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Yulong A28 - Page 8

post #106 of 252
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TNX

post #107 of 252

After about 2 days burn-in, testing with Philips Fidelio X1, Sabre A28 unbalanced - Low impedance output, compared with Yulong DA8 build-in headphone output (A28 connected to DA8 XLR output through QED Reference Audio Evolution):

 

Sabre A28 treble is a tad softer, a tad less transparent compared with the DA8 Headphone output. This is actually benefit for the rather bright headphones like the HD800 and T1.  But for X1, depending on the recording.  Bright recording is nicer on A28, while audiophile recordings sound more transparent on DA8. Overall transparency, DA8 is better than A28, which is kind of a bit disappointment for me.

 

A28 bass has some mid-bass hump / blooming. So bass a tad boomy with X1, compared with DA8. Mid-bass is punchier on A28, so bass hits harder on A28.  If this is what you're looking for, A28 bass punches really good. But could be a bit too much, for example with Shure SRH-1540, the bass punch is a bit too much for me. But I could imagine that the extra mid-bass impact is something good for HD800 and T1.  I haven't tested with HD800 and T1, will do later.

 

Imaging, DA8 has better imaging, wider, more airy, sounds more spacious than A28.

 

At the moment, limited comparison with DA8 using Philips Fidelio X1, A28 sounds bassier, while DA8 headphone output sounds more transparent and spacious. For Fidelio X1, since X1 is rather bassy sounding headphone, I prefer DA8 headphone output for more open and spacious sounding.

 

So far, what's good from A28 is the balanced headphone output when I tested it with Hifiman HE5-LE.  For unbalanced headphone output, with Philips X1 and Shure SRH-1540, I still prefer the DA8 headphone output.

 

Will do more comparison later.


Edited by earfonia - 3/9/14 at 8:27am
post #108 of 252

Thanks for the post. I was about to comment and somewhat disagree, but I went back and reread, and I'm glad I did. The first time around I had missed the fact that you were comparing the A28 to the rear XLR output of the DA8 (with adapter). Which explains why your impressions are different than mine - I've been comparing DA8 1/4" jack to A28. Totally different.

 

Now that I read your post more closely, I tend to agree. Single ended headphone users might as well stick to the DA8 headphone jack. Use balanced headphones? A28 is an improvement imho, especially with planars. 

post #109 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

Thanks for the post. I was about to comment and somewhat disagree, but I went back and reread, and I'm glad I did. The first time around I had missed the fact that you were comparing the A28 to the rear XLR output of the DA8 (with adapter). Which explains why your impressions are different than mine - I've been comparing DA8 1/4" jack to A28. Totally different.

 

Now that I read your post more closely, I tend to agree. Single ended headphone users might as well stick to the DA8 headphone jack. Use balanced headphones? A28 is an improvement imho, especially with planars. 

 

My comparison is actually the headphone outputs of both DA8 and A28.

But this is just initial impression, I need to spend more time with A28 to get familiar with the character.  And A28 is still in burn-in process, so a bit too early for final conclusion.

And so far it is limited to Philips X1 that a bit dark as an open headphone, and HE5-LE that is rather bright.

For single ended / unbalanced TRS headphone output of both DA8 and A28, I tend to like DA8 headphone output more, sounds more transparent and spacious than A28.  A28 sounds a bit dark.  I will make more comparison later, with V200 as well.

But so far, frankly speaking, I'm a bit disappointed with A28 TRS headphone output, but like the balanced output.  But this is not final conclusion yet :wink_face:

 

On the other hand, now I begin to appreciate more and more of Yulong DA8, simply the one of the best "one box solution of DAC + Headphone Amp". It is one of the best investment I made in my life for audio gear, thanks to your review of DA8!  Really helped me made the purchase :L3000: 

post #110 of 252
I've tested A28 with my AKG K702, re-cabled to balanced. From XLR output A28 really fixes main K702's flaw: lack of bass. K702+A28 gives really punchy and strong lows, I've never heart from less expensive amps.
post #111 of 252

I can see how you arrived at that conclusion - single ended output of the A28 is merely decent, not great. It really is designed to be used in balanced mode, and if that's not your goal then you can probably do better elsewhere. 

post #112 of 252
I know it's been mentioned earlier,but I think a great comparison would be with the Mjolnir,another budget fully balanced amp.If anyone has the resources batter up:)
post #113 of 252
post #114 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfarina View Post

I know it's been mentioned earlier,but I think a great comparison would be with the Mjolnir,another budget fully balanced amp.If anyone has the resources batter up:)

 

I'd also be pretty interested. This definitely has more functionality to it though. 

post #115 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by cleg View Post

I've tested A28 with my AKG K702, re-cabled to balanced. From XLR output A28 really fixes main K702's flaw: lack of bass. K702+A28 gives really punchy and strong lows, I've never heart from less expensive amps.

 

A28 bass is really good, strong point of the A28 so far.  A28 seems to match better with neutral / analytical open cans, and improves their bass.  I also like it with T1, the bass improves.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

I can see how you arrived at that conclusion - single ended output of the A28 is merely decent, not great. It really is designed to be used in balanced mode, and if that's not your goal then you can probably do better elsewhere. 

