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mansr

Dragonfly Black teardown

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4 hours ago, mansr said:

The plots below are all normalised so a 1 kHz tone at 0 dBFS has its peak at 0 on the graph.

 

Thanks, great! :)

 

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10 hours ago, mansr said:

The plots below are all normalised so a 1 kHz tone at 0 dBFS has its peak at 0 on the graph.

 

Ah, great.

At any next opportunity, try to have the Y-axis "normally dividable" for the small ticks. Now it is 4dB which is unworkable. Generally there should be a small tick in the middle between two large ticks. So if large ticks are at 110, 100, 90, 80, there should at least be small ticks at 105, 95, 85 (in this case the small ticks are formed by the grid).

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45 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

 

Ah, great.

At any next opportunity, try to have the Y-axis "normally dividable" for the small ticks. Now it is 4dB which is unworkable. Generally there should be a small tick in the middle between two large ticks. So if large ticks are at 110, 100, 90, 80, there should at least be small ticks at 105, 95, 85 (in this case the small ticks are formed by the grid).

Oh, and I prefer light green to the blue in the graphs.  Or then again, maybe we are being awfully picky about nice measurements provided by someone else?  Don't you think?

 

I agree with lining it up near 0 dbFS.  But come on, surely you can manage readings between the ticks.  

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On 16/11/2017 at 3:23 AM, mansr said:

(...) That's a fairly large amount of harmonic distortion, significantly higher than for example the iFi nano iDSD, which to be fair is a much larger and more expensive device. (...)

 

Did you publish measurements for the iFi?

If so, could you provide a link?

 

It would be very helpful if you would blog these.

 

R

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  That is a very interesting result. I have never heard the Dragonfly. But the feedback on the sound quality of these is way better than the measurements.

  I did buy a HRT dac when the first model came out. Did not sound very good. Later saw the measurements and they were terrible. Was using an Apogee Duet FW and it was in a different class than the HRT Streamer. 

  Since I have zero MQA files this feature is low importance to me. Liked seeing how a MQA dac could handle non encoded files in the Stereophile tests. Results looked the same as encoded files. 

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17 hours ago, Panelhead said:

  That is a very interesting result. I have never heard the Dragonfly. But the feedback on the sound quality of these is way better than the measurements.

 

There's nothing to be surprised about. People like what they like and their assessment is easily influenced by magazine reviews and hype...

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13 minutes ago, mansr said:

Moreover, while some of the graphs aren't pretty, and there are better-performing DACs, the distortions seen here are unlikely to be at an audible level when playing music. Human hearing just isn't all that great.

And people are generally listening for "sounds pleasing" instead of listening for "accurate reproduction" which is a difficult and not very effective task.

Ultimately if people buy-by-ear in spite of the added harmonic distortion, bit of jitter or some other performance shortcoming.

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5 hours ago, semente said:

 

There's nothing to be surprised about. People like what they like and their assessment is easily influenced by magazine reviews and hype...

 

Of course there is the notion that Audioquest is a trusted audiophile company, ergo they must produce only audiophile-grade gear.  That's a lot of the expectation bias for some when listening to their products.

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4 hours ago, mansr said:

Moreover, while some of the graphs aren't pretty, and there are better-performing DACs, the distortions seen here are unlikely to be at an audible level when playing music. Human hearing just isn't all that great.

Yes.  I greatly appreciate the work you have done in making all of these measurements. But you yourself are raising the natural question: Does it matter? What does your training/experience tell you as to which specific numbers should meaningfully influence our hearing?  Put differently, is there one specification in which the Dragonfly falls short that, if improved, would greatly change its sound quality; or is it only the combined effect of a series of shortfalls, all or most of which would need to be addressed in order to produce meaningfully better sound? 

 

My gut would focus on the 96Khz clock and its inability to lock in on a 44 or 48 kHz signal, but you might say: "as bad as that looks in the graphs, your ears can't really hear the difference..." 

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On ‎21‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 3:35 AM, Bufo Bill said:

While this does sound better than just my laptop on its own,

 

Actually I bought because Dragonfly sounds louder than my laptop lineout. Later I found out that my laptop soundcard, which is Conexant HD Audio, does sound better than Dragonfly. I should have bought headphone amplifier using the money. 

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What’s the alternative that the OP suggests as being cheaper and at least with the same performance as the black?

 

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Would love to see comparison measurements on the DF Red.  I have read numerous posts on other forums that the Black sounds horrible and the Red is great.  

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1 hour ago, blownsi said:

Would love to see comparison measurements on the DF Red.  I have read numerous posts on other forums that the Black sounds horrible and the Red is great. 

I have no intention of buying a Red. Sorry.

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1 hour ago, Vitor said:

What’s the alternative that the OP suggests as being cheaper and at least with the same performance as the black?

I don't recall making such a suggestion.

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On 11/13/2017 at 6:46 PM, mansr said:

Sounds like a driver issue. I have no problems at all with the standard usb-audio driver in Linux.

 

It supports up to 24/96. As for sound quality, it's not terrible, but neither is it spectacular. There are probably cheaper devices that perform just as well.

 

There you go.

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