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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. paulchiu
    I think you and others here are very much regular guys.  Thanks for all the help.  My black and black with 6.7 inch tall chrome legged Dave is on order.  As for the best DAC, I will so looking forwards to running it alongside the Nagra HD DAC. :)
  2. JaZZ Contributor
    That will be an interesting comparison.
  3. TheAttorney
    That would indeed be an interesting comparison, but have I missed something paulchiu? Are you aiming to keep both Nagra and DAVE?
  4. paulchiu
    Yes sir, the Nagra has a rich tube sound, dreamy for female vocals.
    I think the Dave will sound more to my taste in rock and techno.
    Aslshark likes this.
  5. Jawed
    This fascinating page puts a whole new perspective on UK FM:

    BBC PCM and NICAM History

    NICAM: Near Instantaneously Companded Audio Multiplex:

  6. TheAttorney
    Wow, a different expensive DAC to be used for different music types. That is true dedication to the high end! [​IMG]
    Anyway, I think you'll find that DAVE is pretty damn fine on female vocals too.
    For the Nagra HD to earn its keep (at twice the price of DAVE), I would hope it would add something much more fundamental than a bit of tube warmth, but hopefully you'll let us know in due course.
    BTW, on an earlier topic, I now find that the Absolute Phase (or more accurately Absolute Polarity?) switch is the most used "button" on both Y and DAVE. Once I've latched on to the subtle-but-significant change it can make to most of my albums, my OCD tendencies mean that I now have to check this for each album I play. Which leads to my open question on DAVE's operation: Is there a way to directly switch this option on either the main unit or on the remote control?  In either case, I find I need to press at least 2 buttons (one to highlight the option, and another to switch it).
    I really like DAVE's "Cyclops" display, but two enhancement requests would be to have a dedicated button on the main unit for Absolute Polarity and a second dedicated button for Standby (currently Standby is the only reason why I'm forced to use the remote control).   
  7. STR-1

    Thanks for the replies guys and sorry for the delay in acknowledging.
  8. rkt31
    any more comparisons of dave with other DACs or reviews of dave ?
  9. bacon333
    Project EvaD - Evaluation DAVE is almost complete.
    Nearly a month long process...I'm finishing up the last section. I still need to do some touching up but if you're interested in how it compares to the MSB Analog, Chord Hugo TT, Lumin S1, and Berkeley Alpha Reference it's worth a read (especially the "Raw Notes" for the Berkeley). 
    JaZZ, metalboss, Beolab and 1 other person like this.
  10. shuttlepod
    Hey Mr. Bacon333--
    Very insightful and thorough review! Your hard work (if you can call it work) is appreciated. I am grateful for the comparison with the Berkeley, as I have wondered in my mind how it might stack up with the DAVE (realizing that your views are yours alone). I'll go back and read this more thoroughly when I have more time, but I like your detailed description of the various set-ups and think that the inclusion of your "raw notes" is a nice touch -- why haven't other folks thought of this? (Maybe they have and I've missed them.) 
    Totally agree with you on the importance of power. I didn't do my own "dirty" vs. "clean" power comparisons as I became convinced long ago that clean power makes a big difference and once Rob opined that he thought it would make a difference, that was enough for me to simply use my existing power setup (see profile for more detail). 
    Once again, bravo on your review and I look forward to the finished product.
  11. shuttlepod
    With regard to the harsh treble glare you found with the DAVE, I would try listening to the DAVE with different headphones or speakers and/or different headphone cables. I did not find this to be the case with either my speaker system or with the HE1000 using a Purist Audio Design Impresa cable. Indeed, I found that the DAVE sounded smoother in the treble than other dacs and actually helped tame recordings that previously sounded harsh. 
  12. Kamil21

    Is the harshness only on vocals on multi track recordings?

    This could well be the choice of vocal microphone used in the studio as it seems that the harshness is only for some recordings. It would not be a surprise that many studios use the same range of microphones to record vocals.
  13. JaZZ Contributor
    An incredibly thorough review! I have one question (pardon my ignorance): What's a «digital power cable/cord»? Is there simply meant a power cord for a digital source?
  14. shuttlepod
    A couple comments on your setups for evaluating the various dacs:
    I see that you used a cheap, non-audiophile USB cord with DAVE but used audiophile USB cords with the other dacs. I also see that you used a W4S Recovery (USB reclocker), as well as a linear power supply, for the Berkeley and Chord Hugo TT setups. You avoided using any USB "band aids" or LPS with the DAVE. Thus, you were taking Rob Watts at his word regarding source immunity by providing DAVE with a "dirty" USB signal from a "dirty" computer. All the more impressive that you generally found DAVE to be superior. It will be interesting to read your findings regarding source immunity when you publish these. 
    Perhaps more importantly, I see that you used the Simaudio Moon Neo 430HA headphone amp with the DAVE when comparing dacs, rather than DAVE's headphone out. I find this a little surprising, as I would guess that most DAVE users would be using DAVE's headphone out (and the TT's headphone out, for that matter). I suppose you wanted a level playing field? I don't know if you still have the Berkeley and DAVE in house, but I would be interested in a direct comparison of these dacs when using DAVE's headphone out. 
    We can extrapolate from your finding, however, in the headphone amp comparison part of your review, that DAVE's headphone out is superior to the 430HA. That finding strongly suggests that DAVE would have an even greater edge over the Berkeley when the DAVE's headphone out is used.
  15. rgs9200m
    Yep, I found the AQ Diamond usb cable made a huge difference on my TT (and even on my Hugo before this). It really gives more "rounded" images, more transparent tighter faster bass, and more liquid highs. I consider it a necessity.
    I also really like Shunyata power cords, like my old Shunyata Alpha Helix on my amp that I use with my TT.
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