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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 26

post #376 of 1953

This is exactly what I've been looking for! Has anyone tried powering the HE-500 with this?

post #377 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeroicPenguin View Post

 

Yeah, that's definitely a secondary option. How big is the gap between the Dragonfly and the port? Does the Dragonfly "wiggle" or move in the port?

Hello HeroicPenguin.

 

There is no movement at all, the fit is tight, but the DF connector is a little longer than the usb std connector.

post #378 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefano View Post

Hello HeroicPenguin.

 

There is no movement at all, the fit is tight, but the DF connector is a little longer than the usb std connector.

 

Good to know that it's stable, thanks. I might wait for the "Dragontail" thing, but this might be a good option. I'm OCD in a way tha tthe fact that there's a bit of metal showing on the connection might bother me...

post #379 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by bl42ed0 View Post

This is exactly what I've been looking for! Has anyone tried powering the HE-500 with this?


I'm hoping to try them today, just as soon as UPS shows up with my 1/8" to 1/4" adapter.

post #380 of 1953

I am having a hard time grasping the Dragonfly. On paper, and from reviews, it seems to be the ultimate portable USB DAC, many putting it over the E17. Is this some marvel of engineering? Is the diminutive size (compared to an E17 for example), what's driving the $250 cost? I guess what I am wondering is did they unlock something nobody has before (ie Apple and the Retina display) and we'll start seeing DAC's from other manufacturers in the same form factor? Or could FiiO/Creative/M-Audio, etc have made something similar but thought consumers wouldn't pay the cost? 

post #381 of 1953

What's remarkable is how good it is given it's size.  It's the combination of sound quality and size that makes this thing so good.  It's not the best DAC out there, even at its price, but given how small and portable it is the performance is outstanding.

 

Only time will tell if another company is able to replicate that mix, but I'd imagine something will come along.

post #382 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkManiac View Post

What's remarkable is how good it is given it's size.  It's the combination of sound quality and size that makes this thing so good.  It's not the best DAC out there, even at its price, but given how small and portable it is the performance is outstanding.

 

Only time will tell if another company is able to replicate that mix, but I'd imagine something will come along.


Can you (or anyone) recommend a BETTER DAC/amp (any size) with USB connectability at about the same price?

post #383 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by sygyzy View Post

I am having a hard time grasping the Dragonfly. On paper, and from reviews, it seems to be the ultimate portable USB DAC, many putting it over the E17. Is this some marvel of engineering? Is the diminutive size (compared to an E17 for example), what's driving the $250 cost? I guess what I am wondering is did they unlock something nobody has before (ie Apple and the Retina display) and we'll start seeing DAC's from other manufacturers in the same form factor? Or could FiiO/Creative/M-Audio, etc have made something similar but thought consumers wouldn't pay the cost? 

It is a 4 layer circuit board and high end Sabre dac the size of a thumb drive. That is a lot to cram into a small package and do it right.

post #384 of 1953

UPS finally delivered my adapter. Listening to HD650's first.

 

Wow! Sound quality is niiice! Compared to the IE7s, it takes a few more clicks of the F9 key, but plenty of volume. Easily passes the Layla test, which I use to check for detail retrieval.

 

Will try the HE500s in a while, but right now...I'm sorta speechless. biggrin.gif
 

post #385 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by sygyzy View Post

I am having a hard time grasping the Dragonfly. On paper, and from reviews, it seems to be the ultimate portable USB DAC, many putting it over the E17. Is this some marvel of engineering? Is the diminutive size (compared to an E17 for example), what's driving the $250 cost? I guess what I am wondering is did they unlock something nobody has before (ie Apple and the Retina display) and we'll start seeing DAC's from other manufacturers in the same form factor? Or could FiiO/Creative/M-Audio, etc have made something similar but thought consumers wouldn't pay the cost? 

I was also curious as to how they could create such a product. Copycats soon?
post #386 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post

It is a 4 layer circuit board and high end Sabre dac the size of a thumb drive. That is a lot to cram into a small package and do it right

 

Plus not to mention it was designed by the guy behind Wavelength Audio using his streamlength async protocol.  Generally speaking you're not getting a good async implementation in a usb DAC at this price point.  In fact I'm not aware of anything outside of the JKenny DAC which uses a modified Hiface + the same DAC chip as this in a larger outboard unit at a higher cost.  Does this impact the sound at all?  In my estimation it does, it imparts a smoothness I'm not getting in the ODAC that reminds me of what the Audiophilleo did for the couple DACs I used it with.

