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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. speedracer1
    Hello my friend,
    From everything I have read or understand USB is a superior transport mechanism over the Toslink (optical) input its unfortunate AK doesn't provide it as an output.  the Aurender Flow USB output only with 2 TB of storage is exactly what I heard at the audio dealers store and sounds fantastic...
  2. raypin
    mmm......yeah, thanks for that. Same thing with the Aurender Flow: usb sounds better than AK through optical. Now if only I can install the Aurender PC driver on my Surface Book!?? It does not work but it works on my Surface Pro 3 and Sony Vaio Duo 13 (all three on Windows 10).
    Btt, I think the Chord Dave would still be a wonderful amp/dac for headphones but it probably needs a very good tube amplifier?? With the QBD76 and the Sustain84 from Cypher Labs (a mid-tier tube amp), my headphones experience was taken to a different level. I'm thinking perhaps the Alo Audio Studio Six or similar with the Dave??
  3. bmichels
    From what I read from you, may be it was the RWAK380>Tosklink that was the limitation.   So may be a DAVE + a basic USB desktop Music server (and still using your HE1000 directly on the DAVE) may be the upgrade you are looking for, without need for a AMP+Speakers set-up ?
    aside question:  Since I am considering purchasing a RWAK380cu myself (to upgrade my RWAK100+HUGO), could you tell me how much better the RWAK380 is compared to the AK380 ?  did you hear a real SQ improvement ?   And do you really need the RWAKAmp when you use your IEM (shure, Layla...) or is the RWAK alone enough ?
    Last question:  which one you prefer between Shure KSE 1500's, JH Layla's &  Nobel K10's ?
  4. bmichels
    I have always been confused about this FLOW:
    - for me is is some type of DAP without interface !  
    So, when you connect it to a SurfacePro3 or any other phone or Tablet, can you play the music that is on the 1 or 2 To HD inside the FLOW ? I understood that is is not possible (at least with a phone or iPAD)...and therefore I do not see the usage of this internal HD !?
    - what software player do you use on the SurfacePro3 when you play it through the Flow ?  Have you tried to use ROON ? 
    Thanks in advance for your explanations
  5. speedracer1
    Hello bmichels,
    Your comments are correct.  My first step should be to upgrade to the music server via USB and purchase the Dave and keep my HE-1000's and it should make a large difference in sound quality with the Dave to forget the amp and speakers for the moment. I should go back to the dealer just to see if I can give that combo a listen.  It's late in NY (time wise) and I need to get some sleep and I will answer the rest of your question tomorrow.  It always my pleasure to speak with you.
    Your friend in audio.
  6. raypin
    mmm......yeah, the Aurender Flow is an odd duck in the pond. Aurender can make it a standalone DAP but the size is a major problem (it has all the elements of a DAP except standalone U.I. for playback, although it has physical buttons on the side for playback). So, it is an amp/dac for your computers and DAPs with optical that just so happens to have its own storage solution (a 2 TB flash drive) that it can't play music on, on its own. You need a computer to make the Aurender Flow play music (even the ones on internal storage) lol! Perhaps the designers at Aurender were smoking a different weed when they designed this product. lol! But the sound is very good.
    I'll try Roon (still Foobar for me at the moment). Thanks.
  7. ecwl
    I'm not sure if DAVE's USB input is so dramatically better than the Toslink that it'll necessarily change your mind. Sonic improvements can be subjective and we all value the same improvements differently from a financial standpoint. It's probably worthwhile going back to recheck. The only thing I was wondering about was that AK380 has no crossfeed but I wonder if you also turned off crossfeed when you're listening to DAVE so that the sound resembles more what you're used to. I prefer DAVE with crossfeed set to 3 which was what Rob Watts recommended because he feels it resembles most what we get through speakers. But if you're used to AK380 which has no crossfeed, it's best to make sure you're comparing apples to apples and turn DAVE's crossfeed off... Btw, crossfeed is always off when listening through speakers.
  8. lovethatsound
    Hi speedracer1
    1st of all try and find out how many hours the Dave as on it.Their is not much difference between the optical and usb,usb being slightly better than optical.I don't use crossfeed,not a fan of it at all,If you try Dave again and you still don't like it,then the Daves not for you:blush:
  9. JaZZ Contributor
    Hi Speedracer
    Firstly, I'm not disputing your experience, which is your own. And I don't think USB will make that much of a difference (without systematic comparison I don't notice a clear difference). The state of burn-in may be of some relevance, though.
