CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
Aug 26, 2016 at 6:32 AM Post #4,352 of 20,241

lojay

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Roy, that post is absolutely a gem. Those who have been following you on this thread and on PMs have really had the benefit of your enlightening approach to audio.

In short, what I have learned from you is that if you want to be able to distinguish the subtle differences in DACs, you need to use good live unamped recordings and have a good ear as to what to look for.

Being able to articulate these distinguishing factors helps. I find the DAVE a clear winner compared to the Yggy and MSB Analog in almost every aspect, but the most audible and easily repeatable aspect it distinguishes itself in blind tests is the front to back layering or depth of live recordings. This makes the venue sound less compressed or two dimensional. It is quite unmistakable.

I think one of the trickiest aspects of comparing DACs is detail. Once one hears a musical detail he has never heard on one DAC, perhaps the opening of a singer's lips before she sings or a particular instrument starting to play amidst an orchestra, he tends to be able to pick up the very same detail on the other, possibly inferior DAC. To this day, I cannot definitely say that the DAVE is substantially more detailed than another DAC or so forth. Rather, I prefer calling the DAVE sublimely realistic and clear. In other words, what the DAVE does better than the other DACs I have owned is that it presents music with clarity, even if you can hear the same bits of detail in other DACs the DAVE presents the whole picture with great clarity.

Finally, the elusive aspect of tonality and warmth. I don't suppose that everyone enjoys realism and would prefer added warmth. To my ears I used to find warmth as a panacea for digititis, or digital sheen that brings this artificiality to music reproduction. The MSB Analog does this pretty well, at the sacrifice of precision. The DAVE on the other hand is not warm or clinical, but it is absolutely clear whilst not having any digital sheen. I think that is very much a feat.
 
Aug 26, 2016 at 7:56 AM Post #4,353 of 20,241

Crgreen

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?? :S

Why are you feeling like that?


Because I can't take hi-if quite so seriously. I'd find it rather soul destroying and would spend a great deal of time listening to the sound of equipment rather than music. I accept of course, that many others derive great pleasure from doing that kind of thing. I'd rather just listen to great music through my Dave, without disection. That way, madness lies :)
 
Aug 26, 2016 at 8:13 AM Post #4,354 of 20,241

STR-1

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Hi Steve,

I have not compare the difference between the Alpha analog to digital line with the DAVE.  I started with the Anaconda Helix over 10 years ago and there were improvements to that line versus the Alpha analog, which is remarkable as the latter is half the cost of the Helix.  The Alpha analog has an even quieter background, better isolation and 3D sound versus the Helix.
With the Sigma, these factors improve even more.  The DAVE as is already scares you with the 3D sound, the isolation and the quiet stage.  The Sigma and Alpha cables will let even more of the DAVE through.

The best way for you to understand what the Shunyata does is after some days with it, listen to the DAVE without the Alpha.  Then you can feel if the extra $1,000 is worth it.

paul

Thanks, Paul. I might give the Alpha Analogue another try but am wondering whether the Digital would be better. The Shunyata website does after recommend their Digital power cords for use with dacs. Cheers
 
Aug 26, 2016 at 9:50 AM Post #4,355 of 20,241

paulchiu

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Thanks, Paul. I might give the Alpha Analogue another try but am wondering whether the Digital would be better. The Shunyata website does after recommend their Digital power cords for use with dacs. Cheers

Hi Steve,
 
Yes, the site does offer that suggestion but it depends on the application of your DAC.  
 
I spoke extensively with the tech and sales managers at Shunyata and they recommend for my use the Sigma Analog because the DAVE, although digital, is analog out.  Based on customer and dealer feedback and their in-house comparisons, the Sigma Analog is preferred over the Sigma Digital or Sigma HC on DACs.
 
Just to confirm all the talks, I compared for weeks samples of the Analog and Digital cords with my DAVE and other DACs both through headphones and speakers.  I returned the Digital cords.
 
Connecting the Analog to the wall is already efficient but if you must, use a Triton V2 or the smaller MPC12 conditioners.
 
I use a Sigma HC from wall to a Triton V2 power conditioner.  I do not power any computer devices on the Triton.  (Macs, Dells, routers, modems, hard drives, etc.)  I use a MPC-12C for those.
 
paul
 
#1500
 
Aug 26, 2016 at 9:57 AM Post #4,356 of 20,241

Kakki

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Where did you get this information? I'm pretty sure Chord doesn't outsource off the shelf hardware for its gear.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/766517/chord-electronics-dave/3120#post_12602887

Plus, if Chord were using those chips in the DAVE then I'm not sure the DAVE would achieve its incredible specifications.

