“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Legacy Audio Calibre Bookshelf Speaker Demo Report



  • Product Name: Calibre
  • Manufacturer: Legacy Audio
  • Review Date: May 30, 2017 08:00
  • MSRP: $5,500/pr
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!

System type:  3-driver, 3-way

  • Tweeter:  4” AMT ribbon
  • Midrange:  7.5” titanium encrusted accordion edge with a 6lb. magnetic structure
  • Bass:  8” extended throw
  • Sub-Bass Radiator:  two 8” mass loaded pneumatic
  • Low Frequency Alignment:  6th order mass loaded radiator
  • Frequency response:  38Hz-30kHz (+/-2dB)
  • Impedance:  4-ohm
  • Sensitivity:  92.5dB (2.83V/1m)
  • Recommended Amplification:  15-400W
  • Crossover (Hz):  200, 2.5k
  • Binding Posts:  2pr
  • Dimensions:  16.25”H x 10”W x 15.25”D
  • Weight:  50lbs. ea / 56lbs. shipped

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be invited to Destination HiFi, one of Legacy Audio’s local dealers in Hollywood, CA. to demo the Legacy Audio Calibre Bookshelf speakers.  I previewed the Calibres at the end of last year and was anxious to hear them in person.  It is a small quaint office that was in the process of moving to a more spacious location to have separate sound rooms for the various products.  Not only do they distribute Legacy products, but also other high-end audio brands such as CODA and Kimber Kable just to name a few.  James, the representative there, was very cordial and informative in all things Legacy.  He explained to me that he used to work at their facility in Illinois.  The little demo area was set up for a more intimate listening session, but it was within a larger open room (due to the moving process I mentioned earlier).  This didn’t hinder the performance in the least, as you will see.


James had the Calibres set up along with Legacy’s only other bookshelf loudspeakers, the Studio HD.  The Calibres were connected by a specially made Kimber Kable speaker wire, to a CODA 15.5 solid state stereo amp that retails for a mere $11,000 (gasp!). It pumps 150w into 8 ohms and 300w into 4 ohms.  The amp was then connected to a CODA 07x pre-amp that retails for $6,500.

calibre_studio hd setup copy

The Calibre pair that was used was exquisite. Black Pearl baffles, Cabernet Sapele Pommelle finish. It sounds more like a fine wine than a speaker cabinet.  This finish though is sight to see, beautiful, in fact.  James explained that the Black Pearl is applied in 14 layers.  This gives the finish, as you look closer, a representation of a starry night.  The Studio HD pair had a Rosewood finish.  Backing these speakers was Legacy’s Metro sub, the least expensive of their line-up at $2,385, though still a heavy performer.  The Metro had a Ribbon Mahogany finish.  This sub has a front firing long throw 12” driver pneumatically coupled with a 15” down firing radiator and an impressive 118 dB max output at 1m.  More information on these fine products can be found on Legacy’s website as well as Destination Hi Fi’s website.

calibre side copy     calibre rear copy

Listening Tests

The majority of the following songs on this list were played on the Calibres without the assistance of the Metro sub.  Keep in mind, there were a lot of tracks played, but after some deliberation I picked a few songs that deserved mention.when i look in your eyes copy

“Let’s Fall in Love” by Diana Krall

The first song on this list was “Let’s Fall in Love” by Diana Krall off her “When I Look in Your Eyes” album.  The Calibres played very clear.  The bass was not heavy and did not overpower the voice.  You can hear Diana taking a breath many times.  The 4” AMT tweeter revealed a lot without being harsh.  The Calibres are designed to reach up to 30kHz which really doesn’t affect us much, but will drive your dog crazy.  The idea of having a loudspeaker up this high ensures it will be flat within the frequencies we can hear (up to 20kHz or a bit lower with age). The separation of instruments was considerable giving the Calibres a voluminous sound.  The soundstage and the imaging were considerable, creating a more 3 dimensional sound, seemingly around the room as though this was a 5.1 sound session.  Particular parts of the track that I would like to point out are the scrape of the drum brushes across the drumheads and the pressure of the piano keys.    

J. Messanet’s “Meditation” by Yo-Yo Makings singers copy

Another track that the Calibres played well was J. Messanet’s “Meditation” by Yo-Yo Ma.  This was an orchestral piece but, of course, you can pick out Yo-Yo Ma’s melodic cello amidst everything including the slight vibrato of the strings.  There is also a quiet timpani being played somewhere in the “back” of the soundstage compared to if you were facing a concert stage.  The Calibres also revealed a breath or two from someone near the end of the track.

“The Boxer” by The King’s Singers

One of the most unique demo tracks was a cover of “The Boxer” by British a capella group The King’s Singers off their “Good Vibrations” album.  This song demonstrated significant stereo imaging relying on the exceptional recording process. The higher octave tenor and countertenors were more on the left of the soundstage while the baritone and bass tended to the right.  The countertenors were loud but not too harsh sounding.  I also felt the bass voice ever so slightly through my feet.

Taiko Drum track

One of the tracks that expressed the Calibre’s bass capabilities was a taiko drum track.  If you have ever heard this genre of music on recordings or live, like I have, you know how loud and deeply percussive it is.  Even before the Metro sub was brought in, the bass really punched me in the chest.  The bass was taken up a notch through the Metro, especially toward the end of the track with startling bass hits.  Whoa!

“Night Train” by Christian McBride

Another unique track that displayed the bass capabilities was “Night Train” a cover by Christian McBride off his “Gettin’ to it” album.  This rendition was performed entirely through his double bass.  The Calibres are so capable that they were able to produce the sound of the vibration of the strings as Christian plucked them.  The sound of him sliding his hands up and down the neck of the bass was also reproduced.  I closed my eyes and I could envision him there in the room with James and myself.

christian mcbride copy     man of steel copy

Honorable Mention

A snippet of the “Man of Steel” score was filled with so much emotion driven by Hans Zimmer’s rhythm that goose bumps crawled up and down my arms.  A segment of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “All Night Vigil” Op. 37 gave the impression of being in the concert hall where the choir and orchestra were performing.  Lastly, there was a track of organ music that might as well have been performed in a gothic cathedral.  Pedal notes were heard distinctly and the lowest registers were felt throughout the room.  All without the sub.


The $5,500 price tag for the Calibres is pretty steep, but if you have the money, I believe it would be well spent on these speakers.  They seem to be at home in a large open space because they do not shy away from volume in the least.  It may be overkill for a small room, but one can always turn the volume down.  If there is a space constraint, you get the performance and drivers of a Legacy tower folded into a bookshelf cabinet, especially with its 4” AMT tweeter, 7.5” mid-woofer, 8” bass driver, and dual 8” mass loaded opposing pneumatic radiators.  There are drivers/radiators on all but the rear and bottom of each hefty 50lb. speaker.  If you can get a chance to experience Legacy speakers for yourself I would recommend it.  If you live close to North Hollywood, and are interested in high-end speakers with furniture grade cabinets, or just want to experience high-end audio, do not hesitate to give Destination Hi Fi a call and schedule a demo. 

Got experience with these loudspeakers or any Legacy products? Please post your thoughts in the related forum thread below. 

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
author portrait

Kevin is a blue-collar family man and A/V enthusiast who was introduced to music and movies by the age of five. He took courses on Film Music and Film History in college just for the heck of it along with receiving his BFA in Illustration from Cal State Fullerton. He grew up listening to music on vintage equipment, and soon took an interest in home theater.

View full profile