Ypsilon VPS - 100 phono stage - how good?

XV-1

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May 24, 2010
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#1
Hi guys.
I am wondering how much better or just different the 30k Ypsilon phono stage and matching SUT's are compared the the top of line phono stages in the 10-15k mark
These would include
Pass xp-25
Allnic h300
ARC ref2se phono
To name a few

Anyone who owns or has the heard the Ypsolin, would be good to hear your thoughts.

Cheers
 

Bill Hart

New Member
May 11, 2012
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#2
Hi guys.
I am wondering how much better or just different the 30k Ypsilon phono stage and matching SUT's are compared the the top of line phono stages in the 10-15k mark
These would include
Pass xp-25
Allnic h300
ARC ref2se phono
To name a few

Anyone who owns or has the heard the Ypsolin, would be good to hear your thoughts.

Cheers
I think Fred Crowder has this, and reviewed it, but not sure he is on this site. Don't know of anybody else that owns it (except Fremer has one and prefers it); I have the Allnic, but haven't heard the Ypsilon.
 

zermatt

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Oct 6, 2010
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wash dc
#3
I have a friend who has Ypsilon VPS - 100 phono stage and the new external xmr's. The new xfmrs are about 6k retail. We have listened the Sims 11K unit, the CJ T1(my unit) and the Pass Xp25. He is using the Ypsilon pre-amp and SET amps. So naturally, the system sounds better with the VSP-100. I take a two part approach in evaluating the sound. I listen for A: it over-all spectral balance and B: then its level of resolution and harmonic accuracy. The presentation of the sound is very close to the Microphone in terms of resolution and harmonics. In terms musicality, the VSP-100 delivers in spades. In terms of dark sound vs. light sounding, its more "Yin or white then black. So there is a slight upper mid-range elevation, but the treble is silky smooth. There is absolutely no phono white noise that inter-modulates with the sound, this helps the music break free and the music just flows like water. All in all, its a superb unit but it will set you back 36K. I still find my CJ T1 to have more intimacy then the Ypsilon VPS - 100 but its not harmonically rich the the Ypsilon.
 

rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
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#4
I sure would like to know as an XP-25 owner...I did hear of somone in japan improving the XP-25 sound by running two units with two separate power supplies and using only one channel from each unit to make the two channel system. I think Mark at Reno tried it and said he heard an improvement...so you have a $20k XP-25 squared. I hear the Ypsilon is great...how much better is the question...
 

zermatt

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Oct 6, 2010
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#5
Christian, "how much better" you ask!

I am going to keep this simple just for this discussion. Let just say that we use "distance from the mic" as a measuring tool for all the units I discussed. The CJ , Sims Audio and the Xp25 are placed about anywhere between 10 to 20 ft from the mic. They are not an up close presentation. The Ypsilon VPS - 100 gives the impression of being let say 3 to 5 ft from the mic. So there is a big jump in harmonic resolution. In simple terms, it's giving you about 10 to 15% more meat on bone, but based on creating a well balanced system, this may not work for all systems.
 

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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#6
Christian, "how much better" you ask!

I am going to keep this simple just for this discussion. Let just say that we use "distance from the mic" as a measuring tool for all the units I discussed. The CJ , Sims Audio and the Xp25 are placed about anywhere between 10 to 20 ft from the mic. They are not an up close presentation. The Ypsilon VPS - 100 gives the impression of being let say 3 to 5 ft from the mic. So there is a big jump in harmonic resolution. In simple terms, it's giving you about 10 to 15% more meat on bone, but based on creating a well balanced system, this may not work for all systems.
Zermatt: Interesting way to describe the differences, and helpful. When I had a Steelhead, with all the right NOS tubes, the system sounded like good hi-fi, but lacked something that gave the system real life. The Allnic gave an immediacy to things that does not sound forced; while all the warmth and spatial stuff was there in great measure, everything was simply clearer, and in a way, less mechanical sounding; it was almost like the Steelhead was compressing things; tube rolling could change the character, but not the sense that there was a piece of equipment in the way of the sound. The change was unmistakably better musically in my system, which gained significant benefits once I also changed line stages. Not saying this to advocate the Allnic, as such, but to point out that changes in the phono stage, from a well-regarded unit to another were dramatic.
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#7
Christian, "how much better" you ask!

