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REVIEW - Yulong Audio Sabre DA8 Reference DAC - Page 7

post #91 of 1394
Quote:
Originally Posted by teiki arii View Post
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

Hello everybody,

I got the Yulong DA8 this morning (after 45 days waiting for it since ordering!). I let him burning all day and obviously, I tried a few options.
My configuration:
- Macbook Pro late 2011 16GB RAM & Audirvana +
- Chord USB Silver Plus with pins 1 and 4 shunted to force power from the USB circuit by the DAC,
- Yulong DA8 USB therefore,
- SPL 2Control XLR (VOVOX HDG)
- 2 x
renovated Threshold SA/6e  XLR (Odeion Omega)
- Magnepan 3.7 (HP Odeion Omega)

Well, after a quarter of an hour, I really wanted to throw it through out the window because it was so bad compared to TE BMC-2. "A piece of ****," as you should say. I hacked it as it got hot, I passed from CD FLAC files to FLAC HD (96Khz, 192Khz and SACD ISO) and I changed the settings. So obviously, I have not finished burning it and that is why you are reading a provisional report.
Settings "Audio filters" of Audirvana all remained without correction (which is not the case of "default") except the buffer size set to max (2,000,000) and the over-sampling of "2x "(ie the software will look for the strongest over-sampling DAC value to be a multiple of the basic sampling. In our case, the 44.1 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 176.4 kHz and 352 8Khz
files, are converted directly into 32bits/352,8Khz. Similarly, 48Khz, 96Khz, 192Khz and 384kHz files are converted into 32bits/384Khz thanks to "integer mode".
Go through an analog preamp is still the best solution, even if I did not say my last word ... So I bypassed the volume control of  computer/Audirvana+. The Macbook Pro is on batteries.
On the DAC side:
- Input USB (352.8 kHz or 384kHz therefore, according to the files)
- Phase + (I have not played with this option)
- Filter Mode Slow
- Jitter Eliminator bypass
- Pure DAC Amplifier OFF

The jitter mode ON "eats" a lot of information. As for the filter mode, set "sharp" and musicality disappears!
So why have I over-sampled before attacking the DAC? Well, because I noticed that the DAC oversamples every info you send to him. But the over-sampling DAC is not that of the computer. Actually, if computer does nothing, it does not degrade the info as does the DAC.
Well, you know everything. Oh no, not quite all. So, with these settings,

 

 

I think we have a very serious DAC to compete, indeed. It outperforms the BMC-2 bringing more precision everywhere, especially on complex messages ... Certainly an excellent DAC... To be continued.

basshead.gif can't wait to hear more popcorn.gif

post #92 of 1394

Umpf...

post #93 of 1394
Maybe just because English is not my native language ... but I not sure if you want to throw the DA8 out of the window, or it's an excellent DAC for you.
post #94 of 1394

I was configuring foobar2000 for DSD following the Yulong instructions (http://www.yulongaudio.com/en/shownews.asp?id=32). The foo_dsd_asio driver was not appearing. Then reading the foo_input_sacd component installation readme.txt file I realized that the ASIO Proxy needs to be installed. Yulong instructs to set the foo_dsd_asio PCM do DSD Method to none. This will allow foobar2000 to play PCM as PCM and DSD will be bitstreamed to the DAC as DoP. Then I became curious about this PCM do DSD feature. If you choose any method from the list the driver will upsample the PCM source to DSD. It really works. I installed the latest version (0.6.5), just released. The proxy not only works with foobar2000. It is installed into the Windows and become available to players that use ASIO. I tried it with JRiver MC 18. You just need to select the foo_dsd_asio in the output mode settings. Clicking on "Open Driver Control Panel" will open the driver's control panel window. There you can choose to upsample PCM to DSD. The bitstreaming must be set for Custom/DSD. Do not set DSD over PCM (DoP).

I still need more time to decide whether the upsampled output sounds better or not. My first impression is that I liked the original not upsampled better. To my ears the upsampled output sounds smoother but the dynamics is smoothed too. The music sounded slower and less engaging.

I only tried the SDM Type A and SDM Type D(FP32). I was using the speakers and still need to experiment the various options with headphones.

