By favoring feedback amps of—relatively
—higher power connected in push/pull pentode, it would be correct to think that I found the YS-500's ultra laid-back personality happily responsive to an injection of sharpness, edge definition, spunk and speed. Those who'd equate all horn speakers, even 'half horns' like this one, with an incisive upfront edge-of-seat personality would have already misjudged the Yamamoto speaker by a lumbering country mile - at least relative to how it performed for me without a de facto rear wall (more on that in the conclusion).
What surely played into this—anti—equation was the hybrid nature of the dispersion. Being partly dipole in bands where the conventional 4pi pattern of direct radiators no longer reaches, the YS-500 energized more of the subjective sound field behind
the speaker. Sounding admittedly truer to life in gestalt
because of it, it also introduced diffusiveness, blurring and very soft transitions. When coming from the usual uni-directional radiators, this took serious acclimatization.
would predict either mondo bass by just looking at the buffo woofer; or very curtailed lumpy bass when envisioning dipole cancellation from the open back. With my office desk at the end of the L-shape behind the kitchen island facing the windows, I'm intimately familiar with room resonance nodes outside the listening area. I discovered right quick that the YS-500 did not
trigger them (whereas my usual ASI Tango R rides them fiercely
at that end of the long space).
My room treatment of absorber columns behind the listening seat and Franck Tchang-installed tuning devices throughout have arrived at respectably even response in the seat
considering how the thrice-woofer'd Tangos really do plumb the depths. Even so, unnatural bass fare of Mercan Dede caliber and at high volumes can approach overload at certain frequencies. The YS-500 triggered no such resonances to suggest that at least in my setup, dipole bass (which involves the room more) causes less
audible problems. However, neither did bass extend as low nor did it hit as hard. The Zu Essence in my inventory for example goes lower and is decidedly ballsier and feistier all around. True, the YS bass had more swing and nonchalance and for that sounded more real in that band
. That's a qualitative or fundamental difference even though undeniably there was also less quantity. But the latter registered less. I'd often read advocates of dipole bass preaching their gospel of superiority but never before enjoyed personal experience in a room I knew well. After the fact, I'd cautiously sign my name on their side of the ledger while admitting—in parallel or series—that as with most things hifi, it's another one of those tradeoffs. Here it was between more natural but rather lighter and less extended bass vs. more 'audiophile-impressive' impact bass with true reach.