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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. iDesign
    Out of curiosity, among DAVE owners considering adding an M Scaler, are you opting for the Blu Mk II, Hugo M Scaler, or waiting for another Chord product with an M Scaler?

    Although Blu Mk IIs have significantly depreciated in value (a 50% plummet), they still seem to sell in about three to four weeks in the classifieds and I assume DAVE owners are buying them. That surprises me because they’re still selling for slightly more than the full MSRP of the Hugo M Scaler.

    I’m curious to hear from DAVE owners and to know which M Scaler people are lining up to purchase?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  2. STR-1
    If CD-replay was important to me I would not have traded in my Blu 2 for an M Scaler and Hugo TT 2. It is challenging to get music fed into any of the various Blu2/M Scaler inputs to sound as good as playing CDs on the Blu2.
    Triode User likes this.
  3. jlbrach
    If you choose to use an external amp you cannot beat the violectric 281 IMHO...packs a wallop....sounds great and terrific remote
  4. GryphonGuy
    I'm waiting patiently for the Davina project to bear fruits as I do not have a pre-amp (it died over a year ago and I now use DAVE direct to amplifier) and my analogue hi-fi (turntable and TT pre-amp) is gathering dust....waiting.

  5. Torq
    The only solid-state amplifier I've been able to properly audition, that is audibly transparent* and colorless compared to the direct output from DAVE, and that can also drive the Abyss Phi (w/ CC pads in my case) properly, is the SPL Phonitor X. While the "X" is above your budget, the "XE" version comes in at $1 under it. You can use any IR remote with it for volume control (it does not include one). Now, I've not heard the "XE" model, but as I understand it the headphone amplifier portion is the same as that in the X.

    I've tried (proper, at-home, audition), owned, or still own, the Pro iCAN, GS X Mk2, Moon HA430, Ragnarok, V281, HP1 and a couple of Audio-GD models, and the Phonitor X was the only one I felt was not losing/coloring anything audibly vs. DAVE-direct.

    It drives the Abyss Phi beautifully - I have to go to big tube amps to get a result I prefer.

    *I'm not saying that any amplifier doesn't have some impact on transparency, simply that the Phonitor X is the only solid-state unit I've heard where I could not audibly discern any loss of transparency vs. DAVE.
    bidn, Deftone and koven like this.
  6. tunes
    Sounds like excellent advice and review and trust it with your first hand experience with so many other headphone amps. Is there a best price place to pick one up?
  7. tunes
    Do you know if it can drive very efficient Alnico single driver speakers that I now have using the XLR outputs from the DAVE? It would also be great to connect DAVE to the PHONITOR XE via XLR out but the DAVE is not balanced so is the headphone output on the PHONITOR XE still balanced for headphones in this configuration?
  8. x RELIC x Contributor
    I’m not @Torq, but are you using the Super Alnico driven directly from DAVE’s XLR outputs? You shouldn’t. The XLR shouldn’t even be used for headphones given their very low max Current output of 0.05mA (if my memory serves me well). The DAVE’s XLR were only designed to feed an external amp.

    The DAVE is a SE design and balanced will not improve things if using it directly. As for adding an external amp then the XLR may be the best output depending on the external amp’s topology.

    Edit: See below...

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
    Torq likes this.
  9. x RELIC x Contributor
    How do you like the crossfeed on the Phonitor? Compared to DAVE’s? I almost purchased a SPL Phonitor way back but never ended up getting one.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  10. tunes
    My error: I am using the XLR out on the DAVE to drive powered subwoofers and the RCA out to Drive the efficient Alnico single driver speakers. Is this configuration ok?
  11. Torq
    For non-critical listening (i.e. when I'm not auditioning/reviewing something) I quite like it. It works better with some material and some headphones, than others of course. I would day I use it more than I expected I would (I almost never use(d) the crossfeed on DAVE for example), but not enough that I would consider it a must-have feature - in other words I'd still have bought the Phonitor X without it. It's more convincing than the 3D+ feature on the Pro iCAN, with less tonal impact. And it can be the difference between a day-long listening session (as background music) being very mellow or winding up being fatiguing - though that's mostly the case when listening to music that tends to be a be a bit "three-blob" in the first place.

    If I really want a two-channel/dimensional delivery though, I just use my speaker rig.

    All that said, most of my listening-for-pleasure time is via the M-Scaler -> DAVE -> Woo WA234 MkII chain - and I never have crossfeed enabled on DAVE in that case.
    bidn and x RELIC x like this.
  12. x RELIC x Contributor
    Awesome reply, thanks!
    Torq likes this.
  13. x RELIC x Contributor
    Ah, makes sense. I was a bit confused by the wording. Should be fine according to others that have used the same configuration.
  14. Torq
    The Phonitor X and XE's balanced and singled-ended headphone outputs both work regardless of whether you feed it a single-ended or balanced signal.

    Bear in mind that the big difference between the X and XE models is that the "X" has pre-amp outputs and the "XE" does not (instead it has an extra pair of headphones outputs on the back). I would not attempt to drive passive speakers directly from the pre-outs on the "X", nor from the headphone outputs on the "XE". That'd be something to talk to SPL themselves about.

    For DAVE itself ... I only use the RCA and XLR outputs into my headphone amplifiers (based which they respond best to, given that DAVE is not intrinsically balanced, as @x RELIC x points out.
    bidn likes this.
  15. tunes
    Can connecting Omega tower speakers via the RCA out jacks on the DAVE cause any
    Damage to DAVE or void the warrantee??
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