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Like fine furniture, the YS-500's Cherry planks are assembled from saw toothed strips which helps obscure the seams and increases strength from greater surface contact. The unclosure is finished in a reddish brown while the horn itself is a lustrous deep red just like the firm's valve amps. The speaker isn't unduly heavy but its dimensions are so bulky that a pillow-protected dolly is advisable to wheel it through the house into the final position.

Some furniture protectors tacked to the Ebony footers enhance sliding slip to prevent dark marks on the floor. The bindings posts at navel height add that distance to your speaker cables if you wish them to hang straight down and thus mostly concealed. Speaking of concealment, most setups will have the YS-500 within reasonable proximity from the rear wall. This hides the open backs. My layout is unusual in that regard and in similar instances, the resultant cosmetics could be questionable to ask for a custom grill covering. No matter what, this is a chunky squatty speaker with a broad baffle. It does not conform to the current trend of stick insects with side-firing small woofers.

If you're eyeing the YS-500, make sure your significant other first approves of the real estate it will take up This is real furniture. You won't explain it away with poetry about sonic disappearance acts.

A glance inside and up reveals that Shigeki-San was quite understated about the - sufficiency of his woofer coil. It's seriously massive.

The brass woofer brace is equally a thing of substance. It increases coupling force of basket to baffle over what the T-nut bolting alone would accomplish. It also relieves the basket of the motor's weight for a superior mechanical arrangement.

The stated efficiency makes the YS-500 highly sensitive to gain and noise. Ancillary happiness in those regards will depend on a low-gain system and superior noise floors. Otherwise you'll suffer steady-state hum and very little play on the volume control.

The beefy 4.7V output of the Raysonic Audio CD228 under review coupled to the high gain of the Yamamoto A-09S meant standard levels kicked in at ca. 10 on the 99-max display of the Esoteric C-03 preamp when its circuit was set to zero gain. I had to scale back the Raysonic via its variable outputs to balance this act and eliminate noise.

The grill is a very substantial piece of clean metal work whose stark contrast of light silver against the dark baffle emphasizes its somewhat - er, industrial aspect. Removal will leave screw holes since the bores don't penetrate the wood. You can't properly reseat the screws after taken off baffle and standoffs without having the screws protrude through the back. You'd have to remount the standoffs without the grill.

As you can see, domestic harmony would prefer the speakers either close enough against a wall to where nobody regularly walks behind them or custom-order a cosmetic back cover.