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CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. rkt31
    I think a windows laptop running on battery using foobar via dave asio driver is the best bet. this way the asynchronous method ensures bit perfect transfer with out any data loss as mentioned by Rob watts earlier. there is a continious check of any data loss and if any packet is faulty it is sent again. the clock of dave is used to pull the data from the source . a further improvement will be to use s good usb cable which resist rfi and emi . right now furutech gt2 usb cable is imho the best which can beat much more expensive usb cables. additionally one or two ferrite choke one each end may further benefit without much extra cost. this is apart from good power cables for dave. I don't have dave right now but imho you don't need much more than that for dave to shine to its true potential. even if someone uses other expensive accessories for dave the improvement may be very minor and may only be tangential in nature.
     
  2. romaz
    You will want to communicate with @paulchiu.  He has both the Nagra HD and the DAVE and he listens to a lot of PCM and DSD.
     
    You can make an argument for many great DACs for 2-channel speaker setups and headphones but it's tougher to find one that is equally great for both without some major compromise and for me, this is the greatest attribute of the DAVE.  Some DACs are chosen because they have established pedigrees in million dollar systems; some DACs are chosen because they have million dollar price tags and so surely, it must be good; some are chosen because it is what the local dealer was selling and then there are DACs that are chosen based on actual merit where the purchaser did their due diligence to find the best DAC they could possibly find.  I won't make any definitive statements because there's no accounting for personal tastes, budget and system synergy but I will say that in my opinion, the DAVE deserves to be in any conversation where "best DAC in the world" is being discussed and should be on anyone's short list who is looking for the best possible DAC for the best possible value, whether it be for an HD-800 or a $600,000 pair of Magico Ultimates.
     
    My value statements are based on the following:   Having attempted to do my due diligence, I have traveled far and wide to hear and experience many things.  To the chagrin of my wallet, I have also bought many DACs only to sell them after I found something better.  I am not so naive or arrogant to say one DAC is great and everything else is rubbish or the DAC that I have now will be the best DAC forever.  I think there are many great DACs and many more great DACs are being developed every year which is a wonderful thing for the consumer.  if I was forced to a certain price point, I would have no problem finding a DAC I could be happy with at that price point, whether it be $1,000 or $100,000 although obviously, there are different degrees of happiness that different price points will buy.  What I will say is this, once the budget goes beyond $10,000, there will only be one DAC in my sights and that will be the DAVE.  As someone who treasures live performances, it speaks to these sensibilities better than anything else I have experienced, regardless of price.  If someone prefers the colored sweet harmonics that comes with a tube DAC, there's nothing wrong with that but the DAVE is not it.  For those that believe that sound tuning belongs more with the pre-amp, amp, transducers or even cables and that the main job of the DAC is to provide as hauntingly realistic and natural interpretation of the digital file as possible, whether it be lowly 16/44, DXD or DSD, then the DAVE deserves an audition.
     
    SQ is not the only place where the DAVE separates itself, however.  Let's take DAC brand X, which happens to sell for a base price of $100,000 and is comprised of a multi-stack of components because, of course, for this DAC to sound its best, the company is expecting that you will spend another $20k for the triple power bases and $15k for the upgraded atto-clock.  It wouldn't be proper if you didn't spend another $20k for their upgraded music server with a cryo-treated external clock and then another $20k for the super deluxe preamp but this should go without saying because you've already come so far, why stop now?  If you listen to headphones, surely, you'll want to also spring for the new $50k matching headphone amp and it would be heresy if you don't spend at least another $60,000 on mains cables and interconnects and another $30k for a suitable rack to house everything.  When it's time to listen to music, make sure you budget for enough time beforehand so you can turn on every single component and allow each one to properly warm up.  
     
    Then comes the DAVE, a single component that can fit comfortably on a desk or end table.  Sure, it benefits from isolation devices but go ahead and use it as is.  Plug it into the wall with whatever mains cable you can find, even if it's the one that powers your fax machine.  While you're at it, go ahead and grab the generic USB cable that you're using for your printer and then use it to connect the $500 Windows laptop that your brother-in-law handed down to you because he outgrew it.  You say you want to listen to CDs?  Go ahead and dust off that $100 Emerson CD player that your son bought at a garage sale and connect it to the DAVE using the "Made in China" optical cable that came with it.  Now, flip on your speaker amp and listen to what comes out.  Once the family goes to sleep, go ahead and plug your HE-1000 directly into the headphone port of the DAVE and listen to what comes out.  I would be willing to bet that the DAVE won't embarrass itself.  If you give the DAVE the same attention that you gave your $100,000 DAC, I would be willing to bet that you will wonder why you spent all that money and put up with all the inconvenience.
     
