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CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. romaz
    Paul, I am afraid that somehow you got stuck with the Canadian version of Chord's remote.  Apparently, during Chord's research, they determined that Canadians have no need for a full function remote and so they purposely deactivated 44 of your buttons.
     
    The U.S. version, on the other hand, has all 50 buttons operational and even has some extra features not found elsewhere such as a "voice beautifier" button that miraculously improves even the worst American recordings.  With this feature activated, even my Britney Spears 96k mp3 files have become supremely enjoyable to listen to for hours on end.  Same thing goes for my large Barry Manilow collection.  All that Chord knows is that Canada is the land of Céline Dion and Michael Bublé and needs no special remote buttons.  If you remind Chord that Canada is also the land of Justin Bieber, perhaps you can qualify for our remote.
     
    Mython, shuttlepod, smial1966 and 3 others like this.
  2. paulchiu
     
    his remote does look different.  Looks like it came with a special cradle to make up for the paucity of features.
     
  3. Crgreen
    The remote is poor, and the button which supposedly allows access to DAVE's menu doesn't seem to work. I can only use the remote to change volume and inputs.
     
  4. wmns
    You can also put the Face in standby mode with the remote. Think this is only possible with the remote ?
     
  5. Crgreen
    Sorry, what's "the Face"?
     
  6. wmns
    Sorry, should be the Dave.
     
  7. Crgreen
    I think that's right. If anyone's worked out how to access the display features with the remote, I'd be interested to know. I'd like to be able to switch between PCM and DSD using the remote.
     
  8. apops
    Sorry for the OT, I'm moving to DC and I would like to meet other people living in the area that share the same passion for HiFi. By the way, I'm am DAVE owner from Italy.
    Andrea
     
  9. Rob Watts
    I listened to a fresh brand new Dave against my treasured and somewhat beaten up pre-production unit, that has thousands of hours on the clock.
     
    The new unit was a bit brighter than mine; but it was also more transparent - particularly with ambient details - I heard some studio reverb put in on Nora Jones that I have not heard before. It seemed to be more transparent when things were loud - but small details and depth perception were the same on the two units.
     
    My tentative (tentative as relating SQ changes to technical changes one must be very careful) conclusions are twofold:
     
    1. The transparency improvements are because the pre production prototype needed some hand soldering as some changes were needed. Even though I use special high purity silver solder intended for SMD, this is not as good as the production soldering which is done in an inert nitrogen atmosphere, so soldering can't have any oxides (unlike hand soldering). Even leaded components are soldered this way.
     
    2. The difference between the units are much smaller than changes I have heard as I get used to the sound, so brain break-in is way more important than physical break-in. That said, is the brighter presentation due entirely down to the better transparency? I can't be 100% sure about that; for certain when you improve transparency things do sound brighter. And also for sure when you get noise floor modulation and details are artificially enhanced then it will sound brighter too, and give a false impression of transparency. It can sometimes be very tricky to tell the difference and is one of the problems of sound quality tests. But the way I use to differentiate it is to use a busy track, and if it falls apart when the going gets tough it is not true transparency; in this case the new unit was clearer with very difficult material.
     
    That said, I suspect that the new unit will sound slightly smoother with time.
     
    My real problem is how to persuade Chord that I really do need a new black Dave...
     
    Chord Electronics Stay updated on Chord Electronics at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/chordelectronics https://twitter.com/chordaudio http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk/
  10. Crgreen
    That's interesting. Can I ask this: do you think the unit will sound smoother with time due to changes in the unit, changes in your hearing, or a combination of the two?
     
  11. paulchiu
     
    Rob,
     
    I thought you were trekking the globe with a production DAVE all along.
    Now, has there been any changes to the production DAVE in 2016?
     
    paul
     
  12. Rob Watts
    Brain break-in in my experience is when you get two effects - better sensation of sound stage depth and better abilities to perceive the starting and stopping of notes.
     
    On depth, I once added a book shelve,  and depth collapsed. After about a month, the perception of depth came back - its as if my brain learnt the effects of the shelves, and took time to compensate for this. Now we know the brain has the ability to automatically compensate for different rooms and acoustics, so the perception of the acoustic space automatically compensates for changes in acoustic. For example, if you talk to somebody that is 5 feet away, in a large room, the voice is still 5 feet away even when you both move to a small room that is say very bright. The brain computes the acoustic space it is in, then compensates your perception of sound to suit the acoustics you are in. Now this is done very rapidly normally - but I think also that on the long term the brain is developing strategies to compensate. Now this is entirely speculation on my part, but it does make sense that the brain will continue to improve its abilities.
     
