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Legacy Wavelet Attempted Review (Speaker Processor)

Rate this audio processor

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 153 93.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 6 3.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 3 1.8%

  • Total voters
    163

SimpleTheater

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There are products that leave no room for “rating opinion polls”. This is one of those.
 

anmpr1

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With all due respect to Anthony Cordesman, his ears- however good- are 82 years old so maybe shouldn't be considered the last word.
What respect is due? Cordesman has always heard things that were never there. I believe he got his start as a barker with Harry Pearson's circus, and then gained some notoriety with a short-lived gig at Audio magazine. Most trad Audio subscribers rolled their eyes at his 'reviews', but the magazine was looking to increase their subscription take, and the editor figured that a strategic move into subjective 'tweako' territory was the ticket they needed to survive. To no one's surprise, Audio soon ceased publishing.

A 'national security analyst' (whatever that might be) turned audio reviewer, Cordesman never brought anything serious to the table. I suppose in that respect, he was/is no different than your music-loving dentist, attorney, or cardiologist, with a penchant for gear, turned hi-fi influencer.

Unlike Cordesman's security analytics field, where the bottom line is a zero sum game, as a hi-fi influencer his outcome is always win-win, simply because his editor at the Absolute Sound keeps sending him tens of thousands of dollars of hi-fi gear for free, and all the magazine expects in return is that the gear be eventually sent back (hopefully in one piece), along with some idiotic copy that makes potential customers want to buy both it and the magazine.

As far as his ears? I've known some octogenarians with remarkably good hearing, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, at least as far as his actual acuity goes. Of course I'm not talking about the imaginary stuff... can't account for that with a graph. Speaking of, all 'reviewers' relying on their ears alone should be required to publish audiograms at least every couple of years, in order that their public have a better idea about whether the gold has turned to tin.
 

m8o

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Wow, this product is exceptional...ly flawd! Wowz!

Tho what struck me the most perhaps is there's a plethora of devices to the right with even worse SINAD. [weak lol]
 
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Chuckv

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Bill Duddleston is the head engineer and founder at Legacy Audio since they were Reel to Real designs. I bought my first serious pair of speakers from him Circa 1988. He was a kind man, even offering a starving college kid a deal on a prototype he was developing that became a popular speaker called “The Legend”. He gave me a $5000 speaker for $1600 added a double 12” sub to round out the bottom end for $600. He talked to me on the phone personally. Maybe I was a gullible victim and didn’t know it. He unloaded a prototype for cold cash on a college kid and probably wrote off the R&D as an expense. Never questioned his ethics before now. ' @legacyaudio @billduddleston. Decades of fond memories of your kindness to a starving audiophile. What on earth happened man? There’s good in you yet. I can feel the conflict. You can leave the dark side. I still have your speakers from 35 years ago dude. Your talent and success make you better than this Man. You owe a lot of people an apology. Chifi is coming for all of you Bill. Look in the rear view mirror. Some things are closer than they appear.
 

LH3po

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Hello,


I’ve been a Legacy Wavelet owner for 5 years now, and feel compelled to respond:

“There is an Ethernet port but no documentation on how to use it.” There is an included ethernet to USB adaptor that comes with Wavelet. I understand you received this as a loan from someone else (presumably not a Legacy dealer or Legacy who would assist you), so perhaps that user isn’t aware of the included adaptor or they didn’t send it to you…

Anyways, the adaptor Legacy sent me made it super easy to connect via ethernet. I plugged my ethernet cable into the adaptor and connected to the USB port- the IP number comes up on the screen, and I entered that into my iPad- it took about 30 seconds to set up the first time, and connects immediately now. It also works great on my iPhone and laptop, to this day…

“Alas, once online I could not do anything to force the unit be in bypass mode.” There is a room correction bypass button, here, which toggles the room correction off and on…
screenshot IMG_1214.jpg

I’m not sure what else you’re wanting to bypass, as I understand it, Legacy sets up each Wavelet for the specific model speaker. Since it’s an active crossover for my Focus, I wouldn’t want to bypass the crossover, as it defeats the purpose and benefits of active bi-amplification, but for the sake of measurements, mine does have full range outputs on 2 and 6 though, which brings me to my next observation on your post…

The graph says your measuring outputs 2 and 5… I’m not sure what your friend had their loaner unit set up for, but I do know Legacy groups outputs where 1-4 are specific to the left and 5-8 are for the right bank of outputs. If you’re measuring outputs 2 and 5, you’re not measuring corresponding outputs, and you’re also not telling us if room correction is running, not to mention how it was configured for your friend’s system and how the outputs are designed…

“I found the volume control to be very odd in operation. Sometimes it would go backward in level as I continued to dial it forward.”
The factory documented and fixed the first batch of about 10 units (about 5/6 years old now if I recall) which had a bug in the volume control- it affected mine and Legacy was super helpful in replacing the part and updating mine- no issues.

