CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
Aug 20, 2022 at 9:54 AM Post #22,187 of 25,909
Hans Beekheuzen looks like a man who has hair growing out of his ear holes.
I’m subscribed. Seems like a good guy and gets technical with reviews.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 10:21 AM Post #22,189 of 25,909
Have you heard the AHB2? You might like it. Very transparent.
1. Heard it doesnt dance well with many other HPs...only the Susvara. And it still didn't give bass on the susvara for them...and it has what I think is artificially wide soundstage with a lack of lower harmonics retrieval...but then these owners have a poor signal chain so it can be attributed to that too. The Susvara has better bass in everything vs the LCD4 on the Dave for me. Something an ahb2 owner wouldn't say, or any other amp owner would say as well especially in the <2w realm.

2. People have been unloading the ahb2. Ironically it's the loud mouths on the susvara thread and moving towards lesser powered amps with better psus... 😉😉😉

3. Even Goldensound is selling his ahb2 for a <2.5w amp to drive the Susvara. And he said he didn't like the Stealth with the ahb2 (not that it's a fairly accurate assessment but the Stealth is my main HP now)

4. I hereby conclude to sticking to Chord's internal amp and my line conditioner that can give it a deep sweet bass for both Susvara and Stealth, LCD 4, etc. I've tried a few of my line conditioner builds and the best one for me seemingly took out the 'energy', 'detail' that people hear, which really is distortion, and makes it really smooth, extra deep and wide and calming. While I haven't heard any of the dCS, I think they are doing something right (coz of the smoothness) but seems to lack speed and noise filtering from my line conditioner (to bring out more faithful lower harmonics) hence why it is not exactly convincing when people demo it. That's why I like the combo of the line conditioner and the Dave coz theres a sweet combination of speed + calm + deepness that is very end game for me and this can be seen on how it renders female vocals that would be very saccharine and making it very human, full and realistic. The attack and entry of each word the singer gives is one of the most realistic presentation. Coz it's not an 'attack' or 'transient' quality in a typical way even on TOTL but simply a very faithful render. When I think I have gone too overboard where I lose the character of the Dave, going 'less' just brings in more of that noise distortion and nothing else. It's that sound that seems to make the amp sound labored in driving the headphone since you have tried the Dave stock vs farad3.
 
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Aug 20, 2022 at 10:21 AM Post #22,190 of 25,909
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.

Enjoying reading your impressions. How long do you have the Lina? And I know tweaked the system a few times, but I also think it takes a bit of time to really understand the nuances between gear when coming from something well familiarized with, especially if you love said gear. In any event, I appreciate the follow up impressions and candid points on where the Lina + clock seem to be better. Refreshing to see in this thread.

Well it’s all subjective.

Exactly.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 10:22 AM Post #22,191 of 25,909
Sorry but I find this video questionable. „Night and day“, „jaw dropping“ etc. come on that is BS. The differences in this price range are small. Of course you can have a preference for different sound etc, then there is system matching.
In that respect I find Darko more honest and each time I have to laugh when he ridicules other reviewers with night and day, it blows it out of the water etc 😃
 
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Aug 20, 2022 at 10:33 AM Post #22,192 of 25,909
Enjoying reading your impressions. How long do you have the Lina? And I know tweaked the system a few times, but I also think it takes a bit of time to really understand the nuances between gear when coming from something well familiarized with, especially if you love said gear. In any event, I appreciate the follow up impressions and candid points on where the Lina + clock seem to be better. Refreshing to see in this thread.
Thanks, I've refrained writing a more detailed review so far because it's been a bit of a roller coaster and I'd rather wait so I can offer a more objective conclusion. I still have until Monday , so about 4-5 days in total.
Took me a day or so after adding the clock to fully appreciate what's going on. And maybe get over my own biases. Right now I'm the acceptance phase of grieving for my bank account.
Let me know if would like me to A/B anything.
 
Aug 22, 2022 at 3:07 PM Post #22,194 of 25,909
Is anyone running a pair of very small, but high quality speakers, from their DAVE? There sometimes comes a time when one just needs to pump some sound though speakers rather than Headphones. I'd like a pair of small speakers on my small music cupboard and would like some suggestions as to which ones, be it active or passive. 🍻
 
Aug 22, 2022 at 3:19 PM Post #22,195 of 25,909
Is anyone running a pair of very small, but high quality speakers, from their DAVE? There sometimes comes a time when one just needs to pump some sound though speakers rather than Headphones. I'd like a pair of small speakers on my small music cupboard and would like some suggestions as to which ones, be it active or passive. 🍻
Omega speakers are well liked, but are they too physically large for your needs?
 
