Yamaha F25 Live Sound Speaker

Is there anything that Yamaha doesn't make in the world of musical and audio goodies? The company makes everything from clarinets to consoles, saxophones to microphones and now Yamaha is making a full-range double 15" speaker - the F25.
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Is there anything that Yamaha doesn't make in the world of musical and audio goodies? The company makes everything from clarinets to consoles, saxophones to microphones and now Yamaha is making a full-range double 15" speaker - the F25.

Features

Yamaha F25 speakers ($1,599) are full-range, trapezoidal, reflex-type speaker cabinets. They feature two Yamaha proprietary 15" woofers and a 3" voice coil titanium mid/high driver coupled to a proprietary horn with a 60-degree by 40-degree dispersion pattern. The speakers incorporate a 1.5 kHz passive internal crossover. If you prefer, you can use an external active crossover and biamp instead.

A switch on the rear panel, as well as a pair of Neutrik NL4 connectors, allow for easy mode change. One should be careful in putting two F25s in parallel. They are 4-ohm speaker cabinets - match up your amplifiers carefully.

The F25s are attractive packages that seem to be quite rugged. They are finished in dark gray carpet, which covers a multilayer plywood constructed cabinet, standing square on heavy-duty rubber feet. The grille is heavy-gauge steel, powder-coated in black, which helps to mask the components well. The lifting handles are located one on each side about halfway up, allowing two people to lift the cabinet easily.

Yamaha provides the following specifications for the F25s: frequency range - 45 Hz to 20 kHz; power handling in passive - 700 W pink noise, 1,400 W continuous program and 2,800 W max (transient) at 4 ohms; no individual specs for biamping; sensitivity 98 dB SPL at 1 W/1 meter/1 kHz. The approximate dimensions (converted from metric) of the speaker cabinet are 2' wide, 4' tall, 2' deep and 138 lb.

In use

I transported my pair of Yamaha F25s to the Yavapai County Fair, a three-day festival in Prescott, Ariz. The fair features local and regional talent, including a hypnotist, novelty acts, review shows and country/western bands on three different stages.

I set up the speakers on the medium-sized stage for the first day, using them as passive, full-range house cabinets. They exhibited good throw for a crowd of about 350 people, covering the crowd fairly evenly at the farthest distance of about 100 feet. In passive mode, I found the mid driver didn't quite keep up with the woofers and, consequently, had to do some heavy equalization in the 315 Hz and 500 Hz regions. After some adjusting and EQing, they actually sounded quite good and I received numerous compliments from other musicians on their sound quality.

The next day I decided to employ the F25s as side-fill monitors for the musicians onstage at the largest of the three stages. This time I used them in biamped mode (using a Yamaha F1030 active crossover with 24 dB per octave filters) and found the balance between low and mid/high to be much easier. They took on a nicer dimension of sound quality and were much easier to control in biamped mode (as are most speakers).

All the musicians performing on the stage that day seemed to really like the sound of the F25s and said so, unsolicited. I decided to take them one step further, using them as drum fills for a regional country act. They had a reasonable enough punch to be better than adequate for that type of application.

Summary

I used the Yamaha F25s in several applications and they were good speakers, overall. They did require some heavy EQing to sound good in passive mode, but aside from that, they exhibited pretty good sound quality at short- and medium-throw applications.

They were not quite as bright on the high end as the manufacturer claims - I found they rolled off sharply at 12-15 kHz. They were designed to be affordable speakers for musicians and bands that want to carry their own sound system for clubs and churches - and they are perfect for that application.

Contact Yamaha at 714-522-9011.