 

To download the latest foobar SACD decoder (includes the ASIO proxy): http://sourceforge.net/projects/sacddecoder/files/foo_input_sacd/

To download just the proxy: http://sourceforge.net/projects/sacddecoder/files/foo_dsd_asio/

post #95 of 1394
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwtim01 View Post

Maybe just because English is not my native language ... but I not sure if you want to throw the DA8 out of the window, or it's an excellent DAC for you.

Hello cwtim01,

as I am also a foreigner, my english is poor...biggrin.gif

Actually, I wanted to throw it at the beginning of my listenings because of lack of burning probably, but surely because the parameters were not the good ones, in my system. But I now feel the DAC as a bargain. It's a very good one, a "coloured" one but very good in his way of playing music, indeed. Of course, my parameters are not universal ones, but it seems like this the more natural to hear, the less action to modify the original listening message...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elder View Post

I still need more time to decide whether the upsampled output sounds better or not. My first impression is that I liked the original not upsampled better. To my ears the upsampled output sounds smoother but the dynamics is smoothed too. The music sounded slower and less engaging.

Hello Elder,

very insteresting. On my Mac configuration, I cannot play DSD as it is, what a pity! It is converted directly in PCM (32bits/384Khz or 32bits/352,8Khz, I do not remember). I don't know how to fix it. If someone knows, I am very interested. So, no advice about it, yet.


Edited by teiki arii - 7/30/13 at 2:07am
post #96 of 1394
Quote:
Originally Posted by teiki arii View Post

Hello Elder,
very insteresting. On my Mac configuration, I cannot play DSD as it is, what a pity! It is converted directly in PCM (32bits/384Khz or 32bits/352,8Khz, I do not remember). I don't know how to fix it. If someone knows, I am very interested. So, no advice about it, yet.

Audirvana Plus is supposed to play DSD directly and stream DoP to the DAC. I do not know whether it is able to upsample to DSD.

You can also try JRiver Media Center 18 (MC18). I tried it on a friend's Mac Mini that successfuly played DSD files and SACD iso as well. MC18 does not upsamples to DSD during playback, yet. However it can convert pcm files to DSD64 or DSD128. The resulting files will be rather large, compared to 44.1k/48k files.

This DSD database is useful information: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0AgVhKcl_3lHfdFVyenBBNjNpQ2lieG81WGpqQTNfVUE

It was from there that I learned about Yulong existence.
Edited by Elder - 7/30/13 at 1:35pm
post #97 of 1394

Thank you Elder,

I put an eye to Mac JRiver a few days ago. I should go for this software for DSD if I do not find a solution with Audirvana +.beerchug.gif

 

Edit:

I have amazing news, but I can not really conclude because I give myself time to try everything before a final opinion. This is still a very good DAC biggrin.gif. But I still have to know how to implement it. It's not so easy.
The Toslink Output on my Mac is still my preference for now as I use 44.1Khz, 88.2kHz, 48Khz and 96Khz files, according to optic output limitations. It is limpid, it is full of details, it is liquid, there is nothing to say, CD and HD files that do not exceed 96Khz are magnified.
On USB output, I have to find a fair solution but I still work on it, since burning is probably not over, yet... But it's about the Mac software, Audirvana +.  The "integer mode" label ON, in fact, forces Audirvana to convert 16-bits or 24-bits native original files into 32-bits' before sending them to Yulong DA8 Dac. I prefer disabling it. In this configuration, the DAC (via USB) does the conversion. It is actually better ...
Only then, differences between upsampling conversions, before DAC or by DAC, are dwindling and you may prefer one or the other. It is a matter of flavor. If DAC converts files, it's flattering but still colorful.  On voices and on "bad" recordings, you could like it better. If upsampling conversion takes place before DAC and therefore according to the maximum upsampling bit rate , it seems to be truthful on orchestra or on a complex message,. This configuration still has my preference ... However, current running (36 hours) may disclose some surprises. To be continued ...


