Chord Electronics - Blu Mk. 2 - The Official Thread
Oct 14, 2017 at 6:17 AM Post #1,786 of 4,897

Malcyg

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I am comparing the Dave alone with the BluDave and I find consistently that while dynamics and overall sound quality are improved, the volume I am getting out of the BluDave is a few dB less than straight through the USB. Anyone have the same observation? I am connecting my Dave/BluDave from my SOtM sMS1000SQ.

Yep, minus 3db. All this has been covered before, but the thread is getting long.
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 6:20 AM Post #1,787 of 4,897

lojay

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Yes you need to increase the volume by 3dB to cover the insertion loss of the WTA filter. This loss provides headroom so that the filter never clips under transient conditions.

Thanks Rob for your response. My apologies for going through questions that have been covered before. The issue I face however is that I am driving speakers directly from the BluDave, and this translates to having to play sounds at around 0 dB to +4 dB. Hope this does not translate to significant loss of resolution.

Anyway as we speak I am playing the La La Land Soundtrack which sounded quite unbearable on the Dave alone but sounds extremely musical and engaging on the BluDave.
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 6:25 AM Post #1,788 of 4,897

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Thanks Rob for your response. My apologies for going through questions that have been covered before. The issue I face however is that I am driving speakers directly from the BluDave, and this translates to having to play sounds at around 0 dB to +4 dB. Hope this does not translate to significant loss of resolution.

Anyway as we speak I am playing the La La Land Soundtrack which sounded quite unbearable on the Dave alone but sounds extremely musical and engaging on the BluDave.

When my Dave is connected to Blu2 I play Dave at around +4 dB into my preamp. It sounds great and you should be fine.
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 6:39 AM Post #1,789 of 4,897

Rob Watts

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Thanks Rob for your response. My apologies for going through questions that have been covered before. The issue I face however is that I am driving speakers directly from the BluDave, and this translates to having to play sounds at around 0 dB to +4 dB. Hope this does not translate to significant loss of resolution.

Anyway as we speak I am playing the La La Land Soundtrack which sounded quite unbearable on the Dave alone but sounds extremely musical and engaging on the BluDave.

With BluDave you can go to +7dB before worrying about clipping.

There is no loss in resolution with the scaling; the Blu 2 OP noise shapers has a noise floor below -400dB, so it preserves the in-band signal perfectly.
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 6:45 AM Post #1,790 of 4,897

Jawed

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I’m not debating the merits of ferrites or that it can be a very good way of getting better or equal sound (for less money) than the very best digital cables provide.
I think we're in agreement.

I'm assuming that each person is acting sceptically: they will not believe what's posted on this thread. Instead they will only believe what they find when they test in their own system.

The logic you present is true, but some people will still attempt to contradict that logic because they will report that the ferrites on a cheap cable sound worse in their test than their "audiophile" cable. You and I know that their test is not a refutation of the logic, but they will continue to claim it is.

It’s the logic of that it’s totally immune to the digital cable and then calming big pros by using ferrites on a digital cable.
From the videos linked by GraveNoX on the DAVE thread, we have this:



which shows how BNC cables do vary, seemingly because of the quality of the weave, which is presumably causing a variation in the bandwidth of the cable.

The high bandwidth probes he also shows have "switchable bandwidth" and the effect is clear in the video. The probes in 1x mode are filtering out higher frequency noise though, as that's by design.

In the end it seems that ferrites will always improve a BNC cable, so long as enough ferrites are used. Any variation in BNC cables used for the digital connection is small in comparison with the use of ferrites.

The audiophile cable manufacturers can make a difference in performance with the weave, but it would be better if they just fitted the cable with lots of built-in ferrites.
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 9:09 AM Post #1,791 of 4,897

bigfatpaulie

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I know when DAVE came out there was a lot of talk about USB and network devices like the mR, SotM, etc. Does the Blu2 have the same USB implementation where a network device is still preferable? I realize most DAVE owners already have a network streamer so it's the default now, but has anyone taken it out of the chain to see if it still adds?
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 11:05 AM Post #1,792 of 4,897

Sonic77

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I had to wait 8 months for my Blu2 and so I know your pain but now that I have it, I can assure you, it's worth the wait. It makes a much bigger difference than DAVE did against my previous TotalDac. There's simply no substitute for resolution and the Blu2 provides it more than any other digital source in the world. Moreover, Blu2's filters have greater musicality.

