THE FULL 5000

Sound+Image - - News -

They’re “dis­rupt­ing the Hi-Fi space”, says Yamaha of its new 5000 Se­ries com­po­nents, which were on show and on demon­stra­tion at IFA 2018 in Berlin, along with two other new turnta­bles, which in­clude the rad­i­cally wire­less multiroom Mu­sicCaste­quipped ‘Vinyl 500’. And while it’s the re­turn to vinyl that has grabbed the head­lines, the flag­ship pre-power am­pli­fier com­bi­na­tion also de­serve their share of at­ten­tion.

BACK TO VINYL

The GT-5000 takes in­spi­ra­tion from the GT Se­ries of yes­ter­year (where GT stood for ‘Gi­gan­tic and Tremen­dous’!) but there are marked dif­fer­ences, no­tably in di­rect drive be­ing re­placed by a cus­tom belt-drive sys­tem. The mass re­mains, how­ever, with a 5kg alu­minium plat­ter con­tribut­ing to an over­all weight of 26.5kg, all in the aim of damp­en­ing vi­bra­tions to de­liver im­proved per­for­mance.

A short, straight 22cm (8.7-inch) arm is de­signed to de­liver su­pe­rior rigid­ity as well as a bal­ance of weight and me­chan­ics which re­sult in im­proved trace­abil­ity. A rigid mech­a­nism with sim­ple con­struc­tion means there is no re­quire­ment for an an­ti­skate weight.

And no fly­ing phono leads here — a bal­anced out­put makes it pos­si­ble to achieve an end-to-end bal­anced sig­nal chain from car­tridge to speaker with the C-5000 pre-am­pli­fier and M-5000 power am­pli­fier also fea­tur­ing fully bal­anced sig­nal paths. The only bad news is that you can’t get one for Christ­mas — it’s ex­pected to ar­rive in “the early months of next year”, likely April 2019. But it will be pre­ceded in the mar­ket by the $599 TT-S303, a rel­a­tively con­ven­tional belt-drive deck with a built-in phono stage to of­fer the choice of line-level or phono-level out­puts. Then at $899 there’s the Mu­sicCast ‘Vinyl 500’ (or TT-N503) pic­tured be­low, which in­cludes Yamaha’s multiroom Mu­sicCast plat­form. That al­lows the turntable to send its out­put over your Wi-Fi net­work or via Blue­tooth to a wire­less speaker, and fur­ther makes the turntable a stream­ing source, con­trol­lable via the Mu­sicCast app — so a turntable that can play from Spo­tify and Tidal. Ain’t life grand?

TWO-BOX POWER

“Af­ter we de­vel­oped the A-S3000 in­te­grated am­pli­fier, we felt maybe it was pos­si­ble for us to de­liver a higher drive­abil­ity for low fre­quency in­stru­ments, so we started to try some ideas for sep­a­rate am­pli­fiers as our next tar­get for a higher level,” we were told by Mr Susumu Ku­muzawa (see right) at IFA. Mr Ku­muzawa headed up the 5000-se­ries de­vel­op­ment, con­tin­u­ing from the suc­cess­ful 3000 se­ries, and again you can see the long­stand­ing Yamaha hi-fi ‘look’ — the lever switches re­fined for en­hanced op­er­a­tion, the vol­ume knob both rigid and pre­cise, em­ploy­ing ball­bear­ings and pre­ci­sion-cut alu­minium to achieve its touch. The cir­cuitry sim­i­larly takes the ‘3000’ se­ries ap­proach to a new level, the C-5000 fea­tur­ing fully bal­anced and dis­crete cir­cuit trans­mis­sion across all stages of the patented float­ing de­sign, adopted across the phono EQ, in­put amp and line amp stages — re­mov­ing the in­flu­ence of ground noise from the sig­nal.

Each chan­nel is phys­i­cally mir­rored and iden­ti­cal, with fully bal­anced and dis­crete cir­cuit trans­mis­sion across all stages of the sig­nal path when us­ing Tone De­feat. A toroidal trans­former is ded­i­cated to each of the stereo chan­nels, the trans­form­ers en­closed in a cop­per-plated case to sup­press mag­netic flux and vi­bra­tion. The ground loop is min­imised when other com­po­nents are con­nected.

The M-5000 power am­pli­fier is an­other visual de­light with those large, high-pre­ci­sion me­ters on the front panel (7mm thick and made from Asahi glass). The amp de­liv­ers 2 × 100W into 8 ohms (20Hz-20kHz, 0.07% THD) and 2 × 200W into 4 ohms (same specs) and uses MOSFETs, im­prov­ing drive­abil­ity for low im­ped­ance speak­ers, says Yamaha, while a mas­sive toroidal trans­former is utilised with a 3mm-thick pure brass base.

