General Yo Legato
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
October 29, 2016
General Yo is releasing a brand new yo-yo and with it comes many firsts for the General Yo brand. The new throw, the Legato, is General Yo’s first bimetal. It sports a 7075 alloy body with stainless steel rings set in the cups of the yo-yo. It is the first to ship with Ernie’s new C-Size string centering K Bearing. Finally, it is the first General Yo to be designed in the USA but machined in China. With so many firsts it is going to be interesting to see how this release will change the fans’ opinion of the company.
• Diameter: 56.40 mm
• Width: 43.80 mm
• Width: 4.4 mm
• Weight: 63.5 grams
• Bearing: C-Size Centering K Bearing
• Response: General Yo 19mm Pads
First thing you are going to notice is that the profile borrows heavily from the Prestige’s design, which is a great start. I am not surprised that Ernie started with that as the base design, he had also used it with the much loved Prophecy as well. The large organic wing shape leaves you with a catch zone wide enough to drive a truck through while making for an extremely comfortable feeling yo-yo during play. Perfect for long play sessions involving new tricks that you are trying to learn. The big changes happen in the cup of the Legato. Instead of using chunky rims, thick inner walls, or large stabilizing step rings General Yo added a stainless steel ring to the inside of the cup. I prefer the under the rim placement of the steel weight ring, it leaves the outer wall alone, allowing it to remain free to soak up a blast finish. Thanks to the stronger 7075 aluminum alloy, the walls of the Legato are thin, giving it a wide open, almost cavernous cup with nothing inside but a small, sharp, spiked hub at the center of it’s flat floor. The Legato is wrapped in a smooth bead blast finish. The Legato’s design is nothing revolutionary but instead a great evolutionary step that started with the Prestige and kept getting better with age.
The weight is where I think General Yo truly shines on this yo-yo. As I said above the same profile design was used over the course of three yo-yos with just the cup changing. With the Legato, Ernie used a denser aluminum alloy and heavy weight rings yet it comes in as the lightest of the three yo-yos that employ this design. It zips around like a super stable little speed demon on the string.
Response and Bearing
The response used in the Legato is General Yo’s new 19mm pads. They are just as grippy as the larger version of the pads. They are a brilliant pad but if they are not your preferred response, you can swap them with your 19mm pad of choice. I am all for this industry movement towards a standard response groove size. It opens the door for more options when it comes to replacing your pads.
The bearing is General Yo’s new K bearing. It is a string centering bearing similar to in looks to the Center Trac bearing. It is decently quiet and mostly flat. I do miss the totally flat AIGR bearing but I am beginning to see that I am slowly becoming the minority when it comes to my preference for flat bearings. As it stands, if you are looking for a good string centering bearing, this is a good choice.
As I said above, this is a zippy little speed demon, making it a great competition oriented throw. I normally gravitate towards medium paced throws but found the Legato to still be an extremely enjoyable player. It gives incredibly long spins thanks to pretty much all of the weight resting in those rims. Even with all the rim weight this yo-yo plays rock solid stable during both horizontal and vertical play. The General Yo Blast finish is perfectly applied to the body of the Legato, allowing for incredible grinds on the hand, finger, and arm. Thumb grinds are a little anemic but I expect that with raw rings under the rim, it is the price you pay when you have a bimetal, grinds will suffer somewhere. In this case it is the not as used thumb grinds that lose out. The spiked hubs are a welcome little addition. They are sharp enough to catch when you pop the yo-yo up and easily allow for horizontal finger spins. If you are a tad bit of a masochist you can hold them tight and do a medium speed rip cord start… but your fingers will not be happy with you afterwards, at least mine weren’t.
At the end of the day, this is one fine playing yo-yo. It easily holds its own against some of the best competition yo-yos I have played in the past. Now to address the elephant in the room, the switch to “Made in China”. From talking to Ernie I know it was a hard call for him but in the end it allowed him to do what he ultimately wanted. He was able to bring a 7075 alloy, bimetal design to market and sell it at the same $110 price point that his premium mono metals sell for. It is a gamble that I think paid off for him, this is one fine General Yo product that will not change General Yo’s fans opinions at all.