Aug 22, 2022 at 3:19 PM Post #22,196 of 25,909
Aug 22, 2022 at 4:05 PM Post #22,197 of 25,909
Is anyone running a pair of very small, but high quality speakers, from their DAVE? There sometimes comes a time when one just needs to pump some sound though speakers rather than Headphones. I'd like a pair of small speakers on my small music cupboard and would like some suggestions as to which ones, be it active or passive. 🍻
https://www.wilsonaudio.com/products/tunetot/tunetot.
Best small speakers I have heard that work amazingly well in compromised spaces. They are passive though.
 
Aug 23, 2022 at 12:39 PM Post #22,198 of 25,909
Not much for writing reviews, I mostly listen for myself, but I know a lot of other people might be interested in this so here are some impressions of the Lina stack vs Dave + Oor, from my 4-5 days with them.

First, to answer the burning question : Is Lina better? the Amp is so...not great, that I would take Dave + Oor over the full Lina stack. It sounded really small in all dimensions. Hope the dCS staff get a chance to listen to the Lina on a proper amp! The volume pot was also rubbing against internal walls when turned. Hope that was a manufacturing defect.

If we're talking dac+clock vs Dave, then yes, it's better. By quite some margin. More than Dave vs TT2. At least in my system. However I won't cop out and say IMHO, because, the difference is pretty stark and I think, biases aside, most people will objectively agree. I also have no particular preference for the sound signature.

Over the years I developed a fool proof method of differentiating between what dac sounds better, and not just different : " When there's a lot of stuff going on in a track, how much stuff can you hear and how easily?" Easy. On a track where there's not much going on, the delta is smaller or nonexistent.
It's also easier to hear more stuff on a lean sounding dac/amp. Only in this case Dave was leaner AND less transparent. It's a lot easier to imagine lean bass than a lean treble or midrange, but...it is what it is. More nuances across the FR. Is it coloration? That changes the sound, doesn't add notes and texture. Certainly not all over.
I've also added another method during my time with Lina : counting the times I went "Holy crap" out loud. 4-5 times a day. Which hasn't happened since I first got Dave, not even with the M-scaler.

I didn't like it at first, doing 30 second A/B's. Dave seemed (c)leaner, faster, punchier, with bass reaching down deeper. Lina seemed veiled and sluggish. However, adding the clock, things changed pretty dramatically, to the point where I'm sure this is by design. I wouldn't buy it without the clock, so all further impressions are after adding it.
Lina sounded bigger, denser, more 3d, especially with Expanse, which I also hated at first, using normal CF to compare to Dave's CF. Once I stopped doing short A/B's , Lina sounded more natural. Think THX amps like HPA4 vs Ferrum Oor. Reverb also sounded more natural using Expanse. Every time you're used to something, the new contender sounds off.

The sound signature is considerably more refined, with more tonal color, everything is a bit more detailed, from strings and bass notes, to the point where i've listened to some Lori McKenna songs 100 times and i never realized she had a backup singer. Yes, really. To be fair, I listen to music while I work, read, and do stuff at my pc. I don't sit on an Eames chair smoking cigars and drinking whiskey. So I am distracted. Going back to Dave, if I focus and "squint" I can hear MOST of the same stuff, but Lina hits you in the face with both micro and macro detail, while also sounding more natural and musical. Nifty trick.

1661270116657.png

Going back to "hearing more stuff more easily, in the "Forever Autumn" test track off this album, you can much more easily follow at least 1-2 more instruments than you can on Dave. And I mean follow every note, not just <insert drums here>. With Dave, some instruments take front stage at different times, while others fade into the background more or less. Almost like it runs out of breath. Lina seems to keep more stuff into focus more easily. I really thought after comparing Dave to TT2, this is where it ends. Apparently not.
And yes, I got rid of the M-scaler, but it doesn't close the gap. I've also decided to ditch Hqplayer during this comparison, as 3way Dave, Dave +HQP,Lina comparisons always resulted in the same thing, Timbre was much much better on Lina when using HQP on Dave. Also lost some clarity with HQP. This was a tradeoff I was comfortable with before adding the Oor, but since i no longer need the soundstage from HQP, back to solo Dave for me. At least this was trading blows, even winning in transient response.
I initially thought Dave also had better PRAT, but on some Billie Eilish tracks, Lina was clearly more agile with starting and stopping everything in a split second.
It sometimes felt slower, sometimes faster. BUT it varied depending on the track. Which was very curious to me. I realized, Dave felt constantly fast, but Lina offered more variance according to the track. A bit more "elastic".
Same thing with bass. Sometimes it hit like a truck with Dave, and I thought, ok, it has better bass. Until, on some tracks , Lina hit deeper, while also placing the bass in space more precisely. Something I really haven't heard before. I soon realized it was the same thing as above, it offered more variance according to the track. To me this is Dave's biggest strength, and I feel like it out-Daves Dave here.

