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REVIEW: Yulong Sabre A18 Reference headphone amp - Page 3

post #31 of 174
Thread Starter 

Darn this Yulong A18! I'm sitting there trying to get some listening time on a very nice tube amp for an upcoming review. I made the mistake of using the A18 for comparison.... and never went back to the tube amp! The tube amp sounds great, but the A18 is just so engaging and musical that it makes you not want to "analyze" the sound but just enjoy it. I used the HE-400 and really couldn't ask for much more. Played some CBW and just got lost in Lenny White's drumming. 

post #32 of 174

Glad to hear it! Considering I have one on the way to go with HE-400s as well! What was the (poor) tube amp?

post #33 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by allyl View Post

Glad to hear it! Considering I have one on the way to go with HE-400s as well! What was the (poor) tube amp?

 

The tube amp is the Icon Audio HP8 MKII. It's a very nice amp, priced similarly to the A18, and it can do some things that the A18 can't do. Review to come at InnerFidelity when I have had enough time spent with it.

 

The problem with the A18 is that it is just fun to listen to. So while I'm hearing the stuff it doesn't do as well as the HP8, I'm so drawn to the music that I don't really care. 

 

I suspect that the results would swing in favor of the Icon amp if I was using my Audio Technica W1000x. I'll have to try that out, but historically I like it best on tubes. 

post #34 of 174

Well, I received my A18 this afternoon and have been enjoying it ever since with both the Hifiman HE400 and Senn HD800s. The first thing that stands out to me is indeed the soundstage. Coming from a Violectric V200, which I felt had a little bit too intimate or congested of a presentation, the A18 certainly displays more depth and width. The aspect that I'm enjoying most, however, is actually the separation. Listening to orchestral works, the semi-circle made by the performers is readily evident, with distinct placement of your first violins, seconds, violas, and cello/bass section. The woodwinds in back are a little less distinct, though still good. 

 

Like project86 said in his excellent review, the bass so far seems very comparable to the V200, and the highs are ever so slightly more rolled off. Also, this amp runs pretty hot! To the point where I don't really want to pick it up after it's been running for a couple hours. And if it's of any import, I am feeding the amp through the RCA inputs and listening through the 1/4" jack. Using the 300 ohm senns and the planar HE400s, there has been no hiss for me, up until about 4 or 5 o'clock for both headphones. For classical, I am listening between 10 and 1 o'clock, so this likely will not be an issue. I tried both outputs (tube and solid state) on my Minimax Plus DAC, and it seems to make no difference with regard to the high-volume hiss. As for sonic differences, I haven't quite figured any out in my limited listening.

 

So far, a very good purchase!

post #35 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by allyl View Post

Well, I received my A18 this afternoon and have been enjoying it ever since with both the Hifiman HE400 and Senn HD800s. The first thing that stands out to me is indeed the soundstage. Coming from a Violectric V200, which I felt had a little bit too intimate or congested of a presentation, the A18 certainly displays more depth and width. The aspect that I'm enjoying most, however, is actually the separation. Listening to orchestral works, the semi-circle made by the performers is readily evident, with distinct placement of your first violins, seconds, violas, and cello/bass section. The woodwinds in back are a little less distinct, though still good. 

 

Like project86 said in his excellent review, the bass so far seems very comparable to the V200, and the highs are ever so slightly more rolled off. Also, this amp runs pretty hot! To the point where I don't really want to pick it up after it's been running for a couple hours. And if it's of any import, I am feeding the amp through the RCA inputs and listening through the 1/4" jack. Using the 300 ohm senns and the planar HE400s, there has been no hiss for me, up until about 4 or 5 o'clock for both headphones. For classical, I am listening between 10 and 1 o'clock, so this likely will not be an issue. I tried both outputs (tube and solid state) on my Minimax Plus DAC, and it seems to make no difference with regard to the high-volume hiss. As for sonic differences, I haven't quite figured any out in my limited listening.

