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Yulong's new DA8 - Page 23

post #331 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

The DA8 does indeed have a linear power supply with a large toroidal transformer and fairly extensive voltage regulation, etc. I've also got the LPS-1 and if you open it up you'll see the guts look very similar to what's found in the DA8. It's just that the DA8 has it all in one enclosure rather than a separate section. 

 

The DA8 uses an asynchronous USB implementation. It's quite good - USB input sounds better than SPDIF to my ears, unless I use a super-duper transport like the Audiophilleo AP1 with PurePower. I'd say the built-in USB is probably better than your NuForce 192S. 

 

 

 

I've heard the DP1 on several occasions and I liked it. I never had it next to the DA8 to directly compare though. I hear a lot of similarities, based on memory alone. Both are somewhat on the warmer side with a very well controlled top end, meaning no harshness or digital glare. I honestly don't recall anything from the Eximus that would blow away the DA8 except for the fancy casework. In fact, the Yulong may be the better DAC. Especially over SPDIF as I feel the Eximus has some bottlenecks due to certain design choices. The DA8 definitely has the better headphone amp section though. I didn't care for the one in the DP1. 


Thanks for the answer, Project86.
I'm surprised to hear that USB sounds better than SPDIF as a general rule SPDIF is always better that USB. Or maybe in DA8 SPDIF input just very average and not on a par with USB? 

post #332 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

I sure will. I'm actually using the DA8 in a speaker setup right now, displacing an expensive dedicated tube preamp. We'll see how it compares and if anything is lost in the process or not. 

 

Will you have a chance to compare DA8 with Matrix X-Sabre? I believe that many of us very interested in this test. 

post #333 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iskander71 View Post


Thanks for the answer, Project86.
I'm surprised to hear that USB sounds better than SPDIF as a general rule SPDIF is always better that USB. Or maybe in DA8 SPDIF input just very average and not on a par with USB? 

 

That was the case until a few years ago, but is generally no longer true. A well done asynchronous USB input can have lower jitter and be less transport dependent than even the best SPDIF implementations.

 

The DA8 uses a proprietary input buffer for SPDIF signals, combined with the integrated digital audio receiver function in the ESS Sabre DAC chip itself. So it's quite well thought out.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iskander71 View Post

 

Will you have a chance to compare DA8 with Matrix X-Sabre? I believe that many of us very interested in this test. 

 

I sure will - I'm curious about this comparison myself. 

post #334 of 498

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post #335 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

That was the case until a few years ago, but is generally no longer true. A well done asynchronous USB input can have lower jitter and be less transport dependent than even the best SPDIF implementations.

 

The DA8 uses a proprietary input buffer for SPDIF signals, combined with the integrated digital audio receiver function in the ESS Sabre DAC chip itself. So it's quite well thought out.

 

 

I sure will - I'm curious about this comparison myself. 

 

That's amazing that hardware and software engineers found a way to better SPDIF through USB.

post #336 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

The DA8 does indeed have a linear power supply with a large toroidal transformer and fairly extensive voltage regulation, etc. I've also got the LPS-1 and if you open it up you'll see the guts look very similar to what's found in the DA8. It's just that the DA8 has it all in one enclosure rather than a separate section. 

 

The DA8 uses an asynchronous USB implementation. It's quite good - USB input sounds better than SPDIF to my ears, unless I use a super-duper transport like the Audiophilleo AP1 with PurePower. I'd say the built-in USB is probably better than your NuForce 192S. 

 

 

 

I've heard the DP1 on several occasions and I liked it. I never had it next to the DA8 to directly compare though. I hear a lot of similarities, based on memory alone. Both are somewhat on the warmer side with a very well controlled top end, meaning no harshness or digital glare. I honestly don't recall anything from the Eximus that would blow away the DA8 except for the fancy casework. In fact, the Yulong may be the better DAC. Especially over SPDIF as I feel the Eximus has some bottlenecks due to certain design choices. The DA8 definitely has the better headphone amp section though. I didn't care for the one in the DP1. 

Any chance you'll be comparing the DA8s USB implementation with the AP1/purepower? Reason I'm curious is that folks say that the Audio-gd DI v3 is just as good as AP so it seems it's possible to create a very good USB converter at reasonable prices. I've also read a review that compared the Wadia 121's built-in USB implementation with the Off Ramp 5 and found them to be equal... since the tech is becoming more mature, it should be even more possible to do USB very well on the cheap.

 

Getting up to the level of the BADA, on the other hand, probably not there yet...

post #337 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by mojolo View Post

Any chance you'll be comparing the DA8s USB implementation with the AP1/purepower? Reason I'm curious is that folks say that the Audio-gd DI v3 is just as good as AP so it seems it's possible to create a very good USB converter at reasonable prices. I've also read a review that compared the Wadia 121's built-in USB implementation with the Off Ramp 5 and found them to be equal... since the tech is becoming more mature, it should be even more possible to do USB very well on the cheap.

