Audioquest Dragonfly

Hi, does anyone try the Audioquest Dragonfly and if so how is it? I am looking into a simple DAC for my system and I was looking into this. Should I look else where? Thanks
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I am very impressed with it with Sennheiser HD580 headphones. It drives them really well (good synergy) - so an added bonus could be headphone capability. If you are using it in a fixed location, my gut feeling is that you could spend an extra hundred or so and get somewhat better sound. Cabling and strain relief can be an issue with the Dragonfly to a distant stereo input - and I doubt you want to keep your computer right next to your stereo.
If your system is computer based, the Dragonfly is outstanding. I use it on my desktop and laptop system and the sound on my hi res files and mp3's is much more defined and satisfying through the Audioengine A2 speakers. I am also using either Audrivana or Channel D to run files through. For the money, I think it's a real value. Lot's of bang for the buck and really well made. I agree with Peter_s about how the Dragonfly can strain the USB slot, especially on a laptop computer. I also agree that for 100-200 more you can get a better sounding DAC that will deliver better sound all around. The new Micromedia MyDac is one to watch that could do double duty for a computer or home system. But at 250, the Dragonfly is darn good.
I had a Dragonfly for 3 weeks. I agree with Peter_s; it matches up nicely with the Sennheiser 580s. It's really nice to get this really clean sound, some oommph behind the headphone signal, and analog volume control that doesn't toss away bits when you turn down the computer volume.

I took it back because--although I really liked what it did with headphone listening--I was looking for something to take the edge off the sound when I play lossless iTunes files through the stereo. This is nothing against the Dragonfly, but the things that made it work for me was installation of Audirvana Plus software, setting the upsampling to double the original sampling rate (so, for example 44.1 Khz files were upconverted to 88.2 Khz instead of 96), setting it to "hog mode" (i.e., turning off warning bells and automated backups), and using a sizable part of RAM to buffer the files before playing them. I keep my iTunes files on a portable USB drive, and until I used the Audirvana buffering, the sound was somewhat bleached and definitely not very dynamic. The buffering fixed that and then some.

For the $50 of Audirvana Plus I got what I was looking for--up to a point. The icing was when I swapped out an opamp line stage for a full tube line stage. That took the last of the digital rough edges off what I was hearing at the speakers.

I had already returned the Dragonfly before I changed line stages. I think that with the better line stage the Dragonfly would have added sparkle, clarity, and dynamics without the harshness inserted by the opamp-driven line stage.

The Audirvana is the inexpensive way to go for Mac owners. In addition to everything else I mentioned, you can use it independently as a music player or as a plug-in for iTunes. It also enables you to play FLAC files, including the hi-def downloads from HDTracks.

For Windows users, according to TAS J.River Media Center (JRMC) is the way to go and it largely provides the same sorts of controls and improvements for Windows as Audirvana does for the Mac.
I sometimes used a USB extension cord, both for strain relief and as an inexpensive way to reach the cabling to my stereo. I couldn't hear any difference between having the USB extension in and out of the signal chain. But I could hear differences between the internal DAC and the Dragonfly, and differences using Audirvana to buffer the music files and change the upsampling from 24/96 to 24/88.2 on redbook-based lossless iTunes files.

Like I said, the Dragonfly is a cool little item and extremely well made. It's particularly great at driving bigger headphones with improved dynamics and clarity. For my purposes the money was better spent at this time on Audirvana s/w feeding a real tube linestage.

If I did a lot of traveling with my laptop, I would get the Dragonfly to drive the Sennheiser 580s, or the Grado SR60s for that matter. Since my system is mostly home-based, if I try an asynchronous USB DAC again it will probably be the Musical Fidelity V-DAC MkII with Pangea power supply. My personal opinion is that voltage abundance and stability is the achilles heel of in-line USB DACs. After all, if the Pangea PS improves the sound of the V-DAC, how could an inline USB DAC compete with the miniscule voltage in USB?

Speaking of which, I think half the reason my new tube linestage sounds so smooth and organic is that the transformer is *enormous*. Too tall, in fact, to fit on my equipment rack.
The Dragonfly represents the evolution of portable audio, affordable and amazing performance.
Centrance products arent bad either.