Sam Tellig wrote a very good article about the YBA Passion and specifically compared it to the older DT. It is in the most recent issue of Stereofile. If you're interested in this integrated I strongly recommend you try to read this article.
My local dealer carries both YBA and JMlab so I've actually heard them paired together several times. I've heard it setup on both a pair of Mezzo Utopia's and Utopia's and it was absolutely unbeleivable in both setups. I happen to be saving up specifically for the passion integrated right now. I promise you wouldn't be disapointed in it.
If you can afford the Passion... Get it and don't look back... It will take much more money to get better than the YBA... There's been a few threads on this topic... WarrenH had a DT and replaced it with a Passion...
I myself bought a Passion... I was balancing between a YBA 2 amp/preamp and a few other integrateds... I finally went for the Passion...
It's very detailled and not grainny at all... The only little drawback is that it may be a bit lean in the lower octave compared to other brands... It's a very little minus compared to what you get (detailled and musical with a great soundstage)...
Something to remember... Laws of diminishing returns... The Passion is worth twice as much as the DT... Is it worth double the price? I think it's worth every penny...
Warrenh is a big fan of both (especially the Passion) and can tell you all about them. He's around here somewhere... If he doesn't find you, you should find him. Arthur
Thanks for the lead-in, Arthur. Yes, I own the Passion and I have owned the original Integre. Apples and organges here, but YOU may be very happy with the DT. The Passion is magificient. Read my review, and you'll get the scooop. We are talking about a very significant difference in price, as well as a significant difference in sound. This integrated will go tete a tete with all the big boys and hold it's own easily. I, before, I purchased the Passsion listen to many integrateds. I never had a hard time choosing the Passion. This amp has the best SS has to offer, plus a little tubiness, that is devine. You can email me with any pariculars. You won't regret a Passion purchase, and if your pocket book is a little light; the DT model won't leave you disappointed. Just make sure you compare the DT to appropriate models. Up against the Passion, it will get it's ass kicked, but up against its' competition, it should do the ass kicking. Hope this helps you a little. Seems like you have a very high class problem there.... happy hunting. warren
I personally wouldn't recommend YBA and JMLAB. I have own both. I still own the YBA and got much better results with ProAc and Meadowlark. So if I were you...I would advise you try before you buy in YOUR SYSTEM and ROOM. I don't agree with the JMLAB/YBA marriage. It sounded good the first 5 minutes at the store but after that...ouch! I would go with a nice integrated TUBE amp,some neutral to warm cables and take care of those reflections in your room. Just my opinion...Good Luck
WOW, I personally couldn't have possibly had a more opposite experience with the YBA and JMlab combo than Aniwolfe. Everyone hears this stuff different than everyone else and I totally respect the fact that this setup didn't work out for him. Thats why I always recomend trying to hear it for yourself, because you never really know how it will sound to YOU.
Aniwolfe, I am a little curious however as to exactly which JMlab speakers you had and which YBA setup you had as well. Again, no disrespect, I'm just curious.
That's the first I've heard of a spat with a YBA/JMLab marraige. No first hand experiences, for me, but loads of feedback from others. Sea2, of course, your listening experience is going to be what counts, so; count on it.
Brandon_My system consisted of JMLAB COBALT 810's,Audio Refinement Complete Amp and YBA CD3,Vandersteen 2wq,Cardas Cross Speaker Cable,Magnan VI interconnects,RGPC, various Harmonic Tech and YBA powercords.I also have extensive experieince with the Electra 915's w/YBA preamp,McCormack amp.Theta DAC,Cal Delta trans etc. My dealer that I go to carries the JMLAB/YBA line. In a nutshell. I find the YBA a little too lean(tight)on bass and detailed for the JMLAB. JMLAB's are in my opinon,thin sounding and on the bright side of neutral. That tweeter calls it's attention too much. Ask Sam Tellig if he thinks maybe the UNICO int. tube/hybrid amp would be a good match with the JMLAB Micro. He gave it a rave review from what I hear and at $1300...dirt cheap compared to the PASSION.
Aniwolfe...Thanks for the reply. Looking at your former system and having had some experience with both the Audio Refinement and YBA CD 3 I can see how it may have had a hard time driving the older Cobalt 810's suffiently. I can also see how some would find the YBA to bit a too lean on bass in some systems as well. My only complaint with your earlier post I guess would be that with Sea2 looking at the Passion/Micro Utopia setup, you're not even close enough to say that you'd be comparing apples and oranges when comparing it your former system. The Micro Utopia's aren't even in the same world as the current Cobalt's and Electra's much less the older discontinued Cobalt's and Electra's you refered to. That's still not saying that the YBA/JMlab combo would be idea for everyone and I do respect that it isn't for you. I still stand behind my earlier post however and beleive you can't beat the Passion/JMlab Utopia combo anywhere.
Also, as far as the Unico goes, I've been reading a good bit on it lately, from Sam Tellig as well as others, and I am quite interested in it. It is very high on my priority list to demo one of these as well as the new Unico CD coming out at around $1700 I beleive.
I agree that the Micro Utopias are completely different than the Cobalts. I must say that the thing that impressed me the most was that JM Labs chose the YBA Passion Integated to launch their new Utopia series at CES. You know they are going to want to give it their best shot and they chose this amp. Right after I hear this Stereophile gives it glowing remarks. It sounds like a winner! Any comments on how it compares to the Plinius? I haven't heard it set up yet, but that will be my next step. Thanks for your comments.
I bought the passion. I get it next week. I'll let you know the impact!
