CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
Aug 23, 2022 at 10:42 PM Post #22,216 of 25,909
Here's my comparison posts in another Chord thread. I was just trying to point out you can save loads and stay the course with your Chord DAC while building something similar to a dCS Lina stack. Anyways, you guys are years behind the curve. Audi5000.

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I'll be back when a new Refresh is available. You can consider this digital impressions option when the stars align. (ignore, directed at Rob Watts since I'm trying to get him proper CIEM impressions since I've been in this CIEM game since 2001)

I'm only back temp because I couldn't help but appreciate the comment someone made on the London 2022 Impressions thread.

They mentioned they could not believe the difference clocks made when comparing the dCS Lina Stack against itself. To me, even though it's subtle, clocks are whole different experience with my Chord Stack. Mainly, it's fatigue-free, digital glare is gone, details galore, PrAT, etc. because timing errors at the source are completely eliminated so I feed the Chord DAC with a near perfect signal. I run near perfect measured clocks better than the dCS clocks. I run off-grid power better than car batteries.

I'm in the "The Right Bit @ the Wrong Time is the Wrong Bit" camp. So with near perfect clocks, the probability of timing errors are eliminated. That's why I can listen to one track 25 times in a row. I can listen to whole albums without getting 'triggered' to take a naviagation action. Whole different experience. Fatigue is a thing of the past because the brain doesn't have to process timing errors.

With the dCS Lina Stack being released, I can't help but liken it to my WFH Chord CIEM Stack. Even though I'm CIEM-only, I treat my chain with meticulous respect like a headphone chain. My whole chain is mOhms impedance, so as close to running the whole chain "bare metal" as possible. Honestly, I'll take my WFH Chord CIEM Stack every-time. I doubt nothing will be as this "modern" for years and years. Of course glass optical. Even ASR approves optical without even a single listening session, no-brainer. Everything else is just noise.

WFH Chord CIEM StackdCS Lina Stack (Can even apply to AIO like DAPs, etc. minus the power section)
ClocksNear Perfect Measurements [X]OK, Typical Average Clocks, nothing special. Yawn.
DACChord [X]More AIO than pure focus on DAC.
PowerOff-Grid Dynamic, Low Impedance (mOhms) [X]Mains, no ability to scale off-grid like Chord.
Operating SystemOpen-Source, 4ever update-able, realtime low-latency kernel, dedicated CPU cores exclusive to audio, ability to load entirely in RAM. [X]Proprietary BS like all commercial Status Symbol solutions. Update maybe a few times and that's it, you are stuck with that for it's lifetime. Usually, no ability to load entire OS in RAM.
Playback SoftwareOpen-Source, 4ever update-able, if the software you want is available, you should be able to implement. Scale software over time, even if a software is release five years from now. Real Summit-Fi Software. I also playback from dedicated RAM.[X]Proprietary BS like all commercial Status Symbol solutions. Stuck with software that will stop updating at some point. Stuck for it's lifetime with zero updates. Usually not considered Summit-Fi Software. It's okay, average. Usually, no RAM playback ability.
AmplifierNon-traditional. As close to listening straight out of the DAC as possible. Highest Resolution and Transparency with zero distortion and colouring. [X]Traditional. I would never use Traditional Amplification.
CIEM OutputRCA. With RCA, you have the ability to scale to WBT. World of difference with speaker-like attributes. [X]Traditional and Amplified. No way I'm ever going back to amplified for CIEM-use.

Anyways, this was a COVID-19 project, so it's time to move on and not think about this stuff ever again. I'm going to focus on a nice transducer and of course the Hugo₃ going forward. Please keep RCA Output on Hugo₃.

Many thanks for your teachings here on this thread. It helped inspire me to build something better than a car battery because car batteries are not too practical. When I decided to visit the Audiologist in Beverly Hills back in 2001, I never thought I could experience this level of enjoyment. With CIEMs the most progressive technology-wise, it's going to be fun going forward. It would take 6 digits to reach this level in the speaker world. Compared to the dCS Lina stack, I'm in at a fraction. Not listening with your wallet is a good take away from this thread. That's a great story you met John Franks @ CES. I miss all the free expensive software they give away @CES.

I'm out (again).
 
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Aug 24, 2022 at 12:07 AM Post #22,217 of 25,909
Oh, one more thing. If I do scale with the new HMS or a TTtre TT₃, Super Capacitor power only.

Basically, Ground and PWR goes to PCB. Then PCB solid core DC to a Chord Product. The PCB only uses Mains for charging. It's completely cut-off internally from the Mains once it's switched on. I'm running about 17V for the SOTA clocks, but I should be able to get in down under 15V if needed. Easy, friendly and convenient. No unplugging. No worrying if a car battery stops peaking in performance halfway. Just switch on and off, the PCB is smart enough to eliminate Mains from the equation since the PCB designer is also an Audiophile.

