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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 103

post #1531 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by ULUL View Post
 

Here is how you check the version your Dragonfly DAC in Windows environment.

 

Go to Control Panel

Select Hardware & Sound

Manage Audio Devices

Select Dragonfly

Select Properties 

Select Details

Select Device Description

elect Hardware IDs. 

 

“Value” it will show “REV 010” for v1.0 or “REV 012” for v1.2

 

I have both the version 1.0 and version 1.2 and it shows up as REV010 and REV012 respectively.

 

Hope this helps.

Can you comment on the differences within 1.0 and 1.2??

post #1532 of 1911

I've had the original Dragonfly for more than a year.I've been very happy with it,especially listening through Sennheiser i.e. 80s.I also 

use it as a dac connected to a NJC Monitor 1 amp and Sennheiser 650s.With this set up I found the sound signature to be slightly cold and metallic,so much for the 650 veil! I would have to use the i-tune equaliser to lessen treble,increase bass,etc.I couldn't listen

for more than a couple of hours.

I've had the latest version Dragonfly for a couple of days now,and it's a big step up in SQ. The hard edge has gone.A much fuller,more musical delivery,with even more detail! To my ears,it really is a major improvement.

I've read comments here about the DF not being true "Audiophile Grade",or words to that effect.I can assure you,with a decent source,and partnered with decent 'phones, and  possibly an amp.,it shines!

I listen to lossless files ripped from cds onto a Macbook.From day one I've used one of these 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008BI19N0/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 .It keeps the DF flush with the Macbook and safe from harm.

                                             Kind regards,Cenacheros.

post #1533 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lehrer View Post
 

Can you comment on the differences within 1.0 and 1.2??

It is too early as I am a strong believer of breaking even solid state audio equipment in, having heard the A/B difference. 

I am also a believer of blind testing as the placebo effect is incredibly strong - at least to my ears and I think I'm a pretty objective person.

 

 So one advantage with the Dragonfly is that one can easily do an objective blind test as the two Dragonfly looks identical.  What I did was to mark the bottom of the version 1.2. However, I only look at them from the top with the bottom facing the table.  I then scramble the two dacs until I do not know which is which.  I listened to them intently last night (just got the 1.2 yesterday).   So far, I actually picked the 1.0 as my preferred device to my surprise, though they are very close.  There's just more 'grip' and punch in the lower frequencies.  I was very surprised because I thought the 1.2 sounded better out of the box.  Again, that's the power of suggestion and expectations.  I then double checked in the Windows drivers to make sure I had the correct unit marked - I did. 

 

My test unit is the excellent ZMF Modified T50RPs.  My HD650 is in the office and I'll get it tomorrow and will report back after a few dozen hours of breaking in the version 1.2.  I do hope it will be noticeably better than the 1.0 after an objective test.  I will also have my sons listen and evaluate as they have very keen ears. 

 

In short, at this point, I am not hearing much difference if any. 

 

At this point, I can think of four possibilities: 

 

1. I have lead ears that are not good enough to tell the difference.  I hope not as I've tested some higher end items and hear a difference.  And lower end too. 

2. There is very little difference between the 1.0 and 1.2.   If so, the $99 is a great value. 

3. 1.2 not burned in yet and difference will show after a while. 

4. My 1.0 which is in the most recent batch is actually a 1.2 but not labelled as such and to tell a difference, one needs a 1.0 from much earlier production cycle. 

 

Cenacheros, I'd love to have you do the same blind test and let me know if you still hear a significant difference.  I'm not challenging you as I am really just interested in an objective blind test, having no personal ego invested in this nor do I have allegiance to any manufacturer or model. 

 

ULUL


Edited by ULUL - 12/21/13 at 12:01pm
post #1534 of 1911

@ULUL, +1 Blind test FTW!!!!!

 

(tho I strongly disagree w/ SS equipment requiring break-in, can't argue with a guy who does blind testing :normal_smile :).

 

this would be kinda hilarious if the $50 pricier 1.2 version sounded worse for you compared to 1.0, but then again great for your wallet

post #1535 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by ULUL View Post
 

It is too early as I am a strong believer of breaking even solid state audio equipment in, having heard the A/B difference. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
(tho I strongly disagree w/ SS equipment requiring break-in, can't argue with a guy who does blind testing :normal_smile :).

