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Anyone try the Audioquest DragonFly DAC/Amp yet? - Page 2

post #16 of 63
Here's my unboxing. It's very well made.
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post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSC View Post

Hey Currawong, I noticed on your profile that you've got an iPad...can the Dragonfly be used with an iPad through a camera kit?  Thanks!

 

As far as I know this will not pull the raw data from iDevices - all it would do is act like an LOD amp from the iPad, not a DAC. 

post #18 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

As far as I know this will not pull the raw data from iDevices - all it would do is act like an LOD amp from the iPad, not a DAC. 


No, an iPad does indeed support USB Audio (I don't own an iPad but I borrowed it and tested it). The problem with an iPad is that it limits the amount of current that a USB device can draw, I believe 100mA. I am going to guess the Dragonfly draws more. This means that you would have to use a powered USB hub to use the Dragonfly. An alternative is to use an Amp/DAC with an internal battery like the Leckerton (which is what I tested with an iPad).

post #19 of 63

A bueno - thank you for the correction. 

post #20 of 63

I bought one from ElusiveDisc during their recent 10%-off sale and it just arrived today. Testing it out at work where it's replacing a HeadRoom Bithead, with the Senn HD419 headphones on some 16/44 files.

 

I gotta admit, I was preparing for something not much better than the Bithead. There's only so much that can be done with USB-direct power.

 

But this tiny thing packs a serious punch! I was immediately surprised by its low, solid bass and overall force to the sound. Where the Bithead sounds semi-murky, the Dragonfly is substantially clearer too.

 

I got this intending it to use it at least as a Bithead replacement at work (for things like online music + video streaming) if not a portable laptop setup with my IEMs, and I'm thinking it could probably do both easily. I'm pretty impressed so far and I haven't even used my better headphones yet.

 

More to come later?

 

Btw I don't really like AudioQuest as a brand (they make too many snake-oil cables IMO) but I couldn't help pass up the opportunity to get a Dragonfly because it's just so conveniently tiny. Haven't seen anything like it on the market.


Edited by Asr - 6/22/12 at 3:49pm
post #21 of 63
I got mine yesterday...here are some pix...
 
Audioquest Dragonfly USB DAC...nicely boxed.
 
Dragonfly-7.jpg
 
Product info similar to the packaging for the current Audioquest digital cable products...
Dragonfly-8.jpg
 
Box, manual and packaging. The manual is for computer configuration.
Dragonfly-1.jpg
 
 
Dragonfly and it's case...
Dragonfly-3.jpg
 
The Dragonfly lights up in different colors for different sampling rates....
1) 44.1 KHz is green...
Dragonfly-5.jpg
 
2) 88.2 is orange...
Dragonfly-6.jpg
 
3) 96 KHz is violet...
Dragonfly-4.jpg
 
Impressions to follow in the next post...

Edited by Puma Cat - 6/23/12 at 7:08pm
post #22 of 63
After about an hour of listening to the Dragonfly with my Grado RS60i headphones, and being quite impressed with the naturalness and high level of sound quality of the Dragonfly, I installed it on my Macbook based music server system running PureMusic and iTunes. Bear in mind that I'm presently using an incredibly inexpensive, generic stereo miniplug to RCA cable...probably not even Monoprice quality. And, it's got about 1 hour of burn-in time on it. 

Right out of the box, the Dragonfly impresses, it's a natural-sounding DAC with a smooth and musical midrange. Playing "Ella and Louis" in 24/96 from an HD Tracks download, Ella's voice sounds gorgeous, sweet and melodious; Louis Armstrong's voice has that lovely textural throatiness that we all remember him for. The Dragonfly doesn't have the drive-you-out of the room brightness and aggressiveness that the Bifrost had when first unboxed. It's smoother than that, and it will be very interesting to see if it burns in in the way the Bifrost did very beautifully. Presently the highest highs are just a skosh on the bright side, hopefully these will smooth out a bit with some hours on the clock. Overall, the presentation is very musical, but a bit drier and not as liquid and mellifluous as the Bifrost or Wadia 121. The imaging is excellent, but soundstage is more forward (you're at row 6 than row 12) than on the Bifrost or Wadia. The bass, however is truly outstanding. 

The Dragonfly, though, really loves rock 'n roll....this DAC has a punchy, dynamic sound that really reminds me of my Rega P5 turntable; a real kickin'-out-the jamsquality to it that's gets your feet moving and your blood flowing.
post #23 of 63

Got a Grado Prestige extension cable and 1/4/ to 1/8" adapter cable today, so I listened a bit with my RS225is...and I continue to be very impressed with this DAC. 

