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CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. Priaptor

    Thanks. I much rather save the bucks. I just wasn't sure if there was some amazing "coupling" or "decoupling" thing the stand had in conjunction with DAVE. I happen to have a Townshend isolation stand sitting around doing nothing which I am sure would work great.

    Have people purchased these via bricks and mortar stores or are any NET resellers selling them. I have no dealer in my area.

    Thanks again.
     
  2. shuttlepod

    Priaptor:  If there is no dealer in your area, I would think that Bluebird Music, the US/Canadian importer for Chord in Toronto, might be willing to deal with you directly (even if their website states that they do not sell directly to consumers). At the very least, they may have some suggestions as it is in their interest to make sure potential customers like you get served. 
     
  3. Priaptor

    Will give them a call on Monday. I have had my eye on DAVE since it was announced. I love my HUGO.
     
  4. esimms86

    Priaptor, if you're looking for a dedicated amp/DAC setup for headphones then I can't recommend DAVE highly enough. I haven't heard Hugo but I have a Chord Mojo(which I love for music on the go) and DAVE is 2 quantum leaps better than the Mojo.

    BTW, I contacted Bluebird Music and they put me in touch with Sound By Singer(one of the best known audiophile brick and mortar salons in NY City) where Andrew Singer took great care of me. If you end up doing business with him tell him I sent you.

    Esau

    P.S.
    - DAVE was shipped to me directly from Bluebird Music so, if you're going to end up buying one without ever having laid eyes on one, then it doesn't really matter where your dealer is located.
     
  5. rgs9200m
    Thanks Christer for all that. I have to admit I feel the Chord sound (from my Hugo and Hugo TT) is a breakthrough with redbook CD and I can use just about any headphone without the fear of wincing.
     
    With even high end CD players, I like to use my HE1000 and, surprisingly better yet, a Senn HD650 (a real gem I have found, especially with a good tube amp like an Apex Pinnacle).
    I do recommend that those who would normally overlook the HD650 in the world of very high end headphones give it a try with an open mind, as I find it has a uniquely sweet and profound voice and scales up nicely. 
    I wonder how it would sound with the Dave. (I don't think it has been mentioned in this thread.)
     
    So thanks to Rob for working some sort of miracle in the redbook world.
    But as I said, pure SACD is a whole different sound, with a special sense of unforced ease.
    (But again, full disclosure, I have not heard a Dave.)
     
  6. Priaptor

    Esau,
     
    Thanks.  I know Andy very well from my early days in this hobby.  I am going to be in The City last week of April so I will stop by..
     
    Thanks
    Howie
     
  7. ecwl
    I'm listening to Pollini play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 through DAVE and my HD650. Sounds great. I already get a lot more (1 quantum leap?) off the Mojo over an optimized Benchmark DAC1 (Nordost Heimdall 2 power cord/Peachtree X1 USB-S/PDIF adaptor to lower jitter on the input side). DAVE is as Esau says 2 quantum leaps over Mojo. Reading this column made me order some replacement ear pads for the HD650 last week from Japan (cheapest source on Amazon Canada because my local Sennheiser dealers are nuts and wouldn't sell or replace the pads). The more I read this forum, the more you guys and Rob Watts convinced me how much sonic quality loss a power amplifier/speaker system has compared to straight to headphones. I never upgraded to HD800 because it was too big for my head. How's the HE1000 for size? I may need to cut myself off this forum or else I might impulsively buy the HE1000.
     
  8. longbowbbs
    The HE1000 and the HD800's are similar in size. That space gives some wicked soundstage though. Both are pretty lite too so do not let the size stop you from trying them.
     
  9. esimms86

    As longbowbbs says, the HD800 and HE1000 are comparable in size. The HE1000 is not uncomfortable but the HD800 practically feels like you're not wearing anything on your head. It's easily the most comfortable headphone I've ever worn.

    I did some listening the other day with DAVE connected to my main speaker system. While it sounded phenomenal, it did not equal the experience of listening through headphones. The amount of detail goes up a few notches when listening through headphone, at least in my experience. I also have to admit that I have a Marantz PM KI integrated which means that DAVE is compromised by having a preamp in the system. Perhaps the difference between headphones and loudspeakers would be narrowed without the preamp in play but I don't believe that they'd ever be qualitatively equivalent.
     
  10. esimms86

    Sounds like a plan Howie. Make sure to call ahead of time to verify that Andy has at least a demo in stock.

