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post #706 of 1009
Quote:
In the defense of morse code, I am not sure that is a fair statement.  Have you actually compared the two?  Morse might actually be better that optical?

 

for relaying of information maybe, but terrible musical reproduction at human speed.

post #707 of 1009

how about switchable op amps, or caps or whatever to switch between warm and forgiving and straight-wire ruthlessly revealing in a D-19 with a class A option? the two different tube and solid state output modes of the minimax made it sound interesting and at least listenable if so many reviewers who've heard a variety of DACs bought one.

 

in listening between my SONY and panasonic DACs, i now hear a much clearer difference between them now with the sony being warmer and more diffuse and the panasic razor sharp in imaging and more extended in the treble. i prefer the detailed sound, but for some reason liked the sony better on superzeros, maybe because they're limited bass made them sound thin or because the images are larger. the new aluminum domes are fast and revealing. i can hear much more ambience in the panasonic's DAC. right now, the clinical bitfrost is sounding better to me at half the price and made in USA. i think i'd lean more towards transparency than musicality now as that's where the sony is, and it sounds thick..

 

in trying to find a jitter reducer, it doesn't look like there's a big market for it as the monarchy DIP classic at $250 was the only thing i could find. i would have thought someone made a $100 re-clocker by now.


Edited by budget minded - 1/5/13 at 10:56pm
post #708 of 1009

The ESS chip is quirky. I never managed to get my EE Minimax to lock with my TV STB.

 

I can't get it to pass 192 when using USB out of my Touch via V-Link 192 either.

 

I can get it to work when using Touch's coax straight to DAC but only when decoding is being done by Touch(not server) and even then it's a bit buggy.

 

On the other hand I'm not really interested in 24/192.  24/96 is plenty for my ears so I wouldn't hesitate to buy another ESS based DAC.

post #709 of 1009
Thread Starter 

Good point. It's important to note that this potential issue is not really due to the D18 specifically but rather the ESS ES9018 in general. 

 

Some DACs using that chip have a separate digital receiver - my Anedio D2 for example uses a Wolfson WM8805. But some DACs like EE and D18 use the integrated DIR in the ES9018 to receive data. I think that's the issue - ESS apparently made some assumptions about the quality of signal we'd be using to feed the chip. And apparently those expectations are not always met by every device. 

 

If the signal has enough integrity for the ES9018 to lock on to, then it can do its patented jitter reduction scheme and the result can be good sound. But if the signal quality is below a certain threshold then it just can't get a proper "handshake" so to speak.

post #710 of 1009
Quote:
But if the signal quality is below a certain threshold then it just can't get a proper "handshake" so to speak.

 

oh! so THAT's why it's called DIGITal! so, when a DAC doesn't lock, it's giving you the finger then?

post #711 of 1009
Or, it could mean that it is just playing "hard to get" like any worthy Mistress.
Edited by mrcasey - 1/6/13 at 1:55pm
post #712 of 1009

i don't like women that play games and tell them to get lost

post #713 of 1009
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post

Maybe I should chip in at this point, having had similar experiences. The most important thing to know is that in its purist approach, the D18 seems to have ZERO jitter rejection. So the digital source and cable have to provide that, which is not as obvious as it seems. And I'm not talking about perceived "sound quality" changes, but about very obvious clicks or drop-outs during playback (keep an eye on the blue led on the front panel)

 

- I have an expensive Cambridge Audio dock, and was not able to get a clean signal out of it beyond 16/44.1. Seriously, even 16/48 (the iPod can "read" 24/48 files but only processes a 16-bit signal) had drop-outs, not on CA's own DACmagic (with some built-in jitter correction), or the M-DAC's adjustable one, but noticeable on the D18, whether through optical or coax. The Pure i-20 dock, at 1/3 the price: no problem with any files (same cable)!

 

- I just got an AK100 HD player. Using my current optical cable, I can stably pipe through 24/192 to my small, kinda cheap Fiio E17, no dropouts or anything. It must have some level of jitter correction. Because when using the same cable with the much more expensive D18, there are constant dropouts at that bandwidth, and with the longer cable of the same make absolutely no sound anymore. Up to 24/176.4 no problem though, not even a single dropout. So in this case the limitation is the optical cable, since shorter works better at maximum bandwidth, at least on the D18. Again, no problem at any bandwidth on the cheaper E17. (Can't use coax, of course. And tried using a TOSlink-Mini adapter with a glass cable, fuggedaboutit...)

 

So, in short, I'm not sure your D18 is defective as such, but it is SO frickin' picky about the source stream it's a real PITA... Though in my case, almost all my HD material is 24/96 (the supposed optical max. standard) which plays back fine on every combination of devices. I only keep a few tracks in the more oddball combinations mostly for testing as described above..

