CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
May 20, 2023 at 2:43 AM Post #24,467 of 25,563
DAVE-HEDDphone.png

Personally I preferred them in combination with an external amp, but that's just me. My normal listening level is around 80 dB/SPL, so there is/was plenty of headroom, on paper.
Which external amp did you end up choosing? I'm looking at the Eleven audio top of the line with external power supply, which I heard yesterday and sounded outrageously good imho.
 
May 20, 2023 at 9:36 AM Post #24,468 of 25,563
Which external amp did you end up choosing?

Well, today I use a Zähl HM-1.

At the time I had the RAAL HSA-1b and an SPL Phonitor X (the RAAL was better than the SPL with the HEDDphone).

I'm looking at the Eleven audio top of the line with external power supply, which I heard yesterday and sounded outrageously good imho.

That'll give you a bit over double the power of the DAVE into the HEDDphone (2,285 mW). I've not heard the XI Formula S/HEDDphone as a combination, so can't comment on that from a "sound" perspective. I believe the Formula S yields something like 104 dB SINAD (if you care about such things) at 300mW (90% of its power output capacity) into a 300 ohm load. Probably a bit worse into a lower impedance load, but you're also not likely to be running it at 90% power.
 
May 20, 2023 at 10:54 AM Post #24,469 of 25,563
Well, today I use a Zähl HM-1.

At the time I had the RAAL HSA-1b and an SPL Phonitor X (the RAAL was better than the SPL with the HEDDphone).



That'll give you a bit over double the power of the DAVE into the HEDDphone (2,285 mW). I've not heard the XI Formula S/HEDDphone as a combination, so can't comment on that from a "sound" perspective. I believe the Formula S yields something like 104 dB SINAD (if you care about such things) at 300mW (90% of its power output capacity) into a 300 ohm load. Probably a bit worse into a lower impedance load, but you're also not likely to be running it at 90% power.
I was going to get the Zähl but Michael said they've got over 100 orders for the 50 they make per year. So I put my name in with Chris and we'll see. It's quite the device.

Thanks for the thoughts on the Xi. I really love the sound of the Formula S with the additional power supply.
 
Last edited:
May 20, 2023 at 12:26 PM Post #24,472 of 25,563
Omg😯 damn that improvement..
I knew there was even more SQ to get from Dave.. im on to new insight about Dave's power section bc of my testing with a Sj cap board making things worse in beginning..

I will post about it in my thread soon
For the ones not having enough of my talking..
I posted my findings in my thread Here
 
May 21, 2023 at 3:39 AM Post #24,473 of 25,563
Hi,

What headphone amplifier would you recommend nowadays for Dave and DCA Stealth, that would not ruin clarity and or soundstage of Dave thus gives more room for power handling especially for old and silent recordings. To my ears everything above 0 db on Dave starts to harden the sound.

Thanks.
 
May 21, 2023 at 3:53 AM Post #24,474 of 25,563
Hi,

What headphone amplifier would you recommend nowadays for Dave and DCA Stealth
I would aim for a single ended (RCA) design with as simple as possible circuit (few components) and rather higher than lower input impedance spec. for a Dave
 
May 21, 2023 at 5:47 AM Post #24,476 of 25,563
Thanks! Any specific model that you can mention of? Would help me very much! Thanks
I had few headphone amps cause i drive direct from Dave with its modified internal amp.

But i would search for a SOTA battery operated SE amp which cant catch mains RF noise for best SQ 😉
 
Last edited:
May 21, 2023 at 11:56 AM Post #24,477 of 25,563
Hi,

What headphone amplifier would you recommend nowadays for Dave and DCA Stealth, that would not ruin clarity and or soundstage of Dave thus gives more room for power handling especially for old and silent recordings. To my ears everything above 0 db on Dave starts to harden the sound.

Thanks.
Xi audio Formula S with external power supply option.
 
May 21, 2023 at 2:28 PM Post #24,478 of 25,563
Hi,

What headphone amplifier would you recommend nowadays for Dave and DCA Stealth, that would not ruin clarity and or soundstage of Dave thus gives more room for power handling especially for old and silent recordings. To my ears everything above 0 db on Dave starts to harden the sound.

Thanks.

I am not questioning anyone else's experiences, but I've done a ton of comparing with the (un-modded) Dave's headphone out and the WA33 and Eddie Current Studio B (300 B tubes), among a few others (fyi though, both of these are very transparent tube amps and lack a "tubey" sound), and have personally found the 'transparency loss' concern to be gravely overstated. With both of these amps, I did not find any audible loss in transparency whatsoever, only significant improvements in timbre and bass--which seems to be pretty consistent with the improvements found when people mod their Daves for better power, which seems to align and make sense. Outside of those two factors, I found the sound (especially tone and detail retrieval) very similar in fact. This was using the Utopia, Susvara and L3000.

I would strongly encourage you to test for yourself and *not* limit yourself to only specific types of amps. And when you test, you need to be aware of the fact that you already have bias to believe that you'll lose transparency and try to strongly avoid how it impacts what you perceive. The last thing I'll mention is that sometimes a leaner sound is perceived as "more transparent" when in fact it's a sign of under-amplication/power (hence the significant timbre improvement I saw each time). Some people prefer this, as the sound can come across as clearer or cleaner, that's ok if you or anyone else does. (For reference, I love the 009, which fits this exact case).
 
May 21, 2023 at 10:14 PM Post #24,479 of 25,563
Hi,

What headphone amplifier would you recommend nowadays for Dave and DCA Stealth, that would not ruin clarity and or soundstage of Dave thus gives more room for power handling especially for old and silent recordings. To my ears everything above 0 db on Dave starts to harden the sound.

Thanks.
I have this same setup + HMS and WAVE Storm's. To me there is zero need for an amp. Plus above 0 it is LOUD. I just finished listening to the remaster of Pigs on Animals and the middle section bass goes so low my teeth rattle. Many on this thread def have "audio-itis" and can't leave well enough alone. If you've ever owned a major bucks big rig think Shun Mook "Mpingo Disc" or a nice $10,000 power cord (for preamp, DAC, upsampler, two monoblocks). If you want some tube sound get the Feliks Envy. I know a few on the Forum who own these and are quite happy. Also the MSB amp looks promising.
 
May 21, 2023 at 10:18 PM Post #24,480 of 25,563
Oh yeah. Any you CAN'T just get any old 300B tubes. Look about. You'll want Western Electrics for sure. Those are $1400/pair. Super nice sounding.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top