CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
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Saleh84

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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.
Fully agree. My opinion was formed from using N10 usb out, also a experimenting with a friend using his auralic aries g2 which offers USB and spdif. Digital signal into his chord dave (i have three friends who own dave!) Observations were consistent and in line with what i mentioned above. But we have not tried USB only server like innuos or other brands that focus on USB only.
 
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musickid

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If you send me a dave i will happily be your 4th friend who also owns a dave.:deadhorse::deadhorse:
 
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thomaskong78

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My first serious audio system was Garrard turntable, Fisher Int(SS), ADS bookspeaker bought on 1978.

I bought Technics CD player on 1984.

It sound harsh and bright compared with vinyl.

I gave up vinyl when I moved from Berkeley to Chicago on 1988 since I have no room to carry in my small car.

I upgraded to California Audio Mark2 on 1989.

It was way better than Technics CD player with refined treble and better dynamics.

I had used passive pre, Krell KSA 150 to drive Apogee Duetta Sig.

On 1999, I upgraded to DCS Elgar and upsampler using TEC Tl0x transport.

Wow now, I got the feeling that it could match good vinyl system.

But after using DCS Elgar for 6 years, it got out of order and I gave it up with uncertain repair cost and shipping to UK.

TEC Tl0x transport also had kept failing to read some CDs.

Thus I had chnaged to Accustic Arts CD transport and Dac which was a downgrade from DCS Elgar and upsampler using TEC Tl0x transport..

On 2010, I had got EMMLab Dac2 to replace Accustic Arts Dac.

It had excellent dynamics, details and soundstage which made me enjoy the music again with Lansche 4.1 speaker and Silbatone 300B SET amp.

On 2019 I had got Jay Audio CDT2 and Lyngdorf 2170 to use it as Room correction, Dac.

But after using it for 4 months, I found that Lyngdorf 2170 falls slightly short of EMMLab Dac2 on bass slam and details.

Thus I had auditioned several Dacs to upgrade from EMMLab Dac2.


Point 100
There is nothing to criticize over MSB Select II except its high price around 100K$.
It has magical relaxed texture similar to top grade vinyl.

Dynamics, details, soundstage are all excellent.

Point 95
Kalista Dreamplay transport and Dac
It has excellent matching MSB Select II.

The only down side is that it does not have relaxed texture similar to top grade vinyl although it still sounds silky.

Point 91.
Trinity Dac
This one is also all round player with hard to criticize.
But it falls slightly short of MSB Select II on details and relaxed texture.

Point 90
Lampiziator Pacific Dac
I had auditioned this Dac with same setup with MSB Select II.

This one is also all round player with hard to criticize.
It falls slightly short of MSB Select II on dynamics and relaxed texture.
But this one has a nice bloom and full bodied sound,
which make some people prefer this one to MSB Select II



Point 85
Chord Dave and Mscaler(or Blue II transport)
This one give transparent and 3D soundstage with excellent details.
But it need good system matching.
It could sound analytical or hot coupled with bright combination of speaker and amplifier.
Without upscaling using Mscaler, its sound is mediocre around 75 points.

Point 84
MSB Premier with one more basic power supply
I had auditioned this one side by side with Lampiziator Pacific Dac.
It matches Pacific Dac with Dynamics, details, soundstage but fall short of Pacific Dac in magical bloom and full body.
With improved power supply or clock, its performance have room to improve further.

Point 80
Formula XHD Dac
I auditioned this one side by side with Trinity Dac
This one is a very musical player with full bloom.
But it falls short of Trinity Dac by one notch in dynamics and bass slam.

Point 79
TotalDac 6 tube version
This one is also a very musical player.
But from the point of audiophile, its dynamics, details, soundstage are all one notch below the standard set by MSB Select II.


Point 78
MSB Discrete Dac with one additional basic power supply.
This one has similar sound signature to MSB Premier
But it is half notch below MSB Premier on dynamics, details, soundstage.

