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AudioQuest DragonFly Red DAC

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Has anybody tried the new AudioQuest DragonFly Red DAC? It has been getting good reviews and it seems to be the perfect form factor and price for me.

I bet AudioQuest has been making a lot of money from this gadget in the last couple of years.

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Thanks for the recommendation – I'll see if I can try it out at my local dealer. I'd like to combine it with the JitterBug out of my laptop.

Edited by HiWire

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Good info from Gordon Rankin.

Kind of a big leap of faith with the writer making this statement however:

Bringing it all back home, the iFi iPurifier 2 likely improves the sound of the Sonicorbiter SE because it minimises transmission errors by making lighter work for the Mytek Brooklyn’s USB receiver chip.

I would think that the purifier may be changing the error(s), but whether it is actually minimizing anything can't really be determined without looking at it as Mr. Rankin does.

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Yes, that sentence jumped out at me too. It sounded a lot more like marketing copy than a serious analysis. Without measurements and technical descriptions, we fall back to audiophile mumbo jumbo.

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Naw, it's just not great writing. The format of the piece - writer says gadget works > expert explains the problem the gadget addresses > writer weaves said explanation into his summary, is sound enough. He just didn't tie the threads together all that well. He could have simply let the reader make their own connection. He could have directed Rankin a little closer to the issue at hand. He could have framed his wild speculation in a transparent but yet amusing way. Woulda coulda shoulda. It's not an easy thing, especially when most publishing today has zero editorial supervision or quality control. [insert dead serious rant about how we can destroy our society this way here].

I have a lot of sympathy for reviewers and especially for the people who have to write advertising copy for high end audio goods. (imagine yourself trying to write a fifty word copy block for a cable ad.) Human nature flat out demands a "technical explanation" of why a gizmo works, whether or not that information is actually available. Our man here listened to the gizmo and said the gizmo works. He quoted some pretty reasonable-sounding PR from the manufacturer. He brought us a lovely primer from Rankin. He did all kinds of good work, but he felt he just HAD to go that one extra step and it detracted from his piece. Still, on balance, his review gives pretty good value for money, given that we got ti free and he probably made chump change writing it.  He hipped us to two promising gizmos and gave us the Rankin bit. 

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I like the look of this...  I was looking for something to feed the dynalo mini on road trips.  I'm guessing there's nothing small like this with a balanced output?

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That looks really cool.  Price is a bit high at $499 but like Terrence Howard says in Hustle & Flow "If you want quality, you got to pay for it"

I see one on Ebay for $379

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I have one of the HRTs and use it daily, although I am getting deaf, so not sure if it's any good.  I'm certainly happy with it.  

I also had its predecessor, although it didn't have standard TRS or XLR outputs, so I needed to get special cables made.  

I also have one of the Steinberg UR22MkII, with ADC and DAC made by Yamaha, I believe, but I use that for recording.  The big difference with the MkII is the sample rate, I believe, so before you see the Mk1 for $75 and cheaper used and go out and buy one, you may want to look at its sample rate and make sure it is adequate for your needs.

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I wouldn't like to pay more than 200 for a USB powered DAC. The downfall of these devices usually is dependability on USB power, therefore performance will vary depending on USB quality.

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Agreed...  I'd like to see 192/24 support and small form factor because of road/business trips.  The HRT looks like it fits my needs.  Now to find one that's reasonably priced.  Looks like they can be had for $375 new

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Well, there's always RME Babyface Pro. I'd pay top dollar for that, if I'd need one. My company uses the old Babyface and it's pretty darn good.

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Can't. 

2 hours ago, sbelyo said:

Agreed...  I'd like to see 192/24 support and small form factor because of road/business trips.  The HRT looks like it fits my needs.  Now to find one that's reasonably priced.  Looks like they can be had for $375 new

Yeah, I would think you'd be able to find the older version -- the Music Streamer Pro -- for even cheaper, but I just took a quick Google, and only found the one for $399.  It goes up to 96/24.  Trying to remember what I did with mine...I'm horrible at sending people stuff, so I probably still have it somewhere.  If you can find a used one of the HD for even less than $375, then yes, that'd be the way to go, I would think.

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I think the AQ series uses Gordon Rankin's Streamlength coding, it doesn't seem to be specified for HRT's products if the async portion of things was a concern.

I only bring it up because I use Rankin's stuff for my home system's USB > spdif conversion, and I also own the original AQ Dragonfly.

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On 4/28/2017 at 10:03 AM, RudeWolf said:

Well, there's always RME Babyface Pro. I'd pay top dollar for that, if I'd need one. My company uses the old Babyface and it's pretty darn good.

That thing is legit...  If and when money is no object, it will be mine...

 

On 4/28/2017 at 0:01 PM, Dusty Chalk said:

Can't. 

Yeah, I would think you'd be able to find the older version -- the Music Streamer Pro -- for even cheaper, but I just took a quick Google, and only found the one for $399.  It goes up to 96/24.  Trying to remember what I did with mine...I'm horrible at sending people stuff, so I probably still have it somewhere.  If you can find a used one of the HD for even less than $375, then yes, that'd be the way to go, I would think.

96/24 is still fine for a portable imo...  If you can find it let me know.  I made an offer on one that drops signal every few minutes on ebay.  I tried calling HRT but their number is disconnected and no email response as of yet.  Hard to say what's up with them.

I'm hoping the one on ebay was just being hooked up to a crappy USB port or a bad cable or something.

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They counter offered too high for my taste.  If I knew I could get in touch with HRT I'd take the chance

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I think I might try the dragonfly red to start out with.  I can always give it to my son when I'm done with it

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