THE Show Newport 2012 • TABlog

by Marc Mickelson | June 2, 2012

One of the used-record vendors at the show was also selling vintage audio equipment. This included an all-in-one unit that combined a receiver with the ubiquitous-for-the-era cassette deck and an odd-looking (or cool-looking, depending on your perspective) vertically oriented turntable -- the LP was clamped to the unit's front instead of letting gravity do its thing. When this unit was in production, likely in the late 1970s or early 1980s, appealing to the greatest number of buyers was prized over and above specialization of purpose that would result in better sound. This unit's oddness (or coolness) was its main selling point.

In stark contrast, Yoav Geva, the "YG" of YG Acoustics, is all about the specialization that distinguishes high-end audio -- what's ultimately responsible for its attraction for those who want closer communion with their music than that weird all-in-one could ever attain. Take his BilletCore drivers, a display of which he stands next to, as an example. The cones for these drivers begin as heavy pucks of aircraft-grade aluminum that are then machined down to 8/1000ths of an inch, removing 99% of the material. Putting aside the time required for this endeavor -- eight hours on a CNC lathe for a single woofer -- Yoav's reasons for creating his own cones when he can buy stamped near equivalents reminds us of the high-tech side of high-end audio. Stamped cones have microscopic cracks that can equal half of the cone's thickness, compromising rigidity. Also, the surface of the BilletCore machined cones is smoother and far more uniform, allowing greater matching of drivers per speaker pair.

This display rack shows the progression from billet aluminum to finished drivers.

And finally the sonic results. Five pairs of YG Acoustics speakers were used at the show, including with Luxman electronics and Kubala-Sosna cables in one of the medium-sized demo rooms. . .

. . .and Esoteric electronics as well as Synergistic Research cables and power products in one of the Hilton's massive ballrooms. The sound in both cases was big and powerful, but not lacking in the least the subtleties that made it convincing.

I visited the YG Acoustics factory three years ago and was very impressed with what I saw and heard. I'll be heading back for another visit this summer -- and writing once again about the goings-on, including more on the BilletCore drivers.

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