My Story Yamaha NS-1000M were not the speakers that I
ever considered buying. I was aware of them and their legendary status but for some reasons
I was always more attracted to British speakers. I was fascinated with with Japanese amplifiers from golden era of HiFi, however, the speakers
were never something that I have easy fallen in love with.
This was not until I found a pair of NS1000 for a reasonable amount of money, near the place where I live. I ended up with light wallet and very very heavy speakers.
Just to clarify for the purpose of this review - to start with I have
listened to the speakers as they were (original condition), but as with most of old electronics, I decided to replace electrolytic capacitors in the crossovers with modern film caps of the same values. During the recapping I have measured the original
electrolytic capacitors and I was very surprised to discover that these were very much within their tolerances and were very good quality indeed. Following my usual methodical approach, I have only recapped one speaker and left the other one as it was. After this I concluded listening tests in mono. I discovered that the recap made very little difference to the sound. If anything, it just took a little edge of sometimes 'sharp' sounding treble. I may try to use high end capacitors in the future, but for the purpose of this review I left
the speakers recapped with basic film capacitors, as these, to my ears, made very little
difference to the sound when compared with original crossovers.
The Yamaha NS1000 were designed and released to the market in 1974. They received very good reviews in British HiFi press in the
There were two versions of these speakers. The one referred to as "NS-1000" was designed with domestic market in mind and had enclosures made from solid wood,
which gave each speaker a modest weight of 39kg!
The "NS-1000M" were designed with studio use in mind and I can only assume that that M stands for monitor. These monitors featured exactly the same components
as the domestic version but had the enclosures made from chipboard with plywood bracing, giving them equally impressive weight of 31kg per speakers.
Design of both versions, even by today's standards is outstanding. Both tweeter and midrange drivers feature extremely rigid beryllium domes.
The bass is as 12in compressed paper pulp cone working in heavily dampen closed enclosure.
Maximum Input Capacity:
Look & Feel
Visually, providing that the enclosures are in good
condition, I think these speakers look very attractive. Silver
baskets contrasting with matt black enclosures look a little 80s
but I still like it.
Yamaha NS1000 are by far the best build vintage speakers that I have ever seen.
The enclosure's walls are made from 25-30mm chipboard, veneered on both sides. Internal bracing is made from 30mm thick plywood. All the joints are supported
with triangular pieces of solid wood. The circle waste created by routing out the hole for the bass driver was re-used and glued to the back wall of the
enclosure (very good thinking!). All inner I walls are covered with 1cm thick felt and the inner of the enclosures is filled in with
fibber glass damping material.
Another impressive thing about these speakers are the state of
the art drivers. Usage of exotic materials like beryllium for for tweeter and midrange domes is one
but quality of how these drivers are made is another. The drivers look very neat, especially when you compare them with the British gear from the same era.
To me, the thing that stands out the most is the size of the magnets
on the midrange drivers - they are just huge!
Speakers are also equipped with two attenuators (L-Pads) that allow control of treble and midrange levels. Many people see them these days as a bad thing to have.
I personally like them, especially considering how well these are made.
All of the features above make the enclosures extremely rigid and very very heavy.
The NS-1000 are very impressive speakers.
Gentleman who I bought the speakers from was confident that they will sound better than any other speaker
that I have already had at the time.
I obviously took his words with a pinch of salt... At the time I was using Celestion Ditton 66 and was really pleased with everything they did. Imagine my surprises when
I plugged in the Yamahas and they sounded much cleaner than my Celestions... The difference was very easy to notice and even my wife (who is not into HiFi
was able to hear it straight away.
At this point I decided to use Yamahas as my main speakers for couple of months, to see what else they were capable of.
The quality and clarity of treble and midrange is astonishing, even by modern standards.
Vocals sound very realistic and transparent.
There is plenty of air around the instruments, which is especially noticeable on live recordings and gives a great sense of having artists performing in
your living room. I would not necessary say that the sound stage is particularly deep, but despite this, the
NS1000 are still very engaging.
If I was to criticise anything about the treble and midrange, I would say that sometimes they sound too analytical, and therefore, cold.
There are some recordings that just sound better on my Celestion Ditton 66, which ultimately are not as transparent but they are warm sounding speakers.
Good examples are tracks from album Spirit & The Blues by
The bass from Yamahas is is quite deep considering the enclosure size.
It is not deep enough for me though. Just to re-emphasise - I'm not a bass freak.
I just like the bass to be deep when it needs to be deep. And with NS-1000M I get a feeling that something is missing (a bit of weight to the sound).
The bass is quick as you would expect from a sealed enclosure but it lacks a bit of depth for me.
Because all of the points above, the NS-1000M sometimes sound too bright.
I would also say that they are not the best for quiet listening.
It feels to me that to get most of them, you need play them at
realistic listening levels. Something to notice here - Yamahas can be played at very high levels without sounding
distorted or loosing resolution and clarity of sound - as you would expect from
top studio monitors.
Yamaha NS-1000M are very impressive speakers with great sound clarity and resolution.
So far, these are the most transparent speakers I have ever
heard. Not for people who like gentle and sweet sound though.
Exceptional treble and midrange but quite light on bass.
Balance of Sound:
Neutrality of Tone:
Please note - if you want to know what I
mean be the descriptions above, hover you mouse over them.
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