 

To the poster that said this that wasn't worth $249, I think a re-appraisal is in order. This DAC utilizes the same Gordon Rankin-developed Streamlength asynchronous USB code used in the Wavelength DACs and the Ayre QB-9. This is some serious sh*t with respect to an async USB implementation.The Dragonfly also uses dual master clocks to minimize jitter, and direct-coupled cirecuitry from the ESS Sabre DAC chip to the analog volume control and output section. All this adds up to some serious performance for the money, and is a notable innovation for folks like myself who want to take audiophile D/A capability to work or on the road with them using a laptop. 

 

Moreover, I wouldn't go knockin' the performance of a DAC until you've heard it for yourself. 

post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

"I bought one from ElusiveDisc during their recent 10%-off sale and it just arrived today. Testing it out at work where it's replacing a HeadRoom Bithead, with the Senn HD419 headphones on some 16/44 files.

 

I gotta admit, I was preparing for something not much better than the Bithead. There's only so much that can be done with USB-direct power.

 

But this tiny thing packs a serious punch! I was immediately surprised by its low, solid bass and overall force to the sound."

 

I completely agree, this DAC has a punchy, dynamic quality to it and very impressive bass performance. It kicks out the jams on rock 'n roll, I've noticed. 

post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post

I completely agree, this DAC has a punchy, dynamic quality to it and very impressive bass performance. It kicks out the jams on rock 'n roll, I've noticed. 

+1
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post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSC View Post

Hey Currawong, I noticed on your profile that you've got an iPad...can the Dragonfly be used with an iPad through a camera kit?  Thanks!

 

Draws too much current unfortunately, so no. It would have to go through a USB hub.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I couldn't resist and bought one. Initial impressions out of my MacBook Pro with my Symphones Magnums are positive but I can hear its limitations compared to my main system obviously. The interesting test I reckon will be how much of an improvement over my MacBook Pro's headphone out it will be. I'm sure it is way better than the sound from many Windows laptops.

 

What headphones have you tried?  I am waiting for mine to arrive.

 

Symphones Magnums and AT ESW10JPNs.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

But this tiny thing packs a serious punch! I was immediately surprised by its low, solid bass and overall force to the sound. Where the Bithead sounds semi-murky, the Dragonfly is substantially clearer too.

 

I'm also pretty impressed with how well it does with my headphones. I didn't feel my L3 improved on it.

 

I did do some more comparisons: Definitely an improvement over my 2011 MacBook Pro's headphone out. It seems to be somewhere behind my Foxtex HP-P1 as a DAC and my DX100 as both a DAC and an amp. Using it out of my Vaunix lab-grade USB hub it jumps up in capability as a DAC, putting it somewhere in capability close to those portable units, which is interesting, even if the combo is a bit unrealistic. 

post #27 of 63

I wouldnt bank on it working with the ipad at all just yet. the fact it uses async usb using Gordons driver tech poses some questions. it may work, it may not, with or without the powered hub.

 

i'm guessing this uses an ES9023, not bad at all with the right design, but its not a Sabre32 or reference series dac. it would be a very tall order (impossible) to run 2 clocks, USB receiver, the MCU, the IV stage and a sabre32/sabre8/sabre reference dac within the power budget of a standard USB port. The es9023 has an internal charge pump to generate the negative supply rail for its analogue stage and using this method it has the ability to output a full 2v line out. It will drive some headphones directly even without a buffer, as long as they can survive on 2v

 

its a $2.50 part vs a $40 part, but there have been some very nice dacs built with this part.


Edited by qusp - 6/24/12 at 5:03am
post #28 of 63
Yes, it does use the ESS Sabre 9023 DAC.
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Draws too much current unfortunately, so no. It would have to go through a USB hub.


Symphones Magnums and AT ESW10JPNs.


I'm also pretty impressed with how well it does with my headphones. I didn't feel my L3 improved on it.

I did do some more comparisons: Definitely an improvement over my 2011 MacBook Pro's headphone out. It seems to be somewhere behind my Foxtex HP-P1 as a DAC and my DX100 as both a DAC and an amp. Using it out of my Vaunix lab-grade USB hub it jumps up in capability as a DAC, putting it somewhere in capability close to those portable units, which is interesting, even if the combo is a bit unrealistic. 

Yes, I would say that this is accurate. I used it in my full amp/preamp/loudspeaker system, and while it's impressive for what it is, it simply cannot compare to my Wadia 121, for example.
Edited by Puma Cat - 6/24/12 at 4:48am
post #30 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post

Yes, it does use the ESS Sabre 9023 DAC.


What would be the equivalent model in Burr Brown or Crystal?

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