Monday, June 23, 2008
The Yaqins are coming!
Yaqin makes a line of amps and integrateds that are designed in Japan. The parts are also Japanese and then they are assembled in China. I took a chance after much reading and ordered their top model (power wise) the MC100B, a 65 wpc @ 8ohms dual mono block integrated using 4 KT-88 tubes along with 4 6SN7's and a pair of 12AX7's.
As recommended by many forums, we upgraded some of the caps and the front end tubes which yielded a good improvement. It's had a couple hundred hours now and it sounds really good. A considerable step up from my very fine modified Dyna ST-70. For the money, (I hate that expression), it is a superb sounding amp. I would gladly put this up against a Conrad Johnson Premier 11 to see what all those extra thousands actually deliver.
As much as I would like to buy only American made products, the destruction of our currency has placed most of hifi out of the reach of the middle class. Even the Yaqins are steadily going up.
Very happy with the MC100B, I tried out the next smaller model, the MC-10L. This is a single power transformer 52 wpc @ 8ohm integrated using 4 EL-34s and 4 6922s for the front.
Again, an upgrade of a dozen or so French tin foil film caps, some photo flash electrolytics to beef up the power section and some NOS 6922s yielded very good results. It is still breaking in but it's amazing to hear sound this good for this little money.
Why aren't we building amps like this? The quality of the assembly and soldering does not suggest slave labor but real care. They are of course built to a price point but honest quality is offered for the money with most of the cost going into the Japanese made transformers.
I think whether we like it or not, the Asian hifi industry is making real inroads here. These units along with many others by similar manufacturers should not be dismissed as "Chinese junk". Have a look and a listen yourself.
Long live Conrad Johnson!
Posted by The Semi-Daily Rant at 10:34 AM