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Sorry, I misread your post.
I strongly suspect that an MQA signal would require MQA capable (software) equalizers to pass the full content of the format to a hardware decoder/DAC. And I don't expect such equalizers to be available any time soon. So for people like me who are into equalizing MQA is most likely no option for now.
This is interesting.
I don't believe that there is any burn in with the Dave, I had a long term loan whilst I waited for my new Dave and they sounded the same or as near as possible.
I have had some thoughts on this burn in business for a while and I think that it could be to do with the cable connections. I had my system running sweetly for a good year or two and never touched it, BLU, QBD76, CPA4000 Chord pre-amp and SPM1400E monos. I've always used contact enhancer to clean terminals (with a cotton bud using very little fluid) and good quality standard balanced cables that meet spec.
When I decided to sort out my stand I took it all apart, clean the heatsinks of cobwebs and dust et cetera and re-connected the components. No cables were changed, power was the same, shelves etc. Switch on and the sound has changed, it's brighter and sharper. After a few weeks the sound suddenly popped into goodness again and stayed that way. I have heard this a few times now.
So, what I am saying, is that if a system is resolving enough, low noise floor et cetera, even small 'issues' can impact the sound. I think that phono sockets, speaker binding posts et al are degrading regardless of supposed quality. My Dave sounds brilliant at the moment so I won't be touching anything for a while
Exactly, it's not easy to compare as it depends on the amp's architecture.
I have a balanced amp and assume that the circuitry in the Dave is more direct than that in the amp. Besides, if the ultimate destination is a balanced amp, it makes sense to use the advantage of balanced cables to connect - as long as they are in spec...
Can you check with chord whether Davina has USB output to DAVE? Two good quality BNC cable is more expensive than USB cable given the high bit rate demand good quality BNC cable.
DAVE specs it needs 4 BNC input to accept 704 KHz but it seems that they can now accept 704 KHz using dual BNC input. Is there a need to upgrade the firmware?
Right. While I'm sure some tracks are originally 24/192 or even 24/384, I think most tracks as Tidal pointed out were MQA 24/96 to begin with. So if you play it with Tidal app, it'll decode the track to 24/96 and feed it to DAVE which would then use its 164000 taps to decide it to 24/384 then 24/11.2MHz and then so on. Whereas if you feed it to a meridian DAC, the DAC would decide the MQA file to 24/96 and then based on the MQA coding, choose an appraising or non-appraising 1000 tap length say digital filter to take the 24/96 to 24/384. That's why I think MQA is great for non-Chord DACs that have short tap length filters because it's compensating for an inherent technical limitation for the DACs. Ultimately, you'll have to compare software decided MQA into Chord vs MQA into Meridian yourself and pick your preference. I just don't think MQA is as magical as you think it is and nor do I think Chord DACs would improve miraculously if they can decode MQA files via hardware.
Decode not decide. Couldn't correct it as I'm typing on my iPhone with Safari
I have a mechanical keyboard which I use for my computer at home, a classic IBM Model M from 1993 that makes quite a loud clicking sound as each key is pressed.
At different times I hear a huge variation in the quality of the sound of this keyboard. It varies from a dull-ish clack to a sharp, seemingly higher-pitched click. The keys do vary in their sound compared with each other, but the overall sound quality that I perceive varies quite a lot. Some days it sounds dull and other times it sounds much more precise, much sharper, much more "clicky".
All this variation happens to coincide with how "good" or "bad" my hi-fi sounds.
When the clicking noise is very sharp, fast and precise sounding this is also the time when the hi-fi sounds best: the bass sounds fast, powerful and deep, the midrange sounds more open and the treble sounds delicately refined and extended. There's a sense of great dynamics and an effortless flow in the music. The soundstage feels much easier to hear into and is much bigger. Music makes much more sense and is very satisfying to listen to
So, from the variation in the sound of my keyboard I can tell that my hearing is changing over time: the quality varies up and down. It can change over a few hours. It can remain at a particular level for days or weeks at a time. I don't blame the hi-fi...
Now playing: Pink Floyd - Fat Old Sun
I agree, which is why I used balanced out from my DAVE. Both my preamp and power amp are balanced circuits.
Simple question for those who have had a chance to listen at CES 2017. How does MQA with reported improved time domain accuracy compare with Chord Dave/Blu CD mkII with 1 million taps?
Just an FYI, MQA native is 24/352.8 if you buy a MQA track or natively play one. Meridian told me you need a native mqa playing dac to play at that level, hence the difference of playing even Tidal direct mqa, needs to be selected in tidal verse tidal master which is not the same as direct mqa. This is also stated on Tidal site if you look how to play mqa direct verse master in settings.
Great scoop Roy i think all of us in here highly regard this info from you.
Neverteless i hope and pray for a stand alone M-Scaler with USB / S/Pdif as everyone would like to buy, even not Chord owners.
Can you describe in short what you felt happened with the sound besides depht and clarity? Did it give you a more analog feeling with some wamth left or?
From your description i read it like it is more of the same as if it is about to tip over against the slightly analythical side, or what is your honest golden ear opinion?
Then it would have been great fun to hook it up to a diffrent DAC brand like a Nagra, Esoteric , Emmlabs , DCS or why not a Mojo and see what would happen!
Have a great day on CES !
MQA with a meridian explorer Dac is relatively inexpensive way to enjoy music
I have confirmed with Rob that neither Blu 2 nor Davina will have USB out. Davina, however, will have USB in and also SPDIF/BNC, AES/EBU, and Toslink. As before, Blu 2 will only have SPDIF/BNC in. As for requiring expensive BNC cables, this will not be necessary. Unlike DAVE, the SPDIF/BNC input and the BNC/DX outputs on Blu 2 and Davina will be galvanically isolated. Just make sure you have a true 75 ohm cable with good shielding.
Just to clarify - Davina does have a dedicated USB out - the single USB is bi-directional, so it could input say 48 kHz on the single USB and at the same time output the M scaler output at 768 kHz back to the PC. So you could make a recording at 768 kHz and play back to Dave at a later date; or I guess you could route the USB output from Davina to Dave via the PC with an appropriate app.
But the intention is that Dave would get the 768 kHz via the galvanically isolated BNC exactly like I am doing now with the Blu mk 2.