CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
Dec 23, 2018 at 11:10 PM Post #12,751 of 18,941

jlbrach

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the Abyss is probably the best bet....I have the 281 and dave/blu2 and i go back and forth between the transparency of the dave /blu2 alone and the grunt of the 281...the susvara is phenomenal but must have the 281 as the dave alone isnt up to the task....the utopia has no problem with the dave alone and the transparency is top notch...all fine options
 
Dec 24, 2018 at 2:29 AM Post #12,752 of 18,941

yellowblue

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DAVE (+HMS) and HE-1000SE is a combination made in heaven. There are at least two on the HE-1000SE thread reporting about that. I am one of them. I sold my Utopia because they didn´t get any listening time any more. Be sure though that you listen with a HE-1000SE that is well burnt in (at least 200 hours) because the mids are sounding a little thin and dry in the beginning, plus that the treble is a little overemphasized. This will settle down after a while.
The new HE-1000SE now have much higher efficiency than the older HE-1000's which is a really good fact regarding the DAVE.
 
Dec 24, 2018 at 2:38 AM Post #12,753 of 18,941

x RELIC x

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The new HE-1000SE now have much higher efficiency than the older HE-1000's which is a really good fact regarding the DAVE.

Yes, the 1000se is 6dB more efficient , but electrically speaking either one will do just fine with the DAVE's power output.
 
Dec 24, 2018 at 3:10 AM Post #12,754 of 18,941

koven

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DAVE (+HMS) and HE-1000SE is a combination made in heaven. There are at least two on the HE-1000SE thread reporting about that. I am one of them. I sold my Utopia because they didn´t get any listening time any more. Be sure though that you listen with a HE-1000SE that is well burnt in (at least 200 hours) because the mids are sounding a little thin and dry in the beginning, plus that the treble is a little overemphasized. This will settle down after a while.
The new HE-1000SE now have much higher efficiency than the older HE-1000's which is a really good fact regarding the DAVE.

Efficiency aside, any thoughts on how it sounds vs Susvara?
 
Dec 24, 2018 at 5:50 AM Post #12,756 of 18,941

seaice

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Would love opinions on best headphone pairings directly with DAVE.

I'm currently using Stax 009 (via Carbon Amp) and LCD 4.

The 009 is perfect, even with the additional amp as it's incredibly transparent (and obviously necessary).

I've gone back and forth via LCD 4 direct and with Violectric V281. I find the direct connection more transparent, without any potential downsides in terms of bass, headstage - etc.

That said, tastes evolve - and while I love the bass, mids and headstage of the LCD 4 - the treble - which is well documented - seems slightly veiled. I use to enjoy this and the fatigue free listening it provides, but with DAVE, the 009 is also fatigue free and has the best treble I've ever heard in a headphone.

For that reason, I am considering alternatives to the LCD 4 at the moment to compliment my 009. I do have a good amp (Violectric V281), but if they don't need it all the better. That said - I am willing to consider something that needs to be amped if it's the best headphone. My 009's need to go through an amp and the transparency is still exceptional.

Would love opinions, so I can narrow down my options. It will be really hard to let the LCD 4s go, as they do bass better than any headphones I've tried - and the imaging/headstage is big, unique, and very different than other presentations - and I enjoy it a lot. Maybe it's time to just try something new.

First Tier
1. HifiMan He1000 SE - I've only heard the original HE1000 and had a problem with it's softness and some perceived spikes in the treble from 6-8k. I'm curious if attack has approved and they are less peaky. I've heard some reports of scooped out mids - so interested in thoughts - especially with DAVE. Maybe HE1000v2 as well if it's close, given that the He1000 are $2500 on Amazon right now.
2. Abyss Phi - From what I've read these would do exactly what I'm looking for. Not sure if they can be driven well from DAVE, though - as mentioned - I only hear improvements with the LCD 4 through DAVE. I want to get that Planar bass that Audeze is known for with super transparent highs. Concern is comfort. In my setup, I wear my headphones lying down on a couch, so this might help - or may be impossible with the Abyss.
3. Focal Utopia - I demoed these for a week through the V281 and an Auralic Vega. My biggest complaint was perceived grain in the mids. I may just be completely accustomed to planar and electrostats, which seem completely grain free, but this bothered me. It is possible that they weren't broken in enough. They were new, and not sure what the consensus is with the beryllium drivers. Perhaps through DAVE they are a different story.

Second Tier
1. HD800S - I had the HD800 for a couple days and really enjoyed them years ago, but the treble spike was fatiguing. While these don't compliment the Stax as well, and don't do bass like the planars, they are not obscenely expensive. If they, or the HD800 for that matter, are just a great match - maybe I give them a try.
2. Mr Speakers Ether Flow or Ether 2 - Curious about these two. I have Aeon Flow open and Closed - and I actually think I like the closed better as they are more transparent. The Aeon Flow Closed and Chord Hugo 2 is a great match. Curious whether the Ether Flow / Ether 2 treble and resolution can play with the big boys. The Aeon flow isn't quite there, and shouldn't be for $800 - but it gets damn close.
3. Mr Speakers Voce - Listened to these from a BHSE, and while these certainly can't be plugged into the DAVE - I have a great Estat amp already. I enjoyed them at Canjam listening casually, but don't remember them enough - and may be hard to get a demo.
4. HifiMan Susvara - I know very little about this headphone, but have seen incredibly positive reviews. I may need an amp, but if these are the best of the bunch (in my particular setup), I'd want to give them a try. But if I am going for a HifiMan sound signature - would the H1000SE be the best way to go direct to Dave?

