First Listen: YG Acoustics’ flagship Sonja XV four-tower loudspeaker system

YG Acoustics Sonja XV

Some common reactions to the speaker might be, for example, eyes growing wide as the Sonja XV explicates familiar musical passages in an exceptionally lucid way, or deep chortles as the Sonja XV exposes unexpected moments of vivid realism in well-recorded tracks, or—at the very best three-dimensional moments—blurted expressions such as, “How is that even possible?” When I say the Sonja XV offers an extremely compelling listen, I am—believe it or not—exercising my very best American imitation of traditional British reserve and understatement. The tricky part is that the Sonja XV is pulling just as hard in the opposite direction—evoking almost shameless, gushing expressions of musical awe, wonder, and delight. It’s just that kind of loudspeaker.

The Sonja XV consists of two large towers per channel. The main tower features a two-way, three-driver tweeter/midrange module at the top, a three-driver mid-bass module in the middle, and a single-driver bass module down at floor level. Then, standing slightly behind and to the side of the main XV tower is a second tower that is focused purely on low bass and that consists of three more bass modules that are different in shape, but equal in enclosed volume, to the bass module used in the main tower. Starting at the bottom of the frequency range and working upward, the crossover points used in the Sonja XV are placed at 65 Hz, 337 Hz, and 1.75 kHz.

Most of the technologies used in the speakers have, with two key exceptions, been seen in past YG Acoustics designs. Thus, the six modules that comprise each Sonja XV feature cabinets whose panels are precision machined from solid slabs of aircraft-grade aluminium, then treated to an exquisite black anodised finish. Cabinet panels are joined using aircraft-style ‘pressurised assembly’, which is a subtle technique that deliberately pre-stresses panel-to-panel joints in a way that eliminates both vibration and air leaks and that makes for a cabinet that is exceptionally rigid and stays that way over time. On the cabinet interiors, YG uses its proprietary ‘FocusedElimination™‘ technology to reduce resonance while at the same time minimising mechanical or friction losses (the design is said to provide the critical damping advantages of a sealed enclosure with the freedom-of-driver motion benefits of a vented enclosure).

Crossover boards are of ultra heavy-duty construction, so that the board’s circuit traces are not ‘printed’, but rather machined into the ultra-thick pure copper layers on the face sides of each board. Many components used in the crossovers are top-shelf units from manufacturers such as Mundorf, but in certain critical areas—most notably large, in-the-signal path inductors—YG chooses to make its own components. Thus, the firm builds ‘ToroAir™’ CNC-wound toroidal air-core inductors for its mid-range and high-frequency crossover, and—in a first for the Sonja XV—uses its own all-new ‘ViseCoil™’ CNC-wound low-frequency inductors, which are encased in beefy, vise-like milled enclosures said to “eliminate vibration and tighten tolerances.” YG provide a brief video showing how its ViseCoil inductors dramatically outperform even the most costly of available third-party inductors.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Articles