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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 2

post #16 of 1817

Does anyone know which Sabre chip this one uses?

post #17 of 1817

Looks like the shape of the ESS ES9023 and I think there is a tiny op-amp there I can't tell from the fuzzy picture, at least I hope there is.

post #18 of 1817
Quote:
Originally Posted by sling5s View Post

Any comparisons to the Centrance Dacport?   Quality of sound and power?  Is it on the bright side, or dark side, neutral? 

 

thanks

It's been some months since I had the Dacport but from memory they are very different in presentation. The Dacport has a bold presentation and not splashy in the treble like a lot of dacs are. However it does not focus on detail retrieval, like decay, etc. and not a lot of depth (but I think this goes for most usb dacs I've heard). Dacport overall is similar to NOS dacs like AD1865, 1704, etc. The Dragonfly on the other hand really pulls out detail and is stellar in the vocal range. It has a 'brighter' signature for sure but without the splashiness. If you're a 'clarity' fan then the Dragonfly will impress. Like the Dacport, however, it is pretty flat as far as depth. Dragonfly is more refined than the odac to my ears. It sounds really, really good. Choosing between the Dacport would be tough though depending on what you like. Hope this helps.

 

Note: I used these dacs for 2 channel speaker setup not headphones.

post #19 of 1817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

Even if its half the size of something else, those other things are already small enough.

 

Well no, not really.  Went on vacation, 5 hour plane flight each way.  With this thing, 1200 songs on my laptop, and the Ety ER-4P I was in heaven for 10 hours of flying.  Can't tell you the last time I absolutely did not mind flights of that length.  Try to fit another rig that sounds this good in the width of a coach class airline seat.  (To me it sounds a lot better than the regular audio output from my MacBook Pro, which does not sound bad itself.)

 

Then with an ordinary auxiliary cable I plugged it into the rental car's stereo system, and voila, tunes for 8 days in the desert Southwest.

 

Now it's plugged into the back of my desktop, where its sound is an improvement on the very good ESI Juli@ sound card.  Even better, it works with all the operating systems I run on my desktop - Windows, Linux, FreeBSD - while unfortunately there are no FreeBSD drivers for the digital output of the Juli@.  So I am one happy camper.

 

Now if $250 (or even the nice discount I was able to get from a local dealer) is a lot more than you want to spend on a DAC, that's fine.  No problem at all with that.  For folks who don't mind the price, this really helps fill a niche for excellent mobile sound.

post #20 of 1817
Quote:
Originally Posted by pekingduck View Post

Is it iPad + CCK compatible? biggrin.gif

 

Only if you run it off a powered USB hub, which does cut down on portability.

post #21 of 1817

Well it's new so I don't think there's any comparisons like that yet but they will come in due time versus the D-Zero and ODAC and all that jazz.

post #22 of 1817
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

Look I made Dragonball calm down.

 

LOL ----  Sorry .... hey I'm a Fiio E17 owner and fan myself ---- don't come after me!

post #23 of 1817
Quote:
Originally Posted by pekingduck View Post

Is it iPad + CCK compatible? biggrin.gif

 

 

I'm wondering the same thing. Surely Jude has one to find out.. Right?

post #24 of 1817

Wow, its tiny. I'd actually be afraid of people stealing it. As easy as plug-n-play you just unplug-n-go.

That aside, quite an interesting gadget! No extra cables involved is always a plus.

Might be the perfect gift for my dad, as Acer netbook onboard soundcard is simply... terrible.

 

P.S. does it work on anything other than computers? like... PS3 for instance rolleyes.gif

post #25 of 1817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

Yup, I know; I guess we'll see smily_headphones1.gif

 

This is such a new product and it is indeed just the size of a thumb size, my first thought looking at it is how good can it be?

 

I own the E17 as well, recently purchased an O2/ODAC unit, and while I think the former is a great bang for the buck - the latter just shoots quite a bit higher.  We're not talking a slim margin.  it sounds like a good $500+ combo rig to my ears.  But it's also twice the size, doesn't run on batteries, and twice the cost.  I'm taking a look at this thing as someone from the ODAC thread just said he found this to be a bit better.  That to me is quite remarkable and I'm eager to see impressions continue to roll in.  At this point I'm just taking IEMs and plugging them straight in my Macbook Air most of the time for the sake of convenience.


