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Thank you! (I always assumed that equipment from the UK is tuned for Beatles music.)
I've had my very own DAVE in my home for a very brief time now and have just a few hours listening under my belt. I plan to do some critical listening later on in the week but thus far all I've done is to pretty much listen for enjoyment for several hours in 2 extended listening sessions and with, so far, less than 20 hours on my way to (eventually) having a fully burned in unit.
Beatles-wise, I've only listened to parts of MMT. This is now where it gets complicated. So many of the Beatles recordings were produced differently. Abbey Road, for instance, is not produced with multiple bounced tracks, slowed down and speeded up tape, etc. like MMT. I actually prefer MMT with lesser DACs as DAVE is relentless(in my opinion) in detailing just how the individual songs were pieced together from overdubs and bounced tracks. The final tracks have so many pieces as, say, 3rd or 4th generation recordings due to the inherent limitations of trying to achieve such artistry with 4 track recorders and, in some cases, 1/4 track tape. I'm certain that LIB and Abbey Road would be a different experience given the more advanced multitrack machines that the Fab Four by then had at their disposal. The panned vocals to one side and instruments to the other formula used in Rubber Soul would make a whole other listening experience. And then there's mono... Anyway, I'd hate to be unfair in commenting further without more extended listening to a wider variety of Beatles recordings.
I did have a chance to listen to DAVE connected to the original Blue Hawaii(Justin built) and an SR009. I plan to do some level matched A/B listening later in the week with the HE1000 vs. the SR009. Preliminary listening with the BH/SR009, however, left me with an experience of similar high quality detail and real sounding instrument timbres but with a diminished soundstage(though subtle and not a deal breaker) with the SR009 setup. The SR009's, to me, are the more comfortable headphones for extended listening. While I favor the tube sound of the BH over the KGSSHV Carbon(which I owned and later sold - in spite of its better bass quality), with DAVE I've found "tube warmth" to be a noncritical factor when compared to the "naturalness" of the sound of DAVE with the HE1000.
I can say that well recorded red book CD rips sound amazing through DAVE. Likewise, DSD optimized with DSD Plus. I have never heard vocals and piano sound so real through headphones. The natural decay of piano notes are uncanny and there is absolutely no question of when the foot leaves the keyboard pedal. Yes, DSD 256 is measurably better than DSD64, especially when the recording is spare. All I can say is, DAVE is a triumph. End game, game over.
Thank you very much esimms86 for all that illuminating and interesting post. I loved reading that; it wasn't what I expected. I always seem to learn new things on head-fi. I need to go back and listen to MMT now to see about this. Thanks again!
Hmm, it seems you guys have not read Rob Watts' first blog post where among other things he reports once listening to some Beatles master tapes and found them horrible!
Before I am possibly being blasted and having a post deleted again, let me clearly state that I love, REALLY LOVE most of the Beatles' music. They are imho one of the very very few"pop bands" whose music will survive our generation as the great classical composers from Bach and onwards.
Unlike so much else in that genre ,They actually made music!
With few,very few, other exceptions they are basically the only pop group of my youth that I still listen to and really enjoy.
But most of their recordings are mediocre at best from a technical standpoint.
Beatles, sound great, ELO sound great, Rolling Stones sound great, Pink Floyd sound great, everything (Good Recordings) sound great out of the Dave Dac!
I'm not anal like some people
Fair enough, point taken, however, you can't "unhear" something once you've heard it. Interestingly, though the Stones recordings are not audiophile standouts, I find that, with DAVE, the layering of guitars is exposed as being more intricate than it sounded on previous listening with other DACs in play. Further, speaking as a guitarist, the raw sound of electric guitar is captured beautifully on "Let It Bleed." Jagger's vocals, on the other hand, are relatively muddled and nowhere near as prominent in the mix as one would expect.
Regarding the Beatles, it's nice to have reached my own conclusions with my own ears. The Beatles recordings highlight the experimental aspect of trying to get on tape the sound imagined in the composer's head with the suggestions/contributions of brilliant collaborators also added in. I easily resonate with John Lennon's statement later in his life, to the effect saying that he wishes he could re-record all of their music all over again. Just "imagine" what MMT and Sgt. Pepper would sound like recorded on a 24 track machine instead of 4 track.
Just listened to the Beatles number 1cd using Dave with hd800 sounds really good,not peaky,some of stereo tracks are very left and right,but that's to expected with recording like these,all in all very good,nice and clear.
As for Rob's comments, no I did not see Rob's mention of this; I'll look for the blog and thanks for pointing this out.
