It was no contest for me: go with the Passion. I've owned mine for over two years. Still delivers the goods.....
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It's a damn shame you can't consult two of the most lengthy threads in recent
A'gon history, both started by the very same user whose name I will not
mention. Both have been terminated with extreme prejudice by the powers
that be with near 100 caring contributions from a diverse range or
respondants. I believe any mention of this user's name, or of the name of his
integrated flavor-of-the-month which "blows away the ML 383 in every
respect", will cause this post to go down in flames before I even finish
typing it. I think the moderators have found a way to send electrical current
directly through the user's keyboards when the "D" is typed
followed immediately by the "K". Notice how I've deftly avoided
this. Oh, by the way, if you're looking for one of those particular integrated
amps you may be delighted to note who's selling his here on A'gon at this
very moment! Since it is so vastly superior to the ML, perhaps you should
give this some serious consideration.
Other than that, you may also want to consider the Portal Audio Panache.
Probably not quite in the league of the two amps you mention, but FWIW,
Stereophile claims it's pretty darn close to the YBA Integre (which I have not
heard so cannot offer comment on) with the YBA edging out the Portal in
providing just a bit more detail as I recall. The price difference is profound
with the YBA costing more than double the cost of a demo Portal (a clear
illustration of diminishing returns - at least on the sonic front). I think the
Portal is an outstanding Integrated, and have been enjoying it very much over
two months now. I won't wax sentimental on it except to say that I find the
reviews to be mostly spot-on as to the strengths and weaknesses.
The YBA Passion integrateds have recently been released in 3 new models: the 100, 200, and 300 Passion Integres. Check out the YBA web site for more info. Based on what I've read about these two brands the YBA may be more "tube-like" in character whereas the ML may be more "detailed." It also might depend on what else you're using it with.
It's funny. We all describe audio in different terms. Another member in
another thread attributes detail to tube amplification, in direct contrast
to Budrew's post. I'm not saying anyone is wrong or right here, just that
it's very interesting how differently we all hear and describe what we
hear. I wonder how much is first hand knowledge and how much is
regurgitation of what we've read and assumed to be gospel?
BTW, Budrew, can you provide a link for the YBA website? My Google
search resulted in a page for which I don't have access, according to my
The link from Google does not work. Here is the actual web site:
By my "tube-like" comment I meant that the YBA appears to make tube lovers happy, meaning it does not sound too sterile or SS. On the warm and rich side but still detailed. I have not heard the amp myself (I would like to someday!) but have researched it extensively parsing together an overview of its character from a wide range of comments. Enough to interest me should I ever decide to move away from tubes.
IMHO, the Passion is just about the sweetest 100 SS watts out there. Yes indeed: rich, warm top to bottom, innards beautifully constructed. Anybody know the pricing on the new Passion line? Specs? The website is a tease, but I'm sure these babies are going to deliver. I've been a Yba fan since the first Integre.
THanks for your thoughts guys!
I own several amp ,at this moment I am using the 47 LAb Gaincard, very nice but not the most dynamic one, but very natural sounding.
I hear a lot of good things about the YBA, the ML 383 is in Europe the benchmark for integrated amps.
The YBA is strangely ,almost onknown in Europe.
For the change I sometimes put my old gear to play and then I know again why I put a lot of cash in my audioset,
With the old gear I just loose my interest to listen.
How insensitive of me. I didn't realize you were living with such debilities. I should've guessed from the post. Your fly is unzipped too. What were your posts denied of? Food? Water? Or perhaps your posts have been denied entry into this great country of ours?! A country where a man can lay claim to three languages, babble on some drivel in English with his fly wide open and his pants rolled up like his basement had been flooded and he'd just remembered the stack of porno mags stashed behind the furnace, and yet still be taken seriously?! Oh brother, you are a man after my own heart. I'd salute you but my pants would fall down! Yes, my posts have been denied too...many a time! Can you imagine?! They don't even send'em back to me anymore, they just disappear into cyberspace never to be heard from again. Sometimes entire threads are engulfed with them. Hey George, pull my finger!
I have used the YBA passion integre for about 6 months now and am very pleased with its sound. I have no experience with the ML gear but I have a friend who runs their top of the line separates and they sound very good also with his Dynaudio Evidence Tempatation speakers.
As concerns the YBA integre, I think it's one of the more versatile ones out there offering dual outs (one for the highs and one for the lows ... this made a considerable difference in my setup BTW) so you can in effect almost truly bi-amp you speaker, instead of the regular bi-wiring available. In addition, this integre can be used as a stand alone amp (preamp bypassed via video-in mode) and this is where its greatest strength lies. I have found that its preamp is a little tame and rounded off in the highs providing extra warmth here which is not entirely natural. Furthermore, it tends to bloat up the bass as well, adding extra weight. These considerations should be taken into account for a source that is slightly bright in the highs or that has little but WELL articulated bass, otherwise it will boom in the room and overload it very quickly. The mids are very good even in the preamp section. Mine also offers XLR in but there is an alternate version that offers Phono in ... note these 2 are not interchangeable or upgradeable.
I also found that placing the YBA on Symposium Rollerblock series 2+, in double stacked configuration, has brought it to a whole new level as far a resolution, dynamics, transients, bass definition and depth, palpability is concerned. Therefore I highly recommend them.
In my system I use an Audio Aero Capitole MKII SE as my source and find that it's preamp is definitely better than the YBA preamp in the integre, therefore I bypass it. BTW, I also use symposium rollerblocks here ... they really make a difference.
my french is very poor, that`s why I follow mainly the British ,Dutch and German audiopress.
And they consider the ML as one off the best integrated on the market.
BTW. recently I took another road and bought the TacT Millennium MK2 ,it has been on the top of my list but very rare on the secondhand market.