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AudioQuest Dragonfly Review : Affordable, Outstanding, Tiny DAC / Amp - Page 49

post #721 of 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by crooner View Post

Stereophile's review of the Dragonfly is up:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/audioquest-dragonfly-usb-da-converter

 

Overall a very positive review.

 

One interesting observation is the fact that there are two versions of the DF with slightly different volume control configuration.

 

The first or early version clips the output after the 60th step.

 

The current version stops at the 60th step and thus reduces the distortion at max volume significantly.

 

I wonder what version do I have and if there is a way to find out by the codes on the box since the device has no version markings of its own.

actually its talking about the Wavelength proton with regards to the extra steps if i read the article correctly.. it states the dragonfly does not have the extra steps which allows dragonfly to keep from distorting.

post #722 of 1906

Hi everybody,

 

I have a Nuforce uDac, and I'm considering upgrading to a Dragonfly. I've already read that SQ-wise the Dragonfly is superior, but I'd like to understand if it also works well as an output from the browser.

 

I know it's not very audiophile, but I often use Grooveshark to listen to some music, and in this case the uDac performs much worse than my laptop soundcard. Only if I listen through Foobar with WASAPI output, the uDac works properly well.

 

How is the Dragonfly working with a browser like Google Chrome and Grooveshark as a source?

 

By the way, I have some Grado SR80i, and as IEM a pair of Shure SE535+Baldur MKII cable.

 

Thanks!

post #723 of 1906

A DragonFly designed specifically for Android devices: AudioQuest Bumblebee Android DAC 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/390#post_8738656

 

Can the AudioQuest Bumblebee interwork with PC / Mac?

If the AudioQuest Bumblebee is a standard USB DAC, while using with a PC or a Mac, the sound quality of an AudioQuest Bumblebee should be superior to the sound quality of an AudioQuest DragonFly thanks to a clean battery power.


Edited by DanBa - 9/30/12 at 5:16am
post #724 of 1906
In the last  week I have had the time to sit down and spend some time comparing some of the DAC/amps which my family has been using for mobile listening. Specifically the DragonFly, CEnterence DACport, and a Fostex HP-P1. My reference point is a Lavry DA-11.  The primary headphones I use when on the go are a pair of Etymotic HF3, but I also tried these for a these units with Sennheiser HD800, Stax SR-001, Thunderpants, Bose QC3, and Audio Technica ATH-M50S.  None of these small units were able to really do justice to the HD800 or the Thunderpants.  Both headphones could be driven to an adequate volume (pink noise with volume at max on the HD800 measured around 89db on the DACport and Dragon Fly), but they were held back by the lack of power.  The Fostex could produce more more volume when on gain setting 2 & 3, but sounded like it was clipping.  I didn't think to grab a waveform and see if it was. With all these units, dynamics weren't as dramatic when powered by a better amplifier, and a good bit of the transparency I love from the HD800 was missing.
 
I found the DragonFly and the DACport quite similar. In terms of practical power,  I measure maximum volume using pink noise with the HD800 and the DACport could go 1.5db louder than the DragonFly. Compared to the DA-11, both had a somewhat flat sound stage. I noticed this with a number of tracks, but it really jumped out when listening to Chesky's new binaural recording.  For example, when listening to Chesky's Dancing Flute & Drum through the DA-11 I felt like I could tell you where the walls were from the echoes.  No such sense with any of the other DAC/amps.
 
When doing blind A/B between the DACport and DragonFly I had trouble telling them apart, though I seemed to slightly prefer the sound from the DACport. I think it was a bit fuller than the DragonFly, but it was a slight difference. I could always pick out the DA-11 and preferred it's sound: better clarity, control, and of course the better soundstage as mentioned above. While the DA-11 was clearly better, it wasn't approaching an order of magnitude better, suggestions that both the DACport and the DragonFly are good values but not giant slayers.  If a friend asked which one to purchase, I would say either would be fine. The DACport has a slight edge on SQ and power, but the DragonFly is cheaper and smaller which can be a big plus for mobile use.
 
Alas, the Fostex HP-P1 wasn't able to keep up with either the DragonFly or the DACport.  It's sound stage was even flatter. I also found it's bass not as tight, and it had less detail in the middles and the treble.  I found the treble both a bit thin and bright. This unit clearly doesn't provide the same SQ / $$ of the other units though it was a clear improvement over the built in headphone out on our i-Devices and the Mac Air headphone jack. While I preferred the sound quality of the DragonFly and DACport to the HP-P1, the HP-P1 is incredible useful for those of us who carry around i-Devices, especially with the TOSlink output.  This was very useful at a recent mini meet I was at.
 
