System Audio Legend 40 Loudspeaker

hfncommendedThis Danish brand, new to the UK, has made a name for itself on the Continent with its passive-to-active speakers

The 1994 Keanu Reeves movie Speed rewrote the Hollywood rulebook when it came to action cinema. System Audio's Legend 40 is not quite as disruptive, being a three-way floorstander with a mid-level price tag, but it too has a focus on speed. 'A System Audio speaker is much faster than a conventional loudspeaker', boasts the Danish brand. Time to buckle up, then…

The brand will probably be unfamiliar to many UK audiophiles, as it only recently arrived in the UK via distributor Karma AV, but System Audio has a history going back to the 1980s. Founded by musician (and company head) Ole Witthøft, it now sells a trio of speaker ranges – the affordable Saxo, premium Legend and the active Legend Silverback, plus subwoofer, centre channel and on-wall variants. The Legend 40 tower auditioned here is priced at £2900 and, as with all of the company's models, is available in either a satin black or satin white finish.

Unusually, the speaker has an upgrade path from wired passive to wireless active. Should you wish to at a later date, System Audio will retro-fit its rear-mounted amplifier/DSP module, effectively turning the Legend 40 into its Legend 40 Silverback.

All Together Now
When it comes to driver implementation, System Audio boasts of an 'holistic approach'. The tweeter, midrange and bass units in its Legend family were designed 'in one coordinated process', says Witthøft. 'We focus on building a uniform sound character while making sure we spend resources on features audible to the user.' Continuing the holistic theme, the speakers are hand-built in Denmark, one employee working on one speaker from start to finish.


The Legend 40 drivers are, from top to bottom on the front baffle, a 25mm tweeter, 135mm midrange, and two 135mm woofers. The mid and bass drivers use a woven fibre cone chosen for its combination of low weight and high damping, supported by a rubber surround with in-built resonance control rings. They appear to be identical, but lengthier voice coils on the woofers, which patrol frequencies below 400Hz, enable a longer throw. The two bass units work out of a rear-firing port, the combination good to a claimed 30Hz.

Lens Flair
The woven silk tweeter, meanwhile, uses a patented DXT (Diffraction eXpansion Technology) acoustic lens to combat baffle diffraction, improve off-axis response, and smooth integration with the midrange at the 2kHz crossover point. DXT lenses have, of course, been found on loudspeakers from other brands including Kii Audio [HFN Apr '20] and Grimm Audio [HFN Mar '11], but System Audio says it's worked specifically with DXT's patent-owner on the Legend 40's tweeter development.

The cabinet's MDF front baffle is 29mm-thick, set on a 5mm walnut inlay, while the curved sides use six layers of pressed 3mm MDF. Internally, an 18mm MDF plate separates the midrange and bass drivers into separate chambers.

This model is the smaller of System Audio's two Legend floorstanders – the costlier Legend 60 (£5400 per pair) adds two more 135mm bass drivers – and certainly merits the brand's 'slender' description. It's therefore a speaker that will please anyone seeking some hi-fi discretion (but probably not those who want a design statement), and with the black magnetic grilles in place, my satin black sample seemed to almost disappear from view.

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