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Yulong Sabre D18 thread: reviews, impressions, discussion (full review added 2/5) - Page 2

post #16 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philharmoniker View Post

So my D18 just arrived. Interestingly, as I took it out of the box, the I heard a rattling sound, as if a piece of screw has come loose in the machine. Has any of you guys heard it? I will see if it turns on at all before opening it up...



Loose chopstick?

post #17 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Il Mostro View Post



Loose chopstick?



Lbiggrin.gifL. I dunno, but it seems to function fine though...I won't be able to try the balanced out mode yet since USPS somehow has lost my XLR cables...According to the designer the RCA out isn't quite as broad and dynamic as the XLR out. I will see.

post #18 of 1011


No, mine did not have a screw loose, might want to check that out so that it doesn't short anything out, also be sure to change your voltage in the back to 110v. Let us know what you think of it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philharmoniker View Post

So my D18 just arrived. Interestingly, as I took it out of the box, the I heard a rattling sound, as if a piece of screw has come loose in the machine. Has any of you guys heard it? I will see if it turns on at all before opening it up...



 

post #19 of 1011


Guess I will have to open it up to take a look...

Thanks to Sonic77 problem solved.

Initial impression of D18, after 20 mins of listening has been superb!  I might not be in the best position to give the most convincing review since I am still using optical out from my PC mobo and RCA out from the DAC, which, according to many on the Yulong sub-site of erji.net, does not exploit the full potential of D18. Nevertheless, there has been an immediate improvement in resolution, dyanimics, and extensions I am truly impressed.

Be aware that before D18 I had been using Topping-D2 as a DAC, which costs only $120 dollars; therefore for those of you with much better DAC already the immediate difference might not be that pronounced or apparent. Do share your experience though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic77 View Post


No, mine did not have a screw loose, might want to check that out so that it doesn't short anything out, also be sure to change your voltage in the back to 110v. Let us know what you think of it.
 



 



 


Edited by Philharmoniker - 12/20/11 at 4:27pm
post #20 of 1011

Your welcome

The one thing that I noticed as I said before was that I could listen for hours on end and not get fatigued, with my other set up, it sounded great, but I could listen only for so long before I had to shut it off. The D18, took a little getting used to, but once I adjusted, I noticed details that were more pronounced, on the other hand, the other set up was also detailed, but just fatiguing, and I don't know why. I will be listening some more tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philharmoniker View Post


Guess I will have to open it up to take a look...

Thanks to Sonic77 problem solved.

Initial impression of D18, after 20 mins of listening has been superb!  I might not be in the best position to give the most convincing review since I am still using optical out from my PC mobo and RCA out from the DAC, which, according to many on the Yulong sub-site of erji.net, does not exploit the full potential of D18. Nevertheless, there has been an immediate improvement in resolution, dyanimics, and extensions I am truly impressed.

Be aware that before D18 I had been using Topping-D2 as a DAC, which costs only $120 dollars; therefore for those of you with much better DAC already the immediate difference might not be that pronounced or apparent. Do share your experience though!



 



 

 


Edited by Sonic77 - 12/20/11 at 6:28pm
post #21 of 1011

I do second Sonic 77's impression with D18 which vindicates my own ones I put initially on D100's discussions. Being with D18 for over 2 weeks, I have some more observations to share. I bought D18 in an attempt to build a separate speakers system from my D100 centered headphone system. So my current music set-up is routed this way: PC flac--Squeezebox Touch--D18 DAC--Trio 8700--AE1 speakers and PC flac--D100--headphones. I've not got a dedicated phone amp yet. A couple of days ago, my new HiFiman HE500 arrived. Together with another phone DT880 250 ohm, I am able to do a test on D18+headphone combos. Based on what I have, there are 4 combinations.

