YG Acoustics Carmel 2
The elegant, compact Carmel 2 delivers the same lifelike, natural sound as its larger and more expensive siblings, the Sonja and Hailey. It is the culmination of years of research, and a near-obsessive desire by YG Acoustics’ lead-designer, Yoav Geva.
The end-result: Carmel 2 is a champion of transparency, 3D-soundstaging, dynamics, inner-detail, and the natural sound of a live performance that YG Acoustics is famous for. This is all presented in a refined, graceful speaker with an exquisite fit-and-finish that is the showpiece of the world’s finest listening environments.
"Instead of presenting soundstages comprised of multiple two-dimensional layers of sound, much like photographs slid atop one another in a folder, the Carmel 2s instead creates unusually deep and strikingly three-dimensional (indeed, almost sculptural) soundstages, while also conveying the sense of air as a fluid medium that gently surrounds and support each of the instruments in play.
For a speaker that is not terribly large in volume, the Carmel 2 demonstrates truly astonishing power handling capabilities and vibrant, full-bodied dynamics.
This compact and exquisitely made floorstander is a legitimate ultra-high-end loudspeaker-one that offers transparency, detail, neutrality of voicing, and overall refinement comparable to YG Acoustics' larger and significantly more expensive Hailey and Sonja loudspeakers, but in a smaller package and at a more manageable price. The Carmel 2 is without a doubt an unqualified design triumph."
HiFi+ October 2015
YG Acoustics Hailey
The Hailey extends the startling performance of the Carmel 2 and brings to bear further technologies from the larger and more expensive Sonja flagship loudspeaker. The bass and midrange units are made in-house by YG Acoustics, precisely machined out of massive slabs of aircraft-grade aluminium. The tweeter incorporates sophisticated 3D geometries in-house CNC-cut into the motor system, greatly reduced distortion and ensuring a sense of ease to the sound.
Hailey is available in two modular configurations, which can be expanded from one to the next at any time, without the need to replace existing modules: Hailey 1.1 is an ultra-high-end compact speaker, while Hailey 1.2 adds an interlocked bass module to form a class-leading floorstanding speaker.
“The YG Acoustics Hailey can be summed up in two words: precision and performance. It is another successful assault on the state of the art in speaker design and manufacture, and one of the most revealing speakers approximating a point source you will ever hear.
It is a 170-pound speaker with an all-aluminium cabinet featuring a sculptured front panel engineered to preserve phase coherence and to provide wide dispersion. Its interior has extraordinary bracing and is designed to get the best sound out of each speaker module. Manufacturing a pair of Hailey requires 61 hours of in-house computer numerical control (CNC) milling/machining, and involves some 1640 parts per pair, with critical tolerances tighter than one thousandth of an inch (20 microns). These enhancements result in ultra-low distortion, while preserving the industry-leading frequency and phase response.”
The Absolute Sound, May 2015
YG Acoustics Sonja
Listening to the Sonja will redefine your expectations, bringing you closer to the real performance than you ever thought possible. Despite a broad and deep experience of high-end audio, we were stunned the first time we heard them. If you are in the market for the very best loudspeakers, you must hear these.
Sonja is YG Acoustics’ flagship, and represents everything that they know about speaker-design. Driven by innovative applications of acoustical engineering and world-class precision-manufacturing, Sonja pushes the envelope of the art. Marrying these elements with stunning industrial design, results in a loudspeaker which is transformative in both performance and sheer visual beauty.
Innovations abound, but include breakthrough drivers machined in-house, highly-optimised aluminium structure and cabinet, proprietary toroidal air-core crossover inductors and advanced, proprietary computer design across every aspect.
Sonja is available in three fully modular configurations, each of which can be expanded to the next, without the need to replace existing modules: Sonja 1.1: an ultra-high-end compact speaker (available with or without a matching stand), Sonja 1.2: adding an interlocking, matched bass module to a 1.1 to make a class-leading floorstanding speaker, Sonja 1.3: the flagship, adding a second, matched bass module to a 1.2 to make an industry benchmark floorstanding speaker. Sonja is also available as a centre channel configuration for multi-channel use.
“YGA’s Sonja 1.3 is that rare beast: a true full-range loudspeaker capable of playing at realistic sound-pressure levels with very low coloration and superbly stable, accurate soundstaging.”
