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Yulong Sabre D18 thread: reviews, impressions, discussion (full review added 2/5) - Page 57

post #841 of 1032

I'll third GrumpyOldMan.  I find the D18 neither too warm or over-analytical.  I suppose if a person owned an analytical DAC before the D-18 then he may have already tweaked/softened his system to compensate, and then that would make the initial impression.

post #842 of 1032
Thread Starter 

I feel somewhat responsible for this whole "warm and smooth" thing. It's difficult to describe sound, and when I review/compare DACs I'm really focusing on the excruciatingly small differences in character that each one has. So to my ears, the D18 does in fact have a warmth and smoothness (over the XLR connection) that is not present on any other ES9018 based DAC I've yet heard. But that doesn't make it warm and smooth in the same sense as say a NOS DAC or some lush tube DAC. So it's a tricky position to be in.


I hope that things have become more clear now that multiple other people chime in with their impressions. That always helps. 

post #843 of 1032
Hello project86
Thank you for your original review of the D18. As a result of reading your review I purchased the D18 and am now using it with the U18 (with separate p/s). I am very pleased with the sound (driving ATC50 active speakers directly over XLR) on high quality music, but find the sound uncomfortable on some lower quality recordings (even though they are 16/44) In the high frequencies. The ATC speakers are derived from true studio monitors and have a very quick response ie a sharp leading edge to the sound. Someone has suggested that I would get all the detail, but a more comfortable sound if I swapped to the Eximus DP1 DAC. This DAC also has a built in preamp (which may contribute to the more analogue sound) as well as providing an analogue volume control.
Have you or any other reader compared the sound from the D18 and the Eximus DP1. I should be most interested to hear your comments.
post #844 of 1032

I have the Eximus DP1, but havent heard the D18. But I do have a Ressonnessence Concero which uses a Sabre chip, but not really a comparison. First I wouldnt use the preamp section. Its good, but not great. I really like the headphone section, if thats what you will be using. The Dac section is the bomb. Slightly warm, lush mids and really good detail retrieval. Like a really comfy couch. When I think of the Sabre dac I hear a really tall image with lots of space, air. The DP1 is more about density, saturation, tone and is very musical. But its expensive. Ive heard the ATC50 and they can sound bright. They are a nearfield monitor? 

Anyways.. kind of useless since its not a comparison. lol GL

post #845 of 1032
Thanks. I appreciate your comments even if not a direct comparison. I intend to use the ATC speakers rather than the headphone. They are mid field speakers and have the very quick response as they are active (with powerful amp just behind very large magnets to exert total control over the driver). So, what is your concern over the DP1 preamp?
post #846 of 1032
I guess it's a good preamp, but I like tubes in the signal path. I guess that's the only reason. Really, I've always used a tube pre.
post #847 of 1032
Originally Posted by mcullinan View Post

I guess it's a good preamp, but I like tubes in the signal path. I guess that's the only reason. Really, I've always used a tube pre.

You can always try a tube buffer in the signal path :)

post #848 of 1032
Hello and good evening

Today I got my D18. As always, before even turning it on, I've opened the case to check the internals. 

I was surprised when I saw this...
It looks like it was modded \ repaired and It's different from every picture I've seen so far on the web. Like this:
I've contacted the guy who sold it to me (on ebay) and he sent the pictures to Yulong. They told him this is actualy an update and the unit should sond better then the earlier revision. Has anyone seen this? The transistor with the heat sink on gets really hot. Measured at 158F.
The unit seems to be working fine after adjusting the U18 driver settings (it was clicking and freezing the first time i tried) and the sound seems right, but I am really curious and worried about this. 
In the pictures, you can also see that there was clearly some repair done to the ICs and an extra capacitor close to the transistor.
What do you guys think?
PS. Sorry, I can't get the images to show properly for some reason.
post #849 of 1032

Perhaps you should email Yulong and attach at least a few of the pictures.  If anybody should know what is up with things it would be him.   



Edited by mrcasey - 3/20/13 at 8:29pm
post #850 of 1032

Yeah I would e-mail Yulong or possibly even Grant Fidelity to see if they could get some more information about it. Just curious, which seller did you buy it from and was it advertised as new?

post #851 of 1032
Thread Starter 

Looks kind of shady to me. Who did you buy from? Some sellers have close ties to Yulong himself, others are just resellers and don't really know what's going on. 

post #852 of 1032

Whoa just took a closer look at the pictures. It may possibly be some sort of revision that wasn't advertised.. the PCB is different and has been changed (if only slightly). The C79 position on the PCB with the extra capacitor doesn't even exist on the picture of the original version. Same goes with C64 position which houses a new resistor that doesn't exist in the original version.


You can see it in this picture: http://smg.photobucket.com/user/ggmesquita/media/IMG_20130320_183718_234.jpg.html

Compare to this picture: http://smg.photobucket.com/user/ggmesquita/media/d18original.jpeg.html


Doesn't change the fact that it's very sloppy.. but it is interesting.

Edited by EraserXIV - 3/20/13 at 9:09pm
post #853 of 1032
Thread Starter 
I just noticed that as well. Interesting. I wonder if it's a revision that's been around for who knows how long, and nobody noticed until now. The sloppy work does seem like maybe the seller fixed a defective board, or "upgraded" a working model. I'm sure there's a story behind it, but you might not like the story.
post #854 of 1032

Originally Posted by EraserXIV View Post



Doesn't change the fact that it's very sloppy.. but it is interesting.

+1. Even if it's indeed a revision, it's a sloppy one.

post #855 of 1032

So curiosity got the better of me, and since the D18 was about the only equipment I hadn't had a peek into, I just did:




I've had mine for a while, still with the green power button. I think the "official" photos may have been of a pre-production board. However it is pretty obvious that ggmesquita's board was put together by technician who was somewhat inexperienced, in a hurry, having a bad day, or a combination of those. I guess since it passed QC in terms of working, it shouldn't affect sound... they probably assumed what consumer will look inside anyway? :\


If you want to check yours, a tip: you only have to remove the top 2 corner screws in the front & back, the top half can then be lifted off (may require a bit of prying depending how straight the front & back plates line up) That's some solid build quality though, given how thick the plates are.

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