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Yaqin Tube Buffer

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Anyone seen these on ebay? Anyone here got one? Dr. LuvGruv if your a member here pm me and sell yours to a fellow Texan.
post #2 of 25
Hi there,

I recently bought a YAQIN tube buffer (the 2x6J1 type), and I must say I'm very impressed with it. Outwardly, it appears well built: pressed steel, painted matt black; the front fascia is made of 1cm thick transparent perspex, with the YAQIN logo illuminated with a blue LED; and the transformer housing is topped by a nice piece of brushed aluminium.

The YAQIN hasn't run-in properly yet, but the sound is very open and detailed, but with all the tube lushness and warmth you'd expect. I've a MF X10 V3, so I know a bit about tube buffers, and I'm going to put my head on the block and say it's as good.

I'm not a great fan of the SHUNGUANG 6J1s, so I'm going to start tube rolling next week. I've got some MULLARD EF95s and M8100s, and I may purchase a number of RCA and TUNG SOL 6AK5Ws. We'll see what improvements they bring.

I bought it on E-Bay for £12 (plus post). Don't know how much that is in dollars, but say around $24.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
wow thanks for the reply- I did pick up a x10-v3 with pink floyd mods but havent recieved it yet. I will await any of your findings and might pick one up also- though I dont think they are anywere near 24 bucks stateside.
post #4 of 25
Pinky's mods to the X-10 V3 have been highly successful, and I'm sure the Pinky-modded unit will out perform the stock X-10 by some margin (I'm trying to summon up the courage to ask Pink Floyd if he'll mod my X-DAC V3). My comments only refer to the umodded version.

Last night, I couldn't wait any longer, so I popped in the MULLARD EF95s - bid improvement: huge soundstage, lovely timbre to instruments, perfect. This little tube buffer is a steal at the money. As I said, I bought mine on E-Bay, so have a search around there and you may pick one up at very good price.
post #5 of 25
The YAQIN tube buffer is most definately a keeper. It's a great piece of kit for the money. And I still maintain that's it's a good, if not better, than the more expensive MF X-10 V3 (unmodded). This statement needs to be qualified: I'm talking here of the YAQIN with higher quality tubes - MULLARD EF95s, Russian 6J1P-EVs, but, preferably, MULLARD M8100s, a mil-spec version of the EF95. This particular tube in the YAQIN is superb.

The MF X-10 V3 tube buffer has many things going for it: its grip, its pace and drive, its pretty accurate, though warmish, portrayal of the music. But it just cannot compete the YAQIN's huge soundstage, brimming with threads and details of the music you never heard before, even with the X-10 V3.

Opening up the soundstage means that the music becomes spread out, with details which were aggressively "in your face" with the X-10V3, now fading naturally into the background. I suppose this would be called depth, and the YAQIN has depth by the bucket-load. Everything in the music seems to fall organically into place, voices always to the fore, and everything floating around them in an almost 3D way.

This is how I always envisaged the X-10 V3 would sound - only it didn't.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godkin View Post
The YAQIN tube buffer is most definately a keeper. It's a great piece of kit for the money. And I still maintain that's it's a good, if not better, than the more expensive MF X-10 V3 (unmodded). This statement needs to be qualified: I'm talking here of the YAQIN with higher quality tubes - MULLARD EF95s, Russian 6J1P-EVs, but, preferably, MULLARD M8100s, a mil-spec version of the EF95. This particular tube in the YAQIN is superb.

The MF X-10 V3 tube buffer has many things going for it: its grip, its pace and drive, its pretty accurate, though warmish, portrayal of the music. But it just cannot compete the YAQIN's huge soundstage, brimming with threads and details of the music you never heard before, even with the X-10 V3.

Opening up the soundstage means that the music becomes spread out, with details which were aggressively "in your face" with the X-10V3, now fading naturally into the background. I suppose this would be called depth, and the YAQIN has depth by the bucket-load. Everything in the music seems to fall organically into place, voices always to the fore, and everything floating around them in an almost 3D way.

This is how I always envisaged the X-10 V3 would sound - only it didn't.

I have the model that uses one 6N1 tube and it also competes with the Musical Fidelity X-10v3 that I have. As soon as I upgraded the stock power cord and changed the stock tube to an EI 6DJ8 tube, the Yaqin sounds much better than the Musical Fidelity. I agree with you on the "in your face" assessment of the Musical Fidelity. The Yaqin definitely has more depth, a wider sound stage, and with the upgraded tube, is more life-like than the Musical Fidelity in stock form.
post #7 of 25
Hi Gamo,

Great to get feedback from another YAQIN tube buffer owner. I haven't tried a better power cord yet, but hope to do so in the near future. Does it bring noticeable improvements in sound? I find that tube gear responds particularly well to high quality power cords or conditioners. What power cord are you using? I find that the QED Conduit is very good for the money (£35-40).

