Hands-On Review:Yamaha BR-Series Speakers
Yamaha BR-Series Speakers
Zen and the Art of Pro Audio.By Hector Romero
You could make a convincing case that the folks at Yamaha are classic control freaks-they simply refuse to let an inferior product out of their manufacturing facilities. And they're not the type to rest on their laurels and coast on the good reputation that has made their audio gear some of the best-selling and most reliable throughout the years. For their new BR-Series speakers, Yamaha technicians burned the midnight oil pouring over every possible detail to design and deliver ultra-high-quality sound reinforcement and manufacture it as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. What does this mean for working musicians? Mainly it means that you can now buy superb-sounding, totally professional PA cabinets at prices that are unbelievably low. Even more important, it means that you can concentrate on making music with the confidence that your PA speakers are going to project your music in bold, beautiful full-spectrum sound reliably, gig after gig, year after year. And isn't the music what it's really all about?
"Georgia on my Mind"
When you think of Yamaha speaker manufacturing, you probably see a mental snapshot of speaker cabs rolling off an assembly line in Tokyo or Kobe, Japan. In reality BRs are American made, crafted at the Yamaha Music Manufacturing facility in Thomaston, Georgia, a town of about 10,000 located an hour south of Atlanta as the crow flies, in Upson County. The life-style around these parts is pretty laid back, as you might expect in rural Georgia, but make no mistake-the BR speakers that Yamaha turns out are made with methods as technologically advanced and quality controlled as anywhere in the world.
This world class, very environmentally friendly facility painstakingly assembles each cabinet to the most exacting tolerances. Yamaha's sound design team put together their years of research into acoustics with the most advanced computer-controlled woodworking technology into the making of the BR line. The final product is a marvel of design and engineering that delivers thrilling audio performance that's the equal of systems that cost much more.
How are your bass reflexes?
The "BR" in the BR-Series name represents "bass reflex." This term describes the superior low-frequency response that the bass reflex technology delivers, derived from a combination of the single-port design, a premium-quality woofer, and acoustic dampening placed throughout the cab. The result is deep, tightly focused bass response that will stun you, particularly in that it comes from such small, compact cabs. The high-frequency response is also remarkably smooth and detailed, enhanced by a new titanium HF driver and large 90° by 40° non-resonant, constant-directivity horn.
The cabs' small size is certainly welcome when it comes time to set up and break down your sound system. There are abundant thoughtful, practical features built into the BR-Series. Steel corner protectors keep your cabs from getting beaten up during transport. No cheap, guitar case-type handles here; you get sturdy recessed metal handles mounted at the cabinets' center of gravity, making them very easy to carry. A full-length steel grille protects both speaker and horn from damage, and all models come with stand/pole sockets for easy mounting.
Built right, better response, best reliability
BR-Series speakers come in a variety of formats to fit almost any sound system application. Bands that need more volume, DJs, and medium-large venues will probably want to go with the
BR15. Its 15" woofer and wide-dispersion horn pump out high levels of rich, venue-filling sound, with 400W program and 800W peak power handling. As on all
BR-Series speakers, an integral protection circuit is built into the passive crossover, ensuring you can expect a lifetime of high-output and minimal distortion sound.
The BR12 handles most musical and public address applications with ease, employing a 12" woofer and 300W program power handling. The BR10 is ideal for smaller bands, trios, duos, single acts, as well as smaller rooms and installations.
Finally, the BR12M and BR15M offer 12" and 15" cabs respectively in a convenient kick-back floor monitor configuration that will cover all your stage monitoring needs efficiently and with maximum-frequency response and clarity. These monitor models also feature the same pole-mounts as the PA speakers, so it's a breeze to mount them on stands for use as mains.
Performing musicians, DJs, houses of worship, schools, and other small - medium-sized venues that operate on tight budgets will find a perfect solution to their sound system requirements in the BR-Series. They're great for either mobile or permanent sound installations. And you won't find yourself high and dry in the unlikely event you do experience a problem with your BR speakers-like all Yamaha speakers, they're covered by a 3-year warranty.
The Yamaha BR-Series
sound outstanding along with practically any PA system. When they're matched with an integrated Yamaha PA system package like the EMX66M/BR15, or EMX66M-BR12, they damn near get up and dance around the room. The EMX series amplifiers in these packages are matched exactly to power and impedances of the cabinets, with switchable YSP speaker processing that acts to instantly shape the EQ of the speakers, tightening the bass and focusing the overall sound even more. These systems also come with a choice selection of microphones, speaker cables, and speaker stands for a total sound system that's ready to kick it right out of the box.
Features & Specs