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Yorkville YSM1P, January 2002

Jan 1, 2002 7:15 PM, By George Petersen

POWERED STUDIO MONITORS

I first heard Yorkville's original YSM1 monitors more than 10 years ago and was impressed by their high-performance/low-price approach. Now, the company has updated its classic design with the YSM1p—an active, bi-amped system—and the YSM1i, an unpowered version.

Other than the rear amp/electronics module and clip/power LEDs on the YSM1p, the new speakers are essentially similar to the originals. Updates from the original YSM1 include a smooth, radiused front panel to reduce diffraction effects, a foam-surround woofer,/a> and no grille cloth, but the new models are designed to sound like the originals. All feature video-shielded drivers: a 6.5-inch, ferrofluid-cooled woofer and 1-inch tweeter in a 16.4x9.6x11.2-inch ported enclosure.

Built in the style of Mackie's HR824, the piggybacked amp module has a Neutrik Combo 1/4-inch/XLR input, removable power cord and power switch on the bottom of the unit, and no connectors protruding from the back, so the YSM1p can sit flush against a wall. The module is vented on all sides and remains cool during operation. Besides the 70-watt LF and 30-watt HF amps, the module has a rotary input trim pot, a switchable overload protection limiter and DIP switches for adjusting HF Reflection Optimization and LF Efficiency Factor (two haughty phrases for the ±2dB roll-off/flat/boost settings for the woofer and tweeter). These are useful for adjusting the YSM1ps to specific listening environments, especially in compensating for corner or against-wall placements common in project studios.

I usually monitor at fairly sane levels (75 to 85 dB), so the YSM1p's max SPL (in the 105dB range) offered more than ample headroom in the near field, and I left the limiter switched out. If you like listening loud and want the comfort of not blowing drivers, then the limiter feature could be very valuable to you.

Overall, the sound of the YSM1p is very good. The bass is not boomy—nicely balanced, thanks, in part, to Yorkville putting a 6.5-inch woofer in a cabinet where other companies might use an 8-inch driver; the roomy enclosure offers enough volume for the YSM1p's woofer to function smoothly. On the top end, the soft-dome tweeter was an ideal complement to the woofer, with a smooth 2.5kHz crossover band, realistic imaging and crisp—yet natural—highs that were never harsh.

Users seeking slam-dunk 120dB playbacks should look elsewhere, but at $320 each, these are worth checking out for anyone seeking an affordable, accurate near-field reference.

Yorkville Sound, www.yorkville.com.

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