*Side note- my BMW needed a part replaced for a known factory fix- all this to say, you won’t find me throwing the BMW out because they found a problem and fixed it.

I imagine your friend has a fairly old first batch unit that had that bug fixed…

Everything you measured has already been measured with detail and on a properly setup and tested unit. On of them is here: https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews.../legacy-audio-wavelet-preampprocessor-review/

The listed measurements you posted (Out 2 and 5) are not corresponding, and I imagine your friend has something going on... I suggest you have them contact Legacy, as they have been great to work with. Measurements with a crossover without proper setup, aren’t as enlightening as when it is properly set up. I suggest your friend that loaned it to you contact Legacy, they were super easy to deal with, and I’m a very happy customer! :)

-LH
 
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amirm

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“There is an Ethernet port but no documentation on how to use it.” There is an included ethernet to USB adaptor that comes with Wavelet. I understand you received this as a loan from someone else (presumably not a Legacy dealer or Legacy who would assist you), so perhaps that user isn’t aware of the included adaptor or they didn’t send it to you…
Are you sure? The unit already has a USB port. I wanted to use the network interface to configure the unit. Using an Ethernet to USB adapter makes no sense.
 
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amirm

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Anyways, the adaptor Legacy sent me made it super easy to connect via ethernet. I plugged my ethernet cable into the adaptor and connected to the USB port- the IP number comes up on the screen, and I entered that into my iPad- it took about 30 seconds to set up the first time, and connects immediately now. It also works great on my iPhone and laptop, to this day…
I tried that as well. It timed out because it was using 192.x.x.x IP address instead of 10.x.x.x that I use. I could not find a way to override that. Your home address must be 192.x.x.x based.

Edit: I think you are confusing the USB to Wifi adapter with Ethernet. That is what I used to finally get the unit talking to my home network. Ethernet is the hardwire connection in the back which should have avoided all this hassle:

index.php


Note the port in the middle next to USB.
 
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amirm

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“Alas, once online I could not do anything to force the unit be in bypass mode.” There is a room correction bypass button, here, which toggles the room correction off and on…
Room correction was off and not the problem. The problem was the high pass filter and specific response corrections which I assume is for their speakers. Buy any standard AV Processor and you can tell it all your speakers are large/No EQ and you get flat frequency response. I could not find any such option in this unit.
 
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amirm

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Everything you measured has already been measured with detail and on a properly setup and tested unit. On of them is here: https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews.../legacy-audio-wavelet-preampprocessor-review/

The listed measurements you posted (Out 2 and 5) are not corresponding, and I imagine your friend has something going on...
They made a small subset of my measurements. What they measured correlated with mine as I mentioned:

" We see a few harmonics in the spectrum with the peak at 2 kHz being about 88 dB below 2 VRMS."

Here is my dashboard:

index.php


2nd harmonic in my FFT is at -90 dB which is a hair better than what they report actually. So nothing wrong with this unit.

I measured the output of all the ports and only 2 and 5 had full level output. The rest had much lower output which indicated to me they were for other purposes. But who knows as they do not show this setup which is very poor form.
 
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amirm

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Measurements with a crossover without proper setup, aren’t as enlightening as when it is properly set up. I suggest your friend that loaned it to you contact Legacy, they were super easy to deal with, and I’m a very happy customer! :)
He is not my friend but a member. And he has a direct contact at Legacy as he indicated to me.

Problems I found don't necessarily stop anyone from liking the overall speaker system. Active EQ and room EQ should do a lot to make a system good sounding (I have heard them at shows many times). The issue is why put up with all the other deficiencies when they could have been solved with better design.
 

srkbear

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Forgive me for dragging my knuckles here, but what exactly is this box of screws called an “audio pre-amp/processor/DSP/Room EQ” intended to do? There’s an Ethernet port—is it a streamer? And what function is that RPI board performing? It looks awfully lonely there against that great empty chasm occupying the majority of the chassis—they couldn’t have found room for a proper power supply in there?

Serious question, I’m totally missing what market segment this piece belongs to. I’m getting that there’s a proprietary ecosystem this component is part of—is it about the “room correction”? Help?
 
