CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
Aug 20, 2022 at 2:19 AM Post #22,171 of 25,917
I like that aggressive attack on Chord DACs, i don't want an overly-soft blanket that covers all the music. I'll stick with Rob Watts.

Dave is only agressive when a track calls for it

Qutest en Mojo1 are more polite overall
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 2:37 AM Post #22,172 of 25,917
I like that aggressive attack on Chord DACs, i don't want an overly-soft blanket that covers all the music. I'll stick with Rob Watts.
That's what I went in expecting as well, but it's not what I found sadly. While the attack is faster on Dave, the difference is like getting hit by Jake Paul vs Mike Tyson. Have to call a spade a spade here...Besides the transient response, the Lina+ clock combo does take everything else up a notch.
My initial impression was that it feels slightly veiled in comparison, clock fixed that. It might be a hair slower than Dave, but it's overall slightly more detailed, both on a macro and a micro level.
The way it positions bass notes in space...how is this a thing lol. Haven't heard this even from Dave + M-scaler. It also has more layers and nuances across the FR. Call it tonal color? Without overstating things, It sounds a bit like going from grayscale to an early color tv.
The headphone amp is a joke for the price, the Oor mops the floor with it. I wouldn't use it if I got it for free. Been burned with Dave's amp before. But the dac+ clock combo is really something. Build quality also feels next level. They do take you to the cleaners though, it's terrible value compared to Dave. Then again, it depends on how much you spend to improve it.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 5:05 AM Post #22,173 of 25,917
In my years of experience I have noticed how improving clocking, reducing vibration, and shielding against rf noise have all had a consistent effect on bass reproduction.

The effect described above of stabilising and defining the bass by the addition of the clock to the Lina stack is a case in point, directly mirrored by the effect (amongst others) when I later introduced the dCS Verona clock to my own main system stack.

Like Chord, dCS pay great attention to casework. This is very important to allow the electronics to perform at their best.

And we are all finding out how rf noise elimination drastically improves the sound quality of digital systems.

In terms of the dCS system, I don't think the DAC and the clock should really be considered separately when thinking about its ultimate sound quality. I know that I'd never want to listen to my main system without the Verona in place.

If comparison with stock DAVE is made on this basis then DAVE owners have a lot of money to tinker with before having to think about selling up and coughing up a huge lump of cash for dCS DAC + clock.

Another point relating to the Lina clock and the Verona is that the Verona synchronises three other pieces of kit in my stack, so being a standalone item makes some sense.

Given that the Lina clock only seems to connect to the DAC, I wonder why it has to be externalised in its own expensive case and with its own expensive power supply. Is it just a cash grab?
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 5:26 AM Post #22,174 of 25,917
Given that the Lina clock only seems to connect to the DAC, I wonder why it has to be externalised in its own expensive case and with its own expensive power supply. Is it just a cash grab?
The dac has 2 word clock inputs, so i assume it syncs the dac and streamer. I also notice even the Lina dac has temperature monitoring with .1 degrees celsius precision. I imagine the Clock itself is also thermocompensated.
Either way, it feels a bit like a cash grab, I'm sure it could have been done cheaper. The separate cases argument falls flat once they put out something like the Vivaldi (Apex) One.
 
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Aug 20, 2022 at 5:29 AM Post #22,175 of 25,917
The dac has 2 word clock inputs, so i assume it syncs the dac and streamer. I also notice even the Lina dac has temperature monitoring up to .1 degrees celsius. I imagine the Clock itself is also thermocompensated.
Either way, it feels a bit like a cash grab, I'm sure it could have been done cheaper. The separate cases argument falls flat once they put out something like the Vivaldi (Apex) One.
It's two inputs for different clock rates, for 44,1 and 48 ans their multiples.
Lina clock should also have two outputs.

Some clocks offer just 10mhz output and then it's has to be divided somehow to get 44,1 or 48... Which never is going to be exact.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 5:43 AM Post #22,176 of 25,917
It's two inputs for different clock rates, for 44,1 and 48 ans their multiples.
Lina clock should also have two outputs.

Some clocks offer just 10mhz output and then it's has to be divided somehow to get 44,1 or 48... Which never is going to be exact.
Yeah it actually shows that in the Menu, the USB (guess it's good enough to be used internally) and network rate both are at 48. Next track it switched to 44.1. The clicks are mildly annoying.
Switching the clock off, USB remains at 48 and network is at 44.1 (for that particular track).
 
