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YOAV GEVA | YG Acoustics

YG Acoustics LLC
4941 Allison St. Unit 10
Arvada, CO 80002 | U.S.A.


xhibitions and shows are surely not the best place for presentations of high-end audio systems, at least not when a sound quality is what matters. Problems with acoustics, power, and a really short time for setting up result in million dollars worth systems delivering only a small portion of their true potential, and some of them sounding even really, really bad.

Visiting a room with a system combined of JWB Merlin electronics and YG Acoustics speakers was therefore all the more interesting experience. I came across this presentation in a room that was built in one of the main halls at MOC during High End 2014 in Munich. I sat there for quite a while enjoying immensely dense, rich, even warm sound, but it was this natural warmth of sound and not artificially imposed by the system. Speakers with aluminum drivers in aluminum enclosures and a solid-state electronics that offered a “vintage-like” sound but without its usual downsides? Yes, it was just the case. Awarding this system with Best Sound High End 2014 was just a formality (High End 2014 coverage HERE).

Despite all the show related problems I mentioned above it does happen that a system delivers stunning performance. There are many reasons why that sometimes happens, one of them being pure luck, another being extraordinary effort by exhibitor, sometimes it's just about something else. I remember very well my visit to German company ASR's room four years ago. I spent a lot of time there listening to a system with Emitter II amplifier, Bergmann Audio Sleipner turntable and YG Acoustics Anat Reference II loudspeakers. It shouldn't be much of a surprise if I tell you that this system was then also awarded with “The best sound” (coverage HERE; review ASR Emitter II amplifier HERE, Bergmann Audio Sindre turntable HERE ).

YG Acoustics doesn't have a distributor in Poland at the moment. Despite that I'd like you to read what a man, who made perfection his hallmark, has to say, as this is the future of high end. Yoav Geva, the owner and chief engineer of YG will tell you about his work, his past, and you will find out that his family comes from… - to learn that you need to keep on reading.

WOJCIECH PACUŁA: Let's start with how YG Acoustic started?
YOAV GEVA: An anecdote about me that few people know is that my family's original name was actually Gonczarowski, not Geva. This means that while my father is from Germany, somewhere "higher-up" in the family-tree I'm part Polish. I thought that your readers would find this an amusing side-note :)

Music has been a big part of my life since I was a small child. My brother is a professional opera singer. My father is a bass player, and I've always played keyboards. Listening to classical music was a substantial part of the family activities, and I continue that tradition with my own children.
When I was a teenager, I bought my first stereo system. It didn't sound very good, so I asked my father for advice. My father gave me two options: work more, save up more money, and buy a better stereo system. Or, build my own speakers. My father agreed to finance the textbooks and materials to learn the trade, because he saw educational value in building something, and that's how I started.

I was trained by the military in digital signal processing. Afterwards, I went to university to augment my education with some electrical engineering, but the majority of the training came from the military program.
Speakers are essentially analog signal processing. What I did in the military was digital signal processing, but the ideas of how to do both are basically one and the same.
When I left the military, I tried to use the same thought-process but applied it toward speaker and crossover design. That was actually the beginning of our DualCoherent technology, which is the one technology that has remained consisted in all YG Acoustics speakers from Day One. The idea of having a crossover with near-zero relative phase and a flat frequency response at the same time. All that came from my background in digital signal processing.
I submitted my first prototype, made using DualCoherent technology, to an annual competition for young inventors. I was fortunate enough to win a grant which I used to start YG Acoustics.

Why did you start another loudspeakers company – aren’t there enough ones?
We live today in a world where almost anything that you may want to buy - someone probably already makes it. Therefore, the criterion in my mind should be not whether speakers are already available on the market, but rather - can I innovate and push the edge of the art further, towards more lifelike sound. At YG Acoustics, we constantly invent new speakers and new technologies that bring us closer and closer to the ideal of live sound at home. We'll always continue innovating and pursuing this elusive goal. We believe that the world is better off with companies like YG Acoustics that continuously push the edge of the art in any field; without this approach, nobody would invent anything because almost always some product is already offered on the market.

How do your speakers differ from others?
Sonically, YG Acoustics speakers are not voiced, and simply convey the recording - nothing more, nothing less. This results in a lifelike, natural sound that has made us famous around the world.

