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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. bigfatpaulie
    I've owned all 3.
    My personal preference was DAVE > M1 > MSB.
    The Analog DAC is more rounded sound than the Vega - it is really smooth and doesn't have the digital grain and harshness.  It is closer to something like a DP-777 in its signature, warmer, more lush and relaxed.  MSB tuned to the DAC to sound, well, analog, and they did a very respectable job.  
    One thing to consider is the M1 can be had for a (relative) song and dance VS the other two.  Another thing to consider is what else is in your chain.  Are you using the DAVE as a DAC+AMP or are you running it into an amp.  Are you doing the same with the M1 and if so, is the amp a balanced amp VS single ended.  Maybe you can tell us a bit more about your system as a whole.
  2. romaz
    No, the MSB Analog will be closer in tone to the DAVE than your Vega.  None of the MSB DACs I've heard have the Technicolor sound you're looking for.  Even the Bricasti doesn't although this DAC will sound more "caffeinated" than the DAVE or MSB.
    If you love the microRendu, this server pairs exquisitely with the DAVE as USB is the DAVE's best input.
    theppd and Sonic77 like this.
  3. bigfatpaulie
    Agreed.  The M1 is DAC that sound like it is going full-throttle all the time.  The MSB and DAVE are a closer match sonically than the M1.
  4. theppd
    Thank you!
    I thought so regarding the Analog...
    I plan to connect the DAC to my AMP (McIntosh MC275) directly which I do now. Balanced or not is not a major factor for me. I enjoy both at the moment from the Vega while both the amp and DAC are balanced but sound great on RCA or XLR.
    The speakers I use are the legendary Yamaha NS-2000. Which are capable of showing all the transparency the rest of the chain has as well as any digital noises and harshness of it. While I already have some beauty of the tubes in the system I would prefer to avoid any rounding and smoothing from the DAC part. Extreme transparency and pace is what I'm looking for.
  5. theppd
    So in general it seems like all comes down to the Dave vs Bricasti. How those compare to each other? Does the Bricasti sounds compressed comparing to Dave? Any flaws sound wise?
  6. romaz
    Both bigfatpaulie and I have owned the Bricasti.  Obviously, you know which one we prefer.  The DAVE improves upon the Briscasti in every area although if you're looking for that artificially energetic sound, the Bricasti has a bit of this going for it.
  7. theppd
    Ok got it, thank you all!
  8. bigfatpaulie
    Haha.  Yes, the DAVE is, without a doubt, the superior DAC across the board.  The M1 is no slouch, however :)
    If you have the budget for the DAVE, go that route and never look back.
  9. theppd
    Will do!) Thanks!
  10. pkcpga

    The vega has a strong signature, which I also like for my integrated piece. I had a naim v1 DAC before the Dave and I was impressed with the Dave on my home stereo set up but still like the colored sound of the naim with certain headphones. You may wind up like myself loving the Dave with certain headphones but going back to your vega for others. If your using the Dave for two channel it's pretty incredible worth bringing home for a demo. Good luck
  11. x RELIC x Contributor

    Fundamentally the DAVE will be the extreme transparent device and the Vega will be the coloured device. Most people just aren't used to hearing DAVE's level of transparency. :)

    On a bit of a side note, but somewhat related to ease your mind...

    Regarding regular occurring comments about the headphone out vs the line-out: The thing about explaining the system 'as a whole' vs 'just the DAC' is that there really is no/minimal difference using the line-out vs the headphone out (besides voltage). They basically share the same path, as confirmed by Rob (much) earlier in the thread. The issue that I constantly read is the weak 'headphone amp' portion of the DAVE is causing a difference. No, it's not.

    The output is essentially closer to a variable line-out from the DAC whether using the analogue outputs from the rear or the headphone out on the front. The reason Rob can achieve this is the incredible noise performances of the WTA filter and the Pulse Array DAC. No other manufacturer has done this so it's easy to fall in the common trap of 'the built in amp makes a difference'. In essence there is no seperate headphone amp to make a difference.

    Also, all of Rob's designs are fundamentally single ended. Traditionally a balanced topology is used to hide issues in the silicone as explained by Rob earlier. Indeed a single ended implementation can be more transparent but the noise issues must be solved at the DAC end in order to achieve this.

    To quickly find out more about what Rob's approach to his DAC designs is I highly recommend anyone who is interested to read romaz's summary post of Rob's information, found here:

  12. pkcpga
    Since a lot of people on here are fellow Dave owners, I need to pick up a cheaper closed headphone (under $500, preferably under $300), since I will only be using it for two weeks. I don't use closed headphones much since I usually listen in my own home or office or use IEM's while traveling but I'll be helping a friend at their office for two weeks and not sure I can handle long periods with IEM's. Thanks
    My favorite current headphone is grado gs1000i or sennheiser hd800. I also own the Audeze LCD 3 but like the first two more.
  13. paulchiu
    Are you using this sub $500 with the DAVE?
    If so, I like my Fujisan Telos with the DAVE in my office.  Often use it for the whole day, if I am not interrupted.
  14. x RELIC x Contributor

    Given your listed sound signature preference and price range I'd say that the AKG-550 may be an option. The treble can be a little metallic, but overall, for a closed headphone at the price, it does well for soundstage and clarity. The key to a balanced sound though is getting a good seal as the clamping force of the headband is rather weak. Many with a smaller head just can't get a good seal. I've modified mine with tissue under the earpad rim and bent the headband a little to help with the seal. Worth an audition at least.

    Deftone likes this.
  15. pkcpga
    No I'll be using with the mojo or take my naim v1 DAC along, I use the Dave with my home set up.
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