Floorstanding loudspeakers

The YG Acoustics‘ way of producing speakers, alike Magico, has more resemblancy to Airbus, than to usual carpenter workshops of other manufacturers, not only because YG uses the same milling machines. Most the parts are milled from aerospace aluminum, the joints are cold-pressed rather than screwed together, and the components in the YG speakers count in thousands. Even the cones of the drivers are high-precision milled.

Function and form

Ease of use

For manufacturing of 1kg aluminum, 15kWh of energy and 1000l of water are used in average. Not to speak about the aluminum machining. Both Sonja 2.3i towers weight 410kg and they are virtually all-metal. This is not what a sustainable and planet-friendly pair of speakers looks like. On the positive side, they do not use tons of epoxy resins and glues, and all aluminum waste is recycled into a new raw material. If an YG speaker retires in future, it can be recycled too, unlike lacquered MDF and epoxy cabinets that are good for heating only. This way the YG speakers appear much greener than their traditional counterparts.

In the heart of the YG know-how, there are two technologies, both using CNC-cutting, but on

different parts: ForgeCore is a magnet-system (motor) technology, BilletCore is a

membrane (cone) technology. The ForgeCore is employed in tweeters, where the technology optimizes both their motor and their enclosure designs, which – according to YG Acoustics – dramatically reduces distortion in tweeters.

The BilletCore means CNC-machining of driver cones (dual 26cm woofer, dual 15cm midrange) from solid aluminum billets. To get the idea, a 7 kg billet is reduced to only 30 grams and 200 micrometers thickness, with no flexing. The truly pistonic driver offers higher performance and lower distortion compared to traditional pressed aluminum membranes, and YG Acoustics promises an exceptional level of accuracy, transient response, dynamics and musicality. 

The upper module (the tweeter and two midrange drivers) are in d´Appolito arrangement, plus the modules baffle is concave, so the axes of all drivers meet at the listener’s ears. Such vertical symmetry means better frequency and phase behaviour, as well as less interaction with floor and ceiling.

The drivers are connected via DualCoherent crossovers, designed using software developed entirely in-house, with the goal to deliver both a ruler-flat frequency response (+/-1dB) and near-zero relative phase (+/-5°). The second part is very important for the sound reproduction, maybe more than the quest for flatness of a speaker’s response. I like that. No wonder that the new versions of Sonja’s Dual Coherent Mk2 crossover further improve relative phase parameters, and use ViseCoil bass inductors and ToroAir inductors to improve linearity for greater bass impact and eliminate crosstalk.

Sonja 2.3i is fully passive, specified 88dB/4-ohm, and it is available in three finish types: anodization, ChromALure, and high gloss paint. I believe that with anodization options available there is no need to cover a YG speaker in paint, although the possibility exists. The cabinets are all-aerospace-aluminum and carefully optimized not to step in the way of sound (and music).

The Sonja system is fully modular and consists of 3 modules: a compact monitor, a bass module, and a dual bass module. Thus, one can start with a pair of stand-mount speakers (2.1i) and later extend them into semi-full-range (2.2i) or full-range (2.3i) speakers by adding/replacing the module.

Bass management


Evaluating Sonja 2.3i loudspeakers is a considerable challenge even for an experienced listener, let alone a weekend audiophile. If you're used to making up your mind in twenty minutes into auditioning, you'll probably come away thinking that the YG may have some potential, but that you've heard better speakers already. However, if you're looking for a pair of speakers that will entertain you day after day and year after year, give the Sonja more than twenty minutes. YG Acoustics obviously do some things differently and the result is worth it.

Pink noise reproduction is one such thing. The difference between correlated and uncorrelated noise (Sheffield Labs test track) was the smallest I have ever heard through any loudspeakers. Better said - except for the mono-stereo difference, there was no difference at all between the two tracks. The sound was totally coherent in both cases, and tonally I did not notice any excesses across the whole frequency range. This is not surprising for the midrange module of the Sonja 2.3i, which is around 20cm wide and 50cm high, so one would expect a studio monitor-like sound. But even with the dual bass module below the upper section, the pink noise balance was perfect, the sound just started to rumble more.

Another playback aspect, that YG Acoustics has mastered very well, is the bass. At first listen, you would say there is not enough of it. Well, then you measure it and the bass extension starts developing from 20Hz in the listening spot, and behaving in an exemplary fashion until the midrange takes over (as measured by the warble tone spectrum of 20Hz - 200Hz). No wonder that I really enjoyed the acoustic double bass through the YG speakers. It was all there - fingers, strings, fretboard, the chunky instrument’s body. I could almost see the bass’s spike scratching the planks of the wooden floor in front of me. I absolutely fell in love with the double bass through the YG, mainly because under their command it was a truly acoustic instrument, without euphonic amplification, without any added audiophile candy, and without the – often attractive – super tightness. It was very real, and I dare say it was the most faithful (not to say the most attractive) playback of a double bass I have ever heard through any audio system. All this greatness was achieved in a listening room of relatively modest dimensions, with 35m2 of floor space. That's what I call a performance package.

