YG Acoustics Cairn Loudspeaker Lab Report

Lab Report

The combination of the Cairn's small, sealed box alignment, 150mm 'BilletCore' bass/mid driver and relatively easy load all suggest low sensitivity. YG specifies 86dB, but 83.0dB/1kHz is closer to the mark, or 82.5dB (500kHz-8kHz) with the 2kHz lift as the treble dome takes over [Graph 1] taken into account. Its impedance phase shows +30/–63° swings across an uneventful resistive load that drops to 3.7ohm/192Hz but presents a mildly taxing EPDR of 1.5ohm/53Hz. In practice, amplifier pairing is of greater 'interest' at lower frequencies still where the Cairn's impedance rises from 4.1ohm/62Hz to 16ohm/20Hz and 35ohm/5Hz – potentially 'boosting' the low bass from those (tube) amps with a high source impedance. The achievable low frequency extension is also limited by enclosure/driver size, etc, the 'BilletCore' unit offering a 55Hz-1.4kHz (–6dB) bandwidth before crossing over to the tweeter at 1.9kHz. The Cairn's bass peaks at 74Hz prior to a combined electrical/acoustical 4th-order roll-off that delivers an extension of 54Hz (–6dB re. 200Hz).

Otherwise the forward response is flat to within ±1.8dB and ±2.0dB limits, and pair matching is a fine 0.8dB (all 200Hz-15kHz), even though this widens to ±3.9dB/±4.0dB and 2.3dB, respectively, thanks to an early treble dome resonance at 19.8kHz. Beyond this the HF response extends to 48.3kHz and 45.1kHz (–6dB re. 10kHz), respectively. There's a cap on the Cairn's power handling, and a limit to the size of room it will fill, but even at our reference 90dB/1m SPL, midrange distortion still held to a very impressive sub-1%. In-band cabinet/driver resonances are also held at bay [see Graph 2, below]. PM


Response including nearfield 'BilletCore' bass/mid driver [green], freefield corrected to 1m at 2.83V [yellow], ultrasonic [pink]. Left, black; right, red


Aside from a minor mode within the BilletCore driver, the Cairn is free of 'colourful' resonances

Sensitivity (SPL/1m/2.83V – 1kHz/Mean/IEC) 83.0dB / 82.5dB / 80.2dB
Impedance modulus: minimum & maximum (20Hz–20kHz) 3.7ohm @ 192Hz, 15.9ohm @ 20Hz
Impedance phase: minimum & maximum (20Hz–20kHz) –62.5° @ 30Hz, +30.3° @ 570Hz
Pair matching/Resp. error (200Hz–20kHz) 2.3dB/ ±3.9dB/±4.0dB
LF/HF extension (–6dB ref 200Hz/10kHz) 54Hz / 48.3kHz/45.1kHz
THD 100Hz/1kHz/10kHz (for 90dB SPL/1m) 0.7% / 0.06% / 1.5%
Dimensions (HWD) / Weight (each) 370x192x262mm / 13kg
Prices £9900 (£11,500 inc. stands)

YG Acoustics LLC
Colorado, USA
Supplied by: Padood Ltd, Cambridge, UK
01223 653199