YG Speakers Big and Small
Frustrated, not by the system, but by the ego-driven performance of the violin concerto that surrounded me in my youth, I moved on to the big room. In a space where it could strut its stuff without constraint, the mighty YG Acoustics Anat III Studio Signature ($68,000/pair) kept company the Accuphase DP-600 SA-CD player ($21,000), Veloce Audio LS1 Mk.II battery-powered linestage ($18,000), Tenor Audio 175S stereo amplifier ($55,000), and Kubala-Sosna Research Elation! Interconnects & speaker cables ($6000/first meter) and power cables ($1800/first meter).
This system delivered the kind of end-of-the-show lift, punch, and wow that sends you home smiling. When I entered, raucous rock sounded just as gut-shaking and raucous as one might wish. But when we switched to my SACD of Ivan Fischer conducting Mahler’s Symphony 2, the sound was equally big, effortless, remarkably full-range, and supremely controlled. I need to emphasize the latter point, because when the orchestra’s timpanist launched into a rapid timpani roll, the blur that I am accustomed to hearing was instead rendered as distinct, even, and extremely rapid thwacks. Combined with the presentation’s great height, width, and depth, this was a major wow.
There was just one thing. As superb and neutral as the sound was, it all seemed just a little bit unyielding, just a tad removed. It felt as though the system had not fully let down its guard. Since, to my mind, that suggested that something wasn’t performing to its full capacity, I emailed Bill Parish of GTT Audio after the show to ask if everything in the room had been fully broken-in before show time. Thus I learned that while the speakers were fully broken in, all the rest of the components, including the cabling, came fresh out of factory-sealed boxes on Thursday, three days before I visited the room.
“We feel that the components that we represent sound good out of the box and get more refined with usage,” Bill wrote. While I certainly cannot disagree, I wonder how many people who visited this room and heard what I heard left with the impression that the system was to some extent cold and unfeeling. If so, that’s a shame, because the room’s components, individually and collectively, are some of the most musically expressive components the high-end has to offer.