Search this Blog


Monday, July 15, 2013

Jean Hiraga meets ALE and Be Yamamura: one of the VERY best systems in the world?

Italian design meets Japan at its VERY best: ALE 6-ways ALL The VERY top Beryllium diaphragms, weighting between 100 and 160 kilos each, a grand-total weight for speakers - horns and drivers of about 1.300 kilos (!!!) and NO paper woofers around, ONLY compression drivers, a system of a VERY seldom heard finesse and capable of 128 db SPL;  all bespoke hand-made by Be Yamamura Class A 45 W amps... all cables hand-made by Be himself, six-ways multiamping with 20th order (120 db/octave) crossover and digital room-correction/crossover via a proprietary software and last generation DAC using Wolfson's newest DAC - always by Be Yamamura, of course - and only liquid music, you'd bet it, via a proprietary top class computer/server by Be Yamamura!

A Statement... the Audio Zenith: highest grade handicrafts and the lightness of best italian design> the horns, for example, aren't wood or leather, but metal with an exotic and elegant oxide and was treatment!

A masterpiece.   

The bespoke discs boxes... superb!

What about the sound?

Imagine Keith Jarrett's seminal "Koln Concert" on ECM (1974).

Not the vintage vinyl, but a 44.1 khz liquid/lossless computer-stored version... the sound and recording, NOT the music (...) aren't this good, IMHO... in Marco's BY/ALE system the piano was so real and full of nuances, it was like I listened to this music for the VERY first time.

The bass was light, yet deep, but that deepness you only experience in a live concert; unboomy, not violently hitting stomach or tinnitus;-)

A very, VERY enlightening performance, indeed.

Another highlight was again when listening to Keith Jarrett's Bach's "Goldberg Variations" on ECM, played on harpsichord with a sense of trueness, both musical and sonic really unbelievable: airy, beautiful sound and musical bliss.

Something REALLY strange happened, while sipping Keith "Gne-Gne" Jarrett's Bach rendition: while slowly walking behind the sofa, at the very sweet spot, about 6 meters from ALE's mouths, it was like walking in front of a real 1:1 sized harpsichord.

The instrument was standing still in its virtual position, yet the sense of looking at the wooden old instrument if only looking at the sound source was AWESOME.

The granite-like scene was carved in the room... an hard to believe sensation.

The DAC, music storage and room-correction and crossovering was all in the digital domain
of a newly conceived Be Yamamura's software and hardware: a 52" wall mounted monitor was showing everything, from music played (a lengthy process of downloading the several, precious vinyls in the superb "boxes", so cleverly wall-mounted is a work-in-progress...) to time-delays, cut-off frequencies and every parameter, incl. impulsive and medium real-time SPL and more.

The different LPs curves will be a specialty... every disc playing will be read, equalization used recognized and extracted and then stored... every vintage eq. curves by Decca, EMI, RCA, Mercury, etc. etc. will be then available in digital domain and automatically re-applied, always using Yamamura's software and powerful server.

A truly super feature!

As the new, recently established commercial partnership called "Yamamura Crawley Limited"'s statement says, the company will deal in:

"Apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound; loudspeakers; loudspeaker systems; radios; DVD players; CD players; digital music players; amplifiers; remote control devices; batteries; headphones; headsets;
microphones; converter; digital to digital converter, Digital-to-Digital converter which may consist of a sample rate or bit depth converter, it may also convert one form of digital data to another; analogue to digital converter, analogue-to-digital converter which converts a continuous physical quantity in voltage or current to a digital
number that represents the quantity's amplitude; computer software, computer software for controlling and correcting response from speaker/speaker systems as well as an acoustic characteristics of the listening environment in connection with the speaker system; reforming converted digital data from analogical signal from
such as LP record with more appropriate equalizing curve."

A site and links will be available, soon.

Teflon washer between ALE's drivers and horns.

Both Marco and Yamamura-san were (almost) apologizing the new DACs (Wolfson's newest chip based) were new and in the system since a few days, now.

An unused/unconnected "normal" sized ALE's tweeter with Imai-san's (Audio Tekne) carbon-block driver holder and horn.

Everything was finely tuned on "old" DAC's sound and the voicing of the ALE's six ways is so potentially able to further improve, when everything will be adapted to new level of resolution and finesse.

In my opinion, ALL other guests of the panel agreeing, the old DAC was smoother sounding, BUT the new was already INCREDIBLY natural and much more analytic and detailing.

More audio-hinting paintings... ALE's town;-)

Design, peel-off-the wall lamps... italian design and Marco's good taste...

Be Yamamura-san framed in one of his own cables...

Be Yamamura's hand-woven resistors...

Mo' boxed ALE's...

Jean and Be, chatting in Japanese, of course... chotto!

Cool oil on canvas...

... vinyls a go-go!

Dragan, Jean Hiraga and Be Yamamura, while listening...

An old Yamamura's turntable

Sakuma-san's weirdo, cool amp  "creation", from one of his '90s Italian tournee/audio concerts.

... humbly dedicated to J.S. Bach...

Thanks, the VERY deepest thanks for hosting and commuting and EXTREME kindness to Marco, the Landlord, and  Dragan, Be Yamamura and Jean Hiraga for the invitation to join him at SUCH an incredible listening...


M.Agrimi said...

Azz !!

haralanov said...

Hi, Stefano!

You wrote:
"while slowly walking behind the sofa, at the very sweet spot, about 6 meters from ALE's mouths, it was like walking in front of a real 1:1 sized harpsichord."

I'm curious to know what would be the size of a human voice reproduced by this system? :-)

Best regards,

Michael Methe said...

It is so impressing to read this review and see the great photos of the set. I'm so sad. At July, the 16. i planned to visit Marco and Be Yamamura in Bologna but the meeting does not come through. Perhaps another time. Best wishes and always happy listening, yours Michae Methe from Germany

twogoodears said...

It's an impressive system, folks... finely tuning such a beast and most of all managing the BY's software, so powerful, will be a lifetime task.
Best wishes to Marco... he hired the VERY best!

twogoodears said...

Peter... no voices... I admit I've ALSO been curious... but it TOO often it depends = IMO = on recording, more than speakers/system:-)))

MartinV56 said...

grazie mille

Brian Colin said...

A long long way from Kilburn Be!

Pleased that you and Keiko look so well.


Chateau De Sauchay said...

Je connais Bé depuis 1974 et Marco depuis un an, j'ai mesuré le chemin parcouru jusqu'à l'arrivée, aujourd'hui dans l'auditorium de Marco devenu un ami. Le plaisir, le bon gpût et de la MUSIQUE; Simplement genial. Merci à l'aventure de Marco, merci
au genie de Bé. Bonne Anée et bonne chance mes amis.

ludcam said...

Very inspiring. In my own system, I wonder about the value of time alignment vs other factors. Hard to imagine that the active filters would have adjusted for alignment perfectly given the way these horns are stacked, and yet I have no doubt that it sounded coherent with the majesty of music...funny how we may overstate the importance of a single design feature at the expense of the whole.