    Esau
     
  11. ecwl
    Sounds like my head is just too small for the HE1000 too.
    Since this is a head-fi forum, it's too bad not enough people are commenting on how much more transparent the digital volume control of the DAVE is compared to other preamps, even state of the art preamplifiers, in stereo/speaker systems. I think we hear this a little bit from people who used to use other headphone amplifiers (with passive analog volume controls) discuss this issue a bit but it's hard to tease out whether the loss of transparency in those situations are from the amplification or the preamplification. But I can say DAVE's digital volume control (and in fact Mojo's) is significantly more transparent than many high-end solid-state preamplifiers.
    Esau, if you don't need the Marantz PM KI as a preamplifier for other sources, you should really look into a power amplifier to pair with the DAVE. I think you'll be shocked by the sonic improvements. The challenge is finding the right power amplifier to pair with the DAVE before Rob Watts's new digital amplifier comes out...
     
  12. rgs9200m
    To ecwl above: the current HE1000 has been made smaller than the original (and there are reports that it is actually too small for those with larger heads who need to put it on the loosest setting).
    I have the original one with a medium size head but I would not want it smaller.
    So I *think* you would be just fine with a smaller head size and the current model. (The length of the strap is the change that was made  --they made it shorter--  a few weeks after its initial release.)
    By the way, the HE1000 is very, very comfy. I actually find it more comfy than the HD800 because, just personal here, I prefer the wider ridge that rests against the surface of my head on the HE1000.
    The HD800 is not uncomfortable, but I just like that fatter soft surface of the HEK.
     
    paulchiu likes this.
  13. esimms86

    Thanks ecwl. When I bought the PM KI I was just transitioning from a receiver based 5.1 home theater system to a 2.1 stereo system. At that time the PM KI was the best component in my system. It was also a steal as I bought a demo unit in perfect condition for 2500 USD(the retail price was 3995 USD). It still sounds awesome but even I have to agree that it's now the weakest component in my system. I've thought of replacing it with a power amp many times and maybe now I will since my search for high quality DACs is finally over. Then again, the upcoming Chord amp, of course, promises wonderful synergy with DAVE so I should probably let my wallet recover and play wait to see.
     
  14. speedracer1
    I got to the dealer this past Friday and got a chance to listen to the Cord Dave.  Here are my listening impressions:

     
    Background:
    Audiophile 35 + years and a musician along with a technical education and appreciations for the arts.  I travel nearly 4 hours each day to/from my office I have spent most of the past two years focused on building by experience in the portable realm of digital audio.  Prior to this I was strictly a 2 channel guy and have had many wonderful pieces of very fine audio equipment over the years. At this point my portable equipment includes the Red Wine Audio (RWA) modified AK380 plus the RWAK 380 external amp, Shure KSE,1500's, JH Layla's, Nobel K10's and the reliable Cord Hugo.  I also have the HiFiMan HE-1000's and the Sen HD 800's.  At this point I'm looking to expand my digital audio experience into a home system and I'm considering the Blue Hawaii along with the Stax 009 or the Lampi big 7 heavy along with the HE-1000's, HiFiMan 650’s and Sen HD 800's.  
     
    Listening experience and impressions:
    This past Friday I traveled to my local NYC dealer (Sound by Singer) and had a private appointment with Andrew (proprietor) to listen to the Cord Dave along with my equipment (listed above) and also a chance to listen to other equipment the dealer has in his high-end listening room.  
     

    My take away after about an hour using very familiar music along with the RWAK380 player connected optically to the Cord Dave feeding my HE-1000's or Sen HD 800's is I would definitely not purchase the Dave!

     

    In all honesty the Dave was a 15% improvment over the portable system I already own connected to the HE-1000's.  I was really hoping to hear a significant difference in sound quality coming from the HE-1000 with the Dave as a source.  My conclusion is to consider dropping 13k for a Dac that I would use to solely connect to a set of headphones is an absolute waste of money!  I also realize that the AK player does not have USB output so I couldn’t clearly hear Dave it at its best and that’s a real limitation with the AK unit.
     

    When I had the dealer demonstrate the same tracks I was originally listening to using a music server connected this time via USB and replacing the HE-1000 with a beautiful amp and pair of speakers the music reproduction was really outstanding.

     

    Cord Dave is a beautiful piece of equipment and unless you have great equipment in the chain (Amps, Speakers) NOT headphones it’s pointless.

     

    Sincerely,

    Your friend in audio,

    -Speed  

     
  15. raypin
    mmm......although the Chord Dave is already  available here, I have not auditioned it yet. But based on your post, I feel the same way as the Chord Hugo TT: the USB (HD) makes the TT sound better than using the optical (using my AK 240 or 380 cu as transport). I don't know why that is the case. Maybe the problem lies with  my optical cable (the one that came with the Aurender Flow)????
     
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