Is AQ Dragon really that much better than Thunderbird?

I have a AQ Thunderbird I2s cable in my system that sounds fine. Is the Dragon really that much better and worth the extra $$$.

@dchang wrote reviews on both on here. His Thunderbird lost battle during DSMk1 days of yesteryear.

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And don’t forget the Firebird. I had a Thunderbird and think at the right price/trade (thank you TMR) it was a worthy upgrade between my Jay’s Audio CDT3 and Mola Mola Tambaqui.

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Can you point me to that review?

It has been a few years since I owned AQ Thunder, and all I remember is they were very different sounding cables. Dragon in my all PSA system (except I had DS 1 and a different streamer), the improvement was significant. I remember I heard so much more details as a result of black-hole like background, and a much smoother delivery from Dragon than Thunder. But the greatest strength of Dragon is on how it does to high frequency. Simply put it is silky smooth and pure, without a hint of brightness. No other power cords I have heard to this date can match with its beautiful treble, yet.

However, the power cords differences are system dependent, and the more revealing the system is the more you would hear the difference. AQ cables, especially their higher ends, are particularly suitable with PSA products. They are used to develop PSA gear.

Reading your original post I noticed you were asking about HDMI 48 series. I never compared Thunder 48, I did a review with AQ Dragon48, Firebird48, and Coffee back then, but never Thunderbird.

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Great, can you point me or post that review.

I’m out of door now, but you can do a search on Dragon vs Firebird to find it. I’m not available for the next few hours.

Got it. Thanks so much!

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The Dragon is the best. Clarity and detail it is unmatched.

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I own both, Dragon48 is better. I would upgrade if you can find one on the used market, but I wouldn’t rush to buy one at retail MSRP. Thunderbird48 is still very good.

There is a review out there where a couple of people compared every cable in the 48 lineup for both audio & video and each was an incremental upgrade over the last. For video the benefits diminished at around Cinnamon/Carbon level but for audio kept increasing all the way through Dragon48. This has been my experience also. I’ll see if I can find it.

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Thanks, you gave me the idea to use my Thunderbird 48 for my Direct TV to Samsung TV. I no longer need the Thunderbird 48 for an I2S connection.

Now I see, and hear, what an $800 cable can do for an $800 TV. Huge difference between a generic $30 HDMI cable and the Thunderbird.

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Cables don’t make any difference. Ignore anyone who says otherwise.


Couldn’t agree more! Don’t waste your money for nothing! In audiophile world only coffee machines matter… and gear’s color (BLACK).


Okay, let me be serious.
Cables are the most slippery slope. Once you start, you may never stop.

The first “Audiophile” Power cable I ever bought cost me $800. I put up a major fuss. I used everything in the book to try and avoid it. $800!

The last Power cable I bought cost me $13,500. And I was thinking I got a really good deal.

As Rabbit holes go, the Cable Rabbit Hole is Bottomless!

Be careful how you proceed!


Well said


Yes, the cable thing is a wormhole in space and time. Finding a blend is like tube-rolling to me. I actually went way over my head about nine years ago and bought a loom of VooDoo Cable top of the line interconnects for all components. . . that have been like a sign post to the best possible that I only really have caught up to in the last few years. They have never been my weakest link. With tube rolling, P15 settings and gain-riding my full loom of PS Audio AC-15 power cables and xStream Resolution Reference speaker cables have been a great fit for the system. I’ve jumped off the cable bandwagon at the same time that my audio funds dwindled.

These cables are the tools that faithfully deliver what’s on my discs and allow me to shape the presentation I most admire. I’m glad I went there, I’m glad I was able to go there.

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Once you have your system more or less set (as in no major component changes in the foreseeable future) and dialed in one can get rather serious regarding cable upgrades. Try before buy is my motto regarding cables, that and have a budget.


Try before you buy? I never did any of that. It was always buy before you try. The only thing I bought from George that he had in stock were the Vivid Spirit speakers. And when I heard them for the first time I said “oh hell no” every 30 seconds.

So the only thing I tried was the speakers, and they were a complete no way for me. All the Gryphon gear was order and wait. Turntable as well. The Grimm MU1 was my idea. Fun.

Try before you buy. Hmmm.

I am glad I was able to get over my oh hell no feelings about the Spirits. I love them completely.

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Maybe I am just more patient. :rofl: