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Old 16th May 2010, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Legato or IVY III outputs for Buffalo II?

Hi Russ / Brian,
While waiting for the new B II batch to appear “In stock” I read the whole Buffalo II thread here and came upon the Legato announcement.
Well, I was about to happily order the IVY III with BP Placid etc. but I am now hesitating between the two I/V stages.
I know it’s very subjective and down to a personal taste but could you please be so kind and help me to choose the right one for me?
My system is a modified pre Naim NAC 202 w/ local Superregs and NAP 250.2 power going to a pair of 15” Tannoy DMTs. I am mainly a rock music listener (unfortunately, with poor sound quality very often) and I am looking for fast bass with good grip, good dynamics and smooth mids and treble.
So, IVY or Legato will suit better my (rocking) needs, please?
Thank you,
Ivo
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Old 16th May 2010, 05:45 PM   #2
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Being in the same situation I was wondering if anyone could comment on the IVY vs. Counterpoint differences in sound, not that these are identical or something, I am just curious as these are different topologies created by the same team, hoping that this will correlate in the new battle of the output stages .

To be honest I am in the SET lovers team and the idea of Legato (Counterpoint) fits my plans better. I kind of feel that Russ and Brian are trying to offer something for people who do not care fanatically about measurements and numbers but more about the sound, could you guys please elaborate a little on what made you design the Legato? Possibly some subjeeeeective comments ? Again many thanks for everything.

And bring on the AC2!!!
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Old 18th May 2010, 04:20 PM   #3
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Hi Russ,
Since 22nd is close any input about the sound differences of the two linestages will be highly appreciated, please!
Is the new Legato running with the same +-15V BP Placid?
Thanks!
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Old 20th May 2010, 02:25 AM   #4
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Hi Guys,

It is very difficult for me to comment on such questions. Because you are asking me for a subjective opinion. Still, I will do my best.

These two circuits are so extremely different.

They approach the challenge of accomplishing excellent linearity and high dynamic range in two very different ways.

IVY-III is "technically" superior and sounds incredible. It uses the same fully symmetrical feedback scheme as Nelson Pass' excellent super symmetrical applications. I am never disappointed in listening to it. It is DC coupled, and it - like most of my modules - really shines when used with fully balanced gear, but it is by no means lacking when used single ended. It combines active I/V with passive filtering in a way the leaves the audio signal both clean and crisp. The two stages of IVY-III work in concert to excellent effect.

The Legato and the IVY-III have this in common, an opamp based BAL/SE stage. Here is why, there simply is no better active solution I have found (yet). The wonderful thing is, there is no harm if you decide not to use it. You can use a transformer or other mechanism to get single ended output from the balanced signals. It is up to you. In the meantime you can use it as is and simply enjoy it.

The legato uses no opamps and no global feedback *at all* to achieve its excellent linearity. It instead uses a bit of local feedback which is called a CFP (complimentary feedback pair) which is a way to achieve extremely high trans-conductance and linearity from one logical transistor which is actually made up of one PNP and NPN pair. Much higher trans-conductance than could be achieved with any single FET or BJT is accomplished using the CFP. Legato as a system is quite simple. A classic common base amplifier with a CCS fed buffer. Very clean, very quiet, very musical, and impossible to forget.

So in the end. I can only recommend this: Try them both and decide which you like best for yourself. I have yet to be able to decide which I like best. I use both. The bottom line is you are not going to be disappointed with either of them.

Cheers!
Russ
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Last edited by Russ White; 20th May 2010 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 20th May 2010, 02:49 AM   #5
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As for power, the legato is designed for 12V rails. IVY-III for 15V rails.
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Old 20th May 2010, 03:58 AM   #6
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Hi Russ,

I do not see Legato on the Twisted Pear website. Is it still in development, or are you nearly ready to go? How about price?

Also, I am not too familiar with transformers. How does the sound compare to the SE output? Would it be possible to just use a SE output off of the differential Legato instead?

Thanks.
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Old 20th May 2010, 11:13 AM   #7
Javin5 is offline Javin5  Switzerland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ White View Post
IVY-III is "technically" superior and sounds incredible. It uses the same fully symmetrical feedback scheme as Nelson Pass' excellent super symmetrical applications.
Hi Russ, is this different from the way the IVY part on the Buffalo 32s is implemented? If yes, could you comment on the way it differs? Thanks for your response.

Kurt
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Old 20th May 2010, 12:52 PM   #8
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Hi Russ,
Thank you for the fair response!
I will get IVY III first since it's the only available at the moment and later I may try Legato with transformers, eventually.
Cheers,
Ivo
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Old 21st May 2010, 02:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reactivepower View Post
Hi Russ,

I do not see Legato on the Twisted Pear website. Is it still in development, or are you nearly ready to go? How about price?

Also, I am not too familiar with transformers. How does the sound compare to the SE output? Would it be possible to just use a SE output off of the differential Legato instead?

Thanks.
Legato is working, but I had some things I wanted to change about the PCB. The new PCBs will be here early next week (Monday). Once they are verified I will send them off to Brian and we will offer them for sale. the cost will be similar top the IVY-III.

It is possible to take just one end of the Legato to get single ended signal, but I would not recommend it. You may get some transient on turn on and turn off that way. Still some may want to try it.

Cheers!
Russ
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Old 21st May 2010, 02:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javin5 View Post
Hi Russ, is this different from the way the IVY part on the Buffalo 32s is implemented? If yes, could you comment on the way it differs? Thanks for your response.

Kurt
IVY-III is slightly different form the BUF32S output stage(IVY-II). But not a lot. The major differences are that it is floating (VOCM at 0V) referenced instead of 1.65V. This is because with super symmetrical feedback there is no advantage to the 1.65V reference. IVY-II and IVY-III are equivalent in terms of performance.

Cheers!
Russ
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