SB1260-27-turn-1.jpg

specs.png

https://4xspower.com/product/sb1260-27/

As you can see, well below 15V for Chord Products. Although I build from the ground up since I have a brand preference for Super Capacitors and not into ready-made solutions. I'm into UK Super Capacitors, not USA. For Car Audio, USA is fine, but for Chord or the best Audio clocks in the world I want UK Super Capacitors.

Note, Final Farads specs is calculated by Math which COVID Brain Fog prevents me from remembering ATM. But this one should be around 18,000 Farads total. Mine should be closer to 25,000 Farads. Then you are supposed to divide by number of Super Capacitors to get to Capacitance 1260F? I forget. It doesn't make a difference overall, but it's a good detail to know.

This also allows my power supplies to run regulator-free. No matter how fancy a brand name noisy power supply you have, you are bottle-necked by the regulator. This allows for the only 5V solution in the world to run regulator-free which I use for my Hugo₂ to run 24/7.
 
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Aug 24, 2022 at 12:11 AM Post #22,218 of 25,909
Oh, one more thing. If I do scale with the new HMS or a TTtre TT₃, Super Capacitor power only.

Basically, Ground and PWR goes to PCB. Then PCB solid core DC to a Chord Product. The PCB only uses Mains for charging. It's completely cut-off internally from the Mains once it's switched on. I'm running about 17V for the SOTA clocks, but I should be able to get in down under 15V if needed.

SB1260-27-turn-1.jpg

specs.png

https://4xspower.com/product/sb1260-27/

As you can see, well below 15V for Chord Products. Although I build from the ground up since I have a brand preference for Super Capacitors and not into ready-made solution.

Note, Final Farads specs is calculated by Math which COVID Brain Fog prevents me from remembering ATM. But this one should be around 18,000 Farads total. Mine should be closer to 25,000 Farads.

That's actually very cheap considering many opt for something like the Stromtank S4000 to completely get their whole setup off the grid
 
Aug 24, 2022 at 5:48 AM Post #22,220 of 25,909
So for me as a potential DAVE buyer next year (I should have the cash in 12 months) it seems the case of the DAVE then a year later the Sean Jacobs PSU.
If by any chance a new model is proposed/released, like the new version of the Utopia (I bought new set in April this year) I may just catch it.
No plans to change the Pathos Inpol Ear or the Auralic G1 as I love them both and I do not plan to change the Utopias either.
 
Aug 24, 2022 at 8:18 AM Post #22,221 of 25,909
Not listening with your wallet is a good take away from this thread.
That's true, but actually listening to stuff before judging it is a better takeaway. I feel like this thread has become very cult like in its approach. Feels like people take whatever Rob gives them as some kind of holy grail, yet they go and change it completely to improve it. How does that work? No offense but for the amount of work that you did, I would expect Chord to pay me. Then again, I work in consulting, I still feel like I'm owed a commission for my tinkering :p
It's all taste in the end, Golden Sound did not like the Bartok at all and that is supposed to be better than the Lina, in fact, I have read a few people that didn't like the Bartok, too smooth and blankets things. It may be that the DAVE is not to your liking, I heard the dCS Rossini stack with Mágico very expensive speakers and I was not impressed at all. To me it sounded overly smooth and I felt it covered my details, I like the Qutest with M Scaler better, but that's just me, I find after listening to a ton of DACs that I like what Rob does. No offense.
Well on first listen Golden did say he liked the Lina dac, and that it did sound better, with the exception of the amp. I'm not sure why people think Bartok is better. It's the same hardware, Golden listened to it before it got the 2.0 mapper upgrade, which supposedly changed the sound considerably. Lina also has different filters compared to the original Bartok, created for headphone use. So it's nowhere near apples to apples.
I can't speak to anything other than what I've heard, so that might be the case.
I know people here get easily offended, but there's really no need to worry. People who do get offended should really stop tying their self worth to their hi-fi or any other objects.
It's just stuff. And Lina sounding better to me doesn't make Dave sound worse. Well, maybe a little, for me, because I keep doing comparisons inadvertently. But it definitely shouldn't for anyone else.
 
