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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 116

post #1726 of 2033

I would still crave the additional warmth of the HPA-2, but I must recognize the Dragonfly + Vali as the best performance for dollar recommendation.  I have not heard the Vali yet for myself, but the feedback is so strong and wide reaching that you can read through the Vali thread and find enough meaningful comments that you will walk away with a really good idea if that is a good option for you.

 

I say best value because I think the design and portability of the Dragonfly is worth the small premium over something like a Modi if you think a portable / mobile solution is a plus for your situation.  It is for me, and I have become a big fan of the Dragonfly the more I use it with a variety of headphones as well.


Edited by Greggo - 2/14/14 at 11:28pm
post #1727 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzj24 View Post
 

Thanks. I'll give Audirvana+ a listen.

 

I am trying out Audirvana+ right now. It has two features that are impressive. One is it bypasses Core Audio on OS X The other is it supports the integer mode of my DAC. I am a cynic. So I was not expecting anything much different than from Fidelia. Boy, was I wrong. Still, Fidelia only costs $20, which IMO is the best value for a decent player. Audirvana+ costs something like $70. And then there are the plugins.

 

Bob Graham


Edited by r010159 - 2/17/14 at 6:25pm
post #1728 of 2033
I found this also, that you do lose a few notches of volume of which the note 3 is already quiet. Also did you find a vast improvement using the drsgonfly over the note 3 internal dac. I noticed slight improvement (smoother, more musical, fuller bass) but only slightly. I am still deciding if it is worth using it as a portable given the loss in volume and marginal Sq benefits.

Another question I had, does connecting the dragonfly bypass the internal dac. where if I plug my earphones into the devices headphone out rather than the df out, it still uses df conversion. Only reason I am querying is when I plug the dac into note 3, pink led is lit regardless where headphones are plugged (or not plugged at all).

Do note I use 330kbps mp3s as a source and not flac or any lossless format (again marginal benefit for me for large files and most of my listening is on public transport). The iem's I use are phonak pfe 132.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

Sounds really good though from my Note 3 (if not terribly loud)
post #1729 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazy001 View Post

I found this also, that you do lose a few notches of volume of which the note 3 is already quiet. Also did you find a vast improvement using the drsgonfly over the note 3 internal dac. I noticed slight improvement (smoother, more musical, fuller bass) but only slightly. I am still deciding if it is worth using it as a portable given the loss in volume and marginal Sq benefits.

Another question I had, does connecting the dragonfly bypass the internal dac. where if I plug my earphones into the devices headphone out rather than the df out, it still uses df conversion. Only reason I am querying is when I plug the dac into note 3, pink led is lit regardless where headphones are plugged (or not plugged at all).

Do note I use 330kbps mp3s as a source and not flac or any lossless format (again marginal benefit for me for large files and most of my listening is on public transport). The iem's I use are phonak pfe 132.

All DAC's are slight improvements for the most part IMO. What I can't take on my Note 3 is the edgy sound from the internal amp, the Dragonfly fixes that. 320 mp3's is more than adequate for a portable setup, I don't care what anyone says about lossless. I am not certain it bypasses the dac but I can't imagine it does not.

post #1730 of 2033

I thought I would pass on an update regarding my search for a way to switch playback sample rates automatically to match the level in the tracks that play in iTunes. I downloaded and tried BitPerfect, since it was the least expensive option and the interface remains iTunes. You just make sure BitPerfect is running and then play music in iTunes as usual. I found that BitPerfect increased the Bass, but I didn't hear much difference in the overall sound quality vs. the Dragonfly 1.2 DAC alone. Meanwhile, the downside is that it disables the iTunes equalizer settings and renders useless any third party add-ons such as Hear. Also, with BItPerfect running, the play count/last played feature in iTunes does not work when playback moves from song to song. It only works when you double-click a song to start. The subsequent tracks that play in order are not counted.

 

To my ears, the other two potential solutions that I tried, Audirvana+ and Fidelia, also offered only modest improvements vs. Dragonfly 1.2 alone. Of the two, I slightly prefer the Audirvana+ player, but I'm not sure it is worth the price premium.

