November 17, 2009
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I just received my MC-84L last week on ebay. It arrived in exactly 7 business days as the seller said it would for the express mail service.
I plugged my Rega Planar 3, through a Rolls Bellari VP29 phono pre, into the first of three RCA inputs (gold-plated!). I plugged my Apple Lossless music server, running with a USB m-audio Fasttrack Ultra Pro DAC, to the second input. I plugged in my Klipsch KG2 speakers into the 4-ohm (it has 8-ohm also) speaker plugs. I then put the EL84 (4) and 12AX7 (2) tubes in their sockets, held my breath briefly (this did come halfway around the world...) and the tubes lit up and all looked good for a signal to make it's way through the electronics.
I started with music server. Selected "Kind of Blue" (probably my first test of any piece of audio equipment because of all the great nuances and recording touches, not to mention it's one of the best albums of all time) with my iPhone Remote (yes, I am a geek, I know). With zero burn-in, it sounded great. I previously had a hybrid Qinpu Q2 amp (2.5W/channel, tube: 5670) which also sounded great, but this was definitely subjectively better. At least from the sense of power--the 12W/channel gave the drums and bass a little more thwack that they had been missing.
Then I switched over to my Rega. I put on The Doors debut. This was actually quite stunning: it was the same experience listening to this record as it was the day I first bought it and played it on my parent's old Grundig some 30 years ago. It slammed!
I kept on going with the records, put on some Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman Exotica because those old "Hi Fi" recordings really show off the sound of Klipsches and tubey hifi stereos. They sounded great as well.
I'm extremely happy with my purchase and am spending my Saturday afternoon rediscovering some old music as I write (as soon as the needle reaches the end of Bruckner's 9th Symphony, Solti conducting the CSO, I will pop The Jam's Sound Affects on the Rega).
A few random things that I like about my Yaqin MC-84L (and no, I do not in any way represent them):
about 30-40 lbs
the cage around the tubes
it looks nice and compact
It came with Soviet EL84M-OTK tubes, not chinese EL84
Only a couple things I don't like: the blinding blue light (why do all these Chinese amps use these things?!) and the hard-to-see indicators on the knobs. One other thing I also don't like: plugging in headphones does not turn off the speakers.
For the money, EXTREMELY well worth it!