• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

EAR Yoshino 834L Deluxe Preamp Review

Rate this preamp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 162 60.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 59 22.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 37 13.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 10 3.7%

  • Total voters
    268

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
44,214
Likes
232,337
Location
Seattle Area
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Ear Yoshino 834L Deluxe Tube (Valve) stereo preamp designed by Tim De Paravicini. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $3095 (£2,699.00).
Ear 834L tube preamp stereo valve review.jpg

I am not a fan of chrome front panel but realize this is a personal thing. The case is stamped sheet metal which feels cheap compared to that. Controls are large and easy to manipulate.

Back panel sports gold plated RCAs but they seem kind of tarnished/dull:
Ear 834L tube preamp stereo valve back panel review.jpg


Note much else to say than let's measure it.

Ear Yoshino 834L Deluxe Tube (Valve) Preamp Measurements
As usual, we set the input to 2 volts and adjust the volume for "unity gain" (same output voltage):
Ear 834L tube preamp measurement.png


We are heavily distortion limited. 2nd harmonic is dominant by far. Noise level is actually good:
Ear 834L tube preamp SNR stereo measurement.png


I was impressed by the wide bandwidth but found the very low frequency rise strange:
Ear 834L tube preamp stereo frequency response measurement.png


Channel separation is quite poor for a stereo product:
Ear 834L tube preamp channel separation stereo measurement.png


Distortion doesn't depend on frequency although it is quite high:
Ear 834L tube preamp THD vs frequency stereo measurement.png


We see that reason for high distortion is very early saturation:
Ear 834L tube preamp IMD stereo measurement.png


Volume control accuracy is good:
Ear 834L tube preamp Volume mismatch stereo measurement.png


Conclusions
I guess if you are a tube guy and want lots of second harmonic distortion, you have it here. I am disappointed with the packaging and performance in the absolute.

I can't recommend the Ear Yoshino 834L Deluxe Tube (Valve) Preamp. Use a transparent preamp for heaven's sake and save lots of money to boot.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Talisman

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
816
Likes
2,278
Location
Milano Italy
Thanks for the review Amir.
I don't understand the rating of headless panther, this is a tube preamp, does exactly what you expect, high distortion with the second harmonic predominant, but quite good noise level.
Clearly for much less money you can get much better performance, but nothing really "broken" here.
 
Last edited:
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
44,214
Likes
232,337
Location
Seattle Area
I don't understand the rating of headless panther, he is a tube preamp, does exactly what you expect, high distortion with the second harmonic predominant, but quite good noise level.
It is not what "I" want. :) So I rated it accordingly. It also has a cheap enclosure especially for its cost.
 

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
4,958
Likes
10,649
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
Not bad for a tube preamp. I mean, someone who buys this wants lots of 2nd harmonic distortion and gets it with quite early saturation, and without other hums and noises. This preamp achieves its goal, at a price. Channel separation is the only major flaw. Not that I would buy it myself but still.
 

phoenixdogfan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
3,245
Likes
4,904
Location
Nashville
When you're buying one of these you're buying a "sound effects" device which will color absolutely everything you listen to. Kind of like buying several bags of ultra premium coffee, brewing them up with state of the art extraction, and then giving the resultant pour three or four squirts of Ghiardelli chocolate syrup.
 

MacClintock

Senior Member
Joined
May 24, 2023
Messages
379
Likes
647
It is not what "I" want. :) So I rated it accordingly. It also has a cheap enclosure especially for its cost.
I agree, there cannot be a "reasonable" criterion for "good for a tube amp cause it has a lot of 2nd order distortion". Next time somebody comes around and says he likes noise or clipping and then we have to value this as well?
 

ta240

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
1,320
Likes
2,516
I agree, there cannot be a "reasonable" criterion for "good for a tube amp cause it has a lot of 2nd order distortion". Next time somebody comes around and says he likes noise or clipping and then we have to value this as well?
But it is still a bit like a truck review site buying a sedan and going "It can't hold much gravel so it is bad!"
It is literally doing what it is supposed to do and doing it quite well.

