Legacy filled one of the larger Axpona exhibit rooms with almost their entire lineup, and the “V” rig taking center stage. This 4-way system is the first to use the Legacy Wavelet Processor (an advanced speaker & room resonance correction system with a high-end DAC/Preamplifier) and features open-air dipole midrange, dual subwoofers with internal amplification, two Legacy 4” long AMT tweeters in a specially optimized post convergent array. The big talking points at the Chicago audio show was a first time showing for the new Legacy Powerbloc amplifiers in this configuration.
Powerbloc amps come in two and four channel configurations. The “4” makes it very easy for bi-amplification, 325 watts per channel into 8 ohms and double that into 4 ohms. These specimens are class D amps using the latest modules and use microprocessors to watch every note and maintain stability, resulting in a very natural and easy listen.
As luck would have it, I was in the room when Dave Solomon of Qobuz came in for a demonstration.
If you have ever met Dave, you know him to be a music lover first. And though that passion, you will always find him with laced with enthusiastic for getting great quality sound to as many people on earth as he can.
Qobuz was launched in 2008 and has achieved a series of notable firsts. In 2009 it offered the first CD quality download catalog, in 2011 the first CD quality streaming service. It was the first online music service to adopt 24bit HiRes for its entire catalog and in the summer of 2015, it launched HiRes Streaming with its Qobuz Sublime+ subscription.
In November 2018 it changed its Sublime subscription which offered CD quality FLAC streaming and HiRes downloads to a fully HiRes streaming service for £24.99/month or £249.99/year and rebranding it Qobuz Studio. Its Sublime+ HiRes streaming and download package has been reduced in price to £299.99 for a full year’s subscription.
Originally available only in European countries (Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France, UK, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands), Qobuz launched its US service in October 2018 at RMAF.
So Dave played us some tracks. The first was Illinois Jacquet, Harlem Nocturne. A 1959 mono recording that blew me away. It sounded so clean. Dave said it was because in 1959 they used tube based compression that actually made the recordings better. The next was an Agnes Obel track from the Aventine album titled The Curse. This was equally spellbinding, as if she was in the room singing in my ear. All this over the Convention Center WiFi, and it felt as though I was listening to a file on a music server. No dropouts, no noise no nothing except pure music, the same quality I was hearing when Bill Dudleston (president and founder of Legacy Audio) was doing a demo from his music server on the Aeris and Powerblocs just a few minutes before.
Dave talked about the power of music. It’s in our DNA. Our ancestors beat the drums for some reason. Maybe it was just for fun, but perhaps therein lies a deeper reason we are all ineplicitly draw towards music on a daily basis. He played some interesting tracks that one rarely hears at an audio expo – modern pop – and thanks to his infectious enthusiasm a good time was had by all. A superb experience to top off a great day, highly recommend if you get the chance to meet up with the fine folks at Legacy or Dave himself giving a presentation.
by Paul Elliott