Technologically, YG Acoustics offers six key solutions that distinguish us from other manufacturers:

  • BilletCore - revolutionary drivers machined from solid billet
  • ForgeCore - the ultra-low-distortion motor system
  • ToroAir - leading-edge inductors without signal contamination
  • DualCoherent - the crossover coherent in both time and frequency domains
  • Cabinet Technology - fully CNC-machined, aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • FocusedElimination - pinpoint elimination of resonances without loss. For your tech-savvy readers, details and measurements that demonstrate these technologies can all be found on our website at.

Business-wise, YG Acoustics has a very loyal and strong customer-following thanks to our modular, upgradeable speakers. Typically, one can start with a smaller YG Acoustics speaker and expand it to a larger speaker by adding modules without replacing existing ones. When new technologies arrive, existing YG Acoustics customers can typically upgrade their speakers, in the field in a matter of hours, to the new technology without replacing their speakers. This way, we protect our customers' investments for many years to come, and allow them to conveniently remain at the edge of the art.

What kind of amplification you suggest for your speakers?
YG Acoustics speakers work well with a very wide range of amplifiers. We have customers who use solid-state, and other customers who use tube amps. I can give a few general guidelines, but of course a specific choice should take into account the room-size, listening-habits, and other components in the system such as source and cabling.

Here are a few ruled-of-thumb:
1. 60+ Watts is recommended to achieve higher volume levels. A current-capable power supply is preferred, so some amps (with current-capable power supplies) can work well even if their wattage is a bit lower.
2. A decent damping-factor is required to maintain the speaker's neutrality, so solid-state and push-pull tubes tend to work better on our speakers than single-ended amps.
3. Single-amping and bi-amping are both typically supported. Some models support tri-amping as well.

How is it to start a new company in a world where “everything” is already available on the market?
In today's world, since almost everything can be purchased from many companies, the demands on a manufacturer are higher than they were in the past.
The things that have allowed YG Acoustics to distinguish itself from the crowd, and to succeed and grow in this market, are a relentless dedication to sound-quality, reliability and on-time delivery. We achieve this through constant innovation, both in terms of delivering lifelike sound, but also very importantly we constantly make sure that our workmanship is second to none. The same standards apply to the quality of our manufacturing-equipment, to our insistence on fulfilling our promises to customers by delivering our speakers on-time, and by making sure that our speakers are robust and can provide many years of trouble-free musical enjoyment.

YG Acoustics seems to be very well capitalized company – where do the money come from?
The source of the funds are people just like your readers - discerning audiophiles who love having lifelike sound at home. We are very grateful for our customers' support, and we continuously earn their trust by investing proceeds from their speakers in new research, development, equipment and manufacturing-processes to offer products that meet and exceed their critical demands.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank your readers for supporting YG Acoustics and the high-end industry in general - your pursuit of perfection is what drives us to excel. We view it as our ongoing responsibility to translate your support into continuously providing you with innovative solutions for lifelike sound at home.

Why, do you think, were you included in Robert Harley’s book The Absolute Sound’s Illustrated History of High-End Audio. Volume One: Loudspeakers?
We're honored that Robert Harley and the other expert reviewers at TAS have considered us worthy to be included in this flagship project. The best people to answer your question are of course TAS' reviewers. From my end, I played the speakers for them, and let the sound "do the talking".

You surely know of Linn’s approach expressed by: “source first” – is it still viable today?
In today's world, to achieve lifelike sound, everything needs to be good. Source, amplification, speakers and accessories all have to be at a high level. Any musical information that is lost anywhere within the audio chain, can never be recovered.
Assuming that all components in the system are of high quality, the question still remains as to where the biggest return-on-investment lies within an audio system. I have personally heard more systems with high-end speakers and slightly less expensive electronics that sounded pleasing, than the other way around.

The reason is that a speaker is essentially multiple devices, all grouped into one product, with very careful alignment to each other. Typically, each frequency-range has its own dedicated circuitry (electronics), its own dedicated driver(s) (mechanics), and sometimes its own dedicated enclosure (acoustics). In a 3-way 3-module speaker like our flagship Sonja 1.3, for instance, you're dealing with 22 devices per pair of speakers: 10 drivers, 6 circuits, and 6 enclosure-modules. Most other pieces of gear in a system don't have that many devices that operate in all three domains (electronic, mechanical and acoustical), and have to be perfectly aligned with each others in both the frequency and time domains.

