16 January, 2010

The Yumcha Diaries: 09/01/10

pics: Crossover and drivers of Yamaha NS-1000 (pics courtesy of thomasc2; click to enlarge)

The Yumcha Diaries: 09/01/10

Yamaha redux

A little while ago, in R33 thomasc2 posted some wonderful pics of innards of the Yamaha NS-1000, one of my favorite speakers. That's the first time I saw the substantial crossover. Then, being the DIYer and tweaker that he is, he took out the tweeter and mid-range and placed them outside the box. The speakers now look like some kind of old KEF or Sequerra (pic here)! After yumcha, 3 of us visited him. His system:

-Source: DIY CDM-4 transport into DIY TDA-1541 16-bit DAC (phono not used that day)
-"Preamp": DIY stepped attenuator using AB resistors (the CJ Premiere 7 used for phono only)
-Amp: Jadis JA-200
-Cables: Generic, mostly DIY

All of us were envious of Thomas' room, spacious and with high ceilings. All 9 people at yumcha could have easily stuffed into it. It is a good sounding room with no significant audible problem, even with minimal room treatment. The sound was relaxed and non-fatiguing. From slower vocals to violin music, everything was rendered well. The "Yamaha" sounded very open, but I was not sure HOW different it is from stock form. Thomas told me there was naturally less boxiness overall, and that he thinks the treble and mid-range outperforms his Wilson Watt 2/Puppy 3. I would certainly think so, particularly with tube amp!

For my taste, and this is nit-picking, I'd have appreciated a wee bit more rhythm and pace (P.R.A.T.) in certain music. I think that may be due to the passive preamp. When it comes to the preamp, thomasc2 and I belong to different camps. He believes in Less is More, and hence in the passive attenuator (particularly with a strong amp like the Jadis), whereas I believe an active preamp is essential in preserving the rhythmic, and hence dynamic, stucture of music. But then this division is common and not deterrent to enjoying different tastes!

Thomas is a meticulous person. One knows that already from the way he took apart and re-assembled the Yamaha. He told us he also went over his Jadis and found a lot of resistors have drifted way off, even opened! There was a lot of stuff lying around. Next time, I'd love to hear the Wilson and his DIY transistor amp.

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