The end of the weak link
- or so Yamaha stated in 1974.
A real statement loudspeaker at any rate, part of the NS Series, Yamaha's top-end audio production, still on today even if with less ambitious... goals. NS stands for Natural Sound and the M in NS-1000M stands for Monitor, maturally.
The stars of the 1000M show are the Beryllium domes, here made with a process not so distant from the one used for the V-FET transistors from Yamaha... and Sony : vapor deposition in vacuum on a pre-shaped copper mold.
For audio uses, Beryllium is better than aluminum, titanium, magnesium or whatever-um (not to mention soft domes).
Yamaha's ultimate (literally) GF-1 monster and Sony's more discrete but excellent SS-A5 Bio-Cellulose were yet to come, but that is another story.
The NS-1000 is the "home" version, adorned with a lavish polyurethane coated ebony finish ; not a veneer add-on, mind you, but real solid thick wood !
Apart from this 8kg surplus of good looks (1000) and the protection on the woofer (1000M), both versions are identical.
The pre-production samples were named NS-1000X (capital "X", until august 1974), the NS-1000M saw an upgraded NS-2000 version, a later NS-1000x (1984 - more of an upgraded NS-1000M) and an ultimate version in the NSX-10000, produced in small quantities for Yamaha's 1987 Centennial anniversary.
More recently, JM Lab, french manufacturer of grand designs as the Grand Utopia, brought Beryllium center stage again for a line of professional monitoring loudspeakers.?
Unlike most audio masterpieces, there are thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of NS-1000 pairs around the world so catching a pair isn't difficult at all.
Spare beryllium domes, however, while still available until about 2006, are now (2009) all gone.
The NS-1000M and NS-1000 are acoustic suspension designs and were delivered as matched pairs but it is true they need very careful matching with amplifiers and sources : avoid all that makes fizz and slash and zing for they do have a slight tendency to bring a bit forward mid and high-mid frequencies. Try a Luxman L-540 for instance.
Two zeros below, the 1977 NS-10M distant cousin (sans Be drivers) graced many a recording studio throughout the 1980s and 1990s - with lots of us tweaking 'em to death to bring this little thing to the limit.
Yamaha made a gazillion lookalikes of the NS-10M and a hundred versions and variants of the NS-1000, with or without Be domes, to cash in on the NS-1000 craze, sales and following. It worked : even today, a white pulp bass driver is likely to be immediately recognized as Yamaha's and Beryllium is Yamaha.
A full-tilt set of worthwhile restoration/modifications here.