Edit: Of course it would be best for Rob to clarify.

 

Relic, you can easily confirm the fact if you open your Dave!

Or you can see some of the pics of Dave inside in the following page (in Japanese)
There, some of the parts used in Dave are identified from the pics.

http://community.phileweb.com/mypage/1943/

You can see LME49990 is used with 2N2222A/2N2907A transistors in the output stage. Actually, Rob himself already clarified that op amps are used with discrete class A output stage in Dave.

Also, this is not shown in the pics but 2 OP07Cs are used before the output stage.

LME49990 is one of the best op amps available today and OP07C is a well-known zero-drift op amp. So this is not to my surprise that they are chosen for Dave. But there are many other very good op amps as well. So I'm really curious what were the reasons that they are selected.
 
Aug 26, 2016 at 9:59 AM Post #4,357 of 20,241

JaZZ

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I think one of the trickiest aspects of comparing DACs is detail. Once one hears a musical detail he has never heard on one DAC, perhaps the opening of a singer's lips before she sings or a particular instrument starting to play amidst an orchestra, he tends to be able to pick up the very same detail on the other, possibly inferior DAC. To this day, I cannot definitely say that the DAVE is substantially more detailed than another DAC or so forth. Rather, I prefer calling the DAVE sublimely realistic and clear. In other words, what the DAVE does better than the other DACs I have owned is that it presents music with clarity, even if you can hear the same bits of detail in other DACs the DAVE presents the whole picture with great clarity.

 
I agree with this observation: The DAVE doesn't highlight detail, it just presents it more accurately. So the (quasi-)perfectly rendered overtones e.g. on violins and wind instruments makes them sound more lifelike and organic. Surprisingly this comes with an unmatched smoothness of the whole sound (which is almost liquid-smooth).
 
 
Quote:
Because I can't take hi-if quite so seriously. I'd find it rather soul destroying and would spend a great deal of time listening to the sound of equipment rather than music. I accept of course, that many others derive great pleasure from doing that kind of thing. I'd rather just listen to great music through my Dave, without dissection. That way, madness lies :)

 
I absolutely understand your approach. So maybe I'm somewhat in between. I don't have the necessary restlessness (anymore) to audition numerous equipment for finding the optimum. But I'm glad that there are trustworthy people like Roy (romaz) doing that for me and the community in such a diligent and serious way. I still take the quality of music reproduction very seriously, as seriously as the music itself (and I heavily lean toward «serious» music). 
 
Aug 26, 2016 at 11:50 AM Post #4,359 of 20,241

JaZZ

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Romaz does indeed do a remarkable job. But I note that even he displays a tone of impatience from time to time, and would rather just get on and use his hifi for the purpose for which it was intended.

 
I'm glad he doesn't.
smile.gif

 
Aug 26, 2016 at 11:55 AM Post #4,360 of 20,241

rgs9200m

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Extraordinary write up Romaz. Thanks.  I would also add lack of fatigue and the related ability to handle fatiguing, glare-prone recordings. But of course many argue that a DAC should be faithful to what it is fed. But it's a matter of being practical if that's your choice of music/recordings.
And of course, one could resort to a forgiving headphone like an HD650 as a solution. (I do that often.)
By the way, has anyone tried a DAVE/HD650 combination? Thanks again.
 
Aug 26, 2016 at 12:31 PM Post #4,361 of 20,241

Ampus

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Thank you Roy for reinforcing my points of view in an eloquent way - the SQ difference among high end gears, especially those within the same brands, is SUBTLE. It takes considerable effort (in your case 3 weeks for the total DAC's) and some brain breaking-in to detect these subtleties. Furthermore, one clearly has to pay dearly to obtain the last bits of musical nirvana.

Funny how you and I have a few things in common. I play classical music on the piano; however, mine is a Yamaha, not Steinway, but again you have to pay much more for the small SQ improvement.
 
Aug 26, 2016 at 6:02 PM Post #4,362 of 20,241

adyc

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I would like to seek the other users' opinion of preamp function of DAVE in a 2 channel speaker system. Is it digital or analogue? I always use a preamp with my past DACs as the volume control of past DACs are crap. Few weeks ago, I decided to try to use DAVE preamp function and expected my preamp bests DAVE preamp. Surprisingly, DAVE volume control is very transparent. Actually, I think the sound is slightly better by using DAVE volume control.
 
Now, I have been listening without preamp in the chain and I do not miss my preamp. DAVE is such an amazing value. It saves a lot of money as I do not need to buy a power cord and interconnect for the preamp.
 
I would like to hear other opinions on the preamp function of DAVE.
 

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