CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
Feb 14, 2022 at 6:51 AM Post #19,216 of 22,704

edwardsean

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Posts
1,831
Likes
1,613
To those who have a DC4 ARC6 for their DAVE, or have ordered one, what wire have you gone for with internal wiring and with the umbilical (Neotech or Mundorf)?

I don’t expect many will have had the chance to compare Neotech and Mundorf wiring in an ARC6, but I would be interested to learn from those who have what they thought. Cheers.

PS - I have a standard Neotech DC4 for my DAVE and am considering upgrading to an ARC6.
I'd like to know this as well. From my past DIY experiments, the Mundorf silver/gold was a superb DC cable, easily beating a Neotech copper (and PH silver) I had at the time.
But it's an expense upgrade option, in the same ballpark cost as the ARC6 upgrade. So any direct experience of this in a DC4 would be useful.
Only the 15AWG Mundorf umbilical is in same price range as the Arc6 upgrade, and is even more actually. The standard 18AWG Mundorf is a little over half the price of adding Arc6, and the 18AWG internal full loom is cheapest at 364USD.

Certainly the Arc6 upgrade will be significantly more substantial than any upgrades to the wiring, internal or umbilical. So if you are deciding between the Arc6 and upgrading to a 15AWG Mundorf umbilical that should be a straightforward decision for the Arc6.

If you're looking at cheaper upgrades, both the 18AWG Mundorf upgrades, internal and umbilical, provide less dramatic, but worthwhile improvements. The difference in prices do reflect the difference in improvement relative to each other. I originally had the standard Neotech copper OCC umbilical, and at the same length, the Mundorf provides both better clarity and fullness of sound.

For myself, I switched again and moved from Mundorf SG to Neotech UP-OCC silver for both internal and umbilical, and I like that the best. However, that is not on offer and would require a custom or DIY build.
 
Feb 14, 2022 at 7:43 AM Post #19,217 of 22,704

JTbbb

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Posts
600
Likes
1,176
Location
UK
Why can't these hi-end digital audio manufacturers with their teams of engineers ever come up with something decent. It appears that whenever they come up with a TOTL product, some "guy" can always come up with solutions to improve on them. How embarrassing... /s
Actually, these guys may not “improve” the sound, but more likely adjust it to their taste’s.
 
Feb 14, 2022 at 8:59 AM Post #19,218 of 22,704

MarkusBarkus

Head-Fier
Joined
May 23, 2021
Posts
69
Likes
63
Location
Rochester, NY
...the manufacturers usually know how to improve their own products. The products you buy represent a "moment" in time for a development cycle. This factors-in costs, perceived audience/use-case and unit sales forecasts (among other things.).

Consumers don't like to think about it, but manufacturers sometimes have the next product already in testing or a mature dev cycle when you buy the thing you have.

Think about it: How do you think this works? A few people get together, design and build a great product, and then go fishing for the rest of their days?

No matter what you buy, there will usually be something better/faster/bigger/etc. coming along before too long. That's how it all works. These are people designing and building things for people to buy and enjoy.
 
Feb 14, 2022 at 8:59 AM Post #19,219 of 22,704

chesebert

18 Years An Extra-Hardcore Head-Fi'er
Joined
May 17, 2004
Posts
6,339
Likes
1,296
Audiophiles often buy vastly inferior and more expensive products because they ignore design knowledge, ignore their listening experience, and listen via their wallets/eyes/brand reputation
If we are not talking about any specific product but the high end market in general, you would have to believe there is vast information asymmetry among well known high end brands with respect to pricing. This is simply not the case.

Chord is a well known high end audio manufacturer just like dCS, Naim and Linn, to name a few British brands. Chord as a brand is just as well known and liked in the audiophile community as the other brands. I don’t think Chord would deliberately underprice its products relative to the other brands if it believes the performance is equal or better than the other brands.

To be completely honest the total serviceable market for high end dacs in the $10-50k range is very small (and decreasing year over year). Why would a brand not try to maximize its profit by selling at a price that’s parity to its competitors?
 
Feb 14, 2022 at 10:41 AM Post #19,220 of 22,704

ecwl

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
762
Likes
781
Location
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
If we are not talking about any specific product but the high end market in general, you would have to believe there is vast information asymmetry among well known high end brands with respect to pricing. This is simply not the case.

