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Review and Measurements of Audirect Beam and AQ Dragonfly

amirm

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#21
Dang for Namit Amir! I offered to send you the IDEA. I also have the Zorloo. Now that would have been a face-off. Looks like the Audiodirect was a bad implementation: The IDEA using ESS' amp chip measured -120db on your previous dashboard. I myself was curious myself how it might have measured with your new setup, as I was thinking of using it as a pre-out. There the puny output wouldn't have mattered. BTW, something just doesn't doesn't sound right to me with the Zorloo. Too bad the AQ Black uses the opa 6130 amp, which despite the nice soft clipping, always displays those poor noise numbers.
So do you want to loan both to me for testing? I will send you my address in the conversation.
 
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#25
I found a toy D/A converter similar to that tiny silver thing pictured above in a puddle of rainwater the other day at our local shopping center car park. I was hoping it was a USB drive. It wasn't.

I left it in the puddle.
Never use a USB drive the that you find or don't know the provenance of. This is a simple, but effective malware delivery method that has caused some major compromises over the years.
 
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#26
The red has not come. I just contacted its owner again to see if he still plans on sending it.

I agree given where the Black is, a boost provided by red would make it a very good choice.
I might suggest it is audibly transparent.
https://www.stereophile.com/content...lack-usb-da-headphone-amplifiers-measurements

I know it's not Amir's measurements, but shows similar distortion levels to the Black(Edit:though a lower 3rd harmonic). I would not expect it to perform significantly better other than stronger power output.
The DragonFly Red should perform better than the Black, the Black outputs only 1.2V and isn't that great with higher impedance headphones. While the black at 2.1V should do better especially with higher impedance headphones. At -5dBFS into 30 ohms output for the 1kHz sine the Red's highest distorion shows a 2nd harmonic at about -82 dB, while the Black's highest distortion is at about -73 dB for the 3rd harmonic; almost 10 dB difference. At 150 ohms and 300 ohms it should be better for the Red, even at low impedance like 30 ohms and the -5dBFS being very high volume the Red should lower the distortion at appropiate listening levels. In the end they both show good graphs with no red flags, however the Black is almost useless in my opinion because it can't even manage a standard 2V output (it won't even drive so well a pair of powered speakers that will expect a bit more power) so it's exclusively for use with low impedance headphones that have high sensitivity.
 
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amirm

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#28
correction: they do say the Red outputs 2.1V and the Black is supposed to output 1.2V, so exactly within spec.
I meant outside of that.
 
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#30
I meant in the context of power output.
Sure, I was just trying to confirm that while using it I haven't noticed distortion nor hiss as the noise floor seems to be inaudible, compared to some other DACs like most that come with cellphones and laptops directly from the audio output jack. :) (I just forgot to elaborate and it was saved by the site after leaving it haha.)
 

Sw!tch

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#31
@amirm Hi Amir, from one older thread I know that you own Audioengine D3. Are you planning to test it sometimes soon? I will get it for xmas so I´m curious how well or bad it stands againts Dragonfly etc. . Thank you for all your hard work.
 
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amirm

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#32
@amirm Hi Amir, from one older thread I know that you own Audioengine D3.
I had forgotten about it. :) Someone else sent me a message for it. I need to go and find it....
 

Sw!tch

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#33
I had forgotten about it. :) Someone else sent me a message for it. I need to go and find it....
I hope you will find it then :D. In 2014 Archimago tested D3 and measurements were quite good. Only thing was that from 93%+ voulme in Windows D3 starts clipping. Below 92% everything was fine. Interesting is that he measured ouput impedance close to 10 ohm (as stated in offical specs at the time). But now is output impedance officialy 2 ohms. Seems like new revison or something. Question is which version do you have (10 or 2 ohms). Looking forward to this test/comparison. Thanks
 
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#34
Wow, the Beam is really disappointing. I'm so sorry for having suggested it to you in the first place, @amirm

And here I thought even a monkey couldn't screw up one of these SoC chipsets... I was wrong.
 

amirm

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#36
Wow, the Beam is really disappointing. I'm so sorry for having suggested it to you in the first place, @amirm
No worries. This is how we learn what is what....
 
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#37
It seems the. Sabaj DA3 is the best performing one currently, unless the July testing was still not polished enough.
 
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