    Aslshark and x RELIC x like this.
  3. x RELIC x Contributor
    Another excellent post romaz and I agree with a lot of what you've said. However, one small point I disagree with is this as it is quite a profound point when looking at it deeper....



    Rob has mentioned that his goal is NOT to reproduce the digital file in any way. His goal, as he's stated many times, is to reproduce the original performance as best he can. Of course there are factors well outside his control, beginning with the mic and ADC, but within his limitations he has gone to great lengths (more than any DAC manufacturer that I know of) to reach that goal. There is no other DAC designer taking the noise floor modulation as seriously as he is (indeed even Rob is surprised at the results he hears). No other DAC designer is approaching the TAP length filter to the extent that he is. He didn't like silicone DACs for the noise they produce so he created his discrete Pulse Array DAC. He is experienced and familiar with R2R as well as 'traditional' silicone DACs which makes his perspective valuable to me.

    I know you are familiar with all of these things, but I feel as an amendment to your post it's worth noting once again how deeply Rob has looked at the multiple issues with re-creating the original performance, and how long he has worked to chip away at certain issues (what most others have simply ignored) in order to find improvements, which are based on his extensive (30 years) of listening tests. Yes, I'm a fan. It's actually for these reasons that I'm also very excited to find out more about his upcoming ADC and what it can do for the industry.
     
  4. Beolab

    I will keep this a little shorter.

    I admit that i have contribute to this in many ways, but maybe the OT does not have to be almost endless of pages about a third party product we can have in mind.
    And i agree with you Roy, but i wanted just to shade some light on this.

    Then Nordost Qk1 was only an example, and i just wanted to make a point about the insanity about AC power purifiers, that the more of them you buy the better sound you will receive regardless of brand, because they all state that just their soup is the best, and they all have something in common, and that is the higher amount of units you add, the better sound you will get in all eternity.


    Back to topic
     
  5. romaz
    I will keep this response brief also.  Basically, I agree with your point which is why I value the opinion of actual users that I can relate to more than the advertising hype of a manufacturer whose claims are almost always too good to be true.  With respect to this particular product, it is true, however, that I have yet to reach a saturation point and no matter what I have added, it continues to make a positive difference.  Not to worry, though, because I would run out of money long before I buy everything the manufacturer wants me to buy and I am actually now more than happy with how my system sounds.  Despite how crazy expensive the higher end HFC cables cost, one could easily spend much more and receive much less from another company.  Also, even the entry level items from HFC are sometimes better than the very best from other companies just because the technology employed is so unique and so I'll leave it at that.
     
    Beolab likes this.
  6. romaz
    I appreciate your point and I don't disagree. My rationale for using the word "digital file" was to highlight how excellent the DAVE is regardless of file type (16/44, DXD or DSD), particularly because Music2move was specifically inquiring about CD and SACD playback.
     
    You bring up a good point, though.  With Rob's upcoming ADC and digital amp and with the DAVE poised to fully take advantage of the benefits, the future looks very promising for DAVE owners.
     
  7. LouisArmstrong
    I understand that the dCS Vivaldi also makes use of proprietary FPGA for its DAC unit - has anyone compared Vivaldi's DAC unit (without the clock and upscaler) with the DAVE and what are the results? Really interested in that one.
     
    Cheers,
    Louis Armstrong
     
  8. romaz
    I have heard the Vivaldi both alone and as part of its quad stack but I have not been able to make direct comparisons against the DAVE.  Look back on this thread by a few months and you will see several posts by a member of a Chinese audiophile society whose group blindly compared the DAVE against the Vivaldi (without the clock) and other top DACs using a dCS source and a majority of the group preferred the DAVE to anything else.
     
  9. miketlse
     
    You may find this post interesting by someone buying an Esoteric player to use as a transport.
     
    http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/esoteric-sacd-player
     
    It has made me think about such transports as a future option, but at present it would be overkill for my Mojo - if i had a DAVE that would be a different story. [​IMG]
     
  10. x RELIC x Contributor

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/766517/chord-electronics-dave/2835#post_12566111
     
  11. stvc

    Any idea when the amp will be released? Excited to see how well to drive speaker.
     
  12. rkt31
    CD player itself may be very good transport but that is not an asynchronous connection. usb establishes an asynchronous connection which is much more jitter immune provided you take care of external rfi and emi
     
  13. lovethatsound
    Hi rkt31
    You really don't have to worry about jitter with Dave or for that matter any of chords new dacs.:blush:
     
  14. rkt31
    @lovethatsound, exactly. that's why an expensive CD transport is not needed for dave. still people find differences ( though extremely minor) between transport to transport. that may not be due to jitter but due other factors like how much noise is the source , cable quality ( how much immune is cable for external rfi, emi, even quality if copper said to affect the sound) . I would say out of all those options usb is best imho.
     
  15. lovethatsound
    @rkt31
    Just use an optical cable.:blush:
     
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