 

Bottom line: I'm happy with the Dragonfly and I wish Apple would just add automatic sample rate switching to iTunes. I prefer its interface and would rather not add another player to the mix for cost and convenience reasons.

post #1731 of 2033
Why don't you splurge a little? Fidelia is $20 and you can try it out before purchasing. Audirvana basic is FREE. Maybe one of those players will work for you? :-)

Bob Graham
Edited by r010159 - 2/18/14 at 2:05pm
post #1732 of 2033
http://www.aloaudio.com/dacs/the-key

Looks interesting... Does higher res. but i have no idea how it sounds...
Edited by x838nwy - 2/18/14 at 5:33pm
post #1733 of 2033

DAC only though, no head amp like the DF.

post #1734 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by r010159 View Post

Audirvana basic is FREE.

Bob Graham

I found a download for Audirvana Plus, but not the free basic version. Does the Plus version default to the free one after the trial period, or is there another download that I missed?

post #1735 of 2033
Thanks for the clarification. Just updating my experience again. I have now tried the dragonfly with Galaxy Note 3 using USB audio player pro and now the sampling rate is getting matched (colour is changing depending on song). Also using this app by changing the volume control to 'hardware' the volume issue is completely gone. Normal listening levels now about 1/4 high. I had come from iPhone 4s and normal listening levels for me was half way usually. This makes me think that the volume output levels are a software restriction on Samsungs part.

Sound had also cleaned right up and difference is easily noticeable, even for my inexperienced ears.

Stock player and neutron loses volume output and sampling rate seems stuck on 96k so I assume the df keeps up sampling (and there is a mismatch?)

My only gripe is that using this app you have to use the in app volume control and renders the physical volume buttons useless. Also no left right channel tweaks which would be good. UI isn't the prettiest but that doesn't bother me really.

Anyway that's my two bob.

Cheers
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

All DAC's are slight improvements for the most part IMO. What I can't take on my Note 3 is the edgy sound from the internal amp, the Dragonfly fixes that. 320 mp3's is more than adequate for a portable setup, I don't care what anyone says about lossless. I am not certain it bypasses the dac but I can't imagine it does not.
post #1736 of 2033

Here is a url for Audirvana Free: https://code.google.com/p/audirvana/downloads/list

 

Bob Graham

post #1737 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazy001 View Post

Thanks for the clarification. Just updating my experience again. I have now tried the dragonfly with Galaxy Note 3 using USB audio player pro and now the sampling rate is getting matched (colour is changing depending on song). Also using this app by changing the volume control to 'hardware' the volume issue is completely gone. Normal listening levels now about 1/4 high. I had come from iPhone 4s and normal listening levels for me was half way usually. This makes me think that the volume output levels are a software restriction on Samsungs part.

Sound had also cleaned right up and difference is easily noticeable, even for my inexperienced ears.

Stock player and neutron loses volume output and sampling rate seems stuck on 96k so I assume the df keeps up sampling (and there is a mismatch?)

My only gripe is that using this app you have to use the in app volume control and renders the physical volume buttons useless. Also no left right channel tweaks which would be good. UI isn't the prettiest but that doesn't bother me really.

Anyway that's my two bob.

Cheers

This is super helpful, thanks! I tried UAPP briefly but did not know about the volume. My Note 3 once got really loud after an incoming text as though what ever was holding back the volume was released briefly so I knew it could be louder.

 

Edit: tried this and hear no difference in volume? Settings:Volume Control: Hardware volume control enabled, yes?


Edited by tim3320070 - 2/20/14 at 7:07am
post #1738 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by r010159 View Post
 

Here is a url for Audirvana Free: https://code.google.com/p/audirvana/downloads/list

 

Bob Graham

Thanks for the link. It is likely that the free version is not compatible with Mac OS 10.9, as it crashes whenever I try to open it. 

post #1739 of 2033
Hmm yes, that's the right setting. I think I did read that you couldn't have music playing when you made the switch in volume control. Is the dragonfly sampling correctly and changing lights with different sample rates?

Also my Android version is 4.3 and model n9005.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

This is super helpful, thanks! I tried UAPP briefly but did not know about the volume. My Note 3 once got really loud after an incoming text as though what ever was holding back the volume was released briefly so I knew it could be louder.

Edit: tried this and hear no difference in volume? Settings:Volume Control: Hardware volume control enabled, yes?
post #1740 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazy001 View Post

Hmm yes, that's the right setting. I think I did read that you couldn't have music playing when you made the switch in volume control. Is the dragonfly sampling correctly and changing lights with different sample rates?

Also my Android version is 4.3 and model n9005.

That was it! I made the change before I hooked up DF or played music. Loud as need be now.

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