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  1. #1

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    Default Audioquest Dragonfly

    Anyone tried one of these? It's about the size of a USB thumb drive and is a DAC (Sabre 9023) and headphone amp. I wonder how good something this size can be. It's $250 so not a huge investment as something to try out.

    I'm thinking of picking one up to use at work and on the go, supposed to work with my Mac machines and my Windows machine at work as well. I'm curious if anyone has picked one up, has any thoughts on it.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    I'm curious if anyone has picked one up, has any thoughts on it.
    I haven't but I believe there was a decent review of it by Cnet and they liked it....
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

    Main HT: APC H15 | Pio 51FD | Uverse DVR | Xbox 360 | Squeezebox Classic | Integra DTR 5.9 | Carver AV-705x & M1.0t MKII Opt002 | LSi 15 | LSiC | LSi F/x | Kimber Hero IC & 8VS SC

    Office Rig: Win 7 -> DacMagic w/ Pangea PSU | Pro-ject Debut III | Sunfire TGP-II | Parasound HCA-750ii | Polk RTA 11TL | Cables TBA

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  3. #3

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    There's also a review over on Head-Fi and is favorable as well.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  4. #4

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    Check out W4S, they have a new udac with usb and coax I believe for something like 375, with the Saber dac chips too.

  5. #5

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    Is that a similar type of DAC in terms of size and functionality (size of a thumb drive and with the headphone amp built in)?
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    Is that a similar type of DAC in terms of size and functionality (size of a thumb drive and with the headphone amp built in)?
    Nope.

  7. #7

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    From what I've read, audio quest is considering releasing an adapter which would change the direction of the dragonfly so that it doesn't stick directly out from the usb, but rather at a 90 degree angle. This makes an already great DAC even more interesting.

  8. #8

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    tasymac, you have pi$$ed me off. Bye bye.

  9. #9

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    Bump, coolsax I know you have one of these and there may be others as well, what do you think of it?
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by whereas View Post
    From what I've read, audio quest is considering releasing an adapter which would change the direction of the dragonfly so that it doesn't stick directly out from the usb, but rather at a 90 degree angle. This makes an already great DAC even more interesting.
    I believe that is what's being referred to as the DragonTail
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  11. #11

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    Well after some good listening the last couple days, I love it.. the sound is clear and detailed and smooth, no digital harshness that i can tell. It drives my can's w/o any issues whatsoever. I did a lot of classical listening last night and was just really lost in the music. One thing you do have to take into account is that if you are using it as an amp, volume control must be done with the main computer volume and not your player volume(keep this at max) to access the analog volume control. If you use the player volume then the volume is kept in the digital domain and you have the theoretical loss of data when lowering volume.

    AQ has a massive winner on their hands with this as I think for many budget audiophiles or just regular audio enthusiasts, this could be all that they need. The hardest to drive can's I have are HD 650s but there are plenty of owners out there saying that they drive many of their Hi-Fi man(though not all) and Audeze Cans as well. I'm hoping this weekend to get my AD 700s and P5s connected and see how they sound through it as well, but even two days in I can't see going back to my old set up. (which was probably just adequate as it was).

    After doing so much reading and researching at least online I think the only other dac/amp that might interest me at this price point is the new Grant Fidelity TubeDac, but it would instantly lose the ease of use and portability of the dragonfly.
    by getting a satsifying amp/dac combo at this price point it will allow me to get a stand alone dac for my SBT that much quicker.
    Last edited by coolsax; 08-21-2012 at 01:53 PM.
    HT - game room
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    Lenovo Laptop-> Dragonfly USB DAC/amp
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  12. #12

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    i have a similar product, audioengine w2. the size of a domino but i do not know how it would compare sonically. it sells for 150 and i love it for the practical point of view.
    HT:
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    50" PANASONIC PLASMA TCP50C2

    2 CHANNEL:
    KEF R300 THREE WAY BOOKSHELF GLOSS PIANO BLACK
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    ROTEL RB 990BX AMP
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  13. #13

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    Ok, I've had this for a full two weeks now and its not going back. Was finally able to sit down and do an A/B comparison (as well as possible since both amps handle analog differently, hard to volume match, but i think i was close.

    my old set up HRT MSII with a Fiio E9 amp.
    I think its a decent set up for an entry level system for sure. the E9 has plenty of power, even if its not subtle, to drive a lot of different phones. The HRT is a nice async USB dac, but for whatever reason it never really played nice with my laptops and had a tendency to get staticy if being powered directly by the laptop so i had a selfpowered usb hub in between. I think it did the job it was built to do but it does have a little bit of an edge to it.

    my new set up the Audioquest Dragonfly
    This little device handily beat the above system. it drives my HD 650s well and provides noticeably better sound quality. The edge from the old system is gone and so shouty portions of music are much smoother. I also think the tone is an upgrade as well, the Dragon fly is noticeably more musical and I find myself getting lost in the music much easier than I did with the HRT and Fiio. It also does well plugged directly into the laptop, even though its powered by the laptop and in turn powers my 300 ohm HD 650s, I have no issues with sound degradation due to to static.

    All in all I'm very happy with the purchase and the old setup will be going up for sale in the next day or 3. If you're looking for a very nice and simple and very portable all in one solution you could do a lot worse than the Dragonfly. It would take either my purchasing much more power hungry cans or having to shut down my listening room for me to feel the need to upgrade much further at this point with my current financial situation.

    i haven't tried yet as a line out to a regular amp or powered speakers situation but I would imagine it would work just fine feeding into any kind of preamp/integrated amp or powered speakers.
    Last edited by coolsax; 09-01-2012 at 02:32 PM.

  14. #14

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    Smile

    I listen to lost of music from my PC using Spotify, and I was getting dissatisfied with the music quality of the built in sound card - my friend loaned my his Audioquest Dragonfly USB DAC 1.2 for the weekend - my music via the DAC opened up significantly, much more air and space around each instrument, in a word just miles better than before. I'm now saving up :-)

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