Just a follow-up to my Yulong U18 experience. I had posted earlier that I got a U18 to convert USB output to SPDIF for my DAC and take advantage of different sampling rates since my existing unit could only do 44 and 96 kHz. The Yulong does 44, 48, 88, 96, 176, 192. My DAC is an NOS Havana which I use mainly for hi-res audio at 88 and 96 kHz.
My main software player for years has been cMP/cPlay and I was disappointed to find that cPlay and the Yulong could not get along. I could not even get ASIO4ALL.DLL to play along with the Yulong. I contacted Yulong directly and they said there would not be another driver version for several months and that I should try a different player. I had already tried the Yulong with foobar2000 and found no problems at all. Same thing with JRiver. The only problem is the sound was not up to what I was getting with cPlay. Over the last few weeks I tried several other players including JPlay and HQPlayer. They both worked perfectly with the Yulong but still the sound was a notch below what I was getting before.
Finally, I gave one more player a shot: xxHighEnd. Again, it worked perfectly with the Yulong but this time, the sound surpassed what I was getting with cPlay. After a few days of getting used to the horrible interface I sent the man $100 and bought a license. It is just that good. The best digital I have heard with my system. xxHighEnd takes the same minimalist approach as cPlay where processes are shut down, music is loaded to memory, video is disabled and the music plays. When you get rid of all the hash and interference, it can sound like you are sitting in the control room of a studio listening to the master tape. I am running it under a minimal Windows XP install with Kernal Streaming. (I also tried it via ASIO under Windows 7 and it worked fine, but I prefer the XP sound.)
I don't know how much the Yulong contributes to the final sound, but I can say it is an excellent facilitator in making the whole process happen without glitches, pops or snags. The little driver app dutifully reports the current sample rate if it is open on the screen. I am using a simple USB cable with it's positive power contact tab removed and an external power supply plugged into the Yulong. It works great and lowers the noise floor a little more than using straight USB power. As it turns out, I am very happy I bought the Yulong unit. It is a winner.