 

To ULUL's point, I did experience some burn-in with DF (1.0c); my first listening test resulted in slightly distorted, a bit metallic sound. After running it for about two weeks, this effect was completely gone; sound got very smooth and natural.

 

The most obvious case of burn-in was with my Graham Slee Novo amp; when new, it sounded very dull and unexciting; after being used (and plugged in 24/7) for about a month, it transformed into one of the best sounding amps in the price range (and much better that many more expensive ones). After I experienced this effect, I started looking and here is what I found:

 

http://audio-forum.gspaudio.co.uk/burnin-revisited_topic547_page1.html

post #1536 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAnAngel View Post

 

To ULUL's point, I did experience some burn-in with DF (1.0c); my first listening test resulted in slightly distorted, a bit metallic sound. After running it for about two weeks, this effect was completely gone; sound got very smooth and natural.

 

The most obvious case of burn-in was with my Graham Slee Novo amp; when new, it sounded very dull and unexciting; after being used (and plugged in 24/7) for about a month, it transformed into one of the best sounding amps in the price range (and much better that many more expensive ones). After I experienced this effect, I started looking and here is what I found:

 

http://audio-forum.gspaudio.co.uk/burnin-revisited_topic547_page1.html

http://www.head-fi.org/t/442436/capacitor-burn-in-how-long-does-it-really-take

 

the problem w/ ALL burn-in theories is that there is no reason for burn-in/break-in to improve the sound. If there is some sort of underlying mechanism that causes a change in the sound, it is equally if not more likely that the sound will degrade in quality rather than improve because the device was tuned prior to burn-in. However, ALL believers of burn-in report a positive effect on sound quality. therefore, it makes a lot more sense to assume that the effect is psychological.

 

edit: esp. in light of the fact that there is NO scientific study out there that definitively shows a change in objective sonic data (that is outside of normal variation or statistical error) large enough for us to hear to prove burn-in for headphones... and there is definitely no study out there about solid state electronics. even for speakers with larger drivers that would hypothetically show the greatest change from mechanical movement, there is still controversy about burn-in. 


Edited by money4me247 - 12/21/13 at 10:54am
post #1537 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/442436/capacitor-burn-in-how-long-does-it-really-take

 

the problem w/ ALL burn-in theories is that there is no reason for burn-in/break-in to improve the sound. If there is some sort of underlying mechanism that causes a change in the sound, it is equally if not more likely that the sound will degrade in quality rather than improve because the device was tuned prior to burn-in. However, ALL believers of burn-in report a positive effect on sound quality. therefore, it makes a lot more sense to assume that the effect is psychological.


Sure, there is a lot of subjective/psychological effects here, but you got it backwards :-)

 

If I was the designer and knew that the components I use would inevitably change and stabilize, I would tune my product to sound best on what stage - before burn-in or after? That's why the sound improves - the gear transforms (or burn-ins) into the state it was designed for.

 

The only thing that I would do with DF though (no matter if I did or did not believe in burn-in) is not to do any critical listening before one month (or at least a few weeks of being plugged-in, powered on 24/7, and ideally running some headphones). But that's just me, and if you think it would be OK to judge it immediately after opening the box, that would be perfectly fine with me :-)

post #1538 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAnAngel View Post


Sure, there is a lot of subjective/psychological effects here, but you got it backwards :-)

 

If I was the designer and knew that the components I use would inevitably change and stabilize, I would tune my product to sound best on what stage - before burn-in or after? That's why the sound improves - the gear transforms (or burn-ins) into the state it was designed for.

