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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 30

post #436 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydome View Post

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? 

 

Some more impressions on this... I have been using some JVC FXD80s out of the DF for the past couple week and supposedly these have a pretty similar signature to the newly released JVC on-ear S500s.  I wasn't really hearing it, the FXD's seemed to be a bit too strong/loose in the bass and syruppy sweet in the top end, kinda smoothed over presentation... more to the fun side than accurate.

 

It didn't dawn on me to check out the specs for the phones... the S500s are 32 ohms, 106db/1mW, FXDs are 20/102.  I had tried the DF -> O2 -> S500 and found that happily enough to be very similar to the sound to just the DF out.  I'm no golden ears, it's similar enough that I would certainly fail a blind test.  Now I just tried the DF -> O2 -> FXD80s and wow, I can more certainly see the family resemblance.  

 

More interesting is that straight out of my MBA's headphone out I prefer the FXDs to the S500s.  But overall I prefer the S500s out of the DF, it's a great  pairing.

 

So output impedance is out of the question.  But I seem to recall certain headphone amps work better at certain loads (usually when you see a spec sheet at different loads you'll see a bell curve of where they give the most current based on load).  So perhaps for whatever reason the DF has trouble giving enough current at lower impedances.  It's interesting that the O2 seems to add little to the sound with both my S500s and GR07s (50/105) but helps a tad to fill out my Thunderpants (50/98, not sure if the much larger drivers have something to do with it).  It also seems to add a bit of control to the bottom end of my Ed8s (30/96) but not to a large degree.

 

As usual, YMMV, this is just my own interpretation of what I hear.  I probably have at least a few hours of head-time now for each phone listed above with the DF, and some more like 20+, and the unit should certainly burned in enough at this point (TBH, I'm not hearing any obvious changes - maybe there were in the first day or two, but past that I'm dubious).  If you have a bevy of phones at various impedances/sensitivities try it out for yourself.  It's a pretty stellar device for what it is and if you have Amazon prime you can purchase, use for up to a month, and return with only losing the cost of return shipping. I can say for certain I like the S500s and GR07s straight out of the DF vs. out of my ODAC/O2, and that in itself is pretty remarkable.


Edited by bobeau - 8/20/12 at 1:18pm
post #437 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobJS View Post

 

+1 on the HD25, but the DF can't seem to drive the HD600 beyond an extremely low volume.

 

My apologies to anyone put off by my inability to drive the HD600s..... they're working fantastic now.  I didn't understand how the Senn HD650 users could be so satisfied while I just couldn't get any volume out of my HD600s.

 

When I would first plug the DF into the computer (Windows XP), I would set the default sound device to the DF, then set the volume on "Device Volume" all the way at the top before plugging anything into the DF.  I don't know why, but this had the effect of making my max volume very, very low. 

 

Today I followed the same procedure, but just left the volume midway before plugging into the DF.  I don't know why this makes a difference but I'm getting optimal performance now.  Getting great deep bass and volume playing a CD with the computer volume at about 40%.

 

I can take my external amp(s) out of the loop now!!


Edited by BobJS - 8/20/12 at 2:19pm
post #438 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobJS View Post

My apologies to anyone put off by my inability to drive the HD600s..... they're working fantastic now.  I didn't understand how the Senn HD650 users could be so satisfied while I just couldn't get any volume out of my HD600s.

When I would first plug the DF into the computer (Windows XP), I would set the default sound device to the DF, then set the volume on "Device Volume" all the way at the top before plugging anything into the DF.  I don't know why, but this had the effect of making my max volume very, very low. 

Today I followed the same procedure, but just left the volume midway before plugging into the DF.  I don't know why this makes a difference but I'm getting optimal performance now.  Getting great deep bass and volume playing a CD with the computer volume at about 40%.

I can take my external amp(s) out of the loop now!!

Fantastic! I am glad you got it going.
post #439 of 2033

i am just impressed at how good this sounds in such a small package.  To simplify my head rig down to just this and a pair of headphones is incredible.. i may try other stuff down the road, but most of my head rig time is casual listening that i can't imagine needing anything more... wanting is a different story altogether though as we all know there's always more to want in the audio world.

post #440 of 2033

I was brokered a D-Fly today.  My time with it is limited, but I honestly wasn't overly impressed when I first popped it into my Macbook Pro.  Don't get me wrong, it sounded GREAT and couldn't recognize any precipitable faults, but I just didn't achieve and immediate "wow."  That was, until I switched to the headphone output...

 

...in a word, the switch to the standard output sounded like paste after my ears were accustomed to Audioquest's little marvel.  Admittedly, upon unboxing it and experiencing its diminutiveness first-hand I predisposed that its providable gains would be marginal at best.  After the reality check given by the comparative mediocrity of the onboard sound card there is no doubt that the DF is a sizable improvement.  By what attributes?  Name your criteria and one simply needs to respond "yup."

 

Without donning the rose-coloreds too much for my relative experience, thus far the DF has exhibited a vast leap forward from stock while being peerlessly convenient.  I have yet to compare it directly to my Nuforce Icon HD as an all-in-one nor have I used it to feed external amplification, but I've already all-but-confirmed parallels to my established expedient setup and suspect the two will perform comparably when trialled competitively tomorrow.