Not familiar as much with some of the newer brands offering, so if anyone has any reccos -please send my way.

Try the Susvara from your V281 (and from Dave directly as well). You may be surprised how good the Susvara is.

I have never heard Abyss Phi or Focal Utopia but I have the whole Stax bunch (see my signature).
 
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Dec 24, 2018 at 7:42 AM Post #12,759 of 18,941

tunes

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DAVE (+HMS) and HE-1000SE is a combination made in heaven. There are at least two on the HE-1000SE thread reporting about that. I am one of them. I sold my Utopia because they didn´t get any listening time any more. Be sure though that you listen with a HE-1000SE that is well burnt in (at least 200 hours) because the mids are sounding a little thin and dry in the beginning, plus that the treble is a little overemphasized. This will settle down after a while.
The new HE-1000SE now have much higher efficiency than the older HE-1000's which is a really good fact regarding the DAVE.
Does the addition of the HMS to the DAVE increase the soundstage of the HEKse? What are the main additionally SQ engancements afforded by the DAVE + HMS vs DAVE alone with the HEKse? I have heard that the Abyss PHI has an even larger soundstage than the HEKse but not driven as well by the DAVE without an intervening amplifier. I hope to compare the Abyss, Empyrean and STAX SR009s(Carbon), with DAVE/HMS at the NYC CamJam In February.
 
Dec 24, 2018 at 7:54 AM Post #12,760 of 18,941

seaice

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Does the addition of the HMS to the DAVE increase the soundstage of the HEKse? What are the main additionally SQ engancements afforded by the DAVE + HMS vs DAVE alone with the HEKse? I have heard that the Abyss PHI has an even larger soundstage than the HEKse but not driven as well by the DAVE without an intervening amplifier. I hope to compare the Abyss, Empyrean and STAX SR009s(Carbon), with DAVE/HMS at the NYC CamJam In February.

The addition of the HMS to my Dave/Suvara setup has improved many things. The soundstage is one of them but it is not bigger but rather more 3D and holographic. And I have observed the same with my other HMS/Dave-based headphone setups so I expect that it is similar with a HEK(se).
 
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Dec 24, 2018 at 10:19 AM Post #12,761 of 18,941

bidn

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Efficiency aside, any thoughts on how it sounds vs Susvara?

Koven, if this may help you, l compared with my test tracks (mostly metal, and little polyphony and dark ambient)
at my dealer the Dave driving the Susvara, HE1000se, HE6se and LCD-4z (I had tested other headphones with the dealer's Dave at other times, and already a time before the Susvara and 4z with other hps, but the HE1000se and HE6se were not around at previous times).

All our differing opinions depend on what kind of music and at what loudness levels we listen to (probably the latter creates a lot of divergence among opinions re. amplification).
I am anomalous in the sense that I listen at abnormally very low levels of loudness, each time surprising again my dealer who knows of noone like me (and at home I listen at even lower levels than at the dealer...).

Re. personal amplification requirements
In average, I was using on the Dave, at the dealer, something roughly around - 50 dB for the 4z, - 40dB for the HE1000se, -30dB for the HE6se and -20dB for the Susvara.
Given how much louder most people listen than me, I can assume than for most people the Susvara (and the HE6se) would not be sufficiently driven directly out of the Dave, although that was no issue for me.

Re. my sound impressions on the HE1000se vs Susvara on the Dave:
- I think that they share the same kind of improvements (vs previous HE1000xx and the HE-6) in deep bass impact, which has become impressive and feels more akin to Audeze. This would probably be fantastic for those who like electronic beats or (slow) percussions, but for me this is nothing because I find it way too slow for the pace of most of the metal music I listen to.
- None of them sounds neutral to me, both stray off neutrality in its own manner in the region between 1k and 6k
- re. differences the HE1000se still lack a lot in dynamics, are too soft and laid-back for me. I really try hard to listen a lot to them and to like them because I was never able to like any of the previous HE1000xx, so I was hoping that this improved versions would fit my taste. Unfortunately they could not render for me the dynamics and aggressivity of metal, I could not enjoy them and got bored by them. On the other hand the Susvara (although requiring more amplification) had much better dynamics, was lively and really enjoyable for me.
(this depends on each person, I own some headphones which I find rather boring... my HD 800, Ether C, Aeon C... so I don't want to buy too many headphones which I don't enjoy much afterwards).

Another previous time I compared the Susvara to other headphones, and like the LCD-4 and 4z it has no chance for me against the much cheaper Clear re. speed, detail, dynamics, imaging, neutrality, etc., not to speak of comparing with the Utopia.

