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Legacy Audio Focus SE: Conclusion and Recommendations

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So where do we go from here? Well, if you listen to a lot of speakers or if you're looking for an upgrade in this price range, then you really need to track down a dealer and give these a listen. At this level you're comparing the Legacy Focus SE's with speakers on the north and south side of $10,000, so it's a big decision—and one that gives you a lot of choices...though not as many as there used to be. High end audio is becoming more and more of a selective group. The selections are getting constrained as the economy squeezes out those who aren’t equipped to weather the storm. While that's certainly weeded out a lot of the amateurs, it's also left consumers with much harder choices on the remaining selections.

Legacy beauty shot

As for the Focus SE in particular, well, the combining of super-deep bass response with delicate and refined mids and upper frequencies really did surprise me—and I think it will surprise you too. The legacy speakers don't sound "flat". That's too unkind of a word and I don't think it's even accurate. They are dynamic but tame. They reach down low, into both your gut and your soul and they lift something out you may not even had realized was there. For me, they just make me want to listen...for hours and hours.

And when it all boils down to it—isn't that the point?

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Build QualityStarStarStarStar
AppearanceStarStarStarStarStar
Treble ExtensionStarStarStarStarStar
Treble SmoothnessStarStarStarStarStar
Midrange AccuracyStarStarStarStarStar
Bass ExtensionStarStarStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStarStar
ImagingStarStarStarStarStar
SoundstageStarStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStarStarhalf-star
About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Bucknekked posts on August 11, 2021 17:31
gene, post: 962605, member: 4348
You need to sit tight. I've been working with our new loudspeaker guru/engineer (Joel Foust) and some former consultants (Mark Sanfilipo) to develop the industry's most comprehensive measurement standard. We will be publishing this standard next week and hopefully I can find time with our new writer Joel to head to Clint's house to measure these beasts before he sends them back.

Dr. Floyd Toole just ripped into our standard and gave us a bit of a bloody nose, so we are making some changes before publishing
Somehow I just love the imagery of Floyd Toole giving an audio standard a bloody nose. That's a great line.
Good to see that some heavy weights are involved.
Epsonfan posts on August 11, 2021 12:41
The sucker is heavy .
Art Vandelay posts on March 07, 2017 06:34
Sonic Guild, post: 1175682, member: 81934
Are they on the warm side or just neutral? I can't stand bright speakers, any thoughts?


I heard them at my local store which is a Legacy dealer, and really liked them.

I certainly wouldn't label them as reserved in the treble, but to my ears they're not overly bright or etched sounding, though I can still imagine them sounding a bit bright in a reflective room.

With some Legacy speakers in the past I've been aware of a slight discontinuity in the treble due to the high crossover point to the super tweeter, but with this latest SE model it was difficult to fault the treble at all.
Sonic Guild posts on March 02, 2017 15:43
Are they on the warm side or just neutral? I can't stand bright speakers, any thoughts?
Thunder240 posts on August 28, 2016 09:56
Clint, if you still have your notes from your listening sessions 3 years ago, can you compare to the Salk SS8, which the intro to your review you stated were in your house immediately prior to the Focus SEs? Also, any chance you can offer a comparison to the XTZ 100.49 Divine? These have been reviewed before on Audioholics, though I don't recall who was the reviewer.

Of course if anyone else is able to offer a comparison besides Clint, feel free to chime in.


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