CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
Jul 25, 2022 at 9:34 AM Post #21,706 of 22,704

Arnold Schwartz

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I am most disappointed by the poor SINAD of the headphone output at audible levels. I thought Chord’s approach to the headphone output was supposed to be superior as essentially signal coming straight out of the DAC without an amplifier in the path. Why is the headphone out SINAD worse than XLR / RCA output?
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 9:35 AM Post #21,707 of 22,704

Kentajalli

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Oh..didn't realize that.. Chord is playing games again, apparently.

All these half truths and manipulation by manufacturer are really grating on my nerves -- and people say I am "negative" about his hobby......
Interpreting raw measurement data is a tough job. One needs scope! (not oscilloscope 🧐)
weighting, correct scaling of graphs etc. provide that scope.
Somebody showed me one of goldenone's graphs for Dave, that was zoomed at just 5 Hz per division at brickwall filter, and was saying the filter is no good, it is only -40db at Nyquist! even though the actual bandwidth of the filter was only 100Hz and at -100dB.
 
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Jul 25, 2022 at 10:37 AM Post #21,709 of 22,704

stemiki

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I am most disappointed by the poor SINAD of the headphone output at audible levels. I thought Chord’s approach to the headphone output was supposed to be superior as essentially signal coming straight out of the DAC without an amplifier in the path. Why is the headphone out SINAD worse than XLR / RCA output?
Very strange that the headphone output has these problems they measured. I had a Benchmark HPA4 connected to DAVE's RCA outputs and I preferred the Abyss driven directly from the headphone output. Ditto where she states that she did not fly the DCA Stealth well.
Mysteries of SCIENCE ....
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 10:44 AM Post #21,710 of 22,704

ZappaMan

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What way should dave be configured in conjunction with mscaler ? Hifi mode on?
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 11:25 AM Post #21,711 of 22,704

adrianm

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Oh..didn't realize that.. Chord is playing games again, apparently.

All these half truths and manipulation by manufacturer are really grating on my nerves -- and people say I am "negative" about his hobby......
To be fair, i'm not that into measurements, but i do remember reading this years ago, i think even Amir mentioned it in his written review, with the same comments as you.
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 11:56 AM Post #21,712 of 22,704

adrianm

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Very strange that the headphone output has these problems they measured. I had a Benchmark HPA4 connected to DAVE's RCA outputs and I preferred the Abyss driven directly from the headphone output. Ditto where she states that she did not fly the DCA Stealth well.
Mysteries of SCIENCE ....
That's because the HPA4 is well measuring but terrible sounding. I've auditioned it twice.
I am most disappointed by the poor SINAD of the headphone output at audible levels. I thought Chord’s approach to the headphone output was supposed to be superior as essentially signal coming straight out of the DAC without an amplifier in the path. Why is the headphone out SINAD worse than XLR / RCA output?
If i had to guess, i would say the power supply might be holding the headphone amp back. Any improvements to power are certainly easily perceived via headphone out.

I'm glad someone finally measured it, since it's something almost everyone has heard (didn't forget about you Evan). This myth really needs to stop being perpetuated. It might have been true years ago, but there are now great performing amps that do not color the sound.
The Ferrum Oor just walks all over it, without changing the tonality in the slightest (via RCA, I thought it did so slightly via XLR ). The measurements do nothing but confirm it. Even with easy to drive Elites. Bigger soundstage, better depth, layering, imaging, dynamics, and even micro-details. So much for the "purity " myth.
Does this make Dave bad? no, since Dave's headphone out is an afterthought, and the Oor is a 3k amp. Horses for courses.
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 12:31 PM Post #21,713 of 22,704

griff500

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The channel imbalance that Amir measured would, if true, also indicate some issues.
He seems to get different results from the two channels with alarming frequency. Make of that what you will.
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 12:46 PM Post #21,714 of 22,704

stemiki

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That's because the HPA4 is well measuring but terrible sounding. I've auditioned it twice.
HPA4 amplifies without adding or removing anything. It does not equalize the sound. However, it must be taken into account that an external amplifier connected to the RCA or XLR outputs has additional cables and connections in the signal path. As far as I'm concerned, DAVE's headphone output is very, very good.
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 12:49 PM Post #21,715 of 22,704

Sonic77

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Amir says the Topping dac measures better than the Dave dac, but how does it sound compared to the Dave? Has anyone heard both? What are your impressions?
Mr. Watts will need to address these results and verify what Amir said was truthful or not.
Amir says you shouldn't hear a difference with different cables, but I definitely do, so I tend to take what he says with a grain of salt, despite the measurements, I let my ears be the judge.
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 1:04 PM Post #21,716 of 22,704

adrianm

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HPA4 amplifies without adding or removing anything. It does not equalize the sound. However, it must be taken into account that an external amplifier connected to the RCA or XLR outputs has additional cables and connections in the signal path. As far as I'm concerned, DAVE's headphone output is very, very good.
There’s been plenty of testimonials for the contrary. People who could not tell their Rossini apart from their Linn dacs when using both with the HPA4 as a pre.
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 1:21 PM Post #21,717 of 22,704

Arnold Schwartz

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Never heard the Dave but I could easily distinguish the TT2 headphone out as superior to my Auralic amp fed by TT2. Notwithstanding I know I’m not immune to sighted bias. I wish someone would measure the TT2, I would be pretty upset if it measured poorly knowing how well the qutest and Hugo 2 measured and positively reviewed by Amir. These results of Dave from 2 different sources is disconcerting.
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 1:29 PM Post #21,719 of 22,704

GoldenOne

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Maybe his gear is screwed and he has been spouting complete bo****ks all this time.
I doubt this is the case. My measurements showed the same behaviour in this area
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 1:34 PM Post #21,720 of 22,704

griff500

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Never heard the Dave but I could easily distinguish the TT2 headphone out as superior to my Auralic amp fed by TT2. Notwithstanding I know I’m not immune to sighted bias. I wish someone would measure the TT2, I would be pretty upset if it measured poorly knowing how well the qutest and Hugo 2 measured and positively reviewed by Amir. These results of Dave from 2 different sources is disconcerting.
If you enjoy it (and it is a very good DAC) then why would certain measurements not being what someone says they should be bother you? Would it suddenly sound worse?

My Dave sounds just as good today as it did before that review and I am just as comfortable with the price as I was before.
 

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