It might seem like I'm jumping off the bandwagon and getting a Lina, and I might eventually, but at more than twice Dave's price for the combo...I wouldn't lose any sleep over not "upgrading. And I say this as someone who has literally not slept after hearing Dave, until I got it.
At this level of SQ, Dave's already more than good enough, and objectively speaking, the differences probably range from 10 to 20% depending on the track. However, the intangibles also kick in: It's an all in...two, saves you a bunch of stuff that Dave actually needs to sound good, it's upgrade-able, and it looks good, which counts for more than it should. So it's tempting.
What gives me pause is how much the Oor and Lina Amp make or break the stack. Clearly money might be better spent on an amp or headphones themselves, but I do have a thing for source gear. And while you could add Innuos Statements, Taiko's, ferrited cables, new M-scalers, anti vibration treatments, custom PSU's , and sprinkle some holy water on Dave to get it to sound close, I doubt it will actually change so much that it's the same, not to mention better. And you'd also spend at least as much for a very diy looking solution. Which might appeal to individual tastes, to be fair.

For some context : I listen with the Meze Elites, using Dave out my pc via SRC-DX and Dc blocks. For the purpose of the review i also got a 3d Lab Platinum streamer. Didn't change the results in any meaningful way.
Lina + clock were plugged in my Isotek Aquarius power conditioner, while Dave was plugged into the Genesis One power regenerator, which is plugged into the Aquarius. Headphone amps were plugged into the wall, as i found even the high current slots affected performance.
Without the regenerator, Lina+ Clock kinda walked all over Dave. Without the clock and Dave without regenerator...none were great, for different reasons, but I'd probably take solo Dave, as Lina just seems veiled without the clock.
 
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Aug 23, 2022 at 1:42 PM Post #22,199 of 25,909
Not much for writing reviews, I mostly listen for myself, but I know a lot of other people might be interested in this so here are some impressions of the Lina stack vs Dave + Oor, from my 4-5 days with them.

First, to answer the burning question : Is Lina better? the Amp is so...not great, that I would take Dave + Oor over the full Lina stack. It sounded really small in all dimensions. Hope the dCS staff get a chance to listen to the Lina on a proper amp! The volume pot was also rubbing against internal walls when turned. Hope that was a manufacturing defect.

If we're talking dac+clock vs Dave, then yes, it's better. By quite some margin. More than Dave vs TT2. At least in my system. However I won't cop out and say IMHO, because, the difference is pretty stark and I think, biases aside, most people will objectively agree. I also have no particular preference for the sound signature.

Over the years I developed a fool proof method of differentiating between what dac sounds better, and not just different : " When there's a lot of stuff going on in a track, how much stuff can you hear and how easily?" Easy. On a track where there's not much going on, the delta is smaller or nonexistent.
It's also easier to hear more stuff on a lean sounding dac/amp. Only in this case Dave was leaner AND less transparent. It's a lot easier to imagine lean bass than a lean treble or midrange, but...it is what it is. More nuances across the FR. Is it coloration? That changes the sound, doesn't add notes and texture. Certainly not all over.
I've also added another method during my time with Lina : counting the times I went "Holy crap" out loud. 4-5 times a day. Which hasn't happened since I first got Dave, not even with the M-scaler.

I didn't like it at first, doing 30 second A/B's. Dave seemed (c)leaner, faster, punchier, with bass reaching down deeper. Lina seemed veiled and sluggish. However, adding the clock, things changed pretty dramatically, to the point where I'm sure this is by design. I wouldn't buy it without the clock, so all further impressions are after adding it.
Lina sounded bigger, denser, more 3d, especially with Expanse, which I also hated at first, using normal CF to compare to Dave's CF. Once I stopped doing short A/B's , Lina sounded more natural. Think THX amps like HPA4 vs Ferrum Oor. Reverb also sounded more natural using Expanse. Every time you're used to something, the new contender sounds off.

