and Coda Technologies
All prices in US dollars unless otherwise noted.
Walking into the Legacy Audio/Coda Technologies room, we
were wondering if anyone was home. We sat down, started playing music, and there we were,
alone . . . for a while, five minutes or so. The lack of initial human interaction led us
to wonder if the sound in this room was driving folks away -- but as we listened longer
and longer, by ourselves, we would soon discover that the sound was among the best
we would hear at RMAF. We couldn't understand why no one else was here.
After we played half a dozen songs, Bill Dudleston, the
chief designer at Legacy, walked in. He was very personable and when he began to speak we
learned quickly that he has a deep understanding of loudspeaker design, and has unique
ideas on how a reference-level transducer like the Whisper speaker ($16,500 per pair) he
was demonstrating should be designed and sound. (In the photo above, the Whisper is the
model located on the outside.)
Bill's goal with the Whisper is to reduce floor, ceiling
and side-wall interactions by creating a "null" to the sides at all frequencies
across the audio band. The photo above shows the compound woofer-loading technique
Dudleston uses for the Whisper. The way the woofers interact creates an acoustical null in
the bass on either side of the loudspeaker cabinet. The way the four midrange drivers are
arranged is said to create the same kind of nulling effect horizontally and vertically.
This controlled directivity allows the Whisper to interact more with the listener and less
with the room it is housed in. There is no question that the sound of the Whisper was
great: tonally full yet with a relaxed quality that made you want to listen longer. The
soundstage was stable and wide with no image wander, and vocals were lifelike in their
scale and focus. The Whisper sounded startlingly real.
Bill Dudleston stands next to his Whisper loudspeaker in a
room that also featured some really fine electronics: California-based Coda Technologies
pressed into action their CSX stereo amplifier ($5950) and CL2 preamplifier ($2550). The
source component was the Ayon CD-1 ($3900).
When we walked into the Legacy Audio/Coda Technologies
room, we were left alone so long we thought that at one point we might leave. However, the
music drew us in, and then Bill Dudleston enlightened us on what's a thoroughly unique and
very impressive loudspeaker design.