Stereophile Loudspeaker of the Year 2013
Boulder 800 Series
The 800 Series benefits from much of the technology of its larger and more expensive siblings, bringing the characteristic power, transparency and delicacy of Boulder to a broader marketplace. Components include the 810 Preamplifier, the 850 Mono Power Amplifier, the 860 Stereo Power Amplifier and the 865 Integrated Amplifier.
“There's one sonic category in which the Boulders beat maybe every other amp—and certainly every solid-state amp—I've ever heard in my system: the ability to throw precise images of an instrument, a singer, or the sections of an ensemble onto a very wide, deep soundstage.
The 860 power amp was superb at capturing harmonic overtones and dynamic contrasts, at placing images precisely on a soundstage, and at illuminating that soundstage—at letting the listener peer all the way into the stage, from left to right, from front to back, from floor to ceiling.”
Stereophile (reviewing the Boulder 810/860 amplifier combination)
“It is probably the best preamplifier I know in this price range.”
Audio Activity (reviewing the Boulder 810 Preamplifier)
“Well, when you take into account the fanatical build quality and engineering, the comprehensive feature list and the conveniences of an all-in-one package as opposed to the cost of a separate preamp/amp combo and the interconnecting cables, you might start to realise the relative value offered by the 865. What's more, sonically the solid-state Boulder 865 integrated amplifier is a clean, crisp and tight performer that never strays into sterility. It delivers an image that's scarily real in terms of spatial accuracy and life-like presence and controls your speakers with an iron fist in a silver/grey glove.”
Six Moons (reviewing the Boulder 865 Integrated Amplifier)
Boulder 1000 Series
The 1000 Series is a range of truly high-end components from Boulder which push the limits of technology and provide class-leading accuracy, power and realism. Components include the 1008 Phono Preamplifier, 1010 Preamplifier, 1012 DAC Preamplifier, 1021 Disc Player, 1050 Mono Power Amplifiers and 1060 Stereo Power Amplifier.
“It's a dark, distant, but spectacular recording, and I could ‘see’ into the darkest recesses of the stage, hearing not only each section of the orchestra, but the individual instruments in each, reproduced with clarity, body, texture, and harmonic integrity. It produced a thrill ride as vivid as watching Avatar in 3D IMAX.
Aural images were tightly compacted, finely drawn and sized, and notably solid, their physical boundaries cleanly rendered but free of etch and edge.”
Stereophile (reviewing the Boulder 1008 Phono Preamplifier)
“The amplifier was breathtakingly fast, bracingly clean, and harmonically pure.
I can't think of another amp, at or near this price, tube or solid-state, that I would recommend more.”
Stereophile (reviewing the Boulder 1060 Stereo Power Amplifier)
Boulder 2110 Stereo Preamplifier
We believe the 2110 is one of the finest preamplifiers in the world. It is the newest line preamplifier from Boulder, replacing the original four-chassis 2010. Inside there is a new fully balanced attenuator design, with all electronics updated to surface mount technology on four-layer PC boards. The distinguished look-and-feel remains uniquely Boulder, in an updated satin metal finish. Six inputs, three outputs and extensive features make this Boulder the heart and control of your high-performance audio system.
“Immediately apparent on first listen was the 2110's grip on the music and, especially, on the illusion of space.
A preamp, like the Boulder 2110, that specializes in carving space, 3D imaging, transient precision, and deep, tight, well-articulated bass can sound analytical and/or harmonically less than fully saturated. The Boulder suffered none of those maladies.
The Boulder 2110 was as tonally neutral and transparent a preamp as I've heard. It was also drop-dead silent—free of such unwanted artifacts as grain, glare, and hyperdefined edge.
All of the preamplifiers mentioned in this review are exceptional components that I'd happily own and consider the job done. All sit close to one another on that continuum of sound quality and each presents a seamless, coherent sonic picture that gets out of the way and lets the recording shine through. But when the Boulder 2110 left the building, it took with it its holographic grip and spatial presentation, as well as its ability to resolve fine detail—qualities that raised my system to a level none of the rest could quite manage.”
Stereophile, March 2015
Boulder 2150 Mono Power Amplifier
We feel these mono power amplifiers are truly spectacular, and capable of driving any loudspeaker we know with tremendous delicacy and great power. Projecting the holographic soundstage that Boulder is famous for, they continue to amaze us with their ability to pull new heights of performance from even the best loudspeakers in the world.
