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spyder

NAD... Stoneham YI200 Valve amp.

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I have been living with a my new Stoneham YI200 valve amp for a week now and I would like to share my thoughts on this British designed and made light weight valve amp.

I have no affiliation to Stoneham.

The signal chain is as follows, Jack Casady Bass into a Flattley Bass Compressor and Flattley Bass Fuzz using Chord Company Cream Cables.

My quest was to find a light weight valve amp ( no more than 20kg ), around 200 watts and with a simple passive tone stack. After looking at the usual manufactures that are seen in music shops I came across an old Basschat thread talking about a 200w Stoneham prototype amp yet unnamed. The tread explained the amp would be light weight and be in the 200 - 300w range. Later it turned out the Northern Basschat guys named the amp YI-200. Nothing more was said about the amp that I could find so I went on a search to get more info and to look for a chance to buy it.

The amp arrived from Martin at Stoneham in its custom flight case last week.

I opened the packaging and lifted out the amp and was instantly taken aback by the weight. The last time I lifted a valve amp was my old Laney Nexus from about 9 years ago. I remember damaging my back after lifting it up at an outdoor gig. Since then Ive used class D amps but have never really been satisfied with the sonic results.

The amp weighs around 18kg and even I with my damaged spine found the lift just manageable ..... now that's a big win in my books.

Now for the exciting bit....... Plugging it in.

The Jack Casady Bass was plugged straight in without any effects at this stage.

I sold of most of my music gear during the first lock down so my cab choices are very limited. I have an old Fender BXR combo that I use just the speaker part, so this was the first go to cab.

The amp fired up without a hiss, buzz or fart, which was a good sign. I few valve amps that I have had in the past were terrible for noise on switch on.

The amp uses a simple passive tone stack so I set it to the known flat ( ish ) position of Treble and Bass completely off with the Mid set to full. Input gain was set to 3 O'clock position and I set the master volume to the 10 O'clock position.

I flicked the amp off standby and was nearly blown out off my seat............ Wow that was loud.

I turned the amp down to 7 O"clock and played my first notes. The sound was exactly as I would of expected from a clean well designed valve amp. It had midrange harmonic detail that you simply can't get from anything other than a full valve amp. IMHO.

At these setting the amp was indeed tonally flat so I started to just the tone controls. They are subtle in use but have enough range to sculpt a good sound. I settled on the bass and mid controls set to around noon. This gives a subtle bass boost with a bit of mid cut, perfect for my Jack Casady.

The amp has 7 valves in total, 3 pre and 4 power.

Three ECC83 ( 12AX7 ) handle the preamp duties and four KT120 valves give just under 300 watts of clean output power. Plenty of power for any gig that I will need now and in the future.

I started to turn the volume up and up until the house was shaking with every note played. The tone and feel did not change it just got VERY loud.

Next was to give it a little overdrive so I turned the input gain fully up. The bass started to growl as the preamp valves started to overdrive. The sound was as expected, perfect for rock or just to have fun. Now this is not my usual setting as I prefer a clean sound so I backed the gain off to around 3 O'clock and it regained its clean composure.

The previous mentioned Fender combo that I had been using as a cab has now been sold so I'm without a speaker. I worked out a method to connect the amp up to one of my hifi speakers ( HECO DIREKT ). This turned out to really show off what the amps tonal qualities were. My hifi speakers are less coloured tonally than your normal bass speaker cab. I kept the setting the same and connected the two together. The sound tightened up but did not change its fundamental character which is a win. I'm now using the hifi speakers at home for practice until I can get another cab.................Suggestions most welcome.

In summery the amp is clean, refined and the mids contain so much harmonic detail you would not wont for anything else. It's relatively cheap to revalve and weighs less then some class AB amps I've owned.

Thank you Martin at Stoneham for an amazing product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20200928_131734_3.jpg

IMG_20200925_144322_6.jpg

IMG_20200928_131853_5.jpg

IMG_20200928_131909_1.jpg

IMG_20200928_131743_1.jpg

IMG_20200928_131843_1.jpg

 

Edited by spyder
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I've not heard this amp in person but I have heard great things about it, Martin is my go to tech for all things amp, I did briefly chat with him about a baby 100w version of this amp but unfortunately i am too broke to actually commission it. 

