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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. TheAttorney
    I've posted the link before about my 009/HEK/DAVE saga, but for those new to this thread, the key post is here.
    I've also had plenty to say about tube rolling on the BHSE thread. Yes tubes matter IMO, with or without DAVE. I still have a couple of quads available, so PM me if interested.

    But to get back to DAVE, I think that DAVE's high transparency and neutrality can be a double-edged sword: It will show up all the good things in your system, but will also show up the bad - there is no hiding place for directly driven headphones if they have FR anomalies (most of them have). And I find that DAVE responds well (or badly) to upstream changes, so I'm not surprised that some find DAVE to be too bright or whatever.

    My basic components haven't changed for over a year, but I have tweaked the source (see my profile) with s/w, cables, ferrites, grounding. power supplies etc and I've often been surprised by what does and doesn't make a difference.
    I've made the same headphones sound bright/dull/flat/dynamic/analytical/forgiving/etc with no changes to DAVE or my headphones. I don't know whether this is becuase of DAVE's high transparency (as the Chord team would like us to believe) or because DAVE is not as immune to noise (in its widest sense) as the Chord team would like us to believe. My guess is that's is a combination of both.
    xxx1313, JaZZ and seaice like this.
  2. STR-1
    Currently trying a few Jorma power cables (Swedish company) along with a Shunyata Delta NR to see how they compare to the Shunyata Alpha HC I have been using with my DAVE for the last two years. Back then the Alpha HC was considered by some to be a good match for the DAVE but I am wondering what cables are being favoured today (the Shunyata Alpha is no longer available new). Any recommendations (excluding the supplied cable)? I’m still happy with the Alpha but am looking into this afresh as I seek to improve the power cables across my system. Thanks for any thoughts.
  3. Thenewguy007
    How do you feel the Shunyata Alpha add to the Dave? What's the biggest difference you hear vs. a stock power cord.
  4. xxx1313
    Alpha NR is fine with DAVE, but tonally slightly different compared to the Alpha HC. Tighter bass, a bit less lower mids, but even a bit more quiet. The much cheaper Shunyata Venom is quite good too, imo. I use it for digital source gear. I love the Alpha NR feeding DAVE, but before you spend considerable amounts on "better" power cables, make sure to try what a simple toroidal transformer does in front of DAVE, or even more important in front of the Hugo M Scaler.
    yellowblue likes this.
  5. koven Contributor
    Is there a consensus on best input for DAVE? Is it USB?
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  6. STR-1
    More weight, more authority, more natural tone.

    Thanks. I’ll have to see if I can get another loan of the Alpha NR. When I had it first time for 3-4 days I also felt it was lacking a bit in the lower-mid/upper-bass region compared to the HC but also felt it was a little quieter with the increased filtering. Felt the same about the Alpha NR C19 cable I tried with my Venom UK6 and ended up getting the Alpha EF for that.
  7. x RELIC x Contributor

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    koven likes this.
  8. koven Contributor
    x RELIC x likes this.
  9. Triode User
    Yes, Dual BNC from MScaler or Blu2. If not that then USB (because I only have usb from Innuos Zenith SE :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    x RELIC x likes this.
  10. rgs9200m
    Strangely, I like USB input more to the DAVE. It's sounds awesome.
    But... I use an AQ Diamond USB cable and just tried a generic cheap optical cable.
    I found the cheap optical cable input to sound less defined in the bass and harder in the highs, and just sort of unsettled.

    I think DAVE like nice cables (including power cables; I use a Telwire HC power cord).
  11. jscmd2000
    I had an external low jitter clock digital interface Singxer SU-1 sitting around after selling my Yggy so decided to experiment one day comparing USB, optical, and AES inputs to the Dave.
    1. Macbook Pro -> AQ diamond USB -> Dave
    2. AK380cu -> Wireworld Supernova 7 touslink -> Dave
    3. Macbook Pro -> AQ diamond USB -> Singxer SU-1 -> Mogami gold AES -> Dave

    From the Dave, AQ water rca -> Pass Labs HPA-1 and AQ water xlr -> Headamp GS-X MK2. Both amps drive the Susvaras, not at the same time, via Moon audio silver dragons.
    I picked the third option within10 minutes that day and have not changed since. Wait, I did once but couldn't stand it and had to go back. I know, it goes against a lot of things that were said in this thread including Rob himself, but I cannot argue with what I am hearing.

    There is no AES input on the HMS but there is a BNC input that will allow the SU-1 to be in the chain, so I will experiment again once it arrives comparing the USB, optical, and BNC inputs. I have very high hopes for the HMS because I really hate downloading high res files.
  12. Triode User
    Thanks for your feedback on that. I am all for trying something different.

    Is there any way of describing what you liked about option 3?
  13. jscmd2000
    Not sure if I can do a good job of describing as well as some people on here, but will try. I tested the inputs again tonight so the differences are more fresh in my head.

    In one word, option 3 sounded overall more accurate than the other two. Any kind of music with a beat sounded more articulate, lively, and crisp. Also, the notes sounded deeper and resonated stronger and easier through my head, if that makes sense. I usually don't like very loud music, but louder volume seemed less bothersome and painful. Also, if I concentrate on the sub bass, it is easier to hear the pitch and not just feel the vibration. Lastly, I can hear the echo more easily and get a better sense of the space especially when listening to large scale orchestral music. Well recorded Mahler sounds absolutely fantastic! I don't have golden ears so I am pretty sure... if I can hear it, you can too. Happy listening~
  14. gnomen
    This comment triggers something I have been wondering about. With the very high quality of the HMS/Dave combo, are you able to hear any difference between CD quality and hi-res files? I can think of a lot of technical arguments why the difference should no longer be audible but I am curious to see what you can hear in practice. Thanks!
  15. ray-dude
    I can answer for Blu2 + DAVE (still waiting on my HMS). I can clearly hear a difference between CD (16/44) and high res content in my set up (using test files from 2L and other places).

    Whether this is due to decimation issues or 16 vs 24 bit or something else, I can't say. On my infinite list of "to test" items, I want to take some quality high res 24/384 recordings and do an integer decimation to 24/48 and 16/48 and compare through mScaler. That would at least take gross non-integer decimation errors off the table in the test.
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