 

a. PC flac--Squeezebox Touch--D18 DAC--Trio 8700--HE500

IMG_1650副本.jpg

b. PC flac--Squeezebox Touch--D18 DAC--Trio 8700--DT880

IMG_1651副本.jpg

c. PC flac--D100 DAC--HE500

IMG_1656副本.jpg

d. PC flac--D100 DAC--DT880

IMG_1658副本.jpg

 

So straight to the point. Of the 4 options, a is the best. SQ of this combo is very smooth or I'd use' creamy smooth but punchy' to describe it. Particularly the occasional coarse edges in the high pitch heard on other gears seem roundly smoothed out. The low is very deep and solid. Just as with speakers, D18 plus HE500 won't fatigue your ears at all even for a prolonged listening session. Another surprise find of me is how good the Trio 8700's phone-out is when combined with D18 and HE500. Details, power, smoothness, spaciousness... everything is there. I even sort of question the wisdom of getting a dedicated headphone amp which I've been contemplating for a while. The second best of the 4 combinations is c. The main difference between a and c is that a sounds more powerful and punchier, which may be attributed to the amp's capabilities. a is also better than c in handling high pitch sounds. It's quite palpable that D100 sounds a bit clinical in comparison with D18. The worst combo of the 4 is b. DT880 on Trio 8700 sounds quite piercing and rough. And it's also very sensitive to volume adjustment. With 8700, DT880 at 8 o'clock can produce the same loudness as HE500 at 10 position. I think DT880's problematic performance here is due to its inability to well handle D18's extended dynamics and 8700's power output. But interestingly, on D100, I adjust the sound volume at 10 for both DT880 and HE500, and get roughly the same loudness. I am bit puzzled and a dedicated phone amp has not yet been utterly ruled out.

 

So here is my very personal and incomplete summary.    Smoothness is D18's most prominent sound attribute. To squeeze the best out of D18, one needs a really outstanding dynamic handling combo of phone and amp.

post #22 of 1011

do you think it performs better with your headphones or your speakers? I'm thinking about getting this dac paired up with my Swans MKIII
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hificrazy View Post

I do second Sonic 77's impression with D18 which vindicates my own ones I put initially on D100's discussions. Being with D18 for over 2 weeks, I have some more observations to share. I bought D18 in an attempt to build a separate speakers system from my D100 centered headphone system. So my current music set-up is routed this way: PC flac--Squeezebox Touch--D18 DAC--Trio 8700--AE1 speakers and PC flac--D100--headphones. I've not got a dedicated phone amp yet. A couple of days ago, my new HiFiman HE500 arrived. Together with another phone DT880 250 ohm, I am able to do a test on D18+headphone combos. Based on what I have, there are 4 combinations.

 

a. PC flac--Squeezebox Touch--D18 DAC--Trio 8700--HE500

IMG_1650副本.jpg

b. PC flac--Squeezebox Touch--D18 DAC--Trio 8700--DT880

IMG_1651副本.jpg

c. PC flac--D100 DAC--HE500

IMG_1656副本.jpg

d. PC flac--D100 DAC--DT880

IMG_1658副本.jpg

 

So straight to the point. Of the 4 options, a is the best. SQ of this combo is very smooth or I'd use' creamy smooth but punchy' to describe it. Particularly the occasional coarse edges in the high pitch heard on other gears seem roundly smoothed out. The low is very deep and solid. Just as with speakers, D18 plus HE500 won't fatigue your ears at all even for a prolonged listening session. Another surprise find of me is how good the Trio 8700's phone-out is when combined with D18 and HE500. Details, power, smoothness, spaciousness... everything is there. I even sort of question the wisdom of getting a dedicated headphone amp which I've been contemplating for a while. The second best of the 4 combinations is c. The main difference between a and c is that a sounds more powerful and punchier, which may be attributed to the amp's capabilities. a is also better than c in handling high pitch sounds. It's quite palpable that D100 sounds a bit clinical in comparison with D18. The worst combo of the 4 is b. DT880 on Trio 8700 sounds quite piercing and rough. And it's also very sensitive to volume adjustment. With 8700, DT880 at 8 o'clock can produce the same loudness as HE500 at 10 position. I think DT880's problematic performance here is due to its inability to well handle D18's extended dynamics and 8700's power output. But interestingly, on D100, I adjust the sound volume at 10 for both DT880 and HE500, and get roughly the same loudness. I am bit puzzled and a dedicated phone amp has not yet been utterly ruled out.

 

So here is my very personal and incomplete summary.    Smoothness is D18's most prominent sound attribute. To squeeze the best out of D18, one needs a really outstanding dynamic handling combo of phone and amp.