You are going to be very happy with that baby. Good luck and happy listening. warren
WOW! I hooked up and have burned in the Passion amp. It sounds fantastic! It's got about 30 hours on it, but it sounds great. The midrange isn't quite as strong as my Cary tubes, but the whole experiance is fantastic. It's what the music was meant to be.
Enjoy your new baby. I know just how you feel...
I'm still hoping that someone here can directly answer Sea2's question about YBA vs. Plinius 8200. I own the 8200 mkII and cannot believe its stunning performance. To my ears, it's the first piece of equipment I've had that seems to get better every day, that I still actually look forward to going home to (sad life, eh?!).
Obviously, no one has compared the two. Not an unlikely situation, given everything that's out there, and the liklihood of being interested in each one at the SAME time. What could anyone's opinion mean, anyway? You're the one who has to hear it. Not me. Not John Audio. Cpdunn99, is the one who has to put it to the test. You could always bring your 8200mkII to a YBA dealer to compare it to the Passion. I'm sure you'll get a good price on the 'gon for your 8200mkII, after you do your comparison. peace, warren
Have you had any experience with B & W and The Passion? I own a YBA CD 2 and Nautilus 804's. I was driving them with a Krell KAV 300i until I realized the amplifier was stopping me from hearing the music as it should be heard. The CD 2 is really a wonderful and musical player, but the Krell was robbing me of that musicality. Will I be saved with the Passion?
I own B&W Nautilus 804s and just purchased the YBA Passion Integre. It should arrive within the next two weeks. Once it's hooked I'll post again. The CD player is Micromega Drive3/Dac2 and the cabling is by Cello.
My view on the Integre DT vs Passion Integre comparison
I compared the Passion to the Integre DT, hoping they would not be that different, and end up buying the much cheaper DT. Unfortunately Yves Bernand Andre is no fool.
The difference was not small. It was huge. They present the music in a very different way. To my ears the Passion was far superior to the DT. More natural presentation, more body, warmer and more musical. Since I could afford the Passion there was no question in my mind which own I should buy. The dealer also commented that the Passion line is the latest that YBA has to offer and that the overwhelming majority of customers who can afford both the Line 1,2,3 and the Passion Line prefer the Passion. Hope this is helpful.
Same interests at the same time with the same models is difficult to occur.
My Levinson recently blew on my face (by the way do NOT buy them, service sucks !).
Aniway, I have been trying several power amps which included the Plinius 250 MKiV and the YBA Passion Stereo.
I have to say that the YBA is BY FAR far the best Power Amp to drive my Maggies in every respect - I've tried several top brands like Krell, Levinson, Classé and Audio Research -while the Plinius was clearly a worse option than the Levinson I had before and really did not sound good at all, which was surprising and even annoying given the rave reviews it received everywhere. Is it because they advertise more...?
When you change just one piece in your set up you really can hear the differences and make the best decisions.
I also tried the YBA Integré Passion in my set up, which yielded an acceptable sound, but the sheer Power of the Passion Stereo Power amp just gives you that extra control into the low impedance areas of the Maggies. Frankly there is more of everything, more, deeper and tighter bass, more of a liquid midrange and wider/deeper soundstage and clearer and more extended highs. Awesome !!! You just cannot stop listening to your cd's again, because you've just re discovered them !
So although the Intégré may be an excellent option with easier speakers , it is by no means a match for the Passion Stereo in any set up.
The Intégré Passion is also in another league compared to the DT, which I believe has grown into the Audio Refinement Line as a lower end line of YBA.
As for the comparison with the plinius, if its the same difference I noticed between the 2 power amps, then I would stick with the Intégré and go visit New Zealand in a heartbeat !
Do you still rate the Passion stereo over the other brands you mentioned?
I have one myself, and wonder if I should keep it or start trying to find aanything better.
I don't understand your question. Why should I be the deciding factor, for you, to explore other integrateds? Are you, all of a sudden, missing something in your system? I'm confused. That is, if you're talk'n to me? peace, warren
How many of you still have your YBA Passion amps?
I still have mine. No reason to change.
I still own my Passion Integre and loving it! It has been 10 years now of wonderful musical enjoyment! It's a gem that I will never sell.
A few years ago I had an itch to try valve amps. So I listened to a Shindo combo, costing twice as much as the Integre. The Shindos were also a perfect match with my Devore Fidelity Nines speakers, according to many audiophiles. What can I say? The YBA Passion Integre was so much better than the Shindos in so many categories: detail, openness, bass definition, space around instruments, speed, timing...it was a shock! The Shindos had better body, but that was it! With Shindos so highly rated in the audiophile community, I didn't listen to another valve amp. I felt there was no point.
If there is a more musical amp at a sensible price, I wish someone would let me know about it.
I owned the Passion Integre and to my ears, it was not any better than my Ayre integrated (AX-7e) and not nearly as good as my BAT 300x-SE, which had a tubed preamp section. The BAT isn't that much more money than the YBA, but in my system, the BAT sounded much more relaxed, refined, and realistic, possibly due to the tubed front end. At the time I had Tyler Acoustics Linbrooks and later Merlin VSM-MXe speakers.
Hi folks. I am trying to get an amp for my Focal Electra 1008be speakers. I was looking at YBA after seeing this thread and seems that the old YBA was manufactured in France whereas the new ones are done at Shanling's facility in China. I was curious to know if I should still go for YBA Passion Integrated IA350 which is a newer offering or go for a used YBA passion integre? Also the issue is that there are no dealers closeby :( any suggestions or advises are appreciated.