Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
I'm not so sure I understand why every one is down on a tube buffer. While I have no direct experience with one, most (not all) of the user reviews I have read are positive. Stan already said he can't afford to make major changes in his gear. $100 for a used T.Buffer is worth the risk and its cheap. It may help some with warming things up, improving bass, sound stage and transparency- and I used the word may!

The first epinions review I posted gave a good review on the Yaqin buffer with magnepans and good equipment.

At worst he's out shipping cost's because he should be able to turn around and sell it for what he paid for it.
The technical purpose of a buffer is to better match the output impedance of the source (which is ideally low) with input impedance of the downstream target (which is ideally high). Tube buffers can service this purpose where it is required, but tube buffers can also be used to inject some of the elusive "tube sound", (warmth, body, depth, yada-yada).

I recently tried a semi-DIY buffer using 6922 tubes; I rolled the cheap Asian tubes for a pair of Amperex orange PQ's. Installed downstream of my DAC, the only effect was a slight loss of transparency and added grain.

Of course, I already have tubes in my preamp, so maybe that's why I heard no benefit. My dark suspicion remains that tubes work -- at least in simple instance like a tube buffer -- by adding euphonic low-order harmonic distortion.