Aug 24, 2022 at 8:29 AM Post #22,222 of 25,909
That's true, but actually listening to stuff before judging it is a better takeaway. I feel like this thread has become very cult like in its approach. Feels like people take whatever Rob gives them as some kind of holy grail, yet they go and change it completely to improve it. How does that work? No offense but for the amount of work that you did, I would expect Chord to pay me. Then again, I work in consulting, I still feel like I'm owed a commission for my tinkering :p

Well on first listen Golden did say he liked the Lina dac, and that it did sound better, with the exception of the amp. I'm not sure why people think Bartok is better. It's the same hardware, Golden listened to it before it got the 2.0 mapper upgrade, which supposedly changed the sound considerably. Lina also has different filters compared to the original Bartok, created for headphone use. So it's nowhere near apples to apples.
I can't speak to anything other than what I've heard, so that might be the case.
I know people here get easily offended, but there's really no need to worry. People who do get offended should really stop tying their self worth to their hi-fi or any other objects.
It's just stuff. And Lina sounding better to me doesn't make Dave sound worse. Well, maybe a little, for me, because I keep doing comparisons inadvertently. But it definitely shouldn't for anyone else.
Thanks for sharing, perhaps I'll audition the Lina and see what the deal is. I for one am not offended at all by your comments and views, I didn't design the Chord stuff and I'm not an owner at the company 😂. Keep the comments coming.
 
Aug 24, 2022 at 9:00 AM Post #22,223 of 25,909
Thanks for sharing, perhaps I'll audition the Lina and see what the deal is. I for one am not offended at all by your comments and views, I didn't design the Chord stuff and I'm not an owner at the company 😂. Keep the comments coming.
My thought exactly. I'm also not in a hurry to drop 22k on it before I hear what else that money can buy. That's a Stax x9k + T2, almost a Warwick Aperio, Etc.
 
Aug 24, 2022 at 9:44 AM Post #22,224 of 25,909
My thought exactly. I'm also not in a hurry to drop 22k on it before I hear what else that money can buy. That's a Stax x9k + T2, almost a Warwick Aperio, Etc.
At this level the next DAC that you can probably hear is the MSB, I heard one of their DACs twice I think it was the premier DAC and I was very, very impressed. It sounded real to me.
 
Aug 24, 2022 at 9:56 AM Post #22,225 of 25,909
At this level the next DAC that you can probably hear is the MSB, I heard one of their DACs twice I think it was the premier DAC and I was very, very impressed. It sounded real to me.

MSB is the antithesis of Chord’s philosophy BTW. MSB is pretty much taking non oversampling approach to the very best it can sound (using discrete components for inputs but more direct signal paths, femto33 home brew oscillator, discrete LPS, etc) while Chord puts everything on its oversampling and Pulse Array DAC and without the need of those discrete gizmos (oscillator, LPS, etc) to sound world class
 
Aug 24, 2022 at 10:01 AM Post #22,226 of 25,909
MSB is the antithesis of Chord’s philosophy BTW. MSB is pretty much taking non oversampling approach to the very best it can sound (using discrete components for inputs but more direct signal paths, femto33 home brew oscillator, discrete LPS, etc) while Chord puts everything on its oversampling and Pulse Array DAC and without the need of those discrete gizmos (oscillator, LPS, etc) to sound world class
I agree, but I heard it and it sounded amazing. Way over my budget and I would probably never have it, but I gotta say it did sound amazing.
 
Aug 24, 2022 at 10:52 AM Post #22,228 of 25,909
I keep seeing a lot of criticism for Chord on the switch mode power supplies being used to ship the product, what is the deal with this? Do the linear power supplies make the Chord DACs really sound better?
All I can say to this is that you really have to hear a DAVE + lps for yourself and make up your own mind.

For me, I can say that DAVE + Farad3 was a serious upgrade over stock DAVE.

I do not use the HP output on the DAVE but those who do report excellent results to the extent that some cans previously undriveable by stock DAVE are now driven well.

I have not heard the SJ ARC6 so I can't comment on that. However, +ARC6 launches the DAVE into direct price competition with the Lina stack so it had better be good.
 
Aug 24, 2022 at 11:06 AM Post #22,229 of 25,909
All I can say to this is that you really have to hear a DAVE + lps for yourself and make up your own mind.

For me, I can say that DAVE + Farad3 was a serious upgrade over stock DAVE.

I do not use the HP output on the DAVE but those who do report excellent results to the extent that some cans previously undriveable by stock DAVE are now driven well.

I have not heard the SJ ARC6 so I can't comment on that. However, +ARC6 launches the DAVE into direct price competition with the Lina stack so it had better be good.
I think you're right there perhaps the Farad would be a more sensible upgrade after a period of time. On a lesser scale I thought my Qutest sounded different in a good way with a decent LPS so I can only think the DAVE would be better for it too.
 
Aug 24, 2022 at 11:21 AM Post #22,230 of 25,909
I think you're right there perhaps the Farad would be a more sensible upgrade after a period of time. On a lesser scale I thought my Qutest sounded different in a good way with a decent LPS so I can only think the DAVE would be better for it too.
I have a Qutest, which "decent" LPS are you referring to? I would like to try it.
 

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