What you think about digital file “revolution”, is it “the next big thing”? Can we stream it on high-end level?
I believe that high-resolution digital files are a very interesting medium, that is showing a lot of potential for the future. Currently it is still in its early stages, but already it's quite exciting. We should also remember, though, that in all high-end mediums, whether they be CD, LP, SACD, master-tape or high-res files, the level of execution is the determining factor. For instance, well-executed analog, and even well-executed red-book CD, can produce remarkable results.

Please tell me something about 10 music albums my readers should listen right away and why.
I love classical music first and foremost, and therefore you'll notice that most of my selections below are classical. I made sure to include some other genres, though.

1. Beethoven's 9 symphonies with Karajan conducing the Berliner Philharmoniker 1963. My personal favorite is the 2nd movement of the 9th symphony.

2. Mozart's Violin concertos played by Anne Sophie Mutter with Yuri Bashmet. I know that some people claim that Mutter is often too technical, but I believe that after listening to this wonderful album, it's easy to see that she has a lot more than just technical ability to offer.

3. Bach's Orchestral Suites #1~4 by Ton Koopman. First of all, I'm personally a Bach fan so this is an easy choice. Second, I feel that Koopman offers virtuosity without sacrificing authenticity, in perfect balance.

4. My brother, Yannai Gonczarowski, performing Schubert's Winterreise and additional Lieder. I think that the reason is obvious. My favorite Lied is Schumann's Belsazar.

5. Bach's Suites for Solo Cello by Janos Starker. Another easy choice for Bach fans.

6. Maria Joao Pires' Complete Complete DG Solo Recordings. I'm sure that many of your readers will share my enthusiasm with the multitude of wonderful Chopin pieces. I also personally love the Schubert pieces.

7. Bach's Organ Works by Karl Richter. As a keyboard player, in my dreams this is how I play. In reality, I can only admire it.

8. The Stimulators, Loaded (2009). This wonderful band combines Afro-Cuban rhythms, jazz-inspired solos, and blues-style vocals into a fascinating mix.

9. John Lee Hooker's The Healer, which also features Carlos Santana and many other top-notch artists. My favorite blues artists are John Lee Hooker and B.B. King, so I had to put at least one album from one of them in this list.

10. Charles Mingus' Blues and Roots. A humble, very old, mono recording. I recommend that you check out the track Moanin.

Thank you for letting me share my philosophy and my musical favorites with „High Fidelity” Readers!

We would like to thank Mr Kerry St. James (YG Acoustics | Senior Account Executive) for his help in arranging this interview.

  • Huge aluminum slabs delivered to YG Acoustics factory in Colorado.
  • Aluminum slabs are transported inside one of three huge halls in YG Acoustics' factory (please notice a proportion between worker's feet and sheets).
  • Front panels machined on huge Portatec CBC lathes. Exactly the same machines are used in Airbus factory.
  • The Sonji's front panel starts getting its final form.
  • Partially completed, but fully finished Sonji's front baffle (before anodizing).
  • 5-axis Gildemeister lathe while working. Woofer's diaphragm processing.
  • Woofer BilletCore processing.
  • Processing of the back side of driver's diaphragm. YG's drivers are not pressed – metal never has to undergo any stress.
  • Partially finished mid- lowrange drivers.
  • Consecutive stages of making a diaphragm. It starts with a 7 kg aluminum cylinder and it ends with a 35 mm diaphragm.
  • Making of own PCBs. Precise cutting of thick copper. There wide traces that are cut instead of narrow ones that are etched.
  • Air-core coils are wounded in-house. The machine that does wounding is controlled by CNC and was custom build for YG. Toroidal coil eliminates cross-talk.
  • Complete toroidal coils.
  • Jumpers made in-house. Highest quality ultra pure copper gold-plated with two-side covers made of anodized aluminum.
  • Speaker bindings made in-house. Highest quality ultra pure copper gold-plated.
  • In-house made aluminum spikes with steel cores. They are optimized by YG for each speaker model separately.