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  1. #1
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    Just bought a Yaqin MC-13s

    I know I said I was finished buying audio equipment, but curiosity got the best of me.

    I contacted the seller on Audiogon:
    Yaqin MC-13S Tube integrated amp (EL34B outputs) | Tube | Libertyville, Illinois 60048 | AudiogoN - The High-end Audio Community

    The sellers name is Ray and lives just north of me. I went to his house and he took the time to demo the unit and show me what I needed to know to adjust and use it. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. Anyway, he's a great guy to deal with.

    As for the amp. it's an all tube integrated and puts out about 40 watts and only costs $495.

    I was afraid of wasting my money on this, but I did buy it and after a short time with it, I'm keeping it. I love this thing!

    Any questions?
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  2. #2
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Congrats Steve! I would love to hear one of these Chi Fi units drive my JM Labs speakers. What are you driving with them?
    Hyfi
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
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    Secondary - Oppo 93 > Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner >Odyssey Stratos Plus > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs

  3. #3
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    Congrats Steve! I would love to hear one of these Chi Fi units drive my JM Labs speakers. What are you driving with them?
    I am driving my homebrew Newform/Seas speakers. They are about 90db efficient, but I am only using about 10% of the available power.

    I am more than pleased with the sound of this amp. It really opens up the soundstage and its dead quiet. If you try it, let me know what you think.

    Addendum:

    As you can imagine, I'm a little stoked about my new amp. For the past two mornings I got up, got my coffee, and listened to a few tunes while I woke up. This morning I was listening to Kenny G which is not too intense as to jar my morning brain into convulsions. As many of us have experianced with new equipment, I was hearing things that I wasn't aware of in the past and so I decided to explain what is different about this amp compared to my Trends digital amp.


    I think the most apparent difference is that the sounds coming from the back of the soundstage, about 15 feet (virtual) back or so (depending on the recording), are more fleshed out, to the point that it seems that there is nothing more to hear. On one recording, which is particularly bad, it was able to resolve the instrumentation which before was closer to noise than actual instruments. In addition, images of instruments and voices are more defined in space and hence, the space between those instruments too. Voices seem more natural, organic if I can use that term. I don't think the soundstage is any bigger, but everything in it is more fleshed out, more defined. As for presenting that warm tube sound, I think it had a little of that going on, but it wasn't excessive. I was told to expect that the amp would get better once it had time to burn in, but I've heard that about every tube amp I've read about.


    Ray, when describing the difference between the Yaqin and his Krell, said that the Krell was more pinpoint in it's imaging, That stands to reason and expectations considering the price difference.


    I did crank it up to about half power which was too loud for me, but it still sounded real good.


    Anyway, for the money, it's a no brainer.
    Last edited by StevenSurprenant; 07-19-2013 at 05:37 AM.

  4. #4
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    Another update...

    After living with this amp for a while I can honestly say that I couldn't have made a better choice. The clarity and soundstaging of this amp is amazing.

    I modified my speakers a bit and the imaging shot out of the roof.

    Anyway, this has been one of the best audio buys I have made. The other two were my DIY speakers and my analog rig.

  5. #5
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Congrats, Steven. I'd like to try a tube amp myself one of these days.

    Your experience hear with the deeper soundstage sounds pretty typical from tube amp users. I had a similar effect when I used a tube preamp, (though it depended on the tubes I was using). I'm not sure it's truly accurate, though, (when I replaced that preamp with NO preamp, i.e. nothing but a potentiometer, the effect when away). But hi-fi isn't some much about high fidelity any more as whatever makes you happy.

  6. #6
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    Went away? Now that's interesting!

    I've heard even greater soundstaging than what I get but on ss gear. One system was Wilson Watts speakers with Pass Labs amplification, the other was Avalon's flagship speaker with Spectral gear pushing the power. I've also heard it with other ss gear. Don't think I don't believe you, I do, I just don't understand why it happens.

    The Wilson/Pass system had taken it too far. It was so defined that I felt I could walk between the performers on the stage and over to the back of the stage and stand just where the drummer was. While this sounds pretty neat, the music didn't congeal into one piece of music. It was like everyone in the recording was doing their own thing.