 

post #23 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipes View Post

do you think it performs better with your headphones or your speakers? I'm thinking about getting this dac paired up with my Swans MKIII
 



 



This is fairly difficult to answer 'cause headphones and speakers are different products. Actually, you can pair D18 with speakers and headphones simutaneously. One way is to use speakers amplifier's phone output to power headphones. Another way (assuming you have a dedicated headphone amp) is to use D18's different outputs to link with speaker amp and phone amp.

XLR-XLR to speaker amp & RCA-RCA to phone amp;

RCA-RCA to speaker amp & XLR-XLR to phone amp;

XLR-RCA to speaker amp & RCA-RCA to phone amp;

RCA-RCA to speaker amp & XLR-RCA to phone amp.

 

Which sounds better depands on many factors, such as speakers, headphones, amps, etc? But my experience whether with headphones or speakers points to the same conclusion that compared with D100, D18 has very high resolution capabilities with extended dynamics and its high frequency sounds are very rounded. It doesn't fatigue your ears.  

 

 

 

post #24 of 1011

are the op amps rollable (socketed) on this?

 

if so, I'd really be up for a test drive. especially if grant is offering a 30 day trial window!

post #25 of 1011


I think you nailed it with your description, "I'd use' creamy smooth but punchy' to describe it. Particularly the occasional coarse edges in the high pitch heard on other gears seem roundly smoothed out. The low is very deep and solid."

As far as my comparisons, I only have my XDA-1 to compare it to, not exactly a high end DAC. I think Project86 would be more qualified then I to make those comparisons.

Last night just for fun I connected my ERC-1 CD player to the D18 and used it as a transport, omg I was really surprised at the sound, very detailed, very high quality. I ended up listening to cd's for 3 hours. If you have a cd with optical or coax out, hook them up to the D18 for a really big surprise. The XDA-1 was very detailed not as smooth as the D18, very sharp sounds, maybe that is what lead to fatigue. Please keep sharing your thoughts on the D18, I know it's only been a couple of days, but this DAC isn't going anywhere, I'm keeping this sucker.bigsmile_face.gif

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by hificrazy View Post

I do second Sonic 77's impression with D18 which vindicates my own ones I put initially on D100's discussions. Being with D18 for over 2 weeks, I have some more observations to share. I bought D18 in an attempt to build a separate speakers system from my D100 centered headphone system. So my current music set-up is routed this way: PC flac--Squeezebox Touch--D18 DAC--Trio 8700--AE1 speakers and PC flac--D100--headphones. I've not got a dedicated phone amp yet. A couple of days ago, my new HiFiman HE500 arrived. Together with another phone DT880 250 ohm, I am able to do a test on D18+headphone combos. Based on what I have, there are 4 combinations.

 

a. PC flac--Squeezebox Touch--D18 DAC--Trio 8700--HE500

IMG_1650副本.jpg

b. PC flac--Squeezebox Touch--D18 DAC--Trio 8700--DT880

IMG_1651副本.jpg

c. PC flac--D100 DAC--HE500

IMG_1656副本.jpg

d. PC flac--D100 DAC--DT880

IMG_1658副本.jpg

 

So straight to the point. Of the 4 options, a is the best. SQ of this combo is very smooth or I'd use' creamy smooth but punchy' to describe it. Particularly the occasional coarse edges in the high pitch heard on other gears seem roundly smoothed out. The low is very deep and solid. Just as with speakers, D18 plus HE500 won't fatigue your ears at all even for a prolonged listening session. Another surprise find of me is how good the Trio 8700's phone-out is when combined with D18 and HE500. Details, power, smoothness, spaciousness... everything is there. I even sort of question the wisdom of getting a dedicated headphone amp which I've been contemplating for a while. The second best of the 4 combinations is c. The main difference between a and c is that a sounds more powerful and punchier, which may be attributed to the amp's capabilities. a is also better than c in handling high pitch sounds. It's quite palpable that D100 sounds a bit clinical in comparison with D18. The worst combo of the 4 is b. DT880 on Trio 8700 sounds quite piercing and rough. And it's also very sensitive to volume adjustment. With 8700, DT880 at 8 o'clock can produce the same loudness as HE500 at 10 position. I think DT880's problematic performance here is due to its inability to well handle D18's extended dynamics and 8700's power output. But interestingly, on D100, I adjust the sound volume at 10 for both DT880 and HE500, and get roughly the same loudness. I am bit puzzled and a dedicated phone amp has not yet been utterly ruled out.