In the end I purchased a HE6se, though it was less detailed and with less sub-bass than the Susvara, I found it to be quite more neutral between 1k and 6k, and much cheaper, so that I could at least add one Hifiman to my collection of headphones.

I also tried the Empyrean out of the Dave (I forgot the loudness level for those), they were "buttery"... "butter" on my head in the sense of their being super comfortable, and also all butter with the sound which was very soft, but too soft for my personal taste.

I see you own the Utopia, for me this is the star which shines, my favorite ones.

Other people listening to other kinds of music and having different tastes may like what I don't like, and vice-versa.

Merry Christmas,
bidn
 
Dec 24, 2018 at 11:20 AM Post #12,762 of 18,941

jarnopp

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The addition of the HMS to my Dave/Suvara setup has improved many things. The soundstage is one of them but it is not bigger but rather more 3D and holographic. And I have observed the same with my other HMS/Dave-based headphone setups so I expect that it is similar with a HEK(se).

seaice, are you using crossfeed and if so, which setting on your setup? Thanks!
 
Dec 24, 2018 at 2:31 PM Post #12,763 of 18,941

koven

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Koven, if this may help you, l compared with my test tracks (mostly metal, and little polyphony and dark ambient)
at my dealer the Dave driving the Susvara, HE1000se, HE6se and LCD-4z (I had tested other headphones with the dealer's Dave at other times, and already a time before the Susvara and 4z with other hps, but the HE1000se and HE6se were not around at previous times).

All our differing opinions depend on what kind of music and at what loudness levels we listen to (probably the latter creates a lot of divergence among opinions re. amplification).
I am anomalous in the sense that I listen at abnormally very low levels of loudness, each time surprising again my dealer who knows of noone like me (and at home I listen at even lower levels than at the dealer...).

Re. personal amplification requirements
In average, I was using on the Dave, at the dealer, something roughly around - 50 dB for the 4z, - 40dB for the HE1000se, -30dB for the HE6se and -20dB for the Susvara.
Given how much louder most people listen than me, I can assume than for most people the Susvara (and the HE6se) would not be sufficiently driven directly out of the Dave, although that was no issue for me.

Re. my sound impressions on the HE1000se vs Susvara on the Dave:
- I think that they share the same kind of improvements (vs previous HE1000xx and the HE-6) in deep bass impact, which has become impressive and feels more akin to Audeze. This would probably be fantastic for those who like electronic beats or (slow) percussions, but for me this is nothing because I find it way too slow for the pace of most of the metal music I listen to.
- None of them sounds neutral to me, both stray off neutrality in its own manner in the region between 1k and 6k
- re. differences the HE1000se still lack a lot in dynamics, are too soft and laid-back for me. I really try hard to listen a lot to them and to like them because I was never able to like any of the previous HE1000xx, so I was hoping that this improved versions would fit my taste. Unfortunately they could not render for me the dynamics and aggressivity of metal, I could not enjoy them and got bored by them. On the other hand the Susvara (although requiring more amplification) had much better dynamics, was lively and really enjoyable for me.
(this depends on each person, I own some headphones which I find rather boring... my HD 800, Ether C, Aeon C... so I don't want to buy too many headphones which I don't enjoy much afterwards).

Another previous time I compared the Susvara to other headphones, and like the LCD-4 and 4z it has no chance for me against the much cheaper Clear re. speed, detail, dynamics, imaging, neutrality, etc., not to speak of comparing with the Utopia.

In the end I purchased a HE6se, though it was less detailed and with less sub-bass than the Susvara, I found it to be quite more neutral between 1k and 6k, and much cheaper, so that I could at least add one Hifiman to my collection of headphones.

I also tried the Empyrean out of the Dave (I forgot the loudness level for those), they were "buttery"... "butter" on my head in the sense of their being super comfortable, and also all butter with the sound which was very soft, but too soft for my personal taste.

I see you own the Utopia, for me this is the star which shines, my favorite ones.

Other people listening to other kinds of music and having different tastes may like what I don't like, and vice-versa.

Merry Christmas,
bidn

Thanks for your impressions that is helpful yes. Have not tried Empryean but perhaps some day. And wow -50 on Utopia is quite low indeed I vary from -25 to -15 which is probably 70-80dB. :p
 
Dec 24, 2018 at 2:53 PM Post #12,764 of 18,941

jlbrach

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i have not heard the new SE but i thought the HE-1000 v2 was outstanding and very easy to drive.....the susvara on the other hand simply cannot be properly enjoyed out of the dave without an external amp
 
Dec 24, 2018 at 5:03 PM Post #12,765 of 18,941

x RELIC x

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Thanks for your impressions that is helpful yes. Have not tried Empryean but perhaps some day. And wow -50 on Utopia is quite low indeed I vary from -25 to -15 which is probably 70-80dB. :p

What type of music? I usually listen around -30 to -35 with the Utopia with albums like Eric Clapton’s Unplugged, or some of Chesky’s binaural music. I measured the output at the earcup and I'm around 85dB average at those volumes, with peaks around 95dB.
 

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