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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 98

post #1456 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph3nom88 View Post
 

 

i work at best buy...i get the old one for a discount at...around $72. i can buy the newer one no problem but is it worth it. i can get it but wondering if its worth it. that's all.

It's the best $72 in audio bucks you will spend.  The FiiO E11 portable amp is in the same price bang for buck ballpark.

post #1457 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUMAY408 View Post
 

It's the best $72 in audio bucks you will spend.  The FiiO E11 portable amp is in the same price bang for buck ballpark.

thanks. i just want to make sure. im not missin much from not getting the newer version? also this is just a dac and not a amp. do i need an amp for this for it to work properly or no?  i can go computer usb to dragonfly dac to headphone? imma be using it on my computer with my soon to have akg k545.

post #1458 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph3nom88 View Post
 

thanks. i just want to make sure. im not missin much from not getting the newer version? also this is just a dac and not a amp. do i need an amp for this for it to work properly or no?  i can go computer usb to dragonfly dac to headphone? imma be using it on my computer with my soon to have akg k545.

The DF is 80% DAC and 20% AMP (125mw@32 ohms), personally I would us at minimum FiiO E11 ($60) portable amp much better than the DF alone.  DF better DAC than AMP.

post #1459 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha421 View Post
 

You better have good and revealing gear and source along with a good set of ears to determine if the v1.2 is better over the predecessors. Lets not kid ourselves. Audioquest is creating a double whammy for themselves with the holidays by selling the Dragonfly that I originally paid $250 for $99 and a newer version for $50 more.  Bottom line is - you can't go wrong with either one.  Why are folks making the decision so hard?

 

Why? I think because people like to suffer (through the decision making), makes life more challenging thus more interesting :-)

 

Is it worth it? Be your own judge (my quick test setup in order to get "AQ DF 1.0c" like sound from Meridian Explorer; something I just did by accident).

 

1. Audirvana Plus (24/96 source from hdtracks) + Wireworld Starlight 7 + Meridian Explorer (headphone out) + Shure SE535

 

Failed; I really did not like the sound; I think Meridian Explorer headphone amp does not have good synergy with SE535 (Explorer sounded way better with Beyer MMX 101 iE but these IEMs are just not my cup of tee). Sound is very analytical, no lows, thin (the opposite of MMX 101, where there was way too much lows). Very clean, a lot of high details, just no lows/too analytical. To get a comfortable sound I would crank up the volume where mids would become too loud. This somewhat reminded me AKG Q701 that I did not like at the time.

 

My conclusion: not my sound; some of AKG Q701 owners might respectfully disagree though :-)

 

---

EDIT (2 days later): "No lows" would be a somewhat misleading statement. I carefully re-listened both Explorer and DF back-to-back, and Explorer does have a decent level of bass; it is tighter and there is less of it (compared to DF).

---

 

2. (same as No.1 only with external amp through Explorer line out)

Audirvana Plus (24/96 source from hdtracks) + Wireworld Startlight 7 + Meridian Explorer (line out) + Kimber Silver Streak + Graham Slee Novo + Shure SE535

 

OK, this is much better - lows are back, sound is less thin, mids are not standing out anymore (still a bit analytical but not too bad).

 

My conclusion: Explorer required careful matching if used with headphones directly; external amp though works great (always did for me).

 

To my total surprise, the sound of No.2 was very close to what I was getting from SE535 being plugged directly into AQ DF 1.0c... (*and* I would still prefer DF, but that's just me). Now, it should probably become very obvious by now that alpha421 was absolutely right - even for $250 it was a steal.

 

BTW, owning both Dragonfly and Explorer, I don't agree how WhatHiFi dropped a star (5->4) from Dragonfly's review when Explorer was released; I think they are both great products that are different enough with each deserving 5 stars easily; one just needs to carefully match them to the rest of the system (especially headphones if used directly).


