Japanese sound magic
The Yamaha Speaker is made with the same requirements for professional precision as your concert flyers. It can be seen and heard.
- A technical tour de force. The detail judgment and dynamics blow you over and the ability to convey the scale and depth of the recording does not stand back for anything.
- May sound a bit forward in the top, and like strengths with muscles. Available only in black varnish.
You can buy a big grand piano for the price of a pair of Yamaha NS-5000. It says a bit about the advanced speaker design, and does not exactly create small expectations for the sound quality.
For this, some unusual speakers, the relatively common design despite.
There is an obvious line of NS-690 from 1972, to the larger NS-1000M from 1974 to NS-5000 today.
Then it’s not just the design I’m thinking about, with the distinctive displacement of the midnight and treble element, but also that they both were first out with an unused material in the speaker context.
Beryllium was used as a top layer on the membranes in 1974. Today, there is a new material that debuts in the NS-5000: Zylon.
It is a synthetic material developed in Japan, which is said to have greater fracture strength and elasticity than any organic material, such as wood fibers. The material is used in all three elements, and Yamaha says it is superior to Beryllium on hardness, rigidity and weight, and that, among other things, the speakers are even more neutral than for example. NS-1000 and NS-2000 were.
Fun Fact: A 1.5 mm thin Zylan wire, is capable of holding the weight of a ton!
The 40 cm wide and 70 cm high speakers, reminiscent of older JBL models. Which was hugely popular in Japan in the 70’s, and perhaps the reason for the design selection Yamaha chose at that time, with the elements shifted to the side on the front of the cabinet. The cabinet yes. It comes solely in several layers of black varnish, which is polished and polished just the way Yamaha does with pianos. They are currently not available in other versions, such as wooden veneer, but it can not be excluded that it may come. So then it’s black that applies. Yamaha says that several layers of lacquer not only provide a smooth and smooth surface, but that it dampens resonances better than wood veneers. Just so you know.
Underneath the lacquer, there are selected woods from Hokkaido-white birch, which are dried and mounted in the same way as the Yamaha handles fly. The 29.5 mm thick front plate and the other 20 mm thick plates are cut and adjusted before brushing, priming and lacquering in several layers.
To get a uniform shine, polish the paint layers before applying a top coat with polyester coating to get a harder surface.
Again, just like Yamaha does with his handmade pianos and flutes.
The engineers at Yamaha have used a laser vibroscope and Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis to figure out how best to reduce the energy in the cabinet to keep resonances away.
Inside, therefore, there are mounted reinforcements and stiffenings, precisely positioned where the measurements show that it is most needed. And in each speaker, J-shaped acoustic absorbents are also installed, which removes standing waves inside the cabinet.
This obviously gives the elements better working conditions. The 30 cm bass element – 12-inch – is connected to a bass port on the backside. It is pouring into a light muzzle mouth, which dampens wind noise from the gate. Two foam rubber plugs included. A large and a small all depending on how much damping is required.
For example, if you have to cushion the bass because the speakers are close to a wall.
While the bass element has a fully-welded and perfectly smooth zylon membrane mounted in an aluminum curve, the mid-tone and treble element has a lightly structured surface for better stiffness. In addition, these two elements are mounted in each of their tubular chambers, which looks like something derived from a brass blowing instrument.
They remove the need for additional damping material behind the elements, while eliminating the resonances behind the membranes. Something like Yamaha, will provide more linear response and better resolution.
The 750 and 4500 Hz crossover uses components from Mundorf, a 1.6 kg (!) Coil to the bass element, and 140 micron thick copper lanes on a double-printed circuit board.
The speakers weigh 35 kg and are supplied with custom 8 kg heavy sockets called SPS-5000. They are matt black, made of aluminum and have adjustable rounded spikes below, and small flat screws that provide better contact with the speakers. By the way, it can be attached to the 30 cm high sockets, with one screw from the bottom of the top plate.
Super resolution and super scale
After a couple of weeks with the speakers, I think they can get the same legend status as the NS-1000M. Perhaps it’s also a broken cliché, but they have many of the same qualities as an electrostatic speaker.
