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Yamaha 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers

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NS-6490, Black Finish ( Pair )

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The luxurious finish of the cabinet, similar to that used on Yamaha grand pianos, indicates the outstanding quality of this speaker system. The 3-way acoustic suspension design features a 20cm (8") high compliance, pearl white, long throw cone woofer with a cloth surround and an inverted dust cover. The midrange is a 10cm (4") ferro-fluid cooled, pearl white cone type with an inverted dust cover. The 2.2cm (7/8") balanced-dome tweeter is also ferro-fluid cooled. The speaker is magnetically shielded so it can be used near a TV, and has gold-plated banana plug compatible terminals.

  • These 3-Way speakers can be added anywhere in your your home component sound systemfront or rear speakers, even as auxiliary speakers for another room
  • Each speaker enclosure has 3 drivers - An 8 Woofer / a 4 Midrange / a 0.75 Dome Tweeter that work together to provide an extremely satisfying sound output that spans a 45Hz to 23kHz frequency response range
  • Magnetically shielded to suit
  • Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.

    1. Not what they used to be! Beware! Review by Adam Sanders

      If your looking for GOOD Bookshelf speakers for playing MUSIC...(WEATHER ON CD OR VINYL). PASS ON THESE YAMAHA'S!

      So I'm on a budget, (like most these days) and my 15 year old Yamaha (NS-A635) bookshelf speakers have served me well, but have had it. What do I do??? Well logically, buy another (supposedly) comparable pair of Yamaha bookshelf speakers, the (NS-6490's) to be exact. I live in a condo, and when it comes to sound, I need quality not quantity. Excited to receive them, I hook them up and immediately notice the "sparkle" of my old vinyl records are now replaced with a "hallow tinny" sound. The warmth and detail of the Yamaha's I knew so well is gone. I understand at this price point I'm not going to be dazzled, but the sound quality on these new model Yamaha's is simply AWFUL! While my old Yamaha's were made using wood laminate, Yamaha now uses a cheap plastic to construct these. Frustrated, I lug them back to the Post Office, and after endless research, conversations, and weeks of research; I've been convinced that a pair of Polk Audio bookshelf speakers, (the RTiA1's) to be exact, will trump the Yamaha's. At over double the price, (around $300 Dollars or so for the pair), I'm expecting nothing I wait.

      A week later the Polk's arrive. Upon unpacking them I'm immediately impressed. Polk Audio sure makes a nice product, real wood cabinets, handsome design, etc... Upon playing them, (I know there is a break in period involved), while detailed, there is NO SPARKLE. That is, the high end sounds "subdued" and not crisp. Even upon increasing the treble response, (while still warm sounding) vocals still sound "muffled," cymbals and other percussion instruments have the missing clarity and punch that I'm used to with Analog recordings. The same clarity that my old Yamaha bookshelf speakers had. After about a week of lackluster performance, I head back to my friends at the Post Office and return the Polk's.

      Finally, upon more research, I'm convinced that the Klipsch (RB-51) bookshelf speakers will deliver what I'm looking for. While slightly pricier than the Polk's, I'm determined to at least replace, if not excel my old Yamaha's sonic sparkley sound, (incidentally, they sold for around $100 a pair not that long ago). Upon quickly receiving the Klipsch (RB-51) bookshelf speakers I'm immediately impressed. The weight, build quality, cool magnetic grills, and copper colored woofers, are attractive. After hookup, I drop the needle on Billy Joel's Piano Man, (MOFI edition)Lp. In short, they are FANTASTIC!!! It was like Billy was almost playing in my living room. The KLIPSCH speakers had the clarity and detail that the POLK's and Yamaha's lacked. No need to crank the treble response up anymore. In short the Klipsch (RB-51) bookshelf speakers are bright, (not harsh), detailed, warm and sonic. All things considered, I can honestly say they are simply FANTASTIC!!!

      In short, save yourself the time and trouble with these, (Yamaha's), and spend the extra money for a quality set of speakers. The difference, (even with moderate equipment) will be ASTOUNDING!

      On a final note, Yamaha still builds some FANTASTIC stuff, but in this case you most certainly get what you pay for.

