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CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. TheAttorney
    Does the burn in time apply separately to the headphones section than to the DAC direct mode?
    My loan DAVE would have had much less burn in time in headphone mode, but I assumed both modes were much the same, other than a different socket and a digital volume control.
     
    BTW, I think I now understand at least partly why I didn't get on with the HD800S in my comparison review: I've since seen Tyll's frequency response graphs, which show the 800S to have a slight dip at 1khz and a big peak at 6khz. This could explain why I found female vocals to sound thin and lacking in body with these headphones, which the neutral DAVE would have had no impact on. I had also briefly tried my trusty old HD600's and they didn't have this particular issue, but of course they weren't as good as the HD800S in other ways. I think it was Jazz who advocates using an equalizer - this seems like one situation where an equalizer would help a lot.
     
    I don't think this frequency response issue was any way near the whole story to my comparison, but it would have been a contributing factor. 
     
  2. lovethatsound
    Hi Attorney
    Yes the headphone section needs the 600 hours and of course this is running in the dac as well.If you go back through my posts on here you'll find i was using my headphone amp because to me at the time it sounded better,but after the 600 hour run it turned around and now i don't use my headphone amp anymore.Its all from the Dave now:blush:
     
  3. lovethatsound
    Hi ecwl
    I put mine in standby when not in use:blush:
     
  4. romaz
     
    Even at 500+ hours, I am still noticing subtle changes occurring with the DAVE although I recall it sounding consistently good at about 250-300 hours.  Since the headphone port is tied to the SE output of the DAVE, my guess is that the burn in hours for both headphone port and RCA out are equivalent while the balanced output could require its own independent burn in although this is pure conjecture.
     
    I am also noticing changes with my HD800S which has about 120 hours on it.  As I stated, I have been less impressed with it compared to the HE-1000 as it just sounds flat and thin in comparison, especially in the lower registers.  My experience has been that it is more the headphone cable that requires long burn in with headphones and since I am using the Silver Spore4 with the HD800S, I have assumed it has been sufficiently burned in for a while now.  Well, I have been running it continuously over the past 24 hours with my System Enhancer CD to try and convince myself that this headphone is worth keeping and I have to say it is opening up.  Depth is improving although still no where at the level of the HE-1000.  Bass presence seems to be improving also.  I will need to give this one more time.
     
  5. Rob Watts
     
    No, the only difference is PCB track and a different relay - its going through identical circuitry.
     
    On burn in with Dave in general - I am actually not 100% sure about this (that it has much break-in). My main unit has clocked up thousands of hours, but when I loaded the production code (which had some major sound quality improvements) I had the feeling it was sounding better and better, even 8 weeks after - and that can't be physical break-in. The difference in SQ was about a 30% improvement in depth. Part of it was that I was listening to new material, and I was hearing the better depth, part was simply enjoying the improvement (how long it takes to get used to a sound quality upgrade gives a useful clue to the magnitude or scale of the change). Maybe brain break-in, but perhaps not. When I get a brand new unit I will do a test against my old unit and get a feel for how much is physical break-in.
     
    On headphones - I get the impression that Dave allows you to perceive the strengths and weakness of differing headphones with ease - you will find that the differences between different HP are much more pronounced, and that you will end up re-assessing the relative merits of your headphones. So don't be surprised that you end up liking completely different headphones.
     
    Rob
     
    Chord Electronics Stay updated on Chord Electronics at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/chordelectronics https://twitter.com/chordaudio http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk/
  6. romaz
    Rob, could you please explain how the DAVE attenuates volume?  Does it occur in the digital or analog domain?  Is your noise shaper involved?
     
    With my previous DAC, it had a 60+ bit digital volume control and as you attenuated the volume, you would lose bit depth and eventually you would drop below the bit-depth of your recording (16-24 bits) which would then lead to loss of dynamic resolution but until that point was reached, the full dynamics were there.  At least, that is how I understood it.
     
  7. JaZZ Contributor
     
    Considering the warmth produced by it (hinting to the used electrical energy) I couldn't reconcile it with my conscience to leave it on all the time. I leave it on the whole evening till the end of my listening session(s), though.
     
  8. JaZZ Contributor
    I really believe in audible break-in effects with my DAVE. It's been improving up to a few hours ago, so 400 or 500 hours or even more may indeed be realistic. I have no idea which part(s) of the electronics are responsible for it, but I'm curious about Rob's findings. My theory is that the spectacular small-signal resolution extends break-in effects to levels that are long below the audibility threshold with less resolving electronics.
     
  9. rgs9200m
    So how much warmth does the DAVE generate? Is it appropriate for desktop use right near me (like I enjoy with my cool-running Hugo TT)? Thanks.
     
  10. JaZZ Contributor
     
    No problem for me. You can still touch the housing. And I haven't really noticed any additional warmth at my listening place 55 cm from it.
     
  11. Articnoise
     

    If the pre is digital I assume the volume control will be digital too. I’m also looking forward to hear how Rob have dealt with it and how it’s made to prevent loss of bit depth and resolution on lower volume.

     
  12. ecwl
    About burn-in, I left DAVE on all the time the first week but was too busy to seriously listen, just watched a couple hours of TV through it nightly. Then I was away the second week with the DAVE turned off. The third week, I turned it back on and after a few days, I don't think I've heard any sonic improvements since. I have unplugged the DAVE to try it out at my dealer's place in a different system once and the rest of the time it's at home turned on (not on standby). I do use my headphones with it probably 2-3 hours a week but I don't consider myself discerning enough to notice improvements with burn-in in that section of the DAC. On average, I think I listen to 2 hours of music with it nightly through my speakers, plus 1 hour of TV.
     
    What I do notice is maybe what Rob Watts called brain break-in. So I have a few songs that I'd listen to a few times, more as test tracks. Otherwise, I just go through new music in Tidal or leaf through my own collection as the music sound so new and fresh with DAVE. With new music, I constantly feel like the DAC is improving, as I'm always hearing new things that I didn't know were in the music that I already own (and used to listen to with the QBD76HDSD). But whenever I start wondering if that's because DAVE is burning in, I would listen to those standard test tracks I use that I've listened to probably weekly since the third week I had the DAC (week of March 7) and I didn't notice any improvements compared to my recall. It would be interesting to hear from people who notice more and more burn-in with time whether they left their DAVE on standby (most did) or not and whether they mainly listen to new materials or just the same tracks over and over again.
     
  13. Jawed
    I dare say if you hadn't used standby and instead just left it on, it would have "run in" faster.
     
  14. TheAttorney
    The HiFi News review stated that it consumed 18w in normal mode and 1w in standby.
     
    So in normal mode, DAVE consumes about half that of my Y(rest of word censored), despite the latter being cooler to the touch, courtesy of it's much larger enclosure.
    Furthermore, DAVE's 1w standby option appeals to me wanting to save the planet - or at least pretending to.
     
    Although DAVE gets pleasantly "warm", it doesn't get anywhere near "hot"
     
  15. wym2
     
     
    Just wondering after reading this post whether there is a possibility that this DAC chip can be reprogrammed with future sound /operational improvements- perhaps like firmware?  
     
    speedracer1 likes this.
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