CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
Jul 19, 2022 at 6:55 AM Post #21,497 of 25,917
The phrase "mathematical device" is redolent of the old and now discredited "bits are bits" argument.
I had to look up redolent ! And sorry, Bits are Bits! Never been discredited.
This supposed digital purity is always gatecrashed by analogue reality.
The DAVE might well be a mathematical device but power supplies are firmly analogue.
Analogue rules such as an ideal psu being a constant voltage current source still apply.
But a digital, mathematical circuit, is not fussy about its PSU and that's the whole point of digital! Think about it, with DAB radio, for as long as you have signal above a threshold, it is immune to noise from your car, the moped next to you at the lights . . .
To suggest that somehow the performance of any device, DAVE or whatever, would be degraded in some way by uprating the psu to be closer to an ideal psu simply makes no sense.
The worse that can happen is no change. In that case the limit of the device itself has been reached and further improvements to the psu will definitely be futile.
My take from the many comments and reviews of Farad3 and ARC6 with DAVE, and my own experience with the Farad3 + DAVE is that this limit is nowhere near being reached.
I never said the performance of any device will suffer from addition of a better supply! Did I?
I suggested, at best, it won't improve.
But yes, a better supply may improve a mathematical device with a small analogue output stage!

Oh, yeah? How do you see that going down? Have you read some of the posts on there with bordering on or even being defamation of character or being libellous? RW is best staying away from ASR, IMHO.
I agree, it is the gentleman thing to do.
Amir allows, by way of not tackling some of the posts that go as far as rude personal character insults on RW, occasionally he even joins in!
Most ASR members are very combative, on one thread, they chased Dan Clark out (designer of DCA Stealth)!
While moderators are fairly quick to act on other issues, they did let that pass by.
He came back in an angry reply, then went silent - that is how bad it can get on ASR.
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 7:03 AM Post #21,498 of 25,917
I agree, it is the gentleman thing to do.
Amir allows, by way of not tackling some of the posts that go as far as rude personal character insults on RW, occasionally he even joins in!
Most ASR members are very combative, on one thread, they chased Dan Clark out (designer of DCA Stealth)!
While moderators are fairly quick to act on other issues, they did let that pass by.
He came back in an angry reply, then went silent - that is how bad it can get on ASR.
He doesn’t just allow it, he even likes some of the defamatory comments that are made!
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 7:09 AM Post #21,499 of 25,917
He doesn’t just allow it, he even likes some of the defamatory comments that are made!
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Jul 19, 2022 at 9:16 AM Post #21,500 of 25,917
Back on the subject of DAVE... 😀

In all this technical talk about power supplies we are overlooking the sad realities of commercial life.

If the reviews and comments from users of ARC6 are to be believed then the beauty of the DAVE digital concept is only being fully realised with a psu that would probably more than double the price at which DAVE could be brought to market.

If DAVE were coming to market at say a £25k price then its competitors would be entirely different. The overall design concept of the DAVE as a preamp, DAC, and headphone amplifier (ie a buy and play box) might not even be valid at that price point.

As @MvRBE10 has previously remarked, the DAVE smps can be bought in bulk for "the price of postage stamps" - this massive cost saving is a huge pull to using an smps.

The DAVE has to compete with other products, and as I have remarked before this will involve setting a price point at which Chord believes it can sell devices in sufficient numbers and profit margin to make it a commercial reality. To achieve this price point design decisions (compromises) would have to have been made. Of course, and rightly so, Chord would never admit this - it would be commercial suicide! 🙂 It is Chord's business as a company that needs to survive in the real world to make these decisions as best they can.

Another commercial advantage the smps have over lps in general is that they will operate with a wide range of mains voltage and frequency. This enables a single version of DAVE to be produced for all markets - a big deal for a company that needs to export its product widely.

As soon as a company is forced to provide subvariants of its core product then manufacturing costs jump. Also there is a risk that the wrong proportion of the variants will be produced incurring wastage and hence further production costs.

The fact that other manufacturers of digital products are also moving to using smps is by no means evidence that smps are superior - we need to remember that they are all also under the same commercial and competitive pressures as Chord.

The choice of smps for stock DAVE is not solely a technical decision. It is also very definitely a commercial decision.

The various attempts to design and implement outboard lps are an effort to find out what DAVE might have been had it been designed with the same excellent digital architecture from Mr Watts but with a no holds barred, no stone unturned, no expense spared, reference standard paradigm.
 
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Jul 19, 2022 at 10:32 AM Post #21,501 of 25,917
Back on the subject of DAVE... 😀

In all this technical talk about power supplies we are overlooking the sad realities of commercial life.

If what the reviews and comments from users of ARC6 are to be believed then the beauty of the DAVE digital concept is only being fully realised with a psu that would probably more than double the price at which DAVE could be brought to market.

If DAVE were coming to market at say a £25k price then its competitors would be entirely different. The overall design concept of the DAVE as a preamp, DAC, and headphone amplifier (ie a buy and play box) might not even be valid at that price point.

As @MvRBE10 has previously remarked, the DAVE smps can be bought in bulk for "the price of postage stamps" - this massive cost saving is a huge pull to using an smps.

The DAVE has to compete with other products, and as I have remarked before this will involve setting a price point at which Chord believes it can sell devices in sufficient numbers and profit margin to make it a commercial reality. To achieve this price point design decisions (compromises) would have to have been made. Of course, and rightly so, Chord would never admit this - it would be commercial suicide! 🙂 It is Chord's business as a company that needs to survive in the real world to make these decisions as best they can.

