Not Quite What I Expected

I don't quite know what I expected, but YGA's "factory" was not what I expected. I put factory in quotes because that sounds all automated and industrial, whereas YG's speakers are essentially built by hand. The speakers are constructed of aircraft grade 6061 T651 aluminum and the baffles are milled out of ballistic-grade aluminum/titanium alloy. On the day I arrived, the factory was being prepped for the delivery of a huge CNC station and a ceiling-mounted crane system to move large sheets of stock from station to station. At the moment, large panels are turned into speaker-sized parts by an outside contractor, but Geva prefers to do everything in-house so that he can assure himself that things are done to his specifications.

Geva wasn't quite what I expected, either. That intensity I noticed at shows? That's always there, but Diamond was right, the crazy circus environment of a show is no place to take YG's—or YGA's—measure. In his own environment, Geva was casual and confident, even dimming down some of his hyperbole.

"Best loudspeaker in the world? Well, maybe that should be best measuring loudspeaker in the world, which it is by my measurements. Or maybe I should just say it belongs in the company of the best loudspeakers of the world."

With that, he led me into YGA's very large listening room and showed me what he'd brought me there to observe: Two identical systems were set up in the room, each set up precisely to focus on different sweet spots, one incorporating Wilson Alexandrias ($135,000/pair) , the other YGA Anat Reference Professionals ($105,000/pair).

Uh oh, I thought, I'm going to trapped here until I admit I have a preference—if I say I like the Wilsons better, did I tell my wife who I was visiting on my trip out west?

"I'm not trying to prove the Anat Reference Pros are better than the Wilsons, I'm simply trying to illustrate that our speakers deserve to be compared to the best on the market," Geva said. "I chose the Alexandrias because I admire David Wilson immensely and because his speakers are so widely respected. I won't even ask you which speaker you prefer, all I want is for you to listen and decide for yourself if the Anat Ref Pros are 'ready for prime time.'"

Short answer: Absolutely. I'll be getting a pair for review in September, at which time I'll write the usual lengthy listening impressions. For now, suffice it to say that Geva made his point.

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Comments
meetoo's picture

Any speakers claiming to be the best should be compared to live performance, or at least Linkwitz Orion. Comparing two different loudspeakers is mereley looking for sound preference, not accuracy.

James madore's picture

a 20,ooo.oo pair of vandersteens could smoke both these speakers and measure better with the other 80 thou being spend on actually music. a fantastic waste of money.

CE's picture

Riiight. Aluminum for speakers..$105,000 and $135,000 why not $201,000 if ya making up absurd numbers for stuff, no mfg could ever justify these prices, except he needs a down payment on his new house. What does that mean, so widely respected, by whom? It's laughable by anyone with common sense.

Joel W's picture

I heard the Anat Reference 2 at CES and was immediately very impressed. Then I was invited by Yoav Geva to the factory on several occasions after CES, and in May, Yoav mentioned that he had both the Wilson Alexandria and the MBL 101D in his showroom. This was a rare opportunity that I felt I couldn't miss - to compare what I thought was the most respected speakers in the world to one that makes a claim to the throne. I flew to Denver for the day and spent the whole day listening to the 3 pairs interchangeably. My impression was that the the Wilson and the YGA were very close, except that I felt that the YGA was slightly superior in resolution while the Wilson was slightly superior on the bass on some material. Overall these are both phenomenal speakers. I was quite disappointed with the MBL sound as it was clearly not in the same league.

greg's picture

The grade of the aluminum is immaterial. Grade denotes strength of a material. The case of something like a loudspeaker is stressed far, far below the strength of the material, so it is not important. Any aluminum will do. And 6061 is dirt cheap, anyway. 7075 is what aircraft structural components are generally made from.Stiffness and mass are what matter, and they are independent of the grade, alloy, and temper of the aluminum.

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