 

Now in the end none of this matters if the sound doesn't work for you.  I still find after about 60+ hours it imparts a warm signature and is somewhat lacking in dynamics compared to an O2 amp.  I doubt that's going to change given the constraints of being wholly driven by a USB bus.  It sounds rather glorious with certain things though, such as my GR07s and FXD80s... generally speaking something that is pretty tight in the lower region and has solid treble extension it can sound damn good, definitely better than the E17.  But not quite to the ODAC/O2 level overall, but the DF -> O2 is my fav.

post #387 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSkool View Post

UPS finally delivered my adapter. Listening to HD650's first.

 

Wow! Sound quality is niiice! Compared to the IE7s, it takes a few more clicks of the F9 key, but plenty of volume. Easily passes the Layla test, which I use to check for detail retrieval.

 

Will try the HE500s in a while, but right now...I'm sorta speechless. biggrin.gif
 

Wait until you have a couple hundred hours on it and you'll be very happy.smily_headphones1.gif

 

 

post #388 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

 

Plus not to mention it was designed by the guy behind Wavelength Audio using his streamlength async protocol.  Generally speaking you're not getting a good async implementation in a usb DAC at this price point.  In fact I'm not aware of anything outside of the JKenny DAC which uses a modified Hiface + the same DAC chip as this in a larger outboard unit at a higher cost.  Does this impact the sound at all?  In my estimation it does, it imparts a smoothness I'm not getting in the ODAC that reminds me of what the Audiophilleo did for the couple DACs I used it with.

 

Now in the end none of this matters if the sound doesn't work for you.  I still find after about 60+ hours it imparts a warm signature and is somewhat lacking in dynamics compared to an O2 amp.  I doubt that's going to change given the constraints of being wholly driven by a USB bus.  It sounds rather glorious with certain things though, such as my GR07s and FXD80s... generally speaking something that is pretty tight in the lower region and has solid treble extension it can sound damn good, definitely better than the E17.  But not quite to the ODAC/O2 level overall, but the DF -> O2 is my fav.

 

So what's more impressive? The async protocol? Or the size? Or both? Putting size aside, is there another portable USB DAC that costs $250 and sounds just as good? Or does this trump ALL DAC's because if this "streamlength async protocol"?

post #389 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by sygyzy View Post

 

So what's more impressive? The async protocol? Or the size? Or both? Putting size aside, is there another portable USB DAC that costs $250 and sounds just as good? Or does this trump ALL DAC's because if this "streamlength async protocol"?

Clearly the size is a handy thing. One less cable and no issue taking it with you. Performance is very strong. Whether it is due to the SAP or the DAC or the synergy of both, I have no idea. I am really enjoying it with the HD25's while I travel. It also sounds great with the HD650's at home. I have not heard a $250 DAC to compare, but there are certainly a lot of them I have not heard. I am very pleased with this purchase and I expect to use it for quite awhile. Since I am on the road over 150 nights per year that is meaningful for me. When you leave the big rig behind it is nice to not have to make a huge compromise while traveling.

 

As always around here, YMMV.....beerchug.gif

post #390 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by sygyzy View Post

 

So what's more impressive? The async protocol? Or the size? Or both? Putting size aside, is there another portable USB DAC that costs $250 and sounds just as good? Or does this trump ALL DAC's because if this "streamlength async protocol"?

 

 

It's just one facet, but when one asks why this is special it's a facet that contributes.  Gordon's own DACs use this and he licenses to the tech out to other manufacturers (see here: http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/USB_SPDIF.htm), but I'm not aware of anything else at this price-point that does.   Considering all devices that license this tech and *only* act as convertors actually cost more than the DF it's a pretty cool thing to have.  Now just as a DAC on sound alone, it's the best I've heard in the price range, but I haven't heard alot so take that fwiw.  Something like the Dacport (regular or LX) might be better and I have yet to see that comparison.  But those are still much larger outboard DACs that a bit more $$ and significantly more power hungry.

 

In short, IMO this is a bit of a game changer - between the size + engineering + price point + performance.  It's a device that should push the industry forward.

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