Point 75
EmmLab Dac2
I paid 9K$ for this on 2010.
It matches Chord Dave and Mscaler on dynamics with slightly more bass slam.
But Chord Dave and Mscaler give more transparent and deeper soundstage than EmmLab Dac2 while soundstage width are comparable to each other.
This one has slight fuller sound than Chord Dave and Mscaler.
It is still working fine after 10 years of use.


Point 73.

Lyngdorf 2170
This one has Dac, pre and power amp, active crossover and room correction functions.
It's Dac sounds very similar to EmmLab Dac2 but with slightly less details and bass slam.

There are many Dacs to audition but I could not audition all of them.


I had bought Chord Dave and Mscaler late May.

Recently I play musicals and operas very often enjoying excellent 3D soundstage.

But I do not believe that I can live with Chord Dave and Mscaler for my life.


If some innovative Dac better than MSB Select II come out under 50K$ in the future, then I will upgrade to it.

Otherwise, I expect to use Chord Dave and Mscaler for 3 years or longer.

I open the possibility of upgrading to excellent music server like SGM Extreme in the near future.
 
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mrgray

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Hi there,
new owner of a Dave. sounds great but of course i am still getting used to it.

What is the current advice re: setup please?

I am currently just connecting via USB with either macbook or phone. mainly listening via headphones.

is there anything recommended for me to realise full potential or? perhaps i could do better with the source?

i am getting a USB output for my sony wm1z and so that would be via USB but from the sony wm1z. i presume that might be relatively good?

thanks for any help.
 
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Andrew DiMarcangelo

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Hi there,
new owner of a Dave. sounds great but of course i am still getting used to it.

What is the current advice re: setup please?

I am currently just connecting via USB with either macbook or phone. mainly listening via headphones.

is there anything recommended for me to realise full potential or? perhaps i could do better with the source?

i am getting a USB output for my sony wm1z and so that would be via USB but from the sony wm1z. i presume that might be relatively good?

thanks for any help.
Congrats! MacBook and phone are totally fine as sources, as long as you're using a high quality USB 2.0 cable like an iFi Mercury, you're good to go.
 
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post-15056152
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mrgray

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thanks for confirming suitability of current setup.

wow! i have had my Dave for about 24 hours. i have listened to it a lot and i have had it running 24/7.

it is seriously difficult to describe how inadequate the listening experience is at the store. if i was relying on my own in store assessment, i would be very silly to buy this. ultimately it is on the strength of recommendation that one must purchase (excluding those with the ability to trial gear for longer periods at home). the depressing thing in the first 24 hours is you can hear a difference but is it enough (also on new headphones at this point so equipment isn't burnt in and neither am i).

but after doing something like 8 hours of listening, suddenly more detail starts to reveal itself. it is another level of detail i haven't had before. we all have bits of songs we use as a reference or comparison point. i've moved past a prominent bass part at 1:18 in wuthering heights to another bass part directly after that i have never heard before.

i presume as my head gets used to it things will continue to reveal themselves.
 
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TheAttorney

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Point 85
Chord Dave and Mscaler(or Blue II transport)
This one give transparent and 3D soundstage with excellent details.
But it need good system matching.
It could sound analytical or hot coupled with bright combination of speaker and amplifier.

I had bought Chord Dave and Mscaler late May.But I do not believe that I can live with Chord Dave and Mscaler for my life.
If some innovative Dac better than MSB Select II come out under 50K$ in the future, then I will upgrade to it.
.
Firstly, that was a very impressive list of high end components you have listened to. Did you audition all of them in the same place with the same system?

Secondly, before you spend another $50K on a HMS/DAVE replacement, I think you can tweak your HMS/DAVE much more to your liking.