In the real world the 2nd harmonics would barely dip into the audible level and no power supply noise or any other noise. In all honesty, for anyone interested in a Tube preamp this seems like a glowing review.
I mean, as long as you are okay with violating the sanctity of the music and just enjoying it. :D
 

AnalogSteph

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
3,291
Likes
3,230
Location
.de
Not bad for a tube preamp. I mean, someone who buys this wants lots of 2nd harmonic distortion and gets it with quite early saturation, and without other hums and noises. This preamp achieves its goal, at a price. Channel separation is the only major flaw. Not that I would buy it myself but still.
I wouldn't even be worried about the xtalk, it still beats FM stereo and sure as hell beats vinyl. That's a lot of distortion though, particularly IMD, even if it's technically still HiFi (as per DIN 45500).

BTW - no multitone?
 

GXAlan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
3,761
Likes
5,822
Thanks for the review.

Amir hates tubes, so I don’t think the panther was unexpected. The panther is his personal opinion with less consideration from the potential buyer. It’s unclear how he looks at the Primaluna differently than this.

When looking at tubes, priorities are
A) noise
B) AC mains noise
C) channel separation
D) channel matching

Since those are “universally” appreciated.

Noise = better than Primaluna
AC noise = better than Primaluna
Channel separation = slightly better than Primaluna
Channel matching = better than Primaluna at low volumes

Tubes never make sense intellectually but within the world of tubes, unlike charge-more-offer-less at least this is doing a nice job with AC mains filtering, etc.
 

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
20,272
Likes
36,528
I've listened to one of these years back. It did have a smooth, and somewhat dark sound in uncontrolled listening. I would have guessed a high frequency gentle roll off, but I never measured the one I heard. It was quiet.

Am I remembering right that it used a transformer coupled output? Maybe I'm thinking of the 834P phono preamp which my friend also owned at the time.
 
Last edited:

D!sco

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
475
Likes
371
This review doesn't really make much sense. The product is accomplishing it's goals, and the measurements don't really speak for themselves here. The hum is low and the 2nd harmonic is high. If the IMD was high it would be a problem, but that's not here.

Honestly, why even bother reviewing this kind of thing anymore? It seems like the goal is to make a low-effort review of a style that this corner of the internet doesn't prefer. It would be better if it were just left alone.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
44,214
Likes
232,337
Location
Seattle Area
Honestly, why even bother reviewing this kind of thing anymore?
There is a complaint about everything I review...
 

JDS

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Messages
97
Likes
199
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Ear Yoshino 834L Deluxe Tube (Valve) stereo preamp designed by Tim De Paravicini. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $3095 (£2,699.00).
View attachment 311173
I am not a fan of chrome front panel but realize this is a personal thing. The case is stamped sheet metal which feels cheap compared to that. Controls are large and easy to manipulate.

Back panel sports gold plated RCAs but they seem kind of tarnished/dull:
View attachment 311175

Note much else to say than let's measure it.

Ear Yoshino 834L Deluxe Tube (Valve) Preamp Measurements
As usual, we set the input to 2 volts and adjust the volume for "unity gain" (same output voltage):
View attachment 311176

We are heavily distortion limited. 2nd harmonic is dominant by far. Noise level is actually good:
View attachment 311177

I was impressed by the wide bandwidth but found the very low frequency rise strange:
View attachment 311178

Channel separation is quite poor for a stereo product:
View attachment 311180

Distortion doesn't depend on frequency although it is quite high:
View attachment 311181

We see that reason for high distortion is very early saturation:
View attachment 311183

Volume control accuracy is good:
View attachment 311184

Conclusions
I guess if you are a tube guy and want lots of second harmonic distortion, you have it here. I am disappointed with the packaging and performance in the absolute.

I can't recommend the Ear Yoshino 834L Deluxe Tube (Valve) Preamp. Use a transparent preamp for heaven's sake and save lots of money to boot.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Did you also test the phono section? I have a bare bones 834P phono-only box, which I assume has the same or similar design as the one here.
 

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
20,272
Likes
36,528
Did you also test the phono section? I have a bare bones 834P phono-only box, which I assume has the same or similar design as the one here.
I am pretty sure this is line only. You are expected to feed the output of your 834P into the 834L.
 

AndreaT

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
607
Likes
1,168
Location
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
This review doesn't really make much sense. The product is accomplishing it's goals, and the measurements don't really speak for themselves here. The hum is low and the 2nd harmonic is high. If the IMD was high it would be a problem, but that's not here.

Honestly, why even bother reviewing this kind of thing anymore? It seems like the goal is to make a low-effort review of a style that this corner of the internet doesn't prefer. It would be better if it were just left alone.
It is marketed and sold at a high price. The review is an important teaching point for those who deny the audio electronics progress of the past fifty years. Thank you Amir.
 
Top Bottom