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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. Triode User
    @musickid you might find this part of the very recent AudioBacon review of the Mscaler interesting for your deliberations. In the link below he considers the TT2 + Mscaler up against solo Dave.


    PS, I like the part where he goes on to compare both DACs with the Mscaler :

    "Hugo TT 2 vs. DAVE (both with Hugo M Scaler)
    So what is the performance gap when both DACs are using the Hugo M Scaler? Huge. The DAVE was already great. The Hugo M Scaler activates GOD mode."
    iDesign, naynay and simorag like this.
  2. ubs28
    I got the Samsung 4K TV working as a streamer for the Chord Dave. Works pretty good. The bad news is, looks like I might have to upgrade my speakers now to do the Chord Dave justice.
  3. odessamarin
    My point regarding two generations was not about technical designs. Thank you Rob for mention..
    But I was more about sound character. Somehow Dave sound to me closer to 1st generations... more natural and less "commercial" i would say. It gives accents to different instruments. While Outest and Hugo2 gave me impression of more mainstream sound. Which many ppl will appreatiate i guess. It givese you (normalize) all instruments to the same level somehow.. you hear all at once at your face.. very clean and nice tembret but ALL together loud. After a while I started to feel tired of it, after great WOW effects. Most probably my personal perception. Switching back to TT.. music just breath back to me. Therefore to have more I went for DAVE, and so happy I did right.. for me it brings all what loved in TT to the extreme top level. It at the same time sound analogical, but extremely clean and natural. You are really did excellent DAC - DAVE. Thank you.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  4. ecwl
    Haha. I drove 8 hours to visit my friends in Minneapolis. During my down time, one of the stereo stores has a Gamut d200i which they were very proud of and considered to be their flagship demo. For me, I found it a bit mushy sounding. Just not my kind of sound. Maybe it’s what they were playing at the time and their source.
    As for DAVE to SPM1200, since you never said it’s SPM 1200 Mk II, I’ll assume it’s SPM 1200 Mk I. So my guess is 85% of improvements you heard came from bypassing the preamp and 15% came from SPM 1200 Mk I. If you’re listening to Mk II, my guess is 70% of the improvements came from bypassing your old preamp and 30% the amp. My dealer has put DAVE (no M-Scaler) directly to some pretty cheap amplifiers and speakers and they sound amazing. Haha, he sold tons of speakers and amplifiers that way because a lot of customers didn’t think that DACs matter. Although last time I dropped by, one of his customers clued into this... smart guy.
    TKpurple likes this.
  5. iDesign
    @Rob Watts what are your current recommendations for settings when using the DAVE and Blu MkII in headphone mode? Do you still advise:
    • HF Filter: (ON)
    • Phase Pos or Neg: (Pos ON)
    • DSD+ Mode: (OFF)
    • PCM+ Mode: (PCM+ ON)
    • Dual Data Mode: (ON)
    • Crossfeed Modes 0, 1, 2, and 3: (Mode 3 ON)

    As an aside, I feel having the HF Filter ON yields a stunning difference and I much prefer it to be activated.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  6. burbster
    Interesting to here your take on the gamut. Apologies it actually is the mk2 that I am demoing. I like it, I’m not sure I love it enough to stump up the money they want for it though, especially considering an ‘etuded’ 1200 mk3 probably won’t be too long away.
  7. musickid
    I had initially thought that dave was a generation 1 chord dac as it came onto the market 3-4 years ago. I now realise i was totally wrong and it's amazing to know up to 3 years of work went into producing it. So dave is firmly a generation 2 chord dac to clarify that important point.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
    xxx1313 and Triode User like this.
  8. musickid
    Thanks for the link Triode......will undoubtedly help me make that final decision.
    Triode User likes this.
  9. musickid
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  10. Saleh84
    I'm not a chord dac owner, but I do love the chord DAVE sound - its truly special and in a class of its own. also, i have heard it with Mscaler, mind blowing combination. it is addictive to say the least.

    what has been stopping me so far, is how its this phenomenal sound has been "bottled"!!
    I have an Aurender N10 server, I'm connecting it via a reference, excellent sounding (also very expensive) AES cable to my NOS R2R dac.
    Rob Watts unfortunately doesn't believe in AES, even that when applied properly it sounds much better than USB, optical or Coax in my opinion. dCS and many great audio companies believe in this connection, but that's another topic for discussion. now, If i'm to buy a DAVE and an Mscaler, I have to rethink cabling (3 decent BNCs!) which is not fun.

