YBA Genesis IA3A


PrisNOK38 800,00 inkl. mva.
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The addition of Bluetooth to the Genesis range of products added a level of excitement to the legendary YBA hi-fi brand. Without too much trouble, a user can simply pair with whatever device may be preferred (phone, tablet etc.) and be listening to music in no time at all!

The preamplifier offers so much more however …. the IA3A is equipped with one S/PDIF (75 ) COAXIAL digital input, USB (24/192KHz) as well as Bluetooth to receive digital signals from separate digital components. All digital inputs automatically adjust to any of the standard digital-audio datarates from 16/44.1 KHz to 24/192 KHz. There is one digital output plus a pre-out option to use a subwoofer, a separate power amplifier or active speakers.

The preamplifier allows the connection of 2 RCA input sources, where the video input has a bypass option. There is also a balanced input. Should you wish, you can disconnect power to the digital section of your IA3A when using an analogue source. Remember to re-engage this switch when using any digital input.


Product type

Integrated Amplifier

Audio outputs

1 pair of speaker outputs,
1 pre-out (RCA)

Power output

105W @ 8 Ω per channel
150W @ 4 Ω per channel




> 95dB

Frequency Response

20Hz-20kHz (-0.5dB)


< 0.03%


Coaxial, USB, Bluetooth
2 RCA analog signal inputs
1 Balanced analog signal input


Cirrus Logic CS4398

Power Supply

Linear power supply with high performance UICore
transformer 300VA

Color / Finish

Black aluminium with black acrylic panel

Dimensions (w x d x h)

430 x 404 x 115 mm


12 kg

YBA Genesis IA3A


"Darling, it’s a life of surprises”, or so sang Prefab Sprout singer/songwriter Paddy McaLoon. He’s right you know, and hi-fi never fails to cause one’s eyebrows to twitch. Just when you think things are going stale, along comes an interesting new brand and suddenly things change – just a little. Actually, there is nothing new about YBA, because Yves-Bernard André launched it way back in 1981 in his native France. Being an electronics professor, he was understandably less gifted in the logistics of selling than he was in circuit design. The result was that, in the UK at least, until recently the company was one of hi-fi’s best kept secrets.

YBA has, of course, been through many twists and turns since its inception and is now owned by Shanling with its products built in Shenzhen, China. Yet still its founder is very much involved in the design of its products. It has a plethora of ranges, and the Genesis is mid-way up the company product portfolio. The IA3A is an integrated amplifier that sports its own built-in DAC using the well-regarded Cirrus Logic CS4398 chipset. This lets you hook up digital sources via the single S/PDIF coaxial digital input or via USB and can handle signals up to 24-bit/192kHz.

But this is so much more than just a mere DAC; it has a coaxial digital input and output, stereo preamplifier output, and two analogue RCA inputs, plus an analogue balanced input via XLRs. Interestingly and unusually, you can switch off the internal DAC should you wish to stay listening to analogue, via a small toggle on the back panel. A single pair of speaker binding posts is fitted. Inside, there’s a linear power supply with high-performance 300VA UICore transformer, says YBA. The manufacturer claims a power output of 2x 105W RMS into 8ohm, rising to 2x 150W at 4ohm.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but to my eyes the company has made a pretty good job of making what’s essentially a bog-standard box look the part at this price. The acrylic panel fronting the upper half of the fascia really breaks up the somewhat plain exterior and sports a display showing the amplifier’s name in a most attractive yellowy-orange hue, as well as highlighting volume and source selection.

Instead of the usual four, just three feet are fitted which adds to the visual impact. The lower part of the front is normal brushed aluminium, but seems a quality affair. Four of YBA’s distinctive mini toggle switches are fitted, to control both volume and source selection. They look and feel like no other hi-fi product and duly confer some sense of occasion to the Genesis IA3A; I rather like using them, but invariably end up gravitating to the supplied remote control. Overall it is quite well made, but one annoyance is a slight hum on the mains transformer. I live in the darkest recesses of Wiltshire and it’s very quiet here – when I am not playing music, that is. So it’s likely that many users simply won’t be aware of this due to ambient noise, but it is there on the review sample all the same.

