Logo_testata_ReMusic
English

Yarland FV-34C-V integrated amp

01.06.2015..
Yarland FV-34C-V
..

ReMusic Spark Award

Good things come in small packages. A very good proverb frequently proved in real life. It is known that in the audio field are many school of thought. One of these concerns the power of the amplifiers. For example, speaking about watts, some people say that for a good listening experience, it is necessary to have at least three numbers at one’s disposal. In this article, we will talk about the Yarland V-34C-V, a compact integrated amplifier with only 15 watts for channel and EL84 vacuum tubes. It is considered as the AAAVT entry level tube gear and now it has come to its fifth version, updated with a possibility of multimedia connection and with clear improvements in the design and in the sonic output as well. I would like to invite the supporters of powerful amplifiers to listen carefully to this object at least once, with speakers of suitable efficiency, and maybe their steady convictions could crack. Actually, this is not the first time that we make positive reviews about AAAVT’s products. Now, I would just tell to who is unaware, about the existence of a place, 169, via dell’Acqua Bullicante, Rome, that has become a referring point for discussions between audio enthusiasts, didactic listening sessions, and for presentations and demonstrations of audio products, besides providing punctual and qualified AAAVT technical assistance.

 

So, let’s have a look at Yarland FV-34C-V manufacture and its functionalities. It is small and sober, 23 cm wide, 16 cm high, 25 cm deep, and weighing in at around 9 kilos. We would say that it is rather compact and heavy. The front panel, in real wood, includes two black trunk-conical shaped control knobs, pleasing to the touch, with a circular notch unfortunately not so visible to indicate the relative position. The left selector controls the volume, the right the three inputs: CD, AUX and Multimedia. There is a headphone output of 6,3 mm in the middle. On the upper side, there are seven Chinese tubes: right in the center is a 6N2 triode signal tube with at its sides two 6N3/5670 impulse tubes. On the extreme sides four EL84 power tubes. The three transformers, two of output and one of power supply, are protected by a metal container with on the top the logo printed on a wood insert. On the right lateral panel, is a USB type A multimedia input, plus two RCA outputs for possible external power amps or subwoofers. On the left side, there is the on/off switch. The rear panel is provided with two RCA inputs on the left, binding posts for the right speaker, headphone/speakers diverters and binding posts for the left speaker, as well as the mains lead (IEC socket) with related fuse. The interface components seem to be not very expensive, but solid enough. Only the binding posts are golden and can accept even banana jacks. I recommend connecting an optional Bluetooth plug-in into the multimedia input, besides the USB pen drivers, so to pick up wireless music from smartphones, tablets or pcs. The stated power is, as already said, around 15 watts for channel, with push-pull circuitry and ultra linear configuration. The inner components present some remarkable pieces, like the ALPS volume potentiometer, Yarland custom-made capacitors, 4% silicon iron transformers. The amp has also the AUTOBIAS for the power tubes. I changed the original EL84 tubes with a pair of General NOS that I had available, perceiving a lightly deeper and more articulate low range. Of course, the originals are good too, except for a quite unpleasant intense smell due to the heat emission during the first working hours.

 

Yarland FV-34C-V

 

Another school of thought among the audiophiles asserts, in open contrast with the one mentioned in the opening, that the amplifiers with low watts may express more refinement than the more powerful ones. This theory seems to me absolutely in line to what the FV-34C-V can offer. However, in this compact amplifier, over the refinement, there is a great attitude that allows a very satisfying use even with high impact rhythmic music as rock, pop, or funk. Saxophones are played back with the right metal sparkle, as well as the harmonic nuances of the stroke drumhead. With the classical music, you can appreciate the tone fullness and the finish that get the violins and all the strings in general, together with the precision of the speed in the musical attacks and releases. There is scenic depth, separation of the sound stages, deep, present and defined bass, although not seismic. The voices, both male and female, are very natural and pleasant when well recorded. For sure, the speakers should not represent demanding loads, but my already well-known and set ProAc Studio 125, with their official 87 db of sensitivity, already proved to be perfect thanks to their linear module of impedance, assisted by biwiring Audioquest Flx 14/4 Slip power cables. Moreover, as mains cable for this Yarland, I felt comfortable with an old 2,5 mm Cablerie d’Eupen with ending applied by myself. I also tested small speakers known to be quite hard for efficiency and module of impedance: the Q Acoustic 2020i. Even if they were not bad at all, the FV-34C-V could not highlight the entire splendor it had shown before.

