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REVIEW: Yulong D100 MKII DAC - an update to an already excellent device - Page 2

post #16 of 214
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrTone View Post

What are your thoughts in comparison to the TubeDAC11?  From a DAC and headphone amp standpoint.

 

The TubeDAC-11 is a killer value - it costs $130 less than the D100 MKII, and has more inputs, pre-amp functionality, and of course the tube buffer aspect. In some ways the TubeDAC and the D100 show their family lineage.

 

As a DAC, the TubeDAC is more forgiving, less detailed, and more dependent on source quality (which makes sense due to lack of the ASRC circuit). Sound signatures are fairly similar overall though, so there isn't a complete deviation there. Using the Tube Out on the TubeDAC will give you a warmer and smoother result, while using the solid state choices basically sounds like a junior version of the D100 MKII.

 

From a headphone amp standpoint they are also similar. The original D100 had a lighter, more "ethereal" feel to the headphone stage. The newly tweaked MKII sounds warmer and smoother, which again puts it in line with the TubeDAC though more refined and advanced. The D100 does have a little more power on tap - into a 32 ohm load, the D100 delivers 900mW while the TubeDAC is rated at 600mW. The differences decrease as you go up to higher impedance loads. In real world usage, I find the D100 to do a better job powering orthos. My HiFiMAN HE400 sounds acceptable on the TubeDAC but quite nice on the D100. But don't forget the tube out option for powering headphones from the TubeDAC.... which is actually quite useful for high impedance models. 

 

In the end, both nice units and both worth looking at. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by schlaget View Post

I saw that you have the sabre a18 as well as the v200. Could you comment on the synergy to those with the D100 MKII?

 

D100 MKII pairs very well with the Sabre A18. I've been using it alot - almost as much as the D18/A18 combo. While the D18 is more musical, more open, with a smoothness that would make vinyl and tube junkies really happy, the D100 MKII is more "traditional high end DAC" sounding. A little brighter, more direct, with a less diffuse soundstage, and more focus on the sparkle. It's a nice alternative to the D18 and as I said in the review, I can picture some people actually preferring it.

 

V200 is a good match as well - as an amp it shares many traits with the A18, so it makes sense that if one pairs well the other would too. 


Edited by project86 - 5/1/12 at 12:29pm
post #17 of 214

Project86, sorry to go off topic....how do you like your Hifiman HE-400 headphones?  I've been thinking about trying them out.

post #18 of 214
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlvca View Post

Project86, sorry to go off topic....how do you like your Hifiman HE-400 headphones?  I've been thinking about trying them out.

 

I dig 'em. Full review coming soon.

 

I added some Lawton modded pads from my LA7000 to help with comfort and seal, and am using a balanced "Hybrid" cable from Toxic Cables so I can use them balanced with the Yulong A18. They have some quirks but overall very good for the price. 

post #19 of 214

Awesome review.

Do you think the hint of warmness on the MKII is too much for the HD 650? Doesn't seem like it should be a problem but figured I'd ask. Would it have better synergy with a colder amp?


Edited by furjim - 5/1/12 at 8:11pm
post #20 of 214
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by furjim View Post

Awesome review.

Do you think the hint of warmness on the MKII is too much for the HD 650? Doesn't seem like it should be a problem but figured I'd ask. Would it have better synergy with a colder amp?

 

Depends on your view of the HD650. Opinions are all over the map on that - some call it veiled, some call it neutral, some wish for more bass, others say there is too much warmth..... The D100 MKII is still retty neutral in the grand scheme of things. So it should pair well with almost anything. 

post #21 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

 

So far, so good. I personally only had one instance of a heat issue "flare up" on my original. It was a really hot summer day, and the unit itself was rather warm to the touch. It lost the signal lock for USB and all I hear was static on the output. I believe this is similar to that svyr had experienced, though clearly mine was not as extreme.

 

So far the new model seems to run cooler than the original. I've currently got the A18 amp underneath the D100 MKII, and as some of you know, the A18 gets quite warm. So I'd think that any heat issues on the MKII would appear rather sooner than later. But so far, nothing. I'll update if that changes though.

