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Yaqin MC-100B Tube Amp VS Sumo Nine Plus Amp

I was at a stereo shop today and had the chance to listen to both of these amps through my own Rotel 995 preamp and B&W 602 S3 speakers.

I made up a test CD to listen to some familiar songs. I knew the recordings were good, so this is why I picked what I did. We set the speakers about 5 feet apart and set them on top of some other speakers to use for stands. I sat pretty close to the sweet spot in the center. Most of my music was based on vocals, but also had some classical type music and a little electronica and R&B.

My impressions of the Sumo (65 watts per channel) with my speakers were they are a good match for the imaging they produce. Treble sound was sharp, but not edgy. The 3D sound quality was excellent here with lots of air. There was much depth to the music and the speakers seemed to dissapear when I was listenning. I even heard notes I didn't hear before. Clarity was excellent as well. I didn't know my speakers could sound this good, but they did. I was impressed with what B&W speakers do well- voice presentation. Very open and lively vocals. The only complaint was the low end was lacking a bit, especially with the oomph I was used to with my Rotel. I figured part of it was because of the room size I was in. Not a whole lot of punch with the Sumo, as it sounded a bit slow compared to the Rotel.

Switched amps to the Yaqin and it was set to Class A triode mode which is 30 watts per channel. Immediately I noticed how much more forward the presentation was. Vocals were more upfront and there compared to the Sumo. Still lots of clarity from the tube amp. Also noticed how much more balls the Yaqin had. Low end was way more noticable, presentation was warmer, and the punch from this amp was impressive for 30 watts. This thing had more balls then the Sumo which has twice the wattage. I wasn't expecting that. There was sound in between the speakers, but I wasn't getting the depth to the music I got with the Sumo. It sounded more compressed front the back and the speakers didn't dissapear as much. Granted the amp was using the stock Chinese tubes, I'd imagine that quality could be improved with some tube rolling- I would hope. That said it was a tough choice- do I go for the better imaging of the Sumo, or the balls of the Yaqin? I always wanted a tube amp and the potential to improve Im told could be there, so I ended up chosing the Yaqin. Also the Yaqin was an "almost new" amp, so it should have lots of year left on it. I would of had to get the Sumo rebuilt because of age, so the cost between the two would be the same.

So there you have it. I took the Sumo off layaway and put the Yaqin on. I'll be bringing it home in April. I also made a deal with the seller to throw in some Gold Lion tubes (4 of them) for an extra $200.

Edits: 02/18/11 02/18/11 02/18/11 02/18/11

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Topic - Yaqin MC-100B Tube Amp VS Sumo Nine Plus Amp - Braxus 15:49:17 02/18/11 (1)


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