How best to sum up Audioquest’s ability to produce effective and efficient hifi equipment than with their incredible Dragonfly DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amplifier? Bill Low has built his brand and products under the same principles of hard work and dedication.
Why We Chose Audioquest
AudioQuest have what we need for our headphone selection. A design fit for commuter and business people who travel every day and deserve their moments of comfort and escape with their favourite sounds. This brand has a friendly, efficient philosophy that also agrees with our standards. So, really, there is no reason why we shouldn’t have them on board!
Bill Low, a natural entrepreneur, started his career in audio at school by building Heathkit and Dynakit amps, preams and tuners for classmates. He invested the profits in records and upgrades for his own audio setup and eventually came to open his own hifi shop, in 1975. At the time, the shop was the biggest Linn Sondek dealer in the US. But after university, the time came to move to northern California and leave the shop to a friend. Bill became a manufacturer representative for various brands, among them Decca, Audionics, Koss Electrostatic, AEA, Dunlap Clarke and Celestion.
Realising that southern California and northern California had such different markets, Bill decided to move south to find out that his high-end devices were still not very successful. In conclusion, Bill simply wasn’t born a salesman. However, he carried on and 6 years later, started an appointment based shop in his living room and this is also where he came up with a brilliant Unique Selling Point: his own audio cables.
Cables were becoming more popular round 1976, with the Japanese Cobra Cable brought into the USA by Polk Audio.
Being born a tweaker, Bill understood how cables could change everything. So he created his own design that grew into what we now call Audioquest.
The brand was founded in 1980 and is based on empirical rather than theoretical know-how, which surprisingly came from a customer’s unusual request to make four conductors spiral together instead of two by two, so as to increase the cross sectional area. While testing, Bill realized how the speakers performance had improved and so decided to also create other variations. He soon started setting new standards with the LiveWiee Litz Green cable, which uses six conductors. These days, the trend with speaker cables is to have 4+ conductors.
Through another experiment, Bill learned how the thickness of PVC covering cables had made the 25-foot long cable sound better than the 10-foot long, which is not usually the case. Right at the beginning of the 80s, AudioQuest was already selling to 42 outlets in southern California and a dealer in Denver. Soon after, the brand showcased its products in CES Las Vegas and the following month, Audioquest had arrived in Europe and Asia.
Since then, Bill Low has been pursuing his mission to achieve perfect sound reproduction. With published work, “Cable Design; Theory versus Empirical Reality”, Bill presents the line of thinking and pertinent mistakes behind his status as an inventor.
The sub-brand, CinemaQuest, gained form with Bill’s 75Ω video and digital cables, dedicated designs for low distortion and adaptable to wide bandwidth applications.
This expertise and experimental drive has of course given way to the beautiful, Pen drive sized DragonFly, a USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp with a soft, matte feel. This fantastic little gadget has revolusionised the market once more, like other AudioQuest items. So we may simply say that this brand does not cease to amaze!