I am going to keep this simple just for this discussion. Let just say that we use "distance from the mic" as a measuring tool for all the units I discussed. The CJ , Sims Audio and the Xp25 are placed about anywhere between 10 to 20 ft from the mic. They are not an up close presentation. The Ypsilon VPS - 100 gives the impression of being let say 3 to 5 ft from the mic. So there is a big jump in harmonic resolution. In simple terms, it's giving you about 10 to 15% more meat on bone, but based on creating a well balanced system, this may not work for all systems.
i know your friend with the VPS-100; he does have a very good reference and he likes the Ypsilon. i've owned the Allnic H3000 (new and old versions) and have the battery powered darTZeel NHB-18NS with 2 phono cards in it. i have heard the VPS-100 a few times but not in my own system. i would say that the Ypsilon is more like the dart (in terms of neutrality) than the Allnic (which is warmer than the Ypsilon), although it is bloomier/spacier than the dart, but it's level of detail (you relate it to mic distance) is similar but slightly better than the dart.....although system context could change things around. obviously the dart is part of a system, and the Ypsilon works best when used with the Ypsilon preamp and amps. i've not heard it as a stand alone phono outside of an all Yip system.

i've not spent time with the Pass or the CJ.
 

rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
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#8
My problem with some of these super hi-end stages is the fact of no loading flexiblity unless in the case of Yip, buy separate step up transformers for various optimal loading for one's cart inventory. My Koetsu Coralstone with my XP-25 sounds best at 160, my A90 500, ect....plus you have the added interconnect interface between step-up and the MM Phono stage (47K). What am I missing ?
 

jtinn

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Apr 21, 2010
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#9
Hi guys.
I am wondering how much better or just different the 30k Ypsilon phono stage and matching SUT's are compared the the top of line phono stages in the 10-15k mark
These would include
Pass xp-25
Allnic h300
ARC ref2se phono
To name a few

Anyone who owns or has the heard the Ypsolin, would be good to hear your thoughts.

Cheers
I am the importer of darTZeel, which was not asked about, but I think is much better than the few you named. But, to directly answer your question, the Ypsilon is much better than those on your list. I have no affiliation with Ypsilon.

The Ypsilon has much greater detail (textural and informational) and a substantially blacker background. And yes, I have heard all those listed. It is not really close.
 

rockitman

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#10
moral of the story JTinn ? Buy the Yip and decide on your multiple step-up trans load options....I hear the Vitus is another one on the yip level...Maybe I need to spend there instead of SOTA digital.
 

rockitman

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#11
add the Boulder 2008 to the list uber of phono stages...w/o any experience hearing it, it would be my first choice to audition...especially it's advantage of no step up trans interface.,,,just cart personality cards for your desired load.

 

cjfrbw

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#12
Another would be Allnic's 3000 series MM phono input with Allnic's own 3000 series nuvistor headamp (active headamp instead of input trannie, uses nuvistor tubes). This is the combo I have, but I am surprised very few people have heard the nuvistor device with the Allnic phono stage.

The current Allnic phonos offer all kinds of equalization and loading options. The Nuvistor head amp has four loading options.
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
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#13
I am the importer of darTZeel, which was not asked about, but I think is much better than the few you named. But, to directly answer your question, the Ypsilon is much better than those on your list. I have no affiliation with Ypsilon.

The Ypsilon has much greater detail (textural and informational) and a substantially blacker background. And yes, I have heard all those listed. It is not really close.
Thanks Jonathan

I did not list the Dart only because you must by the line stage to get the free first phono input:D

Good to hear you pays your $$ and you do get better performance.

Fav phono amongst the 10-13k phonos?