    my dream cord dac will be a DAVE caliber dac with Mscaler built in. XLR outs are equally good to RCA outs even if its single ended. no headphone amp or pre. don't mind if its bigger/heavier chassis, in fact that would be nice. maybe more space for nicely placed more input connections - dual AES, Dual BNC, i2s inputs, etc.
    such a dac will feel in place when used with a high end speaker setup in a rack, and equally good with a headphone setup. honestly speaking, I don't think someone who has invested that much in a dave has bought it for its headphone amp section but will most probably use it with a separate amplifier. I think the qutest was a great product in its level and a step in the right direction. Rob, please give us a reference top tier "dac" only! I'm sure many people out there share this wish. I'm certain it would sell well even if its price is greater than dave and Mscaler combined. it would be the perfect package!
    bidn likes this.
  11. x RELIC x Contributor
    You are assuming the DAVE has a separate ‘amp section’. In fact the DAVE’s analogue output is already akin to other DAC’s line-out. The analogue out of the DAVE’s DAC combines the critical I/V conversion with the buffer, filter, and gain stage in to one analogue output stage, made possible due to Rob’s discrete Pulse Array DAC. This is not possible with other DACs (traditional DS or R2R). This eliminates a lot of analogue components in the signal path and measurably produces a transparently superior signal compared to traditional amps. Amp-mode and Preamp-mode are just presets and the volume is controlled digitally.

    To re-iterate, you can’t get rid of the ‘amp section’ in the DAVE because then you couldn’t output any analogue signal from the DAC. Many people out there just don’t get what Rob has done with his designs overall. I don’t think he could have designed a simpler DAC that just happens to be able to drive headphones without the need for extra analogue bloat in the signal path. That’s the whole point of his designs and precisely why I bought a DAVE.

    As for combining the Mscaler within the DAC chassis he has explained many times why this is currently not possible. For the future, who knows.
    xxx1313 and MacedonianHero like this.
  12. Saleh84
    well I didn't know that, thank you - I have certainly learned something interesting from your reply.

    to be honest, I don't mind the headphone amp/volume control for it, I could use that with my HD800 when I'm unable to use the speakers, even with the dac being placed in my speaker setup rack, I can just switch speakers amplifier off or mute it. that suggestion of no pre/head amp was just cause I thought they are consuming space/power which could be allocated for the more interesting Mscaler. also, this got me thinking about chord qutest, which is cheaper than hugo2 and considered somehow 'same dac but without headphone out & battery', is it just a matter of adding a headphone jack and its connection plus some sort of a volume control knob?

    I have read somewhere that the Mscaler processor chip consumes a lot of power and generates a lot of heat, but I don't see a real difficulty in selecting a larger power supply that can cover the needs of both devices or even two separate power supplies inside a single, probably bigger and well vented chassis. I think its more of 'does chord want to do this or not', kind of situation. fingers crossed that do that with the next gen Dave or whatever its going to be called :) I'm fully convinced about Dave + mscaler sound, I want it so badly, its just I (and maybe others) need a different package that suits every case of use with different transport/server connections, in my case particularly a very good AES audio out and a reference cable that i want to take advantage of so I could make the move to chord camp.
    bidn likes this.
  13. x RELIC x Contributor
    Ironically the Qutest output stage is based off of the Mojo. I think the extra analogue noise shapers in the Hugo2 output are part of the biggest difference between the Hugo2 and the Qutest, but I can’t say that for sure given I didn’t design them. On the Hugo2 the RCA and headphone out are the same signal path so I suspect the Qutest just doesn’t have a headphone out given it’s category in the Chord lineup.

    I want an Mscaler as well, but haven’t found the will to prioritize it yet given other personal commitments.
  14. Triode User
    Just on this, what you will have read is that it consumes 10amps. However this is at 1volt so that equals a power consumption of 10watts. ie hardly anything.
  15. MeetYourMaker
    Has anyone compared Chord mDave against Aqua Formula xHD?
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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