Chord is a well known high end audio manufacturer just like dCS, Naim and Linn, to name a few British brands. Chord as a brand is just as well known and liked in the audiophile community as the other brands. I don’t think Chord would deliberately underprice its products relative to the other brands if it believes the performance is equal or better than the other brands.

To be completely honest the total serviceable market for high end dacs in the $10-50k range is very small (and decreasing year over year). Why would a brand not try to maximize its profit by selling at a price that’s parity to its competitors?
I think Chord has always said that it prices its products as a multiple of the cost of manufacturing. And some manufacturers as you pointed out usually price their products at the highest price point they can based on the prices of comparable products or they estimate how many products they'll sell and then figure out what profits they want to make and then based on the total cost involved from manufacturing and research and development, they price their product accordingly and any extra products they sell is extra profits.

But I do think there is vast information asymmetry in the high-end audio brands. Just think of how many 5-figure DACs out there that basically adds tubes to smooth out the sound of DAC chips. Because DACs are not like cars where you can have horsepowers and 0-60mph performances that everyone can agree on. They are more like luxury watches where there is a technical component that is complicated and obscure and not everyone agrees whether these technical issues matter and then there is a brand name component and the combination of the two determines what the price of the watches are and whether they would sell. So for manufacturers, you have the option of pricing your product higher and selling fewer units or pricing it lower and selling more units. I have to admit, my local dealer always complains that nobody walks into his store asking for Chord, whereas he gets asked about other brands that I believe sell inferior DACs in the same price range. You can argue maybe it's just me who has poor taste in DACs as his other customers are happy overpaying for these other DACs and they would happily explain how those other DACs are smoother or more exciting whereas all I hear are significant distortions. The point is that at least in Canada, Chord does not have the same cache as other brands like Linn, Naim, dCS.

I think most of us are so used to hearing noise floor modulation and transient inaccuracies in almost all the DACs around us, our ears have tuned these issues out. Moreover, most people's home stereo setup have huge room acoustic distortions that makes it difficult for the untrained ear to discern if one DAC is truly superior to another. So I would argue that sadly high end audio markets are not always about technical superiority but a general emotional feeling that a product is worth it. Fortunately, generally, the truly technically superior products are priced higher than the technically inferior product, particularly within the same brand. But there are always gems out there which provides the best performance for our money.

Interestingly, SoundStage Ultra just had an article on speakers addressing this same issue:
https://www.soundstageultra.com/ind...roblem-with-audio-reviewers-and-manufacturers

Ironically, I already saw a bunch of people on Audioshark totally disagreeing with the article. And with speakers, the technical aspects are much more clearly defined yet you can see people arguing emotionally that their favorite speakers that weren't included in the article are technically similar despite third-party published measurements to the contrary.
 
Feb 14, 2022 at 12:39 PM Post #19,221 of 22,704

chesebert

18 Years An Extra-Hardcore Head-Fi'er
Joined
May 17, 2004
Posts
6,339
Likes
1,296
"Magico, Rockport Technologies, Sonus Faber, and Vivid Audio" - I can't even begin to imagine the butt hurt the list must have caused. I do agree with the gist of that article.

If you are reviewing dacs, I don't care who you are, you need to have in your possession (or had in your possession with detailed listening notes over multiple genres of music) any one or more of TOTL dCS, Emm Labs, Playback Designs, Linn, Naim and MSB.

It is not surprising that Steve Gutenberg said during his Emm Labs MA-1 review, that Denafrips Terminator was great but it sounded like "digital music" but MA-1 sounded like "music". If your only and best experience is Terminator, you would think Steve was crazy and Terminator is a giant killer. The same can be said for Holo May and whatever R-2R giant killer you can think of. I have not seen anyone comparing any of these FOTM R-2R dacs against high-end DAC brands.

Not to knock against Dave, but I have seen people move away from Dave to Emm Labs and MSB but not the other way around. Just saying.
 
Last edited:
Feb 14, 2022 at 10:14 PM Post #19,222 of 22,704

Sampajanna

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Posts
300
Likes
463
Location
Penglai
Which version of DC4 did you have for this comparison? ARC6? Mundorf wiring?
And in what ways was the MSB Reference better still?
I'm just curious as to what further improvements are possible.


