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Yulong's new flagship amp A18 - Page 5

post #61 of 94

Project86,

 

What experience do you have with DIY DACs like the Buffalo II, III - the Opus, or even the RAKK DAC MK II, III?  How would they compare the the D18 or V800?

post #62 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Project86,

 

What experience do you have with DIY DACs like the Buffalo II, III - the Opus, or even the RAKK DAC MK II, III?  How would they compare the the D18 or V800?

 

Not a lot. I was just reading about the RAKK stuff, and I've heard a Buffalo (I believe it was a 32S) but not in my own system, and not for very long.... so it's hard to say much about it other than "it seemed nice".

 

I can say that the value is obviously higher for building your own stuff. The guy whose Buffalo I heard told me he had about $700 in total parts, including the enclosure which was fairly nice. His was a single input variation. But obviously if that same unit was a commercial offering it would cost much more than that. All those hours spent building equal savings.

 

The problem is that most folks don't have the know-how to do that sort of build properly. I know some stuff but probably couldn't do it without help either. And I certainly don't have enough time. So I'd have to pay someone else to do it - at which point the V800 and especially the D18 start looking like bargains.

post #63 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post


I would have to completely agree with Project86 (Project86, get a set of balanced T1s NOW). I have a few friends, including myself, that own/owned pretty much ALL the top of the line headphones and we are ALWAYS reaching for our T1's lol (this also includes some people from highly respected aftermarket HeadFi shops, yes plural). We might have several DACs, but we only have one set of ears hehe. Anyways, just about anyone on this level of equipment will first off tell you to go upgrade your cable to balanced. Moon Audio (no affiliation) can do this for you with their Black Dragon cable with 6-10ft in the $250-300 range with round trip shipping.
Ok, now for the DACs. Again, friends and myself with this level of gear are currently highly recommending the Violectric DAC/amp combo from AphroditeCu29 (no affiliation) as a "goto" DAC for its all around accuracy and transparency. With that said, there's a new guy in town, Yulong's flagship D18/A18 combo. I have heard the Violectric myself, but NOT Yulong. Given the experience of ZombieX and Project86 here, I do trust what they have to say and will I be buying the Yulong combo since it pretty much makes ALL music sound good, judging by their descriptions. The Violectric is so transparent that some bad recordings will be unbearable to you. Another thing that tips the scales in Yulong's favor is if you're looking to buy right now (1-6 months), because Violectric is currently working on a prioritized XLR (true balance, like Yulong) DAC and Amp, but release date is uncertain.
Either way, the Violectric for transparency, or the budget conscious Yulong with a vinyl touch will be excellent choices. Just be sure to recable those T1s over anything else, and they will be your go-to headphones over HiFiMan, Sennheiser, and Audeze. Just like my friends and I, along with some HeadFi'ers are doing once you're this far up the ladder.
P.S. I personally have a problem spending over $1k on DACs as they are only in their infancy right now, and are changing quicker than ever before. A "better" DAC is always on the horizon, and I'm sure some people that spent well over $1k a couple years ago are looking to upgrade (secretly of course lol), or have already done so.
Hope that helps and enjoy!

X2, the T1 is the best dynamic headphone I have ever heard/owned. Stunning headphone. When I get the D18 & maybe A18, I have high hopes for the synergy with T1. I will post when I have some impressions.

post #64 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

 

Sorry, I missed this post somehow.

 

The only Audio GD product I have experience with is the Reference 7. I really liked it. I would actually place the D18 on roughly the same level, though both have their own unique voicing. It's hard to say which would be the best without having the Ref 7 here for direct comparisons... but each one is a small step behind my Violectric V800, so based on that I think they are in a similar league. The Ref 7.1 might be better than the D18 but again I can't say for sure. 

 

I suspect the Sabre D18/A18 combo would be unique enough to be a worthy 2nd system. Judging from my experience with the Ref 7 - the Yulong setup should probably be a little smoother, warmer, less emphasis on detail and more on macro-dyamics. It won't be as "accurate" but will give a smoother and more listenable presentation. 

Thanks for the reply mate. I'm going to go for it.

post #65 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

Thanks for the reply mate. I'm going to go for it.


Any updates my friend? Seems like me and you have similar priorities and tastes so I am curious.

 

I just purchased the D18, but I do have my reservations about the A18.  My main concern are the listed output power specs:

 

- Output power: 680 ohm:95mw    300 ohm:200mw  150R:400mw  32R:1.8W  

 

- Beyerdynamic lists the T1 as a max of 600ohms/300mw

 

I'm afraid I am not knowledgeable enough to understand if it can power the T1, with reserves, and no impedance mismatch (1/8th rule) so I contacted Grant Fidelity.