      Adam Sanders
      Audio Enthusiast (Posted on 7/26/2012)

    2. Great product for the price Review by joshua804

      I purchased these speakers to replace some older sony speakers. one of the first things that surprised me was the bass response, for the casual listener you wont need a subwoofer. if you are using these as home theater speakers then i would recommend a separate subwoofer. the only con I could think of is the size. they are a little on the large side for bookshelf speakers. (Posted on 6/9/2012)

    3. Love my Yammies!! Review by MilkMan

      Just got these babies and they are breaking in as I type. I owned a pair of these 20 yrs ago. They were the first things I bought on credit from Sears. Got them home at the tender age of 20 and instantly fell in love with the Brightness and Crisp Bass of these little giants. Had to part with these as I was heading to college and needed the money.. Sniff Sniff!!

      Fast forward 20 yrs... And after owning several brands from B&W,Sony,Infinity,Bose, and a whole plethora of speakers I found my beloved 6490's again. I have been looking out the front window all day waiting for Mr Brown. When he showed up I could barley contain my excitement. These speakers still pump out the same amazing sound as my first pair 20 yrs ago. Yamaha was smart by not killing off this model. Im not into the whole surround movement. Had all that 7.1 stuff and I gave it away. I enjoy that 80's stereo sound I grew up listening to. I'm now saving for the NS333's for the rears, and hopefully replace my aging Technic's 25wpc receiver with a Yamaha R-S700BL!!! 2 CH FOR LIFE!! (Posted on 3/26/2012)

    4. You cannot beat the price Review by Kurt

      Ive had these speakers for over a year now, and they still wow me and others that hear them. The dome tweeters provide a very crisp clean high Hz.

      I play live music and all of my pro audio gear is pumping music through Yamaha speakers. They beat all other manufacters hands down in price to quality


      Now, after 8 years of my Yamaha speakers proving themselves worthy in the live music scene, im slowly converting all of my home audio to yamaha. The 315

      powered sub is next on the list!! (Posted on 1/25/2012)

    5. Best bang for the buck at this price point... Review by R. Novak

      Before we get to the acual review part we have to get a few things out of the way:

      1. Crossovers do not have to be some bulky contaption in order to be effective. A simple crossover is just a cap and an indictor (wire wound in a coil) so just becuase Yamaha uses a simple setup does not mean it's ineffective. speaker coils are inductors by design
      2. If you are expecting big price speaker features in budget speakers (like fill for example) you will be dissapointed and you can do 1 of 2 things:
      a. buy fill and correct the issue
      b. spend more money on your speakers
      3. If you are expecting big bass out of these speakers. it's NOT going to happen as they are acustically sealed (google acustic speaker suspension to find out the pro's and cons) but suffice it to say that it takes MORE power to get bass out of these as you have to overcome the static air resistance inside the box. Ported speakers have better bass response because the air can more freely in and out of the port.
      4. Particle board cabinet will be suprised how many speakers that cost several times as much use this stuff and there is a reason for does NOT RESONATE like wood boards do. MDF, HDF, PFB it's all the same stuff.

      Now down to the nitty gritty

      I use my speakers with the following system
      Ymaha HTR-5635, NS-C125 center and 2x YST-SW215 subs

      Personally I enjoy my speakers immensely and they do exactly what they are supposed to do.. I have 2 sets of these one set from 1992 and one set from 2004 (yes, they have been in production for more than 20 years) the sensitivity on these are good at 90dB and they sound vrey natural and are not overbearing until you crank the volume WAY up at which point the tweeters really make the speakers sound harsh. In my opinion, if you are going to use these with a receiver, you should add a subwoofer to fill out the low end. There are definately no gaps in the frequency like there are with other speakers that use cubes/satalites with a bass module. The frequency response chart that I had from the original set showed a relatively flat curve from 100hz up with no noticable frequency holes.

      Although these speakrs are cheaply priced, they are not cheaply built imho and will last a long time if properly cared for and by far offer the best bang for the buck (Posted on 10/28/2011)

    6. 3 stars for being so cheap Review by Golfer

      I've had these for a few weeks now and decided to do a review - I gave them 3 stars because they are so cheap.

