Sound like all good points from direct experience - thanks. I loved the D18 overall. I am a big fan if its mix of warmth yet still good detail. That being said the Nuforce DAC 100 I think is more open and has more air and separation while still having good detail, although its flavor of being more energetic wasn't as much my cup of tea.
Sounds like the Crack must be pretty impressive if you prefer it to the Woo offerings even with stock tubes. Despite their sleek cases and nice looks, I hold them in high regard.
All things said though, I am becoming somewhat of a huge Yulong fan. In my direct experience for my personal preferences, I haven't found any other offerings that come even close to his gear for delivering exactly what I love at killer prices.
I've been listening to my DA8 and HE 400 for a few hours in a row tonight and just find it incredibly resolving, natural, and immersive. What a killer pairing for the price, especially since I picked up the DA8 for under a grand used and the HE 400 new for $299 instead of the previously standard $399.
Originally Posted by Zashoomin
First of all thank you and I have to agree with some points but not so much with others. While I do respect the Nuforce DACs I would say that the D18 is a step above them. Also you can find a USB interface very easily. Yulong makes one for $200, so does M2Tech, and Audio-GD. I am sure that you can find a used one closer to $100 if you look on the for sale forums here or anywhere else.
Secondly I do agree that it is more about synergy than tube or ss but I will say that the Crack sounds amazing even with stock tubes. It does sound better with higher end tubes but still sound better than the woo stuff. I think that woo puts too much stock in looks so that is what you are paying for. With the money you save by getting the crack you can get better tubes and also the speedball upgrade. Again though it is DIY which is why it is so good for the price, but it is also easy to build and doable by anyone.