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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.



But.....



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.


Simply stunning!!!





Thanks,

Rob



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbawilly /forum/post/19356025


Very nice setup. Welcome to tubes!

Thanks bubbawilly!!


I am really enjoying this!!! Getting close to 100 hrs and then hopefully find a couple of sets of 5654w/6AK5WB to replace the 6J1s which don't sound to shabby!


The WAFs may be moving to the theater with another pair to go with 3 fronts, then the fun will begin to find a great pair of 2 channel speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, thought I would give an update.....


Got the GE 5654W NOS/NIB (8) for the front end that replaced the 6J1s.


Also ordered 2 more WAF-1s speakers, so now have broken them in as 4 is needed for the theater surrounds.


Now, on to finding 2 speakers for the PC 2 channel with the Yaqin MS-20L. Pretty much decided on the GR Research N2S to be handmade from a kit.


Back to the new tubes with the new WAF'1s is like a concert hearing the band with the curtain down, then opened. It did open up some and I can hear a definite difference with a more 'at you/near you' sound stage. Definitely added a more full and enveloping sound stage.


And, since my review, I have upgraded to Pandora One and the lossless sound is presents at 192kbps is really wonderful.


This is amp is a really good entry level tube amp. Highly recommend.
 

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Congrats! I don't think you can get away with saying "I'm not an audiophile" anymore, but watch out - it's an insidious bug!


BTW, on ordering from China.........I've had great experiences and no bad ones buying Hamilton watches and Canon camera gear from sellers listing in ebay who are located in Sigapore, Hong Kong and Mainland China. It's not always low cost shipping and there's an extended wait period but in all cases I've been able to obtain genuine warranted items at very nice prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by krs /forum/post/19503973


Congrats! I don't think you can get away with saying "I'm not an audiophile" anymore, but watch out - it's an insidious bug!


Ha Ha!! I am a ways from being an Audiophile, but I would like to think the process had definitely educated me. I know a lot more than I did when I first started.


I now crave ****BIGGER****BETTER****FASTER****!!!



However, my Yaqin MS-20L will definitely keep me smiling for awhile!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsart /forum/post/19490141


Well, thought I would give an update.....

Got the GE 5654W NOS/NIB (8) for the front end that replaced the 6J1s.


Any audible difference with the new tubes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Absolutely!!!!
I mentioned this above.....


Like listening to a live band on a stage behind the curtain!!


Then without the curtain...like lifting a veil. More open sound stage.


I guess the best that I can describe the upgrade is that is was just that "an upgrade" and that everything was taken up a knotch or two!!!


All 8 tubes were 30.00 delivered from 39redfern from ebay a great man to deal with.

http://cgi.ebay.com/GE-6AK5-5654W-EF...item3a60f21cae


Everything that I have read dictates an upgrade as the 6J1s are not that great.


Hope this helps!


Did you pick up the 20L?
 

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Thanks for the reply...i guess i should have read a bit closer!
The reason i asked is because i just received a Yaqin tube buffer and am looking to do a bit of tube rolling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by rchcahah /forum/post/19584122


Thanks for the reply...i guess i should have read a bit closer!
The reason i asked is because i just received a Yaqin tube buffer and am looking to do a bit of tube rolling.

Not familiar with Tube Buffers...how do they work? Are they used with a tube amp or not?


Thanks!
 

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Tube buffers can be used with either tube amps or solid state. I've had a Yaqin buffer for a couple of months. It's been fun to play around with, but I don't know that it will be staying in my system. It's pleasant to listen through, but it does add some distortion. The sound is a little cleaner without the buffer, at least on my system. I've only tried the stock tube and an Amperex so far. So far the tubed gear I've heard (which isn't much, just the buffer and a couple of Mac amps) hasn't given the WOW factor that I've heard so many people talk about. I might just be a solid state guy for personal preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by oppman99 /forum/post/19590147


Tube buffers can be used with either tube amps or solid state. I've had a Yaqin buffer for a couple of months. It's been fun to play around with, but I don't know that it will be staying in my system. It's pleasant to listen through, but it does add some distortion. The sound is a little cleaner without the buffer, at least on my system. I've only tried the stock tube and an Amperex so far. So far the tubed gear I've heard (which isn't much, just the buffer and a couple of Mac amps) hasn't given the WOW factor that I've heard so many people talk about. I might just be a solid state guy for personal preference.

