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REVIEW - Yulong Audio Sabre DA8 Reference DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 1369

I will not sleep having remained in doubt, not resolved, Yulong Vs. Matrix rolleyes.gif

I'm lost: I did not understand from what point of the review, because of the inputs inverted, what I've read before is no longer correct... wink.gif


Edited by Esprit - 7/19/13 at 3:47pm
post #17 of 1369

Very nice review John, makes it even harder to decide what to upgrade too when I get my Sr-009s in...I'm still thinking Audio-GD Master 7, it was the only dac I heard that I liked more than my D2 when I had it.

post #18 of 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

LOL i have a black DA8 with the TH-900 and the blue wrapping still on the end myself wink.gif

 

I meant to take it off but got busy and forgot about doing it. Maybe mentally I just like the blue vs. the chrome underneath? biggrin.gif

 

Tonight, the DA8, set to DAC-only mode, plugged into the L-2 headphone amp and driving TH900s. (Last night it was connected to an F1J driving HE-6s in preamp mode, for volume control necessity.)

 

This is a good combo! It still lacks the detail and resolution of the PWDII but it gets close enough to be more noticeably enjoyable. Of course, I've got different cans on so that will definitely have an effect on listening impressions. The HE-6s are definitely no slouch in its ability to present detail though, but the TH900s through the L-2 does sound good with the DA8 as DAC-only. Extension on the bottom end has a bit more bloom and sounds slightly rolled off compared to the PWDII. It's a smooth presentation. Soundstage, as project86 stated in his review, is pretty good, extremely close to the PWDII's presentation. Dead Can Dance's Spiritchaser album has a lot of great tracks to test the soundstaging of your gear and it certainly reproduced it as spaciously as I've heard it before.

 

Overall, if you don't have PWDII $$ to spend on a DAC, you wouldn't do too bad on this unit. It's versatile enough to handle both DAC and headamp/preamp duties. I'd attribute my listening impressions from last night due to my equipment configuration with the F1J+HE-6 and not having a preamp to compare DAC impressions properly across both my setups. You can draw your own conclusions from this. very_evil_smiley.gif

post #19 of 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by twizzleraddict View Post

I meant to take it off but got busy and forgot about doing it. Maybe mentally I just like the blue vs. the chrome underneath? biggrin.gif


Tonight, the DA8, set to DAC-only mode, plugged into the L-2 headphone amp and driving TH900s. (Last night it was connected to an F1J driving HE-6s in preamp mode, for volume control necessity.)

This is a good combo! It still lacks the detail and resolution of the PWDII but it gets close enough to be more noticeably enjoyable. Of course, I've got different cans on so that will definitely have an effect on listening impressions. The HE-6s are definitely no slouch in its ability to present detail though, but the TH900s through the L-2 does sound good with the DA8 as DAC-only. Extension on the bottom end has a bit more bloom and sounds slightly rolled off compared to the PWDII. It's a smooth presentation. Soundstage, as project86 stated in his review, is pretty good, extremely close to the PWDII's presentation. Dead Can Dance's Spiritchaser album has a lot of great tracks to test the soundstaging of your gear and it certainly reproduced it as spaciously as I've heard it before.

Overall, if you don't have PWDII $$ to spend on a DAC, you wouldn't do too bad on this unit. It's versatile enough to handle both DAC and headamp/preamp duties. I'd attribute my listening impressions from last night due to my equipment configuration with the F1J+HE-6 and not having a preamp to compare DAC impressions properly across both my setups. You can draw your own conclusions from this. 
very_evil_smiley.gif
Very nice, sounds like we have similar tastes in music too! I also have a HE-6 but its currently at BTG Audio getting hard-wired. I have a high-end integrated that is pushing it and the clarity and naturalness is the best i've heard short of a TOTL stax setup. I have to admit, the DA8 being able to hang with PWD mkII and Anedio D2 is no small feat from a relative newcomer, very impressive. Enjoy the music my friend! smily_headphones1.gif
post #20 of 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post


Very nice, sounds like we have similar tastes in music too! I also have a HE-6 but its currently at BTG Audio getting hard-wired. I have a high-end integrated that is pushing it and the clarity and naturalness is the best i've heard short of a TOTL stax setup. I have to admit, the DA8 being able to hang with PWD mkII and Anedio D2 is no small feat from a relative newcomer, very impressive. Enjoy the music my friend! smily_headphones1.gif

 

Your going to like them hardwired.  What cable did you get?

post #21 of 1369

Great review as always John.

Finally got to hear how the DA8 compare with D18. 

post #22 of 1369
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprit View Post

I will not sleep having remained in doubt, not resolved, Yulong Vs. Matrix rolleyes.gif

I'm lost: I did not understand from what point of the review, because of the inputs inverted, what I've read before is no longer correct... wink.gif

 

Sorry! It's difficult.... my point was I got all mixed up with my inputs. So I switched to a 2-way A/B comparison between just the Yulong and Matrix, and the Matrix was better... in that particular setup. As I said, there are other configurations I can come up with where DA8 is by far the best, or D2 is definitely superior. 

 

The main thing to take away from the Matrix and DA8 comparison: they don't sound all that different. Someone who heard one and loved it will probably enjoy the other. Or if they disliked one, they probably won't be blown away by the other. So I recommend shopping based on price, features, and availability, with sound being less of a key factor. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

Very nice review John, makes it even harder to decide what to upgrade too when I get my Sr-009s in...I'm still thinking Audio-GD Master 7, it was the only dac I heard that I liked more than my D2 when I had it.