As for the Stones, I consider it a major blessing that we have them on SACD. I've had many of these discs and they sound magnificent and better than vinyl to me since 2004 (via EMM SACD cdps).
(By the way, the new Carly Simon sacds are also superb. And the Doors sacds are great also. All as good as it gets to my ears fwiw, ahead of vinyl. And Carole King too.)
Another tip for Chord users--try the Beatles Anthology set from 1995 on your Chord; I can't get over how fine and musical and sweet it sounds on my TT. (And it had great musical value too for Beatles fans.)
And I ripped my huge Rhino British Invasion CD set for my Chord TT and it is brilliant, better than I ever heard it, and it also made me think there is synergy between Chord gear and this music somehow;
such great music...
(Maybe the Chord people test with it, but that's just speculation).
Thanks for all the replies to my Beatles question.
Thank you for sharing your experience especially with less than 20 hours of listening as I don't think I could control myself enough to begin organizing my thoughts to paper. I've been watching this thread for a while now and I'm very impressed with the level of intellectual capital and individuals here with the unique ability to articulate such detailed thoughts that translate into some really outstanding information on this thread.
I'm really looking forward to your comparison using the BH/SR009 vs. Dave/HE-1000's. I'm scheduled two weeks from this Friday to have my first listen experience with Dave in NYC and I honestly can't wait! I've been thinking about a home system for a while now including the Lampi, BH or Dave and I hope this will help me decide. I've been a two channel guy since I was the ripe old age of 12 and that was 4 decades ago. I only stepped into the world of digital audio in April 2014 and my senses are very pleased that I did.
Your friend in audio,
+1 me too I'm looking forward to your comparison using the BH/SR009 vs. Dave/HE-1000's.
That's too bad about how you feel about the Stones recordings. I must not be too picky, or my hearing is not as good as yours.
Have you heard John Lennons' Double Fantasy SACD? I think that sounds great.
I just purchased Sennheiser 800's headphones, just to get my feet wet with higher end headphones, I may try others, but I didn't want to spend too much right off the bat.
I was wondering if most of the Chord DAVE owners leave their DAVE on all the time or do you put it in standby mode? I used to leave my Chord QBD76HDSD on all the time so I just left the DAVE on all the time too. I did have the Display Mode set to 4 so that the display is off most of the time. Thoughts? Opinions?
I believe you may have misinterpreted my intent here. It's all good, however and I have no issues with your reply. First point is I love the Stones and I have SACDs(and SACD rips) of Let it Bleed, Exile on Main Street , Sticky Fingers an Beggars Banquet. I enjoy them all. Is the sound terrible or unenjoyable? To the contrary. Is it audiophile reference grade? No. Do I listen to music because I like the recording quality or do I listen because I like the music? Definitely the latter. Well recorded music is icing on the cake and I also love getting to know my favorite recordings better by listening with a superb DAC like DAVE. At the same time, we all have our favorite pieces that we return to gain and again because we love the music despite the fact that the recording quality leaves something to be desired.
No, I haven't had a chance to listen to Double Fantasy on a SACD but I would jump at the chance. The HD800's are great headphones and I look forward to checking out DAVE with my Stefan Art Audio modded HD800 set.
Very subjective and confusing review where the reviewer contradicts himself more than once.
In one paragraph he even states that some cd players sound better than DAVE, then says he isn't really sure!
And NOT EVEN ONE REAL HI RES example of large scale acoustic music!
Well recorded ,large scale acoustic music is the only type of music that is COMPLEX enough to really sort the wheat from the chaff!
How many times does that have to be said?
Moreover the list of hi res files examples in the review only consists of digitally remastered analogue material.
So all he is doing when raving about DXD is how admittedly good analogue master tapes sound via DXD!
Yes those old Jazz recordings are good no doubt about it.
I have been to Stampen,heard the mastertapes, and know those recordings are very realistic.
But he doesn't mention any modern native DXD recordings at all.
And the only example of classical music at all is a pretty bad low res CBS digital recording from the 90s of Glenn Gould playing Bach something every reviewer seems to think it is hip to state that they have.
Yes piano can be very revealing too and is a very difficult instrument both to record and reproduce. But there are tons of piano recordings that are just so much better than the CBS/Gould reviewers have been told to or feel it is their duty to mention.
Rather typical of HI FI Mags these days.
I'VE read that review as well and have come to the conclusion that the Dave he use was not run in probably.From my own experience the Dave needs at least 600 hours run in time before you judge David's headphone out to a different headphone amp,and that goes for the dac as well