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CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE

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

    Given how good DAVE sounded with my el cheapo USB cable from my laptop, I'm wondering how much better the music can get?? Thanks for exploring these frontiers.
     
  2. romaz
    Good point on the limitations of AES and I am aware of this.
     
    I do have an Audience AU24SE USB cable coming in for comparison also.  I am a big fan of Audience products.
     
  3. romaz
    I agree with what you're saying.  Different isn't always better.  I also agree that the Sonicorbiter SE is an overachiever considering how inexpensive it is.  The excellent and much more expensive TotalDac server with reclocker is based on this same Cubox cpu.  
     
    Regarding the upcoming microRendu, this will be a very special device.  I have been following this closely and have contributed to the thread on CA.  I got a chance to hear a pre-production microRendu at Vinnie Rossi's room at AXPONA this past weekend and my opinion is that it was fantastic.  A $15k turntable was playing as well and while the sound from the turntable sounded denser and more organic, this may have more to do with the DAC in Vinnie's LIO not being top quality, certainly not DAVE level.
     
    Because the microRendu is so small, the signal path from input to output will be extremely short.  It will have everything that is necessary and nothing that is unnecessary including any circuitry that can contribute to RF noise.  With the microRendu, the quality of the PSU will absolutely matter and it is speculated that the specialized PSU that John Swenson is designing for the microRendu could cost up to $2k, pretty hefty considering the microRendu will sell for only $640.  If you consider the microRendu (which is smaller than a deck of cards) will have 2 low jitter oscillators (clocks), one for the CPU and one for the USB hub and that this little device will have 10 tightly regulated zones (including one each for the CPU and USB hub as well as one each for the clocks), the expectations are very high that this little server could possibly be the best USB transport in existence today.  The goal is "goose bumps" and I have one on order.
     
    This brings up another good point as to why some servers could sound better than others.  Those of you who have an Oppo BDP-105 and have listened to Tidal streaming through your Oppo probably realize how bad Tidal streaming from the Oppo sounds.  Why CD playback can sound so good and Tidal streaming so bad, I'm not sure, but I have presumed it is due to jitter.  The first convincing sign I found that the DAVE is immune to source jitter is Tidal streaming from the Oppo through the DAVE sounds truly excellent, as good as CD playback from the Oppo. This is when I became a believer.  So my observations thus far, even with these newer revelations is that even bad sources sound really good with the DAVE but exceptional sources can sound even better.  If we accept Rob's claim that the DAVE is immune to source jitter and reasonably immune to source RF, could there be other factors contributing to SQ?  If you review the microRendu thread on CA, you will find a recent post by John Swenson (co-inventor of the microRendu) where he talks about the importance of the power supply to SQ and how many linear power supplies, even very quiet power supplies, are often inadequate to properly power a music server due to high impedance and lack of ability to quickly and adequately deliver large amounts of transient current.  It leaves me to wonder whether sufficient high quality power delivered on demand is at least as important as clean power and whether this is why certain music servers sound better.  Anyway, some food for thought.
     
  4. romaz
    Very good point.  RF backwash can be a big deal.  Based on how dramatically improved the DAVE is sounding with this magnetic conduction technology by High Fidelity, I suspect RF could be a bigger deal than I initially anticipated, even with all of my measures to combat RF.  I have a power conditioner (MC-6 Hemisphere) being sent to me by High Fidelity that is supposed to address all of this in a way that I have never addressed before and if it results in the dramatic improvements I have been promised to expect, then I have to believe RF is a major culprit.  Knowing how you feel about power conditioners robbing dynamics from the DAC, Paul, this power conditioner supposedly adds zero impedance to the power flowing through it.  Here is the unit I am talking about:
     
    http://www.highfidelitycables.com/products/conditioner/mc6h/
     
  5. romaz
    Given that you listened to the DAVE via the High Fidelity CT-1 Enhanced RCA interconnects, I can only imagine how good your system sounded!
     
  6. paul79
    This conditioner need to be close to the system feed, or can it be a recep in proximity on the same circuit? How close to the system fed does it have to be?
     
    Sending you an email   :)
     
  7. isquirrel
    Bought a DAVE today, a long night is in front of me. Ordered the stand purely because it looks sexy.
     
    Have it hooked up to the desktop (Mac Pro & Roon) via Transparent USB and Shunyata Sigma digital power cable, using the LCD-4's with stock HP cables.
     
    The adventure starts, plenty to learn from on this forum.
     
    IMG_1189.jpg
     
    IMG_1190.jpg
     
    Aslshark likes this.
  8. romaz
    Congratulations, Simon!
     
  9. isquirrel

    Well my friend, it was thanks to you 100%.  All ready made some discoveries. 
     
