Pacific Valve YS Audio Balanced A1
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Bringing Value to the Audiophile Since 2003
The YS Audio Balanced A1:
* One of the few, if only, balanced vacuum tube preamps at this price point
* Uses a non negative feedback design for detail and resolution
* Has dual high quality ALPS volume controls that can act as a balance control
* Uses (2) 12AX7 tubes, (2) 12AU7 tubes and solid state regulators
* 100% of all water cooler panel members recommend the YS Audio Balanced A1
The Balanced A1 is Audio Experience’s fully balanced tube line preamp with a rich variety of inputs and
outputs that will please both contemporary and retro Audiophiles. It accepts inputs in CD, AV, Tape and
AUX (XLR/RCA) format; outputs of 2 Main XLR, 1 Main RCA and 1 Record out RCA, and supports a
stunning frequency response range from 8Hz-230KHz. The Balanced A1 is built for premium performance
while still relatively small and lightweight compared to most high-end market preamps.
This preamplifier uses innovative audio problem solving ability with its Class A, + wave auto-balance
circuitry. The gain stage of the main circuit is a fully balanced design for high sound fidelity, each channel
using one 12AT7 and one 12AU7 vacuum tube to form zero negative feedback. The A1 line stage
employs specialized tubes to project a clean, fresh soundstage while effectively preventing RF and
Separate balanced and SE outputs of different gain levels, 17dB and 12dB respectively, and different
output frequency response allows you to choose the best suited for the sound. The high input impedance
prevents sound coloration from passing through, while the low impedance output stage is defining, yet
authentic. The Preamp has controls for left and right Gain, an input selector and for power; and has a
dynamic power source range for better compatibility.
The Balanced A1’s application of a highly efficient solid-state regulator in the HVB+ power supply produces
a sonic quality that is completely stable, lively, and rhythmically true to its source. At the heart is an
extremely quiet power supply comprised of a fast, large current, R-core transformer.
Using high-end components from renowned manufacturers, including Dale and Philips resistors and Wima
caps; and extremely small and tidy cable connections inside, the balanced A1 preamplifier circuitry is the
product of hand-made craftsmanship yet premium performance. Weighing in at just over 5Kg, slimline
dimensions and a choice of either silver or black face plates. .
The YS Audio Balanced A1 has 4 Dual Inputs (RCA / XLR), 2 dual outputs, and 1 RCA "record out" output.
The Non Negative feedback design and solid state regulators give this preamp focus and snap
The Balanced A1 does not have a remote and moves the cost to two high quality volume controls. If a remote is necessary, see YS Audio Symphonies.
Bass: Typical tube preamp bass, although the solid state regulation makes it faster and little more taught. Mids:. Wonderful laid back mids, highly resolving
for this price point (with the right tubes). Highs: Slightly rolled off highs and soft presentation, beginning around 18kHz. Dynamics: Quiet preamp presents a
wide range between low and loud passages. Air around instruments: Above average for a preamp at this price point. Body and Weight: Laid back
presentation does not interfere with body and weight where instrument resolve is significant. Warm/Cold: Nicely warms up the music - not too lush or too cold.
Imaging / Sound Stage: Presents the sound stage well although has trouble throwing images to the left and the right of speaker. Resolution / Detail:
Remarkably resolving with fine detail, yet laid back in the image. Value: Even though we raved about its ability to retrieve detail, it was at a price / performance
level. Other preamps will retrieve more, some more expensive ones, retrieve less.
Stock YS Audio Balanced A1
Upgraded YS Audio Balanced A1 with (2) JAN 12AT7WC / (2) JAN 6189 Tubes
Frequency response: 8Hz - 230KHz (-0.5db)
THD: < 0.03% (20Hz - 20KHz / 2V)
Gain: 17db (Balanced), 12dB (SE)
S/N: > 99dB
Channel balance: < 0.2db
Channel separation: > 90db (2Hz - 20KHz)
Input impedance: 100K ohm
Output impedance: 650 ohm (balanced), 325 ohm (SE main)
Recommended load: 18K ohm or greater (balanced)
Phase mode: normal
Max output: 46V
Line stage tubes: 12AT7 x2 / 12AU7 x 2
Four inputs via XLR or RCA
120v, 60 Cycles, AC
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