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Review: Yulong D100 DAC/amp - reference quality with a reasonable price - Page 63

post #931 of 1161
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Staal View Post

So, the mailman just delivered my D100 an hour or so ago.

 

I was actually going to get the TubeDAC-11 suggested to me by Project86, but as I was searching on eBay I noticed a local seller with a used D100 for sale at a relatively cheap price, so I figured I might as well try it out.

 

I found an old adapter and plugged in my JH16s. It all sounded pretty sweet untill 2 minutes in when it suddenly jumped ALOT in volume and more or less killed my ears, then it started with that scratchy sound that you got on old TV's when nothing was on at night. Then it returned to low volume, and the process started all over.

 

I've tried both the "Low" and "High" headphone sockets as well as trying with 2 different adapters.

 

Any clues as to what could be wrong? It's plugged in via USB.

 

Additional info: Using an onboard soundcard at 2% or so volume and the D100 at 1-2 ticks above zero. (Seems I should be able to control the volume better than this, but it goes loud really fast?)

My motherboard is a Gigabyte 55A-UD3, not sure about the "sound card".


That's exactly the reason why Yulong is releasing the MKII version with the different USB receiver. My working theory is that the original units aren't necessary "defective" (as in they just don't work....) but there is something about the TAS1020B USB chip, and the custom code it is running, which is not compatible with all motherboards. Many people have never experienced issues, but a significant number of people have. Enough people where Yulong felt the need to do something about it. 

 

It's probably frustrating for them since the unit would come back for "repair" and not duplicate the problem on their end. So what do they do at that point?

 

In any case, the seller who you purchased from may have had no idea that this particular D100 would have issues with your computer. Or maybe it had issues for him as well, who knows? Your options:

 

1) Keep the thing and use it with your Mac, which doesn't have the problem.

 

2) Get a USB to SPDIF converter and run it that way, possibly increasing SQ due to the extremely low jitter (if you buy a good one). I've not heard reports of the SPDIF inputs ever having issues. 

 

3) Try to track down Yulong and see if he will fix it for you. He has his own subforum on Erji.net and there are people in this thread who may be able to assist with translation.

 

Sorry it didn't work out! 

 


Edited by project86 - 3/6/12 at 4:57pm
post #932 of 1161
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

2) Get a USB to SPDIF converter and run it that way, possibly increasing SQ due to the extremely low jitter (if you buy a good one). I've not heard reports of the SPDIF inputs ever having issues.


Or, y'know, cut out the middleman and just use the optical out that is built into the Yulong D100 in the first place. :v

 

-- Griffinhart

post #933 of 1161
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffinhart View Post


Or, y'know, cut out the middleman and just use the optical out that is built into the Yulong D100 in the first place. :v

 

-- Griffinhart


 

Well, yeah, if your computer has an optical out or coaxial digital out, you could run that instead of USB. It would connect to the optical in of the D100 of course!

post #934 of 1161
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post



No, I do not think so - and while less convenient for your use, line level outputs are a better standard. 



Really?  How so?

 

Let's assume that the Yulong unit is fixed line-out only.  The Yulong's (fixed) line-out signal would then feed a pre-amplifier which you use to control the volume level (unless you have no use or need for volume control, or you control volume digitally).  Eventually somewhere in the system, in the component chain the signal meets a line-level analog volume control.  How is the separate preamp's volume pot fundamentally different or significantly superior to a DAC's volume control through variable line output?


Edited by Mauricio - 3/6/12 at 7:46pm
post #935 of 1161

Here we go again.... deadhorse.gif

 

Honestly, this same debate comes up in every DAC thread, but nobody can come up with a rational, scientific explanation as to why fixed line out is better. I mean, there's a pot for the built in amp anyways. Saying that a variable out is degrading sound quality is saying that every amplifier with a pot are bad quality. And then there's the debate about digital volume, which apparently isn't better, even though it technically can't have the same problems as a pot. So we're doomed anyways, unless we use a DAC with fixed out that feeds an amp that has no volume control. basshead.gif

post #936 of 1161

More than beating a dead horse, it is likely a case of rote repetition of received "wisdom".  There may be good technical reasons why variable line-out is fundamentally and significantly inferior (and I'd like to hear them).  But, if so, no one here has yet articulated those reasons even half-way convincingly.


Edited by Mauricio - 3/6/12 at 7:51pm
post #937 of 1161

I guess it depends on how you intend to implement the DAC. For my use (and I'd venture, most people's) the DAC is outputting to a receiver/pre-amp or into another system, then amp. If the outputs are variable, you have to adjust two volume points (and lose your headphone levels in the process). A fixed output level puts the volume control in one place, not two. I use the word better here, to mean usability/function for the majority of users - I do not know if it affects the actual sound quality. 