    On the perception of starting and stopping of notes, I have also found long term improvements when I change the interpolation filters - better transient timing accuracy does take time to appreciate it. So I make an improvement, and you hear 75% of the improvement immediately. The last 25% or so takes a month or two - its as if the brain has strategies to deal with timing uncertainty, and these need to be changed with time - its almost as if you need to unlearn to deal with timing errors.
     
    But on smoothness, I have never heard anything that could be put down to brain break-in - its bright or smooth and it will determine that immediately. So smoothness changes are due to hardware changes.
     
    With Dave, I have no evidence that it will get smoother or warmer with time - and I suspect that if it does change, it is small.
     
     
    Hmmm - it was the first from the first production batch, but needed a bill of materials (BOM) change, as some components needed changing. So the PCB was full production. There have been no SQ significant changes to PCB or BOM subsequently.
     
    That said, we are talking about small differences here, not something you would notice after a few days, only on a direct AB test.
     
    Rob
     
    Chord Electronics Stay updated on Chord Electronics at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/chordelectronics https://twitter.com/chordaudio http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk/
  13. jelt2359 Contributor
    Rob, are there any other units out there (demos, etc) that went through a similar process as yours, needing a BOM change?
     
  14. TheAttorney

    I also can't get this part to work: Pressing the BAL+/MENU key has no effect. If I first highlight the required function directly on the main unit, only then will the LEFT/RIGHT menu scrolling functions work from the remote.
    The functions that do work are source selection; volume; mute and standby.
     
    I don't think the issue with the remote is too much of a loss in practice because there is a bigger design deficiency IMO: When you select any of the 4 menu options, the selection times out after about 8 seconds after which that option is unhighlighted and the LEFT/RIGHT buttons revert to their default of scrolling of source inputs. I find this really annoying when for example trying to choose the correct phase settimg for the current album - if I pause for a bit too long I untintentionally end up switching the source. Enhancement request for this please Chord people. The phase (and for some the DSD) option are the ones that you regularly want to change.
     
    The above design issue gets worse when using the remote control because its harder to see from afar if the selected option is still selected.
     
    Edit: If the Chord designers are considering my enhancement request, I suggest that the remote ditches the menu/scrolling idea  altogether and uses the many spare buttons to be dedicated to each of the 4 options, so you don't need to watch the display from afar. And also get the DIM button to reduce the brightness of the display please :xf_eek:)
     
    On a more positive note, I'm really pleased that DAVE's warm up period, from standby or from cold, does appear to be very short as was posted a while back. It's great not to have to worry about this aspect. I'm not saying that there is no warm up period at all (I haven't compared that closely), but I am saying that if us OCD types want to fret about something, then warm up time is not worth fretting about. Just switch it on and enjoy.
     
    shuttlepod likes this.
  15. audionewbi
    I don't know whether this is the right place to post this or not but since I have read this thread more than the other chord thread I like to share few things here, hopefully I am not too off the topic.

    While I have not had the luxury to try DAVE I do currently own the MOJO and HUGO and I have extensively tried the TT despite my early bias that I had towards the creation of TT prior to listening to it which had stopped me really paying attention to TT.
    Here are my take on the products mentioned above: I find MOJO an engaging product with one major weakness to me and that weakness is that MOJO has a distinct sound signature that tend to take precedence over the actual recording itself, ie/ MOJO sound signature is always present no matter what I feed it. Whether it is flac, DSD, mp3, aac to me they all sound so similar that it becomes an issue to me as I feel I dont hear the engineering effect of the album but what I am hearing is basically mojo sound signature.
     do not feel the same with HUGO as in with HUGO I have the ability to on occasion know whether the file is lossy/lossless, whether it is recorded well, I feel with recording that recorded with smaller soundstage HUGO is able to portray that and with recording that has a larger soundstage HUGO can sound quiet expansive. With mojo soundstage always feels the same. 
     
    Now enters TT, which really changed thing for me. I could not understand why TT sounded so much different despite having the same main inner core as the HUGO. To me the improvement on lower frequency and ambiance on TT was the most obvious improvement.While I really dont know what lead to such improvement few members who I talked with suspect that TT has better power delivery management and that is what has resulted in improvement of sound.

    So where Am I going with this? My question is will CHORD release a new HUGO based on the new FPGA chip used in Mojo? Or better to ask if we were to assume HUGO was to have the new Sparatan 6 used in Mojo what kind of improvement would we expect to hear?

    Regards
    Moe
     
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