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YG Acoustics Sonja 2 Tweeter Upgrade

03-01-2018 | By Marshall Nack | Issue 96

YG Acoustics Sonja 2

The missing tweeter

I've had the same pair of YG Anat speakers going on seven years. That's the longest I've owned any reference component by far. And still the Anats' give no cause to go out looking. They do everything well. If I notice a performance shortfall, it won't be the speakers I'm looking at.

Along the way there have been technical upgrades, like replacing the WBT binding posts with custom, in-house posts. But I do have a minor quibble about the tweeters. Every now and then a high-pitched spike comes along that can be on the hot side. Put it this way: the tweeters do nothing to soften it. So when I learned YG was rolling out a replacement tweeter in the Sonja Series 2, I was keenly interested.

The Sonja Series 2 Upgrade

YG Acoustics doesn't come out with revisions very often. When they do, it's a major event because the company is known to be on the cutting edge with particular expertise in speaker driver and crossover design. YG crossovers are computer-modelled to theoretical perfection. Sometimes parts are called for that don't exist—they have to be commissioned. Being a perfectionist company can push cost to a secondary consideration.

True to form, the Series 2 incorporates two patented technologies that were originally developed for the flagship Sonja XV speakers: the BilletDome™ tweeter and the ViseCoil™ inductor (transformer) in the bass crossover.


The brand new, patent-pending BilletDome™ tweeter is YG Acoustics'™ most complex mechanical invention to date: a resonance-free soft dome is supported by a stiff, light airframe machined from aluminum billet... Finally, a tweeter that ends the age-old debate of hard dome versus soft dome by combining the best of both.


ViseCoil™ inductors are CNC-wound in-house, then encased in a vise-like milled structure to eliminate vibration and tighten tolerances... The result is better control over the woofers, far greater bass impact, and an easier job for most amplifiers.

Both upgrades can be applied to existing Sonja (designated as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, depending on configuration) and, happily, they can be retrofitted to the older Anat series speakers. (BTW: The midrange and the woofer drivers in the Anat and the Sonja haven't changed. They are the same.) The full upgrade is expensive: $14,800 for a Sonja 1.2 or 2.2 or $16,800 for 1.3 or 2.3. You can get the tweeter alone for $9400.

When I heard the Sonja 2.2 at the product launch last fall, I signed up for the tweeter upgrade on the spot. That one was a no-brainer. However, I'm holding off on the ViseCoil update to the woofer. I like the active sub in my Anat Studio speakers. It gives me flexibility to adjust the bass so I don't have to play around with speaker placement when new components come in. The ViseCoil update would turn them into passive drivers. 

the new crossover in hand

I was surprised by the big, heavy shipping box. If you are familiar with YG, you know they make CNC machined aluminum drivers that are wafer-thin and light as a feather, so I was expecting a box sized to hold a phono cartridge.

Ah, I forgot about the crossover, which also needs to be replaced anytime you change a driver. The new one has been redesigned—made better and simpler with fewer parts. Then I realized that the crossover in the main cabinet is also used by the mid-woofers. Wow! This is no simple driver replacement. It affects the frequency range from 65-1750 Hz handled by mid-woofs and 1751- 40,000 handled by tweeter. It ain't just a driver—it impacts nearly the entire audible spectrum.

Well, get ready for a prolonged burn-in…

flipside of the new crossover

Listening to the Sonja 2.2

Sadly, the lengthy burn-in is absolutely required. Initially, it sounds stiff and inflexible—give it at least 60 hours playtime to begin to relax—but you will hear the twin benefits of the BilletDome tweeter straight away. First is a large-scale reduction of tizziness and glare. Current owners of Sonja Series 1 or Anats will probably be thinking, what glare? I say this knowing you probably won't believe me, because I had the same reaction. This is another case of "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone," as Joni Mitchell sang.

The tweeter loses a brittle edge that surrounded instruments like a halo, plus it stops those occasional shouts. The treble calms down, although tonal balance does not change. Consequently, the background gets very dark and quiet, increasing the contrast with the instruments. Not that the images pop more—image size and quality are the same—but they become more apparent. As it acquires playtime, you will hear smoother transitions and improvements in frequency integration.

Second is a huge boost in the apparent stability of the stage. It becomes so firm and solid, a real bedrock foundation grounding the musical activity unfolding upon it. Everything gains body mass.

a pair of new tweeters

Wish Fulfillment

Occasionally, I wonder about the inevitable. Where, and when, would I go for my next speaker? There are plenty of worthy contenders at the price point of the Sonja, but it's a daunting task to bring one in, let alone the expense of the endeavor. Still, I've never had real cause to take action.

With the Series 2 BilletDome tweeter upgrade, I almost feel like I have new speakers. The Series 2 impacts (and improves) such a wide frequency range you are 3/4 of the way there. I must commend YG for continuing to support older Anat speakers, like mine. It's a real comfort to know they have my back.

It's so much quieter. The independence afforded each musical line is amazing. It's so much better...

The Sonja Series 2 speakers are shipping now.

YG Acoustics


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