Sound quality
Having heard several YBA products before, I am expecting a warm, crisp and musical sound – and that’s precisely what I get. Perhaps the closest British manufacturer to the YBA sound comes from Roksan or perhaps Exposure; this is solid state but with grace, pace and a decent degree of space. It isn’t the sort of amplifier to laser etch the finest details of the recording upon your cranium. Instead, the IA3A is quite laid back and easy going tonally, yet by no means bland and uninvolving. The other side of this, however, is that in absolute terms, and relative to some price rivals, it’s a little looser and less grippy. In hi-fi as in life, it’s a case of deciding what you like and going for it, as no integrated is all things to all people – even at £3,200.

Visioneers’ Oil And Water is about as close to hip-hop as my music collection gets; it’s from a great album – Hipology – that has a wide range of styles from acid jazz to rap, and some sophisticated, soulful electro too. The YBA is in its element with this; although a pretty recent release, it has an analogue feel and is sumptuous tonally. Via a line input, driven from a Chord Hugo 2 DAC (HFC 428), it is smooth but gutsy with plenty of grunt. The midband is even and fairly spacious, with no sense of making vocals and percussion sound overly forward. Treble is relatively smooth too, although there is a slight sense of it being a little veiled. Hi-hat cymbals don’t quite have the bite they should, and also sound very fractionally more coarse than some integrateds I have heard at this price point.

The track is rendered in a most enjoyable way; this amplifier doesn’t hit you with its razor-sharp timing, focusing on the attack transients of the instruments and samples used, yet still manages to merrily roll along in a wholly enjoyable way. This is particularly evident with the early nineties indie-pop of Inspiral Carpets’ Move. This is quite a forward-sounding recording that can actually grate; you can almost feel like you’re under assault. The IA3A most certainly does not do this, choosing instead to lay the soundstage out in an open and orderly way, and stringing the instruments together in a smooth and mellifluous manner. The electric organ that dominates this band’s sound isn’t quite as full on as I expect, and lead vocals seem just that bit less angry. Despite sugaring the musical pill slightly, there is a good degree of involvement to be had, with plenty of foot tapping going on. The bass is EQ’d down on this track – for reasons best known to the recording and/or mastering engineers – but the YBA still has a go at carrying what little low-frequency information there is in a bouncy and propulsive way.

Midband detail isn’t bad, but there are other amplifiers that eke right down into the recording better than this. The Inspirals track illustrates this clearly enough, going for a tidy and ordered presentation that doesn’t drill down too much into the musical story.

Feed this amplifier some classic seventies ambient music from Brian Eno, and there’s a sense that it’s great on the broad brush strokes but not particularly forensic by nature. Energy Fools The Magician sounds powerful and expressive, giving a fine sense of all the instruments playing along together independently, not crowding one another out. Yet at this price it would have been nice to get more resolution to the guitar and bass sound, for example. Also, the cymbals are sweet and smooth, but lack any great feeling of air and space. This said, it still makes an extremely nice noise; there’s definitely a slightly euphonic side to this amplifier’s character because I have heard this track sound far thinner and more sterile elsewhere.

Soundstaging is good, if not exceptional. Steely Dan’s Babylon Sisters is a seventies jazz rock tour de force – as any self-respecting child of that decade will know. It’s a big-sounding track with certain instruments like the Fender Rhodes keyboard and rhythm guitar hard panned to the extremities of the soundstage. The YBA certainly obliges by rendering this in an expansive and powerful way, yet within this it doesn’t do quite so well in placing elements in the mix accurately; things seem a little vague in the precise point in space they are located. At the same time, depth perspective isn’t as good as some rivals I have heard; the IA3A tending to keep things fairly close to the plane of the loudspeakers rather than allowing the recorded acoustic to fall back a bit as and when it should. Instead, what it gives the listener is a great big wall of sound; it’s warm, smooth and deftly handled rhythmically with good dynamic accenting, but skates over some aspects of the music a little in a bid to make things sound so nice.

Using the amplifier’s built-in DAC tightens things up somewhat, and the recorded acoustic snaps into focus. Bo-Till by Clifford Jordan and John Gilmore is an energetic slice of modern jazz with remarkable sound considering it was recorded in 1957. The YBA’s internal converter gives a rawer rendition of it, losing a little finesse and poise compared with when Chord Electronics’ Hugo 2 is employed, but still it acquires energy and life. The tonal balance hardens up a little, as does the spatial information about the recording with the two tenor saxophones and the piano being more explicitly located. The result is great fun, with the built-in DAC proving far less compromised than I expect. Bluetooth connectivity is also a useful inclusion to have and is surprisingly listenable, but don’t expect it to make your primary music source redundant. In my experience, implementations of this technology vary greatly; the IA3A easily pairs up to my various iDevices and gives a consistent, relatively glitch-free performance and has quite a decent wireless range. It’s far from CD quality, but done well Bluetooth can sound respectable. The naturally smooth and even euphonic presentation of the amp means it suits this humble form of wireless streaming quite well. For example, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky is lots of fun; there’s an obvious lack of resolution and definition, but it does well imparting the music’s catchy rhythms courtesy of Nile Rodgers and that big, warm bass and generally gutsy nature of the YBA gets the house dancing.

