Monday, April 6, 2009

Yarland P-100 Tube Headphone Amplifier "2008 Edition" ( 2x EL84/6BQ5, 2x 6N3P )

Yarland P-100 Tube Headphone Amplifier ( 2x EL84/6BQ5, 2x 6N3P );

The photos below are of the Yarland P-100 Tube Headphone Amplifier which utilize 2 x EL84 / 6BQ5 and 2 x 6N3P. There are two Neutrik outputs, one is a 32 ohm impedance (right) and the other is a 300 ohm impedance (left). This is a straight headphone amplifier with only one set of inputs and no pre outs at all!

This unit has travelled from Wang Chung, Wen Zhou Lucheng Yarland Sound & Equipment Factory to Hong Kong which is more then 1000 Km, the journey takes 3 days. The serial no. of the unit is S/N:090502.

In the meantime you can head on over to their web site and browse around first: "Yarland"


The tube complement are Chinese 2x EL84/6BQ5, 2x 6N3 for the P-100 2008 Edition. The 2008 edition is probably now 3-4th generation for the P-100. The original P-100 appears to be somewhat different in outlook from the present P-100, with all tubes on the outside amplifier top deck with tube cage (the version 1 actually is not bad looking at all {I like it} and in many respects is probably better for tube cooling and more convenient for tube rolling purposes). The original Version 1 P-100 also supported preamp and speaker outputs whereas the present P-100 2008 edition is a straight headphone amp with 1 set of audio inputs and not supporting any pre amp. outputs or speaker outputs at all. The 2008 version is different from the version 2-3 as it is much more beefed up inside, stocking no less then 4 transformers, much larger capacitor banks, better quality audio caps. and 2 Neutrik headphone sockets on the front panel. There are some photos of the P-100 V1 which I have asked another head-fi'er - fhuang for permission to use before I post them and I hope he will allow me to post them.

fhuang on Head-fi (Fulam) has kindly agreed to allowing me to post picks of his P-100 V1, take a look and you will see the big changes:

It is a great pity that the new P-100 2008 edition does not support audio outputs as it would also be nice to have an extra EL84 pre amp to drive speakers. Yarland, please reconsider if you are reading - my suggestions:

1. Revert to the Version 1 Case with all tubes out side and on the top deck;
2. Pre. amp. output;
3. Speaker outputs.

Inset photos shows the Version 2-3, one can see from the front panel the different headphone sockets used:

The stock Chinese tubes sound OK and that is about their extent, but really they are always the limiting factor of all the Chinese amps., this is inevitable since it would not be possible to sell these amps. at the present prices should they supply higher grade tubes. I personally roll the tubes with all my amps. However, changing the tubes is harder with the P-100, since with the Yarland you have to remove the entire cover, but you will be rewarded with far better sound. I have not changed the stock EL84’s yet since my tube armoury has no stock of El84's presently, I need to procure some and have in mind the Siemens EL84's and I have replaced the Sino 6N3’s, with a pair of Sylvania 5670's and they sounded much better than the Sino tubes, which were noisier, less full bodied (sounds like I am describing red wine?), and Sino 6N3's always have a slight coloration to the treble. Below are the Sylvania 5670's used instead of the Sino 6N3's:

As with all new gear, certain hours of burn in are require before one can really give the amplifier a true acid test review and the amplifier is being burned in using an XLO burn in CD presently but the initial response of the sonics and SQ is truly positive.


Manufacturer's Specifications:

 Power Tube: EL84 x 2

 Voltage Tube: 6N3 x 2 (Now tube rolled: Sylvania JAN spec 5670 x 2)

 Working state: class A, single-ended

 Bias voltage state: self-support bias

 Invariableness power output:

 Left stereo socket out: 300Ω 2w

 Reght stereo socket out: 32Ω 1w

 SNR: 91dB

 input terminal:

 General Power Voltage:

 Max power :80VA

 Product Size: (W)400mm x (D)280mm x (H)80mm

 SIZE: 310mmWX320mmDX250mmH

 WEIGHT: 7kgs

Photos first, more to come!

Photos below: The inside of the P-100 with the Sylvania 5670 tubes rolled in place:
Photo above: In the rack, the Darkvoice 336SE above the Yarland P-100 on the left, below the Yarland is the Mhdt Laboratory "Havana" Non-Over Sampling Audiophile Grade DAC using GE 5670 triple mica 5 star tube.

Cyroset Electro Harmonix EL-84 Matched Pairs:

I had decided to get a set of Cryoset Electro Harmonix E-84 matched pairs. These are a matched pair of EL-84 tubes which have by cryo treated at -300 deg. F for 24 hours using nitrogen and slowly brought back up to room temperature. Thee treatment is said to be ever lasting and will yield great benefits to the sonic values of the tubes. Well my Cryoset EL-84's arrived on 22nd April, 2009 and I will roll them into the P-100 over the weekend for burning in before final evaluation and listening.

Below the new Cryoset Electro Harmonix EL-84 matched pairs rolled into the P-100 on 25th April, 2009. Initial impressions are that the resolution is higher and more refined then the stock Shuguang Chinese EL-84, but it is still early and need some time for the Cryoset matched pairs to burn in before making a proper evaluation. They do sound promising, transients appear to have improved quite a bit and the sound stage is somewhat deeper and wider then before.

Update: 30th May, 2009

I have now over 130 hours burn in time on the P-100 and have found it blooming quite nicely, the bass is tighter, mids and highs are very well balanced with no coarse edges. Resolution is great and overall cohearance is very good, it is very engaging and the soundstage is very wide with my Darth Beyers. Bass impact and dynamics are very good and overall I would say that the amp is really now begining to show it's glory. The burn in wait is worth it.

I had been asked by Fairbanks how I would rate the P-100 against the other amps I own. This is particularly interesting since I have just taken stock of a Audio Space Acoustic Laboratory AS-2.8i tube intergrated headphone amp which comprises of 4 x 6V6, 2 x 12AU7 (rolled with NOS Tungsram) and 1 x 12AX7 (rolled with a TFK smooth plate). The AS-2.8i is not brand new and has been burned in for a while.

Well unfortunately for finese and detail, the P-100 is just slightly behind the AS-2.8i in terms of performance but not by much. It is just that the AS-2.8i seems to be a little bit more refined in all areas and presentation. The spatial impression of the music is better.

As for rankings against my other tube gear, here are the current standings:-

1. Little Dot, MK VI
2. Close tie - AudioTailor "Jade" & Audio Space AS-2.8i
3. Yarland P-100
4. Darkvoice 336SE
5. Oumeidanji KT-88
6. Ella W6
7. Little Dot, Mk III

No comments: