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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 29

post #421 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

I had the NFB-11. Once Kingwa nailed down the issues with the clock for the Sabre chip the sound was pretty good. The sound was a bit less mellow than his WM8741 offerings. Would be interesting to compare the sound to the Dragonfly.

 

 

This is not a problem with "burn-in" but  the limitations of USB power. That's why you see portable amps loaded with capacitors, so they can store enough power in reserve for those big transients. Adding a regular headphone amp into the chain will rectify that.

Any good headphone jack to RCA in cable you like? This is one area I have not seen anyone use the DF for. I will have to try it when the Taboo arrives...

post #422 of 1931
So basically, it'll sound better with low impedance headphones and muddier with high impedance phones?
post #423 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by compoopers View Post

So basically, it'll sound better with low impedance headphones and muddier with high impedance phones?

 

Probably. I don't have any suitable high-impedance headphones here to test with. 

post #424 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

Probably. I don't have any suitable high-impedance headphones here to test with. 

 

Some of the larger mismatches here (EPH-100 & JH16) are 16 ohm IEMs.  

 

I'm finding the difference between straight DF -> S500 and DF -> GR07 nearly imperceptible compared to DF -> O2 for both, and these are 32 and 50 ohms respectively with high sensitivity.  At least nothing that would hit you over the head.  My 50 ohm lower sensitivity Thunderpants do benefit from the O2 in the mix, a bit thin/lacking dynamics straight out of the DF.

post #425 of 1931

Oh, fair enough. I wasn't thinking of IEMs. I have Anakchan's FitEar 334s here, which, like other dynamic IEMs, I don't find to be great out of anything, even my main rig or any of the 8 portable amps or DAC/amps I have here, but do out of the NFB-16, which I totally didn't expect. 

 

I'm going to try the Dragonfly as a source with the RX-3 next, as I'm thinking this might be a candidate to upgrade my transportable rig to, since I have a MacBook Air. 

post #426 of 1931
So I'm not sure if I understand why the amp doesn't "match" well... I'm relatively inexperienced but I don't know about any property that can make it sound crystal clear with some headphones and not with others...
post #427 of 1931

Could be the that, like so many recent "high end" Japanese IEMs, they have a piercing treble that makes a lot of music sound sibilant, which annoys me. I've experienced a similar thing with full-sized headphones.  It isn't such a problem with old jazz and classical but it can make modern pop intolerable.

 

I went back just now and tried the Dragonfly with the 334s out of my Air. They cause the Dragonfly to reveal a bit of computer noise, but enough enough to matter when playing back.  I think my disagreement could be with the Sabre DAC, as the ES9018 variants, when used in USB-powered or cheaper DACs have always sounded a bit dry to me. I should probably stop here, as I'm talking about extreme subtleties when playing back top recordings which will probably not be very relevant for most people who are interested in the Dragonfly, especially people who might be buying it as their first DAC/amp.

post #428 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by compoopers View Post

So I'm not sure if I understand why the amp doesn't "match" well... I'm relatively inexperienced but I don't know about any property that can make it sound crystal clear with some headphones and not with others...

 

As with most people, it's not so much some magical match as it is two components that cover each other's weaknesses. Imagine the K701 paired with a bass-light amplifier. That's not going to be too pleasant.

post #429 of 1931

Could anyone compare the DAC/amp quality of the Dragonfly to the Nuforce Icon HD/HDP?  The Dragonfly clearly wins on convenience -- THE selling point for me -- but I sure do enjoy the atypically wide soundstage breadth of the Nuforce.  I'll be using low-impedance cans for the foreseeable future, so authority is not a great concern.

post #430 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

 

Mine did this out of the box, I thought they designed it to angle downward a bit to relieve pressure.  Guess I must have gotten a used unit?  Hmm, it didn't come sealed.

Mine looks exactly like this as well. 

post #431 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNBC View Post

You are right.  Instead of just holding it in the air I put it on a flat surface.  There is a small downward angle.   Oh so slight but there.

 

Mine looks exactly like this as well. 

post #432 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post

Mine looks exactly like this as well. 

 

I have another theory that the angle might be there because of the hump the headphone jack creates.  If for instance I put it in the back of my mac mini in between a couple memory sticks it centers it a bit better.

post #433 of 1931

After much leisurely reading here and elsewhere, I've both satiated and exasperated my Dragonfly curiosity.  Described particulars are somewhat contradictory, but contributions of "mids-focused, warm, tight bass," and "smooth" coupled with its semi-consensus predilection for easily-driven to moderately difficult full-sized 'phones have persuaded me to work a familiar contact tomorrow.

 

Thanks to all!

post #434 of 1931

Well I decided to pick one up yesterday since my local bestbuy had one in stock.  color me impressed so far.  the Dragonfly drives my HD650s with no issues whatsoever and sounds pretty good right out of the box.  Going to go ahead and spend the next week or 2 just using it and then plug my 650s back into my old set up and see what i think, but I have a feeling i might be good with just this for my head rig. Since i use my main two channel system for any kind of massive critical listening i'm not trying to match that sound exactly.  I'm impressed with the build quality of the Dragonfly and highly impressed with the lack of static since I always had static coming from my HRT when connected directly to the laptop regardless of usb port.  plugging directly into my laptop is so much easier than plugging in the DAC, turning on the Amp and making sure its not too loud and then putting on the headphones.. really hoping i'm still has happy in a few weeks as i am now.

post #435 of 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

I had the NFB-11. Once Kingwa nailed down the issues with the clock for the Sabre chip the sound was pretty good. The sound was a bit less mellow than his WM8741 offerings. Would be interesting to compare the sound to the Dragonfly.

 

 

This is not a problem with "burn-in" but  the limitations of USB power. That's why you see portable amps loaded with capacitors, so they can store enough power in reserve for those big transients. Adding a regular headphone amp into the chain will rectify that.

Just clarifying as a few people have said this doesn't go well with low impedance IEMs... this will work good as a DAC paired with my Pico Slim and JH16? Really like the build of this thing but some comments have been a little discouraging.  Also if I use it with the slim will that "count" towards the burn in on the DF so I can then try HP out?

 

Edit: I'm also curious about how using it as line out is "low-current operation" as this guy says if you're just maxing out the volume to use it as a DAC.  Here he is talking about the "digital" sound it has with HP out vs using it with an amp:

 

"I used the DragonFly as a DAC for an Ncore amplifier I patched together today. I think the device sounds better in this mode. I don't hear as much digital edge or sibilance. Mercman posted over an AA saying his DragonFly sounded better used as a signal source for an amplifier. If this device does in fact sound better in low-current operation, I suspect operating it at higher currents required by headphones causes an extra measure of jitter, among other things, given the several sources of psu voltage noise that current will cause or induce."

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/audioquest-dragonfly-24-96-asynchronous-usb-dac-headphone-amp-12353/index8.html

 

Can someone explain this to me please? Thank you.


Edited by jaydome - 8/20/12 at 4:00am
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