--Mark
 
post #725 of 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post

In the last  week I have had the time to sit down and spend some time comparing some of the DAC/amps which my family has been using for mobile listening. Specifically the DragonFly, CEnterence DACport, and a Fostex HP-P1. My reference point is a Lavry DA-11.  The primary headphones I use when on the go are a pair of Etymotic HF3, but I also tried these for a these units with Sennheiser HD800, Stax SR-001, Thunderpants, Bose QC3, and Audio Technica ATH-M50S.  None of these small units were able to really do justice to the HD800 or the Thunderpants.  Both headphones could be driven to an adequate volume (pink noise with volume at max on the HD800 measured around 89db on the DACport and Dragon Fly), but they were held back by the lack of power.  The Fostex could produce more more volume when on gain setting 2 & 3, but sounded like it was clipping.  I didn't think to grab a waveform and see if it was. With all these units, dynamics weren't as dramatic when powered by a better amplifier, and a good bit of the transparency I love from the HD800 was missing.
 
I found the DragonFly and the DACport quite similar. In terms of practical power,  I measure maximum volume using pink noise with the HD800 and the DACport could go 1.5db louder than the DragonFly. Compared to the DA-11, both had a somewhat flat sound stage. I noticed this with a number of tracks, but it really jumped out when listening to Chesky's new binaural recording.  For example, when listening to Chesky's Dancing Flute & Drum through the DA-11 I felt like I could tell you where the walls were from the echoes.  No such sense with any of the other DAC/amps.
 
When doing blind A/B between the DACport and DragonFly I had trouble telling them apart, though I seemed to slightly prefer the sound from the DACport. I think it was a bit fuller than the DragonFly, but it was a slight difference. I could always pick out the DA-11 and preferred it's sound: better clarity, control, and of course the better soundstage as mentioned above. While the DA-11 was clearly better, it wasn't approaching an order of magnitude better, suggestions that both the DACport and the DragonFly are good values but not giant slayers.  If a friend asked which one to purchase, I would say either would be fine. The DACport has a slight edge on SQ and power, but the DragonFly is cheaper and smaller which can be a big plus for mobile use.
 
Alas, the Fostex HP-P1 wasn't able to keep up with either the DragonFly or the DACport.  It's sound stage was even flatter. I also found it's bass not as tight, and it had less detail in the middles and the treble.  I found the treble both a bit thin and bright. This unit clearly doesn't provide the same SQ / $$ of the other units though it was a clear improvement over the built in headphone out on our i-Devices and the Mac Air headphone jack. While I preferred the sound quality of the DragonFly and DACport to the HP-P1, the HP-P1 is incredible useful for those of us who carry around i-Devices, especially with the TOSlink output.  This was very useful at a recent mini meet I was at.
 
--Mark
 

Thanks for this post Mark!

 

I've been looking forward to the CEntrance HiFi-M8 for months.  AS I'd love to have a decent all-in-one.  I was working there when the team came up with it - it was an exciting concept - can't wait to hear it!!   I need to spend more time w/ the Fostex.

 

I got my DAcport back recently for a direct comparison - and using one of my own house music releases from back in 2004 (the original digital file, the .WAV fron the master) I'd say the DACport was actually more truthful in its tonal and dynamic detail retrieval - but not overwhelmingly so.  They were pretty damn close!  Closer than I had anticipated.  So, though I'm with Steve Guttenberg when it comes to "accuracy" (I don't see Hifi as a chase for the real thing - rather a vehicle to enjoy music, which I LOVE beyond a short description here) and in terms of the sonic signature, I prefer the Dragonfly personally.  For my ears, there's more excitement in the midrange, what people would call "warmth" or texture.  I simply like the rounded sound of the Dragonfly, vs. the (again IMO - we all hear differently people) somewhat analytical sound of the DACport.  I LOVE their Audiophile Desktop System though.  BEST small-scale system package on the market, hands down.  Blows me away DAILY. 

 

I think my cousin Kenny says it best (he has a Dragonfly and DACport too - and Audeze LCD3's - which is what I'm using w/ mine, and JH Audio JH-13 Pros IEMS): He said, and Here's an even more succinct quote:  "When I want to listen to the mix, I use the DACport.  When I want to listen to the music, I use the Dragonfly." (he works for Stevie Wonder).  I think the cool factor plays a role here too.  What I mean is: I appreciate not having to bring another cable with me for myDAC/Head-amp when traveling w/ my Macbook Pro.  I also love its sounds as a DAC w/ the ALO RxMK3-B as the head-amp (via Nordost Heimdall iKable)! 

 

and thanks to Jude for featuring my latest installment of What is the Future of the High End series for PFO!!

 

I'll be bringing my Dragonfly for my Macbook Pro (lovin the SSD) and my HRT Headstreamer for my iPad at RMAF.


Edited by mikemercer - 10/2/12 at 11:48am
post #726 of 1906
Quote:

I got my DAcport back recently for a direct comparison - and using one of my own house music releases from back in 2004 (the original digital file, the .WAV fron the master) I'd say the DACport was actually more truthful in its tonal and dynamic detail retrieval - but not overwhelmingly so.  <snip> So, though I'm with Steve Guttenberg when it comes to "accuracy" (I don't see Hifi as a chase for the real thing - rather a vehicle to enjoy music, which I LOVE beyond a short description here) and in terms of the sonic signature, I prefer the Dragonfly personally.  For my ears, there's more excitement in the midrange, what people would call "warmth" or texture.  I simply like the rounded sound of the Dragonfly, vs. the (again IMO - we all hear differently people) somewhat analytical sound of the DACport. 