Yeah, it could be that you are use to high quality SS amps. Me on the other hand have only had Onkyos, but it seems the source is about 50% the sound.


And if you are getting distortion, that would be a no no!


Because the advantage of the Tubes is the full live sound stage experience intertwining the reverberation is in my opinion an experience like no other.


And what is so interesting is that I am so new to tubes!


The Yaqin is hooked up to my Audigy SC via a Monoprice RCA/stereo plug and it seems that I getting absolutely an amazing sound.


I do have an Emotiva XPA-5 in the theater with the Onkyo 806! Hopefully soon I can compare that system with the PC one with the 20L. That of course is when I get decent speakers in there.


Listening is subjective and there are so many elements to the end result. Maybe you need to save your pennies...(like I did) LOL and get a 20L and give it a try. It is so pure and clean in Triode mode, I can hardly stand it!!!



I think it is more than an entry level amp!




Thanks!
 

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I've been interested in the Chinese made tube equipment for a little while, and in reading assorted specifications, i.e.: signal to noise, THD, frequency response range, etc. I've seen some pretty incredible numbers. Frequency ranges far beyond the range of average human capability to detect, S/N claims exceeding 100db, and THD as low as .0003%. For the cost of the equipment such specs. are unusual, to say the least.


Woodsart, your experiences and reports have become important to me....Thank you!


Realizing that the experience of sound is more than a sum total of any equipment specification, I still would like to ask if, in your research for your Yaqin amp, you found independent test reports which tended to support the claims of the manufacturers or the various marketers of these products? Do you know of any agency or standard of control over the business practices of the makers or importers of this gear?


I'm asking because I've just received a new Asus Xonar Essence STX (The ESSENCE of Sound!) soundcard that has fine specifications listed on it's box that have been generally supported by testing done in Stereophile magazine during a 'road test'. I'm hoping to put together a nice computer-sourced two channel stereo sound system, and have apparently now got a good output source. So it's on to an amplifier method. From what you've been saying the answer may have been Yaqin at me but not heard before now.


My CDs are ripped and ready to go, and I'm also looking around at FM tuners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by krs /forum/post/19593349


I've been interested in the Chinese made tube equipment for a little while, and in reading assorted specifications, i.e.: signal to noise, THD, frequency response range, etc. I've seen some pretty incredible numbers. Frequency ranges far beyond the range of average human capability to detect, S/N claims exceeding 100db, and THD as low as .0003%. For the cost of the equipment such specs. are unusual, to say the least.


Woodsart, your experiences and reports have become important to me....Thank you!


You are very welcome....I meant every word of it and the experiences of musical pleasures continue!!!


I also need to ask you...have you listen to a tube amp before?


Realizing that the experience of sound is more than a sum total of any equipment specification, I still would like to ask if, in your research for your Yaqin amp, you found independent test reports which tended to support the claims of the manufacturers or the various marketers of these products? Do you know of any agency or standard of control over the business practices of the makers or importers of this gear?

Yes, listening is subjective and to one's own liking.


The only research I have is the reviews I have read. I have not read any test reports other than the description on the sellers website.


The only negative thing I found in my search for a tube amp is that most would be concerned about ordering from China. But, that was solved when I found a company in Canada who sold them. I do not think there are any agencies that monitor this type of equipment that is shipped from abroad. At least to the US, which is where I live.


I'm asking because I've just received a new Asus Xonar Essence STX (The ESSENCE of Sound!) soundcard that has fine specifications listed on it's box that have been generally supported by testing done in Stereophile magazine during a 'road test'. I'm hoping to put together a nice computer-sourced two channel stereo sound system, and have apparently now got a good output source. So it's on to an amplifier method. From what you've been saying the answer may have been Yaqin at me but not heard before now.

If you are trying to put together a great 2 channel sound the Asus would be a good choice and is that the one with the Burr-Brown codecs? If so that is the one I would like to get as well. I have an Audigy Sound Card for now.


