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Legacy Audio Theater Towers Speaker Preview

Meet the Legacy Audio Theater Towers.

Meet the Legacy Audio Theater Towers.


  • Product Name: Theater Towers
  • Manufacturer: Legacy Audio
  • Review Date: November 08, 2013 08:00
  • MSRP: $12,000 (Base Finish)
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!

System Type: Sealed symmetrical array, internally powered bass section
Mounting: Floor standing, against wall
System Directivity: 65 degrees horizontally, 55 degrees vertically
Projection Distance: 8-30 feet
Tweeter: Dual Air Motion Tweeter System - 1" AMT super tweeter
Midrange: Dual Air Motion Tweeter System - 4" AMT tweeter
Midwoofer: (2) 7" Silver/Graphite with cast frame
Subwoofer: (2) patented 12" Aura® subwoofers
Low Frequency Alignment: Sealed
Frequency Response (Hz, +/-3dB): 18-30k
Sensitivity (Room, dB @ 2.83V): 95
Crossover Frequency (Hz): 120, 2.8k, 8k
Inputs: 1 pair upper frequency binding post, 1 XLR sub
Internal Amplification: 1 internal 500 watt ICEpower® amplifier
Peak Output Current: 35 A per channel
Idle Noise: 80 microvolts
Output per channel: 500W @ 0.05% THD+N (1kHz, 4Ω)
Amplifier Efficiency: 83% (250W, 8Ω)
Protection Schemes: Under-voltage, thermal, over-current, high frequency
Idle Power: 3 watts per module x 2
Start-up: Soft start, mute/de-mute
Dimensions (inches) HxWxD: 78 x 14.5 x 10.5
Weight: 200 lbs each

Lifestyle speakers. For many audiophiles, the phrase invokes visions of soundbars or tiny cubes with mediocre sound quality. Bill Dudleston and the folks at Legacy Audio might hope to change a few minds with their latest creation: the Legacy Audio Theater Tower. Not to be mistaken for your average lifestyle speaker, the Theater Towers are massive loudspeakers measuring a whopping 78" tall by 14.5" wide and tipping the scales at 200 pounds. Am I out of my mind calling these lifestyle speakers? Perhaps, but it’s also worth considering that these speakers are only 10.5" deep and are designed to be placed up against your wall. In other words, while they're certainly imposing loudspeakers, the Theater Towers demand little in the way of effective floor space compared with even your average rear ported stand mount loudspeaker, let alone a monster like Legacy's Aeris.

Now if you've followed Audioholics' coverage of Legacy in the past, you might guess that the Theater Towers aren't exactly inexpensive. Listing at $12,000/pair in a base black finish, with optional finishes and custom designs potentially running the price up to $18,500, these won't be mistaken for budget models. Nonetheless, while the cost is high, you get a full range speaker complete with high power internal bass amplification and a full blown 4 input x 8 output DSP.

The included Wavelaunch digital matrix processor provides boundary equalization for both the bass and upper range section along with complete bass management capability, thus allowing the user to mix the LFE channel into the left and right subwoofer feed. One can also equalize the center channel speaker and an optional extra pair of subwoofers with the processor.

Legacy Theater Tower Custom

For a few more bucks, Legacy will give you an upgraded finish, not to mention various customization like a third woofer for added low end capability.


Specified Performance

For those familiar with Legacy Audio’s offerings, the Theater Towers are ostensibly quite similar to the Focus SE’s reviewed by Clint DeBoer, utilizing a Dual Air Motion Tweeter (AMT) system with a 4” AMT tweeter and 1” AMT supertweeter, a pair of 7” woofers, and a pair of 12” subwoofers. However, unlike the Focus SE’s, the 12” subwoofers of the Theater Towers are powered, with each side getting a 500W ICEPower module, as well as being in a sealed box alignment.

So what can the driver array of the Theater Towers do? For starters, with that much cone area and box volume, along with the upside of being a semi-active design, you’re working with Hoffman’s Iron Law to achieve a very high sensitivity of 95dB w/ 2.83V. Compared with a speaker rated for a more typical 89dB w/ 2.83V, assuming equal impedance, the Legacy speakers will require ¼ of the power to reach any given SPL. In addition to the high sensitivity, Legacy also rates the Theater Towers to deliver a frequency response of 18Hz-30kHz +/- 3dB, which means these are bona fide full range towers. Of course with a pair of 12” woofers per side, these speakers should have the displacement to deliver the bottom octave with authority. 

Legacy Audio Theater Tower Closeup

Needless to say, a pair of 12" subwoofers and 7" mid-woofers can move a fair amount of air.

One interesting bit about the Legacy Theater Tower (and the Focus SE) is the selection of crossover points. The 12” subwoofers hand over to the 7” woofers at 120Hz, and the 4” AMT hands off to the 1” AMT at 8kHz, neither of which are out of the ordinary. However, the 7” woofers hand off to the Dual AMT system at 2.8kHz, which is higher than you’d expect for a woofer of that size, for at least a couple of reasons. For starters, 2.8kHz is presumably getting close to the ballpark of the 7” driver’s breakup point, which needs to be (and presumably is) appropriately padded down by the crossover. The second issue is that such a high crossover with a 7” woofer is prone to create a significant directivity mismatch, as the woofer will be beaming at such a high frequency, while a conventional tweeter would not. However, the system directivity is rated at 65 degrees horizontally, so the dual AMT system may offer advantages in this regard relative to a conventional tweeter. Overall however, given Clint’s impressions of the Focus SE and what I heard over at Capital AudioFest from the Legacy Aeris, these aren’t issues that would keep me up at night.


Want big imposing sound without a big imposing footprint? Legacy Audio might just have the answer for you with their Theater Tower. While not exactly small at better than 6’ tall, they’re less than a foot deep and designed to be placed against a wall for minimal intrusion into a room. While not exactly inexpensive at $12,500, they are a semi-active design with a pair of 12” woofers per side with effective response down to 18Hz (-3dB). Considering what we’ve heard from Legacy in the past, if you’ve got the budget for these speakers but not a lot of real estate, these are well worth a look.

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:
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Steve Munz is a “different” addition to Audioholics’ stable of contributors in that he is neither an engineer like Gene, nor has he worked in the industry like Cliff. In fact, Steve’s day job is network administration and accounting.

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