CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
Feb 5, 2024 at 1:41 PM Post #25,471 of 25,813
It is tough, and often disheartening.
From a business perspective, I get it, it makes sense to do things that way as a manufacturer because like it or not, it works. People don't buy into typical advertising as much as they used to but will put much more weight into what a reviewer says, even if that reviewer is sponsored by that manufacturer, is keeping the unit after, or has an affiliate link on that product.
Manufacturers get great return on their dollar spent by doing things this way and so it will continue.

And that also gives completely valid reason for viewers to be skeptical of what reviewers say, and I myself basically disregard what most reviewers say besides a small few I trust to operate with integrity.

But it can be frustrating because for those of us that do make an effort and make sacrifices to operate without those affiliations or biases, people will still assume we're engaging in those practices
I like your reviews, even though I really don't agree with some of the things you have said about certain products, you have your preferences. Reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt, regardless of who it is since this is a subjective hobby. But, I think you're honest, others are bought and paid for.
 
Feb 5, 2024 at 2:05 PM Post #25,472 of 25,813
I like your reviews, even though I really don't agree with some of the things you have said about certain products, you have your preferences. Reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt, regardless of who it is since this is a subjective hobby. But, I think you're honest, others are bought and paid for.
I like GoldenSound's reviews too, but still find them not very helpful in guiding my purchasing decisions.
For example, I ended up purchasing DAVE not because of a good review from him, but because I took one home and liked how it sounded.
He liked Holo may too, but it would never cross my mind to buy something I cannot audition.
Since I am not seeking a stamp of approval, this simplifies my process greatly - get your hands on what you can and pick the one you liked.
BTW, after listening to DAVE in my home, I did not even try to compare my notes with GoldenSound or anybody else, as I find it completely pointless.
 
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Feb 5, 2024 at 2:07 PM Post #25,473 of 25,813
It may not be as lucrative as getting paid by big audio conglomerates like Amir is
In Amir's defense, I don't think that there is actually a financial incentive for him. He does have some relationship (as in communication, not financial) with companies that give him stuff early, but that's common practice and happens even when a company doesn't actually always like what a particular reviewer says about their products.

I strongly disagree with a lot of Amir's approach in terms of methodology and evaluation, but whilst there's plenty of legitimate things to criticize, I don't think financial bias is one of them. I think this is just a case of Topping knowing that so long as they get the SINAD number right, they'll get a positive review, so it's guaranteed positive press to send him a unit as early as possible, and Amir gets more traffic if he's the first to test something.
 
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Feb 5, 2024 at 2:14 PM Post #25,475 of 25,813
A high school friend I played in a band with lo these many years ago is a "forum donor" over there and spilled a few beans to me.
I'm not sure the forum donors have any access to secret info.
Even if Amir WAS being paid by one of these companies, the last thing he'd do would be to tell anyone about it just cause they donated to ASR
 
Feb 5, 2024 at 2:36 PM Post #25,477 of 25,813
It's a tough time to be a reviewer, I imagine, because in this new world, paying for influence, be it on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok or wherever, is considered simply good business. The idea of "honest" reviews seems not even to be expected by consumers anymore.
I don't even watch or read reviews anymore other than out of pure curiosity. I trust head-fi posters more than I do "professional" reviewers. I've thought about doing "professional" youtube reviews, but it's a time suck. I respect the time people spend on reviews, but it's hard to trust one person who may or may not be incentivized to make a positive review. Plus our tastes could be completely different. 🤷‍♂️
 
Feb 5, 2024 at 3:19 PM Post #25,478 of 25,813
Have some Dave users got to evaluate the Rockna Wavedream?
YT Convincemeaudio and Goldensound did not hesitate to choose Rockna over Dave, but idk if Dave was compared with or without HMS.
I had the Rockna for quite a while, considered it my endgame till I bought the Dave out of technical curiosity and ended up selling the Rockna, I posted my impressions here if you're interested

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-dave.766517/page-1470#post-17090341
 
Feb 5, 2024 at 3:38 PM Post #25,479 of 25,813
I like GoldenSound's reviews too, but still find them not very helpful in guiding my purchasing decisions.
For example, I ended up purchasing DAVE not because of a good review from him, but because I took one home and liked how it sounded.
He liked Holo may too, but it would never cross my mind to buy something I cannot audition.
Since I am not seeking a stamp of approval, this simplifies my process greatly - get your hands on what you can and pick the one you liked.
BTW, after listening to DAVE in my home, I did not even try to compare my notes with GoldenSound or anybody else, as I find it completely pointless.
That is exactly right, I really disliked the Holo May, it didn't do anything for me at all. Then again, it's his preference. Not for me.
 
Feb 5, 2024 at 3:49 PM Post #25,480 of 25,813
That is exactly right, I really disliked the Holo May, it didn't do anything for me at all. Then again, it's his preference. Not for me.
That was my response to it too. I especially sought it out based on his review but found it had no heart/soul at all for me (whatever that means...). I just couldn't feel engaged with it.
 
Feb 5, 2024 at 4:01 PM Post #25,481 of 25,813
That was my response to it too. I especially sought it out based on his review but found it had no heart/soul at all for me (whatever that means...). I just couldn't feel engaged with it.
That is just crazy, it is exactly what I heard. It didn't do anything at all for me, I was excited thinking it would, nope. Dead as a corpse.
 
Feb 6, 2024 at 9:32 PM Post #25,482 of 25,813
I had an opportunity to run a shootout between the HMS/DAVE and MSB discrete In my home setup.
I was little concerned that after putting so much effort in tweaking my environment to elevate DAVE’s performance from its out-of-box state, MSB would crush it.
Well, my worries were put to rest after a couple of tracks...
HMS/DAVE absolutely destroyed the discrete, outshined it in every department.
The soundstage is wider, deeper, instrument separation is better, but to my surprise and contrary to a widely circulated myth about “analytical” signature of DAVE, HMS/DAVE was much more musical in comparison.
Discrete came across as bland, lifeless and boring.
To be fair, discrete retails at a little lower price, but not by a much.
It is hard for me to imagine that the premier would touch HMS/DAVE either as I expect it to preserve most of its little brother’s qualities.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 8:33 AM Post #25,483 of 25,813
I had an opportunity to run a shootout between the HMS/DAVE and MSB discrete In my home setup.
I was little concerned that after putting so much effort in tweaking my environment to elevate DAVE’s performance from its out-of-box state, MSB would crush it.
Well, my worries were put to rest after a couple of tracks...
HMS/DAVE absolutely destroyed the discrete, outshined it in every department.
The soundstage is wider, deeper, instrument separation is better, but to my surprise and contrary to a widely circulated myth about “analytical” signature of DAVE, HMS/DAVE was much more musical in comparison.
Discrete came across as bland, lifeless and boring.
To be fair, discrete retails at a little lower price, but not by a much.
It is hard for me to imagine that the premier would touch HMS/DAVE either as I expect it to preserve most of its little brother’s qualities.
Bland, lifeless and boring is exactly what I heard, and I heard their second to top DAC recently, wasn't impressed at all. It was so bland and dead, not for me.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 10:44 AM Post #25,484 of 25,813
Wow. My brain I always thought that those were probably just the top of the hill because they were so expensive. Never find out what they even sound like. Thank you.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 11:38 AM Post #25,485 of 25,813
Wow. My brain I always thought that those were probably just the top of the hill because they were so expensive. Never find out what they even sound like. Thank you.
Don't take my word for it, find a dealer that carries them and listen, I've listened to these DACs in treated rooms with very expensive speakers and amplifiers/electronics and still they don't move me at all.
 

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