Edited by liamstrain - 3/6/12 at 9:25pm
post #938 of 1161
Thread Starter 

I think the idea is that nearly all DACs (even expensive ones) are built to a price. If you have two models with the same cost, one having fixed line-out volume and one having variable output, the theory would be that the one had to sacrifice something in order to add those extra components. I totally understand that - but unless you have two identical units with that being the only difference, it is really hard to say. 

 

Aside from that it is typical design theory - shorter signal path, less components to potentially degrade the sound, etc. I'm just not sure I buy it though. My little Audinst HUD-mx1 at $179 sounds great for the price in my opinion, and it has variable out with a volume knob. Would it sound a little better with a fixed output? I'll never know. But I appreciate the feature being there.

 

Note that I'm not talking about flawed designs where you have obvious channel imbalance issues, static, etc. I can see why those frustrate people (I'm thinking NuForce uDac). 

post #939 of 1161

The implementation matters, sure, for both sound quality and user convenience.  Any quality unit will have a way of defeating the variable line-out so that you are left only with fixed line-out, and vice-versa.  But to suggest that variable line-out is fundamentally or significantly inferior remains fully unsupported.

post #940 of 1161
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I think the idea is that nearly all DACs (even expensive ones) are built to a price. If you have two models with the same cost, one having fixed line-out volume and one having variable output, the theory would be that the one had to sacrifice something in order to add those extra components. I totally understand that - but unless you have two identical units with that being the only difference, it is really hard to say. 

 

Aside from that it is typical design theory - shorter signal path, less components to potentially degrade the sound, etc. I'm just not sure I buy it though. My little Audinst HUD-mx1 at $179 sounds great for the price in my opinion, and it has variable out with a volume knob. Would it sound a little better with a fixed output? I'll never know. But I appreciate the feature being there.

 

Note that I'm not talking about flawed designs where you have obvious channel imbalance issues, static, etc. I can see why those frustrate people (I'm thinking NuForce uDac). 


Unless you eschew volume control altogether (or do it digitally), you will always find somewhere along the signal path a variable line-level volume control.  Your argument about  components being built to a price is flawed because if you don't want or need line out on the DAC, you will necessarily find one and need one in the preamp.

 

post #941 of 1161
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post


Unless you eschew volume control altogether (or do it digitally), you will always find somewhere along the signal path a variable line-level volume control.  Your argument about  components being built to a price is flawed because if you don't want or need line out on the DAC, you will necessarily find one and need one in the preamp.

 



Well yeah, that's obviously the case. The argument would then go something like - do you want just one signal degrading potentiometer in your system (at the headphone amp for example), or two of them (the headphone amp plus the DAC)? 

 

I'm not convinced of the argument (which is why I specifically said I didn't buy it) but that's what it boils down to, in a nutshell. 

 

Personally I'm a big fan of properly done digital volume controls. Extreme precision even when using ultra sensitive in ear monitors at low volume levels? Yes please. 

post #942 of 1161
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post



Well yeah, that's obviously the case. The argument would then go something like - do you want just one signal degrading potentiometer in your system (at the headphone amp for example), or two of them (the headphone amp plus the DAC)? 

 

 


Again, false proposition.  No one here--including myself--is arguing that two volume controls are better than one.  The reason that I look for a DAC with variable line out is not because I want to pair it with a pre-amp, thereby having two components/two volume controls.  The reason that I look for a DAC with variable line out is so that I can dispense with the pre-amp altogether, thereby having one component/one volume control.

 

post #943 of 1161

Your powered monitors have a volume controlled amp as well though? You are still getting two volume controls. 

 

Like I said, a fixed line out makes more sense if you think of a dac as any other source (tuner, cd player, turntable) - it is not meant to be a pre-amp. But I get that for your use, that would be handy. Luckily there are many other products that fill that need for you. Just not the Yulong D100.


Edited by liamstrain - 3/6/12 at 11:09pm
post #944 of 1161

Yes, you are indeed correct on both accounts.

post #945 of 1161
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post


Again, false proposition.  No one here--including myself--is arguing that two volume controls are better than one.  The reason that I look for a DAC with variable line out is not because I want to pair it with a pre-amp, thereby having two components/two volume controls.  The reason that I look for a DAC with variable line out is so that I can dispense with the pre-amp altogether, thereby having one component/one volume control.

 



I'm not really clear why you think I disagree with you. I pointed out the exact context in which the argument is made, and even mentioned that I didn't buy it on a practical level. As has already been pointed out, you do in fact already have another volume control of some variety in your powered monitors. So remind me again why we seem to be arguing? 

 

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