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HTS3 Home Theatre Speaker System Award

98-99 Sound and Image award - Best in class

At a gala dinner at the Menzies hotel in Sydney attended by industry giants including Sony and Panasonic, a Canberra firm has won a major award in the audio-visual industry.

Legend Acoustics, run by Dr Rod Crawford, picked up the prize for the best home-theatre loudspeaker system in the awards organised by the audio-visual industry magazine 'Sound and Image'. To win, Legend Acoustics beat off strong competition from overseas and Australian products.

In giving the award to Legend Acoustics, the judges commented: "With true full-range surrounds and arresting front mains, this ensemble is able to deliver the big effects of movie soundtracks while maintaining the high definition necessary for fine music-only listening. A stunner."

The winning home-theatre speaker package HTS3, which is in the middle of the range, consists of Legend's floorstanding Kantu model for the front left and right speakers; their bookshelf Kurre model as centre and rear speakers; and the active Kurlo model as the sub-woofer. Because the loudspeakers use the same basic components, they have the same basic sound character, giving Legend home-theatre systems a very consistent and integrated surround sound.

The names of the loudspeakers were indigenous names for kangaroos chosen to reflect their fast open sound. He said the names were also chosen, together with the company's distinctive logo, to give the speakers a strong Australian identity as the company moved into overseas markets.

Dr Crawford, who has a Ph D in materials science from the University of Oxford, worked as Senior Acoustic Engineer with Linn Products in Glasgow, Scotland. After completing an MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney, specialising in strategy and marketing, he founded Legend Acoustics in Canberra because of its central location.

Dr Crawford said that designing loudspeakers for the Australian market had many similarities to the European market though there were some differences. In Europe where the homes were often smaller with solid walls, there was more reverberation and so the loudspeakers had a tighter, more focussed sound. In Australia where the homes were bigger, the loudspeakers needed a larger more open sound. Presenting the Sound & Image award to Legend Acoustics showed Legend speakers had the required characteristics with a vengeance.