Yamaha's '5000' flagship range revealed!...

They're disrupting the Hi-Fi space, says Yamaha of its new 5000 series components revealed today. And while the return to vinyl with the GT-5000 will grab the headlines, the flagship pre-power amplifier combination should also enjoy their share of attention. 

We can also tell you that the flagship turntable will be preceded in the market by more mid-price vinyl offerings, so this is no mere one-shot tick of the turntable box. 

So first let's drool over a few pics of that new flagship record deck, the GT-5000...

The GT-5000 takes inspiration from the GT Series of yesteryear (where GT stood for 'Gigantic and Tremendous'!) but there are marked differences, notably in direct drive being replaced by a custom belt-drive system. The mass remains, however, with a 5kg aluminium platter contributing to an overall weight of 26.5kg, all in the aim of dampening vibrations to deliver improved performance.

A short, straight 22cm (8.7-inch) arm is designed to deliver superior rigidity as well as balance of weight and mechanics which result in improved traceability. A rigid mechanism with simple construction means there is no requirement for an antiskate weight.

And no flying phono leads here - a balanced output makes it possible to achieve an end-to-end balanced signal chain from cartridge to speaker with the C-5000 pre-amplifier and M-5000 power amplifier below also featuring fully balanced signal paths.

The only bad news is that you can't get one for Christmas - it's expected to arrive in "the early months of next year", which we have reason to believe will mean April 2019. Pricing is not yet announced for any of the new series. 

GT-5000 SPECS: 
Drive: Belt drive
Motor: AC synchronous motor
Motor Drive: Crystal sine wave
Rotation Speed: 33-1/3 rpm, 45 rpm
Rotation Speed Variation: ±0.1%
Rotation Speed Adjustment: Built-in crystal osc. Adjustment Step: 0.1%, Adjustment Range: ±1.5%
Wow And Flutter: less than 0.04%
Platter: [Outer] Machined aluminium (Diameter 35 cm), [Inner] Brass (Diameter 14.3 cm)

Tonearm: Static balance straight tonearm
Effective Arm Length: 223mm
Underhang: 17 mm
Acceptable Cartridge Weight: 13.5-36 g (including headshell) / (25-36 g need sub weight)
Attached Cartridge: Head-shell Weight 10 g (including screws, nuts and wires)

Output: 2 (XLR balance x 1, RCA unbalanced x 1), Strobe: 1 (3.5 mm mini jack)
Dimension (W×H×D): 544 x 256 x 410 mm; 21-3/8” x 10-1/8” x 16-1/8”
Weight: 26.5kg

 

Next up, the C-5000 Pre-amplifier:


You can see the longstanding Yamaha hi-fi 'look', the lever switches refined for enhanced operation and the volume knob both rigid and precise, employing ball-bearings and precision-cut aluminium to achieve its touch.

The circuitry takes the successful approach of the ‘3000’ series to a new level, the C-5000 featuring fully balanced and discrete circuit transmission across all stages of the patented floating design, adopted across the phono EQ, input amp and line amp stages - removing the influence of ground noise from the signal.

Each channel is physically mirrored and arranged in a folding-book configuration to ensure the most accurate reproduction of audio, with each channel physically identical.

The C-5000 features fully balanced and discrete circuit transmission across all stages of the signal path when using Tone Defeat.

A toroidal transformer is dedicated to each of the stereo channels, delivering optimal separation, the power transformers enclosed in a copper-plated case to suppress magnetic flux and vibration. The ground loop is minimised when other components are connected.

Like the M-5000, the custom heavy-duty brass feet function either as fully supported spikes or with a scratch guard base for use on delicate surfaces.

Preamp inputs: 
- RCA:6 (PHONO, TUNER, CD, LINE 1, LINE 2 IN, EXT IN)
- BAL:4 (PHONO, BAL 1, BAL 2, EXT IN) 
- TRIGGER IN: 1 (Slave mode), REMOTE IN:1

Preamp outputs: 
- RCA:3 (LINE 2 OUT, LINE 1, LINE 2)
- BAL:1 (BAL)
- TRIGGER OUT: 2 (Master mode), REMOTE OUT:1

 

And the muscle behind the combination is the M-5000 power amplifier...

Another visual delight with those large, high-precision meters on the front panel ( 7mm thick and made from Asahi glass), the M-5000 delivers 2 x 100W into 8 ohms (20Hz-20 kHz, 0.07% THD) and 2 x 200W into 4 ohms (same specs). 

Again a perfectly symmetrical layout is used to isolate the left and right channels both physically and electrically, within what Yamaha calls a "deliberately simple design", serving to reduce the signal path as much as possible to minimise energy loss and achieve lower impedance.

As opposed to conventional power amplifier designs whereby power is supplied via a power transistor and the negative polarity is connected to ground, the power supply of the M-5000 is connected directly to each positive and negative side of the output stage. Completely floating the entire power amp circuit from the ground in this way removes any undesirable impact of minute voltage fluctuations or ground noise.

The design also creates an ideal symmetrical layout for employing MOSFET power amplifiers, improving driveability for low impedance speakers (none of Yamaha's AV receiver allergy tofour-ohm speakers here).

The M-5000 has been designed from the ground up to maximise rigidity - reducing unwanted vibration for optimal sonic performance. Further, employing a mechanical ground concept by fixing the power transformer, block capacitors and heat sink directly to the rigid streamlined construction with bolts ensures they are fully supported and eliminates the influence of vibrations.

A massive toroidal transformer is utilised with a 3 mm thick pure brass base which suppresses unwanted vibrations, while thick wires and screw-type connections contribute to the low-impedance design.  The use of screws and brass terminals directly on the block capacitors as opposed to solder promotes a strong, low impedance connection.

Oversized, screw-type speaker terminals cut from a pure brass block ensure a secure connection. 

Yamaha M-5000 specs: 

Inputs: 1 x RCA unbalanced pair, 1 x balanced XLR pair, trigger in
Outputs: speakers out, trigger out
Rated Output Power: 100W + 100W into 8 ohm (20Hz-20 kHz, 0.07% THD, 2-ch driven), 200 W + 200 W  into 4 ohm (20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.07% THD, 2-ch driven), 400W into 8 ohm mono driven (20Hz-20 kHz, 0.07% THD)
IEC Output Power: 125W + 125W (8 ohm, 1 kHz, 0.02% THD)
Power Bandwidth: 10Hz-50kHz (8 ohm, 0.1% THD, 45 W)
Damping Factor:         300 or higher (8 ohm, 1 kHz)
Input Sensitivity/Input Impedance:
Balanced: 2.0 Vrms / 47 kohm,
Unbalanced: 1.0 Vrms / 47 kohm [1 kHz 100 W / 8 ohm conversion]
Frequency Response: 5Hz-100kHz -3dB, 20Hz-20kHz -0.3dB
Total Harmonic Distortion Plus Noise: 2ch driven: 0.035% (LINE [BAL] to SP Out, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 50 W, 8 ohms)
Channel Separation: 90dB or higher @ 1kHz (Input 1.0kohm Terminated), 70dB or higher @ 10kHz (Input 1.0 kohm Terminated)
Power Consumption: 400 W
Standby Power Consumption: Off Mode: 0.1W, Standby Mode: 0.2W
Maximum Power Consumption: 800 W
Dimension (W×H×D): 435 x 180 x 464 mm
Weight: 26.9kg

And not forgetting that you might like to stick a pair of NS-5000 speakers on the end of all that - you can read our original story and interview of those here:

and our full review and lab test here.

More information: au.yamaha.com