 

I contacted Rachel from Grant Fidelity, and asked her if the amp can handle the balanced T1. I quote Yulong himself, with her translation "I have confirmed with Yulong that the headphone model is fine working with A18." I just wish for a more detailed answer, to alleviate my concerns. My only other question that I'm waiting on is what type of pot the amp uses, as you can't tell from the pictures and does worry me that it may be low quality, which can't be underestimated of its importance.

post #66 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post


Any updates my friend? Seems like me and you have similar priorities and tastes so I am curious.

 

I just purchased the D18, but I do have my reservations about the A18.  My main concern are the listed output power specs:

 

- Output power: 680 ohm:95mw    300 ohm:200mw  150R:400mw  32R:1.8W  

 

- Beyerdynamic lists the T1 as a max of 600ohms/300mw

 

I'm afraid I am not knowledgeable enough to understand if it can power the T1, with reserves, and no impedance mismatch (1/8th rule) so I contacted Grant Fidelity.

 

I contacted Rachel from Grant Fidelity, and asked her if the amp can handle the balanced T1. I quote Yulong himself, with her translation "I have confirmed with Yulong that the headphone model is fine working with A18." I just wish for a more detailed answer, to alleviate my concerns. My only other question that I'm waiting on is what type of pot the amp uses, as you can't tell from the pictures and does worry me that it may be low quality, which can't be underestimated of its importance.

Haven't got it yet, just bought 2 x neumann kh120 actives so I'll have to replenish funds!

I'll be sure to post when I get it though.

post #67 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

Haven't got it yet, just bought 2 x neumann kh120 actives so I'll have to replenish funds!

I'll be sure to post when I get it though.

I skipped on the A18 and pre-ordered the new Schiit Mjolnir, fun times ahead!

 

Setup will consist of:

 

JRiver>King Rex UC384 Converter>Mogami AES/EBU>Yulong D18 DAC>AQ Columbia XLR>Schiit Mjolnir Amp>Moon Audio Black Dragon 4-pin XLR 10ft. cable>Beyerdynamic T1

 

I hope the amp will satisfy as I am hoping to stop looking for a long time! I can't wait for the obsessive research to stop lol.


Edited by brunk - 6/17/12 at 11:13pm
post #68 of 94

If anyone is interested, HERE is a link to my review of the A18 amp. 

 

I know there are lots of other choices out there at the moment, with more on the way. But D18 owners (and anyone else, really) should definitely consider the A18 - it's a phenomenal performer. 

post #69 of 94

Project86,

 

Once again an excellent review.....but I think your reviews have cost me enough already!  o2smile.gif

post #70 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlvca View Post

Project86,

 

Once again an excellent review.....but I think your reviews have cost me enough already!  o2smile.gif

 

Sorry.....

post #71 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

If anyone is interested, HERE is a link to my review of the A18 amp. 

 

I know there are lots of other choices out there at the moment, with more on the way. But D18 owners (and anyone else, really) should definitely consider the A18 - it's a phenomenal performer. 

Awesome review mate. Just ordered the D18. Hopefully order the A18 tomorrow. Should sound pretty good with my OR5 bnc out.

post #72 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

Awesome review mate. Just ordered the D18. Hopefully order the A18 tomorrow. Should sound pretty good with my OR5 bnc out.

 

Yep, that should be a good combo. Let us know your thoughts once you get it all set up!

post #73 of 94

guys, did anyone try A18 with Audio-technica's W3000ANV?

if yes, did you have a chance to compare it to any other amp?

post #74 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I have not heard the La Figaro 339, but did own a DarkVoice 337SE for several years. Not exactly the same thing, I know. I think the A18 is a better amp than the 337SE overall. 

I have noticed one thing that maybe some of you other folks can try for yourselves - when running a balanced headphone out with single ended inputs, the top end seems veiled. I currently have my D100 MKII feeding both XLR and RCA into the A18. Using the rear panel switch to go back and forth between balanced and single ended input, there is a large difference in favor of the balanced input. I confirmed by swapping the MKII for the D18 DAC and the Violectric V800 since they all have XLR and RCA outs. Similar results all around. So just because you CAN use balanced headphone out with a non-balanced system, it seems like maybe you shouldn't.... until you get a balanced source as well. 

I need to test more with single ended headphone output to see how that is affected by balanced or single ended inputs. I did some listening when I first got it, through single ended inputs, and it didn't strike me as recessed. I've experienced amps that do their best by sticking with the same input and output types, thus avoiding any phase splitter conversions. Perhaps this is one of those amps. 
I just got myself a 337 also with tung sol 5998's .so u think the a18 will pair better with my pair of he500's?
post #75 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post


I just got myself a 337 also with tung sol 5998's .so u think the a18 will pair better with my pair of he500's?

 

The 337 is a really nice amp. Very fun, very smooth, and a great soundstage. Not all that different from the A18 actually. I believe I prefer the A18 but I'd have to hear them back to back since it's been a while. Also, I never had the HE500 back when I had the 337 (HE500 didn't yet exist at the time) so I really don't know how it pairs. If you like it a lot, stick with it, if not, the A18 is a worthy choice. 

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