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amirm

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It is an active box to make their speakers work (or third-party if you work with them). The network is just for remote configuration as as I know.
 
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srkbear

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BTW, here is my brief show report and pictures of Legacy system including this processor: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...o-fest-rmaf-2017-day-2.1982/page-3#post-52551
Thanks for the context, and for the shockingly garish images that just filled my screen.

I’m sorry, but I think the whole excessive mess, from concept to execution to price point to aesthetics, is simply hideous. No offense to whomover loaned it to you, but it is too clever by a mile and gimmicky to the extreme—the fact that it doesn’t perform to a minimum of expectations is just the coup de grace. I wonder what it’s resale value is?
 
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JD_Spoon

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Thanks for the context, and for the shockingly garish images that just filled my screen.

I’m sorry, but I think the whole excessive mess, from concept to execution to price point to aesthetics, is simply hideous. No offense to whomover loaned it to you, but their home must resemble a cross between Cher’s gothic phase and the interior catacombs from Aliens. Including the audio track.
Okay, so I've mostly been hanging my head in shame and not waiting to actually contribute to the conversation or admit ownership of it for how bad this thing tested, but seriously, my room's not *that* bad. :cool:

For a little context, I bought this particular Wavelet unit used because it theoretically filled all the functions (stereo preamp/DAC/active crossover) I was missing in my 2-channel build-out, and I was entertaining the idea of matching it with Legacy's iV series of Class D amps to ensure that my power-hungry KEFs got all the wattage they could handle. I had noted to Amir when I sent it that I had observed some channel weirdness in the brief time I had it in my setup, and levied my own complaint about the archaic and bizarre network configuration process for it. I wasn't surprised to see the same complaints crop up in the write-up. All that said, I'm a little heartbroken to see the results it produced, but the results are what they are, and it's pretty clear that even if the unit wasn't operationally wonky, the results are grossly underwhelming. I would also note the manual to be notably lacking some information about operating it for people who are buying it standalone rather than as part of one of their active speaker integrated packages. I would, however, caution readers that this unit was bought used, so I can't attest to the relative level of care and/or abuse it received before I owned it, or that might have been incurred in the shipping to me or to Amir.

It may or may not be of interest, but this particular unit did not leave the factory with a pre-load for any Legacy Audio speakers, but rather for a pair of Emerald Physics open baffle speakers (the precise model eludes me, but it's written on the bottom of the unit.) After I received it, I talked with Legacy's support staff, who suggested that while they could recalibrate it with a profile for my KEF Reference speakers, but it would probably not be necessary once I ran the room correction. IIRC, if I had opted to send it in for factory reconfig, there was no charge other than shipping for this work, even for my situation where it was bought secondhand. So, credit to Legacy Audio for customer service, at least in that regard.

Regardless, I don't see the Wavelet going back into my 2-channel stack, given the issues with it. Further, even if that weren't the case, any subjective opinions I might have about the adequacy of its audio quality have been poisoned with the objective knowledge of its inability to measure up to the other gear it's paired with. It does leave me with an extended process of figuring out what pieces I do need to bring in to replace that functionality, and how much more of a hit I'm going to take in my wallet to get there.
 

milosz

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I've liked the Legacy speakers that I've heard. I don't think the ones I heard were active, and I don't think this "wavelet" processor was in use. The speakers themselves seemed to sound pretty good in the limited audition opportunity I had at Axpona. Listening at a show isn't ideal, but it does indicate to me that the product might warrant further listening in a better setting.
 

Hart

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I feel bad for the person that laid out 5k for this thing. I sometimes wonder about the people who spend a lot of money only to find out whatever they sent in to be tested is not very good. I think Legacy is trying to reach a specific market today, not necessarily dyed in the wool audiophiles, but more nouveau riche clients. The high end speakers are really eclectic and very overwrought in design, cabinetry and price. I have no idea if they are any good, but their design differs a lot from accepted good speaker layout and design. My last house had a very large living room but that large V System speaker would look like a sci-fi prop in there. Especially the glowing blue badge.

 
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aschen

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No real opinion on this device or review, other than I thought the processor was an active eq and crossover for use mostly with Legacy speakers.

Around 25 years ago I visited legacy audio with an extracurricular student group Purdue Engineering Audio Society. I will say the owner opened up his facility to a bunch of students who couldn't possibly afford his speakers. He and staff spent several hours showing us their design process and getting a bit philosophical about our future as engineers. I do recall they took many jabs at snake oil and audiophile type BS.


A lot can happen in 25 years but they struck me as a classy crew all those years ago.
 
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