 

The only thing that I would do with DF though (no matter if I did or did not believe in burn-in) is not to do any critical listening before one month (or at least a few weeks of being plugged-in, powered on 24/7, and ideally running some headphones). But that's just me, and if you think it would be OK to judge it immediately after opening the box, that would be perfectly fine with me :-)

lol if you were a designer & burn-in was real, then you would have a hell of a time tuning as each model will have a different sound depending on how much its been used. as you tune it, the sound will change lol. most companies R&D departments involve multiple teams of engineers working on multiple sets of headphones... wonder how that can possibly work if burn-in was real. and how would they ever figure out when the headphones "settle into the state it was designed for"? is it at 48hrs or 2 weeks or 3 years? does the mechanical movement forceful enough to causes such a dramatic change in sound quality all of a sudden stops causing sonic changes? and quality control would basically be hell. Not to mention there are already variations between each identical model just due to the manufacturing process, so burn-in will effect each pair of headphones differently. Basically, no two identical headphones would ever sound the same.

 

lol isn't it funny how burn-in phenomena only occurs with audio products... one of our most subjective senses very easily influenced by external forces. do TVs need burn-in? lol

 

also, I don't believe it's ideal to judge on on first listen. I think you should give your gear 1-2 weeks before critically judging (but to let your brain adjust to the new sound, not b/c burn-in)


Edited by money4me247 - 12/21/13 at 11:23am
post #1539 of 1911

Here is why I believe 'Burn In' is real. 

 

I tested two identical headphone amps that were well designed.  One was burned in for over a thousand hours. Another was brand new.  The difference was so distinct that I was sure the new unit had different components.  So we pulled the thing apart and looked at every part to make sure that the manufacturer did not change any parts. They were identical. 

 

Another reason is that burn in is so widely accepted by enough people that I believe it is beyond placebo. 

 

Regardless, I'll burn the 1.2 in for a few dozen hours and test for three people.  Can't get any more objective than that for three people.

 

My conjecture is that Dragonfly may have done running improvements in the latest 1.0 versions just as one dealer claimed and then retracted at the request of the the manufacturer, Audioquest. The only way to know is for Audioquest to clarify but this is really not a bit deal. We're not talking life and death or going hungry - just a little DAC....:)

 

ULUL


Edited by ULUL - 12/21/13 at 2:10pm
post #1540 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

lol if you were a designer & burn-in was real, then you would have a hell of a time tuning as each model will have a different sound depending on how much its been used. as you tune it, the sound will change lol. most companies R&D departments involve multiple teams of engineers working on multiple sets of headphones... wonder how that can possibly work if burn-in was real. and how would they ever figure out when the headphones "settle into the state it was designed for"? is it at 48hrs or 2 weeks or 3 years? does the mechanical movement forceful enough to causes such a dramatic change in sound quality all of a sudden stops causing sonic changes? and quality control would basically be hell. Not to mention there are already variations between each identical model just due to the manufacturing process, so burn-in will effect each pair of headphones differently. Basically, no two identical headphones would ever sound the same.

 

lol isn't it funny how burn-in phenomena only occurs with audio products... one of our most subjective senses very easily influenced by external forces. do TVs need burn-in? lol

 

also, I don't believe it's ideal to judge on on first listen. I think you should give your gear 1-2 weeks before critically judging (but to let your brain adjust to the new sound, not b/c burn-in)

Nobody said that burn-in was continuous.  I think your reasoning here is seriously flawed.  Whether you believe in it or not, you have a weak argument.  

 

Also, yes, plasma TV's absolutely DO burn-in.  Overall color performance does, in fact, fluctuate considerably within the first 300 or so hours of use.  It can also be objectively measured using a colorimeter.  

post #1541 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speakerphile View Post
 

Nobody said that burn-in was continuous.  I think your reasoning here is seriously flawed.  Whether you believe in it or not, you have a weak argument.  

 

Also, yes, plasma TV's absolutely DO burn-in.  Overall color performance does, in fact, fluctuate considerably within the first 300 or so hours of use.  It can also be objectively measured using a colorimeter.  

LOL!! burn-in for plasma TVs is a negative thing. it's image retention caused by components losing luminescence with use. LCD screens will get dead pixels over time. These are examples of degrading quality from continued use. The fact is that it is much more likely for the quality of electronics/mechanical goods to degrade over time rather than improve. A colorimeter is simply for calibrating a screen lol. I would like to see a source for your claim of color performance improving after the first 300 hours of use. 

 

if you think that lack of scientific evidence for the burn-in phenomena is a weak argument...