 

Getting up to the level of the BADA, on the other hand, probably not there yet...

 

 

Sure will. I've been meaning to do a write-up on the Audiophilleo gear as well - it's such an obscenely good reference setup, and it blows away any expensive disc spinner I've ever owned. Yet despite that, not all DACs will show an improvement. To some degree that says good things about their native USB input, but it also could be a limitation where they just aren't revealing enough to show the improvement. I've got a Stello U3 which I consider a "pretty good" DDC but the AP1+PP is far better. Yet in some cases I find a DAC won't reveal much difference. So that could be what's happening with the Wadia and the DI that you mentioned.

post #338 of 498
Good points indeed, will be interesting to see how they compare. Looking forward to it!
post #339 of 498
MrCasey: Do you have more comments on the Hilo vs. the DA8 now that you have spend some more time with them? Thanks
post #340 of 498

I wouldn’t want to have to choose between the two DAC’s.  The DA8 plays DXD and DSD 124, the Hilo will never play DSD 124 and DXD unless they change the design.  The Hilo is an AD converter to 24/192, wonderful for people who wish to rip their vinyl (haven’t tried it yet).  The DA8 has no such feature. I feel comfortable saying that the built in HP amps on both units are of the same caliber.

 

I give the slight edge to the Hilo when playing the same files.  By slight, I mean it might be difficult for me to discern them on a double blind test.  The Hilo seems a little more natural and/or analogue across the board at no cost to the extension of the Highs or depth and articulation of the Bass.  To be honest, I would like to have another member with more experienced and trained ears to compare them.  I will be keeping both.

 

project86, order a Hilo for review please.  Do you really need to sleep?


Edited by mrcasey - 6/25/13 at 11:17pm
post #341 of 498

Still missing 17 pages to reach the Matrix 3ad... wink.gif

post #342 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcasey View Post

I wouldn’t want to have to choose between the two DAC’s.  The DA8 plays DXD and DSD 124, the Hilo will never play DSD 124 and DXD unless they change the design.  The Hilo is an AD converter to 24/192, wonderful for people who wish to rip their vinyl (haven’t tried it yet).  The DA8 has no such feature. I feel comfortable saying that the built in HP amps on both units are of the same caliber.

 

I give the slight edge to the Hilo when playing the same files.  By slight, I mean it might be difficult for me to discern them on a double blind test.  The Hilo seems a little more natural and/or analogue across the board at no cost to the extension of the Highs or depth and articulation of the Bass.  To be honest, I would like to have another member with more experienced and trained ears to compare them.  I will be keeping both.

 

project86, order a Hilo for review please.  Do you really need to sleep?

 

Thanks very much for the impressions! I'd actually love to review the Hilo, and I'm pretty sure I could find one to borrow for a while.... but it probably won't happen anytime soon. 

 

Here's the thing (and I may sound like a jerk for explaining this) - I get paid for my contributions at InnerFidelity. So it obviously makes sense for me to spend more time doing that. And we don't really focus on DACs there, as they are a better fit at our sister site AudioStream. I still love reviewing DACs though, and I do it around here often. But I'm having to balance my time between "job" and "fun" reviews, and you can guess which one usually wins. I've spoken with Michael Lavorgna of AudioStream and contributing there may be an option down the line, but it's not currently in the budget. So I'll continue to cover DACs here, for fun, because I love to do so... but they might be slower in coming than they used to. I refuse to compromise my reviews in order to get more done, so they will remain long winded and detailed and thus will take longer than I'd like. 

 

Long story short - Hilo, yes. Soon, probably not. Sorry!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprit View Post

Still missing 17 pages to reach the Matrix 3ad... wink.gif

 

Huh? I don't get it. Too early maybe. 

post #343 of 498

AudioStream, or any other company, could only benefit considerably from including your reviews of DACs and any other products you happen to test.  No doubt our enthusiasm for your opinion can get to be a little much at times.  Hopefully the day comes, if it is what you want, where you start to get properly compensated for all the great work you do.  For now, please accept my appreciation for your valued opinion.  Keep up the great work.

post #344 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcasey View Post

AudioStream, or any other company, could only benefit considerably from including your reviews of DACs and any other products you happen to test.  No doubt our enthusiasm for your opinion can get to be a little much at times.  Hopefully the day comes, if it is what you want, where you start to get properly compensated for all the great work you do.  For now, please accept my appreciation for your valued opinion.  Keep up the great work.

 

Thanks! I will say that Tyll, InnerFidelity, and Source Interlink Media have been very good to work with. I love being a part of that team and they do compensate me nicely. And I'm not just sucking up.... Tyll basically lets me write about almost anything I want, be it obscure or popular or in between. I am free to trash or praise the gear as I see fit. I don't think a lot of other publications would be so open in that way. 

post #345 of 498

One question that occurs to me is which would sound better, getting a DA8 or a D18 along with a high end USB to SPDIF converter if the goal is simply to go from a Mac Mini to the converter for use in a speaker system only; no headphones. The overall price would be similar.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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