 

So here is my very personal and incomplete summary.    Smoothness is D18's most prominent sound attribute. To squeeze the best out of D18, one needs a really outstanding dynamic handling combo of phone and amp.



 

post #26 of 1011

great thanks, very tempting.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hificrazy View Post



This is fairly difficult to answer 'cause headphones and speakers are different products. Actually, you can pair D18 with speakers and headphones simutaneously. One way is to use speakers amplifier's phone output to power headphones. Another way (assuming you have a dedicated headphone amp) is to use D18's different outputs to link with speaker amp and phone amp.

XLR-XLR to speaker amp & RCA-RCA to phone amp;

RCA-RCA to speaker amp & XLR-XLR to phone amp;

XLR-RCA to speaker amp & RCA-RCA to phone amp;

RCA-RCA to speaker amp & XLR-RCA to phone amp.

 

Which sounds better depands on many factors, such as speakers, headphones, amps, etc? But my experience whether with headphones or speakers points to the same conclusion that compared with D100, D18 has very high resolution capabilities with extended dynamics and its high frequency sounds are very rounded. It doesn't fatigue your ears.  

 

 

 



 

post #27 of 1011

So far it appears to me nobody is using the D18 to anywhere near its full potential.

The D18 does not have an upsampler built in (and I'm not 100% sure but I think also no PLL jitter attenuation etc, other than what the Sabre DAC itself does)

The proper way to use the D18 is to upsample the music on the computer to 192Khz 24bit (or 32bit) and use a very high quality asynchronous USB to AES/EBU or spdif converter with low jitter like the Audiophileo2, Stello U3 or M2tech EVO.

 

The computer can upsample better than any included upsampler in any DAC, also in real time (SOX for foobar or cPlay for instance). Set it to linear phase with 99% bandwidth for correct upsampling (not nonsense minimal phase which has nothing to do with reconstructing the original wave according to the sampling theory upon which digital audio is built).

This upsampling will give you better than 175dB THD+noise, this is inaudible.

 

The difference between doing the above correctly and simply streaming 44.1 Khz audio through a mediocre USB-spdif converter (or directly from a cd transport) will be huge.

 

Btw, to make it lighter on the computer one can also upsample 44.1Khz audio to 176.4Khz instead of 192.

 

edit: here is a link to the SOX resampler for foobar2000: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=67373 simply unpack the zip to your foobar2000 components folder and then in foobar load and configure the resampler under preferences - dsp manager.

 

 

EDIT: What I wrote is not correct. The Sabre DAC in the D18 does it's own "upsampling" so it does reconstruct the waveform correctly without additional user upsampling. The only difference with using computer upsampling will be the slightly increased quality of good computer upsampling.

Sorry for being stupid. Thought I'd edit the related posts for the people who brows this thread later.


Edited by slackman - 12/25/11 at 5:43am
post #28 of 1011

Btw, does anybody know what the Yulong website/homepage is?

And is there a manual available for download anywhere?

Thanks!

post #29 of 1011
Thread Starter 

Your comment about using the computer as upsampler is interesting, because that's exactly what Yulong (the man himself) has been advocating for a while. He recommended 24/96 upsampling with the D100, even though that device had a dedicated ASRC circuit. I haven't been following the discussion about the D18 but I assume he would suggest similar.

 

I wonder how much audible difference it will make over a high end, low jitter playback source via coaxial SPDIF or AES/EBU. 

 

I don't have a high end USB to SPDIF converter at the moment, but I will as soon as Anedio releases theirs (which is very similar to the U3 in both concept and execution). I'll have to give it a try and see. 

 

Yulong website is here: http://www.audio-sz.com/eng/index.asp But I don't think it has been updated in a while. I saw on Erji.net where Yulong was looking for someone to do web design, so they will probably revamp it at some point.  

post #30 of 1011

Ok this is what I've been using, let me know if this is what was meant to be used.

 

J River Media Center 17 Latest Ver.

Foobar Latest ver.

Media Monkey Trail Ver.

 

Flac Files from CD's

Flac Files from HD Tracks 24 192

 

Musical Videlity V Link Coax Cable

Musiland Monitor 03 US ver. Optical Cable

 

Audioquest Carbon USB Cable

Audioquest Cinnamon USB Cable

 

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