    I for one wouldn't want to renounce DAVE for headphone listening anymore. It provides a whole new level of sound quality, even compared to the Hugo. Especially low-level resolution and (consequently) spatial depth are outstanding, sometimes breathtaking. Nevertheless, the spectacularlty is never in the way of musicality, quite the opposite, it's part of a new depth and intensity of the musical experience.
  10. Mojo ideas
    No I don't think Bluebird will take a direct sale he will pass you on to a dealer though
  11. speedracer1
    Thank you ecwl,
    The AK player does not have a crossfeed function built-in and while I was listening to Dave the crossfeed was off.  This is an excellent point and it could help improve my listening experience with my headphones.  Andrew from Sound by Singer strongly felt the Toslink has terrible limitations and the USB was the absolute best choice between the two regarding sound quality.  I was an avid follower of the Cord Hugo thread from the very beginning and I clearly remember reading one of Rob's post and he said he preferred the optical Toslink connection as it sounded best with the Cord Hugo.  At that point, I ordered the Hugo from Moon Audio and the Toslink cable from Sysconcept Inc. in Canada and have enjoyed the Hugo ever since.. However that said the Cord Hugo is clearly not Dave so I tempered the response and said nothing to the audio dealer.
    ecwl as a person who is a Cord Dave owner I clearly respect your opinion that the USB input may not be so dramatically better and I may need to re-listen to the music I've heard a second time with the crossfeed enabled on Dave.  But the sound difference was orders an order of magnitude improvement using the amp and speakers in the room. 
    Your friend in audio,
  12. speedracer1
    Hi lovethatsound,
    Thank you you for reply and it is exactly in-line with what others have said in that their is not much of a difference between the optical and usb.  I honestly didn't ask Andrew how many hours the Cord Dave had clocked on it.  But I do recall that Andrew mentioned he had the Cord Dave since January and he has sold 5.  I was really looking and keenly listening for that true depth of sound ("Z" axis) with respect to some great recordings I have.  With the HE-1000's the depth of the sound-stage was improved by at most 10-15% over my portable gear but when we went to the amp and speakers it was just a an order of magnitude of difference so much so that any full size cans at least that I own completely pail in comparison... I mean smoked!   So my present thought process is consider the Aurender music server via USB connected to the Cord Dave and use my full size cans until I can really step-up with a great pair of speakers.  I would love to know what speakers others on this forum have while listening to Dave and I would like to know what Rob has when he spends time in-front of the Dave.  I think understanding the entire audio chain is critical with respect to end-to-end sound.
    Your friend in audio,
  13. speedracer1
    Hi Jazz,
    Thank you for your reply.  
    I'm just responding to each person in sequence who was kind enough to reply so please excuse any elements that may seem to renounce headphone listening as I mean no disrespect.  The Cord Dave is a outstanding piece and I'm clearly considering an opportunity to purchase one in the near future.  I'm very interested in trying to find my path (trajectory) with regard to the transition from portable digital audio into a truly satisfying home listening experience and the deliberate steps necessary to accomplish this task. I would greatly appreciate if some of the Cord Dave owners/contributors here would be kind enough to share there audio chains from end-to-end as it would clearly help me understand and focus my search.  I would like to go back to the dealer in NYC and give Dave a second listen soon.
    Your friend in audio,
  14. JaZZ Contributor
    My chain is in my signature:
    FiiO X5 II ― Chord Dave ― Sennheiser HD 800 / HiFiMan HE1000
    FiiO X5 II ― Chord Dave ― Stax SRM-727II ― Electrostat 1 / 2
    I don't listen to speakers anymore (due to ear problems – tinnitus and a special kind of hyperacusis), but as a former fanatic speaker builder I really miss this experience, as I can imagine how good DAVE would sound on my speaker system.
  15. speedracer1
    Thank you Jazz,

    I'm very sorry to learn about your tinnitus and a special kind of hyperacusis.  Thank goodness the headphone technology is improving all the time and I'm hoping at some point we can all experience a truly immersive sound similar to having an amazing pair of speakers like ones I’m sure you have built wrapped around our ears.



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