Edited by NotAnAngel - 12/11/13 at 6:01am
post #1460 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUMAY408 View Post
 

The DF is 80% DAC and 20% AMP (125mw@32 ohms), personally I would us at minimum FiiO E11 ($60) portable amp much better than the DF alone.  DF better DAC than AMP.

so go from fiio e11 to dragonfly?? i thought both were samething. also how would i go bout hooking it all up? like computer to fiio e11 to dragon fly to headphone?

post #1461 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAnAngel View Post
 

 

Why? I think because people like to suffer (through the decision making), makes life more challenging thus more interesting :-)

 

Is it worth it? Be your own judge (my quick test setup in order to get "AQ DF 1.0c" like sound from Meridian Explorer; something I just did by accident).

 

1. Audirvana Plus (24/96 source from hdtracks) + Wireworld Starlight 7 + Meridian Explorer (headphone out) + Shure SE535

 

Failed; I really did not like the sound; I think Meridian Explorer headphone amp does not have good synergy with SE535 (Explorer sounded way better with Beyer MMX 101 iE but these IEMs are just not my cup of tee). Sound is very analytical, no lows, thin (the opposite of MMX 101, where there was way too much lows). Very clean, a lot of high details, just no lows/too bright. To get a comfortable sound I would crank up the volume where mids would become too loud. This somewhat reminded me AKG Q701 that I did not like at the time.

 

My conclusion: not my sound; some of AKG Q701 owners might respectfully disagree though :-)

 

2. (same as No.1 only with external amp through Explorer line out)

Audirvana Plus (24/96 source from hdtracks) + Wireworld Startlight 7 + Meridian Explorer (line out) + Kimber Silver Streak + Graham Slee Novo + Shure SE535

 

OK, this is much better - lows are back, sound is less thin, mids are not standing out anymore (still a bit analytical but not too bad).

 

My conclusion: Explorer required careful matching if used with headphones directly; external amp though works great (always did for me).

 

To my total surprise, the sound of No.2 was very close to what I was getting from SE535 being plugged directly into AQ DF 1.0c... (*and* I would still prefer DF, but that's just me). Now, it should probably become very obvious by now that alpha421 was absolutely right - even for $250 it was a steal.

 

BTW, owning both Dragonfly and Explorer, I don't agree how WhatHiFi dropped a star (5->4) from Dragonfly's review when Explorer was released; I think they are both great products that are different enough with each deserving 5 stars easily; one just needs to carefully match them to the rest of the system (especially headphones if used directly).

nice info. so i should be ok with the older version of the dragonfly i just got over the newer model? and will i be without an amp? i be going straight from usb 2.0 or 3.0 from computer to my dragonfly to my akg k545. and thanks for the help!

post #1462 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph3nom88 View Post
 

so go from fiio e11 to dragonfly?? i thought both were samething. also how would i go bout hooking it all up? like computer to fiio e11 to dragon fly to headphone?

DF is the DAC, FiiO E11 is the amp DF.  Like this Laptop>USB>DF>Amp>HP powers all but the most high end HP's.  The HP you have will sound very fine.

post #1463 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUMAY408 View Post
 

DF is the DAC, FiiO E11 is the amp DF.  Like this Laptop>USB>DF>Amp>HP powers all but the most high end HP's.  The HP you have will sound very fine.

ok thanks. i didnt think i needed a amp to go with the dragonfly but i get it when i can. is there any u recommend beside the fiio e11? i need to save money up for it now.

post #1464 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph3nom88 View Post
 

ok thanks. i didnt think i needed a amp to go with the dragonfly but i get it when i can. is there any u recommend beside the fiio e11? i need to save money up for it now.


You *really* do not need to (it has very decent amp already), but you certainly can, if you wanted to.

 

Personally, I use DF purely as a portable device (with Shure SE535), and would not even think about getting an amp as what I am getting out of DF is very good already. But again, you have to try your own headphones to make sure the combo sounds the way *you* like it.

post #1465 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph3nom88 View Post
 

nice info. so i should be ok with the older version of the dragonfly i just got over the newer model? and will i be without an amp? i be going straight from usb 2.0 or 3.0 from computer to my dragonfly to my akg k545. and thanks for the help!


