Words By: Sam Kessler
Generally the higher the price tag attached to a luxury product, the more you expect to get for your money. Whether that’s the size of a house, the gems set into a piece of jewellery or the horsepower of an engine, the higher-end it is, the more you’d demand. It might seem strange then that there’s one segment that has the complete opposite aim – to be as unnoticeable as possible.
That is the purview of audio, at least when you begin to approach the pinnacle. The ideal is to be able to reproduce music to the point where the equipment – speakers, amplifiers, player et al – simply cease to exist in the ears of the listener. Many manufacturers have come close to that perfect audio singularity, though most see that level of experience impossible. YAR on the other hand barely know what the word means.
The idea of YAR is a no holds barred approach to sound engineering, an all-out assault on the Everest that is audio perfection. In many ways the system is like a concept car; it’s an experiment to see just what is possible when compromise becomes a byword for failure. Necessarily that means limited numbers – 99 to be precise - and an impressive price of £216,000.
That might seem like a great deal of money – and indeed it is – but it may also be what the world of high-end audio needs. At one end of the spectrum, you have those just interested in hearing their music in decent quality and an accessible level. At the other you have those who demand perfection no matter the cost; anything in-between just seems pointless. Needless to say, YAR is firmly aimed at the latter segment.
It’s obvious from first glance that YAR’s system is unique. For one, there’s no cabinet; instead the speakers (dubbed Y-der ) are unfettered, essentially creating a 360 degree soundstage. That fact is key to what makes them what they are; rather than being directional, the sound emanating from the speakers surrounds the listeners, seemingly reverberating from all directions – just like listening to a live artist.
Strip the cabinet away from other speakers however and you would still have nothing near YAR. There’s far more to them than that. After all, there’s no point letting the sound roam freely if it’s not great in the first place. In the speakers, YAR promotes clarity through construction as much as anything else.
Firstly, the speakers are set on a unique stand, one which through an innovative feat of engineering lets them all but float in the air. There are at least five segments between the speakers and the ground, each bracing against the distortion normally caused by bass drivers.
This carries through to the crossover which in most speakers is normally mounted inside the casing. Considering it’s one of the most vital parts of the system – the part that guides the different audio frequencies to the relevant drivers – isn’t ideal. It’s far too close to the bass. YAR instead put the crossover right in the bass, ensuring the right information gets to the right elements without a hitch.
There are plenty more innovations simply within the speakers, though perhaps the most noticeable is the use of carbon fibre. It’s a material that for one reason or another high-end audio hasn’t embraced in the same way as other areas, even if it’s somewhat of a miracle material. In YAR’s system it helps keep the interior components in the perfect conditions for them to work at their best – not to mention making the entire ensemble superb to look at, something that can’t be undervalued.
However, two speakers a system does not make; there needs to be something to tie them together, which in the case of YAR is the B-yond amplifier. Where many amps just focus – as the name suggests – on boosting frequencies, B-yond instead looks to emphasis harmonics.
Harmonics isn’t the same as volume, not even clarity. It’s the feeling you get from music, the subtle reverberations and timbre that let you know you’re listening to a live performance. YAR’s integrated amplifier brings those harmonics to the listening experience like never before.
There are plenty more technical innovations behind YAR’s unique system, all the way down to the stand on which the amplifier sits. Regardless, it’s the end result that matters, which here is a listening experience you won’t soon forget. Indeed, the only thing you’re likely to forget in a listening is the speakers which in itself is an affirmation of what YAR have achieved – the closest thing possible to having the artist in the room.
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