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Posts by project86

Around here, the Yulong is $1200 and the NuPrime is $1800. So there is a price difference but definitely not double/half price.    I do feel the NuPrime is the better device by a reasonable margin. It's worth it for me. The amp section is good enough to be the only amp you might own, while with the Yulong I can see wanting to eventually add a dedicated amp. The NuPrime looks better, has more transparent sound, and even works as a preamp for analog sources. The only...
  The AK devices don't have what is usually called a "true" line-out. The output is placed after the volume stage, and at that point there's some degredation from running it through essentially two amplification stages (the AK, then the V281). That could result in some bad behavior. Also are you listening via the 1/4" output on the V281? Because the single ended output is also slightly darker or less resolving than the balanced out. 
I'm always hesitant to use such generalizations - devices using Sabre chips can sound wildly different, as can those with AKM DAC chips. There are good and bad examples of each.
It's an interesting discussion for sure. When I first got the Auralic Taurus in for review back in the day, their brand was not very well known at all. They had a few products overseas in their home market like the Ark MX DAC and the Bugatti headphone amp, which seem to be the precursors to the Vega and Taurus. Somehow they went from a fairly unknown brand to something of a household name in audiophile circles. How did they make this transformation? There's no easy...
I've had good luck with slot loading drives, with no scratching that I can see. There's usually a soft layer of something that looks like felt or similar material lining the slot entrance, so unless you are really forceful with shoving the disc in there, it should be fine.  
  I feel it is quite good - not easily improved unless you spring for a really nice DDC. For example my Stello U3 does not improve anything, and may actually make it worse. My Resonessence Concero used as a USB to SPDIF converter sounds very slightly different (due to their proprietary digital filter perhaps?) but not necessarily any better. I have to use my Audiophileo 1 with PurePower, or the new Singxer SU-1, to find a small improvement. Honestly it's not really worth...
  Not that I necessarily recommend taking the Taobao route (it has ups and downs for sure) but I do need to point out the Cayin DAC and amp both have voltage selection switches around back. So this particular concern is a non-issue. 
No, I can't say anything further at the moment. Sorry!
Sorry I haven't heard the Hilo in a long time. The Matrix X-Sabre is about to be superseded with an upgaded model coming very soon, so I'm not sure I'd buy the original new at this point. But a used one makes sense, it's still a great DAC. Matrix is a little more exciting, rich midrange and some emphasis down low. The NuPrime is neutral to a fault so the rest of your system better be ready for that. 
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