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Chord Electronics - Blu Mk. 2 - The Official Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by ChordElectronics, Jan 5, 2017.
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  1. JaZZ Contributor
    Yeah, not to forget: Triode User's transformer-based passive «preamp» also provides galvanic isolation. (I'm still in doubt that it does something, though.) [No, that's nonsense, forget it.]
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  2. Triode User

    It is too hot to work so I have been listening and trying to gather more information regarding what I hear when connecting the Dave/Blu2 direct to my valve power amps.

    1. Dave connected direct to the valve power amps.
    Dave volume set at -34dB for an enjoyable listening level.
    Sound is initially good with expressive bass. Nice mid range and also treble sounds nice.
    In short it sounds like 'Dave/Blu2'.
    Generally a 'yes I could live with this' sound.
    After a few minutes I begin to get into the music and try to pick out individual instruments and I realise it all just seems slightly 'woolly' and a tad less clear than I am used to.
    After 15 minutes this is really beginning to annoy me and I turn it off.

    2. Dave connected to the valve power amps via a Music First Classic V2 silver wound Transformer Volume Control pre amp.
    Dave at 0dB, Pre Amp at -34dB. Same listening volume as 1 above. (Not tested but it sounds like the same volume.)
    Instantly the sound is clearer, especially in the bass. Mid range is less confused. Generally a more spacious sound with a better sound stage.
    Really really enjoyable.
    After 15 minutes the only feeling I had was that I wanted to listen to this for the rest of the day.

    3. Dave connected to the valve power amps via a Music First Classic V2 silver wound Transformer Volume Control pre amp.
    Dave at -34dB, Pre Amp at 0dB. Same listening volume as 1 & 2 above.
    Sound is very similar to 1.

    To my mind there are two possible conclusions (three if you include my 63 year old ears in the equation).

    I do not think there is any issue with the Dave volume control. Rob Watts says the digital volume control does not degrade the sound and he knows better than anyone.

    There is therefore one option left and it must be that. Unfortunately I have decided to patent it and sell it so I cannot reveal it for commercial reasons.

    However, there is the distinct possibility that it is not just a matter of whether or not there is a pre-amp in between the Dave and the valve power amps.

    For the avoidance of doubt, there were the same number of cable lifters and equipment isolation supports in identical locations for all of the listening sessions! :sweat_smile:

    Edited to say that Red Virgin Soil on Agnes Obel's Citizen Of Glass is 2min43sec of bliss.
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
    onsionsi and JaZZ like this.
  3. JaZZ Contributor
    Interesting! Thanks for your info, Triode User! :baby: (Friends again?) :slight_smile:
  4. Triode User
    Don't worry, we never fell out. It is after all only hifi!

    I have a couple of theories about what is happening but first I want to let others hear what I am saying I hear (hence my dealer coming) just to make sure that I an not delusional. (Also I want to hear the newish Spendor SP200 to see what Spendor have been doing in the 25 years since I bought my S100 speakers).
  5. ray-dude
    Blu2 ordered!

    The last dedicated CD transport I bought was the original Nakamichi OMS-5A in 1984 (!) at the then astounding price of $1000 (that as a freshman in college I most definitely did not have). Now I'm buying a CD transport sight (and ear) unseen.

    If I recall, this (along with cats and dogs living together) is one of the portents of the End of Days.
    JaZZ likes this.
  6. Triode User
    Ah, well, the one and only other dedicated CD transport I ever bought prior to the Blu2 was a Meridian 602 in the late 80's with a then retail price of £1,760. I still have it and it works perfectly.

    You will not be disappointed with the Blu2
  7. oscarnr
    An obligatory exercise with the Blu2: to listen to all your favourite CDs (AIFF files in my case) to know how they sound. Rediscovering your library for sure!
  8. Jawed
    Try scenario 2 with DAVE set to +5dB. +5dB should not clip, since Blu 2 is -2.73dB and I believe the maximum volume on DAVE with standard CD before clipping is +3dB (or is it +4dB?).

    That might sound better.

    Now playing: Anja Lechner & Vassilis Tsabropoulos - Gurdjieff - Trois Morceaux après des hymnes byzantins
  9. miketlse
    Enjoy doing this.
    Many of us will soon be doing this at a slightly lower level, with our Hugo 2s (and maybe we will migrate to DAVE and M Scaler in a few years). But you Blu2 owners are laying the trail for us.
    maxh22 and oscarnr like this.
  10. strangecargo
    I have a DirectStream and I've found that hooking it directly up to an amp has... highly variable results, which I've always associated with the output transformer and impedance matching issues. At its worst, it can sound quite lifeless and flat directly driving some amps. DAVE, in comparison, seems to produce much more consistent and "correct" sounding results when hooked up directly to an amp in preamp mode.
    yakaway likes this.
  11. Triode User
    Ah, I see where you are coming from with that suggestion.

    I have just tried and I think you might be right.
  12. Malcyg
    My main listening is via Roon and, using Dave alone, I have always had phase on Dave set to positive after originally comparing both settings. I hadn't changed it all since getting the Blu II last week but today I changed it to negative just out of interest and have found that I prefer it that way with Blu II in the system. I found a greater sense of focus and separation compared to positive phase. I'm not sure why introduction of Blu II should make a difference, but it does for me and I'm glad I tried it. Have any other Blu II users tried this?

    This is it now for me and I consider my main system finally finished at last. I may be interested in anything that might improve file playback like a mRendu Ultra or even a Roon Nucleus but, other than that, the main system is done. Finito!
  13. esimms86
    ...at least until Chord comes out with their digital amp.
    Malcyg likes this.
  14. TheAttorney
    As has been stated before on the Dave thread, Absolute Phase (polarity) is album dependant - some albums have been mastered in the wrong phase. I've now tagged over 130 albums as positive, and 20-ish albums as negative. So Positive is the best default setting if you don't want to concern youself on this matter. On some albums it's harder to tell the difference, and on some I may even prefer the slightly out of focus effect that you get with the wrong phase.

    Now, if you prefer one setting on Dave and and the opposite when Blu2 added, then it's possible that Chord has configured/wired one of them the wrong way round, which seems highly unlikely. My guess is that the more accurate reproduction introduced by Blu2 is more clearly showing the benefits of the correct phase. And that you had the wrong phase (for that album) before on Dave, but you just prefered the end result. Or it could be the other way round - to be sure, you first need to confirm what is that actual absolute phase of the album under test.

    Some have said that it's possible that individual tracks on the same album could have different phases to each other, or even individual images within the same track could be out of phase with each other. Depends how the careless the studio has been at each stage of the recording/mixing/masteriing process. I've never noticed such incremental differences, but then I've not quite OCD enough to try to find out. If 2 or 3 tracks on the same album appear to have the same phase, then that's good enough for me to tag the whole album. But if it is true that phase can be so incrementally variable, then it's possible that the more accurate reproduction of Blu2 is more easily showing up all such individual phase differences
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  15. Malcyg
    That's interesting Attourney, thanks. I'll need to do a bit more listening.

    'to be sure, you first need to confirm what is that actual absolute phase of the album under test'. So how can I find this out?
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