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Yulong DAC - Page 5

post #61 of 152
Can someone who has the Yulong test it using multiple sources? I was going to buy it soon, but if it randomly switches sources that would be a deal breaker.

I'm also curious of the order of the switching?? Is it something like this:
(just guessing here and this would be ideal)
-------------------------
Turn the unit on: Optical selected automatically.
Mode Switch: Coax
Mode Switch: Analog
Mode Switch: USB
Mode Switch: Back to Optical - rinse. repeat.
-------------------------
[/QUOTE]

That's more or less it - except that coax is the default. I am running the USB, Optical and Coaxial into the Yulong at the same time with no random switching or anything strange like that.

I must reitterate that the COAX is far superior
post #62 of 152
As promised, here's my review. For this review I had two goals: compare the performance of the Yulong’s various inputs against each other, and compare the Yulong against the DV337 amp. The following equipment was involved:

Yulong DAH-1 Mark Amp/D/A converter (Yulong)
Darkvoice 337 amp with stock tubes (DV337)
Musical Fidelity 192Khz upsampling DAC (MF DAC)
Squeezebox
Laptop (for USB)
Sony MDR-CD3000 headphones

For phase 1, I created a setup where the Yulong was simultaneously connected to all 4 types of input, Any music that was played was synchronized across all inputs. The Yulong has a relay when switching inputs, so when pressing “mode” the switch is done physically and is instantaneous. This is a good thing. The configuration is as follows:

Laptop --USB--> Yulong
Squeezebox --Optical--> Yulong
Squeezebox --Coax--> MF DAC --Coax--> Yulong
Squeezebox --Coax--> MF DAC --RCA--> Yulong

The first thing I tested was the noise floor. When disconnected from its inputs, the USB and optical sources make a quiet digital static-like noise. When connected, all inputs are virtually silent. There is some white noise that can be heard, but only in a quiet room with no music playing.

Next, I played a variety of music and switched back and forth between all the inputs. Perhaps I don’t have the golden ears of some of the people here, but there is no noticeable difference in sound between any of the digital inputs. There is, however, some difference between the analog and the digital inputs, most likely due to the difference in DACs. The Yulong’s DAC is a touch brighter than the MF DAC. My guess is that this is due to the interpolation/curve smoothing that the up-sampling DAC is doing at higher frequencies. Which sounds better? It’s probably up to personal preference.

Overall, the Yulong is a very capable device. It blows away my external USB soundblaster card and my iPod in all aspects. My primary complaint with it is that the display is way too dark. In dark lighting, it’s clearly visible, but in daylight, it’s unreadable. I wish it had a brightness adjustment of some sort.

For phase 2, I hooked up the DV337. It has separate analog volume controls for each channel. To eliminate volume bias, I put a 2khz sine wave through both amps and matched all output voltages (to about 30mV AC+DC) using a Fluke multimeter. Interesting observation: the output voltage on the DV337 fluctuated quite significantly compared to the Yulong (+-2mV vs +-.01mV). This didn’t seem to have any effect on my perception of the sound though. The following two configuations were compared:

Laptop --USB--> Yulong
Laptop --USB--> Yulong --RCA--> DV337

The differences between the Yulong and DV337 are rather subtle. The main difference in the sound between these two is the DV337 seems to project better separation. I was more aware of what was coming out of each channel than on the Yulong. The DV337 also seems to have slightly more powerful bass. If I wasn’t doing an A/B comparison, and only listened to the two on separate occasions, I doubt I would be able to say which one sounded better. I had my parents over for dinner that night and I let them compare the two. My dad couldn’t tell any difference. My mom made note that instruments could be slightly more clearly distinguished on the DV337, but the differences were very small.

One other observation: I tested the power draw on the two amps at idle. The Yulong used 7W and the DV337 used 137W. The DV337 is quite the heater.

post #63 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILikeHeadphones View Post
I'm also curious of the order of the switching??
Pretty close to what you had, but it's the following:

Turn the unit on: Coaxial
Mode Switch: USB
Mode Switch: Optical
Mode Switch: PCM
Mode Switch: Back to Coaxial

The annoying thing, as you've probably gathered elsewhere, is that the volume is reset (to -60dB) following a power cycle, and there's no 'standby' mode (the 'Power' button on the remote doesn't do anything).
post #64 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abubizarre View Post
The quality of the Yulong DAH1 Mark was a bit suspect - or so I thought when I first tried it from my laptop via USB. I am listening with the Stax SRS-3050a system, a bit higher end than the Yulong, but while in usb mode I found it a little sibilant, some harshness (just a little though), lacking bass extension and weight (the STAX are often blamed - but...)

The soundstage in USB mode wasnt bad really, but instruments do seem to have a slight colouration - they don't sound quite right.

However, I have just returnéd from Akihabara, Tokyo where I bought a SPDIF optical cable to run from my Toshiba Qosmio laptop (Audiotrak Glass Black - Y6980 (Yodobashi).

