Hello, and thanks for visiting the************************************ "20L CLUB" **************************************
For those of you that might be interested in a review of a "Chinese Amp" I think worthy of a chance!!!
What I was looking for in a Tube Amp (or any amp for that matter) is, frequency extension, detail, imaging, tone, accuracy, easy on the ears, looks (to some degree), price, value for money, resale value, long lasting and a decent warranty. A lot to ask!!!
My 2 channel listen room is approximately 11X12, no acoustic treatments as of yet. Speakers are approximately 5' left and right of me.
After much research and extensive reading on 2 channel and tube amps, I decided to make the plunge in becoming a 'Tubey'/2 channel listener. And, last week I received the Yaqin MS-20L Integrated Vacuum Amplifier which plunged me into my entry level introduction to Tube sound.
I didn't know that researching could be this difficult in that there are so many forums to read and just the time to locate pertinent information on a particular product/topic is time consuming.
I first decided on the 10L because the reviews more readily available, but saw that the 20L with more upgrades/money including a remote and Ultra Linear/Triode Mode switchable, upgrades from the 10L and with external bias adjustment.
After reading all the positive reviews on the 10L, I contacted the buyers on ebay only to find the same responses on the 20L.
Finding a 'new' entry level tube amp that is affordable has been difficult, since I learned that ordering from China was iffy!!! So, when I was referred to a Canadian Company called Canadian HiFi on Ebay with 100% rating and excellent customer service that guaranteed quality assurance and tested in Canada before shipment, took the chance. And, I am glad I did!!
The amp arrived in 5 days from Richmond Hill in good condition, and packed well. In opening, I discovered an attractive ,high quality, solidly build nice piece of equipment. Audiophile capacitors and high quality metal precision resistors, aluminum and steel heavy duty chassis, panel, bezels and aluminum output tube cage. (I would post pics, but not sure how, I'll give it a try).
So, I will add this now....I am not a professional reviewer, nor an audiophile!
Not even a good writer, sorry for that!!!
New to tube sound, I wasn't sure what to expect, but had an idea in all the research and comments on tubes. I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED AT ALL. In fact I was somewhat blown away at first " light up ". Maybe it was just the song, but WOW everything was better from top to bottom. The difference was night and day in comparison to the Onk which wasn't bad, but the Yaqin was better/different in all categories.
At first listen, (Pandora One), speakers began to sound bigger than they are, projecting a surprising sound stage, stronger more pronounced mid-range, full, detailed, clear and balanced sound from top to bottom and that is just the start.
I listen to manly stations on Pandora, but one I had added....Exotica/Lounge that I absolutely hated, but with the Yaqin it is now one of my favorites, singers like Nat King Cole, Bert Kaempfert, Johnny Mathis, Martin Denny and the list goes on and on. On the other stations, Chicago, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Beach Boys, Beatles improvements all the way around with the Yaqin. Especially the midrange bold and right on.
I do listen to all types of music. Some of the older songs and some of the new versions all very good on the ears. One particular Tenor Sax artist jumps out at me. Popular in the 40's and 50's (I think), was Ike Quebec and his melodic sax sound was truly amazing. Also I will include Freddy Roach as well.
But first I need to let you know where I am coming from...
I upgraded from an Onkyo 8255 stereo receiver...as I mentioned above I mainly listen to Pandora One, PC music/flac files. And, I might add that the sound with the small speakers wasn't bad at all. Actually very enjoyable.
So, at this point all that I can compare with is this receiver and the one used for theater...Onkyo 806 with Emotiva XPA-5 very good detail surround sound.
The 2 little speakers with the Yaqin, being phased out, are the WAF-1 (pic below) gems that work great in creating an amazing big sound in a small room. Sound is out from my PC Creative audigy sound blaster X-Fi Xtreme Sound Card.
Now....with almost 70 hours everything has improved 50% or more as the tubes break in. I was informed in the manual at least 100 hours with a break every 3 hours. 20 second warm up.
The onkyo was smooth and very nice to listen to, but the Yaqin tube amp is much improved with great detail, crisp upper end, not harsh sounding and amazing bass from my little WAFs.
I wanted to post this to help those like me who are looking for quality sound without breaking the bank. And this new sound I am hearing now is what I call a 'high end entry level amp'.
All hearing is subjective, but, I think I have found quality sound with my new tube amp or at least for now until I can afford one of the biggies!!!
Please feel free to post any comments or reviews.
Below you will find the latest speaker in the 2 channel set-up with the 20L amp, the CAOW1 speakers with Hiquphon OW2 tweet and the Seas C15RLY treated paper woofer. Very nice sound crossover design integrated below adding 4 inches to the original plan of the speaker.