Edited by bobeau - 7/5/12 at 7:46pm
post #26 of 1817

See the reply from judmarc below cool.gif

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by J.Pocalypse View Post

 

 

I'm wondering the same thing. Surely Jude has one to find out.. Right?

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by judmarc View Post

 

Only if you run it off a powered USB hub, which does cut down on portability.

post #27 of 1817

Thanks for the comparisons.  I do like it on the warm side rather than bright.  I was hoping to replace the Dacport but I guess I'll hold on to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wushuliu View Post

It's been some months since I had the Dacport but from memory they are very different in presentation. The Dacport has a bold presentation and not splashy in the treble like a lot of dacs are. However it does not focus on detail retrieval, like decay, etc. and not a lot of depth (but I think this goes for most usb dacs I've heard). Dacport overall is similar to NOS dacs like AD1865, 1704, etc. The Dragonfly on the other hand really pulls out detail and is stellar in the vocal range. It has a 'brighter' signature for sure but without the splashiness. If you're a 'clarity' fan then the Dragonfly will impress. Like the Dacport, however, it is pretty flat as far as depth. Dragonfly is more refined than the odac to my ears. It sounds really, really good. Choosing between the Dacport would be tough though depending on what you like. Hope this helps.

 

Note: I used these dacs for 2 channel speaker setup not headphones.

post #28 of 1817

Thanks for the great review Jude!  I'm thinking that this may be perfect for my MacBook Air and HD700/HE400/M80.  I was in one of my favorite audio stores a few days ago looking at the rPAC and they were pretty stoked about the Dragonfly.  I'll give it a try when they get it in stock.


Edited by MickeyVee - 7/5/12 at 9:00pm
post #29 of 1817
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

Holy crap!  How is $250 affordable?...

 

If, hypothetically, you believed everything I said about the Dragonfly (which I'm not saying you do, just work with me here), and you still are disgusted that I've referred to it as "affordable" at $250, then I have to wonder where you think you are? I may soon link you to a thread about a $1000 in-ear monitor to see if your head explodes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

 You can get top of the line headphones for that much!

 

I'm sure $250 will get you headphones that are at the top of some lines, yes.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

I don't even know why I wasted my time reading this and looking into this.

 

I'm sorta wonderin' that myself.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

I was going to ask how it compares with the line-out (the complaints seem to not be about that) of this thing, the HiFiMan HM-101, but that's when I thought there was a comparable price.

 

I have the HM-101. There is absolutely no comparison between the two.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

Why would I get this instead of some higher end DAC/Preamp combination?

 

I don't know--especially if you are in the market for a higher-end DAC/preamp combo. If you're in the market for a higher-end DAC/preamp combo (I'm guessing you mean a desktop one), and this little DAC/amp disgusts you at its price, then I suggest you get the higher-end DAC/preamp combo.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

I could get a receiver for this price!

 

Yes you could!

 

Like Bubba in Forrest Gump goes on about shrimp, I'm sure one could go on all day enumerating all the other things one could buy with $250 instead of the Dragonfly. Eight pairs of Levi's jeans. One pair of designer jeans. A romantic dinner for two. A netbook computer. Some type of bicycle. A roundtrip flight to a nearby major city. A black market firearm (of dubious quality)...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

As a matter of fact, if there was a line out built in to your computer, even a digital one like many actually do have now, this isn't worth to even have cross your mind.

 

My MacBook Pro has a digital out (via optical). Now tell me what I'm supposed to do with the free end of the optical cable I've plugged into it, in the cramped confines of an airplane tray table? Or even at a coffee house?

 

And if one is perfectly happy with the quality of one's laptop's headphone output for all the headphones he wishes to use, you are correct that he probably should save himself the 250 bucks.

 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

 

It's just a DAC with only one type of input and output!

 

At the very least, let nobody accuse you of not having at least skimmed through my review.

 


 

EDIT: Whoops, looks like there was a thread-pruning by a moderator while I was responding. Nevertheless, I'll keep this response intact (which is now a response to a deleted post), just in case anybody else comes to this thread with similar sentiments.

post #30 of 1817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinster View Post

Nice write up Jude thank you! Any chance you can do a comparaison with the Centrance DACport?

 

Yes, a comparison against the Dacport would be very welcome. 

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