 

Matt 

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I’m not a valve user at all, though great to see such a lovely boutique UK product - elegant simplicity

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I was lucky enough to try the prototype of this amp and I think I was the one who introduced it on here. Whilst its labelled as 200w, I believe Martin measured the actual value at 280W hence why it sounds so loud. Still on my wish list, one day soon maybe here. 

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280w RMS from four KT120 valves. 

🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

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2 hours ago, JPJ said:

I was lucky enough to try the prototype of this amp and I think I was the one who introduced it on here. Whilst its labelled as 200w, I believe Martin measured the actual value at 280W hence why it sounds so loud. Still on my wish list, one day soon maybe here. 

Indeed, the original thread is here (although some of the images have gone) Martin did sign up as a member on here to get some input but i don't think he's been back since then.

 

I did ask about a 100W 15" wide version to go with my Barefaced midget stack and Martin implied that it should be possible and around the £1K mark which I think is reasonable but unfortunately not within my budget right now.

 

Matt

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The amp was built on Tyneside, so YI200 translates as 'Why aye' 200 - in other words, OH YES!

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On 06/10/2020 at 14:36, Skybone said:

Very nice looking amp

Thank you.

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Four KT120s? Must have a serious power supply on board. Nice piece of kit.

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On 30/09/2020 at 23:05, Matt P said:

I've not heard this amp in person but I have heard great things about it, Martin is my go to tech for all things amp, I did briefly chat with him about a baby 100w version of this amp but unfortunately i am too broke to actually commission it. 

 

Matt 

Hi Matt, in the 100w valve amp market you’ve a good few options already in avoiding expensive custom builds with a good few second hand offerings floating around. Ashdown , Ampeg , Fender, Handbox all have great amps at this power. second hand ones are going for well under one grand, sometimes as low as £500

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20 minutes ago, Quilly said:

Hi Matt, in the 100w valve amp market you’ve a good few options already in avoiding expensive custom builds with a good few second hand offerings floating around. Ashdown , Ampeg , Fender, Handbox all have great amps at this power. second hand ones are going for well under one grand, sometimes as low as £500

my main reason for talking to Martin was that i was looking for something that was about the same width as my Barefaced Midget cabs (15" or so) i have yet to find a valve amp above 50w that narrow, i have an aversion to amp heads that overhang the cabs (although i have an amp  incoming that breaks that rule but as i am being given it rather than buying it is a little more complicated)

the second reason was that i had heard so many good things about the Stoneham amps that i really fancied one myself but 200w valve amps are very much overkill for the small pubs i tend to play.

If anyone can point me at a 100W valve amp at around 15" wide i would be very happy to consider one.

 

Matt

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43 minutes ago, Matt P said:

my main reason for talking to Martin was that i was looking for something that was about the same width as my Barefaced Midget cabs (15" or so) i have yet to find a valve amp above 50w that narrow, i have an aversion to amp heads that overhang the cabs (although i have an amp  incoming that breaks that rule but as i am being given it rather than buying it is a little more complicated)

the second reason was that i had heard so many good things about the Stoneham amps that i really fancied one myself but 200w valve amps are very much overkill for the small pubs i tend to play.

If anyone can point me at a 100W valve amp at around 15" wide i would be very happy to consider one.

 

Matt

I’ve never been bothered about over hang so long as the feet touch the cabinet or the cabinet fits between the feet. but I can understand how it could annoy a lot of people .

15” could be a bit of a squeeze . I was thinking maybe the Ashdown  little bastard chassis could be used to cram the innards of the CTM 100, you could ask Mark Gooday, I think they do custom stuff 🤷‍♂️

Of course another option is to get a barefaced two10, that’s what I use 

Edited by Quilly

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1 hour ago, Quilly said:

I’ve never been bothered about over hang so long as the feet touch the cabinet or the cabinet fits between the feet. but I can understand how it could annoy a lot of people .