      First off the highs are the only thing going for these speakers - the mids and lows are muddy and the highs actually overpower the rest of the range. If it weren't for the tweeters being as good as they are I'd have sent them back. The highs are clear until you crank a little power in them - they start getting shrill at higher power - and the mids and lows still can't get through. Playing music with lots of bass I get the impression of some vague low end noise but no distinct bass guitar or cello sounds. Bass organ? Forget it. These just can't play the lows with distinction. Mid-range is similar but not as bad. Since I bought these to couple up with a 12" DIY sub I dialed the sub up the frequency range to cover sounds up to 120hz. Works ok but its far from perfect.

      My first test for a speaker is the knock test - rap your knuckles on the sides of the speaker enclosure. If it sounds hollow you'll probably have resonances from the cabinet - and thats why the mids and lows suffer. There is no fill inside to help knock the resonances down. At some point I may buy a couple of cheap pillows and stuff them myself. Maybe some internal bracing - not too hard a job and it'll help the mids-lows. A piece of plywood and some liquid nails and its done.

      My use for these speakers is as a fill-in for tv, computer & radio speakers - I don't fire up the 975 watt home theater amp & processor for watching tv unless there is a good movie on. I also send my home theater computer sounds through them - channeled into a Denon AVR 589 that does a decent job for what it is - and are a good match for these speakers - I use stereo mode.

      I first set these speakers up and A-B'ed them against my Infinity Cascade speakers driven by a Harman Kardon 3390 in my bedroom setup. These actually hung with the Infinity's in the highs until power was cranked up where the Yamaha speakers broke down and got shrill - the Infinity speakers don't do that. In the mid-range the Yamaha's were left in the dust. I expected that from a pair of speakers with a price-tag 5 times the Yamaha speakers. The Infinity speakers are rated to 80hz - I use a sub with them to fill out the sound.

      The real problem with the Yamaha NS-6490s is the cross-overs - or lack thereof. Come on Yamaha - one capacitor to filter the tweeter? Really? Even Bose (no highs - no lows - must be Bose) has better crossovers - its no wonder why Japanese branded speakers get little respect outside some of the older Sansui stuff. The mid and low drivers are left to try playing the entire spectrum of sound and this defeats the idea of a 3 way speaker.

      These are good for what I'm using them for - or garage speakers but there are better speakers out there for a few dollars more. If you have or plan on buying a sub forget these speakers and get a decent two way speaker like the Polk Monitor 30 or 40s. When they come on sale they are a great buy for the same or less than these speakers. (Posted on 8/21/2011)

    7. Hidden Gem Review by soundadviser

      While many loudspeakers are shrinking in size to be decor friendly, the Yamaha NS-6490's are more conventional with an 8" woofer, three-way design. Their relatively bulky size and seemingly entry level build quality are not what sold me on these. What did it for me were its old school "acoustic suspension" enclosure and Yamaha's solid reputation for consistent specs, reliability and performance at any price point.

      At first listen I knew I'd be more than satisfied with their performance. A month later, I'm still impressed by their natural clarity, lack of listening fatique and slam that just doesn't exist with most entry level speakers. The imaging from these is dead-on point, as long as they're on axis with the ears.

      Yamaha electronics have been my favorite for over 25 years for a good reason. They deliver the goods, consistently. Without going into any more detail, Yamaha got it right again in engineering a pleasing product with a price that would make professionals envious. The NS-6490's are a hidden gem among the rocks. Nice job Yamaha. I bought two more from Amazon with no regrets.<a href="">Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers, Black Finish ( Pair )</a> (Posted on 4/13/2011)

    8. Workshop Entertainment System Review by Les K

      I purchased the Yamaha speakers for my garage that now is a workshop. Due to the environment in the shop I did not want to expose a pair of "top-of-the-line" speakers to the dirt, dust and hazard found in that area. I chose the Yamaha speakers for their size and sound quality. I have been happy with my selection. They produce a great sound for their size and price. Now when I am building log furniture or cabinets I can keep the tempo up and rock the shop! (Posted on 2/28/2011)

