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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 40

post #586 of 1921

Forgive me for being ignorant, but I'm not sure what is supposed to be done to get the best audio experience. I use a MacBook Pro. Am I supposed to check each audio file I am playing to see whether the music is 44.100, 48.000, 88.200, 96.000 kHz then go to Audio MIDI Setup and tell the computer to change the output (DAC) to output the respective khz? Should I also match the 16bit integer to the song if it is 16 bit, then change it to 24bit integer for music in my library that is 24 bit? I'm a little lost, and where does 88.200 and 96.000 khz audio come from? I haven't seen any. 

post #587 of 1921

After going back and forth with these I can say that the DragonFly does indeed sound better than anything I own. My only problem (and this is totally a personal thing) - is that I wish the volume could go a little louder. On my HE-400's the bass is punchy, but it's kind of low. 

 

So I wish there was a way to keep the incredibly clean/pure sound from DragonFly but get some more boost in the bass. It does have bass booster, but that substantially lowers the overall volume (for obvious reasons). I think for most, this won't be an issue because these will be plenty loud. Maybe it's just an Orthodynamics things, where they tend to scale well with the bigger amps, but I feel like my volume knob is stuck at 50% with the HE-400s when I want to go to 70%.

 

Conversely, the HD-600's and 650s sound a lot better on DragonFly. The bass is much more there, and even at 50-60% volume on my PC it sounds fuller than I would really want. The HE-400 just feels like it needs more juice.


Of course, this is just 100% my own opinion. I know the HE-400's are said to be easy to drive at 30-ohm. But I really feel like these could benefit from more juice. I just wish there was a way to use my DragonFly as the DAC but use a more powerful amp to power these up. Is there? (I'm ignorant in this regard). And if you can, would someone please recommend and amp, and how I would go about doing this? 


Currently I'm just plugging the dragonfly directly into my PC or MacbookPro. Again, lovely sound. Just feel my PC/Macbook Pro isn't powering them enough. 

post #588 of 1921
Quote:
Originally Posted by satanigatan View Post


Of course, this is just 100% my own opinion. I know the HE-400's are said to be easy to drive at 30-ohm. But I really feel like these could benefit from more juice. I just wish there was a way to use my DragonFly as the DAC but use a more powerful amp to power these up. Is there? (I'm ignorant in this regard). And if you can, would someone please recommend and amp, and how I would go about doing this? 

 

 

If you set the volume to 100% the headphone jack acts a line out so you can the connect the Dragonfly to an external amp. At that point which external amp you use would be totally up to you. I found that there's quite a few vintage 70's integrated amps and receivers that have excellent headphone outputs that generally drive most headphones easily, although with more sensitive phones like IEM's the noise floor can sometimes be more apparent and there's less usable volume. The nice thing about the vintage gear is you can pick up good gear for decent prices. My Harman Kardon 730 came cleaned up and tested for around $175 including shipping, the SX-650 was quite a bit cheaper but required a clean up. There's a great thread in the Amplifiers forum with a ton of information if this is something that interests you.

post #589 of 1921

I could go on for pages but here's a the short version:

If you do a Command-I in iTunes, you will see the file details in the summary pane. Look at sample size and sample rate. Unfortunately iTunes does not change the output rate to match the file properties.  It would be a lot of work to change the output manually for songs that are  hi-rez.

I use a program called Decibel.  You can import songs directly from iTunes and it automatically switches the output to what the input file is.  It's a better sounding player as far as I'm concerned.

 

If you don't know where 24/96 files come from, you probably don't have any.  A good source for the hi-rez files is HDTracks.  It's worth buying one hi-rez album (24/88 or 24/96), as long as your DAC supports it (just checked the Audio Lab DAC and it does - looks nice) and then doing a comparison.  If you don't hear a difference, don't worry about hi-rez files. If you do, sorry about your wallet.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycuyler View Post

Forgive me for being ignorant, but I'm not sure what is supposed to be done to get the best audio experience. I use a MacBook Pro. Am I supposed to check each audio file I am playing to see whether the music is 44.100, 48.000, 88.200, 96.000 kHz then go to Audio MIDI Setup and tell the computer to change the output (DAC) to output the respective khz? Should I also match the 16bit integer to the song if it is 16 bit, then change it to 24bit integer for music in my library that is 24 bit? I'm a little lost, and where does 88.200 and 96.000 khz audio come from? I haven't seen any. 

post #590 of 1921
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

I could go on for pages but here's a the short version:

If you do a Command-I in iTunes, you will see the file details in the summary pane. Look at sample size and sample rate. Unfortunately iTunes does not change the output rate to match the file properties.  It would be a lot of work to change the output manually for songs that are  hi-rez.

