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Review: Yulong D100 DAC/amp - reference quality with a reasonable price - Page 3

post #31 of 1160

 

Just wanted to add that I picked this unit up based on this review, and after a month of ownership I couldn't be happier.  The unit is absolutely dead silent and only warm to the touch after being on continuously.  It also remembers the input source when powered on/off which is a nice touch over previous models.  My only request would be for a front panel power switch and pre-amp section.  It'd also be nice if the unit could stack with the Yulong Amp one as the prior units did :0

 

I did have one issue with my unit and that was with using the USB inputs.  I found that while switching between full screen apps (for example video games), the D100 would lose signal lock and put out a very loud, nasty hiss.  This seemed to only be a problem with my Gigabyte USB 3.0 board.  Going back to a USB 2.0 board on my wife's computer turned out to eliminate the problem.  Using optical output also fixes the problem.

 

Sonically, I think the DAC section compares very well to the Stello DA100 which it is replacing.  I honestly can't tell much of a difference with most music (or between the usb and digital inputs), and I think you'd need to be intimately familiar with both the program material and source to be able to differentiate the two.  Compared to the soundcard analog out there's a subtle (as in only an audiophile would notice), but noticeable difference in overall space, smoothness, and top end clarity.  In all honesty I think you couldn't ask for more in a DAC and I wouldn't spend more money for the improvements I've heard in megabuck DACs.  That money would probably be better spent upgrading your headphones or amps.

 

While the amp section is very nice if you're on a budget, it does lack control as volume increases.... although at that point I'm unsure if its my headphones (hd600) that are giving out or the amp.  I don't have anything to compare it to other than my dv337 and it doesn't really compare, although again the differences are subtle unless you are very familiar with both amps and the program material.  I just felt the dv337 had a touch less grain, a little more space, and stronger/more controlled bass.

 

Very happy overall with the value and performance as a DAC only, and if you were to use the headphone amp I think you would have an unbeatable combo for the money.

post #32 of 1160
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVU View Post

I'm curious about the 1704 - it's only a bit more expensive - about $550, and appears to be a possible alternative to the audio-gd DAC19+C2 combo for $950 or so that uses some similar parts.  I wouldn't expect it would be as good, but then it's almost half the price.  

 

http://www.audiophilechina.com/cp-show.asp?C_id=173&S_id2=37&s_id=38

 

I'm curious about that as well, I never saw it until now. Just looking at the guts from the picture there, it seems to use the same Plitron torroid, and perhaps some of the same Rubicon caps, but everything else looks like a totally different design. To me, that speaks of Yulong as a serious audio company with different designs, rather than just reconfiguring the D100 with a PCM1704 and calling it a different model. Again, I have not heard this thing at all, but the parts list is solid. Apart from the PCM1704 though, I don't know that we can say it is similar to the Audio-GD unit. I do notice that the DAC19 uses a basic PCM270x USB input, while this Yulong uses the very nice TAS1020B, so it theoretically has the edge when used with USB. Again, all speculation.

 

Somebody please buy one and try it, be sure to post impressions!



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by npdang View Post

 

Just wanted to add that I picked this unit up based on this review, and after a month of ownership I couldn't be happier.  The unit is absolutely dead silent and only warm to the touch after being on continuously.  It also remembers the input source when powered on/off which is a nice touch over previous models.  My only request would be for a front panel power switch and pre-amp section.  It'd also be nice if the unit could stack with the Yulong Amp one as the prior units did :0

 

I did have one issue with my unit and that was with using the USB inputs.  I found that while switching between full screen apps (for example video games), the D100 would lose signal lock and put out a very loud, nasty hiss.  This seemed to only be a problem with my Gigabyte USB 3.0 board.  Going back to a USB 2.0 board on my wife's computer turned out to eliminate the problem.  Using optical output also fixes the problem.

 

Sonically, I think the DAC section compares very well to the Stello DA100 which it is replacing.  I honestly can't tell much of a difference with most music (or between the usb and digital inputs), and I think you'd need to be intimately familiar with both the program material and source to be able to differentiate the two.  Compared to the soundcard analog out there's a subtle (as in only an audiophile would notice), but noticeable difference in overall space, smoothness, and top end clarity.  In all honesty I think you couldn't ask for more in a DAC and I wouldn't spend more money for the improvements I've heard in megabuck DACs.  That money would probably be better spent upgrading your headphones or amps.

 

While the amp section is very nice if you're on a budget, it does lack control as volume increases.... although at that point I'm unsure if its my headphones (hd600) that are giving out or the amp.  I don't have anything to compare it to other than my dv337 and it doesn't really compare, although again the differences are subtle unless you are very familiar with both amps and the program material.  I just felt the dv337 had a touch less grain, a little more space, and stronger/more controlled bass.

 

Very happy overall with the value and performance as a DAC only, and if you were to use the headphone amp I think you would have an unbeatable combo for the money.

 

Thanks for posting your impressions, I appreciate having a bit of validation on this thing.

 

I also have a DarkVoice 337 (mine is an SE, not that it should really matter) and I think you are spot on with your comparison. Of course, the 337 excels at smoothness, power, and expansive soundstage, so really you are just describing its strengths. But it does outclass the D100's amp.