 

FYI:

-FLAC -> Amarra Full Playlist -> MBP -> DF -> K550

-like others, my USB connector is set rigidly sloping slightly downward directly out of the box

-the LED isn't as obtrusive as I expected

-the unit is nicely weighted and the soft-touch rubberized finish is excellent

post #441 of 2033
Tried the friend's AQ Dragonfly with my HE-500 and it worked. I'm impressed enough to buy one. Hope long term use won't damage the Dragonfly.
post #442 of 2033

Head-fi Devotees,

 
I admit I thought Jude MAY have overstated the performance of the Dragonfly (I heard it in a store,
out East, but their rig was obviously completely F^%$) in his review - but I was COMPLETELY WRONG.
 
I should never doubt him!!!
 
This thing kicks ASS.  I'm listening to Radiohead's Kid A through my Audeze LCD-3's & Dragonfly right now.
WOW.  Been running signal through it for 5 days - it just popped WIDE OPEN:
 
 
I'm going to take a cue from Jude, and from now on when I travel w/ my Macbook, I'm going to travel with this thing.  
 
I'm sure it will seem like I'm hating on CEntrance, but I compared it to the DACport.  It could very well be more colored (the Dragonfly)
but I prefer it's coloration!  It also has greater punch in the lower octaves.  I don't think it's exaggerated either.  It also definitely has, to my ears,
a wider and deeper soundstage than the DACport.  Plus timbre - which is the most important thing to me, is getting better each day it seems!
 
I gave my DACport to a friend who needed a solid, small head amp, but I'm hoping to get another one from the CEntrance team to do more 
side-by-side listening.  However, given there is no cable to worry about, the ease of use and it's insane portability (I just slip it into my memory
stick case I have clipped in my backpack) I think this product is a WINNER.
 
 
post #443 of 2033
Will this work with ipad-camera conection kit? I don't have a laptop :s
post #444 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by checha31 View Post

Tried the friend's AQ Dragonfly with my HE-500 and it worked. I'm impressed enough to buy one. Hope long term use won't damage the Dragonfly.

 

How so?

post #445 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by William007 View Post

Will this work with ipad-camera conection kit? I don't have a laptop :s

I'll try it.  Not sure!

I use that set-up (camera kit) w/ my CEntrance DACmini PX - so I'll give it a go

post #446 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post

Head-fi Devotees,

 
I admit I thought Jude MAY have overstated the performance of the Dragonfly (I heard it in a store,
out East, but their rig was obviously completely F^%$) in his review - but I was COMPLETELY WRONG.
 
I should never doubt him!!!
 
This thing kicks ASS.  I'm listening to Radiohead's Kid A through my Audeze LCD-3's & Dragonfly right now.
WOW.  Been running signal through it for 5 days - it just popped WIDE OPEN:
 

Very Nice! I certainly am enjoying it with my Senn HD650's and HD25-1's via the MBP and Amarra....Awesome little unit!

post #447 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by William007 View Post

Will this work with ipad-camera conection kit? I don't have a laptop :s

It will not....It requires too much power.

post #448 of 2033
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydome View Post

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?

 

I just set up my MacBook Pro to Dragonfly to Pico Slim to Fit Ear 334s, which are universal versions of highly sensitive custom IEMs and the result is very good, albeit the 334s get hiss from absolutely everything they are plugged into. Volume with the Dragonfly is at maximum so only the Pico Slim's volume is being used. I think I've found my perfect cafe rig.

 

As for "burn in" just leave it plugged into your computer all the time and enjoy the music.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post

Head-fi Devotees,

 
I admit I thought Jude MAY have overstated the performance of the Dragonfly (I heard it in a store,
out East, but their rig was obviously completely F^%$) in his review - but I was COMPLETELY WRONG.
 
I should never doubt him!!!
 
This thing kicks ASS.  I'm listening to Radiohead's Kid A through my Audeze LCD-3's & Dragonfly right now.
WOW.  Been running signal through it for 5 days - it just popped WIDE OPEN:
 
 
I'm going to take a cue from Jude, and from now on when I travel w/ my Macbook, I'm going to travel with this thing.  
 
I'm sure it will seem like I'm hating on CEntrance, but I compared it to the DACport.  It could very well be more colored (the Dragonfly)
but I prefer it's coloration!  It also has greater punch in the lower octaves.  I don't think it's exaggerated either.  It also definitely has, to my ears,
a wider and deeper soundstage than the DACport.  Plus timbre - which is the most important thing to me, is getting better each day it seems!
 
I gave my DACport to a friend who needed a solid, small head amp, but I'm hoping to get another one from the CEntrance team to do more 
side-by-side listening.  However, given there is no cable to worry about, the ease of use and it's insane portability (I just slip it into my memory
stick case I have clipped in my backpack) I think this product is a WINNER.

 

I hope I can do a comparison as well. I was scratching my head about Jude's comments as well initially, but it does punch way above its price I reckon. What I've found is that Sabre-based DACs require an excellent quality digital input not to sound awful, so I imagine much of its good sound has to do with Gordon using his own tech to make it.

post #449 of 2033

I was listening to some Deadmau5 through my rDAC/Lyr combo (with the Senn HD700) and decided to shut it down since I haven't used the Dragonfly for a while.  I fully expected it to sound like cr@p right after enjoying the rDAC/Lyr.. well.. boy, was I wrong! Dynamics, punch, pretty much everything is there and I am enjoying it no less than the desktop combo. Sure, the Lyr punches harder and provides more slam but the Dragonfly is no slouch. 

Madonna's 'Turn Up the Radio' remix just came on and the Dragonfly is really putting out. 

I'm impressed all over again, especially driving the HD700's.

post #450 of 2033
No surprise, but great to see MickeyVee!
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