Yaqin MC-100B or Cayin A-88T - first tube amp

Hello. I will be pairing with an old set of 99db sensitivity Pioneer box speakers. They sound pretty nice and will be my speakers for awhile as I can't afford VMPS... Sources will be Rotel RCD-975 and Oracle Delphi turntable. I listen mostly to progressive rock (like Porcupine Tree) and metal/hard rock (Opeth and Queens of the Stone Age for example).

Of the two, I've already heard the Cayin A-88T at a local dealer (thumbs up to the great service from Zack at Primus Audio in Kansas City - appreciate it!). It was by far the best sounding amplifier I've heard. I am sure that I want to go with a KT88 based tube amp not solid state at this time. I was thinking about 300B for a bit but I don't think it would provide enough power and energy for the music I enjoy. The Cayin sounded amazing with Porcupine Tree. Though Yaqin seems to make some pretty good amp/pre units - especially for the price.

Anyone have any idea how they compare for the music that I listen to? Are the output transformers and caps and all comparable between the two? I wish I could hear both somehow...
I hope another forum post is O.K. See reply by Jan Vigne on Ecoustics message board: http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/1/452675.html. He makes some real good points about tube amp specifications & reality.
99db should be OK with a 300B amp, and Yaqin makes a 300B SET amplifier that you might want to check out. I am driving my 88db Quad 12L2's with a 845 SET amp with no problem in a medium sized room. The Cayin is probably twice the price as the Yaqin, but you get advantage of being to able to hear it in person. Although I haven't heard anything bad about Yaqins.
Cayin over Yaquin. Check under the hood.
Vincent and Cayin are probably a better comparison. Check out Pacific Valve for the Vincent.

Your link does not work for me.


I've checked out the Pacific Valve website. I am not sure I found the specific amplifier you were directing me to but I am very interested in the Ming Da MC 34AB 07. It seems to be a very good value as well.

I'd like to throw this model into the mix. I am curious as to the differences between a KT88 and EL34 output tube amp - more specifically these models but in general as well.

Thank you guys for the input so far. It is helpful to me and I appreciate it. I'm going to make a decision soon. Funds are pretty much in place for any of the three.
I ended up happily with the Cayin A88T after swapping out a dozen or more amps solid state and tube. The Cayin may be your last amp also. It bettered for my tastes everything else. The Conrad Johnson was too smooth almost dull to me, the Cary, a little too detailed and clinical. The Cayin has a vibrant front row center real performance sound to it. It is one of the best amps out there in my opinion, at any price.

My suggested tube complement is SED KT88, Mullard CV-569 or ECC35s (european 6SL7s, these will cost but are well worth it) and RCA VT-231 (military 6SN7). If the amps seems slightly too open to you, adjust the bias from 400 to 340.
Shengya 10
Have owned one for 12 months.
OK with bookshelf speakers,
Terrible (not enough power)with full rasnge speakers
like Genesis 6. Power tubes go out after just a few monyhs.
owned one "what?" Andrewp???