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SoundstageUltra Review • YBA Passion Pre+DAC 550A
"Dynamics were powerful, yet subtle when required, and fast. The quietness Iíd already noted let me hear a lot of detail -- real detail, not the fake detail created by goosing up the high frequencies. Speaking of the highs, they were open and extended, with plenty of sparkle."
"Orchestral color was just gorgeous, with fully developed harmonics making the RLP sound rich and natural. I recently auditioned a DAC that made it difficult to distinguish between the solo violin and cello. The PRE550A had no such problem. Orchestral violins had a rich sheen, with abundant high-frequency extension."
To hear how the YBA reproduced a solo instrument, I cued up Ottmar Liebertís One Guitar (24/96 FLAC, Spiral Subwave/HDtracks). The detailed realism the YBA PRE550A retrieved from this high-resolution recording was amazing. It reproduced the sound of Liebertís guitar incredibly well -- not only the notes, but also the extraneous noises inevitably produced by a guitar being played by a master. Notes were harmonically complete, attacks and decays were extremely lifelike, and some of the initial transients were startling in their forcefulness"
"YBAís Passion PRE550A lived up to its French origin by producing unfailingly beautiful, realistic sound. Its extended highs were gorgeously smooth, with nary a bit of peakiness. The midrange was very detailed and harmonically rich -- little to grumble about there. Very highly recommended."
"Passion" IA350 Integrated w/DAC
"But what jumps to the ears, it is the absence of subjective coloration of IA350. It was never the impression of having to deal with a sound repetitive but to a great diversity of tonal colors and a guarantee of transparency and definition. The attacks are effortless."
"It is more close to the instrument of music as the instrument of measures, and it is this which makes all the difference."
YBA Signature CD Player
"This last is a Philips Pro CD2 laser, the best model designed and realized by Philips. It is a piece of metal with a brushless motor. A small device allows you to drain the static electricity of the CD. This Pro CD2 block is mounted on a plate decoupled independent of the chassis.
In the compartment dedicated to disk, a flush Blue LED materializes the patented device of the blue diode. This LED produces a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 400 nanometers. The purpose of the system is to obtain the most accurate audio signal - most pure and without distortion.
This sumptuous reader first manifests itself by an ultra-wide bandwidth with a serious deep and flexible & controlled bass, and a particularly top octaves that is detailed and subtle. The medium is velvety, delicate, very open and highly structured. It is evidence of density and substance of matter. This feels very well on the voice and the acoustic instruments. The second point marking for the dynamic which is expressed here without any restraint, but with a absolute control. This means that the Signature CD accelerates to perfection when the modulation requires, but that it is also able to curb to follow the signal, and this without settlement, without rupture of the melody. "
"This range of softness and energetic vitality give the Signature CD a type of sound reproduction that is very analog, in the good sense of the term. It is also what makes this machine, this form of duality totally consistent between the power of resolution of the CD and the musicality baritone of the black disc."
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Passion IA350 Int w/DAC + CDT450
Digital Cable: I2S • Loudspeaker: Harbeth 40.1
"YBA sound is a close, powerful sound. It is very open and we have a lot of information in advance of the band. But as much it happens in the middle and bass. It is hard not to talk about the advantages treble. Just one listen and one has the impression of wealth of detail and density transmitted in the information."
"The more that the sound is fed close to us. It is this type of communication in which everything is at your fingertips, strong, dynamic, very true. In this sense, we look at everything from the first row, rather than from a distant perspective."
"It's just that YBA adds to the incredible purity. It is as if to get insight into the recording, as if between the speakers appeared more and it had it all: detail, space, attack, dynamics."