IFA 2018: YAMAHA 5000 SERIES FIRST IMPRESSIONS
StereoNET AU covered the announcement of the new 5000 series from Yamaha last week. However, we had the chance to spend some quality time with the high-end hi-fi equipment at IFA 2018, Berlin.
The new 5000 range will initially comprise the C-5000 pre-amplifier (£6700) and M-5000 power amplifier (£6700), which are due in November - prices are indicative and subject to change.
Joining them next year, around summertime, will be the GT-5000 turntable for an expected £4600.
The GT-5000 turntable will land in 2019 and is an impressive bit of kit in the flesh. The belt-driven deck is undoubtedly part of the 'Gigantic and Tremendous' family. The GT series of turntables are renown for their massive wooden platter designed to dampen vibrations. However, in the 2018/19 model, the hefty 5kg platter is aluminium.
The original GT concept utilised the concept of internal mass to counter feedback control. Word on the Strasse is that this is even more refined in the GT-5000. The new turntable aims to negate feedback control through the customised belt-drive mechanism.
At the demonstration, I was told that due to the short, straight tonearm's rigid construction there is no need for an inside force canceler weight.
Finally, the GT-5000 sports a balanced connection for a fully balanced signal path throughout the chain.
Yamaha C-5000 and M-5000
Both the C-5000 and M-5000 adopt Yamaha’s patented floating design. This ‘floats’ the amplifier circuitry from the ground in the attempt to limit the influence of voltage fluctuations and ground noise.
The C-5000 utilises the design across the phono EQ, input amp and line amp stages; the M-5000 employs it across the entire power amp circuit.
With the pre-amplifier, Yamaha has enclosed the power transformer in a copper-plated case to mitigate unwanted vibrations. Thick wires and screw-type connectors are implemented to reduce the impedance of the power supply. Furthermore, independent dual toroidal transformers for the left and right channels are designed to deliver optimal separation.
The C-5000 features six RCA (including a phono) and four balanced inputs. Outputs are three RCAs and a single balanced connection.
With the 100-watt-per-channel M-5000, Yamaha has fixed the power transformer, block capacitors and heatsink directly to the chassis. Additionally, the toroidal transformer is treated with a thick brass base, to reduce vibrations, while the power supply is connected directly to each positive and negative side of the output stage.
The 7mm Asahi glass meters on the front panel are definite crowd-pleasers.
The large stand-mounted speakers are loaded with three drivers, all of which use Zylon. I was told that this is a synthetic fibre of exceptionally high strength, having acoustic velocity as well as the ability to reproduce the most delicate details of audio but without a sharp resonance peak inherent in a hard material.
The first track played on the system for the small assembled group in the Yamaha listening room was by Lana Del Ray. I will say now; I am not a fan. However, I was swiftly drawn in by the systems ability to produce what I can only describe as a "live sound". Every nuance of the vocals and instrumentation had an addictive naturalness and clarity.
A further two tracks were played, but neither tested the NS-5000's 26Hz rating. That said, the bass was pronounced, defined and beautifully clear while being energetic; this is possibly a testament to Yamaha's piano know-how.
I could have stayed listening to this system all day, but as with most things at IFA, a quick turnaround is necessary.
I would love to get the opportunity to give the 5000 series more time. If you get the chance, do have a listen.
For more information visit Yamaha.
StereoNET UK's Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He's captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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