Cadillac’s “Art and Science” design aesthetic.”

Related Products:


Legacy Newsletter

Sign up to receive Legacy’s Backstage Newsletter with product & review announcements, technical insights, and invites to shows and events in your area!