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Yaqin SD-CD3 Tube Processor - add valves to any Hi-Fi

We're back in the world of audio today with one of the strange devices you can usually find in the back of a HiFi magazine. Alongside the adverts for isolation feet, electricity conditioners and oxygen free cable I spotted a device that promised to bring the 'richness of tubes' to any HiFi. However I didn't buy that device (the IFi Micro itube stage buffer), and I'd still love to test it out, but it did plant a seed in my head which ultimately resulted in me buying the Yaqin SD-CD3 that you can see tested below.

The Yaqin SD-CD3, can be found on Amazon US and UK

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Reader Comments (9)

Do you think there would be a market for a device that introduces a good old hum in your audio?

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commentervimes

Nice one as always Mat.

I can see that you are falling in to the classic trap that all manufacturers (of anything) want you to fall into! You said it yourself :" Does it sound hundreds of dollars better? "No - but it does sound a little bit better". :) Of course it does sound a bit better - or, putting it another way- "Does a 20MP camera take better pictures than an 18MP camera?" "Will my computer work better if I upgrade to 16GB of memory?" Or, "Will a £200 electronic drumkit make me a better drummer than the £100 kit I have already?"

Isn't this the law of diminishing returns in action? Spend ever greater sums of money on smaller and smaller improvements? It's what makes capitalism great!

Do you see where I am going with this?

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterQuaser

Hey mat, what the heck happen to your left hand, you been feeding tigers again?

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpaul

That urban myth about touching vavles might originate from halogen bulbs. Those get a lot hotter, and are mader of fused silica glass. And because of the hot temperature the fatty acids on your finger can etch into the material those are made from.

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBram

I have come across those mains leads before. No only without a fuse but insulation on the earth pin. Someone is trying to kill us Brits!

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered Commenteral

Hi Mat,
Thanks for another entertaining and informative review.
When I was in the Hi Fi trade people started to become purists and would spend ages debating the quality of the connecting cable and even which way round they were.
I was quite fortunate in the 1960's that I could go and listen to valve radiograms which had a nice "Tone" was the word.
Hi fidelity is a bit of a misnomer really where people get lost in hearing every microscopic blemish then denounce it as audio heresy. Switching boxes were a no no and tone controls vanished off high end equipment.
I'm now at an age where I can't hear much beyond 9 kHz and valves or class A Mos Fet sound good to me.
I would go to say that listening to your favourite LP CD or tape recording is far more important than the equipment you listen on otherwise I would never have enjoyed listening to my 1970s Roberts radio in the bath.

February 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Travis

The reason greasy fingers damage valves is on an ionic level. Will it affect the sound? - Probably not. Will you have to replace the valves much sooner - DEFINATELY. Try really pawing over a bulb one side and not touching the glass on the other side the next time you replace your car headlight bulbs. This is not snake oil, It is physics.

November 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Sorry to disappoint, but the information you are posting is inaccurate. Read up on the subject and you'll see the information you are imparting is just an old wives tale with no basis in fact. I really wouldn't be so bold to post misinformation passed on from someone who was also repeating misinformation.
Halogen bulbs <> Tubes
I love learning new information, but I always do the research, I don't immediately accept things I am told as facts and then repeat them to's always worthwhile reading up on subjects to avoid embarrassment.
Tubes fail due to the internal components wearing out...the glass doesn't break, blow, crack except on impact.

November 12, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

These have been out for a while.
Musical Fidelity produced one for a while.

Now I do have doubts about adding valves as opposed to using a valve pre and or power amp, but there may be more going on than just adding valve sound.
I believe that the input impedance of most valve stages is much higher than a transistor/ op-amp stage and this could mean that there is less current being taken from the CD player (or other source).
This, I believe, can mean lower distortion and so a more relaxed presentation.
I seem to remember that valves are also good at driving input stages.

Sometimes these devices have been sold as impedance matchers (I think).

Perhaps someone with a better understanding could elaborate, as my electronics knowledge is a bit limited.

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterIan

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