The 2150 is the newest mono power amplifier from Boulder, replacing the 2050. Electronics are updated to surface mount technology on four-layer PC boards. The distinguished look-and-feel remains uniquely Boulder, in an updated satin metal finish. True balanced input buffers assure a perfect connection to your preamplifier. New improved grounding and low output impedance push speakers to perform at their highest level ever.
“If you are willing and able to search for ultimates, then the Boulder 2150s are choices you should consider. If you want to recalibrate your idea of what a solid-state reference can sound like, then find a dealer or audiophile who can demonstrate these monoblocks.
All casework and interior chassis parts are machined from solid stock. Moreover, the 2150s are built to order in-house, and no aspect of production other than anodizing is done outside the Boulder factory.
What really counts, however, is that this one of the least- colored, best-performing amplifiers ever made… I’m convinced that the 2150 can get the best out of any real-world speaker on the market.”
The Absolute Sound, January 2015
Boulder 2160 Stereo Power Amplifier
Delivering the same stellar sound quality as the 2150 monoblocks, the 2160 is a more compact, single-box solution. While offering a lower overall power level than two mono amplifiers, the 2160 is still more than capable of driving every loudspeaker we have tried. In most systems, after swapping in the 2160 it is often hard to believe you are listening to the same loudspeaker: the positive impact is so large on every aspect of the sound, from bass slam to the finest wispy detail of soundstage.
The 2160 is the newest stereo power amplifier from Boulder, replacing the 2060. Electronics are updated to surface mount technology on four-layer PC boards. The distinguished look-and-feel remains uniquely Boulder, in an updated satin metal finish. True balanced input buffers assure a perfect connection to your preamplifier. New improved grounding and low output impedance push speakers to perform at their highest level ever.
Reviews coming soon.
Boulder 3050 Mono Power Amplifiers
What can we say? This is a power amplifier for those who will accept no compromise. It is a pinnacle of design, technology and craftsmanship, bringing together a vast host of innovations and exotic manufacturing techniques. More importantly, no matter what you musical tastes, it can bring you closer to the real performance than you would have thought possible: everything from the loudest crescendo to the smallest tiny detail is perfectly reproduced in a seamless soundstage that expands in three dimensions around your loudspeakers. You have to hear it to believe it.
Boulder has been unrivalled in defying expectations and limitations for nearly 30 years. From their earliest days creating studio equipment used in the making of some of the world’s most important recordings, to now, with their ground-breaking use of UPnP technology raising the bar for streaming digital audio. At every step of the way, one fundamental objective has been consistent: the pursuit of absolute perfection in sound quality. The 3050 is our flagship amplifier and represents the very best that they can do.
“These amplifiers deliver unbelievably tight pace and texture in the low-frequency register, regardless of volume level, again giving a feeling of being in the performance instead of just listening to it. Acoustic bass is fleshed out perfectly, with just the right amount of resonance and texture, while electric bass growls as it should.
I’m continually amazed by the new experiences these amps deliver—from the Beatles to Metallica. As Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong run through “Isn’t this a Lovely Day,” I feel as if the room’s walls are missing and the performers are walking around me as they sing.
This is not a case of paying three times as much for a miniscule increase in performance; this is a mind bender. You’ll never be the same”
Boulder 3060 Stereo Power Amplifier
Delivering the same stellar sound quality as the 3050 monoblocks, the 3060 is a more compact, single-box solution. While offering a lower overall power level than two mono amplifiers, the 3060 is still one of the most powerful amplifiers in the world and more than capable of driving every loudspeaker we have tried.
While it may be the compact sibling of the 3050, the 3060 is an immensely powerful and capable amplifier. At 200 kg, its casework is cut from massive pieces of 6061-T6 aluminum; inside you will find five transformers, 120 output devices, 48 output filter capacitors. It will control every movement of your loudspeakers so as to reproduce exactly what was encoded in the recording: from the largest explosive crescendo to the tiniest, wispy detail—and everything in-between. If it was captured on the microphone it will come out of your loudspeakers the exact same way: absolutely faithful to the sound and emotion of the original.
There are efforts that contradict conventions and redefine the idea of striving for perfection. The 3060 Class A Stereo Power Amplifier is one of these efforts: with innovative technologies, intelligent construction and an unmistakable design.
For Boulder it is never enough to simply fill a market niche, to create a product solely for the purpose of giving someone something expensive to buy. Every single Boulder must define its category and push the limits of what is possible in audio engineering, regardless of the price.
Reviews coming soon.