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  1. captblaze
    good value or not, I will be auditioning one with full intentions of emptying my bank account in its pursuit.   thanks for the write up.
    captblaze, Jul 30, 2016
  2. Music Alchemist
    Loved this review. If you could compare the DAVE in more detail to the Yggdrasil sometime, that would be awesome!
    Music Alchemist, Jul 30, 2016
  3. miketlse
    I have just put a link to this review on the What HiFi forum.
    miketlse, Jul 30, 2016
  4. Sonic77
    It's a shame you haven't tried the Dave on a big speaker system, I think that is where it really shines. Talk about depth and holographic sound. I listened with headphones for about 15 seconds when I first got the Dave and havent listened since. I just bought the sennhaiser 800s, so you motivated me to give another longer listen. This is the ultimate Dac bar none.
    Sonic77, Jul 30, 2016
  5. Currawong
    I think the best thing to do regarding the Yggy is to compare the full Ragnarok/Yggdrasil stack against the DAVE. There would be pros and cons for each.
    Currawong, Jul 30, 2016
  6. Sweden
    What poorly made 14k tube amp are you referring to?
    Sweden, Jul 30, 2016
  7. Currawong
    @sweden A Singlepower one. They are long defunct, for various reasons which a forum search for "Singlepower" in thread titles will explain.
    Currawong, Jul 30, 2016
  8. Music Alchemist
    That would be a good comparison, but I think it would be even better to connect both DACs to the same amp via XLR. That way, the variables are isolated and you can get a better grasp of how the DACs differ. (This is more relevant to those who wish to—or have to—use an external amp regardless.)
    Music Alchemist, Jul 30, 2016
  9. romaz
    I think Chord is not that eager to keep having the DAVE compared to DACs that sell for a fraction of what the DAVE costs, especially as there has been much already written about such DACs against the DAVE on the DAVE thread here on Head-Fi.  Yes, the DAVE is better than these DACs as it should be but all that people seem to focus on when compared against a less expensive DAC is the high price of the DAVE, which is a shame.    What people should realize is that Rob's target with the DAVE was to be the best there is and there are many of us who believe he and Chord have succeeded.  I believe the objective measurements posted by Jude and others bear this out and the more than 3,100 posts here on Head-Fi (unheard of for a Summit-Fi DAC) support this assertion as well.  Given that some of the other DACs that also vie for the title of "best DAC in the world" sell for over $100,000 and given that the DAVE is not just a brilliant DAC but also happens to include as a bonus the most transparent headphone amp in the world, the DAVE should be looked at as a bargain.
    romaz, Jul 31, 2016
  10. Music Alchemist
    [user=355751]@romaz[/user] Yes, I am aware that some feel the DAVE is superior to even the most expensive DACs out there, and due to that it is a bargain for some. But what I am most interested in is how it specifically compares to the Yggdrasil. This is not meant to imply that the Yggdrasil is (or could be) better; I just want to learn more about the differences between the two DACs. I have read a number of comparisons, but there are only a few I have come across, and they do not really provide much information.
    Music Alchemist, Jul 31, 2016
  11. Sweden
    There is another review/impression comment I saw where the hole Chord line up was compared vs Yggdrasil. Not sure it was Amos on another site or someone else. He had he same feelings about the DAVE vs Yggdrasil as Amos does. The other Chord products inferior in any way.
    Sweden, Jul 31, 2016
  12. Currawong
    @sweden Don't think it would have been me. 
    Currawong, Jul 31, 2016
  13. x RELIC x
    [user=384889]@Music Alchemist[/user], I'd say you will want to look at [user=433805]@Torq[/user]'s comparison of the DAVE to the Yggy - [url=http://www.head-fi.org/t/804153/life-after-yggdrasil/315#post_12706590]LINK[/url]. Probably the most comprehensive you'll find on Head Fi.
    x RELIC x, Jul 31, 2016
  14. Music Alchemist
    [user=392151]@x RELIC x[/user] Yes, I have read that one, and even it barely provides any info. A lot better than nothing, of course, but I want to know how they actually sound, and with all genres of music too. I know nothing beats hearing for yourself, but I don't have that luxury at the moment. What he said about the improvements being in every category is both reassuring and concerning, because I don't know whether they would be significant enough to justify the much higher price. (For me and undoubtedly others as well.). He did say each categorical improvement was small, though the effect is cumulative. Sure, it's nice to think about it being better than DACs that cost more than some houses, but for the vast majority of Head-Fi'ers, that has no relevance, because in all likelihood, they have not heard (not to mention cannot afford) those exotic DACs. What more of us want to know is precisely how much better it is than something we can afford much more easily, and I do not believe the available information is sufficient. Don't get me wrong. The price *is* attractive to me considering its stellar reputation; I'm just worried about it not being as much of an improvement as I would hope. If it's a dramatic improvement and makes most or all music sound so much better it blows my mind, then it would be a no-brainer. On the other hand, if the improvements are barely noticeable with lots of music, that would be a problem. I'm stuck between having a desire for the best sound regardless of cost and being afraid that that best sound would be only slightly better than something that costs less than 20% as much. I know my comments on this review aren't going to get me the information I seek, but if anyone has heard these two DACs (preferably with all types of music and with an SR-009 system) and has enough insights to write an in-depth comparison (not vague, brief impressions) of how they differ in every category, please feel free to PM me with that info or a link to it if it was published.