 

Indeed, it's close, and personal preference would be the tie breaker. Your commons shows why from a SQ perspective we would chose different unit. For me, equipment that is on the analytical slight (without being too cold), getting all the little details is what pulls me into the music.

 

--Mark

post #727 of 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post

 

Indeed, it's close, and personal preference would be the tie breaker. Your commons shows why from a SQ perspective we would chose different unit. For me, equipment that is on the analytical slight (without being too cold), getting all the little details is what pulls me into the music.

 

--Mark

OH, don't get me wrong: Detail retrieval/resolving capabilities are VERY important to me.  However, it's about soul, which is very difficult to encapsulate or quantify (which I often try to do in my writing).  I'll use Wilson Audio speakers for example: I can't tell you who, but a legendary music producer and composer once told me that we were of the same opinion on Wilson Audio speakers (and I like Dave, he's an awesome man, plus I finally do like a speaker of his, the Sasha - which is the speaker he re-designed after he toured the world listening to live music) - but this producer heard me say something on a panel that he said resonated with him: I said that Wilson's often sounded "too perfect" for me, like the greatest Hifi, but music is not that to me.  Sometimes the magic is in the imperfection (and I don't mean muddiness or lack of clarity).  I said that the Wilson's were truthful, and sounded very accurate to me when we played a vinyl pressing of a house record I produced back in 2004 - but these other loudspeakers (the Nola Viper Reference) nailed the details, and also excited me.  There's just something about the Dragonfly's sound, especially w/ my JH Audio's or Audeze's - that draws me in deeper.  Maybe that might break it down a bit more.

 

and, like I said earlier, the HRT Headstreamer also sounds great.  Right now I'm loving the Pan Am/Passport combo - which I think I'm going to buy as my desktop rig.

 

and, I think we may have tastes that are more in-line than you think.  I'm referring to that coldness when I say analytical - resolving, to me, gets the details AND the soul/nuance of the music.

post #728 of 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post

 

and thanks to Jude for featuring my latest installment of What is the Future of the High End series for PFO!!

 

I'll be bringing my Dragonfly for my Macbook Pro (lovin the SSD) and my HRT Headstreamer for my iPad at RMAF.

 

Great article Mike! I hope to catch your show at RMAF.

post #729 of 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBS View Post

Google sounds positive that the S3 supports USB audio as a host, so all you'd need is a cable.
I make no promises, tho. I don't know anything about compatibility and drivers.

 

Just tried it.  Doesn't work.  Light comes on but not hearing any sound and playing both audio and video shows that the recordings are skipping.  It is probably drawing too much power.  Unfortunately, I don't have a powered USB hub to test out this theory.

post #730 of 1906

Did you use a OTG type of USB cable? My S3 won't work with my (USB powered) ODAC either unless I use an OTG cable. I doubt the power draw of the Dragonfly is the problem, unless you are already using OTG (On the Go) USB.

 

Every DAC that's verified to operate with the Galaxy S3 requires OTG.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBS View Post

Google sounds positive that the S3 supports USB audio as a host, so all you'd need is a cable.
I make no promises, tho. I don't know anything about compatibility and drivers.

 

Just tried it.  Doesn't work.  Light comes on but not hearing any sound and playing both audio and video shows that the recordings are skipping.  It is probably drawing too much power.  Unfortunately, I don't have a powered USB hub to test out this theory.

post #731 of 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4nradio View Post

Did you use a OTG type of USB cable? My S3 won't work with my (USB powered) ODAC either unless I use an OTG cable. I doubt the power draw of the Dragonfly is the problem, unless you are already using OTG (On the Go) USB.

 

Every DAC that's verified to operate with the Galaxy S3 requires OTG.

 

 

 

 

Just tried it.  Doesn't work.  Light comes on but not hearing any sound and playing both audio and video shows that the recordings are skipping.  It is probably drawing too much power.  Unfortunately, I don't have a powered USB hub to test out this theory.

 

Yes, it was an OTG cable.

post #732 of 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by devilsadvocate View Post

 

Yes, it was an OTG cable.

Thanks for trying, takes me alot of searching to get here..

post #733 of 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellenico View Post

[...]

 

How is the Dragonfly working with a browser like Google Chrome and Grooveshark as a source?

 

[...]

 

Anyone tried?

post #734 of 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellenico View Post

 

Anyone tried?

Works great for me w/ Chrome

I'll give Grooveshark a go (havent't used it in a few weeks) and report back

post #735 of 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post

 

Great article Mike! I hope to catch your show at RMAF.

Thanks!!!  I greatly appreciate the support here guys.

I'm SO excited to have new sonic territory to explore, and unlike some reviewers (who consider themselves above the users) I can say that

I have learned a great deal from my time on Head-fi!!!!

 

and YEAH - getting to spin vinyl on Burmester gear - whoah!  NEVER thought that would happen!!

 

 

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