The Big Red Actives cover the full range of hearing, from very deep bass to sparkling highs with a very flat frequency response; they also have the fast, open natural sound that makes all Legend loudspeakers famous – therefore are named after the active Big Red kangaroo which is a fast agile animal inhabiting the flat open Australian landscape!
Reviewing the original Big Reds, Australian Hi-Fi said ” Legend Acoustics’ Big Red loudspeakers are superb….” And at the annual Sound & Image/Australian Hifi magazines awards presentation in Sydney that year, they won the prestigious Best Stereo Loudspeakers over $2500 award.
As part of our process of continual improvement that enables you to benefit from our latest developments, the Big Reds have learnt a lot from our top-of-range Tikandi loudspeakers. They use the same truncated pyramidal shaped cabinet with its non-parallel sides to reduce internal reflections so as to minimises standing waves which smear & muddle the sound. And the triangular front baffle also minimises external diffraction effects resulting in extraordinary imaging, both laterally and depth. The cabinet is heavily braced and lined internally with constrained-layer damping to also improve clarity.
The latest evolution of the Big Reds released in July 2015 also continue to benefit from improved drivers. At their heart is a superb 100mm midrange unit made from a strong Aluminium alloy that remains pistonic well above the crossover point of 3 kHz. This results in very low distortion through the critical midband region allowing these vital frequencies to come through crystal clear and without the hardness or muddle of most loudpseakers in this region so you will hear all the nuances of the musicians playing. And the new midrange driver has a very big magnet and underhung voice coil that allows it to have large linear excursion at its bottom end enabling it to join very effectively in the upper-bass with the subwoofer.
For the bass unit we have chosen a bass unit recently developed by a renowned Norwegian manufacurer and built like the proverbial tank, weighing in at over 10 kg! Combined with a rigid die-cast Al support structure the unit has a very stiff Aluminium cone that also allows it to remain pistonic and so with very low distortion up to its crossover to the midrange unit at 200 Hz. The bass unit has a large 56 mm 4-layer voice-coil that combined with the massive 2.5 kg magnet system gives extraordinary grip, resulting in very tight bass notes. And its very large surround allows for 56 mm of cone travel allowing the bass to also go very loud and deep.
The tweeter is made from high strength Magnesium alloy coated on each side with very hard ceramic. It has very low distortion – giving the great clarity in the treble, and not with 3 tea-spoons of sweetness as some other tweeters do that makes everyting sound the same but not as it was played and recorded.
In late 2016 we replaced the ‘passive’ Xover version of the Big Reds by a completely ‘active’ version where built-in Hypex Ncore amplifiers are connected directly to each driver, bringing your music even more ‘alive’. The bass/sub is connected to a built-in 500W Ncore amplifier to give great bass depth and power but also detail and texture; while the mid and treble are connected to a built-in 125 W Ncore amps to give extraordinarily low distortion and clarity.
Each driver amplifier is connected by balanced XLR leads to a DEQX processor that separates out (crossovers) the bass, mid and treble signals in the digital domain where it can be done much more accurately, and with steeper slopes while retaining minimum phase distortion, than in the analog domain by ‘passive’ crossover filters. In addition we measure each driver with a very high quality microphone using the DEQX processor and it also corrects for any remaining frequencies and phase non-linearities.
The final output from the BRAs is therefore extraordinarily accurate in both frequency and phase. The former leads to very natural tonal balance of all instruments, including voices; while the latter results in incredible speed and timing of your music plus superb imaging, both lateral and in depth.
However, the overall sound quality is also affected by your room. At various frequencies/wavelengths depending on room dimensions sound can resonate to form ‘standing waves’ that can give 10 dB or more of non-linearity at your ears. Although these standing waves should be reduced as much as possible by physical means (dispersion and adsorption) the DEQX processor can also help correct for them by measuring and applying inverse corrections, We will help you do this during set-up of your Big Red Actives.
Finally is should be noted that the DEQX units are also an extremely good pre-amps with volume control as well as 4 inputs, 2 analog and 2 digital. So given the power amplifiers are built-in to the BRAs, all you have to do is connect your music sources to the inputs of the DEQX unit to have a complete audio system. And one with extraordinary clarity and fidelity/faithfulness to your music. Just like being there!
An excellent review of the BRAs is published on SoundStage Australia – for full review please click here. These are the Conclusions:
“On paper, and often in practice, the concept of an active speaker makes absolute sense and has great potential to surpass passive designs. Especially when it comes to detail and dynamics. In the case of the Legend Acoustics Big Red Actives there’s an added bonus – the superb DEQX with its built-in preamplifier’s digital and analogue input options, room correction, on-board crossovers, etc. just plug a source and you have a ready to rumble system. And rumble is indeed what the BRAs do… there’s superb bass power, outstanding dynamic range; the visceral things while all the rest of the performance expectations are easily met …….. What more can a music lover ask for? Highly recommended.”