High Sound Quality
Moisture resistant 8" blue PP (polypropylene) mica cone woofer for high performance mid-low sound reproduction
1" fluid-cooled soft-dome swivel tweeter delivers pure high frequency with precise sound positioning
High Sound Quality
- Moisture resistant 8" blue PP (polypropylene) mica cone woofer for high performance mid-low sound reproduction
- 1" fluid-cooled soft-dome swivel tweeter delivers pure high frequency with precise sound positioning
- Grain-finished acoustic baffle with spiral pattern for natural sound dispersion
- Slim profile design for flush in-ceiling or in-wall mounting
- Sealed back cover to protect speaker and crossover from dust and moisture
Quick and Easy Installation
- Paintable grille with magnets for quick and easy installation
- Large mounting clamp with non-slip tread for sure grip
Audio & Video
That was the key idea behind the development of Yamaha's new series of in-ceiling speakers.
Powerful sound completely unexpected from such small dimensions, elegant and sophisticated design,
blending perfectly with the room interior...
The synergy between seasoned professional sound designers and a young technician from overseas,
bridging differences in nationality and age, has resulted in a new and outstanding product.
— We are at Yamaha's main plant in Hamamatsu. A dedicated listening room for the development of in-ceiling speakers has been set up here. The wall boards feature an assortment of prototypes and speakers of other manufacturers. The current project started out with intensive listening sessions of these speakers. In addition to the Rock and Jazz CDs commonly used for such tests, a variety of Chinese music favoured by Mr Wang is frequently heard during listening sessions these days.
Mr Wang hails from the coastal province of Jiangsu in China. After studying mechanical engineering in university, he joined the local branch of Yamaha in 2008, partly spurred by an interest in music. He immediately applied for technical training in Japan and was accepted on his first try, winning out over severe competition for this newly instituted program. Although he is therefore part of a promising new elite, he does not come across as pushy or self-centred. Rather, he seems serious and a bit shy, with a boyish smile on his face, as he relates "In fact, until I entered university, I didn't even know that Yamaha makes something else besides motorcycles."
"Although the basic construction principle of a speaker is relatively simple, working out the design policy and achieving the intended sound while keeping within the given budget limits took considerable time and effort." recalls Tsunenori Sano, in charge of technical supervision, whose 20-year career in sound design includes working on high-end speakers. While involved in the current project, Mr Sano collected information about the type of sound popular on the North American market by visiting dealers all over the continent during a period of about two years.
— To complement these external efforts, the above mentioned listening room was established within Yamaha. After thoroughly studying samples from competing manufacturers, a powerful "Yamaha style" sound providing excellent value for money was arrived at.
Sano："The front grille is fastened with a magnetic catch that allows it to be easily attached and removed. The neodymium material used here is the most powerful permanent magnet available. I don't think this can be found in other speakers of the same price class."
Mizuno："To enter a market dominated by many well established manufacturers, we needed a special Yamaha 'something' to make our mark. The 'Looks Great Even From Behind' design in this respect was an important development concept."
— Of course, reliability was also given high priority. As a case in point, the strength of the magnetic grille catch was tested by suspending weights from it while playing music, with the speaker mounted in the ceiling. Stringent internal Yamaha quality requirements established specially for the new NS-IC series had to be cleared. These also extended to the clamps that are used to hold the speaker in place. In tests under sound vibration conditions, the clamps had to support several times the actual speaker weight, to ensure that there can be no risk of accidents.
"Industrial standards differ between China and Japan, and in the beginning I had trouble even asking questions, due to my limited language ability. I made a lot of blunders during that time..." (Wang) But repeatedly going through the process of drawing up a blueprint, only to have it rejected by the boss, "I gradually came to understand what's important for the design" says Mr Wang.
— In fact, after assisting with the mechanism design for the NS-IC800 and NS-IC600 under the guidance of engineers Mizuno and Sano, Mr Wang then went on to produce the blueprint for the NS-IC400 on his own. This is the 4-inch "spotlight size", a first for Yamaha. Mounting depth is a mere 80 millimetres. Within such a small space, resistors, capacitors, coils and other required parts had to be arranged properly. The process of controlling the spacing of parts down to the tenths of a millimetre "no doubt was a new experience and a major challenge for him," reminisces his mentor Sano.
Sano："The network placement was a major obstacle. Because the NS-IC400 is a full-range speaker that covers the entire frequency range with a single unit, a cap directly attached to the voice coil in the centre of the woofer acts as a tweeter. Therefore we originally did not plan to include a network for the woofer/tweeter combination. But at a certain stage, it was suggested that for better sound quality, having a network would be desirable. Consequently, the rear cover shape including the terminals was repeatedly redesigned, first on paper and then in prototypes that were examined in-house. Wang went through this process any number of times."
Mizuno："He is a cheerful type, yet has a stubborn streak" recalls team leader Mizuno with a smile. "But most importantly, he has the flexibility to follow up on suggestions and to re-examine his approach. Compared to the first design that he showed me, the actual NS-IC400 has become considerably more compact. Within a difficult environment and while struggling to overcome the language barrier, he has shown an impressive capability to learn quickly."
— Working hard to communicate in broken Japanese with the people around him, and at the same time absorbing new knowledge and technology, Mr Wang's efforts had an energizing effect on the entire project.
Mizuno："In the process of bringing a product to market, the designers alone can only do so much. Engineers, designers, manufacturing specialists, quality assurance, all the various departments must work together to clear the economic hurdles and make it happen. The enthusiasm and dedication of the people involved will be reflected in the final product. I even think that it results in a kind of beauty that distinguishes it from other brands. Personally, I am very pleased with how these particular products turned out."
Sano："An essential requirement for a speaker designer is the ability to discern finely nuanced differences in sound. In addition to training and experience, an innate aptitude for this is very important. In this regard, Wang has what it takes. Being strongly motivated, I am sure that with increasing experience, he will show further progress. In the long run, his attitude and sensibility should enable him to create a sound that has appeal on an international basis. But we also hope that our basic stance of staying as true to the original signal as possible also will become part of his heritage. In the lower price brackets this goal is often difficult to realize, but the question of whether the underlying commitment to fidelity is there has a decisive effect on the outcome."
— Through unwavering dedication and craftsmanship, Yamaha's new in-ceiling speakers strike an intriguing balance between sound quality, design, and cost/performance ratio. They will be released first in North America, later to be followed by Europe and China. After experiencing the craftsmanship of Yamaha at the source, Mr Wang is also scheduled to return to China in one year.
Wang："The fact that I was able to create a satisfying product with my own hands is the biggest joy for me. After returning to my country, I want to make use of my training and experiences here to develop products that bring joy not only to users in China but around the world. The people I met at Yamaha in Japan all make untiring efforts, aiming to improve sound quality ever so much, through small but important steps. By continuing to work in design I would like to correctly communicate this spirit to others."
|Recommended Usage||In-Ceiling Front / Surround Speakers|
|Woofers||8” PP (polypropylene) mica cone|
|Tweeters||1” fluid-cooled soft dome|
|Swivel Tweeter and Midrange Driver||(Tweeters)|
|Paintable Grill with Protective Cover Included||Yes|
|Frequency Response||50 Hz – 28 kHz|
|Sensitivity||90 dB (2.83 V, 1 m)|
|Input Power (Maximum / Nominal)||140W / 50W|
|Product Dimensions (W x H x D)||10-3/4" x 4-1/2"|
|Product Weight (lbs. each)||4.2|