I think yours is the Pacific Valve version with the one 6DJ8 tube. Plenty of good equivalents out there - the 6922, ECC88, and the Russian mil-spec 6H23N-EB.

For the money, I think the YAQIN is just about unbeatable for the money. I'm certainly impressed with it. But as you say, you have to get rid of those nasty stock tubes to get the best out of it.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godkin View Post
Hi Gamo,

Great to get feedback from another YAQIN tube buffer owner. I haven't tried a better power cord yet, but hope to do so in the near future. Does it bring noticeable improvements in sound? I find that tube gear responds particularly well to high quality power cords or conditioners. What power cord are you using? I find that the QED Conduit is very good for the money (£35-40).

I think yours is the Pacific Valve version with the one 6DJ8 tube. Plenty of good equivalents out there - the 6922, ECC88, and the Russian mil-spec 6H23N-EB.

For the money, I think the YAQIN is just about unbeatable for the money. I'm certainly impressed with it. But as you say, you have to get rid of those nasty stock tubes to get the best out of it.
Godkin,

I have tried a stock power cord off my Parasound amp which is a 14AWG cord and a PS Audio Prelude power cord. Both helped add more authoritative bass and life-like sound to the Yaqin. Now that I am using a 6DJ8 tube, the Yaqin far exceeds my Musical Fidelity X10v3 tube buffer I have. The Yaqin I have originally had a 6N1 tube which had less shimmer, sparkle and life-like sound compared to the 6DJ8 tube.
post #9 of 25
Gamo,

I'll try a better quality power cord and see what results it brings. I'll also try a mains conditioner for the same reasons. I'll report back with any findings.
post #10 of 25
You might want to note the really not very good 60dB SNR. You are adding a lot of noise to the signal by using one of these.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSloth View Post
You might want to note the really not very good 60dB SNR. You are adding a lot of noise to the signal by using one of these.

Specs have changed. Now the S/N ratio is at 90dBs. Must have been a typo earlier. Never had a problem with noise with my Yaqin. Just received another one from Pacific Valve and Electric Company. The front display light with the blue Yaqin logo is much dimmer than my first one. Called Pacific Valve and they let me know this was done due to customer feedback saying the original blue light was too bright. Tried various 6922 tubes and settled on the JAN Phillips Green Label 6922 tube. Also have Herbie's Audio Lab HAL-O tube dampers on. Sound is much more lush, life-like , much more open sound stage and greater detail than my Musical Fidelity X-10v3.
post #12 of 25
I agree with everything you have said, Gamo. The YAQIN is better than the X-10 V3. At the moment, I am running the WESTERN ELECTRIC 403Bs and it sounds fabulous. It sounds as clear as a bell - I certainly cannot hear any distortion. Also tried a good power cable which improved things again. I must try the dampers and see what improvements they bring.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godkin View Post
I agree with everything you have said, Gamo. The YAQIN is better than the X-10 V3. At the moment, I am running the WESTERN ELECTRIC 403Bs and it sounds fabulous. It sounds as clear as a bell - I certainly cannot hear any distortion. Also tried a good power cable which improved things again. I must try the dampers and see what improvements they bring.
Did you ever get your X-10 V3 modded?
post #14 of 25

oscilloscope on the tube buffer

interestingly, i downloaded VisualAnalyzer, a free oscilloscope that works with your sound card. using a reference signal, i measured the output in (a) bypass mode; (b) thru the MF x10v3 and (c) thru the yaqin (1-tube version). i found that, compared to the reference signal, the x10v3 boosts the level by 1dB, whereas the yaqin reduces it by 0.5dB. the two units also had an interesting effect on the noise spectrum (though neither appeared to add any appreciable noise to the noise floor).
post #15 of 25
BUMP.

Found this from Pacific Valve (US member here) and for $175 this thing looks pretty good.

EDIT: found it on eBay for $120 shipped from Canada into the 'states. http://cgi.ebay.com/YAQIN-CD2-6J1-St...QQcmdZViewItem


However, this has 2 tubes, instead of 1 like on the one from PV. How is this different? Does this have a greater effect on SQ? I take it one is a domestic unit (2 bulbs) and one's a export unit (1 tube) as is the same thing with my Chinese tube amp. Does the same thing hold true here?




I found lots of tubes on eBay for this little guy. However, is a tube buffer necessary with a tube amp? And from the review I found, a reviewer used a tube CDP, and it still improved the performance. Is this a good investment, to improve an average ($50) CDP, or better to improve my CDP first, then add the buffer? [I would MUCH rather just spend $120 then buying a new CDP, however I know the source is important, and wondering if this is a decent "shortcut" to a better CDP?]

Is there anything with going tubes all the way through? (tube CDP, tube buffer, tube amp?)





Gosh, sorry for all the questions, I just realized that.. but I thank you for your time..



-Nick
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