System Audio Legend 7.2 Loudspeaker Page 2

A balanced XLR input replaces the 4mm terminals while a USB socket services firmware updates and System Audio's 'RAM tweaks' to change the speaker's DSP profile [see HFN Aug '21]. Furthermore, Silverback speakers include a wireless receiver using 96kHz/24-bit-capable WiSA technology, enabling it to pair to a WiSA transmitter, such as System Audio's £400 Stereo Hub, or hardware from brands including Primare and Harman Kardon.

sqnote Wall Of Sound
Our first taste of System Audio was as a new-to-the-UK brand (although a going concern since the 1980s) with its Legend 40 floorstander [HFN Aug '20] voiced to sound direct and largely neutral. That three-way speaker would leap into action with the dynamic ups and downs of music, and the Legend 7.2 shares this approach, presenting with plenty of verve, and not softening treble edges. In this respect it feels like part of the wider family, even while its sealed, wall-mountable cabinet does invoke some performance differences. Give it a good amount of power and it will deliver a big, dramatic soundstage that holds firm as you ramp up the volume.

I struck gold with Joe Bonamassa's Blues Deluxe album [Provogue PRD 7158 2], which really let the Legend 7.2 strut its stuff. The title track, a slow-paced, sparsely populated blues jam, features the guitarist intermittently flexing his fret fingers above a melodious 12-bar bassline that holds the whole piece together. This should be duly prominent in the mix, and here the clean and fulsome presence of the bass guitar was a treat, the speaker clearly putting its boundary positioning to good use.

Yet the star of the show is Bonamassa and his generational talent. In 'Blues Deluxe' he experiments with tone, reverb and distortion, snapping from crunching bite to delicacy at the drop of a (hi)hat. I was happy to hear the '7.2 conveying all his tonal tricks, with most of their impact intact. Bonamassa's mind-melting solo was also nicely separated from a well-spaced and large-sounding backing band.

Managing Expectations
This on-wall speaker is not a comprehensive low-end star, however, as that pleasing punch to notes in the upper bass region isn't joined by real extension. Chase & Status's 'Original Business' [RTRN II Jungle; Virgin/EMI CDV 3233] showcased succinct percussion detail and the speakers' ability to lock into a groove, but when the deep synthesised bass arrived I wanted more of it. Perhaps I'm guilty here of being seduced by the sight of double bass drivers, while forgetting this sealed speaker offers a modest 9.7 litre cabinet volume. In comparative terms, that's akin to a compact standmount, and expectations should be factored accordingly.


Mounting hardware is inset into the cabinet, with notches to support the speaker in both 'portrait' and 'landscape' configurations. Cables are routed through slots in the rear panel – to the single 4mm terminals – keeping it flush with the wall

With the Legend 7.2 there's no scope to fine-tune output with toe-in, not to mention bringing the speakers away from the wall. I was therefore not surprised to occasionally come across tracks where a combination of boundary gain and my room's own acoustics seemed to exaggerate bass presence: for example, 'Jesus, Etc', from Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot [Nonesuch 79669; 96kHz/24-bit], had a plump quality that slightly overshadowed singer Jeff Tweedy's mid-western drawl and the violin harmonies. Yet other times, as with the Bonamassa track, or a guilty-as-charged replay of The Eagles' 'Hotel California' [Rhino Records; 192kHz/24-bit], the range of frequencies dovetailed better.

Brick Or Plaster?
It's important to note that I mounted the Legend 7.2s on a brick wall. Of course, there's no reason they couldn't be used on a drywall (the 9.3kg weight shouldn't bother a well-drilled plug), but I'd imagine they might sound a little different if the plasterboard joins in…

Otherwise, and with a range of more serene material, the Legend 7.2's mid and treble handling helped shine a revealing light on instrumental textures and vocal nuances, be they the quivering steel string guitar in Hans Theessink and Terry Evans' 'Gotta Keep Moving' [Visions, Blue Groove; CD] the reedy sax and powerful vocals of Nina Simone throughout I Put A Spell On You [Verve Music Group; 192kHz/24-bit], or Anne-Sophie Mutter's intense violin in the John Williams/Weiner Philharmoniker performance of 'Devil's Dance' [John Williams In Vienna; Deutsche Grammophon 483 9045]. This on-wall speaker definitely has a musical side to its direct, powerful demeanour.

Given enough width, and with tweeters on the outside, the way my pairing crafted Williams' expansive 'Raiders March' from the same set brought to mind a CinemaScope image of Harrison Ford, fedora on head and bullwhip in hand. The brass, string and woodwind players were dotted around a large soundstage, joined by insistent timpani hits and cymbal crashes. That all this was coming from loudspeaker cabinets of such manageable dimensions was quite the eye- and ear-opener.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
Anyone who has previously viewed on-wall speakers with a degree of suspicion or bafflement should grab an audition of System Audio's Legend 7.2. This easy-to-fit two-way speaker packs a punch with bass and percussion, grabs hold of musical details and offers an output that belies its size. There's nothing fancy about the cabinet styling, but that comes with the territory. And your vacuum cleaner will love it.

System Audio A/S
Supplied by: Karma-AV Ltd, York
01423 358846