I use a program called Decibel.  You can import songs directly from iTunes and it automatically switches the output to what the input file is.  It's a better sounding player as far as I'm concerned.

 

If you don't know where 24/96 files come from, you probably don't have any.  A good source for the hi-rez files is HDTracks.  It's worth buying one hi-rez album (24/88 or 24/96), as long as your DAC supports it (just checked the Audio Lab DAC and it does - looks nice) and then doing a comparison.  If you don't hear a difference, don't worry about hi-rez files. If you do, sorry about your wallet.

 

 

 

I love the iTunes interface... So if I want to use it, I have to switch the sample rate and bit depth myself through Audio MIDI Setup for the DAC per track? I know I don't have any 24/96 files. I have plenty of 24 bit files at 44.1/48 kHz, but nothing higher. I have the DF which supports these files, so I could try it out. Again, to clarify, if I purchased such files, I would have to go into my computer settings to change the sample rate and bit depth in order to hear it properly? iTunes fail...

 

HD650 question: Does the DF give any extra energy to the HD650 to bring it forward? I hear that the HD650 is pretty laid back, and would use it for music, movies, and gaming. I wouldn't want the sound to be uninvolving.


Edited by crzycuyler - 9/10/12 at 3:55am
post #591 of 1921
Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycuyler View Post

HD650 question: Does the DF give any extra energy to the HD650 to bring it forward? I hear that the HD650 is pretty laid back, and would use it for music, movies, and gaming. I wouldn't want the sound to be uninvolving.

 

The DF and the HD650's are a great match. I do not use mine for gaming, but I love this paring for music. No worries with this combo.

post #592 of 1921
Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycuyler View Post

 

I love the iTunes interface... So if I want to use it, I have to switch the sample rate and bit depth myself through Audio MIDI Setup for the DAC per track? I know I don't have any 24/96 files. I have plenty of 24 bit files at 44.1/48 kHz, but nothing higher. I have the DF which supports these files, so I could try it out. Again, to clarify, if I purchased such files, I would have to go into my computer settings to change the sample rate and bit depth in order to hear it properly? iTunes fail...

 

 

An idea might be to get Bit Perfect from the App Store. It was written by a member here and switches the sample rate for you automatically. 

post #593 of 1921

I was recently told that if my iTunes is trying to play 48 kHz while my output is set to 44.1 kHz (and vice versa) that it would not just sound less than it could but that it would sound really unnatural. Because I haven't heard any differences in earlier tests, I am curious if iTunes is changing the output automatically. It doesn't sound bizarre at all. I'll test again later. I've had a lot going on, but is it possible iTunes/the computer knows whats up?

post #594 of 1921
It won't sound THAT bad with iTunes not changing the sample rate.

Do yourself a favor though and get bitperfect or amarra hifi
post #595 of 1921
Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkManiac View Post

It won't sound THAT bad with iTunes not changing the sample rate.
Do yourself a favor though and get bitperfect or amarra hifi

Thanks, I'll look into these. I'm seeing that I can only select 2ch 24bit integer with this DAC. I feel like this was not the case the other day. Am I imagining things? On mac OSX does this appear with 4 options on sample rate and only 2ch 24bit integer. My final question is whether listening to a 16 bit track in this mode will be a bad thing, or does 24 bit take care of 16 bit too?

post #596 of 1921

Listening to a 16-bit track in 24-bit mode will just cause Core Audio to pad the signal with 8 extra bits as far as I know.

 

The wrong sample rate will cause Core Audio to re-sample a file, which isn't good, but probably wont make a significant amount of difference. IMO if you've paid money for high-res tracks, then it is worth the $10 for BitPerfect to switch the sample rate for you.

post #597 of 1921
Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycuyler View Post

Thanks, I'll look into these. I'm seeing that I can only select 2ch 24bit integer with this DAC. I feel like this was not the case the other day. Am I imagining things? On mac OSX does this appear with 4 options on sample rate and only 2ch 24bit integer. My final question is whether listening to a 16 bit track in this mode will be a bad thing, or does 24 bit take care of 16 bit too?

I second that, on Amarra Hifi! Hell, I have the full suite, and I end up using Hifi more often!! NOT sayin its better...

post #598 of 1921

mine is for sale, on the forums

post #599 of 1921

Did you know that there is an option in your signature settings to add classifieds you have up? That will mean every time you post people will see you have it for sale. smile.gif

post #600 of 1921

yeah i know,

but in the way i did it, more people actually read the msg. (i know of myself that i don't always watch for signatures...)    popcorn.gif

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