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Aug 20, 2022 at 7:29 AM Post #22,177 of 25,917
That's what I went in expecting as well, but it's not what I found sadly. While the attack is faster on Dave, the difference is like getting hit by Jake Paul vs Mike Tyson. Have to call a spade a spade here...Besides the transient response, the Lina+ clock combo does take everything else up a notch.
My initial impression was that it feels slightly veiled in comparison, clock fixed that. It might be a hair slower than Dave, but it's overall slightly more detailed, both on a macro and a micro level.
The way it positions bass notes in space...how is this a thing lol. Haven't heard this even from Dave + M-scaler. It also has more layers and nuances across the FR. Call it tonal color? Without overstating things, It sounds a bit like going from grayscale to an early color tv.
The headphone amp is a joke for the price, the Oor mops the floor with it. I wouldn't use it if I got it for free. Been burned with Dave's amp before. But the dac+ clock combo is really something. Build quality also feels next level. They do take you to the cleaners though, it's terrible value compared to Dave. Then again, it depends on how much you spend to improve it.
I know you feel duped sticking with Dave headphone amp for so long but I’m amazed how much the headphone amp improved with the added Farad3. Digs a lot deeper, extracts more micro detail. I liked the Ferrum but it does add its own color which depends if that is what one wants. Mids are more sultry. Treble is darker. Soundstage decreases a little bit compared to the Dave + Farad3. Bass seemed lass defined for me. I remember listening to the headphone out of the stock Dave with Susvara and they sounded flat, lifeless, thin and etched in treble. I’m amazed how much performance one gets with the Farad3. Very curious how much different it sounds with your power treatment.
 
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Aug 20, 2022 at 7:52 AM Post #22,178 of 25,917
I know you feel duped sticking with Dave headphone amp for so long but I’m amazed how much the headphone amp improved with the added Farad3. Digs a lot deeper, extracts more micro detail. I liked the Ferrum but it does add its own color which depends if that is what one wants. Mids are more sultry. Treble is darker. Soundstage finishes a little bit compared to the Dave + Farad3. Bass seemed lass defined for me. I remember listening to the headphone out of the stock Dave with Susvara and they sounded flat, lifeless, thin and etched in treble. I’m amazed how much performance one gets with the Farad3. Very curious how much different it sounds with your power treatment.
I hope you did get to hear the Oor in balanced mode before you sell it. Single ended is close enough to Dave to not be worth it. I got improvements when I added the Isotek Sirius, when I replaced it with the Aquarius, and when i added the Genesis One on top of the Aquarius. Different magnitudes. However it still doesn't come close to Oor in balanced mode imo. FWIW the 10k Lina Amp is not that far off what what direct Dave sounds like with the power stuff.

There's enough difference with and without the power regenerator that the Lina without a clock was clearly better. Yesterday I woke up, unplugged Dave from the Genesis and started listening with both it and Lina out of the Aquarius. Halfway through the day, with work and meetings, I completely forgot about this.
I went from..my initial posts to...ok, I'm definitely getting rid of Dave. It was hours later that I realized it, plugged Dave back in and soundstage increased dramatically, finer details were back, bass had more oomph. HOWEVER. I even went back to my dealer to get a separate streamer, some other cables, to see if it can narrow the gap. Not really.
I'm not seeing that color in the Ferrum with my current rca cables, but i did notice it the first time around with xlr cables. But then again, I don't know how the Farad changes the sound signature.
What I do know, is I didn't like another custom psu I've listened to with headphones, even though it was a clear improvement with a high end speaker system.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 7:53 AM Post #22,179 of 25,917
I know you feel duped sticking with Dave headphone amp for so long but I’m amazed how much the headphone amp improved with the added Farad3. Digs a lot deeper, extracts more micro detail. I liked the Ferrum but it does add its own color which depends if that is what one wants. Mids are more sultry. Treble is darker. Soundstage decreases a little bit compared to the Dave + Farad3. Bass seemed lass defined for me. I remember listening to the headphone out of the stock Dave with Susvara and they sounded flat, lifeless, thin and etched in treble. I’m amazed how much performance one gets with the Farad3. Very curious how much different it sounds with your power treatment.
Your criticism on the OOR is how I feel is the inadequacy of the Hypsos. I also hear the haze on its dc cable that is unacceptable for me. Glad to hear reports on the HP out performance of the Dave with upgrade psus. Exactly what I've been saying about with amplifiers. It's all about the psus. Not power quantity.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 7:57 AM Post #22,180 of 25,917
I hope you did get to hear the Oor in balanced mode before you sell it. Single ended is close enough to Dave to not be worth it. I got improvements when I added the Isotek Sirius, when I replaced it with the Aquarius, and when i added the Genesis One on top of the Aquarius. Different magnitudes. However it still doesn't come close to Oor in balanced mode imo. FWIW the 10k Lina Amp is not that far off what what direct Dave sounds like with the power stuff.