Again a per­fectly sym­met­ri­cal lay­out is used to iso­late the left and right chan­nels both phys­i­cally and elec­tri­cally, within what Yamaha calls a “de­lib­er­ately sim­ple de­sign”, serving to re­duce the sig­nal path as much as pos­si­ble to min­imise en­ergy loss and achieve lower im­ped­ance.

As op­posed to con­ven­tional power am­pli­fier de­signs whereby power is sup­plied via a power tran­sis­tor and the neg­a­tive po­lar­ity is con­nected to ground, the two power sup­plies of the M-5000 is con­nected di­rectly to each pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive side of the out­put stage. Com­pletely float­ing the en­tire power amp cir­cuit from the ground in this way re­moves any un­de­sir­able im­pact of small volt­age fluc­tu­a­tions or ground noise.

The M-5000 has also been de­signed from the ground up to max­imise rigid­ity, while thick wires and the use of screws and brass ter­mi­nals di­rectly on the block ca­pac­i­tors (as op­posed to sol­der) pro­mote a strong, low im­ped­ance con­nec­tion. Both pre- and power amps have cus­tom heavy-duty brass feet, able to func­tion ei­ther as fully sup­ported spikes or with a scratch-guard base for use on del­i­cate sur­faces.

Mr Ku­muzawa tells us more in our in­ter­view here; for full spec­i­fi­ca­tions on all the new mod­els, visit au.yamaha.com At IFA in Berlin we talked with Yamaha’s Head of Hi-Fi De­vel­op­ment, Susumu Ku­muzawa, about the de­vel­op­ment of the 5000 Se­ries.

S+I: Were you al­ways a fan of vinyl? SUSUMU KU­MUZAWA: Yes, I love it. When I was at high school I al­ways lis­tened to vinyl. Es­pe­cially I love blues, and jazz, and soul mu­sic.

S+I: So the GT-5000 — what is the same as pre­vi­ous ‘Gi­gan­tic & Tremen­dous’ turnta­bles, and what is dif­fer­ent?

SK: Our new GT is dif­fer­ent from the GT2000 [re­leased in 1982]. So while we in­herit this Gi­gan­tic Tremen­dous con­cept — heavy wooden cab­i­net and a heavy plat­ter — we have changed di­rect drive to belt drive, and also changed the ton­earm from S-shape to a short straight arm.

S+I: Why not di­rect drive?

SK: Please re­mem­ber a key point, the sound con­cept — as from this year we’re us­ing a new con­cept to cover all our AV prod­ucts, and that is ‘True Sound’...

S+I: ‘True Sound’ is dif­fer­ent to Yamaha’s long­stand­ing ‘Nat­u­ral Sound’ tag?

SK: Ah, yes — so we have used ‘Nat­u­ral Sound’, and we will con­tinue to use Nat­u­ral Sound for hi-fi. Nat­u­ral Sound means maybe a char­ac­ter of sound, but True Sound has a more con­cep­tual mean­ing, and in­cludes the ac­tual ex­pe­ri­ence with mu­sic — so mak­ing waves, waves in your heart. Our con­cept is how to ex­pe­ri­ence dynamics and how we smooth the en­ergy of the mu­sic. From that point of view we select belt drive. Why? Di­rect drive has a cog­ging de­vice [cog­ging, also known as torque rip­ple, de­scribes the small boosts of speed as mag­nets move past the coil], and other brands use feed­back tech­nol­ogy, they have cog­ging and feed­back in the con­trol. Usu­ally us­ing feed­back tech­nol­ogy in an au­dio sys­tem, the sound is not so open, and I guess be­cause there is no feed­back tech­nol­ogy in the nat­u­ral world, maybe hu­mans feel some­thing is wrong. From the tech­no­log­i­cal point of view, there’s a very high fre­quency fluc­tu­a­tion. But belt drive doesn’t have feed­back tech­nol­ogy. And our belt drive is driven by an AC syn­chro­nous mo­tor so the driver is se­quenced by a very clean sine wave gen­er­ated by CPU, and the belt is damp­ing the cog­ging noise. So chang­ing to belt drive fits our con­cept.

YAMAHA AT IFA 2018

◀ The me­ters of the M-5000 power amp glow be­tween the sturdy cases of the pre-power pair­ing in the new 5000 se­ries. ▼ Our Ed­i­tor talks with Yamaha’s Susumu Ku­muzawa dur­ing IFA 2018 in Berlin.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.