 

So far, a very good purchase!

 

Cool, sounds like we hear things similarly. I'm glad you have the HD800 to try with the A18 because I no longer have those. It seems like it would be a really good match for people who want to like the HD800 but can't quite stomach them from some amps. 

 

Let us know once you get further impressions. 

post #36 of 174

Hello everybody!

 

I currently own the D18, and the A18 would be its natural partner. The Audez'e LCD-2 will soon be mine, so I would like to know if there is anybody here who has heard this combo? I am interested in this amp because it seems to be on par with the Violectric V200 in many aspects and even have a more realistic soundstage, and that's something I care about.


Edited by AManAnd88Keys - 11/8/12 at 1:43pm
post #37 of 174

The A18 definitely bests the V200 in terms of soundstage, both in width and depth. I also would say it's a touch less warm than the V200 as well. It has power aplenty for orthos like your LCD-2, but its hiss can be a little frustrating with high sensitivity cans (if you're OCD like I am).

 

Also, it runs pretty hot, if heat is a consideration.

post #38 of 174

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AManAnd88Keys View Post

Hello everybody!

 

I currently own the D18, and the A18 would be its natural partner. The Audez'e LCD-2 will soon be mine, so I would like to know if there is anybody here who has heard this combo? I am interested in this amp because it seems to be on par with the Violectric V200 in many aspects and even have a more realistic soundstage, and that's something I care about.

 

I have the combo and I love it. Technically one could think that these three components stacked together could add up to an overly warm presentation but I do not find this to be the case for my tastes. The A18 has plenty of power for the LCD 2’s and the combination of A18/D18/LCD2 is extremely musical and enjoyable. If the individual characteristics of any of the three components appeal to you, you will love them in combination.

 

1000


Edited by mrcasey - 11/8/12 at 2:38pm
post #39 of 174

Thanks for these fast and very helpful replies! My concern was indeed that those 3 components would result in sound being too warm, but it seems I don't have to worry about that.

post #40 of 174
Thread Starter 

I've heard the combo several times and can also confirm what the others are saying - it sounds great. So much so that I finally broke down and picked up an LCD-2 for myself. I'm getting the bamboo with balanced cable and then an Auric Ohno single ended cable from Charleston Cable Company. 

 

I always get questions about the LCD-2 when reviewing other stuff so it will be nice to finally have one of my own to play with. 

post #41 of 174

I own the A18 for a couple of weeks now and really enjoying the sound.

My DAC is a V-DAC II from Musical Fidelity fed by a battery.

How much of an upgrade would the D18 be?And the different LED light of both units bother me a little.Has anyone tried to change the color of one of the units,so they match?

post #42 of 174
Thread Starter 

It's been a while since I heard the VDAC, and that was the original not the newer mark II. So I really couldn't say. I would assume it is a nice jump in quality but I don't know for sure.

post #43 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I've heard the combo several times and can also confirm what the others are saying - it sounds great. So much so that I finally broke down and picked up an LCD-2 for myself. I'm getting the bamboo with balanced cable and then an Auric Ohno single ended cable from Charleston Cable Company. 

 

I always get questions about the LCD-2 when reviewing other stuff so it will be nice to finally have one of my own to play with. 


In the past, your reviews have led me to the M-Stage and Yulong D18, both excellent devices for their price - so when you say that the D18+A18+LCD 2 is a great setup it has to be the truth wink.gif

By the way, I am going to get a special cable from Toxic Cables for my LCD-2, some OCC Copper-Litz madness biggrin.gif

post #44 of 174
Do you guys generally prefer the combination of D18+A18 to D18+V200?
post #45 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AManAnd88Keys View Post

Do you guys generally prefer the combination of D18+A18 to D18+V200?

 

Both are really great. It kind of depends on what you are after in terms of presentation - more direct, focused, analog sounding goodness (V200) or more diffuse, three dimensional sound (A18). I tend to keep the stacks together - V800/V200 and D18/A18. 

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