The YBA Genesis IA3A is a seriously capable upmarket integrated amplifier. It has a very personable and charming sound, lots of power and quirky and original styling and user interface. Don’t let the unusual look and slightly odd ergonomics put you off, this is well worth a listen if you’re in the market for a solid-state integrated amplifier at the price. DP    

Product: YBA Genesis IA3A
Price: £3,200
Origin: France/China
Type: Integrated amplifier/DAC
Weight: 12kg
Dimensions: (WxHxD) 430 x 115 x 404mm

● Quoted power output: 2x 105W RMS (8ohm)
● 24-bit/192kHz-capable DAC
● Analogue inputs: 2x RCAs; 1x XLRs
● Digital inputs: 1x coaxial; 1x USB-B; Bluetooth

Read the full review in June 2019 issue 450

YBA Genesis IA3A Integrated Amplifier Review | StereoNET United Kingdom

Review: Yba Genesis Ia3a Integrated Amplifier

We have been working our way through selected components of YBA's Genesis range. We have covered the excellent PH-1 battery-powered phono stage and the CD4 CD player, and now we take a closer look at the Genesis IA3A integrated amplifier.


Genesis IA3A

Integrated Amplifier


If you have been following our progress through the YBA Genesis range, you will already be familiar with the black acrylic and brushed aluminium design. Again, here the acrylic section houses the display that clearly shows you the selected Source on the left and the Volume on the right.

YBA Genesis IA3 Integrated Review

The only other things of note on the IA3A's fascia are the four toggle switches which are used to raise/lower the output volume on the right-hand bank and to select the source input using the left bank.

YBA Genesis IA3 Integrated Review

Along the top of the 2 x 105 watts @ 8 Ohms, IA3A integrated amplifier is a row of cut-outs in the 4mm-thick aluminium casement for cooling. At first glance, we were not convinced that this would be enough. However, at no point over the time we had the YBA integrated did it ever feel like it was going to overheat.

YBA Genesis IA3 Integrated Review

Around the rear of the unit, the ins and outs include one S/PDIF coaxial digital input plus a USB port (24/192KHz). Digital inputs automatically adjust to any of the standard digital audio data rates from 16/44.1KHz to 24/192KHz. To use the USB input with a computer, Windows users will have to install a driver. Analogue-wise, a two RCA and one balanced pair add to the available inputs. Also, the video input features a bypass option. The DAC is the familiar Cirrus Logic CS4398.

The pre-out provides for the addition of a separate power amplifier, an active subwoofer or perhaps a pair of active speakers. There is also a digital coaxial output.

Proving its up-to-date chops, there is Bluetooth connectivity supporting the latest aptX transfer protocol for smart device streaming.

Finally, the entire digital section can be turned off with a switch at the back, allowing you to listen to your analogue sources without any digital disturbance.

The only thing really missing from this rather comprehensive connectivity compilation is a headphone jack - not a deal-breaker, just something that would have been the proverbial cherry on top of an already delectable offering.

The fit and finish are, how we have now come to expect, faultless; even where the acrylic butts up against the aluminium - no ragged edges, no uneven seams, just excellent engineering.

As standard for YBA components, the 12kg amplifier stands on three feet with the single central one upfront located immediately below the power transformer and so, in a fashion, supports the unit's centre of gravity.

Feeding the YBA Genesis IA3A is the line's CD4 CD player and a VPI Prime by way of the YBA Genesis PH-1 phono stage. Everything is being sent out to a pair of Marten Duke 2 speakers connected to the amp via Jorma Design cables and sat upon SolidSteel stands.

YBA Genesis IA3 Sound Quality

We have been living with the Genesis IA3A integrated for a while now, occasionally swapping it out for something such as the Musical Fidelity M6si or another integrated we currently have for review just to cleanse our aural palate. Every time we return to the Genesis amp, it proves itself to be an incredibly friendly and articulate performer.

