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They are available from AudioQuest as an example.
Amazon basics or Kabeldirekt are both under £20 for 10M
Hi, Now that the Etude has been out for a while, I was wondering whether anyone here has one, or demoed one with a Dave/HMS combo. I am trying to get hold of one to trial myself but interested to here opinions. A while ago on this forum, I think John Franks commented that it was the best amp to partner and show what the DAVE could do, sighting the fact that it was orders of magnitude 'faster' than other amps.
From my experience, whilst I have noticed significant differences in SQ when trialling other digital cables such as Co-Ax and USB, fibre optic was the one medium where I could not tell the difference between the free plastic cable and a fairly expensive glass fibre cable. YMMV.
Sorry I cant help there as I have only heard it at shows but I would be very interested to know what you think when you do get to demo one.
I have commented on Chord Etude a few times in Head-Fi. I think my mind has changed slightly since I first got it in October 2018.
The first thing I would say is that I see you're using Chord integrated amplifier 2650. Hence, the sonic limitations would be as much due to the preamplifier section of the 2650 as the amplifier section. As a result, to get the most out of Etude, you really need to connect DAVE directly to Etude. Otherwise, you'll lose transparency. Obviously, if you have a vinyl setup, that would be a challenge.
The second thing I would say is that if you like Chord 2650, Chord Etude is probably the right upgrade for you. I think different amps sound different. Some amplifiers are built to sound neutral (Benchmark AHB2, Bryston 4B3, Chord amps) while others tend to sound warmer (maybe not as warm as tube amps) where they introduce euphonic 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortions but inevitably with tradeoffs to microdetails, microdynamics and transparency. For me, I never bought any older Chord amplifiers because at shows and showrooms, I have always found the older generation of Chord amplifiers to sound slightly harsh at times, despite their neutrality, transparency, microdynamics and macrodynamics. I have not been able to hear the Mk II versions of Chord amplifiers but am lucky to have the Chord Etude. I think my summary would be that Chord Etude preserves all the wonderful qualities of the older Chord amplifiers but there is a beauty and smoothness to the sound when it's meant to be warm and pleasing, meaning that the harshness I didn't like when I hear in the Mk I Chord amplifiers are gone. But when the music is meant to be harsh and dynamics, Etude can give you that power and oomph just like the older Chord amplifiers. Most importantly, I find the transparency, micro- and macrodynamics are still completely preserved with Chord Etude. I have to admit I have always found Chord amplifiers to be extremely fast so I really am not sure if Chord Etude is any "faster" than the Chord 2650. And I have not had any in-home demos of other neutral amplifiers so I cannot definitively say they can't be better than the Chord Etude but for me, the other amps often sound a little harsher than the Etude but I may be biased by the look of the Etude because it matches my DAVE and Blu2.
I think I would only have one caveat on you getting the Chord Etude, which is that when I used to drive my speakers with Sanders Magtech, I would recognize that when listening to DAVE with headphones, there is a difference in transparency, microdynamics, harshness but I just kind of accepted this as reality so over time, I was able to ignore the difference between speakers vs headphones. When I got the Chord Etude, the upgrade was so significant that I started believing that the Etude through my speakers are as transparent as DAVE to my headphones. Or at least the difference in transparency was very subtle. Unfortunately, over time, because Etude is so transparent, it actually becomes easier to hear the subtle differences between DAVE to headphones vs Etude to speakers. Yes, the sound is the closest as headphones as I can get so far (and based on other demo systems I've heard). So in many ways, I completely agree with John Franks that it is currently the best amp to partner with DAVE. But with Chord Hugo TT2 being able to put out 8-18W to speakers, I suspect in 3-5 years time, we may see the same technology developed to a point where the DX amps can drive 150W into speakers. When that happens, I guess I can upgrade my Etude then.
Which headphones do you have Ecwl? I’m considering the Etude for powering the Susvara.
I use the Etude to power my Dynaudio Confidence C1 speakers. My best headphone is the Focal Utopia so DAVE can drive it quite easily.
Keep in mind too that Chord Etude has speaker output at the back so to drive Susvara, you would probably need special cables or adaptors to connect to the Susvara I presume.
If i had to choose between adding a tt2 to my mscaler (and trading in my Hugo 2) vs trading my hugo2/mscaler against a solo dave which option should i go for? I would not really want to pay another 3K to add an mscaler to the dave. Either solution is end game for a long while. The opinions seem divided here and even Rob shows a preference to the tt2 / mscaler option because of the musicality that a solo dave cannot reproduce here? I have listened to both with the dave sounding lighter and more lifelike and the mscaled tt2 heavier/deeper sounding but very melodic and full sounding. Any perspectives appreciated. I'm looking to do one or the other in a couple of months from now once finances are settled. My description of the sound of a tt2/mscaled vs dave are very brief and simple here on purpose as my aim is to gain advice. Thanks to all.
Probably either option will keep you going for a few years, if you can resist the need to upgrade.
In my mind, this is a no brainer. I have never heard TT2 and I can confidently say you should go with TT2 for a couple of reasons:
1) Once you’re used to M-Scaler, it’s hard to go back to the 164,000 taps from DAVE. There is a musicality to the million taps that you don’t get elsewhere and since that’s what you’ve been listening to via Hugo 2 for a while, it’ll be difficult to go backwards to a lower tap length.
2) I’ve noticed at my Head-Fi meets that people eventually want to experiment with headphones that are harder to drive so TT2 would give you that option.
There are two caveats:
1) with the same kind of money, I would seriously look at getting a different headphones other than PM1. PM1 is great but there are better headphones to pair with Hugo 2 at a higher price point. In terms of bang for the buck, you’ll get more with headphones upgrade.
2) it is possible (some argue probable) that Chord might release a better headphone amp to pair with M-Scaler in the next 1-2 years (my guess). My gut feeling is that it would use DAVE DAC technology (20 elements) with TT2 power. So you might want to wait to see what the upcoming Chord product release schedule is.
Bottom line, if I were you, I’d take my Hugo 2, PM1 (and maybe M-Scaler) to various headphone shops to try out new headphones.
I will be getting sony mdr z1r to replace the oppo pm1. This after trying many headphones. Do you think the sony is a good match for mscaled tt2?
Finally your advice on the taps question is good as i never thought deeply about it from that perspective. I think mscaler is noticed most once you loose it from your chain if that makes sense. Also the mscaled tt2 route is a grand cheaper after trade in's which is alot of money for me. Unless the dave brigade can post another argument for........
Do I remember right that you originally had PM3 with your Mojo? I was trying my aeon flow closed with my Mojo, and thinking that they seemed to have an enjoyable synergy, and reflecting that the PM3 used to be a popular choice as well.
Hi mike. I was actually using pm1 with mojo with a chord electronics headphone adaptor from the accessories pack. I'm getting to the stage where i feel a headphone upgrade is due and the sony z1r both sounds, is built and is very comfortable with plush lambskin pads. I tried ether 2, empyrean and hd820 and none come close to sony's comfort. I seem to be inclined towards real leather pads and i feel i might be more sensitive than others when it comes to comfort as a factor when choosing quality headphones.