    9. Great speakers for the price Review by Doc

      These are by far the best speaker you can get for the price. My brother has had this set for about four years and they still sound brand new. I just bought a pair and could not be happier. I miss the day when you could buy speakers with large woofer, mid and high all in one, and this comes about as close as your going to get. I refuse to buy a sub and with these speakers you really dont need one. Really impressed with the quality and price with these yamaha's, when I get the money to get my rear to complete my surround they will be yamaha's. First purchase on amazon as well very happy with the timely service. (Posted on 2/26/2011)

    10. Just Barely Okay Review by ILoveTheUSA

      I bought these speakers about 5 yrs ago and didn't like the sound from the get go. I tried breaking them in for about a month and the quality of sound still sounded very tinny and hollow. I paid 50.00 for these and I still felt it was wasted money. At 100.00+ they are a total rip off. I can't believe these are on sale again. The cabinets are very cheap, there is no sound dampening inside, and all there is for tonal separation for the drivers is one capacitor soldered to the tweeter. Cheap junk but I gave them two stars because there are worse speakers out there and not by much. (Posted on 1/1/2011)

    11. yamaha bookshelf speakers are a perfect read Review by line_engine

      I have owned a pair of these speakers for 7 years now. I have them hanging outside under the eve of my home, in my backyard. These have proven to be the best money I have ever spent on "exterior speakers" even though they are not made for the elements.
      They never get wet from rain, but have been hanging out doors all these years.

      I wanted a bit more bass from my backyard system and figured the larger 8" woofer would offer that at very little expense. Had I known the first pair would have lasted to long I would have bough two pair at the time.

      I wanted a second pair for the "backyard theater" I am planning. When they were offered at such a reasonable price, I jumped at the offer on a 2nd pair............probably should have bought 2 pair this time too! (Posted on 12/30/2010)

    12. Yamaha NS 6490 Speaker Review by Samuel Medina

      These speakers are great for any home surround sound system setup. They sound exceptional with the latest movie sound tracks. But if you are to used them as your general audio listening pleasure do yourself a favor and buy a sub woofer. Overall its a great buy!

      Samuel Medina (Posted on 4/13/2010)

    13. Bought Mine in 1996...They Still Rock! Review by AlamoZ "AlamoZ"

      I have a pair of these Yamaha Speakers that I bought way back in 1996 at the late Good Guys Store. These speakers still sound like they are brand new. I use them to listen to my CDs, more recently we've been using them to listen to my wife's Ipod. I also use them as front speakers for the home entertainment system. They never failed me. They have been through some partying and they never broke, even when the music was playing so loud that the CD players skip.

      These are good quality speakers made in the USA. I don't know at present time if they still make them here. I am very happy with the pair I got. I just wish I did not buy the extended warranty from the Good Guys. The warranty has long passed. Good Guys is no more, but my Yamaha speakers remain. (Posted on 10/31/2009)

    14. great exterior, shoddy interior Review by Dadaist

      Made purchase of these NS-6490's on clearance from the 'shack in fall 2009 and I'm glad I did. Probably not worth current retail prices but grab them on markdown if you can. The exterior is beautiful even with the glaring white woofers. The speaker has the required heft to dampen the 8" woofer, and the range should be smooth with the choice of provided driver sizes. Unfortunately we consumers just won't know what it is capable of until it gets a decent crossover. Inside you will find no acoustic fill, which by itself isn't unexpected in a design at this pricepoint. However, there is no effective crossover. there are instead 2 capacitors acting as bass blockers for the 4" mid and the tweeter glued to the back of the terminal cup and the 8" woofer runs full range. In a larger woofer this may not be a problem as the voice coil simply wouldn't drive higher frequencies; here it is. Budget for acoustic fill and a proper crossover, or run a new terminal cup and bi-amp with eq's. I didn't take the other reviews seriously about the lack of bass, chocking it up to the sealed design. Stock levels are woeful for the woofer and box size. I'm hoping some acoustic fill will round out the bottom end a little until I can get a decent set of crossovers. (Posted on 10/24/2009)

    15. belleza y calidad por casi nada Review by Marcos Miquilena "tecnico optico"

      Ademas de hermosas en acabado suenan bastante bien las recomiendo, eso si solo para el rango de 100 a 200$ son la mejor inversion.el bajo es bueno pero lo mejor de estas cornetas son sus medio y agudos ya que tiene un sonido casi natural. (Posted on 3/6/2009)

