The Vantage is the newest floorstanding loudspeaker from the Arvada, Colorado-based firm YG Acoustics—a model many of us did not see coming. I say this because the Vantage is in essence a three-way, three-driver, tower-type loudspeaker that strongly resembles the firm’s £53,000/pair Hailey 2.2 loudspeaker, but is priced many thousands of dollars (and pounds) lower, at £39,990/pair. Were significant corners cut to achieve this reduction in price? Let me answer by paraphrasing everyone’s favourite nanny, Mary Poppins, who when asked if she had noteworthy imperfections replied, “Well, hardly any…” In short, the Vantage preserves most—albeit not quite all—of the technical features of the Hailey 2.2 while offering substantial cost savings.
Before we delve deeper into the specifics of the Vantage design, let’s take a brief tour of YG Acoustics’ signature 'building block' loudspeaker technologies—the technologies that form the essence of the brand’s identity.
First, all YG cabinet enclosure panels are CNC machined from thick slabs of aircraft aluminium and fastened together using aircraft-type “vibration-free pressurised assembly” techniques. Second, all YG speaker cabinets use the firm’s proprietary FocusedElimination™ anti-resonance technology said to keep “mechanical losses lower than any competing speaker, by combining the minimised turbulence of a sealed design with the low friction otherwise associated with enclosure-free concepts.” Third, all YG loudspeakers, share the firm’s signature ‘tapered obelisk’ industrial design motif—a motif developed with input from none other than Porsche Design. One interesting aspect of this motif is that cabinet panels initially appear to be flat, but prove on closer inspection to combine extremely subtle compound curves. The cabinet sides are precision machined, then surface finished to a satin sheen and finally anodised in jet-black or silver. Stated simply, YG’s speaker enclosures represent a tour de force in the fine art of precision metalwork.
Shared YG Acoustics design features go far beyond the loudspeaker enclosures, per se. For example, all YG bass, mid-bass, and midrange drivers feature the firm’s signature BilletCore™ driver diaphragms—so named because the diaphragms are milled from solid billets of aluminium. This might seem an exercise in gratuitous machine shop excess, but according to company founder Yoav Geva it is not. Instead, his findings have shown that stamped metal driver diaphragms are prone to dimensional inconsistencies, problems with uncontrolled resonance, and the formation of eventual stress cracks over time. Similarly, Geva argues that composite driver diaphragms, too, form microscopic internal cracks (or de-laminations) that slowly can become audible over time. In contrast, YG’s machined diaphragms are dimensionally stable, have machined-in resonance control ribs precisely where they are needed, and exhibit no structural degradation over time. In short, the drivers perform beautifully when new and will continue to do so year after year.