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CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. doraymon
    Yes indeed, I don’t have the impedance/freq graph for the speakers, they declare nominal impedance as above and minimum impedance 30 Ohm for the CM9 and 37 Ohm for the 705.

    I will audition it for sure as soon as it’s available but to make it a significant test I should bring it home and hook it up to my DAC (Dave) and loudspeakers (CM9). I have yet to find a single dealer willing to loan me such an expensive piece of gear so I don’t see this happening.

    I was looking for clues based on the amp’s and speaker’s specs to determine if it would work before buying.
     
  2. simorag
    For those using the DAVE with an headphone amp or integrated amp: do you prefer the DAVE in digital preamp mode or DAC mode, and why?
     
  3. Triode User
    The only difference is that one (DAC mode) is a fixed output (-3dB) and the other is variable. The signal and sound quality is the same apart from the output voltage. If -3dB suits your amp for volume and it doesn't clip into your amp then use that otherwise try the variable output volume and select the output that suits your amp.

    Out of interest, you could try setting your amplifier to maximum volume and using the Dave as the volume control. I never found that better with tube amps but I do find it better with solid state amps because it effectively takes their analogue volume control out of the circuit and uses Dave's much better digital volume control instead.
     
    Rhamnetin and simorag like this.
  4. jacc
    I don't really understand why but my DAVE sounds the best at DAC mode (ie. balance out at 6V). Sounds smoother and a tag warmer compared with lower output level as a standalone preamp.
     
  5. Crgreen
    And if you increase the volume in preamp mode to -3db, the same as fixed output, they should sound the same. It was the same with the Hugo: there was a particular volume setting that sounded best into my preamp, a magic spot as it were. I don’t think it has anything to do with preamp vs fixed output, just the volume settings.
     
  6. simorag
    I made some A/B tests over the last couple of days, by setting DAVE at -3dB, then levelling my amp volume so that there is a match between the Digital Pre and DAC mode, and I feel like @jacc writes above. A slightly warmer / fuller sound with DAC mode, with no obvious loss of transparency to my ears.

    Nice hint, I will try this as well, thanks!
     
  7. Crgreen
    There might well be a difference, as I said. The volume settings will be different in digital preamp and DAC mode, and you adjust your preamp volume to accommodate the difference. The point I was making is that if your digital preamp and DAC volume settings are the same (-3db) you should get the same result. What you’ve discovered is that a particular volume setting with the Dave best suits your preamp, which by the sound of it is -3db. I’m not sure it says anything about the Dave as such, just how it’s internal volume settings interface with your preamp.
     
    simorag likes this.
  8. Rob Watts
    Just to confirm, DAC mode is absolutely no difference in the signal path at all; it's just the control function that is changed, in that the volume is set to -3dB and volume change is disabled.
     
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  9. MacedonianHero Contributor
    I really only use the GS-X Mk2 with my DAVE with harder to drive headphones like the Abyss Phi or LCD-4. Everything else that isn't power hungry, I prefer just the DAVE.
     
  10. rgs9200m
    Has anyone had experience trading older Chord equipment for newer models with a Chord dealer?
    Is it much better to sell privately?
     
  11. Triode User
    You probably need to do the sums yourself based on trade in values that you have been offered. Also take into account that you ought to be able to negotiate a cash (ie no trade in) discount. When I sell second hand kit I always price a kit low to make sure it sells quickly. A good rule of thumb in teh UK is to start at half new retail for the trade in / second hand value and then modify it based on whether the item is newish or slightly older.

    I have done both trade in and selling privately depending on how the mood takes me.
     
    rgs9200m likes this.
  12. simorag
    Thanks for the confirmation, at this point I tend to believe that in my A/B testing I fooled myself thinking I was hearing a difference, since the DAVE output has always been kept at -3dB, and the amp volume was also fixed when I was switching between DAC and Pre Amp mode:blush:

    As @Triode User was saying, perhaps by setting DAVE as Digital Pre and the amp to max output and thus bypassing its analog volume control there could actually be a difference this time. I am going to try that as well :L3000:
     
  13. Crgreen
    Actually, I’d be cautious in doing that. Try putting Dave into a power amp using digital pre by all means, but I’d be wary about putting digital pre into an amp with it’s own volume control, or that of a pre-amp, set to maximum and using didgital pre alone to control volume. Not only could you get clipping, it it might affect the stability of your equipment.
     
    simorag likes this.
  14. STR-1
    I think if you’ve got a good relationship with your dealer and a track record of buying from them, you will probably get a better deal there assuming that the item is in very good condition. They will after all want you to keep coming back for each and every upgrade.

    In recent months I have seen some on the forums comment on their inability to get a good private sale price for their Chord Blu 2. Yet I got an unbelievably good trade-in offer from my dealer for mine, mainly I guess because they know me as a return customer (also bought my DAVE, a Hugo 2 and a Mojo there) who takes exceptionally good care of the kit I am trading in.

    Private buyers generally won’t be prepared to pay as much unless they know you and/or can be certain that an active warranty is transferable.
     
    rgs9200m likes this.
  15. Triode User
    Caution is always good but in many integrated amps putting the volume pot to max effectively takes it out of the circuit. You are not going to get clipping because you will be feeding a low signal in from the Dave. Clipping happens when too high a signal is fed into the amp from the DAC. (Ok, granted that output clipping can happen when you are driving a low powered amp too hard into low sensitivity speakers but that is not what were are talking about here). If an amp is unstable when the volume is at max with no or low input then maybe it is time to get a better designed amp. :wink:

    As I have said, I have done this many times and with all sorts of kit over about 45 years but the usual health warning apply that I am only reporting my own experiences.
     
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