CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
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ZappaMan

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At some point I'm going to pull the trigger on a Dave. I'll need a new soundcard with optical out.

Would you recommend an internal or external soundcard? Both for the Dave and music in general.
Prob best not to go with a sound card approach, but external would be best as it’s further away from electrical activity of the main pc...

I know my optical can stutter annoyingly as my pc gets busy, or even switching tabs in a browser.
 
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ecwl

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I have a question, when using Dave in Dac/Pre amp mode and feeding a LDR preamp via single ended cables, is there and ideal volume setting for the output volume
I don’t own an LDR preamp as my DAVE directly goes into the amp. But if you feel strongly about using LDR preamp, this is my take (from my Benchmark DAC1 and Jriver digital volume experience). Different analog volume settings have different linearity, channel matching and transparency. Usually, the setting around 12 o’clock is the more linear and neutral. So to get optimal performance, I would suggest the solution is not to set DAVE at a fixed volume and then turn the LDR volume control but the other way around. You should listen to the same musical materials at various fixed LDR preamp volume settings and change the DAVE volume to determine how loud you’d like your music. The LDR preamp volume that sounds the most detailed and revealing to you is probably where you should leave the LDR fixed at that volume and then you can use DAVE to control music volume.
 
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Saleh84

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Thanks...if my music is on a PC, what option is there other than a sound card approach? USB?
My advice is try a dedicated music streamer/server. You will never use a PC for audio afterwards
 
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Blitzula

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My advice is try a dedicated music streamer/server.
What's the flow from the PC to streamer/server...or do I have to move music off the PC?

How does Dave pick up the signal from that?
 
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odessamarin

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Thanks...if my music is on a PC, what option is there other than a sound card approach? USB?
This the best I can advice... (and I have it for my Dave)

RPi3 B+ - 37 USD
https://www.amazon.com/ELEMENT-Element14-Raspberry-Pi-Motherboard/dp/B07BDR5PDW/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1VQXUID8FILMS&keywords=rpi+3+b+&qid=1562596044&s=gateway&sprefix=rpi,aps,339&sr=8-3

PI2AES or 502DAC - around 150 USD
http://www.pi2design.com/

Volumie - Free
https://volumio.org/

For less then 200 USD you will have streamer for all your digital audio connected to DAVE with AES.
This system is the best I ever heard as digital source. DAVE really shine when correct numbers (digital input) provided.
This configuration will blow your mind.. guaranteed.
I will help you to set it up.. if you need. It's really easy.
Just try, you will be surprised. It cost almost nothing at the end.. :wink:

.. it will be your dedicated music streamer/server controlled from any smart device - phone, tablet, PC..
 
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gnomen

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My advice is try a dedicated music streamer/server. You will never use a PC for audio afterwards
Interesting series of comments. I am thinking about updating my music server (from an iMac+Pure Music via USB to DAC) but the advice is so conflicted. Many say "use optical" to get electrical isolation but ZappaMan reports otherwise. I looked at Small Green Computer's SonicTransporter+MicroRendu, but I just can't get my head around how sending everything in packets over Ethernet via a domestic router is going to be better than a direct connection, USB or Optical. Where am I missing the point?
 
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odessamarin

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Interesting series of comments. I am thinking about updating my music server (from an iMac+Pure Music via USB to DAC) but the advice is so conflicted. Many say "use optical" to get electrical isolation but ZappaMan reports otherwise. I looked at Small Green Computer's SonicTransporter+MicroRendu, but I just can't get my head around how sending everything in packets over Ethernet via a domestic router is going to be better than a direct connection, USB or Optical. Where am I missing the point?
After long try and test story USB, Optic, Coax.. my end choice is AES. This professional standard and realized very well in DAVE as digital input. Accepting everything up to 64DSD!

And in proposed system you can completely isolate you source (from where everything start) form AC line or any other wires. Data from air (WiFi) and Power from battery. This configuration sound just unavailable with Dave and direct HD800s.
 
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Saleh84

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What's the flow from the PC to streamer/server...or do I have to move music off the PC?

