Several of us have recently picked up the Yulong Sabre D18 DAC and it seems like everyone is impressed with it so far. But obviously we need time to spend with it to for a proper opinion. We've been using the Yulong D100 thread for discussing the new D18 DAC, and someone suggested we start a specific thread instead. So here it is.
The Yulong Sabe D18 is the new flagship design from Yulong Audio. It features an ES9018 Sabre Reference DAC chip from ESS Technology. It has toslink, coaxial, and AES/EBU inputs, and both single ended RCA and balanced XLR outputs. There is no integrated headphone amplifier, no volume control for pre-amp functionality, and most noteworthy - no USB input. This last bit, somewhat controversial, is a deliberate choice on the part of the designer to provide maximum bang for the buck. He argues that quality USB to SPDIF converters are practically a commodity these days, so people can easily go that route if they desire. As seen in the D100 thread, some people applaud the decision and some totally disagree with it.
The Sabre D18 sells for $699. Those of us in the USA can purchase it from Grant Fidelity, who is now the official North American distributor for Yulong products. They sell the D18 for $699 with free shipping, and they offer a 30-day in home trial - send it back for a full refund if you don't like it. Rachel from Grant Fidelity has offered to assist me in reviewing the D18 by providing translation from Chinese to English. She has met Yulong himself and toured his facilities, and came back very impressed.
That's it for now - future updates from me are coming soon. But by all means, let's discuss our experiences, likes/dislikes, questions, whatever. That way we can leave the D100 thread to discuss the proper topic.
EDIT: the next post is my final review, which was just added today (2/5/2012). This thread has been going for the past few months, so many of the pages that follow were here before my review was added. It might seem a bit confusing for that reason.
Edited by project86 - 2/5/12 at 12:26pm