I highly recommend a Yaqin because I am very please with it's performance as well as many people. I have not heard any negative comments about the Yaqin 10L or the 20L Tube Amp. All reviews I read were very positive and more so with changing out the front tubes and that some reviewers have owned one for 3 or more years without a problem!


I also recommend purchasing the Amp from Canadian HiFi from Song who has 100% rating on Ebay. All units are checked before leaving Canada to insure functionality. Below is the Link.

http://stores.ebay.com/Canadian-HiFi-Online


I would like to get a review from you when you get the new sound card hooked up.


My CDs are ripped and ready to go, and I'm also looking around at FM tuners.
I listen to Pandora One (the paid subscription), 192kbps music program through my PC. It sounds amazing through the Yaqin. I can just imagine using the Asus card that you have.


I hope I have answered some of your questions, but if you are interested in an entry level great sounding amp, then I recommend the 20L as I am very pleased with and intend to enjoy it for a long time.
 

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Very good, and Thanks much for your thorough response!


I'm a little non-plussed at the moment as the installation of the Asus board seems to have created a myriad of conflicts. The odd thing is that it played fine through my desktop Cambridge Soundworks speaker system even while I was/am unable to get this computer to work in any other usual way. This is the first time today (since 3:00 am) that I've been able to get IE to open, and I had to do that with a new install through MSN of a version configured for use with MSN/bing etc. I don't normally use MSN even though it is the service provided by my provider and usually just ignore it's icon. So this is a mess right now and because of that a bad time for me to be participating in such interesting learning experiences!


You must have run across these folks: http://www.pacificvalve.us/index.html ?


I have the impression that their prices may be somewhat high but they do offer free shipping and perhaps more importantly they have a pretty good amount of information about a wide selection of these products.


Anyway, for now my presence will be tenuous but I've never let a computer defeat me and will not succumb to these idiocycrasies now. It's just so durned tedious!


Thanks Again, Woodsart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by krs /forum/post/19599936


Very good, and Thanks much for your thorough response!


I'm a little non-plussed at the moment as the installation of the Asus board seems to have created a myriad of conflicts. The odd thing is that it played fine through my desktop Cambridge Soundworks speaker system even while I was/am unable to get this computer to work in any other usual way. This is the first time today (since 3:00 am) that I've been able to get IE to open, and I had to do that with a new install through MSN of a version configured for use with MSN/bing etc. I don't normally use MSN even though it is the service provided by my provider and usually just ignore it's icon. So this is a mess right now and because of that a bad time for me to be participating in such interesting learning experiences!


You must have run across these folks: http://www.pacificvalve.us/index.html ?

Yes, I have heard of pacific valve, they are a good company.


I have the impression that their prices may be somewhat high but they do offer free shipping and perhaps more importantly they have a pretty good amount of information about a wide selection of these products.

This is what you were looking for information of a product by a reputable company, right?


Anyway, for now my presence will be tenuous but I've never let a computer defeat me and will not succumb to these idiocycrasies now. It's just so durned tedious!

Good luck on that one. I let my son handle any installation or upgrade on my PC, as I do not have the skill for that.


Thanks Again, Woodsart.
You're welcome
 

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I'm up again, computerwise. Seems to have been a Win7/64 bit issue that caused Media Monkey to run incorrectly and wreak assorted mayhem. Removing the program was the beginning od the path to computer normalcy


Woodsart,


Yes, the sort of info in the Valve & Electric site is some of what I'm interested to read but they seem to carry only two Yaqin products, both 'buffers'. It's no place to compare Yaqin amplifiers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by krs /forum/post/19602937


I'm up again, computerwise. Seems to have been a Win7/64 bit issue that caused Media Monkey to run incorrectly and wreak assorted mayhem. Removing the program was the beginning od the path to computer normalcy


Woodsart,


Yes, the sort of info in the Valve & Electric site is some of what I'm interested to read but they seem to carry only two Yaqin products, both 'buffers'. It's no place to compare Yaqin amplifiers.

Great to hear. Please let me know how the Asus SC sounds in comparison when everything is installed correctly and running with your new tube amp.


Thanks!
 

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Bought one of these, get's delivered next week, can't wait. I like the Shuguang EL34-B's a lot so I'll leave them in for now. How do the stock 6J1's sound in the amp?
 
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