I'm really confused a bit and I hope some of you with more experience in HiFi than me can help.
Following two setups:
1) Dual 704 with Shure V15N 3 system and Jico SAS needle -> Kenwood KA-7300 (in phono pre-amp) -> Rogers LS4a/2
2) MacBook -> Yulong D100 -> Kenwood KA-7300 (aux) -> Rogers LS4a/2
Now I've compared some vinyls I have to the CD counterparts (which are quit good mastered) but that won't be the point here.. In general the difference I will point out further down is there even if I play some great MFSL mastered CDs from system 2.
Well, the difference in sound wouldn't be that big except of one thing, I mean the resolution and clarity as also soundstage is quite on par I would say. I definitely hear the bright and (for me) harsh tonality of the Yulong which I don't like. So yes, it really sounds very clinical and digital compared to the vinyls. Someone in an HiFi store told me most "cheap Chinese" DACs have this problem.. I don't know (he tried to sold me a 2000€ DAC). I'm also sure the loudspeakers are limiting further sonically differences between the system as I doubt they are so great (but they are the best I ever owned).
Now to my point which is difficult to describe: The vinyls (not all but many) on system 1 just produce sound that seems much more dynamic, it really sounds like the two loudspeakers would be swinging together instead of just playing their own part. I have never heard something like this before (but as I said I'm not experienced). I don't know how to describe it... dynamic? Is that the 3D sound? Stereo-imagination? With the Yulong and just ANYTHING i heard before I can hear great sound and so, but it always is like every side is just playing their part instead of playing together. It is not about soundstage.. With the Yulong I have equal sense of soundstage, the vocals are in the middle. But although their is width and depth it just sounds flat and not so musical as system 1.
I'm asking myself which component is responsible for this sound and it must be one of the two (or three?): Either the material (vinyl vs. digital) or the source component (dual 704 vs yulong). Of course I highly suspect the latter case.. (Also, can the pre-amp of the Kennwood be responsible for this?). From memory I recall that before I had the Jico SAS needle this sound was not there, but I didn't really spent much time with it then (bought it used). Unfortunately inside the Kenwood something popped and I need to repair it so I can't test anything right now.
Some will maybe say, of course it's the DAC. But somehow I'm not convinced. The difference between the two systems in regard of the "swinging-phenomen" is THAT BIG (it's just like black & white, 0 or 1) I think many would point it out in reviews or comparisons but for me it always seems the differences in the DACs are gradual or just nuances (extends more, wider soundstage..). It really is a complete new experience of music for me.. Then I'm reading threads like this one http://www.head-fi.org/t/709479/multi-review-hifiman-hm901-fiio-x5-sony-zx1-hisound-studio-3rd-anv-iphone-4 and I'm confused even more in regards of a DAC (though this is about DAPs).
My concrete questions:
1) How many of you are still reading this?
2) Am I right with my suspicion the described lack of dynamics is specific to may DAC?
3) Is there a DAC (or what ever component) that will sound like the Dual (with appropriate good digital source material), that will make my loudspeakers (or even my headphones) swing?
4) Is there something portable that will reproduce this experience for me with digital material? (I would by that rig immediately)
5) Is the Dual just that great and produced in a time where HiFi really mattered and for today standards I would have to spend ten thousands of euros to get that quality (I hope not)?