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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 109

post #1621 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by AyeVeeN View Post

First impressions of v1.0 vs v1.2 using ES3X:

v1.0 just sounds better overall. Fuller, more detailed, can handle complicated parts better (i.e. high string orchestra + high female vocals + some other auxiliary treble all at once), and soundstage / imaging is more realistic. I'll post again on the weekend for HE-400s w/ Alpha Pads and possibly after burn-in (if DACs / amps do burn-in. Personally I'm not much of a believer).

Interesting. This is the first I've read that says the 1.0 is preferred. In my experience, the df didn't change noticeably with use. Looking forward to your findings, thank you.
post #1622 of 1934
Yeah I thought the general consensus was that the 1.2 was better in terms of sound quality & build qualitity, would be curious to hear more thoughts from anyone who has compared the two.
post #1623 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by AyeVeeN View Post
 

First impressions of v1.0 vs v1.2 using ES3X:

 

v1.0 just sounds better overall. Fuller, more detailed, can handle complicated parts better (i.e. high string orchestra + high female vocals + some other auxiliary treble all at once), and soundstage / imaging is more realistic. I'll post again on the weekend for HE-400s w/ Alpha Pads and possibly after burn-in (if DACs / amps do burn-in. Personally I'm not much of a believer).

lol! interesting :)

post #1624 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by AyeVeeN View Post
 

First impressions of v1.0 vs v1.2 using ES3X:

 

v1.0 just sounds better overall. Fuller, more detailed, can handle complicated parts better (i.e. high string orchestra + high female vocals + some other auxiliary treble all at once), and soundstage / imaging is more realistic. I'll post again on the weekend for HE-400s w/ Alpha Pads and possibly after burn-in (if DACs / amps do burn-in. Personally I'm not much of a believer).

Have not had time to post my findings but I had access to three v1.0 and one v1.2 .All four were different and we (two people indepnedently) could identify all four in a blind test. 

 

Turns out we ranked them like this from high to low.  Two people, in a pure blind test, no communication between the two person, came to the exact same ranking and description of the sound. I used three headphones (Sennheiser HD650, Fostex ZMF T50rp, and Klipsch x10) while the other person used just his own Klipsch x10.  I found the disctinction to be reproducible regardless of which headphone I used.  #1 and # were very different, but both are close in terms of preference. #1 had more grip, control, detail, bass. But #2 had the widest soundstage of all four by a clear margin.  Odd....

 

1. v1.0

2. v1.0

3. v1.2

4. v1.0.

 

All were currently units. My guess is that you also got your v1.0 recently?  My guess that they quietly made running improvements without telling the public so that old v1.0 is not as good but the newer ones are like v1.2. 

 

What really surprised us was the variability, one unit to the next. 

 

ULUL


Edited by ULUL - 1/10/14 at 11:24am
post #1625 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by ULUL View Post
 

What really surprised us was the variability, one unit to the next. 

I'm not surprised about that. there can easily be manufacturing variation within the normal range that can account for some of the differing opinions that people have about the same products.

post #1626 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

I'm not surprised about that. there can easily be manufacturing variation within the normal range that can account for some of the differing opinions that people have about the same products.

I agree.  But that was surprising is the DEGREE and RANGE of the variation.  I would think that this being a solid state device, that among four devices, there would be some that are very very similar and virtually indiscernible.  This was not the case. The difference between 1 and 4 was huge.  

 

SO, this explains to me in my mind why reviews on the DF can vary widely. Some say it is incredible, and others say it is not as wonderful. Of course, taste matters too but the variability can explain some of the varying comments. 

 

UL

post #1627 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by ULUL View Post

Have not had time to post my findings but I had access to three v1.0 and one v1.2 .All four were different and we (two people indepnedently) could identify all four in a blind test. 

Turns out we ranked them like this from high to low.  Two people, in a pure blind test, no communication between the two person, came to the exact same ranking and description of the sound. I used three headphones (Sennheiser HD650, Fostex ZMF T50rp, and Klipsch x10) while the other person used just his own Klipsch x10.  I found the disctinction to be reproducible regardless of which headphone I used.  #1 and # were very different, but both are close in terms of preference. #1 had more grip, control, detail, bass. But #2 had the widest soundstage of all four by a clear margin.  Odd....

1. v1.0
2. v1.0
3. v1.2
4. v1.0.

All were currently units. My guess is that you also got your v1.0 recently?  My guess that they quietly made running improvements without telling the public so that old v1.0 is not as good but the newer ones are like v1.2. 

What really surprised us was the variability, one unit to the next. 

ULUL

It's hard to believe you heard such distinct difference, but e only reason I purchased the DF originally was how awesome it sounded with my HD800. Mine seems pretty disappointing in comparison with my HD800s (though still good).

Good to know I'm not the only one... smily_headphones1.gif
post #1628 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by ULUL View Post

 

All were currently units. My guess is that you also got your v1.0 recently?  My guess that they quietly made running improvements without telling the public so that old v1.0 is not as good but the newer ones are like v1.2. 

 

Yes I did; about two weeks ago from BestBuy (last in stock and I'm not sure how many people actually purchase these there because it's BestBuy). Testing now (though I don't have that golden ear. Takes me awhile to discern minute differences. I believe in large part due to blasting my music and therefore damaging my high frequency hearing and giving myself tinnitus :)). I wish I had a 3.5mm female to (2) 3.5mm male cable. Would make A/B'ing much quicker.

 

Edit: I think I actually prefer the v1.2 now. Might've been placebo before, might be placebo now. Defining point (and what I really notice) for me was listening to Eminem - Stronger Than I Was. At ~4:36 after the rap verse, the v1.0 sounded raspy and realistic. Basically less definition / imaging of the person behind the vocals when compared to v1.2.

