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please help!!! can't hear a difference with my DAC....tips/suggestions?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello All,

 

I just hooked up a DragonFly to my Windows 8 pc setup (passive speakers and amp) and totally cannot hear any improvements at all.

 

I believe the manual suggests pc volume at 25% to max, media player (I'm using foobar) to 100% and then I guess use my amp's volume manually???  That's what I did thus far.

 

I selected sample rate in the Windows Setup of 44.1kHz

 

What the heck am I doing wrong?  Or do my ears just suck?

 

I'll probably test this out also on a secondary Windows Vista pc

 

Also, not sure if this is worth mentioning, but I tried it in all 4 rear usb ports and both side ports, one of the side ports produces no sound, the other side port and 3 out of the 4 rear ports produce sound at reduced volume.....the other rear main port appears to produce full volume

post #2 of 12

Hello,

 

First, when you plug in the dragonfly, it should become your default audio output. Check this by right clicking your volume icon.

 

Next, volume should be 100% 100% and your amp handles the actual volume. You are just sending it a signal. You should not have had to select any windows setup kHz.

 

Not knocking your product, but I was not impressed with the firefly, especially the fact it had to be 3.5mm out.

 

I went with the AUNE T1 to get:

1) A powered device

2) Real RCA out

 

The circuitry is night and day.

 

On another note, have you tried xbox music on your firefly ?

post #3 of 12
Quote:
hooked up a DragonFly to my Windows 8 pc setup (passive speakers and amp) and totally cannot hear any improvements

 

Nothing to worry about.

 

On a modern motherboard (which I assume you have as it's windows 8) there is no reason to expect the on board audio out to be in any way inferior to the Dragonfly. The Dragonfly  does have a physical volume control which might be handy. Otherwise all the converter chips sold today are pretty much better than the human ear's ability to differentiate. Some older gear  doesn't quite work so well and it's possible you might find a pc with a noisy line out that the Dragonfly can deal with. Other than that it's simply a $100 volume control in todays market.

 

You are to be congratulated on your self belief. A lot of people would have simply invented a supposed improvement conversant with how much money they spent.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

 can anyone maybe suggest a good way to test to see if I can detect audible differences other than crude manner of plugging it in/out?

 

Only difference I've noticed thus far in this manner is the DAC makes it louder

post #5 of 12

You probably wont hear a difference as was pointed out. Depending on what is onboard, the firefly is not going to do much for you...Think about it..the specs of onboard and a $99 DAC.

 

Roll in a better DAC you'll get better sound. Its sort of like saying I replaced my $20 PC speakers with $22 speakers..and I cant hear a difference.

 

You should really give more info when asking a question. Do you have a $200 laptop or a $2000 Alienware PC...what sound card , what amp and speakers...Helps people to help you :L3000:

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

$500 recent dell all in one pc, vintage luxman r113 and kef q500s

 

most of the reviews pointed to a marked improvement with the dragonfly

 

what dac/pricepoints should i be looking at in your opinion?

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadaguy View Post
 

$500 recent dell all in one pc, vintage luxman r113 and kef q500s

 

most of the reviews pointed to a marked improvement with the dragonfly

 

what dac/pricepoints should i be looking at in your opinion?


it is hard to say. I am NOT finding it easy to see the specs on your ALL IN ONE (I take it its the 20 based on price). Hard to get specs on what the dang sound scheme is. I am sure it has the standard DAC but the firefly (in my opinion so everyone who likes firefly don't get antsy) is just a cheap DAC for PC's that don't have one built in and don't want to add or replace a sound card.

 

Look around this board and you will see some great recommendations ...also, its music dependent in some way. High quality streaming is going to sound better than old MP3's...

 

By the way ..NICE amp and speakers..Love the KEF's...You really should get a quality DAC to match.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

yes the inspiron one 20

 

think I'll try the Aune next

 

im not surprised the lux headphone amp blows this away but a little surprised that the logitech does

 

people paid $250 (i paid the closeout $99) for this thing and it won awards???? and was called a good value??? wtf

post #9 of 12

I was trying to find the difference between my Aune T1 and another $30 USB Dac (Vantec w/ cmedia chips) which is apparently garbage....i think it was a bit easier to notice the difference with music that sounded cleaner, like classical/orchestral music - with my old dac i could hear a very slight background hiss and the separation between instruments didnt sound as good...like it was muddy or something

 

It also seemed that the Aune had more depth..i guess....the instruments sounded more natural..in a way...

 

Maybe it was placebo maybe it was my brian trying to compensate spending $150 on something i might have not needed to heh

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by q2klepto View Post
 

I was trying to find the difference between my Aune T1 and another $30 USB Dac (Vantec w/ cmedia chips) which is apparently garbage....i think it was a bit easier to notice the difference with music that sounded cleaner, like classical/orchestral music - with my old dac i could hear a very slight background hiss and the separation between instruments didnt sound as good...like it was muddy or something

 

It also seemed that the Aune had more depth..i guess....the instruments sounded more natural..in a way...

 

Maybe it was placebo maybe it was my brian trying to compensate spending $150 on something i might have not needed to heh


Here is the real test, to say "Money well spent" or "Nope, onboard DAC is fine" ...and if you are doing this with headphones, unless they cost > $400 forget it.

 

LAPTOP 3.5 out to RCA to System ---> Speakers. Play 4 songs from streaming with good voice and good musical mix - 2 of my test tracks are Sade Smooth Operator and Elton John Captain Fantastic (don't laugh, there is a reason)

 

Listen to 4 (two I chose, two of your favorites).Get a feel for not only clarity at all ranges but soundstage DEPTH and WIDTH. Is the vocalist clearly at the mic in front, drums behind, instruments off to the side.

 

Now

 

LAPTOP USB out to AUNE T1 - RCA OUT to system (gain is irrelevant on the AUNE..its only for headphones) Make sure your PC audio and streaming audio is not MAXED out (100 by 100) 80 by 80 should be fine...

 

Now do the same test as the 3.5 out. Better sound stage ? More detail ? If yes, great. If no, sell the AUNE. 

 

Pretty simple test

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by arcorob View Post
 

Here is the real test, to say "Money well spent" or "Nope, onboard DAC is fine" ...and if you are doing this with headphones, unless they cost > $400 forget it.

 

Not necessarily - you can hear enough of a difference on an HD600 and K701 (well, MSRP at launch was $499). And if you go too far above $500, diminishing returns really apply - you can make the soundstage wider by about an inch or two in all directions but you paid for a $1,500 headphone.

post #12 of 12

I believe all of the Inspiron One's have the http://www.maxx.com/technologies/maxxaudio/ 

 

You should be able to confirm in your device manager under audio device.

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