How does Dave pick up the signal from that?
an independent streamer will either have its own storage (like aurender N100H or N10) + ability to stream from Tidal and qobuz, or without HDD (like dCS Network bridge) but will stream from local NAS and has the ability to play music from Tidal/Qobuz as well. there are so many options out there for Streamers from the very expensive to the cheap. with various preferred method of providing digital out: some have USB only, others have the whole lot from AES, optical, coax and BNC for you to choose your favorite. most of streamers will offer you some sort of app control via a smart phone or tablet. some could work with roon, others will only use their proprietary app like aurender. talking streamers is a huge topic with lots of brand/options/opinions.
the selection of streamer does actually affect your sound to its core - I quit on the idea that bits are bits long ago. each streamer will have its own distinct sound signature. wither its leaning to bright/warm, dynamic or laid back. you can investigate more on the internet - many reviews, discussion threads. however, the one thing I'm certain of, almost any of those would be better than a PC or a laptop.

main things in my opinion while deciding which streamer to get;
-how it "sounds" like as per what the majority of users say on forums, reviews. if you can demo before you buy, that is the best way to go.
-how are you going to control music play back and track selection etc. is this app/method reliable or finky?
-if it has internal HDD or will connect to your NAS where your music is stored
-if you use roon, will it work as core or end point only
-does it have some sort of high end clock for lower/zero jitter? this option is usually costing much more money. but it makes a difference. mostly you will connect your dac via Spdif (BNC, Coax, Optical or AES) to take advantage of the high end streamer clock. USB will depend on DAC clock, which is pretty decent in DAVE. the streamer will give you the benefit of much less noise/jitter and blacker background still.
-how good is the power supply portion/ have they done their best to isolate the audio out from internal noise etc.

I read that DAVE is pretty resilient to bad power and noisy signals. but I can tell you with confidence, it still gets affected. if you have a DAC of such high caliber like DAVE, you owe to yourself to try a better signal into it.

personally I use aurender N10 into my R2R DAC via AES. but a friend of mine owns DAVE with N10 and he is very happy using an ATLAS Marvos BNC. another DAVE owner I know uses dCS network bridge with same ATLAS cable (phenomenal cable for the money by the way. terrible while breaking in thou). good synergy for both these streamers with DAVE from what I heard.

I think if you are skipping USB (personally I don't like USB for Audio - its only advantage is the bandwidth which is not everything), with DAVE you best connection to use would be probably BNC. it has more bandwidth on Chord devices generally, up to 384 khz if I'm not mistaken. which means you can stream double DSD from a compatible streamer via one cable. Rob watts favors BNC as a connection somehow i believe. also, if you plan to add an M scaler moving forward, you are pretty much limited to dual BNC between these devices. then you can only connect your streamer to m scaler via USB, BNC, or optical only. I would still choose BNC for that connection. sounds better than USB out of the right streamer, and has more bandwidth than the optical.
optical on paper looks interesting, as its using light - not electrons interaction. I have tried recently some high end, 480 aperture glass cable. it was really good sounding, but my AQ Wel signature AES still sounded better. one last thing; I wont recommend investing in an expensive AES cable with DAVE, as if you decide on adding M scaler, that AES cable will be useless. m scaler has no AES input...!

hope that I have been of help :)
 
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At some point I'm going to pull the trigger on a Dave. I'll need a new soundcard with optical out.

Would you recommend an internal or external soundcard? Both for the Dave and music in general.
Just go for an internal Asus card to fit in a PCI slot and make sure your driver's for the card are up to date and you should be able to get bit perfect optical output no problem.
 
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Deftone

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Prob best not to go with a sound card approach, but external would be best as it’s further away from electrical activity of the main pc...

I know my optical can stutter annoyingly as my pc gets busy, or even switching tabs in a browser.
That shouldn't be happening so there could be an issue somewhere else. I have been using optical output from my motherboard for a few years now and it never freaks out even when stressing the system with heavy gaming.
 
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naynay

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(personally I don't like USB for Audio - its only advantage is the bandwidth which is not everything) :)
Then you need to try a better server thats dedicated to USB and better USB cable
 
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Saleh84

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Then you need to try a better server thats dedicated to USB and better USB cable
Aurender N10 has a great USB out as well. I have tried that using various USB cables from audioquest, sablone and ifi. My personal observation was that USB sound like a thin flat layer, larger sound stage (which does impress at a quick glance), vocals seemed to be bigger and more forward but less focused (also impressive at first). In comparison to spdif which feels more 3D but relatively smaller sound stage, with better separation, vocals are more focused/accurate, everything sounds more evenly balanced. But that's my spdif out through aurender's N10 OCXO clock which i like to believe is special, maybe its not who knows. Its just my observations in my system, which could be totally different with different components and cables.
 
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naynay

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Aurender N10 is still not a USB only dedicated streamer so you will not hear what USB audio is fully capable off through Ms/Dave.
 
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x RELIC x

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In comparison to spdif which feels more 3D but relatively smaller sound stage, with better separation, vocals are more focused/accurate, everything sounds more evenly balanced.
Please specify coaxial S/PDiF or optical S/PDiF.
 
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