Edited by teiki arii - 7/30/13 at 3:49pm
post #98 of 1394
Originally Posted by teiki arii View Post
On USB output, I have to find a fair solution but I still work on it, since burning is probably not over, yet... But it's about the Mac software, Audirvana +.  The "integer mode" label ON, in fact, forces Audirvana to convert 16-bits or 24-bits native original files into 32-bits' before sending them to Yulong DA8 Dac. I prefer disabling it. In this configuration, the DAC (via USB) does the conversion. It is actually better ...

Is the Yulong 32 bits? In A+ you have this optione "Limit max bit depth to 24"

post #99 of 1394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprit View Post

Is the Yulong 32 bits? In A+ you have this optione "Limit max bit depth to 24"


Yes, Yulong is 32bits and you are perfectly right about the option, I'm trying it. I cannot play quicker than tempo of the music..wink_face.gif

But I asked another forumer to try the Optic Option (Toslink Input), and he told me how he was astonished! Very musical indeed, euphonic and truthful texture, more richness, more laid back, less agressive, more realistic sounding, more everything "except accuracy"  he told me... For his last opinion, I disagree actually but it doesn't really matter, does it? And I still find the Audirvana upsampling better to DAC one (44,1Khz-->88,2Khz) on CD...

USB input is a different presentation and can work for some recordings. But actually, Toslink input goes much further in every compartiment as this point of my listenings..

Nevertheless, I didn't give up the USB input. I'm trying to find out the good parameters in my system...L3000.gif


Edited by teiki arii - 8/1/13 at 6:13am
post #100 of 1394

Very true 'astonished' is the word. Thanks again Teiki arii for the tip.

My advice would be to give the optical input a try, it will cost you nothing and you will probably let the USB input down like I did.


Edited by Gordian - 8/2/13 at 2:16am
post #101 of 1394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordian View Post

Very true 'astonished' is the word. Thanks again Teiki arii for the tip.

My advice would be to give the optical input a try, it will cost you nothing and you will probably let the USB input down like I did../..

You're welcome Gordian.

after 82 hours of burning, USB Input is getting better and better. But Optical Input stays my reference for the moment.

On very good recordings, Toslink Input is The One...

Esprit, I tried the option  "Limit max bit depth to 24" with "Integer Mode", it doesn't work as without for both of them in my system. But I'll have a look later on for these options, when burning will be "accomplished" (?)..

On provisional conclusion, I would say that USB Input is the longest input to be burnt...


Edited by teiki arii - 8/1/13 at 11:10am
post #102 of 1394

It's rare to see that Optical is performing best in a DAC. Usually I'd prefer Coxial than Optical/USB on DACs I've tried, but differences are not always existed.

Jason @Schiit also suggested me that Coxial is better due the limited bandwidth of Optical. Anyway, I'm now settled with USB since my PC doesn't have any Coxial out except Optical.


Edited by zhunter - 8/1/13 at 2:10pm
post #103 of 1394
Quote:
Originally Posted by zhunter View Post

It's rare to see that Optical is performing best in a DAC.

Hello zhunter,

I agree with you, but to have a very good digital (coaxial) RCA cable, I have to spend more than US$1.000,00 while a very good optical cable is costless. And the one I have got, I have compared it to so many very good digital coaxial cables, that I kept it for his skills... I know what I have got, I know there weaknesses, and so it's easier to sum up.

The other advantage, is that I shunt USB input and then I can get an idea and differences between input and evolution during burning...cool.gif

post #104 of 1394
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zhunter View Post

It's rare to see that Optical is performing best in a DAC. Usually I'd prefer Coxial than Optical/USB on DACs I've tried, but differences are not always existed.

Jason @Schiit also suggested me that Coxial is better due the limited bandwidth of Optical. Anyway, I'm now settled with USB since my PC doesn't have any Coxial out except Optical.

 

Optical is somewhat limited in absolute terms. But for our purposes it does well enough. The Yulong DA8 tops out at 24/96 over optical but some of my other DACs can reliably accept 24/192. Whatever the case, Toslink is generally the least respected option by audiophiles, and some DACs (Matrix X-Sabre for example) choose to leave it out altogether. 

post #105 of 1394

I use toslink for sat decoder (decoder->mytek): it's enough

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