I'd like to know this as well. From my past DIY experiments, the Mundorf silver/gold was a superb DC cable, easily beating a Neotech copper (and PH silver) I had at the time.
But it's an expense upgrade option, in the same ballpark cost as the ARC6 upgrade. So any direct experience of this in a DC4 would be useful.
I Have the original DC4 and wiring. You think the upgrade/Mundorf make that much of a difference?
 
Last edited:
Feb 18, 2022 at 6:40 AM Post #19,223 of 22,704

zen87192

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Posts
1,168
Likes
1,732
Location
United Kingdom
May I ask if any DAVE owners are using a Melco N-100 with it currently? I’m contemplating a purchase but would like to seek operators comments. Many thanks.
 
Feb 18, 2022 at 6:50 AM Post #19,224 of 22,704

MvRBE10

Member of the Trade: Farad Power Supplies
Joined
Oct 8, 2021
Posts
323
Likes
382
Location
netherlands
I am using aurender n10 but hear good things about the melco. Cant you audition a few and compare that works best because synergy is also a thing on each system
 
Feb 20, 2022 at 7:54 AM Post #19,225 of 22,704

zen87192

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Posts
1,168
Likes
1,732
Location
United Kingdom
Just listened to the DAVE with Meze Liric closed back headphones. Now….. this you need to listen to…. It is a fabulous match for the DAVE. If you have an opportunity to demo or are indeed looking for a new pair of Headphones for your DAVE I highly recommend that you give these a try.
 
Feb 20, 2022 at 1:41 PM Post #19,226 of 22,704

iDesign

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Posts
1,511
Likes
1,057
Location
‎‎
I recently dowloaded Roon 1.8 (Build 904) and the difference in sound is not subtle with the DAVE+M Scaler. I perceived a degradation in builds 884 and 898 and the latest release sounds more similar to 882 and lower. While there's no obvious evidence in their change log, things sound as they should again. If you're on build 904, you might resist the urge to hit the update button for a while. Streaming audio is down a dirt road.
 
Last edited:
Feb 20, 2022 at 2:26 PM Post #19,227 of 22,704

Triode User

Member of the Trade: WAVE High Fidelity
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Posts
4,131
Likes
4,060
Location
Leics, UK
I recently dowloaded Roon 1.9 (Build 904) and the difference in sound is not subtle with the DAVE+M Scaler. I perceived a degradation in builds 884 and 898 and the latest release sounds more similar to 882 and lower. While there's no obvious evidence in their change log, things sound as they should again. If you're on build 904, you might resist the urge to hit the update button for a while. Streaming audio is down a dirt road.
There have been various reports of the latest Roon sounding good and several of my friends have been preferring it to other server/players based on sound quality as opposed to just for user interface reasons. I also am tempted to return to Roon instead of Squeeze . . . . .
 
Feb 20, 2022 at 2:42 PM Post #19,228 of 22,704

alxw0w

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Posts
986
Likes
1,355
Location
Poland, Bialystok
There have been various reports of the latest Roon sounding good and several of my friends have been preferring it to other server/players based on sound quality as opposed to just for user interface reasons. I also am tempted to return to Roon instead of Squeeze . . . . .
Then try it and report back if it catched on SQ with LMS :wink:
Even though I got used to LMS still browsing classical music is much better with roon.
 
Feb 20, 2022 at 5:02 PM Post #19,229 of 22,704

Triode User

Member of the Trade: WAVE High Fidelity
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Posts
4,131
Likes
4,060
Location
Leics, UK
Then try it and report back if it catched on SQ with LMS :wink:
Even though I got used to LMS still browsing classical music is much better with roon.
I will do. I was quite impressed with what I heard but but my streamer has had to be returned to the dealer and will not be returned for a week or so . . . . .
 
Feb 20, 2022 at 7:41 PM Post #19,230 of 22,704

iDesign

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Posts
1,511
Likes
1,057
Location
‎‎
My experience was that Roon builds 884 and 898 were inherently harsh. I installed 904 while listening to a track and the difference was immediately apparent when I resumed playback.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top