    Music Alchemist, Jul 31, 2016
  15. FiftyKilo
    can daves amp drives the Abyss to full bloom ? Thanks !
    FiftyKilo, Aug 6, 2016
  16. romaz
    [user=384889]@Music Alchemist[/user], Rob Watts' goal with the DAVE was transparency rather than any certain kind of lush or rich tonality.  To be specific, he sought out to perfectly recreate the original analog wave form before it was sampled by the ADC and while current technology doesn't yet fully allow this, he went as far as he could with the DAVE (164,000 taps using 166 DSP cores which was previously unheard of).  To be able to achieve full transparency from a practical standpoint (where the ear can no longer discern between the DAC's recreated analog wave form and the original analog wave form), he has indicated you would need about 1,000,000 taps and 100,000 DSP cores and so obviously, there is a ways to go.  To put DAVE's performance in perspective, the Hugo has only 26,368 taps using 16 DSP cores.  Is Chord the only DAC that believes in the importance of taps?  Here is what MSB has to say:   [url=http://www.msbtech.com/products/32xdf.php?Page=platinumHome]http://www.msbtech.com/products/32xdf.php?Page=platinumHome[/url]   Like Rob, MSB believes you need an infinite amount of taps to recreate the original analog signal (although Rob has suggested 1,000,000 taps would get you to a point where your ear can't tell) but then look at the number of taps MSB has in their best filter, an "amazing 6,000" taps.     So if you're goal with your DAC is true fidelity to the recording, nothing will bring you closer than the DAVE.     The reason some may not hear a great difference from one DAC to another with certain recordings is the recording itself.  For poorly recorded material or for certain flat studio recordings, there's just not much there.  Also, some recordings are more challenging than others to the extent many DACs can do a credible job.  Lastly, there is the matter of the other components in your audio chain.  If you will be connecting the DAVE to your headphone amp using a $1.99 pair of interconnects that you bought at Radio Shack and you will be using the stock earbuds that came with your iPhone, then you will never realize the DAVE's potential.     I believe the DAVE has the potential to reveal the limitations of any recording or any piece of equipment you own, even if you own a $500,000 2-channel speaker setup, and it will scale to as good as you have to give it.  With even compressed 320k mp3 files, it will retrieve all the detail that is in that track that will remain buried with other DACs.     Where most DACs will stumble is with that elusive quality that we call depth.  It is 2D vs 3D.  With unamplified performances recorded in an acoustical space, witness for yourself how the DAVE can run circles around other DACs, where the music will have a much more realistic dimensional quality to it.  I'm not talking about studio recordings with artificial reverb added but rather simple dual mic recordings made in a concert hall or arena.     With respect to timbre, notice how most DACs will make all violins sound the same.  Most people don't even give this a second thought.  A violin is a violin.  My colleague, who...
    romaz, Aug 6, 2016
  17. romaz
    [user=408931]@FiftyKilo[/user], it depends on what you mean by bloom.  The DAVE adds no harmonics to the sound like tubes would.  Can it power the Abyss sufficiently?  Yes, with my Abyss, I rarely have to go beyond -10dB.  At 0dB, it is ear splitting.
    romaz, Aug 6, 2016
  18. Music Alchemist
    [user=355751]@romaz[/user] I am aware of the technical info related to the DAVE. But all I care about is how much better it sounds than the Yggdrasil. Torq told me that it's literally only a few percent better, so I'm not sure if that would be a significant enough improvement for me to spend so much more on it. I'd have to spend time with both to know.
    Music Alchemist, Aug 6, 2016
  19. romaz
    [user=384889]@Music Alchemist[/user], yes, I would never consider buying anything as important as a DAC without hearing it first, especially something at this price point and so hopefully enough opinions have been expressed to suggest that an audition is worthwhile.  While one person will say they barely hear a difference, another recent comment just a few days ago suggested the DAVE wiped the floor with the Yggy.  You can't account for personal tastes and the quality of the recordings that you listen to and the equipment you have will matter.    In my view, the purpose of a DAC is to be faithful to the recording and so the best that a DAC can sound if you value transparency is to have no sound.  If you were to travel to Timbuktu and you didn't speak the native language but had an interpreter with you, during the course of a conversation, are you interested in having the interpreter provide you an embellished and flowery interpretation of the conversation are or you interested in an accurate portrayal of what is actually being said.  If you are looking for a warmth or a certain organic bloom that isn't in the recording, the DAVE won't provide it.  If you're looking to extract the rich detail and depth that is in the recording and you have the equipment to reveal it, I don't think you will be disappointed.   As for the value of the DAVE, only the individual listener can assign a value to a component and the DAVE certainly isn't for everyone.  Is the DAVE 5.8x better than the Yggdrasil?  No, but is the Yggdrasil 23x better than an AQ Dragonfly?  Unfortunately, this is the nature of this crazy hobby.
    romaz, Aug 6, 2016