 

After about 3 days burned-in, A28 sounds slightly better, smoother and more relax now, a bit more spacious, but still, the single ended / unbalanced headphone output, doesn't resolve detail and spaciousness as good as the DA8 headphone output.

Yes, will use it mainly for the balanced output.  Now getting the balanced cables, for HD800 ordered Moon Audio Black Dragon V2, otw.  For Shure SRH-1540, maybe will just order the SRH-1840 cable from Amazon and cut the 3.5 mm jack, replace it with 4 pin xlr.  Will cut T1 cable later to terminate it with 4 pin XLR as well... kind of in balancing mode now :wink_face:

 

I suspect the OPA2604 is the culprit behind the lack of resolution and spaciousness. Never a fan of OPA2604 so far, always replace them with better op-amps.  When I have enough time with A28, maybe I will replace the OPA2604 with DIP-8 socket, so I can try other op-amp, hoping to improve the resolution.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfarina View Post

I know it's been mentioned earlier,but I think a great comparison would be with the Mjolnir,another budget fully balanced amp.If anyone has the resources batter up:)

 

Definitely an interesting comparison, I also want to know :normal_smile : 


Edited by earfonia - 3/11/14 at 5:53pm
post #116 of 252

 

Thanks a lot for the link!

 

Quoted from the review in the website:

 

"Better than the DA8′s internal headphone amplifier?

If you are going to questioning me this question then the answer is definitely positive, I can tell you A28 is way better. In fact I won’t be treated it as a so called ‘perfect match’ for DA8, I will see it as an external amplifier, and review it like how I did in past. So what is better actually? In general there are differences regarding their sound signature, internal headphone amplifier of DA8 is definitely warmer and slightly constraint in treble, while leave you a constraint feel and not open enough, in thick sound signature,

However, on A28 we found it to be a highly transparent and balanced/neutral headphone amplifier, it also give way more headroom and authority to the musics. A28 is not just took out the veiled feel from DA8′s internal headphone amplifier, but also improve significantly in almost every aspect that I can recall."

Well, I know we hear things differently, but it is rather strange that he mentioned DA8 headphone output to be slightly constraint in treble, not open enough, and thick sound signature, while A28 to be highly transparent.  My experience with DA8 & A28 is exactly the opposite.  I hear the single ended, unbalanced headphone output of A28 to has thick sound signature, less open and less transparent compared to DA8 headphone output.  I found for unbalanced headphone output, DA8 headphone output to be better sounding, better resolution, more spacious and transparent.  The A28 headphone output is better in bass, bigger and has more body.

There might be a factor that makes the difference here.... 

I don't see he mentioned what connection he used in the review, either balanced XLR or or unbalanced RCA.  And it is not very clear what source he used for the A28 when comparing with DA8 headphone output, is it DA8 line output connected to A28, or the Soundaware D100 Pro line output.

As for my case, so far I only connected the A28 XLR input to the DA8 XLR output, using QED Reference Audio Evolution XLR cable. Haven't tried to connect A28 using it's RCA input, or with other DAC such as my Mytek.  I suspect maybe there is other source that has better match with A28, to fully realize the A28 capability.  I have to try more sources with A28 to hear it's full potential.

post #117 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by earfonia View Post

 

Well, I know we hear things differently, but it is rather strange that he mentioned DA8 headphone output to be slightly constraint in treble, not open enough, and thick sound signature, while A28 to be highly transparent.  My experience with DA8 & A28 is exactly the opposite.  I hear the single ended, unbalanced headphone output of A28 to has thick sound signature, less open and less transparent compared to DA8 headphone output.  I found for unbalanced headphone output, DA8 headphone output to be better sounding, better resolution, more spacious and transparent.  The A28 headphone output is better in bass, bigger and has more body.

 

Mirrors my thoughts of the A18 exactly. The DA8's headphone out is more lively for sure.

 

I really like the bass definition and impact, as well as the overall level of details of the A18, which I find superior to the EF-6, unexpectedly. It could be the more laid back presentation that suits me better and let me pick out details more easily than the upfront EF-6. The Hifiman is more transparent, though.

 

However, I find the sound with the HE-5LE too polite, rather boring despite the good level of technicalities. Something is missing. It could be power related, or just a not-so-optimal synergy. It could well be that I'm used to the SLAM and dynamics of the EF-6.

I've got a new SA-31 on its way. The comparison with the A18 will be interesting. Even today, it remains my favorite headphone amp for anything but the HE-6.

post #118 of 252
I just took delivery of my A28 today,but unfortunately my LCD-3's are at Audeze right now getting new drivers,so I don't have a decent headphone to compare the A28 to the my A18.I have my portable headphones(px-100) playing on the A28 right now in the SE connector,figured I will let it burn till the LCD-3's arrive.Does anyone know if burning using the SE connector with my headphones will benefit(burn)the balanced out as well?confused.gif
post #119 of 252

I order my A28 today to go with my Alpha Dogs, hope I'm not going to be disappointed.

Wanted to try balance.

post #120 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by solblack View Post

I order my A28 today to go with my Alpha Dogs, hope I'm not going to be disappointed.
Wanted to try balance.
I got mine via FS forums 3 weeks ago and it's still showing in Italy...Italian post is pretty slow. I hope I get it before I have to officially complain with PayPal.
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