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Review and Measurements of DACPort HD and Dragonfly Red

amirm

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#61
Repeating a question raised earlier here... I can see that the Dragonfly Red distorts at high volumes if directly connected to the headphones... But what if it was feeding into a clean amp like the JDS Atom or the THX AAA 789. Would it still distort coz now the volume on PC would be say 100% and the volume to the headphones would be managed by the amp pot manually. Is there a work around to avoid distortion in this setup? And what are the possible REAL upgrades to the Dragonfly Red worth the investment? Thanks
Sure, you can use these other amps for significantly better performance at higher volumes.
 
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#62
Will the DACPort HD work natively with Windows 7 without Drivers? I want to use this on my corporate laptop and am unable to install any add'l software to support the DAC.

If not, would the SMSL Idea or Musiland MU2 or Audioengine be the recommendation. This would be for HD6XX (650s) btw.
 

Veri

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#64

Noob

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#65
This kind of product always seemed silly to me. Looking at the housing/enclosure, it's hardly got much more room for anything but the ES9038Q2M chip. And at such high price..
I want to reserve judgement till I see measurements for it. Audioquest does not have measurements on their site, but hopefully there will be some in the future, either from Amir or some other testing facility.
 

Noob

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#66
Will the DACPort HD work natively with Windows 7 without Drivers? I want to use this on my corporate laptop and am unable to install any add'l software to support the DAC.

If not, would the SMSL Idea or Musiland MU2 or Audioengine be the recommendation. This would be for HD6XX (650s) btw.
Drivers are needed. Best to go with something driverless.
 
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#68
ES9038Q2M is one of the standard chips for higher end, portable applications. You will find plenty implementations of it from chinese companies.

Although others might not have the MQA feature.

Also, I mentioned it elsewhere, I'd like to see this tested, just so there is performance numbers on the web for others. They don't tell much about it apart from the ICs used. But wait, the "automotive grade" paintjob by itself must be worth 200 USD at least!
 
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#69
On the mobile side of things I would LOVE to see testing / review from Sonata HD DAC? I know many have been clamoring for the review for awhile now. I would like to know the numbers so I can make a decision on my next audio journey! :)
 
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#70
So, since the dacport HD needed a driver for Windows 10, I settled on the audioengine D3 for use with the corporate laptop. I'll use it with the senn 580 at work instead of the 650 as it's a little underpowered for those cans. I still would be interested in a dacport, but it looks like CEntrance is working on a new model.
 

amirm

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#71
On the mobile side of things I would LOVE to see testing / review from Sonata HD DAC? I know many have been clamoring for the review for awhile now. I would like to know the numbers so I can make a decision on my next audio journey! :)
Sorry about the late delay in measuring it. My backlog has become quite deep. I will see if I can get to it soon.
 

maty

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#74
MEASUREMENTS: Dragonflies! AudioQuest Dragonfly v1.2, Red, and Cobalt.

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2019/08/measurements-dragonflies-audioquest.html







At the end:

Looking on the bright side, maybe a firmware upgrade could improve things substantially. Maybe the power output can be set a bit more conservatively and target no more than 2.1Vrms output. Maybe their digital filter coefficients needs to be tweaked for lower distortion. I was hoping that I would keep this Dragonfly Cobalt as a portable USB DAC reference given the ESS Technology latest generation "9038" heritage. Alas, I'm not willing to wait for any potential firmware tweaks given what I hear and see. I'll be returning this one back to the store. Maybe next time, AQ.
 
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#76
Afaik, the Dacport is a power hog and not all that suitable for mobile use as the output buffer is biased to run in class-A mode or close, that's why it runs so warm.
Thanks for your input. I've been drowning in an ocean of DAC information and comparisons, here I was happy to see a clear winner, but does it really run warm? How about for 3 hours use maximum?
 

gvl

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#77
Thanks for your input. I've been drowning in an ocean of DAC information and comparisons, here I was happy to see a clear winner, but does it really run warm? How about for 3 hours use maximum?
On a mobile device? Not a chance. There was a bulkier version with an internal battery however.
 

VintageFlanker

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#79
Audioquest just announced the Dragonfly Coblat, with MQA support and ES9038Q2M chip.

View attachment 29126

https://www.audioquest.com/dacs/dragonfly/dragonfly-cobalt

299$...
New "review" from Sound and Vision...

Needless to say, not very helpful. The review ends on these words:
Price no object, can you buy better DAC-based headphone sound? Probably. Can you do so for less than two or three times the Cobalt's $299 price? Doubtful. Very doubtful.
:facepalm:
What the...? Seriously?! Aren't these reviewers getting sick to write the same thing about anything over and over?...

@amirm, please review the Cobalt for this doubtful guy, see if how it performs against $600-900 gears.:rolleyes:
 
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