I just received my Hugo2 and it is every bit as good as I recall when I first heard it. While not as good as DAVE, it is closer to DAVE than it is to the original Hugo. I have now paired it with Blu2 and just like with DAVE, its impact is massive. I would take Hugo2 + Blu2 over DAVE by itself if forced to choose although Blu2 + DAVE will take you to the very top of the summit.

What is interesting is that Hugo2 and its 1 watt of output at 8 ohms drives my Voxativs very satisfyingly even though DAVE drives them better. As I compare Hugo2 driving my Voxativs directly against my DAVE feeding my Pass Labs amplifiers which then power my Martin Logan Renaissance ESL15A electrostatic speakers (yes, I have now officially purchased these), Hugo2 directly driving my Voxativs results in better detail resolution, depth and transparency than my Martin Logan setup and by a significant margin. At this stage, my near field Voxativ setup is the much more satisfying setup. It could be that the Voxativs are more resolving than the Martin Logans but I'm more inclined to believe these Pass Labs monoblocks are the culprit.

Before I denounce these $13.5k Pass Labs XA60.8 monoblocks (which I am currently borrowing), I found them to contain nearly all the class A sweetness of the much more expensive VAC Statement 450 while also harboring all the dynamics of the Constellation Inspiration Stereo Amp that I have also auditioned. I think the problem is with amplifiers (and preamplifiers) in general. They just get in the way and they significantly impact Blu2's performance. If ultimate fidelity to the original musical performance is the goal, I will go out on a limb and predict that Rob's digital amplifiers will have a larger impact on 2-channel speaker listening than Blu2. As good as Blu2 is, the negative impact of amplifiers and preamps is even greater.

As far as my digital source, yes, this makes a big difference with BluDave. I believe more and more are starting to realize this for themselves, even those who have been doubters. What I am finding with my current source is the very significant reduction of glare against a basic PC or Mac and even against many audiophile-class servers. The reduction of glare with this source is much greater than the reduction of glare that Blu2 by itself brings to DAVE suggesting that sources are a huge source of noise and Blu2's defenses are not enough by themselves. As you reduce glare, detail clarity, dynamic contrasts (especially microdynamics), air, and soundstage size all improve. While previously, I found CD playback from Blu2 superior to playback from my Mac Mini, with my current source, this gap no longer exists and for many recordings, including Tidal streams, it is now very much the opposite. Having gotten accustomed to this absence of glare for some time now, during my time at RMAF, I found myself extremely sensitive to the large amounts of glare in most of the digital sources that I heard. For sure, there is much to be gained by paying attention to your source with BluDAVE.

Hey romaz,
Great to see you posting here! I really enjoy your insights on all things audio.
I am being patient, I don't have a choice, lol. I read this thread to get all the updated info and impressions of the Blu. Rob doesn't recommend expensive bnc cables and to use ferrites and to have them 2 meters long, so this I can do. What cables do you use to connect your Hugo 2 to the Blu? I'm looking forward to Robs' digital amps, I hope they come powerful, because my maggies 3.7i need lots and lots of power to sing, 1000 (Rob) watts please. The other thing I'm looking forward to are Davina recordings played thru the blu/dave, that should be an experience. You are way out there with your source, I'm positive it sounds out of this world, I need some catching up to do.

Did you know the lead time to deliver of Blu2?
No, I was told six weeks, now two more weeks, and that they are trickling out one at a time, so with that said, no definite date. I may get the Hugo 2 sooner then the Blu.
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 3:16 PM Post #1,794 of 4,897

analogmusic

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Thanks Rob for your response. My apologies for going through questions that have been covered before. The issue I face however is that I am driving speakers directly from the BluDave, and this translates to having to play sounds at around 0 dB to +4 dB. Hope this does not translate to significant loss of resolution.

Anyway as we speak I am playing the La La Land Soundtrack which sounded quite unbearable on the Dave alone but sounds extremely musical and engaging on the BluDave.

I'm quite impressed by these descriptions of Blu2.

Which interconnects are you using though?
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 3:19 PM Post #1,795 of 4,897

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I'm quite impressed by these descriptions of Blu2.

Which interconnects are you using though?

Err, he hasn’t got anything to interconnect between. Dave straight into speakers.
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 4:10 PM Post #1,796 of 4,897

Sonic77

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I ordered my Blu2 in May, but still waiting :frowning2: My understanding is that there are issues with the black ones (some case manufacturing issue), but that silvers are easier to get right now. Can't wait to be able to hear it in person
At this rate I may not receive a blu until May 2018 or later. I got all excited for nothing, lol.
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 6:23 PM Post #1,797 of 4,897

romaz

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I know when DAVE came out there was a lot of talk about USB and network devices like the mR, SotM, etc. Does the Blu2 have the same USB implementation where a network device is still preferable? I realize most DAVE owners already have a network streamer so it's the default now, but has anyone taken it out of the chain to see if it still adds?