Each case, it’s my impression after all the hours of the NS-5000.
They can be placed as I did, with middle and treble vent to the center for a clear focus, or the opposite for a slightly wider stereo perspective. Either way, the speakers have the same qualities: A super-resolved sound image with a rare depth and scale, of the kind that makes the music experience a revelation.
The speakers can be perceived as a bit slim, despite the fact that they sound well in the lowest octaves, because even though the sound balance produces great warmth in the middle tones, the treble is a little forward. At the same time, in fact, the bass, 12-inch, can be experienced as well well-controlled.
But that means that the speakers require some of the amplifier. The impedance does not fall below 3.5 ohms, but it was obvious that the McIntosh MC611 with 600 wi each channel, definitely lifted the sound of the speakers many notches.
For example, the effortless way to lead a speaker like NS-5000 gave opera a soul-setting magic where the word three-dimensionality got a new meaning. Luciano Pavarotti and Mirellia Freni’s collaboration in Puccini’s La Boheme at Decca, with von Karajan as leader, was reproduced with many of the same qualities as Martin Logan and Quad’s excellent electrostatic speakers. Thus, an outstanding neutral, resolved and focused middle tone. Personally, I think that the treble could have been damped about 1 dB. For the vocals and the strings, they could sometimes appear a bit in the top image of the sound image.
The orchestra’s bass department came very well with it, with the help of the speakers. They are capable of reproducing shocking, nuanced bass. Perhaps due to the massive internal cushioning, however, Gary Peacock or Eberhard Weber’s bass game can freely rent the motto of emphasis on some of the most precise and at the same time the most dynamic bass reproduction I’ve heard of any speaker up to this size.
The Yamaha speakers may not be as loose and engaging as a pair of difficult Klipsch speakers, they convey the music in a completely different way. While a few good Klipscher approaches life even with a small NAD amplifier, the Yamaha works best with muscles that drive the music out of the speakers. Soundly, they are more reminiscent of large studio monitors than PA speakers.
They have some qualities that are hard to dislike. Vokals for example. Whether it’s Luciano Pavarotti, Ryan Adams or Radka Toneff, the sound is beautifully reproduced. You can get chills on the back of The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress, and Che Gelida Manina.
You can not talk about a Yamaha speaker without mentioning the piano sound. Keith Jarrett’s Cologne concert, trio recordings, or Roy Bittan’s electric piano on some of Bruce Springsteen’s songs, blades with a depth and with tunes I have not heard since Sonus faber speakers for half a million.
There are not many speakers in this price range similar to the Yamaha NS-5000. Kef Reference 5 is one of my personal favorites, but even with all the qualities they possess, they do not have the same superfocused solution as the NS-5000. The Martin Logan Impression 11A lacks the extreme treble and dynamics of the Yamaha, and a pair of Focal Sopra No.2 sounds fatter in bass and is more allround perhaps, but unable to create the same depth in sound as the Yamaha speakers.
The Yamaha NS-5000 is a sensational comeback for a manufacturer who has not made a high-end for over 30 years. The speakers show what Japanese engineering can do when they want, and have given us more food. More Yamaha’s high end, will surely give them a completely different status among connoisseurs, who may have looked at the unilateral focus on surround receivers. The Yamaha NS-5000 can get the same legend status as the NS-1000M, because they have many of the same quality but are even better speakers in all areas. A speaker that definitely challenges many established speaker manufacturers in the high-end layer.
Yamaha NS-5000 Characteristics
- Type: Three-way floor-standing bass reflex
- Sensitivity / Ohm: 88 dB / 46 ohm
- Frequency response: 26 hz – 40 kHz -10 dB
- Basselement: 30 cm zylonbermembran
- Medium Tone Element: 8 cm zylon berth membrane
- Treble: 3 cm zylonberry membrane
- Dimensions / Weight: 39.5 x 69 x 38.1 cm / 35 kg
- Other: Supplied floor racks
Yamaha NS-5000 Price: $17,500, –