Amazing difference the optical cables makes really, all the problems that I described are no longer apparent, except the bass extension - which my Senn HD650 of course excels in. The track I usually test extension with is "Passover" - by Joy Division from the Closer album. There is a very low freq. guitar sound, I would expect this to be below 20Hz.

I will test this on my HD650 when I get back home - I am leaving Japan day after tomorrow >

Also, I am using cheap cables - the free ones that come with midprice electronics. I have some Van Den Hul The First Ultimate, which I'll try when I'm back.

Also, I have the MF X10-D buffer stage which I'll plug and give my opinion later.

Right now, Nine Horses (a David Sylvian offshoot band) is playing - this is superb, bass weight, top freq extension - very very good.

The only qualm I have is a slight harshness in his voice - I honestly suspect the interconnects are to blame. I have had this problem before which was solved by my VDH Firsts - I realy adore those cables - all carbon no metal.

I am listening also to Jacques Brel recently - sounds not as you might expect a 1950s recording to sound like - excellent remastering.
It's important to note that all USB interfaces are not equal. There basically two classes: the manufacturers that use the plug-and-play TI PCM270X device and the others that use the TAS1020 device, which requires custom USB firmware, either licensed or written by the designer. The PCM270X device has gotten a lot of bad reviews. On the other hand, the TAS1020 has gotten positive reviews, and rivals CD playback, sometimes even better. There are only a small number of manufacturers using the TAS1020. Most USB interfaces are the PCM270X. This is likely one of them.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
post #65 of 152
Can I know how is the output stage of Yulong being done ?

Is it using Opamp? Does it come with socket ? or the opamp is using surface mount?
post #66 of 152
#Spizm

How does Yulong DAC compare to Musical Fidelity DAC using same amplifier?
post #67 of 152
I really can't decide between the Yulong or a modded Zero. Wich one sounds better? I am looking for a "plug and play" device. I favor the Yulong because of the analog-in the zero hasn't, but when the zero sounds much better i would take it. Are there miles between them both or just nuances that would go with personal preference?
post #68 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by freak View Post
#Spizm
How does Yulong DAC compare to Musical Fidelity DAC using same amplifier?
The Yulong DAC is a little brighter than the Musical Fidelity DAC. Drums and cymbals are more present through the Yulong. Because of that, the Yulong might also be interpreted as harsher than the the MF DAC.
post #69 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by spizm View Post
The Yulong DAC is a little brighter than the Musical Fidelity DAC. Drums and cymbals are more present through the Yulong. Because of that, the Yulong might also be interpreted as harsher than the the MF DAC.
Musical Fidelity DAC is much more expensive than Yulong DAC. Is there noticable difference in sound quality in favor of MF? I know that Yulong is a bit brighter but is this all that separates them?
post #70 of 152
For the 10-15 minutes I spent comparing the two DACs, there are some very subtle differences, but nothing notable other than the brightness. I might have a more thorough impression if I spent a few hours with each, but that also shows how subtle the differences are.
post #71 of 152
thanks for the info
post #72 of 152
I have a Yulong DAH1 Mark in shipment at the moment. I will post my own experience with this unit after I receive it.
post #73 of 152
so where exactly.. can i get one to play with..
post #74 of 152
Interesting, yet so frustrating

I have a question though. Hope someone could answer.
The DAH1 seems to have two sets of rca-pairs out, one saying "DAC OUT" and other "LINE OUT". Does this mean that i can only use the 'line out' as a loop? What I would like, is to have a fixed output (no volume-control) for my headphone amps, and a 'pre-out' for my Adamn A5 -activespeakers for which the volume control would be a must! And since it comes with a remote, I couldn't ask more at this price point.

Any info/experience on this? Thank you!

-K
post #75 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by electropop View Post
Interesting, yet so frustrating

I have a question though. Hope someone could answer.
The DAH1 seems to have two sets of rca-pairs out, one saying "DAC OUT" and other "LINE OUT". Does this mean that i can only use the 'line out' as a loop? What I would like, is to have a fixed output (no volume-control) for my headphone amps, and a 'pre-out' for my Adamn A5 -activespeakers for which the volume control would be a must! And since it comes with a remote, I couldn't ask more at this price point.

Any info/experience on this? Thank you!

-K
I haven't received my unit yet (unfortunately), but from the way those outputs are described, I would assume that "line out" are the outputs you would use if you are using the unit as a preamp and hooking it into a separate power amp. In my case, that's exactly what I will be doing. I will have an interconnect cable running from the line out on the DAH1 to my NAD C272 amplifiers. I will then use the volume control on the Yulong to control my system.

Now if you have another integrated amplifier, headphone amp, or receiver that you'd like to use with the DAH1, you would use the "dac out" outputs. That would mean that the volume control on the DAH1 becomes inactive, and the unit functions as a stand-alone dac (the same way a stand long cd player or dvd player would work).

These are my assumptions (someone who actually has the unit can confirm that).
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