Yulong Sabre D18 thread: reviews, impressions, discussion (full review added 2/5)
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project86

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Quote:
 
Interesting, esp the price. Several Chinese audio designers are clearly looking to move into higher end product, even if its still cheap compared to most gear with a more prestigious badge. I suspect that they aspire to the level currently occupied by companies like Opera Consonance - designed and manufactured in China, but aimed at audiophiles with several thousand to spend on a single component. 
 
(Yulong created his own cutprice competition when he agreed to build the TubeDAC-11 for Grant Fidelity : I'm not sure if he has an equivalent product under his own brand. Interesting times.) 
 

Yep, I think Yulong (the guy himself) has the technical chops to pull it off. Every single one of his designs that I've tried sets the standard for its price category. I just hope he continues to do budget stuff, even if he also moves into the higher end sector. 
 
As for the TubeDAC-11 - see review in my sig. It actually slots perfectly between the $220ish U100 and the $480ish D100. I believe they are also selling it overseas as a Grant Fidelity branded unit, so it shouldn't really be cutting out his own gear. Though perhaps he would lose a few D100 sales! 
 
I believe Grant Fidelity is away at that big audio show in Canada. So if there is a temporary halt on D18 sales they wouldn't be around to update the website until next week. 
 
 
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post-8263333
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estreeter

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Thanks project86 - I enjoyed your review of the D100, but it seems like eons ago (!) given the incredible amount of gear you've reviewed in the last 2 years ! 
 
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project86

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Quote:
Thanks project86 - I enjoyed your review of the D100, but it seems like eons ago (!) given the incredible amount of gear you've reviewed in the last 2 years ! 


Thanks! Yeah it does seem like a long time and a lot of writing between then and now. Lots of good stuff has passed through my listening station, with the occasional dud (which I never bother writing about). The D100 is still a really strong contender at under $500 though - I have yet to hear anything come along and dethrone it. 
 
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post-8269491
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DrTone

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I just took home an Ayre QB-9 DAC for a try today.  I already knew I like the D18 more than my Rega Dac.
 
QB-9:
  Laid back, smooth, warm.  Bass is a little boomy and unfocused.
 
D18:
  Everything pops, with wicked detail and instrument seperation.  A very 3D soundstage.
 
 
IMO, the D18 is a better sounding dac.  That's saying allot when the QB-9 is worth 4 times as much.
 
Now if I was a vinyl lover wanting that warm analog sound from my digital play back, the QB-9 might be the better choice.
 
 
I'm driving the D18 with a M2Tech Hiface by the way.
 
 
 
 
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post-8271669
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Sonic77

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Have you tried changing the fuse to 1 amp? To me it made a world of differance, for the better.
Quote:
I just took home an Ayre QB-9 DAC for a try today.  I already knew I like the D18 more than my Rega Dac.
 
QB-9:
  Laid back, smooth, warm.  Bass is a little boomy and unfocused.
 
D18:
  Everything pops, with wicked detail and instrument seperation.  A very 3D soundstage.
 
 
IMO, the D18 is a better sounding dac.  That's saying allot when the QB-9 is worth 4 times as much.
 
Now if I was a vinyl lover wanting that warm analog sound from my digital play back, the QB-9 might be the better choice.
 
 
I'm driving the D18 with a M2Tech Hiface by the way.
 
 
 


 
 
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post-8272785
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kingoftown1

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Was just browsing Erji, and it looks like Yulong's developing a usb converter...not a ton of info yet, but looks like a pretty impressive feature set.

 
 
"
Select a suitable program years ago, has been engaged in this thing, and has experimented with a variety of programs, the final decision in the XMOS and TE8802 being, to choose, now largely determine to do with TE8802, have been adjusted, the performance is very good, left under test stability and tune the sound of ​
24/192 asynchronous transmission, coaxial, optical fiber, balanced, I2S, output, direct direct USB power supply, and external power supply (automatically selected)"​
 
Definitely very interested in trying one out with the D18
 
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drez

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Quote:
Was just browsing Erji, and it looks like Yulong's developing a usb converter...not a ton of info yet, but looks like a pretty impressive feature set.