 

Thanks! I gotta try that Master 7 one of these days. Too bad it's soooooo massive, as I don't have much room left in my rack. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by twizzleraddict View Post

 

I meant to take it off but got busy and forgot about doing it. Maybe mentally I just like the blue vs. the chrome underneath? biggrin.gif

 

Tonight, the DA8, set to DAC-only mode, plugged into the L-2 headphone amp and driving TH900s. (Last night it was connected to an F1J driving HE-6s in preamp mode, for volume control necessity.)

 

This is a good combo! It still lacks the detail and resolution of the PWDII but it gets close enough to be more noticeably enjoyable. Of course, I've got different cans on so that will definitely have an effect on listening impressions. The HE-6s are definitely no slouch in its ability to present detail though, but the TH900s through the L-2 does sound good with the DA8 as DAC-only. Extension on the bottom end has a bit more bloom and sounds slightly rolled off compared to the PWDII. It's a smooth presentation. Soundstage, as project86 stated in his review, is pretty good, extremely close to the PWDII's presentation. Dead Can Dance's Spiritchaser album has a lot of great tracks to test the soundstaging of your gear and it certainly reproduced it as spaciously as I've heard it before.

 

Overall, if you don't have PWDII $$ to spend on a DAC, you wouldn't do too bad on this unit. It's versatile enough to handle both DAC and headamp/preamp duties. I'd attribute my listening impressions from last night due to my equipment configuration with the F1J+HE-6 and not having a preamp to compare DAC impressions properly across both my setups. You can draw your own conclusions from this. very_evil_smiley.gif

 

Thanks for the update. Extra credit for the Dead Can Dance reference. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.F.O.A View Post

Great review as always John.

Finally got to hear how the DA8 compare with D18. 

 

Thanks! D18 remains a very enjoyable device, and would actually fit some people better than DA8. 

post #23 of 1369

Excellent review. Thank you Project for the detailed and honest presentation.

 

I wonder how the DA8 compares to the Invicta.

A comparison to the Mytek (which uses a different Sabre chip) would be interesting, too.

 

Yulong goal was to create a DAC to be better than the Weiss DAC202.

Did he accomplish it? The measurements may show better figures but what about the SQ?

post #24 of 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
The main thing to take away from the Matrix and DA8 comparison: they don't sound all that different. Someone who heard one and loved it will probably enjoy the other. Or if they disliked one, they probably won't be blown away by the other. So I recommend shopping based on price, features, and availability, with sound being less of a key factor. 

Tnx,

have you tested Yulong and Matrix with speakers?

post #25 of 1369
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elder View Post

Excellent review. Thank you Project for the detailed and honest presentation.

 

I wonder how the DA8 compares to the Invicta.

A comparison to the Mytek (which uses a different Sabre chip) would be interesting, too.

 

Yulong goal was to create a DAC to be better than the Weiss DAC202.

Did he accomplish it? The measurements may show better figures but what about the SQ?

 

DA8 is not on the same level as the Invicta. I love both but Invicta remains my reference, in the grand scheme of things it is higher up. DA8 may compete with some DACs costing 2 or 3 times its price, but so does Invicta. But it's the type of thing where you don't really know what your missing until you hear the better model. 

 

I have very little experience with the DAC202. It wouldn't surprise me if the DA8 sounded better, but I really couldn't say. I recall the Weiss being more clinical. 

 

For the Mytek - I have it on good authority that their device (using the ES9016 which is not seen very often compared to ES9018) is one of the worst measuring implementations of a Sabre DAC. This is not from Yulong but another designer who knows a thing or two about the chips, and measured the Mytek with his Audio Precision rig. It was so bad that they stopped looking into what might be wrong with it. 

 

I know a lot of people enjoy the Mytek, and I have no explanation as to why they love it but others hate it. All I can say is I prefer the DA8 by a large margin. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprit View Post

Tnx,

have you tested Yulong and Matrix with speakers?

 

Yes, but my speaker rig is not as resolving as my headphones. I use the X-Sabre with the AURALiC Taurus over XLR, feeding a NuForce STA-100 and driving Sjofn (the clue) monitors. It's a nice musical system, very involving, but not the last word in details due to my room being terrible. I connect the DA8 via RCA and switch back and forth, and in this system it's pretty much even. Matrix has slightly larger soundstage, more "out of speaker", while DA8 is more precise with imaging. 

post #26 of 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Your going to like them hardwired.  What cable did you get?
I got a 12 ft. Sunset (all copper, thanks to your recommendation) with banana plugs. Who knows, maybe i'll get crazy and passively bi-amp them biggrin.gif
post #27 of 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post


I got a 12 ft. Sunset (all copper, thanks to your recommendation) with banana plugs. Who knows, maybe i'll get crazy and passively bi-amp them biggrin.gif

 

12ft....eek.gif  That's a long cable...

post #28 of 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

12ft....eek.gif   That's a long cable...
Yeah hehe, I need the length so I can move around and lay down. I can easily snip it later on and re-attach the banana plugs if i desire. One of my pet peeves is being chained to a desk...
Edited by brunk - 7/20/13 at 11:23am
post #29 of 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
Yes, but my speaker rig is not as resolving as my headphones. I use the X-Sabre with the AURALiC Taurus over XLR, feeding a NuForce STA-100 and driving Sjofn (the clue) monitors. It's a nice musical system, very involving, but not the last word in details due to my room being terrible. I connect the DA8 via RCA and switch back and forth, and in this system it's pretty much even. Matrix has slightly larger soundstage, more "out of speaker", while DA8 is more precise with imaging. 

Matrix wins again L3000.gif

P.S. I have the "wrong" Mytek... o2smile.gif

post #30 of 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprit View Post

Matrix wins again L3000.gif

P.S. I have the "wrong" Mytek... o2smile.gif

How do you get interpret "in this system it's pretty much even" to mean that the X-Sabre wins?

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