YG Acoustics Kipod Signature II Speakers – Trade In


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YG Acoustics Kipod Signature II Loudspeakers

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Manual and Boxed

All YGA speakers are designed and manufactured at the company’s headquarters and factory in Arvada, Colorado, just outside Denver. The Kipod II’s textile-dome tweeter is made by Kurt Müller of Germany, and is used in conjunction with a magnet system produced by Scan-Speak. Before a tweeter is installed in a Kipod’s upper module, YGA remachines its motor system, using computer-optimized technology to make them conform to highly sophisticated 3D geometries. The tweeter is crossed over to the midrange-woofer at 1.75kHz.

The midrange-woofer cone and, for the three-way version, the woofer cone, are manufactured in-house by YGA. Typically, woofer diaphragms are spun, cast, or pressed. YGA machines them from 16-pound slabs of solid, aircraft-grade 6061-T651 tempered aluminum alloy, which is extremely rigid and nonresonant. The significance of making the diaphragms in this way can’t be overstated, says YGA; the result is high rigidity, and consistency of machining within extremely tight tolerances.

YGA cuts the 6061-T651 alloy with expensive milling machines, some of which are also used by Airbus to manufacture its jetliners. Though these machines are assisted by sophisticated computer software, the many steps involved in YGA’s production process mean that their operation is quite labor-intensive.

Behind each woofer is a 400W class-D amplifier custom-designed, by Hypex Electronics of the Netherlands, for the impedance curve of the individual drive-unit it’s wired to. It’s not a true switching amplifier, having a linear rather than a switch-mode power supply. According to YGA, because the amp is matched to the impedance curve of a specific woofer unit, it can be customized to reduce negative feedback, which benefits transient and low-end control and allows the woofer to blend seamlessly with any power amplifier that might be used for the speaker’s upper module.

On the rear of the bass module are controls for adjusting gain, phase, EQ level and frequency, crossover frequency, and input type (XLR or RCA). Also present are the line-level inputs, an IEC inlet, an On/Off switch, and a blue LED that illuminates when the module receives power.

The Kipod II’s crossovers contain toroidal air-core inductors that are wound in-house by a CNC coil-winding machine. YGA states that the use of toroidal inductors reduces crosstalk between the crossover’s high- and low-frequency sections, and reduces distortion, brightness, and sibilance. Moreover, says Dick Diamond, YGA’s director of sales and marketing, the crossover’s “secret sauce” is that it’s based on a proprietary algorithm, developed by Yoav Geva, that allows the speaker to simultaneously produce the best frequency response and the best relative phase of all speakers ever made. Diamond states that, absent the algorithm, getting one of those parameters right typically screws up the other.

The Kipod II’s cabinet is slowly machined from solid billets of the same 6061-T651 alloy of which the driver diaphragms are made. YGA bolts together the Kipod II’s cabinet with a “pressurized assembly” type of construction that’s also used in the airline industry. This makes the cabinet’s aluminum walls maintain a constant pressure against each other despite changes in temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors.

YGA states that the Kipod II produces usable output from 20Hz to above 40kHz, the latter frequency far beyond the limits of human hearing, which at best tops out at around 20kHz. The company also claims that the speaker’s nominal and minimum impedances are 8 and 5 ohms, respectively. Since the Kipod II is of medium sensitivity (85dB), YGA recommends that it be driven with amplifiers that output at least 100Wpc. However, I’ve heard of systems in which very high-quality but somewhat lower-powered amps (e.g., 50Wpc in class-A) worked extremely well with the Kipod II, no doubt due to the speaker’s powered woofer. The cost of very high-quality amplification can be astronomical. By using an active woofer, the Kipod II can be robustly powered for a fraction of the cost of amplification required by some of its competitors.o experience with these top-of-the-line speakers today.

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