The sound signature is considerably more refined, with more tonal color, everything is a bit more detailed, from strings and bass notes, to the point where i've listened to some Lori McKenna songs 100 times and i never realized she had a backup singer. Yes, really. To be fair, I listen to music while I work, read, and do stuff at my pc. I don't sit on an Eames chair smoking cigars and drinking whiskey. So I am distracted. Going back to Dave, if I focus and "squint" I can hear MOST of the same stuff, but Lina hits you in the face with both micro and macro detail, while also sounding more natural and musical. Nifty trick.

1661270116657.png
Going back to "hearing more stuff more easily, in the "Forever Autumn" test track off this album, you can much more easily follow at least 1-2 instruments than you can on Dave. And I mean follow every note, not just <insert drums here>. With Dave, some instruments take front stage at different times, while others fade into the background more or less. Almost like it runs out of breath. Lina seems to keep more stuff into focus more easily. I really thought after comparing Dave to TT2, this is where it ends. Apparently not.
And yes, I got rid of the M-scaler, but it doesn't close the gap. I've also decided to ditch Hqplayer during this comparison, as 3way Dave, Dave +HQP,Lina comparisons always resulted in the same thing, Timbre was much much better on Lina when using HQP. Also lost some clarity with HQP. This was a tradeoff I was comfortable with before adding the Oor, but since i no longer need the soundstage from HQP, back to solo Dave for me. At least this was trading blows, even winning in transient response.
I initially thought Dave also had better PRAT, but on some Billie Eilish tracks, Lina was clearly more agile with starting and stopping everything in a split second.
It sometimes felt slower, sometimes faster. BUT it varied depending on the track. Which was very curious to me. I realized, Dave felt constantly fast, but Lina offered more variance according to the track. A bit more "elastic".
Same thing with bass. Sometimes it hit like a truck with Dave, and I thought, ok, it has better bass. Until, on some tracks , Lina hit deeper, while also placing the bass in space more precisely. Something I really haven't heard before. I soon realized it was the same thing as above, it offered more variance according to the track. To me this is Dave's biggest strength, and I feel like it out-Daves Dave here.

It might seem like I'm jumping off the bandwagon and getting a Lina, and I might eventually, but at more than twice Dave's price for the combo...I wouldn't lose any sleep over not "upgrading. And I say this as someone who has literally not slept after hearing Dave, until I got it.
At this level of SQ, Dave's already more than good enough, and objectively speaking, the differences probably range from 10 to 20% depending on the track. However, the intangibles also kick in: It's an all in...two, saves you a bunch of stuff that Dave actually needs to sound good, it's upgrade-able, and it looks good, which counts for more than it should. So it's tempting.
What gives me pause is how much the Oor and Lina Amp make or break the stack. Clearly money might be better spent on an amp or headphones themselves, but I do have a thing for source gear. And while you could add Innuos Statements, Taiko's, ferrited cables, new M-scalers, anti vibration treatments, custom PSU's , and sprinkle some holy water on Dave to get it to sound close, I doubt it will actually change so much that it's the same, not to mention better. And you'd also spend at least as much for a very diy looking solution. Which might appeal to individual tastes, to be fair.

For some context : I listen with the Meze Elites, using Dave out my pc via SRC-DX and Dc blocks. For the purpose of the review i also got a 3d Lab Platinum streamer. Didn't change the results in any meaningful way.
Lina + clock were plugged in my Isotek Aquarius power conditioner, while Dave was plugged into the Genesis One power regenerator, which is plugged into the Aquarius. Headphone amps were plugged into the wall, as i found even the high current slots affected performance.
Without the regenerator, Lina+ Clock kinda walked all over Dave. Without the clock and Dave without regenerator...none were great, for different reasons, but I'd probably take solo Dave, as Lina just seems veiled without the clock.
Great review. Tks.
 
Aug 23, 2022 at 2:03 PM Post #22,200 of 25,909
For some context : I listen with the Meze Elites, using Dave out my pc via SRC-DX and Dc blocks.
Have you also tried Opto DX between Dave and Mscaler when u had it?

I find the scaler its best with all sides optical
Even toslink out on limited 192k (1/4M taps)
 

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