    I've also heard tube systems that didn't do it so well. I just don't know what to think.

    What I do know is that if you place (talking) people around a room it's easy to locate them in that space, much like the systems I mentioned above. With many stereo's, not so much. I suppose that we have to also consider that modern recording techniques artificially place instruments onto that virtual stage.

    Like you said, Hi-Fi is about what makes you happy.

    I have to say that I talk a good game, but it's all relative to what came before it, as it is in anyone's case, and my expectations. In any case, I'm moving in the right direction and the best part, it's on a shoestring budget.

    Thanks

    BTW, When I play Andreas Vollenweider's Caverna Magica I can hear two people walking around a cave, their foot steps and voices echoing off the walls. It's like the opening of the cave has opened up behind my speakers and I am looking into the cave. It sounds just like I would expect it to if I were there. I mentioned this recording because I believe it was their intent to create this effect. They did a superb job at creating a 3D landscape.

    Still, what you said makes me wonder...

    Lastly, I should add that I heard the very same Wilson speakers on different ss gear and the soundstaging was almost nonexistent. I don't understand any of this.
    Last edited by StevenSurprenant; 07-27-2013 at 06:42 AM.

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    Went away? Now that's interesting!

    I've heard even greater soundstaging than what I get but on ss gear. One system was Wilson Watts speakers with Pass Labs amplification, the other was Avalon's flagship speaker with Spectral gear pushing the power. I've also heard it with other ss gear. Don't think I don't believe you, I do, I just don't understand why it happens.

    The Wilson/Pass system had taken it too far. It was so defined that I felt I could walk between the performers on the stage and over to the back of the stage and stand just where the drummer was. While this sounds pretty neat, the music didn't congeal into one piece of music. It was like everyone in the recording was doing their own thing.

    I've also heard tube systems that didn't do it so well. I just don't know what to think.
    ....
    I'm just telling you what I heard. The "non-preamp", (decent quality potentiometer), removed some depth or reverberation more precisely. I still feel I'm hearing plenty of depth and width if that happens to be on the recording.

    So maybe the problem is I haven't had the good fortune to hear speakers of the quality of Avalon or Wilson speakers driven by Pass or Spectral solid-state electronics. If I had this stuff, I would expect excellent results -- better than virtually any tube equipment.

  8. #8
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    I'm just telling you what I heard. The "non-preamp", (decent quality potentiometer), removed some depth or reverberation more precisely. I still feel I'm hearing plenty of depth and width if that happens to be on the recording.

    So maybe the problem is I haven't had the good fortune to hear speakers of the quality of Avalon or Wilson speakers driven by Pass or Spectral solid-state electronics. If I had this stuff, I would expect excellent results -- better than virtually any tube equipment.
    Trust me, I believe what you're saying and understand. There is no problem because you're just telling me your experiences. I take that as a fact and not an opinion.

    I apologise if I sounded judgemental. No, no, no, I don't judge anyone's facts or opinions. I may not always agree because my experiences differ, but that doesn't mean I'm right. For instance, I never liked Polk speakers because they have always sounded muddy to me, but the guy who sold me this Yaqin amp demo-ed it using Polk speakers. I was floored with what I heard. Now I have to rethink my entire belief system. Fortunately, I had kept my previous opinion about Polk speakers to myself and don't owe anyone an apology.

    The fact is that, even after years invested in this hobby, the more I learn, the less I know, and more so, the less I'm sure about. As for that expensive gear I mentioned, it wasn't mine. I heard it in showrooms.

    Over the years I have read about people using just pots versus preamplifiers. Sometimes it was because pots sounded more transparent than their preamp. On the other hand, some people like preamps because it added something to the sound. So I do understand, it's not cut and dry that one is better than the other. I have used pots myself. It gave me a sense that nothing was being added to the sound and it did sound clearer than the preamps I was using at the time.
    Last edited by StevenSurprenant; 07-27-2013 at 09:04 PM.

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