 

The HD600 is also not the absolute best with the D100. I find that most IEMs, Grados, and Audio Technicas seem to extract the maximum performance from it, and with those it is hard to beat. Senns and Beyers are still very good but not quite on par with some very good stand alone amps. Still, to get this much performance from a built in amp is a welcome surprise, especially at this price point.

 

post #33 of 1160

I was very curious about the 1704 as well, especially since it was stackable with the AmpONE but in the end went with the d100 because it had actually been positively reviewed (thanks once again!) and as a bonus had balanced outputs.  I just hate being the guinea pig for products that hum/hiss/fail to work properly no matter how well they sound.

 

Does anyone think that switching from a Dark Voice 337 to a Little Dot balanced amp would make sense?  I absolutely love the hd600 and DV337 combo, but now that I have a balanced source I can't help but wonder if there would be any improvement.

post #34 of 1160
Quote:
Originally Posted by npdang View Post

I was very curious about the 1704 as well, especially since it was stackable with the AmpONE but in the end went with the d100 because it had actually been positively reviewed (thanks once again!) and as a bonus had balanced outputs.  I just hate being the guinea pig for products that hum/hiss/fail to work properly no matter how well they sound.

 

Does anyone think that switching from a Dark Voice 337 to a Little Dot balanced amp would make sense?  I absolutely love the hd600 and DV337 combo, but now that I have a balanced source I can't help but wonder if there would be any improvement.

Going for a balanced rig will definitely improve your hearing experience. You'd need to recable your HD600 first though.
 

post #35 of 1160

Just purchased a D100 from casque_hifi, will do a quick review once it arrives over here.

post #36 of 1160
Thread Starter 

For everyone who asked about the 1704 unit: I got some info about it, thanks to my friend from this forum who helped me translate back and forth with Yulong.

 

In summary, the 1704 is supposedly a better DAC when fed from a high end source, but is not as good in several other ways. The D100, with the ASRC function, is less dependant on the source, and is thus preferable if you might be using something other than a top quality front end. Also, the USB input and headphone amp are both "much better" on the D100. This is per the manufacturer so I assume it is good info. Buried in the 1704 listing is info that you can get a DAC only version, without headphone amp. If that brought the price down a bit, and the user did not intend on using USB, the 1704 could be worth looking at.

post #37 of 1160

Thanks for the info, project86.  I definitely am after USB performance, so the D100 is looking like a good unit for me.

 

By the way, do you have any info on output impedance for the RCA outs?  I'd like to be able to use this DAC with active monitors and a passive attenuator, but passive attenuators require a low impedance input for optimal performance.  These specs aren't listed on any of the sites selling the D100!

post #38 of 1160
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Trooper View Post

Thanks for the info, project86.  I definitely am after USB performance, so the D100 is looking like a good unit for me.

 

By the way, do you have any info on output impedance for the RCA outs?  I'd like to be able to use this DAC with active monitors and a passive attenuator, but passive attenuators require a low impedance input for optimal performance.  These specs aren't listed on any of the sites selling the D100!



Sorry, I don't know either. I checked the manual but it doesn't say. The seller I got it from on eBay is named wsz0304 and they were pretty good about answering questions, so you might give that a try.

 

While looking in the manual, I thought some of the measurement readouts might be nice to post, so I scanned them. They would be a lot more useful if we had a bit more information, but I'll take what I can get.

 

graph1.bmp

 

graph2.bmp

 

 

graph3.bmp

post #39 of 1160

The unit sounds interesting - but I'd like to use it with phones and speakers, so (unless getting something like Adam A3x or A5x with a single volume control) I'd like to have volume control also on the line outs.

 

Does anyone have information whether Yulong intends to release a corresponding version?

 

Yukon Trooper, could you please point me to the passive attenuator you intend to use?

 

Thanks!

post #40 of 1160

project86, you state that the amplifier part of the D100 is almost as good as the Matrix m-stage. Just to be sure: does this include driving the AKG K701/K702? (The m-stage seems to be very well liked with the K701/K702.)

 

Thanks!

post #41 of 1160

casque_hifi just told me that they're on summer vacation and will send my package in 5-6 days from France, but marked shipped on the 10th. I am deeply disappointed and will request a refund to buy a Audio-gd DAC.

post #42 of 1160

Ai, well I am quite curious. I found the Benchmark DAC 1 quite interesting but this D100 is more fitting for my budget and it works with my CD-player from what I just read. 

 

What about the power supply, is it good as it is?

post #43 of 1160

Turns out that my Yulong D100 is safely on it's way and should arrive today or tomorrow. Was some misunderstanding from their side.

post #44 of 1160

@project86 and any other IEM users

 

I have a top-tier IEM (Earsonics SM3) and am considering getting a new DAC. I would not have thought this was the way to upgrade, but after hearing the improvement on my Musiland, I decided to upgrade my DAC. I was wondering if the Yulong D100 works well with IEMs. If it does, is it any better than the Audinst HUD-MX1 with IEMs? Or is it a waste? Thanks in advance!

post #45 of 1160

For those interested, I posted my review here: http://www.head-fi.org/products/yulong-d100

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