Another commercial advantage the smps have over lps in general is that they will operate with a wide range of mains voltage and frequency. This enables a single version of DAVE to be produced for all markets - a big deal for a company that needs to export its product widely.

As soon as a company is forced to provide subvariants of its core product then manufacturing costs jump. Also there is a risk that the wrong proportion of the variants will be produced incurring wastage and hence further production costs.

The fact that other manufacturers of digital products are also moving to using smps is by no means evidence that smps are superior - we need to remember that they are all also under the same commercial and competitive pressures as Chord.

The choice of smps for stock DAVE is not solely a technical decision. It is also very definitely a commercial decision.

The various attempts to design and implement outboard lps are an effort to find out what DAVE might have been had it been designed with the same excellent digital architecture from Mr Watts but with a no holds barred, no stone unturned, no expense spared, reference standard paradigm.
At $25k+ price point dac manufacturers are not going to care about some minor increase in BOM as none of them is selling tens of thousands of units a year. Going with LPS would actually be a lot cheaper due to simpler and well established circuits and reduced engineering time. I hate to tell you this but your $10k power supply is probably performing worse than $300 ifi SMPS.

In any case, it’s a hobby so buy whatever that makes you happy. This LPS/battery fad comes and goes so you do you.
 
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Jul 19, 2022 at 11:04 AM Post #21,502 of 25,917
At $25k+ price point dac manufacturers are not going to care about some minor increase in BOM as none of them is selling tens of thousands of units a year. Going with LPS would actually be a lot cheaper due to simpler and well established circuits and reduced engineering time. I hate to tell you this but your $10k power supply is probably performing worse than $300 ifi SMPS.

In any case, it’s a hobby so buy whatever that makes you happy. This LPS/battery fad comes and goes so you do you.
I don't believe in the PSU either, but in all fairness, you are guessing! aren't you?
Unless you have access to some objective lab measurements of the device, let's not knock it for now.
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 11:25 AM Post #21,503 of 25,917
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Jul 19, 2022 at 1:01 PM Post #21,504 of 25,917
If DAVE were coming to market at say a £25k price then its competitors would be entirely different. The overall design concept of the DAVE as a preamp, DAC, and headphone amplifier (ie a buy and play box) might not even be valid at that price point.
It would still be better than the competitors imho. Rob Watts is doing digital correctly! I have never enjoyed my hi-fi so much since getting the Dave and Blu2. I will only upgrade when the M Scaler X and Dave 2 are available. A natural organic sound just flowing with ease from my speakers.
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 1:42 PM Post #21,505 of 25,917
It would still be better than the competitors imho. Rob Watts is doing digital correctly! I have never enjoyed my hi-fi so much since getting the Dave and Blu2. I will only upgrade when the M Scaler X and Dave 2 are available. A natural organic sound just flowing with ease from my speakers.
As we know, the Choral Mscaler is due out later this year (ish) but as to Dave we also know that Dave 2 is not even on RW’s ‘to do list’.

Just thinking slightly laterally (and in a pointless way), the current and yet to be unveiled Mscaler only use part of Daves circuits so there might be an opening for a Davette dedicated only for use with the Choral range scaler and the Hugo MScaler. See, I said it was a pointless thought. 🤣
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 2:33 PM Post #21,506 of 25,917
Jul 19, 2022 at 2:42 PM Post #21,507 of 25,917
I have seen that, is Farad3 in there?
I get the merits of a well designed and made SMPS.
I don't think so. If we believe 9v battery to be the ideal power source from a noise perspective, then that budget ifi is very close to ideal. I have to believe the $300 version of ifi SMPS is better than the one they tested. Well-designed SMPS is currently the state of art in terms of low-power solution. More and more amp designers are choosing SMPS even for high-powered applications. For example, Linn has been using SMPS for their 500w power amps for over a decade and they sound sublime. Admittedly, LPS is way easier to design and implement with well known behavior for power amp usage. Plus you can put some big cap on the LPS output which I believe you cannot do with SMPS. All these drawbacks just mean you have to spend engineering dollar to design a SMPS that works for your specific application.
 
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Jul 19, 2022 at 2:51 PM Post #21,508 of 25,917
For your background reading https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/31119-power-supply-8-group-test-lps-and-smps/

The fact that $50 ifi smps is getting very close to 9v battery performance tells you all you need to know about the current state of engineering re smps.
Except does it? That was a very rudimentary set of tests with questioned accuracy that were done on each supply and missed / did not measure other important specifications which affect the performance / sound of hifi gear and in particular digital gear. The ‘review’ is probably more mild interest rather than to be taken too seriously isn’t it?
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 2:55 PM Post #21,509 of 25,917
Except does it? That was a very rudimentary set of tests with questioned accuracy that were done on each supply and missed / did not measure other important specifications which affect the performance / sound of hifi gear and in particular digital gear. The ‘review’ is probably more mild interest rather than to be taken too seriously isn’t it?
Still more than SJ offers
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 3:07 PM Post #21,510 of 25,917
Except does it? That was a very rudimentary set of tests with questioned accuracy that were done on each supply and missed / did not measure other important specifications which affect the performance / sound of hifi gear and in particular digital gear. The ‘review’ is probably more mild interest rather than to be taken too seriously isn’t it?
Not many choices when it comes to PSU review/testing. In the end, it shouldn't really matter because you are buying the dac as a package.

Fyi, John Atkinson just responded/commented in Amir's post about MScaler. I think Rob should read Amir's results and post manufacturer's feedback in the comments on behalf of Chord Electronics.
 

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