I no longer use an Ethernet endpoint like the microRendu or sMS-200. They have their positives but also their negatives. My setup is now straight USB. I have found that if you decide to use a single box machine as both your server and renderer and if you carefully pick out your low power components, replace bad clocks, and power everything with the lowest noise, lowest impedance PSU you can find, this kind of setup can be superior to the Ethernet endpoints. Moreover, you also now have the flexibility of using Chord's ASIO driver for Windows which I have found to be superior in some ways to the built-in drivers that the Linux-based endpoints use. For example, with Chord's ASIO driver, you can play DSD files natively up to DSD512 without skips or pauses. Furthermore, you have greater options with software players including video options like YouTube, Vimeo, Blu-Ray playback, etc. My particular server draws less than 10 watts and generates very little heat. Running it 24/7, I have not had to reboot it once due to a lockup.

While my build is more complicated than many will care to undertake, it is actually quite straightforward. As I evaluated different motherboards, CPUs, RAM, storage devices, output cards, PSUs, clocks, anti-vibration devices and cables, I was able to appreciate the individual contribution of each of these items and while the individual impact of some of these components may be small, their impact is easily heard with BluDave, otherwise, I would not have bothered to include them. Their collective impact, however, is quite large and I could never see myself going back to a simple Mac or PC. If I had to point out the 2 areas that had the greatest impact, it is the PSU and the replacement of noisy clocks. This is not the place to detail the specifics of my build but for those interested, here is a link:

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/...reaming/?page=153&tab=comments#comment-724987

Having done all this, I have a few servers coming in for evaluation including the Zenith SE and the new Antipodes DX Gen3. I am always open to someone creating something better.
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 6:28 PM Post #1,798 of 4,897

romaz

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No, I was told six weeks, now two more weeks, and that they are trickling out one at a time, so with that said, no definite date. I may get the Hugo 2 sooner then the Blu.

Some U.S. dealers have immediate stock of silver Hugo2s. I received my silver Hugo2 within a week and a half. Having spoken to Chord's U.S. distributor at RMAF last weekend, they have gotten their backlog of orders for Blu2 down to 8 and so it seems the supply stream may be picking up. Hopefully, you'll see yours soon.
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 7:08 PM Post #1,800 of 4,897

adyc

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I no longer use an Ethernet endpoint like the microRendu or sMS-200. They have their positives but also their negatives. My setup is now straight USB. I have found that if you decide to use a single box machine as both your server and renderer and if you carefully pick out your low power components, replace bad clocks, and power everything with the lowest noise, lowest impedance PSU you can find, this kind of setup can be superior to the Ethernet endpoints. Moreover, you also now have the flexibility of using Chord's ASIO driver for Windows which I have found to be superior in some ways to the built-in drivers that the Linux-based endpoints use. For example, with Chord's ASIO driver, you can play DSD files natively up to DSD512 without skips or pauses. Furthermore, you have greater options with software players including video options like YouTube, Vimeo, Blu-Ray playback, etc. My particular server draws less than 10 watts and generates very little heat. Running it 24/7, I have not had to reboot it once due to a lockup.

While my build is more complicated than many will care to undertake, it is actually quite straightforward. As I evaluated different motherboards, CPUs, RAM, storage devices, output cards, PSUs, clocks, anti-vibration devices and cables, I was able to appreciate the individual contribution of each of these items and while the individual impact of some of these components may be small, their impact is easily heard with BluDave, otherwise, I would not have bothered to include them. Their collective impact, however, is quite large and I could never see myself going back to a simple Mac or PC. If I had to point out the 2 areas that had the greatest impact, it is the PSU and the replacement of noisy clocks. This is not the place to detail the specifics of my build but for those interested, here is a link:

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/...reaming/?page=153&tab=comments#comment-724987

Having done all this, I have a few servers coming in for evaluation including the Zenith SE and the new Antipodes DX Gen3. I am always open to someone creating something better.
Great work from you. It seems your server costs a lot of money to build and let alone all the parts you experimented. On the scale of 100, if your server is 100, what score will you rate sms200ultra and UltraRendu?
 

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