I just got the "old" version too, just like you did, and would not be considering the new one (I did get it through Audio Advisor that offered a free +50$ exchange for 1.2 version, if I wanted to).

 

My logic here is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" meaning that I already like the sound with SE535, and I don't know if this kind of synergy will remain in place with 1.2 (especially if amp was modified). It probably will though.

post #1466 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAnAngel View Post
 


You *really* do not need to (it has very decent amp already), but you certainly can, if you wanted to.

 

Personally, I use DF purely as a portable device (with Shure SE535), and would not even think about getting an amp as what I am getting out of DF is very good already. But again, you have to try your own headphones to make sure the combo sounds the way *you* like it.

Wow, when i plug my se535 to Dragonfly, there is pretty bad background his. And volume is okey when its set to 0 in windows for the DF, going up from that makes it too loud :P. Can't use it with se535 unless i put amp in between to tame the loudness and get rid of the hiss.

 

Anyway i use DF home with K550, and that's a pretty sweet combo.

post #1467 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whippler View Post
 

Wow, when i plug my se535 to Dragonfly, there is pretty bad background his. And volume is okey when its set to 0 in windows for the DF, going up from that makes it too loud :P. Can't use it with se535 unless i put amp in between to tame the loudness and get rid of the hiss.

 

Anyway i use DF home with K550, and that's a pretty sweet combo.


That is weird. I use it with Macs (2009 MacBook Pro and 2011 iMac) and both are perfectly quiet/black - no hiss or anything I could hear, even if I max out volume. I use Audirvana (normal volume at about 9AM (the range is 7AM to 5PM) but I don't think it matters in this context.

 

Have you tried it with other computers? When did you buy DF? Mine is about one week old, version 1.0c as reported by Mac.

post #1468 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAnAngel View Post
 


That is weird. I use it with Macs (2009 MacBook Pro and 2011 iMac) and both are perfectly quiet/black - no hiss or anything I could hear, even if I max out volume. I use Audirvana (normal volume at about 9AM (the range is 7AM to 5PM) but I don't think it matters in this context.

 

Have you tried it with other computers? When did you buy DF? Mine is about one week old, version 1.0c as reported by Mac.

Not really, it's just my ears. I bought it over a year ago, got 1st production unit. Got the crackling problems, and got it replaced under warranty few months back. SE535 is a sensitive iem they his from quite a selection of sources. Like my 3y old phone, little bit from clip+. Lot of his from studio V. Tried couple new phones, galaxy line up @ store, no his from those. And Arrow 4G pretty much cleans up the his out damn well.

post #1469 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whippler View Post
 

Not really, it's just my ears. I bought it over a year ago, got 1st production unit. Got the crackling problems, and got it replaced under warranty few months back. SE535 is a sensitive iem they his from quite a selection of sources. Like my 3y old phone, little bit from clip+. Lot of his from studio V. Tried couple new phones, galaxy line up @ store, no his from those. And Arrow 4G pretty much cleans up the his out damn well.


Agree, SE535 are very sensitive. I get slight hiss from Beyerdynamic A1 too - it is not made for such IEMs. No hiss with Graham Slee Novo though.

 

I am wondering if we have a slightly different hardware in our DFs or maybe just the computer? Cannot think of anything else (and I do have pretty good hearing too).

post #1470 of 1931

Hopefully you pulled the trigger....agree with others on the thread that for ~$80 you can't go wrong.  Spend the extra cash on your PC audio s/w and wait for the upgrade bug to bite.

 

I love my Dragonfly and use with with Grado's when at office and Ety 4Ps when travelling.  Mirror my music library on a portable drive so I can listen when on work trips.  Best listening experience regardless of what hotel in what part of the world I'm in that i can squeeze into a carry on bag without blinking an eye.

 

Drew

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