HIGH END 2012: YBA develops four new ranges with Chinese investment, plans to be in shops soon

Making a big impression at the High End 2012 show in Munich was YBA, rolling out four new line-ups developed since it struck a deal with Chinese firm Shenzhen Shanling Digital Technology Development Company in 2009

The Chinese company took a significant shareholding stake in YBA, as part of a plan to expand into the global market with a European brand: YBA founder Yves-Bernard André has stayed as technical consultant, while the CEO is Jacki Pugh, also owner of Epoz and previously with Creek Audio.

Shanling has been looking at the YBA range for the past two years, and says it's 'determined to see YBA re-positioned as one of the world’s leading brands in the hi-fi market', and that it 'fully realises and understands the French heritage of the brand.'

The company adds that 'Shanling’s success lies in its expertise in manufacturing which is where it will focus its attention with YBA. The Signature top of the line range will continue to be built in France.'

Below Signature sit three other ranges – Passion, Heritage and Design – the four line-ups being designed to cover everything from the technology-led sector of the market to the audiophile high end.

The ranges include streaming products alongside CD players and amplification, and even the Signature line-up features a preamplifier (seen at the top of this story) complete with USB, optical and electrical digital inputs. The Signature range also includes a hefty – 30.5kg – statement CD player, and a stereo power amp delivering 200W into 8ohms, and bridgeable to deliver 600W in mono.

The Passion line includes a CD player and both a preamplifier and integrated amplifier (above) with a range of digital inputs, along with a power amp of similar specification to that in the Signature range.

Meanwhile the Heritage line comprises a 100W per channel integrated amp, a matching CD player with electrical and USB digital inputs, and the MP100 Music Server (below).

This last is a network/streaming device able to handle content at up to 24-bit/192kHz using the Wolfson DACs found in other YBA products, and built on the StreamUnlimited platform also found in products from the likes of Musical Fidelity and Pro-ject.

Finally the Design range includes a 50W per channel stereo receiver (above), a CD player with optical and USB inputs, and a DAC with 24/192 capability and a built-in headphone amplifier.

Details of pricing and distribution are expected to be announced soon.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.