 

The fact is that most listeners cannot distinguish a burnt-in model vs. a new model in direct blind A/B comparison test. And even then, if there was sonic discrepancies between the two models, there are too many confounding variables to isolate the cause to burn-in (eg. inherent variation in the drivers from the manufacturing process & statistical error from a small sample size). Remember correlation does not equate causation? You would need to get objective data on sonic performance of a fresh new model and then then "burn-in" and repeat the measurements. And then, you have to repeat the study with a sample size that gives you a power value of 0.05 so you can have a confidence interval of 95%, and if the mean difference between the variables include zero, you still end up accepting your null hypothesis of no difference. 

 

If there is burn-in, logically speaking, the effect would have to be continuous. You are stating that the mechanical forces of driver movement causes sonic changes. The mechanical forces will continue to go as you use it. There is no reason for the mechanical forces causing sonic changes to suddenly throw its hands up & say alright, we've achieved the best sound improvement possible, let's stop causing sonic changes.

 

While you guys are talking about "believing" in burn-in, I am talking about whether burn-in is a real objectively observable and replicable phenomena... aka requiring scientific evidence to prove. The scientific evidence is not currently there, so that is really the end of that debate.

 

If you want to talk about "believing" in burn-in, (aka a leap of faith without any scientific evidence to back up you)... sure you can believe anything you want to believe. lol

post #1542 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

LOL!! burn-in for plasma TVs is a negative thing. it's image retention caused by components losing luminescence with use. LCD screens will get dead pixels over time. These are examples of degrading quality from continued use. The fact is that it is much more likely for the quality of electronics/mechanical goods to degrade over time rather than improve. A colorimeter is simply for calibrating a screen lol. I would like to see a source for your claim of color performance improving after the first 300 hours of use. 

 

if you think that lack of scientific evidence for the burn-in phenomena is a weak argument...

 

The fact is that most listeners cannot distinguish a burnt-in model vs. a new model in direct blind A/B comparison test. And even then, if there was sonic discrepancies between the two models, there are too many confounding variables to isolate the cause to burn-in (eg. inherent variation in the drivers from the manufacturing process & statistical error from a small sample size). Remember correlation does not equate causation? You would need to get objective data on sonic performance of a fresh new model and then then "burn-in" and repeat the measurements. And then, you have to repeat the study with a sample size that gives you a power value of 0.05 so you can have a confidence interval of 95%, and if the mean difference between the variables include zero, you still end up accepting your null hypothesis of no difference. 

 

If there is burn-in, logically speaking, the effect would have to be continuous. You are stating that the mechanical forces of driver movement causes sonic changes. The mechanical forces will continue to go as you use it. There is no reason for the mechanical forces causing sonic changes to suddenly throw its hands up & say alright, we've achieved the best sound improvement possible, let's stop causing sonic changes.

 

While you guys are talking about "believing" in burn-in, I am talking about whether burn-in is a real objectively observable and replicable phenomena... aka requiring scientific evidence to prove. The scientific evidence is not currently there, so that is really the end of that debate.

 

If you want to talk about "believing" in burn-in, (aka a leap of faith without any scientific evidence to back up you)... sure you can believe anything you want to believe. lol

I am not talking about image retention.  I am talking purely about a change in the performance of the panel within the early hours of use.  The term "burn-in" does have another meaning with regard to plasma TV's, but that is not what I am discussing.  That is more accurately described as image retention.  The pixels color performance actually fluctuates and changes up until about 300 hours of use.  You are clearly out of your element here.  Colorimeters measure color output.  Very handy when trying to ascertain varying color output on a television.  Whether or not plasma TV's experience this is not open for debate and is widely accepted fact.   

 

Also, improvement is subjective.  I think it is reasonable to accept that the performance of electronics can vary in the early hours of use.  I also think it is reasonable that the designers of said products could design them with the expected changes in performance in mind.  


Edited by Speakerphile - 12/21/13 at 7:47pm
post #1543 of 1911
@speakerphile, i am curious what your source for those claims are. Strangely, I did not find anything describing any phonemena correlating to your widely known facts.