 

Yarland FV-34C-V

 

My listening experiences with the FV-34C-V in the previous releases have been positive, so much to suggest the purchase to my brother, but this new version has absolutely that extra oomph in sound. The most evident technical difference is the substitution of the signal tubes, increased of one unity and with a different circuitry that comprises a triode input stage followed by a phase splitter stage. From the sound point of view, I have been thrilled, and very impressed too, by the exemplar tonal balance, by the mix in the frequency response, by the harmonic richness, by the well outlined soundstage in every dimension, by the right speed, not too much neither too little and, in general, by the purity and the sound cleanness that this Yarland can give. Of course, if you are looking for a stentorian and fast sound, mainly focused on the dynamics and on an immediate reaction - characteristics of the solid state configuration - this tube amplifier cannot be the best solution. For example, under these parameters, my reference tube amp with the KT88 performs better, as it does in the holographic reconstruction of the soundstage. But there is not a big difference and I could happily survive also with the FV-34C-V, since I like its tonal qualities and sound cleanness. Moreover, the multimedia input, especially if provided with the optional Bluetooth receiver, can expand the uses to the comforts of the streaming music, with possible great level performances, even if it depends on the quality of the first recording and on the compression used in the ripping.

 

The Yarland FV-34C-V is quite noiseless. There is no electromechanical sound coming from the amplifier, just a slight tube buzz from the speakers in my domestic system.

The headphone output caused me some problems due to the excessive tightening that the terminal makes on the headphone connector/adapter, determining most of the times its rupture and the permanence of the terminal in the insertion hole. The quality perceived with my Seinnheiser HD600 does not seem to me particularly remarkable, but maybe after an appropriate run-in and with lower impedance headphones the performance could improve. After all, the headphones enthusiasts can easily connect a headphone amplifier to one of the side outputs.

I am currently moving towards moderate price devices, but with great sound. An itinerary that someone can call a “downgrade”, if the main parameter is the price, or a plaudit to technologic evolution, not necessarily recent, that with “less” gives you “more” in sound quality. What really matters after all, is your personal listening sensations, without being conditioned by anyone or anything.

Whit a good sound performance like the one offered by the Yarland, and at low volume too, we enter in a heavenly world, out of the ordinary, where we forget the machines and we lose in the music, in direct contact with it, beyond the need of description, classification, comparison. This is the purpose I aim to claim in this unusual hobby, avoiding to fall in psychological traps as: the expert told me, or technological: the last version is better than the previous, or even physiological: I need to change, or even economics: the more it costs, the more it performs.

 

In conclusion, the Yarland FV-34C-V is a recommended product that deserves the Spark in the Dark for its enchanting balancing performances, for its operational flexibility and technological enhancement, all this linked to the accessible price and the consequent comparison quality/price. I suggest it to the audiophiles that are more interested in quality than in quantity, to who wants to enter with the right step in a refined level of sound performance without spending great sums of money.

 

 

Selection of listened music

Steely Dan: Gaucho, LP MCA Records

Talking Heads: The best of, CD Warner Music

The Mamas and Papas: 16 of their Greatest Hits, LP ABC Records

Wheather Report: Mr. Gone, CD Columbia

Tschaikowsky: Serenade string and Suite from the Nutcracker, Dir. Karajan, Berliner, LP Deutsche Grammophon

Mozart: Symphony N. 38 Praga e n. 39, Dir. Solti, C.S.O., LP Decca

Eric Clapton: Unplugged, file wav

Emerson: Lake and Palmer: Trilogy, file wav

 

 

Official technical specifications

Power Tube: EL84x4

Impulse Tube: 6N3/5670x2

Signal Tube: 6N2x1

Working State: Class A / Push-pull

Bias Voltage State: Self-bias

Rated Full - Power Bandwidth: 4-8ohms - 20Hz to 20kHz +/-1db

Maximum Output Power: 15w

Output Load Impedance: 4-8ohm Earphone 16-120ohm

SNR: 90db

Channel Balance: 0.5db

Input Impedance at 1kHz:100K

Input Terminal: Cd / Aux / Multimedia

Output Terminal: Line output * 2

Power Consumption: 90w

Product Size: 190x230x200 mm (WxHxD)

Weight: 9Kg, 19lbs

 

Official Italian dealer: to AAAVT website

Official current price in Italy: 545.00 EUR, plus possible upgrades

4 x EL84 JJ TESLA MATCHED 25.00 EUR

4 x EL84 GENERAL MATCHED NOS NIB 40.00 EUR

2 x JAN5670W 30.00 EUR

2 x E6N2-EB NOS 10.00 EUR

Associated equipment: to Fabio “Puzzled” Barbato system

 

 
by Fabio Barbato
Read more articles

Torna su

Advertising

DiDiT banner
KingSound banner
 
Banner Extreme Audio
Vermöuth Audio banner

Is this article available only in such a language?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive more articles in your language!

 

Questo articolo esiste solo in questa lingua?

Iscriviti alla newsletter per ricevere gli articoli nella tua lingua!

 

 

 

Email:
Language:

Advertising

Dream Streaming banner
HighResAudio banner