The world of vinyls has experienced a revival that has proved to be much more than just a fashion or “hipsterada” shift. Clear: the fashions are fleeting, and the hípsters seem to have disappeared from one day to another and without leaving much behind, apart from the toast with avocado, the beard of an apostle or the bikes grandfather. In fact, I would have to say the vinyls never were, that have always been there, for luck of all of us.
It is true that many of the “new” lovers of the vinyl appeared along with the beards and trousers of straw, but none of those oddities resists the singularity of the well-devised, technology, well-applied and the design elite. When the creativity comes to fruition thanks to the good work, your product becomes something timeless, current, today, yesterday and tomorrow. Much of this has to do with Yahgan Audio Lab: Technology, design and –of course!– infinite love for music.
Jorge Rodríguez is an engineer with a chilean that has not found a better way of channelling their knowledge and their passion for the music making –he himself, from scratch– his own line of amplifiers valve and turntables high-end. In the city of Limache, a little more than 120 km to the northwest of Santiago, Chile and all of Latin america has one of the ventures most technologically interesting of the last few years.
The idea came to Rodriguez in 2016, and as he himself explains in an interview, a mix of memories and concerns drove him to study the functioning and development of the turntables and sound equipment analogue, all this backed up by his profession and experience as a mechanical engineer from the University of Chile.
Yahgan… why Yahgan? The name is far from being a coincidence. The yaganes are a people native to the southern tip of Chile and Argentina, survivors of a time that has virtually been given to you by extinct. But they are still there, resisting, with everything against and with pride… as the teams valvular heart still resist the digital domain. “I was homesick for all these computers that were in some way displaced at any minute, such as turntables and computers valvular. This is why I wanted to rescue them with the audacity of wanting to make them myself, but with a proper sense,” says Rodriguez, who also insists on the quality of the unique: create audio components that are not found in any store, but that the client sends to be custom made, choosing configurations, colors and unique pieces according to your tastes.
The teams of Yahgan Audio Lab is divided into a line of pre-amplifiers and amplifiers –all tube or valve– and the other of the turntables, whose main feature is the use of technology and raw material, 100% “Made in Chile”. In addition, all these machines are manufactured and assembled completely by hand.
The line of amplifiers includes 4 models of valvular, three of them for stereo sound, 5, 10 and 20 Watts of power, plus one Mono Block of 25 W. The family of turntables, for its part, is composed of five different models, highlighting the Yahgan Feedback Series YP51, which comes in two presentations: with built in motor to the chassis, or externally, with a strap around the plate.
The novelty of this particular model lies in its system of twist of the closed-loop control, the innovation located in the smart card checks (in real time) the angular velocity of the plate, and feeds back the speed required by the engine, all to maintain a rotation angle accurate and consistent at 33 1/3 or 45 rpm, depending on the case. It is an original system of Jorge Rodriguez who is in the process of obtaining his patent in Chile.
Make a computer it can take between 3 to 4 weeks. It all starts with a computer design facilities, which are transformed into coordinates for input to a CNC machine where the parts are cut out. In the case of the turntables, the designs of the plate and its drive system are made in the lathe.
Wood is then cut and sized the pieces that will form part of the chassis of each turntable and amplifier. As was expected, in addition to copper and aluminum are used only the finest woods from Chile, such as Coihue, Roble, Lenga and some woods imported as the Okume, of african origin.
After polishing and painting, the various components are assembled and subjected to tests of quality and sound. The engine, the support legs, the frame and lower pulleys are assembled with the precision that it requires a computer of high configuration. Later, in the case of the turntables, they installed the arm (an Origin Live Silver series MK3A) and calibrated the needle.
The process is completed with the quality control, consisting of an evaluation of sound that confronts the distortion that the delivery arm with the distortion of the same team, all through a sound meter with a special disk of frequencies certain that allow to measure the fidelity that gives each turntable.
The products of Yahgan Audio Lab are produced exclusively to order and have various configuration options. For more information, please visit their website, or follow them in your account of Instagram to get the latest news.
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