Improvement is subjective but change is objective and should be easy to prove...

edit:
Quote:
I think it is reasonable to accept that the performance of electronics can vary in the early hours of use.
...errr, why? there's nothing magical about electrical components that make them behave in a more variable way than a something like a hammer.
Edited by money4me247 - 12/21/13 at 8:04pm
post #1544 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cenacheros View Post Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
 

I've had the original Dragonfly for more than a year.I've been very happy with it,especially listening through Sennheiser i.e. 80s.I also 

use it as a dac connected to a NJC Monitor 1 amp and Sennheiser 650s.With this set up I found the sound signature to be slightly cold and metallic,so much for the 650 veil! I would have to use the i-tune equaliser to lessen treble,increase bass,etc.I couldn't listen

for more than a couple of hours.

I've had the latest version Dragonfly for a couple of days now,and it's a big step up in SQ. The hard edge has gone.A much fuller,more musical delivery,with even more detail! To my ears,it really is a major improvement.

I've read comments here about the DF not being true "Audiophile Grade",or words to that effect.I can assure you,with a decent source,and partnered with decent 'phones, and  possibly an amp.,it shines!

I listen to lossless files ripped from cds onto a Macbook.From day one I've used one of these 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008BI19N0/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 .It keeps the DF flush with the Macbook and safe from harm.

                                             Kind regards,Cenacheros.

 

 

Thanks Cenacheros, I appreciate your comments, I already got an adapter like that one just to improve my work space a little more (great idea by the way)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ULUL View Post
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

It is too early as I am a strong believer of breaking even solid state audio equipment in, having heard the A/B difference. 

I am also a believer of blind testing as the placebo effect is incredibly strong - at least to my ears and I think I'm a pretty objective person.

 

 So one advantage with the Dragonfly is that one can easily do an objective blind test as the two Dragonfly looks identical.  What I did was to mark the bottom of the version 1.2. However, I only look at them from the top with the bottom facing the table.  I then scramble the two dacs until I do not know which is which.  I listened to them intently last night (just got the 1.2 yesterday).   So far, I actually picked the 1.0 as my preferred device to my surprise, though they are very close.  There's just more 'grip' and punch in the lower frequencies.  I was very surprised because I thought the 1.2 sounded better out of the box.  Again, that's the power of suggestion and expectations.  I then double checked in the Windows drivers to make sure I had the correct unit marked - I did. 

 

My test unit is the excellent ZMF Modified T50RPs.  My HD650 is in the office and I'll get it tomorrow and will report back after a few dozen hours of breaking in the version 1.2.  I do hope it will be noticeably better than the 1.0 after an objective test.  I will also have my sons listen and evaluate as they have very keen ears. 

 

In short, at this point, I am not hearing much difference if any. 

 

At this point, I can think of four possibilities: 

 

1. I have lead ears that are not good enough to tell the difference.  I hope not as I've tested some higher end items and hear a difference.  And lower end too. 

2. There is very little difference between the 1.0 and 1.2.   If so, the $99 is a great value. 

3. 1.2 not burned in yet and difference will show after a while. 

4. My 1.0 which is in the most recent batch is actually a 1.2 but not labelled as such and to tell a difference, one needs a 1.0 from much earlier production cycle. 

 

Cenacheros, I'd love to have you do the same blind test and let me know if you still hear a significant difference.  I'm not challenging you as I am really just interested in an objective blind test, having no personal ego invested in this nor do I have allegiance to any manufacturer or model. 

 

ULUL

 

 

Thanks ULUL for sharing your thoughts, I think that for $99 is the best offer in order to get something so small and nice sounding, I find quite interesting that to you the1.0 version is better, that makes me happy

post #1545 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by ULUL View Post
 

Here is how you check the version your Dragonfly DAC in Windows environment.

 

Go to Control Panel

Select Hardware & Sound

Manage Audio Devices

Select Dragonfly

Select Properties 

Select Details

Select Device Description

elect Hardware IDs. 

 

“Value” it will show “REV 010” for v1.0 or “REV 012” for v1.2

 

I have both the version 1.0 and version 1.2 and it shows up as REV010 and REV012 respectively.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Cool!  Thanks a lot!

 

Mine showing : USB\VID_21B4&PID_0081&REV_010C&MI_00

 

 

In Linux it showing 1.0c

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