That is when I searching for amp and Dac combo in internet,I found YuLong Audio D100 II,and read what users have wrote about them,are all good words and accomplished with satisfaction. Out of curiosity and itchiness that I can’t stand,I contacted Mr Yu Long (Or should I called him ‘Master’?) for a review unit of YuLong Audio D100 II,and after some short time,YuLong Audio D100 II (I will called it D100II below) reached my place,and after some listening,ended up nothing but another beyond satisfied user was borned. Thanks Yu Long for sending me this unit for review,I hope that I can be reviewing more of the YuLong product.
Description,Packaging and Outlook
D100 II itself is a outstanding Dac/Headphone amplifier. By just using the USB cable,you can play it with 24bit 96khz (You must have your audio file in 24bit 96 khz,support up to 192khz with other input others than USB). For full specification of the D100 II,I think that YuLong Audio have really thorough and complete detail in the official webpage.
So YuLong Audio is not really just somebody that suddenly appeared and showed you a Dac/amp,but they are truly a very experience and talented team,they have made some of the very good DAC and headphone amp,such as A100 and A800,also some quite high amp and very competent model such as the Sabre D18(32bit Dac) and Sabre A18(Class A headphone amplifier),also some ‘one stop solution'(DAC/head amp combo such as U100,all received good name/reputation and well known among audiophile. Besides, I have to say the creator of the company,Mr Yu Long is really a good guy and he is really enjoying the music.
I believe that extreme audio equipment must have been created by those who enjoy and appreciate music the most,without the enthusiasm,good audio equipment is nearly impossible been created. Packaging wise,it is quite simple and straight forward. It came with a big brown box,and when I unboxing it. I can see USB cable,a instruction sheet,power cable and YuLong Audio D100II,included accessories are pretty simple but I can live with it as practically I need nothing more than that.
Build Quality and Operation
D100 II is well built and average for its price, I have nothing to complain but volume knob. The volume knob. The volume knob is a bit ‘not up to standard; when you compared to build quality of the body.
One thing that is good for D100 II (Actually most of the item in this price range) is that you can buy power cable for them, also all of the other interconnects. Personally I
I am going to test D100 II with DAC function,and as DAC/head-amp function. DAC section will be tested using the iFi iCAN and JDS Labs Objective 2 amplifier. With Charleston USB cable,RCA to RCA cable and 3.5mm cable. Tested by using Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 250 Ohm,Creative Aurvana Live!, Goldring DR150,Shure Se425.
I found out that the DAC part of D100 II is more than outstanding. When I first listening to it,I was just stunned, the clarity,detail level is top notch. I have been enjoying it for months, without really complain especially on the audio quality. After extensive listening session with D100 II, I can’t really enjoy my music again with all the DAC that I owned, the difference is night and day. After use it for some time,I finally have JDS Labs Odac in hand, I am aware of the price difference but just for fun, I threw them into the ‘friendly match’.
Well, seriously speaking, D100 II made Odac sounded lifeless, dull and dead. The difference between them does not take a genius to justify, seriously night and day. I connected both of them to iFi iCAN, D100 II is a seriously good deal even it is only Dac. D100 II has good resolution, super lively sound, good musical and impactful bass. I haven’t have the iDAC in hand, but D100 II do impressed me and to be frank, I am really satisfied with it.
Sound signature is smooth, natural and engaging. Detail level is impressive, have I mentioned the transparency and clarity of it is excellent as well? Bass is full and deep, while vocal sounded nice as well. High is good. I can’t stop but listening to D100 II non-stop.
I played some Jazz (Buena Vista Social Club,24-96) , sounded really good and blessed by plenty of details and resolution is great. Instrument get their place well and sounds great, just like how I would like them to be heard.
I played Live in Berlin album by Ludovico Einaudi, Piano sounded great and accurate,have enough nuance, space also separation between every instrument is clear. Played it expressively comfortable.
Confidential Album by Peter White really nice, the guitar have brilliant plucking sound, while bass is good quality which is deep,robust and solid. Peter White’s songs have to be accompanied by good amount and quality of bass, if not it won’t be satisfying at all. And personally think that D100 II done a right job here.
How about the headphone amp?
Headphone amp section of D100 II is good but I think it is nothing to say about anyway. The best bet is still paired it up with some really good headphone amplifier. Anyway, for the price, the head amp is really good, but only it does not bring as much surprise as the DAC performance brought to me. But it is already good, and most of the music listener won’t be really need something more than this, and most of the listener won’t be really notice the sound flaw of it unless they have heard better. I do hope that the sound can be a bit more body , nuanced and detailed with the build in amp.
Headphone amp itself is good and at least quite neutral, but I prefer something with a little bit warmth and full body. For me, it is really good and to be frank I don’t need anything better than this most of the time. When compared to the iFi iCAN, iCAN provide me warmer and fluid sound, bass has better presentation as well.
It is good to mention that internal amp have capability to drive Beyerdynamic Dt770 Pro 250 Ohm pretty nice as well (Just near half of the maximum volume). So how is the Low and High headphone input affect the sound? For me they are really similar but most of the time I just use ‘High’ as it sounded more effortless. For me this is really good, I always see YuLong D100II as a DAC only, so the performance of the headphone amplifier section do actually like a bonus, impressive.
I must be wrote less than what I have usually writes in my review, but I have to say that overall, I am truly impressed with what YuLong Audio have brought to us, given the fact that this might be the only China made headphone related stuffs’ brand that I really into after Soundmagic.
What I want to say here is D100 II is truly an audiophiles grade DAC/Headamp combo, in fact the price is truly towards ‘budget’,considered this to be a built in DAC and headphone amp combo. I can’t really ask for more as I think YuLong Audio D100II have already give more than it should for the price range. And I am now seriously looking for the higher range model, and can’t imagine how good will be they.
Enough, I am really recommended it for you.