 

Edit2: Another test was Andrew Bayer - Keep Your Secrets. Yeah the v1.2 sounds slightly better to me now. Imaging / soundstage is better as is detail. Ex) pingpong effect is more prominent with the v1.2 at about 1:57. Vocals are easier to picture as are the instruments though I think the one thing the v1.0s do better are details placed at the extremities of the left/right pan. Not sure how to explain it exactly.


Edited by AyeVeeN - 1/12/14 at 1:31am
post #1629 of 1934

So, my question is this: If I can get the v1.0 for $50 or the v1.2 for $100, which should I go for? Taking into consideration the price/quality ratio, would it be worth the extra $50 to go on ahead and get the v1.2? 

 

As a side note/question, would it be better for me to get the Fiio E17 Alpen for $80 as compared to the model of choice based on my first question?

post #1630 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdiotRhino View Post
 

So, my question is this: If I can get the v1.0 for $50 or the v1.2 for $100, which should I go for? Taking into consideration the price/quality ratio, would it be worth the extra $50 to go on ahead and get the v1.2? 

 

As a side note/question, would it be better for me to get the Fiio E17 Alpen for $80 as compared to the model of choice based on my first question?

 

For those prices and considering the alleged variation between them, get two of each, keep the one you like most and sell the remaining at cost on e-bay. 

post #1631 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post
 

 

For those prices and considering the alleged variation between them, get two of each, keep the one you like most and sell the remaining at cost on e-bay. 

 

Believe me, I would love to do that. Unfortunately, right now I can't quite make that happen financially. So if one were a betting man, what would you go with?

post #1632 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdiotRhino View Post
 

 

Believe me, I would love to do that. Unfortunately, right now I can't quite make that happen financially. So if one were a betting man, what would you go with?

 

:D Okay, it I were you:

 

The only reason to get the 1.0 is if you think

a.) you might be lucky and get one of the 'better' samples - if they, in fact, exist.

b.) the 1.2 is not an improvement on the 1.0. At least not $50 worth.

 

But If you get the 1.0 you will

c.) always wonder if your is one of the 'better' ones you hoped for.

d.) always wonder what the 1.2 sounds like.

e.) any opportunity you have to hear (c.) or (d.) you'd never be quite sure of the answer

 

However, get the 1.2 if you think

f.) that AQ probably wouldn't go through all this hassle if there's actually no difference. If they had wanted to do that, I think they'd just put it in a new case or something.

g.) that one day you might sell it on ebay - to nearly 99% of the population, 1.2 is instantly better than 1.0 hence better re-sale.

 

Now, 1.2 owners will suffer from

h.) does the 1.0 actually sound better? - when such feelings take hold, a review on audio stream will make you feel a whole lot better, regardless of whether or not it's true :)

 

At the end of the day, at those prices I don't think you can go wrong. I don't know how you're set up for headphones and obviously how all this means to you financially (not saying you're poor or whatever, I just don't know your priorities) it may well be worth just getting the 1.0 and spending the 50 you save on better cans or something...

 

All this has one huge caveat - if you're thinking of going DSD in the future, then only invest in the 1.0 obviously...

post #1633 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post

 

 

At the end of the day, at those prices I don't think you can go wrong. I don't know how you're set up for headphones and obviously how all this means to you financially (not saying you're poor or whatever, I just don't know your priorities) it may well be worth just getting the 1.0 and spending the 50 you save on better cans or something...

 

All this has one huge caveat - if you're thinking of going DSD in the future, then only invest in the 1.0 obviously...

 

 

Perfect answer. I currently have Superlux HD 681, Sony MDR-7506, Audio-Technica AD700, and Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones, so my next step is to buy a $400+ headphone. But that wont be happening any time soon, so I figured I would get the best out of what I have. I have a Fiio E11 for portable amplification, but I was wanting a DAC for when I sit down at my computer. Your answer has significantly helped me choose! 

 

And I guess you are saying the Fiio E17 is out of the picture?

post #1634 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by ULUL View Post
 

Have not had time to post my findings but I had access to three v1.0 and one v1.2 .All four were different and we (two people indepnedently) could identify all four in a blind test. 

 

Turns out we ranked them like this from high to low.  Two people, in a pure blind test, no communication between the two person, came to the exact same ranking and description of the sound. I used three headphones (Sennheiser HD650, Fostex ZMF T50rp, and Klipsch x10) while the other person used just his own Klipsch x10.  I found the disctinction to be reproducible regardless of which headphone I used.  #1 and # were very different, but both are close in terms of preference. #1 had more grip, control, detail, bass. But #2 had the widest soundstage of all four by a clear margin.  Odd....

 

1. v1.0

2. v1.0

3. v1.2

4. v1.0.

 

All were currently units. My guess is that you also got your v1.0 recently?  My guess that they quietly made running improvements without telling the public so that old v1.0 is not as good but the newer ones are like v1.2. 

 

What really surprised us was the variability, one unit to the next. 

 

ULUL

 

Were these all using the same computer, USB port, software etc?  

post #1635 of 1934

Yes.  I tested using 1 computer, 1 USB port, completely blind testing, 3 headphones/iems.  

 

My son, who is an excellent musician with very good ear tested on his one computer, 1 usb port, one iem. 

 

Independently, we came to the exact same conclusion in both the tonal description and ranking of preference. Statistically, there can be some random chance for that to happen but it is very low, especially as we could each identify which of the four units we were using when doing A/B blind comparisons. 

 

I am thinking doing a more complete post on a new thread, with the focus not on the DF, but on the variability of even solid state audio equipment, at least on the low end. 

 

Hope this helps.

UL

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speakerphile View Post
 

 

Were these all using the same computer, USB port, software etc?  

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