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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 5

post #61 of 1952
From what I can tell, the Centrance product beats both in the headlamp department.
post #62 of 1952

I found a big thread on Computer Audiophile discussing this unit for the past month, which is great as there are several user impressions. Hope this is okay to post:

 

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

 

Interesting thing is Gordon Rankin weighs in a few times about development:

 

post 94:

 

"Halide HD and DragonFly

Companies who work with me to deliver USB dacs can have me design the unit totally or do everything except the interface themselves. Halide designs their own dac circuitry and output designs. I only work on the USB interface section with them. For the DargonFly I did all the design except for the enclosure. Acceptance was done as a team the way all AudioQuest products are designed.

There will be a "Dragon Tail" at some point which has the same look feel as the DragonFly it self and will look as an extension."

 

post 131:

 

"Development on this was done over about 8 to 10 months. Kind of a funny story... I said lets do this and AQ wanted a dac with minimum phase filters. So we made a couple of dacs with the Wolfson 8741 and cap coupled and direct coupled and differential and single ended and if you don't know this every example costs about $10K to do. So we made up five different samples and they all were evaluated by the team and we were getting closer. I said look let me make what I originally suggested and I will pay for it if you don't like it. Well that is what is shipping! There are 107 components on a 0.6"x1.7" four layer board including a ton of regulators and expensive custom capacitors."


Edited by bobeau - 7/6/12 at 2:44pm
post #63 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

 

If there's somebody I'd put my faith in to make a good DAC, it's Gordon Rankin.  But that doesn't really shed any light on the amp section.

post #64 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

 

If there's somebody I'd put my faith in to make a good DAC, it's Gordon Rankin.  But that doesn't really shed any light on the amp section.

 

Agreed.  Unfortunately not too many people using this with headphones in that thread (some IEMs though). The only comment Gordon seemed to make was this:

 

"I did a ton of work on the output stage to make it compatible with both line and headphone. I think it works really well with both as it has more drive than required for line and easily 2x more drive for headphones."


Edited by bobeau - 7/6/12 at 2:48pm
post #65 of 1952
Looks like a BB PCM1793 DAC in the HRT, and a pair of BB2132 opamps. The whole thing looks like a turnkey Ti/BB solution, using a TAS1020B USB controller.

Doh! Found a review of the HRT here on head-fi;

http://www.head-fi.org/t/597886/review-hrt-headstreamer-asynchronous-usb-dac-amp
post #66 of 1952

HRT dacs are nowhere near as good as dragonfly, centrance, or even odac. Definitely get what you pay for with them and not a penny more IMO.

post #67 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post

 

I think so, mwilson. Do you have one?

 

I found this a while back:  http://jurawa.com/notes/item/24-bring-back-fine-grained-volume-control-in-os-x-lion

 

I actually tried it and it worked.  But for some reason I couldn't make it work with my standard volume keys.  I had to use something different- I chose the arrow keys.  In the end, I didn't like losing those keys, so I just went back to the standard set-up.  That's really too bad about the volume controls being the same 16/64 steps.  That would've been a big motivator for me.

post #68 of 1952
post #69 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

Just found out Steve Guttenberg did a review:

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57463791-47/a-tiny-usb-digital-to-analog-converter-from-audioquest/

 

He loves the DAC portion but is less enthused about the head-amp trying out an M50 & P5, which I find a bit worrisome.  I guess I'll hold out for more impressions, esp if anyone can compare its headamp to an O2 as that is my new transportable standard.

I'll have it next week (it is in UPS' hands from my dealer) and I'll post how it does from my MBP/Amarra combo with the HD650's and the P5's.

post #70 of 1952
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post
doesn't really shed any light on the amp section.

 

If you look at the specs of the ES9023 there is the off chance they didn't use much extra amplification after the D/A.

post #71 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

 

If there's somebody I'd put my faith in to make a good DAC, it's Gordon Rankin.  But that doesn't really shed any light on the amp section.

 

Gordon actually designs/builds amps, preamps, and guitar amps too, so I think he knows what he's doing pretty well.  (Although his other stuff has tubes - now that, in something the size of the Dragonfly, I'd like to see!  Guess it does have das blinkenlights, though, in the form of the color resolution indicator.)

post #72 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by judmarc View Post

 

Gordon actually designs/builds amps, preamps, and guitar amps too, so I think he knows what he's doing pretty well.  (Although his other stuff has tubes - now that, in something the size of the Dragonfly, I'd like to see!  Guess it does have das blinkenlights, though, in the form of the color resolution indicator.)

I just think it is remarkable the amount of stuff crammed into this tiny device. For me, as a road warrior, it means one less cable to carry and the smallest truly capable DAC yet!

post #73 of 1952

Alright, ordered with Amazon Prime so it should arrive by Wednesday.

 

Been listening with a pair of used (ie. broken in) EPH-100s.  The difference between the headphone out on my MBA and O2/ODAC is too dramatic, major eargasm to the latter.  Being these are IEMs I imagine DragonFly will offer similar performance, because the O2/ODAC is too much to lug when I'm having an IEM outing.

post #74 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

Alright, ordered with Amazon Prime so it should arrive by Wednesday.

 

Been listening with a pair of used (ie. broken in) EPH-100s.  The difference between the headphone out on my MBA and O2/ODAC is too dramatic, major eargasm to the latter.  Being these are IEMs I imagine DragonFly will offer similar performance, because the O2/ODAC is too much to lug when I'm having an IEM outing.

I enjoyed the Dragonfly at my delear's with my Etymotic HF3's and the ACS custom earplug....I am looking forward to not schlepping my HD650's with me when I travel.

post #75 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post

I enjoyed the Dragonfly at my delear's with my Etymotic HF3's and the ACS custom earplug....I am looking forward to not schlepping my HD650's with me when I travel.

 

FWIW, I used to have HF2 with ACS, ER4ps, 500/535, and I'm fairly certain this is by far the best IEM experience I've had.  These are the first IEMs that make me feel okay forgetting headphones.  I'm going back and forth between these and my Thunderpants, which are excellent, and don't feel I'm missing too much.

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