    16. really good speakers, amazing sound even like bose Review by luis arias

      a really good product, good fidelity, good sound. the seller was very responsable and commit the agreement at stipulated time. (Posted on 2/12/2009)

    17. Works Great...Awesome Yamaha speakers! Review by F. Xiong

      These Yamaha's are great for front speakers. They are acoustic so they are totally enclosed, which gives it great boomy bass. They are also at a bargain for the price. Great quality built from trusted Yamaha and sounds amazing with music! It is however not a glossy finish, rather a matte black finish. For the price with this brand, you can't go wrong...pick up a pair! (Posted on 12/21/2008)

    18. Pretty good speakers. Review by Doug Kampe "DK"

      I bought these speakers about 6 months ago, and am happy with them thus far. Currently, they're hooked up to a Yamaha 5.1 receiver, but I'm only running them stereo. So many people said the speakers lacked bass, so I dragged out a powered sub I had and hooked it up. Eventually, I found that the speakers produced adequate bass for me, so I've removed the sub all together.

      I was a little disappointed when I first hooked up these speakers because the bass was too over-powering and the mids were really lacking. I tried adjusting my receiver to lower the bass and increase the mids, but nothing seemed to work to my liking, so I did what anyone would do; I just played it at higher volumes. I'm writing this review because the other day I realized that the mids have developed over the past months of use, and now the speakers sound smooth and produce a very clean sound. So children, I guess the moral of the story is that patience is, in fact, a virtue! I gave it 4 stars because of the extraordinarily long break-in. (Posted on 11/10/2008)

    19. Easy on the Eyes and Wallet, a little rough on the Ears Review by Bill C. Woods "Bee Cee"

      I found thse speakers to be a great bargain and they definitely look nice, but their tone is bright to the point of being harsh. The highs are extended to be sure but there is no weight to the bass and the mids shrivel under those rough high tones. Turn the treble down halfway, turn the bass all the way up and dial in a good sub. They can be made to sound fairly resolute and detailed with a little tuning. However they lack that clear refined sound when running straight signal to them without tone adjustments, which higher end speakers exhibit with less effort. 4 Stars because of the price and the ability to tune them with a good sub. Subtract one star for every $10.00 increase above their current price. Decent, pretty looking home theatre mains if you have nice stands. (Posted on 9/16/2008)

    20. Yamaha NS-6490 3-way speakers Review by Lynn D. Walther "String Lover"

      I anticipated better performance from these three way bookshelf speakers made by Yamaha. My Carver Sunfire center channel speaker over powers these speakers with ease. The response is quit slow and lacks the crisp highs and bottom end bass that I was seeking when I purchased these speakers. (Posted on 9/10/2008)

    21. Not good Review by Timothy G. Midkiff

      I have had these speakers for a long while. When I one day realy turned my stereo up the tuner clicked to protected mode. I reset it it done it again and again. I put a ohm meter to them to check the speakers and each one was at 5 ohm! Not what they rated them on the speakers 8 ohm. If you have a hi-fi stereo that needs 8 ohm speakers dont do these they will burn up the radio or amp I even contacted Yamaha to see if they was a recall. They replied there was nothing wrong with the speakers I let them know they made a mistake on rating them 8 ohms. I'm now using them in the back of my car with a amp seeing how their not sutable for my home system. (Posted on 3/6/2008)

    22. New Yamaho 3-Way Bookshelf NS 6490 Review by James Capolino

      WOW! What an outstanding product. They handle tons of power, it can output a lot of bass without distortion and the overall sound is exceptional for the price and size. Using as FRONT speakers in my setup. Sound clarity is also very good. (Posted on 3/26/2007)

    23. Great high and imaging Review by A Customer

      I have audited several low price speakers, such as $100 to $300 range Pioneer, Polk Audio, Boston, KLH ... This Yamaha speaker has great highs, transparent, and Great 3D imaging! The focusing so sharp and accurate, I can almost 'see' the instruments and singers.
      However, this speaker is weak at midrange and lows. A subwoofer can compensate for that. (Posted on 3/17/2004)

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