15” could be a bit of a squeeze . I was thinking maybe the Ashdown  little bastard chassis could be used to cram the innards of the CTM 100, you could ask Mark Gooday, I think they do custom stuff 🤷‍♂️

Of course another option is to get a barefaced two10, that’s what I use 

the narrowest 100w all valve head i have found is the Handbox WB-100 at 460mm, so still a bit wider than i'd like (the cabs are 380mm wide) and i think there are only aboyt 3 or 4 in the country.

most valve heads seem to be about 600mm wide and around the 1100 to 1200 quid mark new, this is about what Martin was quoting me for the baby YI-200. 

a different cab is one option but i really do love my barefaced midgets and space is at a premium so any new cabs would have to oust them which i would rather not do.

 

If ampeg had made a 100w version of the portaflex valve heads i would have bought one like a shot, they fit perfectly onto the cabs and having briefly used a PF-20T i'm fairly sure the sound would have been excellent, unfortunately i don't think the 50w version would have enough to keep up with our guitarist and our PA is pretty much vocal only.

 

At the moment i have no gigs on the horizon and the house needs a whole new roof so it's all just wishful thinking.

 

Matt

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1 hour ago, Matt P said:

the narrowest 100w all valve head i have found is the Handbox WB-100 at 460mm, so still a bit wider than i'd like (the cabs are 380mm wide) and i think there are only aboyt 3 or 4 in the country.

most valve heads seem to be about 600mm wide and around the 1100 to 1200 quid mark new, this is about what Martin was quoting me for the baby YI-200. 

a different cab is one option but i really do love my barefaced midgets and space is at a premium so any new cabs would have to oust them which i would rather not do.

 

If ampeg had made a 100w version of the portaflex valve heads i would have bought one like a shot, they fit perfectly onto the cabs and having briefly used a PF-20T i'm fairly sure the sound would have been excellent, unfortunately i don't think the 50w version would have enough to keep up with our guitarist and our PA is pretty much vocal only.

 

At the moment i have no gigs on the horizon and the house needs a whole new roof so it's all just wishful thinking.

 

Matt

I almost forgot...pure tone amps from Greece . They do a very tidy 120w valve amp 

385E86CA-7F4F-498F-AAB8-1202D1D3427A.jpeg

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22 hours ago, Quilly said:

I almost forgot...pure tone amps from Greece . They do a very tidy 120w valve amp 

385E86CA-7F4F-498F-AAB8-1202D1D3427A.jpeg

ooh now that is interesting! any idea on prices? there's nothing on their website. 8.9kg and only 30cm wide!

 

Matt

 

 

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22 hours ago, Quilly said:

I almost forgot...pure tone amps from Greece . They do a very tidy 120w valve amp 

385E86CA-7F4F-498F-AAB8-1202D1D3427A.jpeg

Er... that looks like quite an untidy amp to me!

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18 minutes ago, JapanAxe said:

Er... that looks like quite an untidy amp to me!

True enough - while I don't doubt that it can work and sound good, there are things there that I wouldn't do on a DIY build even as a hobby builder. The open construction with the hot power valve bases right where fingers access the front panel, power valve socket wiring right next to low-level preamp circuitry where it could cause stability issues...

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2 hours ago, JapanAxe said:

Er... that looks like quite an untidy amp to me!

Personally Id like the internals to be completely covered because Id be guarantee to break it otherwise. But Mickalis really knows what he's doing and his amps have gotten rave reviews. They can do what ever you want really.

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On 30/09/2020 at 10:04, spyder said:

I have been living with a my new Stoneham YI200 valve amp for a week now and I would like to share my thoughts on this British designed and made light weight valve amp.

I have no affiliation to Stoneham.

The signal chain is as follows, Jack Casady Bass into a Flattley Bass Compressor and Flattley Bass Fuzz using Chord Company Cream Cables.

My quest was to find a light weight valve amp ( no more than 20kg ), around 200 watts and with a simple passive tone stack. After looking at the usual manufactures that are seen in music shops I came across an old Basschat thread talking about a 200w Stoneham prototype amp yet unnamed. The tread explained the amp would be light weight and be in the 200 - 300w range. Later it turned out the Northern Basschat guys named the amp YI-200. Nothing more was said about the amp that I could find so I went on a search to get more info and to look for a chance to buy it.

