After eights years of happy listening to the YBA PASSION CD 1000 player, I thought it was about time to look for something better. I went out and bought a Linn Sondek LP12 using a new Funk tonearm and DV cartridge. The LP12 sounded great, a bit more warm and a bit less accurate than the YBA using a brand new LP.

I then communicated with Yves Bernard himself who suggested the new PASSION CD430. The production line moved from France to China and naturally I was concerned of the quality of the new YBA. I could not really audition the CD player in the UK, and was wondering whether at €6000 retail price, perhaps is it a bit too crazy to order one. Well I did ... thinking that if I did not like it, I can sell it on Ebay or use it as my spare CD for the bedroom.

The box arrived, in a wooden re-enforced case. Once I opened the box I pleasantly encountered 5cm thick foam padding firmly securing the CD player. In the middle of the box, the CD was covered in a black polyester/velvety cover ... just like the expensive Prada shoes and Tumi handbags... What a lovely surprise!

I slowly took the CD player out of its cover anxiously thinking of the built quality. The brushed aluminium front fascia looked great. The back of the CD player looked even more stunning. Such attention to detail with immaculate polished aluminium plates with gold plated RCA input and balanced inputs. Is this for real?

I used my two MIT Shotgun S1 interconnects for each of the CD players and started listening to Tracy Chapman playing Fast Car. The sound of the new YBA CD430 was pure magic. Huge sound stage, accurate timing, more precise both at the high and low frequencies. The bass control was great. It was like sitting at the third row in theatre. Well my final conclusion: the New YBA was slightly better in all aspects than the previous YBA CD1000.

The old YBA PASSION CD1000 is naturally very detailed and a bit more warm which I still cannot do without it. My wife and son both insist that the new YBA is better thanks to Yves Bernard who designed it. So for now, both CD players are connected to the main system, as I like them both.

For anyone in the UK who wishes to hear this beautiful CD player, would suggest contacting Adam or Roger at They are top class HiFi dealers and stock some great HiFi equipment. Any comments for the new YBA equipment are most welcomed.