Let’s start with that name; it’s not an acronym. Everyone in the audio world is so programmed to see the letters ‘A’ and ‘R’ together and assume they have a meaning that one of the first questions people ask of YAR is, “what does the ‘Y’ stand for?” That’s a bit like saying, “what does the ‘K’ in ‘Kent’ stand for?” Moreover, it’s pronounced as its written, like the extended remix of the German or Sloane Ranger word for ‘yes’, or the universal greeting of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, but without as much growling. It’s not ‘Why-Eh-Ahhh’… it’s ‘Yar’, OK?
A more apposite (if curiously Geordie-sounding) question is ‘why YAR?’ The name comes from the Russian missile test site known as Kasputin Yar, which is also known as the ‘Russian Roswell’ and Giancarlo Sopegno, YAR’s design guru, is a bit of a UFOlogist in his spare time. Normally, that tale – and possibly the products themselves – would be consigned to the ‘space cadet’ end of the spectrum but given the styling of the trio of products in the Yar line up, the back story to the name really fits. And, given Sopegno’s ‘form’ with brands like Audio Tekne and MBL, the products should be taken seriously.
The Yar system comprises of four components; the B-yond integrated amplifier, the Feeld stand that amp sits upon, the tall, multi-way Y-der loudspeakers, and the YAR cables. The four (more realistically, the three and the stand if you need it) are designed to work as a team. Each is interesting in and of itself, though, even before they are considered together.
Let’s start with the obvious, the big guns… the €125,000+VAT Y-der loudspeakers. This is a 160cm tall standmount loudspeaker. That in and of itself is unique. The primarily open Y-der loudspeaker chassis sits in a composite frame with two side outrigger arms and a cross-bar rod that allows a degree of tilt around the acoustic centre of the design. The frame also features a heavy aluminium base plate that houses the crossover network. The more you start to think about essentially a giant standmount loudspeaker, the more sense it makes; it eliminates many of the problems endemic to standmount designs (even the largest are still too damn small to deliver full-range bass and real-world dynamics) and those that plague floorstanders (the point where the speaker ends and the floor begins acting as a timing-shreddring baffle step of sorts). The unique, bold design of Y-der by YAR is not, as you might expect, the result of giving their designers free rein. On the contrary, it’s an example of how form equals function.
As to the speaker itself, it’s unique. The cabinet has no parallel surfaces whatsoever, which all but eliminates any internal resonance. The layout is a three way design of essentially a D’Appolito array within a D’Appolito arrsy (the outer dynamic double bass reflex units flanked by a pair of dipole planar magnetic mid-range units that themselves flank a single dipole planar magnetic treble panel). This gives the large design a vertical radiation pattern similar to a coaxial loudspeaker and placing each unit block in the acoustic centre of the next in line (coupled with the characteristics of planar magnetics in this context) give the loudspeaker a point-source performance, albeit writ large.