 

Good to know, thanks ! Being French, I'm pretty much bound for the uncertainty of ordering from an overseas distributor, as you deftly put it, whomever I should turn to.

Again, thank you. Your generous feedback is much appreciated.

post #22 of 214

Hey project86 nice write up as expected..

I noticed that you only tested MKII with headphones..

Is there any chance that you've hooked it up with some powered speakers for some listening?

post #23 of 214
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimus Praim View Post

Hey project86 nice write up as expected..
I noticed that you only tested MKII with headphones..
Is there any chance that you've hooked it up with some powered speakers for some listening?

Keep in mind that the D100 does not have preamp functionality. The volume control only applies to the headphone amp section meaning powered speakers will need to be adjusted via their own volume controls.

But yes, I have used several powered speakers and the D100 does a great job. I use the Serene Audio Talisman Active in my computer setup, and I've also got some others in for reviews which will be published at InnerFidelity as soon as I finish - the Audyssey media speakers and the Emotiva Airmotiv 5. The Audyssey doesn't pair as well due to it sounding best via its optical input. But the Airmotivs are spectacular.
post #24 of 214

You have very stylish speakers on your desk,i like your taste..

As for the volume control limitation i can connect the Yulong to my M-stage and adjust the volume from there but unforunately i can do that only with unbalanced connections..

I can live with that but what scares me is if i am missing that much going unbalanced with this Dac..

post #25 of 214
Thread Starter 
I don't think single ended mode is too much of a compromise. Really, the main benefit is seen when you have a fully balanced amp like the A18, where you want balanced operation in the whole chain. Feeding that a single ended signal just doesn't do it justice. But for the airmotivs which have XLR and RCA inputs, I don't hear much of a difference. Each one has a slight character but neither is clearly better.
post #26 of 214

Τhanks for clarifying that there is almost nothing to lose in terms of SQ when going unballanced..

I am between the MKII and the Essence One and my mainly concern was that i couldn't get the best out of MKII if i couldn't use the balanced outputs -as i couldn't adjust the volume from the MKII-because with Essence one you can achieve going balanced and use the volume knob .

After reading your review of the D100 and now this one for the MKII you gave me the feeling that you were quite impressed but the MKII performance and i may skip Asus and go for this Dac instead.


Edited by Optimus Praim - 5/3/12 at 2:11pm
post #27 of 214

Is it available in US ?


Edited by veracocha - 5/3/12 at 11:41pm
post #28 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by veracocha View Post

Is it available in US ?

 

Grant Fidelity.

post #29 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrTone View Post

What are your thoughts in comparison to the TubeDAC11?  From a DAC and headphone amp standpoint.

I found that my Tube DAC 11 works better with my Grado RS 1's than it does with my Audeze LCD 2's. Choice of headphones, obviously, will affect impressions.  I like to have a DAC/Amp combo to take with me out of town and I just picked up the Yulong D100 MK II because it seems happier driving the Audeze's than the Tube Dac 11.  I will keep the Tube Dac 11 because I believe it is a great value component and very versatile product. There is so much playing around you can do with the Tube DAC 11 that the fun never ends.  In no way does it sound "bad" or "poor" compared to it's Yulong Brothers and Sisters.

I am going to try driving my A18 with the D100.  I think that could end up working well with the Audeze’s.  It could add a nice touch of sharpness to a warm LCD2/A18/D18 package. So far I am very impressed with the D100 and it holds up quite well against the A18/D18 combo.

 

 

The happy family:

 

photo (9).JPG

post #30 of 214
Thread Starter 
Nice pic! I have the same family but the TubeDAC is the black sheep since I got it in black, and everything else in silver.... I agree with your thoughts 100% though. All of these are great units and all serve a purpose, some have applications where they actually work better than their more advanced siblings.

I am liking the D100 MKII/A18 combo as well. Most of the time the Sabre units pair better together, but sometimes you do want the extra snap of the D100.
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