A beautifully designed and executed linestage in silver with separate power supply. YBA have been sold since 1981 based on “discipline, precision and patience” and this unit exhibits those characteristics (well, not sure about the patience part).
This α 1 sounds terrific and has functioned without flaw for me. No noise in any switches or with the volume pots. The dual volume pots function like a balance control. Phase inversion switch was a surprisingly welcome addition - though not everyone is sensitive to it.
The sound has a magical balance of transparency, color and grainlessness through all inputs. YBA products are sometimes called “tubey” which may be because they are grainless, but not because bass or treble are rolled off. Treble is extended, liquid and clear. The mids are colorful in the way tubes are, but solid state rarely is. Bass is controlled and has very good depth to it, though it’s not “bloomy” or “boomy.” John Atkinson used the "lesser" Model 2 as his reference for two years. The Alpha 1 sounds more refined to my ears than a later Passion model did.
I have had it for less than a year. Why am I selling? I purchased it from a seller listing it as having a phono stage (the face and rear show “ph/aux”) with a bypass feature but it has neither a phono stage nor a home theater bypass function (my mistake). I tried the “phono stage” too late to challenge the sale, so my misfortune is your opportunity. I believe that the bypass function serves to remove certain capacitors from the circuit, but I am speculating.
Was $8,000 when new, asking $2,000. Includes preamp chassis, outboard power supply with captive umbilical cord terminated with an XLR connector for the preamp chassis. Will supply a generic power cord to connect to the wall, it is not a YBA power cord. Has a few very fine scratches - need to be about two inches away to see them and one small ding on the top of the power supply. Face plate looks near new. 7/10 Audiogon grading scale due to one ding on the top of the power supply (maybe it’s 8/10).
No original box or manual but will pack it well and thoroughly - units are small but with packing they will ship “large” together.
CONUS buyers only. Will ship once funds have cleared.
Additional pictures are available upon request.