Review: Yaqin MC 10L Tube amp
In need of a second system for our office/computer room, I had always wanted to try a vacuum tube amplifier. After doing some research I purchased a Yaqin MC-10L from a Canadian company that imports several different models of Yaqin amplifiers. I preferred this company because they sold the verson of this Yaqin with a black chassis. Tabnaac the ebay seller had communicated to me very well what I was to expect, from the shipping time to the contents of the box.
During the wait time to receive the amp, I brought out some components left over from stereo systems I used to have and gave each a clean up. My PSB Century 800's, a two way system with two 8 inch woofers in a tower configuration, while possibly a dated design, are still a very good speaker even by todays standards. The old Sony ES cd player is definitely a dated design but serves the purpose, we primarily listen to XM Radio while in the office.
Upon receiving the delivery I anxiously unpacked and set up the amplifier, a straight forward operation since the manual was reasonably descriptive. After allowing 30 minutes for warm up I loaded the cd player with one of my old favorites, Dire Straits.. On Every Street. Although the amplifier is far from being burned in, I was immediately impressed with the openness and depth of the music I was hearing, something I know good vacuum tube amps are known for. It was easy to place each instrument in the recording at points across the front of the room. Minute details in the layers of the recording came forth from a seemingly black background and then fade back to where each began. Several hours and cd's later I was convinced that it was a very good purchase and everything I had read in reviews about the Yaqin MC-10L was true. It is an exceptional tube amplifier, especially for its price.
As with any fine amplifier the associated equipment you use should be matched to that particular amplifier. Fairly efficient loudspeakers of 90 db or better allows the amp to have power in reserve. My old PSB 800 speakers are 92 db and seem to be about right. And of course good cables should be used, both interconnects and speaker cables.
Its quite obvious that this well made audiophile tube amp will continue to improve with age and burn in. The presentation it offers is first rate. My primary system is made up Parasound separates and Paradigm speakers at 8x the cost of the Yaqin amp. Yet the little Yaqin has some aspects of its presentation that are superior, aspects that I am sure are the signature of a good vacuum tube amplifier. Considering what it was designed for and how well it is executed, I can find no shortcomings for it except perhaps for some future tube rolling. Although the Chinese tubes provided do the job quite well.
Anyone who considers purchasing a vacuum tube integrated amp should research this fine amplifier. At its price point verus performance it would be difficult to find one better then the Yaqin MC-10L.
Sony ES CD player, Wireworld Oasis Cables, PSB Century 800 loudspeakers, XM satellite radio receiver.