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Old 27th June 2012, 03:51 PM   #1
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Default AudioQuest Dragonfly DAC

Anyone heard one? Looks very interesting.

Async USB input (supposedly the same as used in Wavelength Audio and Ayre products).

Two clocks for native sampling to 96Khz. Supports up to 192Khz sampling.

ES9023 24bit 192Khz DAC.

Variable or fixed outputs.

Can drive headphones directly.

About the size of a thumbdrive.

Around $250 list.

DragonFly ? USB Digital-Audio Converter

Last edited by steve jones; 27th June 2012 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 27th June 2012, 05:15 PM   #2
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Quote:
Can drive headphones directly.
I would take this with a big grain of salt. it will drive some headphones directly and certainly some not all that effectively. it will be severely current limited for low impedance and voltage limited for higher impedance. otherwise looks like a neat little device, reports over at headfi seem quite positive.

says it will drive 12ohms headphones hmm i'm finding it hard to believe it will run USB receiver, 2 clocks, a dac , an MCU, blue multiple LEDs and an analogue stage on a USB socket power budget. it will also be limited as to what USB ports will run it. max output 150mW, that wont go far with 150+ ohms headphones and the swing from 5v isnt going to be huge.



its also only capable of 96kHz, it downsamples 192 though it says this only in the fine print

Last edited by qusp; 27th June 2012 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 03:15 AM   #3
sumflow is offline sumflow  United States
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Lightbulb Gordonfly analog

Click the image to open in full size.

What amazes me is the next one of Gordon's designs that I can find,halide the Halide costs twice as much, and for computer use does not have the analog volume control. The main advantage seems to be the cryogenically treated cables. No degradation occurs at junctions of adapters and extensions.
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Old 18th September 2012, 05:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
I would take this with a big grain of salt. it will drive some headphones directly and certainly some not all that effectively. it will be severely current limited for low impedance and voltage limited for higher impedance. otherwise looks like a neat little device, reports over at headfi seem quite positive.

says it will drive 12ohms headphones hmm i'm finding it hard to believe it will run USB receiver, 2 clocks, a dac , an MCU, blue multiple LEDs and an analogue stage on a USB socket power budget. it will also be limited as to what USB ports will run it. max output 150mW, that wont go far with 150+ ohms headphones and the swing from 5v isnt going to be huge.



its also only capable of 96kHz, it downsamples 192 though it says this only in the fine print
If it's connected to a USB hub current shouldn't be a big deal(aside from getting a little warm), but it would nice if someone who already has this device can chime in.
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Old 18th September 2012, 08:48 PM   #5
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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huh? its got nothing to do with the supply current, its the output current capability of the headphone amp, particularly into low impedances. its not going to all of a sudden become a different design when used with a hub, which still has to comply to the USB standard anyway and are ALL limited to 5v. 150mw at 5v or less; thats its max stated output, wont make any difference what its powered with.

or you just mean the 150mw isnt a big deal for the laptop to deal with?
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Old 18th September 2012, 09:00 PM   #6
sumflow is offline sumflow  United States
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Lightbulb From someone who listened

Click the image to open in full size.
See: Dragonfly

Read: Stereophile October 2012 AudioQuest's Dragonfly
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Old 18th September 2012, 09:38 PM   #7
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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completely different task, myself i'll take a good digital volume control over the type of analogue control that can fit in this (i'm betting its the TPA6120A or similar) but thats personal choice. I dont doubt its worth trhe money as a dac, which is far less demanding; but I find some of the claims for power output into headphones more than unrealistic
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Old 4th October 2012, 07:00 PM   #8
sumflow is offline sumflow  United States
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Lightbulb How it works

Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
i'll take a good digital volume control over the type of analogue control that can fit in this..
How it works: Amazon.com: -oo0(GoldTrader)0oo-'s review of AudioQuest DragonFly Asynchronous USB Digi...
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Old 5th October 2012, 03:13 AM   #9
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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umm? TPA6120A as I mentioned above, is a digitally controlled (via i2c) buffered analogue volume control chip. I doubt theyve used exactly this one, because its a bit of a power hog, but theyve probably used one of its lower power family, or perhaps the new crystal semiconductor one. what this means is its an opamp and embedded resistor ladder volume control that can be controlled digitally

the post is incorrect, or rather its incomplete. wide bit depth digital volume control does lower DNR, but it only starts to effect the DNR of the output once the amount of attenuation exceeds the spare dynamic range your dac/control has, as compared to the DNR of the file you are playing. so if you have your gain structure set up properly ie you dont have much more gain than you actually need to reach your preferred volume, then you do not lose DNR at all. what you do lower is SNR, because the noise floor of the equipment stays constant wrt to the signal input, which is being reduced in volume. in a decent dac, with sane amount of gain in your amp, by the time this becomes an issue, you should not even really be able to hear the music anymore.

analogue volume control, even the best kinds, start reducing DNR immediately, plus adding their own noise and thus lowering SNR in a static manner, but also attenuating the input noise
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Old 5th October 2012, 11:50 PM   #10
deandob is offline deandob  Australia
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I have just ordered one of these. I'm sure its not the last word in DACs but as I travel a lot, the very small size of this device will be perfect for listening when away from my main equipment with good quality earphones (now to remember to copy my lossless library over to my laptop....)
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