Clarity & delicacy


Cassandra Wilson with her Come On My Kitchen is one of the permanent parts of my auditioning setlist. It has been so since I remained breathless hearing it through semi-active Legacy Audio Aeris speakers. The Sonja 2.3i is a fully passive speaker and YG’s sound philosophy favors evenness, smooth dispersion, and near-zero phase shifts. No wonder that all individual parts of the bass spectrum were perfectly clear, they didn't mask each other, and the track maintained excellent instrumental separation, was smooth to the ears and easy to listen to.

Another high-end benchmark, Rebecca Pidgeon and Spanish Harlem, won me over with the vocal line. It was impeccably articulated, with beautiful ambience and controlled sibilants. The YG's tweeter was more subdued than, say, the lightning-fast AirMotion ribbons, with a hint of subjective roll-off at the very top end. It reminded me about the treble character of Vivid Audio, which uses aluminum dome tweeters, and presents itself in an understated manner. As a result, the highs were smooth and fluid, giving the impression of having a ride in a luxury limousine, rather than a sport car.

Tonal accuracy

Temporal resolution

Domique Fils-Aimé’s Birds is a track with dynamic percussive clicks and claps. It is tight, it is precise, it is dynamic. Through the Sonja 2.3i the transients had the necessary accuracy and speed, yet they did not try to cut my ears off and basically came across as both refined and understated in their own way. The refinement is one of the YG's unique features. It goes without saying that these are not speakers that will make you jump up and run to grab your credit card right away. I recommend reading Jeremy Clarkson’s book I Know You Got Soul and you will understand why the real technical gem is appreciated only after some time you will have lived with it. Perhaps that’s why – many weeks and loudspeakers later – I kept recalling what I had heard from the Sonja 2.3i. I had to admit it was the sheer power of effortlessness and non-conflicting innocence that made the listening so different and so addictive.

Probably the best recording for evaluating the ability of an audio component to reproduce soundstage can be found on the Chesky Records No.2 sampler and is called the General Image and Resolution Test. I mentioned it many times in my reviews, as it belongs in my permanent testing arsenal. The musicians, circling with their primitive percussive instruments around a single microphone, reached out all the way to my seat through the Sonja 2.3i and I could touch the nearest one. When they passed behind the microphone, in their farthest-from-me position, the presence of the front wall made their trajectory flatter, so the orbit they made was somewhat elliptical. Either way, this was one of the best renditions of this track that I heard.  For the record: in the conventional small room.

Spatial resolution

Soundstage width
Soundstage depth

It is very instructive to explore - through the YG Acoustics Sonja 2.3i - the differences between high-end digital and high-end vinyl. The Celebrating 95 Years Of Elac sampler was available both as a 180g DMM vinyl record and a UHQ Hi-Res file. There are some great cuts on it - Rutter's Requiem, Natalia Merchant, Agnes Obel, Anette Askvik, or the frenetic acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. Song after song, the music proves that it can touch the soul of listener, as well as an audiophile. The YG se made all the instrumental lines and sound layers distinct and superbly locked within the soundstage. For instance, I liked the way how Nancy Keith’s soprano in Requiem did not fight with one of the biggest Fisk organ systems in Meyerson Symphonic Center. Both the worlds – vinyl analog and digital – were astoundingly good through the Sonja 2.3i, the digital was clearly better, however. The midrangey nature of the vinyl playback and the presence of all kinds of distortions induced certain amount of body and color into what I heard, but significant amount of information got lost in the grooves. Without getting into the war of formats thing, it suffices to say that the Sonja 2.3i was transparent enough to let me hear the smallest of the differences. To be fair, it also let me hear the degradation in digital sound when I swapped the supreme digital source for my portable XDuoo transport.

Some popular beliefs say that too much aluminum in speakers means too thin and too brittle sound. Not at all, the voicing of the Sonja is much closer to the Italian school of sound, rather than to brittleness or masculinity. The only difference – vs the Italian – is the missing romance and euphony. In the slim silhouette one gets exemplary balanced sound, wide and deep soundstage, competent bass, and plenty of details. The Sonja 2.3i is a very self-assured loudspeaker that will never be the weakest link of your audio path.

One last note: I already mentioned the Sonja is a modular system. With an upgrade and any additional module installed, the YG Acoustics also ships the crossover upgrade. It is easy to install, and the speakers do not have to be shipped to your dealer. Contrary, the dealer will do the upgrade for you at your home. I like this approach, as this is what I would expect from a real high-end manufacturer.

Price as reviewed:3 700 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Dreamaudio, Bratislava, +421 907 838 806

Associated components

  • Sources: Taiko Audio SGM Extreme streamer, Pilium Devine Line DAC Elektra, Paul Pang Quad Switch, Kuzma Stabi R, 4Point Single tonearm, DS Audio Grand Master cartridge, DS Audio Equalizer, xDuoo X10T II digital transport
  • Amplifiers: Pilium Devine Line Ares preamplifier, Pilium Hercules mono amplifiers
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Siltech Triple Crown, Vyda Laboratories Orion, InAkustik Toslink
  • Power conditioning: Pilium DCF, Torus Power AVR2 16, Siltech Ruby Mountain, DS Audio ION-001



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