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Elac Debut B6 vs Legacy Audio Studio HD...Fight!


crenca
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I got into (or rather back into) hi-fi through personal audio, so I assumed I would come back from RMAF with the Focal ELEAR's or something equivalent. Instead I came home with Legacy's Studio HD stand-mounts, but that is only because the Calibers are not being manufactured yet. Into my "computer speaker" setup they went replacing my <$300 Elac B6's. Powered by the 80 watt (4 ohm) Emotiva a-100 and being fed music by computer via an iFi iDSD nano.

 

These Legacy's are the yin to the Elac's yang. They have a "real" high end sound up top down through the mids - all the detail and air and separation and accuracy you would expect at this price point. I have not heard the LS50's yet at their best no doubt, but to my ears KEF's have nothing on these Legacy's. The Elac's are good in mid to high range (particularly if you don't mind a more traditional tweeter that is rolled off above 10k - not "hot") but they simply can not keep up with the Legacy's. Right now, I have the Legacy's tweeter trim switch in the "trim 2db" position (i.e. low) and I am also using EQ to shelve an additional 2db from about 4k up. It's not enough - I suspect I will be up to about 4 db in EQ trim before it is said and done. Also, the Legacy's do the stereo "sound stage" thing significantly better than the Elac's.

 

The bass is a whole-nuther-story. The Elac's have real meat on the bone from 80hz down to around 40hz. Heck, even a 30hz test tone comes through with a bit of presence. The bass is good too - it sounds tight and easy. The Legacy's have an 8 inch mid-woofer and appear to have similar cabinet volume but they don't hold a candle to the Elac's in the bass department. Starting at about 80hz and below they "suggest" the frequency rather than actually let you eat it, and what is suggested is woolly, like the woofer/design is trying too hard. Would 200+ watts of quality high damped class D amplification improve things? No doubt some. Enough to catch the Elac's? It is hard to imagine, there is a real design limitation here I think.

 

So, a little REL sub (or similiar) is the solution I think. Are the Legacy's worth it? Well, no - if your goal is a small value oriented system for an office or small room that can play a wide variety of music yet is still "hi-fi". IF I was listening only to small ensemble jazz/classical then the Legacy's have everything on the Elac's. But, since I like to mix in full scale orchestral and electronica, the missing/blurred sub 80hz (plus the difference in cost: <$300 vs $1.8 to $2k depending on finish) tips the favor into the direction of the Elac's...at least until the point that $2k speakers/equipment become a throw away cost to you.

Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for this interesting comparison / review.

 

My first comment is that is good to know how the <300$ Elac do sand in front of a 6 times the price Legacy Audio HD and even do better in the bass area which is not an easy one!

 

I was looking at the B6, but made an extra effort and went with the UB5 and I'm very happy so far...

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All you need is a sub and you will be in heaven- I have your same amp running Audience Ones with and affordable HSU sub- Check the new Vtf-1 Sub or Svs

 

Thanks maelob, that's actually exactly what I did this week. I went with a REL t7i as it is just my office and I did not need HT style chest thumping punch of a larger 20hz or lower sub. I am doing everything "wrong" - integrating into systm by ear and manual EQ, but at least I am enjoying it... ;)

 

That said, I think these Legacy's are simply a difficult load for this amplifier and I will need to upgrade sooner rather than later. I don't know how far they dip below 4 ohm, but it is apparent to me they need a bit more damping and/or juice.

Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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Thanks for this interesting comparison / review.

 

My first comment is that is good to know how the <300$ Elac do sand in front of a 6 times the price Legacy Audio HD and even do better in the bass area which is not an easy one!

 

I was looking at the B6, but made an extra effort and went with the UB5 and I'm very happy so far...

 

Yep, the Legacy's simply do not give you 6x the sound. Still, the mid to upper accuracy/clarity/instrument and voice separation of the Legacy's are superior and readily apparent. What that is worth is of course a subjective thing.

 

I heard the UF5's at RMAF and the mid/uppers were more balanced than what you get from the Debut line (which is a bit more "dark", rolled off, etc.) and frankly more in line with what most folks expect. I know I would be very happy with them...

Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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