There's enough difference with and without the power regenerator that the Lina without a clock was clearly better. Yesterday I woke up, unplugged Dave from the Genesis and started listening with both it and Lina out of the Aquarius. Halfway through the day, with work and meetings, I completely forgot about this.
I went from..my initial posts to...ok, I'm definitely getting rid of Dave. It was hours later that I realized it, plugged Dave back in and soundstage increased dramatically, finer details were back, bass had more oomph. HOWEVER. I even went back to my dealer to get a separate streamer, some other cables, to see if it can narrow the gap. Not really.
I'm not seeing that color in the Ferrum with my current rca cables, but i did notice it the first time around with xlr cables. But then again, I don't know how the Farad changes the sound signature.
What I do know, is I didn't like another custom psu I've listened to with headphones, even though it was a clear improvement with a high end speaker system.
Yea I tried the balanced XLR. It’s a good amp for sure.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 8:01 AM Post #22,181 of 25,917
Your criticism on the OOR is how I feel is the inadequacy of the Hypsos. I also hear the haze on its dc cable that is unacceptable for me. Glad to hear reports on the HP out performance of the Dave with upgrade psus. Exactly what I've been saying about with amplifiers. It's all about the psus. Not power quantity.
You definitely need to capitalize on this and start your own company. Maybe show dCS how to build a proper amp
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 8:30 AM Post #22,182 of 25,917
Your criticism on the OOR is how I feel is the inadequacy of the Hypsos. I also hear the haze on its dc cable that is unacceptable for me. Glad to hear reports on the HP out performance of the Dave with upgrade psus. Exactly what I've been saying about with amplifiers. It's all about the psus. Not power quantity.
Have you heard the AHB2? You might like it. Very transparent.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 8:49 AM Post #22,183 of 25,917
I'm about 6 hours into auditioning an AHB2 with DAVE and B&W 802d3's (vs Classe CT-2300 amp + Oppo HA-1)

I'm still jumping back and forth between various configs, but obviously A/B testing is challenging when you have to swap cables around between takes. I have only recently swapped out my Oppo HA-1 for a DAVE, so there is that untangling I'm doing at the same time.

Initial impressions. AHB2 has no issues driving the 802's either 2 channel or bridged (I had to cover my ears in both modes to get to clipping). Initially, something sounded "off", but slowly started to sound right after a couple hours (similar to the experience I had when I first got my Mojo).

Music was sounding a bit more capped out than I was expecting (dynamics didn't have the punch I was hoping for). Based on some posts in this thread re the current the DAVE can drive single ended vs balanced, I switched from balanced out on the DAVE to single ended out, and seemed to recover some of what seemed to be missing.

The current hypothesis I'm testing is that the strict 100W regulation of the AHB2 may be capping out some of the more aggressive transients (vs the Classe). Switching back and forth between running the AHB2 in stereo (single speaker only) and bridged mono (SPL matched, etc), on some tracks I'm hearing a clear difference, but I haven't been able to isolate what may be causing it. I suspect it may be related to the output regulation combined with the particular load dynamics of my 802d3's. As always, it is about amp/speaker synergy with the specific music you're playing, so your mileage will vary.

Switching back to the Classe, the level of additional detail and speed and noise floor of the AHB2 were all apparent with the DAVE, but not as much with the Oppo HA-1 (if I hadn't heard them with the DAVE, I wouldn't have noticed them with the Oppo). The Classe seems to have a more musical flavor to it, but the AHB2 seems more neutral and transparent.

Lot more listening and auditioning to do to sharpen up my impressions and make a decision. As of now, my bias is leaning towards running the DAVE single ended directly into a pair of bridged AHB2s

Benchmark has a very generous 30 day trial program, and shipping of the beast is only $20-30 (shockingly small and light amp). If you have any curiousity about the amp, I highly recommend giving it an extensive audition yourself and sharing what you hear in your system.
I thought you can only use XLRs to connect the Dave to the AHB2? Are you using RCAs?
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 9:35 AM Post #22,185 of 25,917


These guys compared dCS Bartok to Mola Mola and the Mola apparently sounded much better, then Hans Beekheuzen compared the Mola Mola to the DAVE and the DAVE sounded much better. Hhhmmmmmmmm

Well it’s all subjective.
 

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