The amp arrived from Martin at Stoneham in its custom flight case last week.

I opened the packaging and lifted out the amp and was instantly taken aback by the weight. The last time I lifted a valve amp was my old Laney Nexus from about 9 years ago. I remember damaging my back after lifting it up at an outdoor gig. Since then Ive used class D amps but have never really been satisfied with the sonic results.

The amp weighs around 18kg and even I with my damaged spine found the lift just manageable ..... now that's a big win in my books.

Now for the exciting bit....... Plugging it in.

The Jack Casady Bass was plugged straight in without any effects at this stage.

I sold of most of my music gear during the first lock down so my cab choices are very limited. I have an old Fender BXR combo that I use just the speaker part, so this was the first go to cab.

The amp fired up without a hiss, buzz or fart, which was a good sign. I few valve amps that I have had in the past were terrible for noise on switch on.

The amp uses a simple passive tone stack so I set it to the known flat ( ish ) position of Treble and Bass completely off with the Mid set to full. Input gain was set to 3 O'clock position and I set the master volume to the 10 O'clock position.

I flicked the amp off standby and was nearly blown out off my seat............ Wow that was loud.

I turned the amp down to 7 O"clock and played my first notes. The sound was exactly as I would of expected from a clean well designed valve amp. It had midrange harmonic detail that you simply can't get from anything other than a full valve amp. IMHO.

At these setting the amp was indeed tonally flat so I started to just the tone controls. They are subtle in use but have enough range to sculpt a good sound. I settled on the bass and mid controls set to around noon. This gives a subtle bass boost with a bit of mid cut, perfect for my Jack Casady.

The amp has 7 valves in total, 3 pre and 4 power.

Three ECC83 ( 12AX7 ) handle the preamp duties and four KT120 valves give just under 300 watts of clean output power. Plenty of power for any gig that I will need now and in the future.

I started to turn the volume up and up until the house was shaking with every note played. The tone and feel did not change it just got VERY loud.

Next was to give it a little overdrive so I turned the input gain fully up. The bass started to growl as the preamp valves started to overdrive. The sound was as expected, perfect for rock or just to have fun. Now this is not my usual setting as I prefer a clean sound so I backed the gain off to around 3 O'clock and it regained its clean composure.

The previous mentioned Fender combo that I had been using as a cab has now been sold so I'm without a speaker. I worked out a method to connect the amp up to one of my hifi speakers ( HECO DIREKT ). This turned out to really show off what the amps tonal qualities were. My hifi speakers are less coloured tonally than your normal bass speaker cab. I kept the setting the same and connected the two together. The sound tightened up but did not change its fundamental character which is a win. I'm now using the hifi speakers at home for practice until I can get another cab.................Suggestions most welcome.

In summery the amp is clean, refined and the mids contain so much harmonic detail you would not wont for anything else. It's relatively cheap to revalve and weighs less then some class AB amps I've owned.

Thank you Martin at Stoneham for an amazing product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20200928_131734_3.jpg

IMG_20200925_144322_6.jpg

IMG_20200928_131853_5.jpg

IMG_20200928_131909_1.jpg

IMG_20200928_131743_1.jpg

IMG_20200928_131843_1.jpg

 

Just a quick follow up on my YI-200 review.

On firing up the amp one morning after a few weeks use I discovered a horrible distorted noise coming from the speakers.

I opened the back to view the valves and one was glowing very blue.😡

After a quick conversation with Martin at Stoneham the amp was boxed up and sent to him.

Two days later we talked and one of the KT120 valves had cracked.

Martin advised that he preferred the 6550 valve because of it reliability and sound.

He swapped over the valves did a bias check and soaked tested it for 5 days.

This morning it arrived back 😄 and sounds fantastic.

I would like to thank Martin for his quick response and very professional attitude and advice in sorting out my valve problem.

I thoroughly recommend Martin for his amazing product and professional attitude to his customers.

Thanks again Martin.

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