  10. TheAttorney
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    (Although I doubt if anything conclusive can be determined in the first day of burn-in)
     
  11. ecwl

    If you have the opportunity, you should try isolating the power source to DAVE from the noisy power environment of your computer system. I've now essentially dedicated my Torus BX-5 (isolation transformer type power conditioner) to Chord DAVE. The sonic improvement without pollution from digital sources is surprising.
     
  12. paulchiu
    beautiful!  black stand too?  US dealer says those are really taking a long time.
     
  13. JaZZ Contributor
    Congrats, Isquirrel, and welcome to the club!
     
     
    Interesting and confusing reports about the power-supply issues in the last couple of posts.
     
    I have used a PS Audio Ultimate Outlet for power cleaning in the past, which began to rattle half a year ago, so I removed it from the chain. I don't miss it a bit – the sound of my setup hasn't changed.
     
    Also, when I have the Hugo connected to the mains during listening to music, it sounds absolutely the same as when it's disconnected. The same goes for the Mojo.
     
    So do we really have to suppose that the battery as a buffer removes all the pollution from the wall-wart current? That doesn't seem plausible to me. But maybe others can hear a difference with the Hugo (connected vs. disconnected) and I'm just not sensitive to this kind of sonic alterations. I never heard a power conditioner or power cable make a difference – but then again, I haven't tried any high-end cables with corresponding price tag. Actually I'm open to it, but that doesn't help, apparently.
     
  14. vincentm66
    Hi all,
     
    Just wanted to share my little experience with Chord Dave.
     
    I’m using a Chord TT since July 2015, with a Grado PS1000. I’ve tried lots of headphones (Abysse, Fostex TH900, LDCX, Ultrasone Edition 5 and resold them all except the PS100 that I’m in love with since 3 years).
     
    I listen to classical & rock / pop around 2-5 hours per day on average (home based working) on the Hugo TT / PS1000.  
     
    I’ve asked for my dealer to test the Dave, in order to compare before purchasing.
     
    To get straight to the point the TT is quite good, but with the Dave everything’s is  better :  more air, more space, better bass impact – which is important for me-
     
    Overall it’s like moving from a room closed to the concert room to the concert room itself, I feel better the instruments, timing and each notes, there’s more relief in the music, more dynamic.
     
    Now there’s no magic: I’ve tried all my crappy mp3 and they’re still crappy.
     
    But the difference is really where the source file is good, I have some DSD concert files where I can really see a big difference between the 2 DAC / Amp combos, and this is where the Dave is shining it can extract each and every bit of detail and make it available for your ears, where in the Hugo I had to make an effort to listen and find the details.
     
    Now on some music files, to be honest I didn’t really saw that much difference, this was the case with good flac with lots of voices, less rhythmic & bass.
     
    Ill received next week a luxman P700u to test with the 2 DAC so I can more focus on the DAC as I understand that the Dave headphone amp is better than the Hugo TT one (more or less same implementation but 1/3 power more on the Dave)
     
    I love the Dave, but to be honest I’m still wondering for my use if I’m willing to pay the extra price. I’m not 100% convinced, I love the sound it delivers but the gap is not that significant overt the TT.
     
     
     
     
  15. isquirrel
     

    I have a ful Shunyata Triton V2 and Typhoon + Sigma system run off a dedicated line. My rule with the DAVE is not to just go ahead and plug it into my main system but to add bits and prices along the way and see/listen to what it responds to. SO far it has responded very well to a change of power cord from stock to ALO Green Line and finally Shunyata Sigma Digital. I am conducting all of these experiments by blind testing my partner and taking notes of her reactions. She is non-audiophile but willing participant and her hearing (being a female and b younger) is no doubt sharper than mine at 50. She felt the DAVE sounded a bit flat and lifeless using the stock and ALO cable, she gave a big thumbs up when the Shunyata Sigma Digital went in.
     
    Same with Transparent USB vs the Mapleshade Optical (which Romaz put me onto and is the best Optical cable I have heard). Roy and I have always agreed that the attraction of the DAVE is that its not necessary to throw the kitchen at it to get good performance. In my system I want to find that delta of where there is value and good performance for a reasonable price. So that rules out plugging it into expensive Shunyata Power Conditioners and expensive sources like my Aurender W20. So basically I am keeping the DAVE on my desktop and not wired into the main system. I may however hook it up to my MSB UMT Transport to see what difference sit any with physical media.
     
    The only time the Aurender will be used is to compare the computer run USB vs the Aurender plus Transparent TOTL AES 110 ohm & BNC 75 ohm cables. 
     
    I also have a CAD 1543 MK2 DAC, so I will be making comparisons to that as well. Its on 24/7 burn in using the Purist Audio Enhancer disc. 
     
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