Cheers
 

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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#14
I would like to hear the Dart at some point in my system, maybe after I relocate to Tx- when you consider the cost of a separate line stage and phono stage, plus the necessary interconnect, you are well above the price (at least I am) of the Dart. I guess the question would be upgradeability over time; the one advantage of having separates, I suppose, a baby/bathwater thing. I would also love to eliminate tubes, but my taste seems to lean toward them (not that I've tried that hard to get away from them, either).
 

asiufy

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almaaudio.com
#15
whart,

I think Mike L. mentioned this elsewhere, but the darTZeel 18NS is battery powered, one of the benefits of that being an extremely silent background, very important for a phono stage.
The phono stage is actually a plug-in card (as are all the other inputs on the 18NS), so, in theory, it COULD be upgraded. Mike L. replaced one of his inputs with a second phono stage...
Another cord that you'll end up saving is the actual power cord for the 18NS. If you use its automatic/battery mode, you'll hardly hear the effects of a costly power cord on it. All of a sudden, those 30K swiss francs are looking cheap :D




alexandre
 

mep

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Apr 21, 2010
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#16
It’s hard to believe that not that long ago I had well over 50 tubes in my system and viewed anything SS as something spawned from the devil. The road to keeping your sanity in this insane hobby isn’t lined with vacuum tubes-specially for phono stages using low output moving coil cartridges. If you value low noise and high gain stages, you best get to or stay with SS. Once you have lowered the noise floor in your system and increased your dynamic range, it’s very hard to give this up in the name of ‘natural’ harmonics or any other tube descriptor bandied about.
 

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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#17
whart,

I think Mike L. mentioned this elsewhere, but the darTZeel 18NS is battery powered, one of the benefits of that being an extremely silent background, very important for a phono stage.
The phono stage is actually a plug-in card (as are all the other inputs on the 18NS), so, in theory, it COULD be upgraded. Mike L. replaced one of his inputs with a second phono stage...
Another cord that you'll end up saving is the actual power cord for the 18NS. If you use its automatic/battery mode, you'll hardly hear the effects of a costly power cord on it. All of a sudden, those 30K swiss francs are looking cheap :D




alexandre
I hear you Alexandre. In fact, the line stage now in use is battery powered. I'm not ready to make a wholesale change yet for a variety of reasons, but once resettled in Tx, I will be open to exploring.
 

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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#18
It’s hard to believe that not that long ago I had well over 50 tubes in my system and viewed anything SS as something spawned from the devil. The road to keeping your sanity in this insane hobby isn’t lined with vacuum tubes-specially for phono stages using low output moving coil cartridges. If you value low noise and high gain stages, you best get to or stay with SS. Once you have lowered the noise floor in your system and increased your dynamic range, it’s very hard to give this up in the name of ‘natural’ harmonics or any other tube descriptor bandied about.
That about sums it up- dealing with microphonics and other tube foibles on the theory that you get more natural sound. I've only been using tubes in earnest since about 1974, so it's not like i'm committed. Maybe I need a jolt from that listening chair you posted- that cracked me up.
Best,
 

MylesBAstor

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#19
My problem with some of these super hi-end stages is the fact of no loading flexiblity unless in the case of Yip, buy separate step up transformers for various optimal loading for one's cart inventory. My Koetsu Coralstone with my XP-25 sounds best at 160, my A90 500, ect....plus you have the added interconnect interface between step-up and the MM Phono stage (47K). What am I missing ?
The Allnic has 16 loading options, your Pass is adding a resistor if I remember correctly, the cj has 10 options and my Doshi has 12 options. The Avid Pulsare has 9 plus a custom loading option along with capacitive loading too! I think many designers also will do custom values. So I think designers are listening.

But is it enough? I understand your point and had the exact same discussion with Ron Sutherland at RMAF. I think we need to load even more closely than currently available in most units. The Vendetta/Curl phono section is in my experience, the one unit that allowed for the most loading flexibility since John used a pot (and we know the plusses and minuses of that) to load at <200 ohms. So one could adjust the loading down to the ohm on both channels with a DVM. And loading is as John claimed exactly like adjusting SRA/VTA. A difference of a couple of ohms makes all the difference in the world. Ron said using a pot might be possible with his unit since he changes loading values with a small board. So instead of a resistor, he could use a high quality pot. Theoretically then, once one finds the optimal loading value (just like we used to do with RS1B or Magnepan xover loading), you could just substitute a high quality resistor/board for the pot.
 

rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
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#20
Thanks Myles. Interesting. Have you or anyone else for that matter heard the Boulder 2008 ? I can't seem to get that phono pre off my mind, if I truly want to get the reproduction to the highest level....