 

 

Wow, I'm glad I read through this thread thoroughly.  I was really leaning towards this DAC after all the earlier praise in this thread, but not so much now after reading the above.  Maybe the AudioLab M-DAC instead... but then it also uses the ESS ES9018 so will have to double-check if it has same issue.


Edited by runswithaliens - 1/9/13 at 4:45pm
post #714 of 1009
Thread Starter 

Since I read about the issues some people had with lock, I tried all the transports I have access to with my D18 just to see what happens. I also dug out my listening notes to see which transports I've tried in the past. Here is everything that worked for me (I haven't yet found a transport that gave me trouble).

 

CD based:

 

Lexicon RT20

Marantz SA-1

Rotel RDV-1092

Cambridge 840C

 

File based:

 

Squeezebox Touch

JF Digital HDM-03S

Pioneer Elite N-50

iHiFi960

QLS QA350

 

USB to SPDIF:

Izmo M1

Stello U3

Resonessence Labs Concero

 

 

Now, clearly none of these are basic Blu-Ray players or budget CD players which could be why none of them had any issues. But the QLS and iHiFi units are not exactly expensive, nor is the Squeezebox Touch. I never used the throwaway type basic digital cables, but my addordable Signal Cable stuff never had issues so the requirement isn't all that high.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that this potential issue needs to be considered in context of your system and what you'll be using to feed the D18. 

post #715 of 1009
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Since I read about the issues some people had with lock, I tried all the transports I have access to with my D18 just to see what happens. I also dug out my listening notes to see which transports I've tried in the past. Here is everything that worked for me (I haven't yet found a transport that gave me trouble).

 

CD based:

 

Lexicon RT20

Marantz SA-1

Rotel RDV-1092

Cambridge 840C

 

File based:

 

Squeezebox Touch

JF Digital HDM-03S

Pioneer Elite N-50

iHiFi960

QLS QA350

 

USB to SPDIF:

Izmo M1

Stello U3

Resonessence Labs Concero

 

 

Now, clearly none of these are basic Blu-Ray players or budget CD players which could be why none of them had any issues. But the QLS and iHiFi units are not exactly expensive, nor is the Squeezebox Touch. I never used the throwaway type basic digital cables, but my addordable Signal Cable stuff never had issues so the requirement isn't all that high.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that this potential issue needs to be considered in context of your system and what you'll be using to feed the D18. 

 

 

I understand this and also agree.  The question is still, why the issue with this Saber32 chip and not with other Saber32 chips.  What is Yulong doing different?  

post #716 of 1009
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

I understand this and also agree.  The question is still, why the issue with this Saber32 chip and not with other Saber32 chips.  What is Yulong doing different?  

 

The ES9018 is highly configurable and lots of designs use it in different ways. Many choose to pair it with a separate DIR from Wolfson or Cirrus. Yulong does not, instead using the integrated DIR functionality. This seems to be the cause of the problem. EE does the same and I've heard reports of similar problems with their Minimax unit. I'm not sure which other DACs use the same setup....

 

Maybe someone else can identify a DAC using the ES9018 without an external DIR, that is not known to have some input issues? 

post #717 of 1009

when Audio-gd started using Sabre a few years ago they had troubles with it even using separate receivers.

post #718 of 1009

Quote:

Originally Posted by runswithaliens View Post

Wow, I'm glad I read through this thread thoroughly.  I was really leaning towards this DAC after all the earlier praise in this thread, but not so much now after reading the above.  Maybe the AudioLab M-DAC instead... but then it also uses the ESS ES9018 so will have to double-check if it has same issue.

Well, as I wrote in my post, I did use the same dock with my M-DAC and it was fine because it has 3 user-adjustable jitter rejection levels, and the higher ones can handle some pretty bad input. Unfortunately, it can't go past 24/96 except via coax, so I didn't get to test the higher rates from the AK100 like I did with Yulong.

 

Actually, the M-DAC is the almost the exact opposite of the D18's purist approach in that it has tons of adjustments that can be made, like the various filter types that can be loaded into the ES9018, adjustable jitter correction, various algorithms & techniques to decode the digital stream etc... The designer, John Westlake, an industry veteran with a number of designs under his belt, is also very outspoken and informative about the complex nitty-gritty of DAC implementations and he pointed out some decidedly annoying bugs left in the ES9018 and how they had to code the firmware around...

post #719 of 1009

Just a heads up that I listed my Yulong Sabre D18 in the for sale forums in the event anyone is interested. It's only a few months old and in perfect condition. I have loved the DAC as I have described in all of my posts in this thread. Changes with my work/life schedule have made it increasingly difficult to be able to sit and enjoy my full-size rig, so I have decided to sell off my entire full-size and switch to a high-end portable rig.

 

post #720 of 1009
Thread Starter 

Wow, good price! Someone's gonna get a great deal.

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