 
 
"
Select a suitable program years ago, has been engaged in this thing, and has experimented with a variety of programs, the final decision in the XMOS and TE8802 being, to choose, now largely determine to do with TE8802, have been adjusted, the performance is very good, left under test stability and tune the sound of ​
24/192 asynchronous transmission, coaxial, optical fiber, balanced, I2S, output, direct direct USB power supply, and external power supply (automatically selected)"​
 
Definitely very interested in trying one out with the D18

Very interesting!  I look forward to this product also.
 
 
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post-8273346
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DrTone

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Quote:
Have you tried changing the fuse to 1 amp? To me it made a world of differance, for the better.


 

Yes, I'm running a 1 amp ceramic now.
 
 
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steel108

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Would this DAC work well with the Musical Fidelity M1HPA + HD800? I am currently using the DacMagic and not very happy.
 
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wlvca

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Quote:
Would this DAC work well with the Musical Fidelity M1HPA + HD800? I am currently using the DacMagic and not very happy.

I've been considering trying the Yulong D18 as well.
 
I don't own an M1HPA or an HD800 but I do have the original DacMagic so this is is just my own opinion....depends upon what your objective is.
 
If you want to tame the high end on your HD800 headphones a bit (and the Original DacMagic is a tad on the bright side according to many), this may be a good fit for you.
 
Project86 did mention in his review that this isn't the DAC for an HD800 user looking for the ultimate in detail
 
I guess that's easy for me to say since I haven't been able to pull the trigger myself.  

 
I've been hoping that DrTone would come back with some additional comments on this DAC.
 
 
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steel108

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On the Grant website, there is an option for a PC-1.5 upgrade USA power cord for $100. What is this?
 
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post-8281474
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DrTone

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Quote:
I've been considering trying the Yulong D18 as well.
 
I don't own an M1HPA or an HD800 but I do have the original DacMagic so this is is just my own opinion....depends upon what your objective is.
 
If you want to tame the high end on your HD800 headphones a bit (and the Original DacMagic is a tad on the bright side according to many), this may be a good fit for you.
 
Project86 did mention in his review that this isn't the DAC for an HD800 user looking for the ultimate in detail
 
I guess that's easy for me to say since I haven't been able to pull the trigger myself.  

 
I've been hoping that DrTone would come back with some additional comments on this DAC.
 
My amp and speakers are detail monsters and I'm looking for a dac that is as musical as it is detailed.  So far the D18 is doing it for me.  Right now it's in front of $17,000 worth of speakers and amp, I think it will be just fine in front of $1,500 cans.
 
I'll try the Simaudio Moon 380 when it comes out but other than that I can't think of anything easily accessible for audition that I want to try to replace the D18.  My system is refined enough now that I need to audition, I won't buy blind unless it's one heck of a used deal.
 
 
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post-8281485
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DrTone

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Quote:
Would this DAC work well with the Musical Fidelity M1HPA + HD800? I am currently using the DacMagic and not very happy.


I replaced my Dacmagic with a Rega Dac.  The Rega was a little more detailed, not anywhere near as harsh and just plain old smooth and fat.
 
I then replaced the Rega with the D18.  The D18 is more forward, with better instrument seperation and detail.  Soundstage is bigger and has a wild almost 3d quality to it.  The rega sounds muffled  and distant in comparison yet the D18 is still smoother and not harsh.
 
From there you can do the math.  But this is just my opinion, everyone hears things differently.
 
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rahds

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In my limited experience - only ever having owned a Dacmagic, an Arcam rDac and a Yulong D18 - the difference is like seeing and doing. With the Dacmagic you're looking out a car window at a meadow. With the rDac you've got the window open and can smell some of the flowers. With the D18 you've left the car and gone to sit in the meadow.
 
Can anyone offer any advice about changing the fuse, as recommended above? I've removed the two screws and pulled on the plastic casing but it won't, well I daren't tug it any harder. Is it an extremely snug fit? What's the safest/best way t remove it?
 
Thanks in anticipation.
 
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post-8282820
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Grant Fidelity

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You use a knife or flat head screw driver to pop the fuse holder out, it is the drawer with the picture of a fuse on it. No unscrewing things needed. Basically all Chi-Fi comes with this smart fuse arrangement, took me a bit to sort out the first time too.
 
Cheers,
Ian
 
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