YBA Genesis IA3 Integrated Review

Starting our listening session was Stravinski's The Rite of Spring performed by Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and conducted by Péter Eötvös, and even at its height, the strings have drive and energy with without the top-end being aggressive or, at the other end of the scale, thin. The same goes for the brass section, which has a lush depth without the harsh edge that some amps might present. The bassoon is the star of the show here which also displays how good the amp handles the mids and low mids too. Moreover, Rite not being exactly a straightforward orchestral piece, the amp needs to be able to display precision as well as power, which the IA3 does well above its pay grade.

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is a favourite at SNUK HQ and the plaintive piano moving to full ensemble shows the YBA's excellent transparency and, again, clarity. Furthermore, the nuances and subtleties of Andre Previn's performance are picked out exquisitely with rich harmonics from the piano.

Prince's Sign o' The Times album might look to be an odd choice here, but the production is spot on in our opinion. The dry, clean tracks are held together by those unmistakable vocals and that trademark guitar sound - it is purest Prince. Then, throw in the brass sections, sound effects, backing vocals, and flamboyant soloing it is just class. However, for that seemingly simple recipe, the system being used needs to remain uncoloured, giving the music a blank canvas to paint on. Here, the IA3 excels. The restrained funk of The Ballad of Dorothy Parker works well with the harmonised vocals over funky bass and sparse drums, whereas Housequake sees Prince in full-on party mode. The reversed snare in Starfish and Coffee almost has us hypnotised as it pans through the speakers.

YBA Genesis IA3 Integrated Review

Nils Lofgren's live rendition of Keith Don't Go is one of those 'mouths wide open' moments. As soon as his distinctive guitar work starts, he is in the room with you. However, the high level of expression in his vocals is what makes our jaw drop. The acoustic guitar is rich with a sharp and edgy attack preceding a natural harmonic decay. On the subject of harmonics the middle-eight at around 3:30 rings through the Duke 2s with wonderfully natural clarity.

Squirting Billie Eilish's latest through to the amp using aptX Bluetooth adds another string to the amp's already well-spec'd bow. The low-end from tracks such as Bad Guy and Bury a Friend is well-maintained and allows the Marten standmounts a chance to show off their bass-handling skills. As mentioned with Prince, the effects and samples such as finger snaps and claps in Bad Guy, come through crystal clear and pin-sharp.

Finally, Pink Floyd's One of These Days from Meddle wrapped everything up. The IA3's sense of rhythm and dynamics pushes it above most of the similarly-priced offerings from elsewhere.


The Genesis IA3 integrated amplifier may only be on YBA's second-tier, but this goes to hint at what further delights are in store higher up the French firm's ladder.

The IA3 has a gorgeous transparency about it. Additionally, the tonality and deft handling of dynamics raise this integrated amplifier above most we have experienced within this price bracket.

The Genesis amp isn't as cold and clinical as some solid-state amps can be and there is a degree of realism to the amp's performance that impresses. It is sure-footed and fluid. We were drawn into the music thanks to the YBA Genesis integrated's perfect balance of tone, colour and detail.

We tested the amp with the Revel speakers we also had in for review at the same time and, where the sound was still impressive, the component truly shone with the Martens which leads us to believe that the mid-range YBA could easily hold its own with even higher-tiered loudspeakers.

If YBA just added one or two more pairs of RCAs and, perhaps, a headphone out, the Genesis IA3 would be perfect. As it is, the integrated amplifier is highly recommended by us here at StereoNET UK and we are certain that this amp will quickly show most other integrateds at this price point a clean pair of heels.

For more information, go to YBA.

Tech Spec

  • Audio Outputs - 1 pair of speaker outputs,1 pre-out (RCA)
  • Power Outputs - 105W @ 8 Ohms per channel, 150W @ 4 Ohms per channel
  • Gain - +6dB
  • SNR - >95dB
  • Frequency Response - 20Hz – 20kHz (-0.5dB)
  • THD+N - (20Hz – 20kHz) // <0.03%
  • Inputs - Coaxial, USB, Bluetooth, 2 RCA analogue signal inputs, 1 Balanced analogue signal input
  • DAC - Cirrus Logic CS4398
  • Power Supply - Linear power supply with high-performance UICore transformer 300VA
  • Dimensions (w x d x h) - 430 x 404 x 115 mm
  • Weight - 12kg

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