There are products that impress immediately and there are models that take longer to get under your skin…. Which is better, we’ll leave in the middle for now. But the Yamaha NS-3000 belongs to the latter category. Not a splashy entry, but count on not hanging garlands when you have to unplug them after a few weeks for a one-way trip to the dealer
Yamaha is an odd and quirky brand. In the sense that it will not immediately be at everyone’s number ‘1’ when buying a new amplifier or speaker. Make no mistake though: the A-S series is seriously good. We have included the A-S2200 in our reference range for a reason. This amplifier makes it very difficult for the competition in that price range. In particular, imaging and looseness in the mids and high frequency range is remarkably good with that amplifier.
When we look at speakers, we understand in a way that enthusiasts do not immediately reach for them. Point is: the focus of Yamaha was not there for a long time. But also there are some gems to be found. In the studio, for example, the “white woofers” are impossible to ignore. To name but one: the Yamaha NS-10 is a reference for many studios. And many engineers have a love/hate relationship with that speaker.
Then the new Yamaha NS-3000 (12,000 euros per pair). A smaller version of the NS-5000 that has an additional dome-mid. What is striking is that all units are made of Zylon. Some mysterious material that Yamaha does not want to talk about in detail. It is supposed to have the speed of Beryllium, but the absorbing characteristics of a fabric. Marketing? Who knows. To us, it looks a bit like a woven material with a good absorption characteristic; think of Continuum from the well-known competitor. Add to that a very low weight and yes… you’re in for a treat. More on that later.
The woofer is a model with a diameter of 16cm. The tweeter measures 3cm which is slightly larger than standard. Still, this speaker has a wide range to the high end frequencies. 60 kHz should be achievable at -10dB and 100 kHz at -30dB… so that is somewhat negligible. In the low end, it stops a bit at 40 Hz. Which is fine for this size.
Every manufacturer has their unique methods of creating speed, transparency and coherence. Yamaha has executed both units in Zylon. An equal material makes for more coherence, they say. And that makes sense.
The tweeter also features an anti-resonance construction: RS. A bit like the Nautilus tube from Bowers & Wilkins, although the design is different with two tubes that drain and compensate for resonances; it looks like a pressure chamber compensation.
The units, of course, must be screwed into a cabinet. That’s Yamaha-style solidly executed. The cabinet is just completely ‘dead’. And of course finished in black piano lacquer. It doesn’t get any tighter than this; it’s like a mirror. Very nice and unfortunately impossible to photograph: you just have to see this. The crossover contains only top-notch components to provide the units with a clean signal. You can think of capacitors and coils from the top series of Mundorf.