YG Acoustics created a bit of derision among show-goers who felt a little miffed at YG's claim of being "The Best Loudspeaker on Earth. Period." Every company either claims to be the best in the world or makes no claims at all. YG's claim, however, was so bold and, with big banners proclaiming their greatness strewn around the hotel atrium, so in-your-face, most comments I received were negative. Regardless of the success of their marketing, when you claim to be the best in the world it helps if your room is, in fact, the best.
So was the YG room the bee's proverbial knees? While the sound wasn't bad, there were a number of serious problems. First, it's important to point out that there is no "best in the world," only different sounds and the YG Acoustics' new $70k Anat Reference Studio speaker is, as far as I can tell, a Precise-type sound, created to measure super flat with zero cabinet resonances, and won't immediately appeal to lovers of Refined speakers (like Wilson) and Emotional speakers (like Lowther). Second, the YG Acoustics room suffered from "big speaker, little room" complex and, as such, had unfortunate peaks and valleys. Physics, in this case, worked against YG in putting out the best they had to offer.
Additionally, YG paired up with top of the line Krell gear, which pushed the sound of the room into the Refined category. The YG Studios put out lots of big sound, but the presentation was muddled due to the bass problems. I played through my entire demo CD and found a lot to like, but the speakers really need a room about three times the size to show their full potential.
That said, one guy in the room was raving about the smaller Kipod speakers and bugging the YG crew to hook the little guys back up because, he felt, the big Studios "don't sound anywhere near as good as the Kipods." I'm sure the Studios are much better than the Kipods, but it's clear he was reacting to the room problems.
It's worth noting that YG's new marketing man Dick Diamond (quite possibly the greatest name ever) is a fantastic guy and understood the problems with the room/speaker interaction. He was instantly hip to the music on my CD and excited about YG's future, regardless of "best speaker in the world" status.
As for the the tech aspects, the Anat Reference Studios are the new upgraded versions of the Anat References. The new features include the new Scan Speak Revelator 3/4" softdome (not dual ring) with a hex magnet system, replacing the Vifa dual ring radiator. Additionally, they've moved up from the Scan Speak kevlar pulp 10" woofer to the higher-end Scan Speak Revelator woofer.
As for construction, these speakers are amazing pieces of aluminum craftsmanship. Keeping reading for more pics...