Audioholics Focus SE Video Review
Review Date: April 2013
Reviewer: Clint DeBoer
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Related Product(s): Focus SE
Audioholics conducted an in depth review of the Legacy Focus SE, featuring technical analysis, listening tests and a video review below.
"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?"
"This is a case where I don't have to listen—I want to. The Focus SE's have a lot going for them, but above all they are simply wonderful on the ears."
"It blended wonderfully and, despite my best attempts, I simply couldn't discern any breakup or harshness around the crossover regions. If I had to come up with a word to describe what I was hearing it would have to be "true" or "honest". There is a very natural and authentic characteristic to these speakers that brings out the live experience in recorded music."
"You would never use a sub with this system and you would never miss it."
"And the whole package is wrapped in a stunning enclosure that is part geometric marvel, part monolithic beauty."
"It's always difficult to define just what is it that makes the "ultimate loudspeaker"- a product which compromises nothing and has the technical measurements to impress even the most ardent critic. And when the Legacy Focus SE speakers came in, the debate raged once more in my mind. How influenced should I be by build quality? How much should I allow myself to get excited by the sound of a truly full-range speaker that can play low enough to make a pipe organ sound authentic? Or should I be more impressed and excited about speakers with enough dynamic headroom to handle the delicacy of a five piece jazz ensemble as well as a full orchestra?
Yes. Yes to all, dammit."
"On "Dimming of the Day", Alexandra Lee's guest vocals were slightly forward in the mix, but with none of the dynamic harshness I've heard when playing this track on speakers with conventional tweeter/mid combinations. It was almost as if the Focus SE's were more tolerant of these punctuated dynamics-a characteristic I found exceptionally desirable at elevated listening levels."
On AC Timba Jazz "There was something about these speakers and percussion. I wanted more. And I knew where to get it."
"Explosive" is how I would describe this track (Japanese Taiko Drums). Whereas it decimates smaller speakers and most headphones, the Legacy Audio Focus SEs wouldn't bottom out no matter how hard I drove my reference Emotiva XPA-1 monoblock amplifiers-and I really messed with the gain-staging to try. This track has that deep, resonant tympanic ringing you only get from a solid leather-skinned drum. And some of these drums are over four feet in diameter! Add to that the sheer volume of drums, and the corresponding rimshots and stick work and you're exercising a healthy chunk of the frequency response these speakers can handle. I was impressed by the dynamic range of the Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers. There's no doubt that they were designed to handle a track like this, which had the dynamics of a symphony orchestra, but the simplicity of a string quartet. Complimenting the deep sub-40Hz bass hits were punctuations of the smaller tsukeshime-daiko drums and rapid strikes of the bachi against each other and the sides of the one-piece taiko shells. Altogether, the presented soundstage was incredibly vast, with reverberations rolling into the room from the mids that almost defied the room acoustics of my listening space, replacing it with its own."