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AudioQuest Dragonfly v1.2 DAC

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AudioQuest Dragonfly v1.2 DAC

Postby dw154515 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:40 pm

Hello all,

I have read several posts about the advantages and disadvantages of DACs vs. Interfaces.

Being that I only practice under headphones (currently), I decided to try out my little AudioQuest Dragonfly DAC that I normally use with my laptop for listening to HD recordings.

I currently use a Pre-Sonus headphone amp (analog connectivity) with a pair of AKG 702's.

I downloaded the ASIO4ALL driver and plugged it in, and voila! It dramatically improved the sound. To my understanding, the DF will not automatically detect and adjust to the sample rate, thus, you need the ASIO driver to do it. (You can switch in manually, however.) It is neat that the Dragonfly glows different colors depending on the sample-rate being used. So far it has worked like a charm with no jitter, noise, etc. and I have no issues with latency.

It's small footprint (being only the size of a flash drive!) and "relatively" low cost make it a great solution for setups like mine. The original version 1.0 is now discontinued and on sale. I originally paid quite a bit more for mine, but you can now get the new version for about $150 on Amazon. Read the reviews.

Does anyone else have any experience using these? I'd be curious to compare thoughts.

Best wishes.
Drew A. Worthen
Innovative Audio Video Solutions - Owner
http://www.innovativeaudiovideosolutions.com
Master of Music in Composition - Butler University
http://www.drewworthen.com
Director of Music - Greenwood UMC
http://www.greenwoodumcmusic.org
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Re: AudioQuest Dragonfly v1.2 DAC

Postby ernst » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:28 pm

Hi Drew,

Congratulations with the good results.
I have no experience with this little DAC, but I do with the (HP4?) Presonus headphone amp. I use it with a M-Audio 2496 (or 1010LT) soundcard and AKG 701 headphones. From my experience and reviews I´ve read, I would say that with a better amp you could probably improve your sound still a lot. An interesting option could be a combined DAC/headphone amp. There are many of these "combi´s" on offer for very reasonable prices, though often these fall somewhat short on either the DAC or amp side, few are "balanced". But there is much on offer on the audiophile market for those of us who can suffice with just a 2-channel stereo setup for headphones or a 2 speaker/subwoofer set.

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Re: AudioQuest Dragonfly v1.2 DAC

Postby dw154515 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:55 pm

Yes, it is the HP4. I use the Dragonfly to drive those same headphones straight out of my laptop and it works quite well, too. But yes, cleaner power is always helpful.

I worked for a local hi-fi store for a couple of years, and that is where I first ran into the Dragonfly, not to mention many other DACs and amps (and integrateds) from Cambridge Audio (the DAC Magic is mentioned here on the forums), PeachTree, Rega, etc. My problem with many of those devices is that they are integrated, and for me, that isn't a good idea, since the DAC will constantly evolve and change according to computer audio technology. Even a couple of years ago, 96k was a rarity in these devices. The amplifiers, rarely change all that much. Yes, there are some technical improvements here and there, but largely they stay the same. With separates, you can upgrade your DAC without having to throw away thousands of dollars worth of otherwise useful components.

I looked at the M-Audio cards, and I've used many M-Audio products and I can attest to their usefulness, but I swear by this little Dragonfly. I have decided to forgo a soundcard altogether until I make the mass migration to multi-channel, which likely won't happen for quite some time. I do currently have a pair of GoldenEar Triton 2 loudspeakers that I plan to use for such an event, but for now, they will remain in my stereo exclusively.
Drew A. Worthen
Innovative Audio Video Solutions - Owner
http://www.innovativeaudiovideosolutions.com
Master of Music in Composition - Butler University
http://www.drewworthen.com
Director of Music - Greenwood UMC
http://www.greenwoodumcmusic.org
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Re: AudioQuest Dragonfly v1.2 DAC

Postby ernst » Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:10 am

Hi Drew,

I fully agree with the sensibility of separate equipment to be updated as suitable. Just, if money is major issue, a combi is usually cheaper. I DO have a combi, not to save money, but because that particular one was so well judged on both accounts (an Anedio D2 DAC).
I now only use the M-Audios for SPDIF output (to the DAC). The analogue outputs (with HP4 Presonus and AKG 702) I just use in emergency cases when I play and someone else is listening to my DAC.

I think you´re following a very logical course.

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Re: AudioQuest Dragonfly v1.2 DAC

Postby pat17 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:26 am

dw154515 wrote: I use the Dragonfly to drive those same headphones straight out of my laptop and it works quite well, too.


This is amazing to see how DACs can be much better than audio interface, even for budget models.

dw154515 wrote:Cambridge Audio (the DAC Magic is mentioned here on the forums), [...] etc. My problem with many of those devices is that they are integrated,


Actually the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 DAC is not a "combo" - it has even no headphone output. :wink:
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Re: AudioQuest Dragonfly v1.2 DAC

Postby dw154515 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:04 am

Very true. The DAC Magic is a separate. I was thinking of the "DAC Magic Plus."
Drew A. Worthen
Innovative Audio Video Solutions - Owner
http://www.innovativeaudiovideosolutions.com
Master of Music in Composition - Butler University
http://www.drewworthen.com
Director of Music - Greenwood UMC
http://www.greenwoodumcmusic.org
dw154515
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Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:52 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN


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