I've sometimes heard people say that DAVE is too bright or analytical for them. But is DAVE the cause of that, or is it transparently reflecting an issue elsewhere in the system?
For example, I've previously raved over the Blaxius^2D BNC cables between my HMS and DAVE. These have 3 levels of screening and each screen can be connected to the others and to ground, at each end, in several combinations.
I've recently played about with this configurability, and found I can get my system to sound smooth&warm, or bright&dynamic, simply by making a seemingly trivial screening change.
So which is the real DAVE? The warm one or the bright one? Or is it the cable? Or is it something else in the system that is now being shown up to a greater or lesser degree by a particular HMS/Cable/DAVE combination?

Thirdly, having suggested that the brightness issue may lay elsewhere, I will shortly post a suggested tweak directly to both HMS and DAVE - that I have found to increase the "weight", "solidity" and "analogueness" of the resulting sound.
And some readers will be relieved to know that it has nothing to do with cables or ferrites :).
 
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odessamarin

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Thirdly, having suggested that the brightness issue may lay elsewhere, I will shortly post a suggested tweak directly to both HMS and DAVE - that I have found to increase the "weight", "solidity" and "analogueness" of the resulting sound.
can't wait to try..
 
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TheAttorney

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Hmm.. I may need to reset expectations a bit lower: This is an update to some old DAVE vibration control posts. Now to include the HMS.

I find it hard to understand why hewn-from-rock products like DAVE or HMS could benefit from vibration control. They have thick enclosures, no moving parts, no large transformers, and I don't have loudspeakers to excite the room foundations.
So what is there left to vibrate? I don't know, but I've found that tweaks in this area can make incremental improvements, albeit in infuriatingly unpredicable ways. Price is no guarantee to success.

My DAVE sits on Black Ravioli footers, and my HMS sits on Clearlight RDC 4 cones. Both are reasonably priced compared to some Audiophool products.
I'm sure there are better sounding footers out there, but the Black Ravioli's in particular are a great match for DAVE because they are small, neat, kind to furniture and very stable because they can be stuck on (and this last point is why I'm not able to try them on my HMS - instead I dug out the old RDC cones from my spares box).

As examples of unpredictability, I heard no improvements to DAVE when using the more expensive HRS Nimbus footers, or the frighteningly expensive HRS Vortex footers.
And the RDC cones made no noticeable difference when they were cone-side up under my HMS, but did make a difference when cone-side down. Go figure.

What both these footers did was add a subtle touch of clarity/focus/dynamics to the sound. But neither of them did much to give a weightier, more solid presentation that some of us search for.
But HRS damping plates did just that. I started with the smallest DP II, which almost perfectly fits on top of DAVE's LHS. And the black finish almost perfectly matches my black DAVE. But the weighter sound came with some compromises - some over-smooothing, a loss of air and sparkle.

I later tried the thicker (and of course more expensive) DPX plates. These were well worth it. Even more weight and body, but now there was no loss in detail/air/sparkle - it was all there, just presented in a smoother, more natural manner.
Apart from cost, the main downside of the DPX is that it looks clumsier than the slim DP II on DAVE.

When the HMS arrived, I tried the now-spare DP II, but this didn't do much to SQ. But then the DPX gave the same improvement to HMS as it did to DAVE. Because the HMS surface area is so much greater, I could move around the DPX plate and did find that position subtly matters. So I currently have the DPX on the HMS and DPII on DAVE. And am considering trying a larger DPX on HMS to free up the small DPX to go back onto DAVE.

So, are these footers and damping plates worth it, as I keep saying how subtle the differences are?
In the context of a 5-figure cost hifi system, then yes I think so, particularly if you are searching for that weighter, more natural sound.
But this area is so unpredicatble that I recommend a try-before-buy, or at least a dealer with a good returns policy.

Note that the HRS products are much better value in their home US than they are in the UK.
Note also, that both damping plates and footers will obstruct some of DAVE's ventilation holes. I've never noticed any difference in DAVE's enclosure temperature, but those in hotter climates should take extra care to leave DAVE at least in standby mode when not in use. On the plus side, the extra height of the footers will increase ventilation from below.
 
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thomaskong78

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Firstly, that was a very impressive list of high end components you have listened to. Did you audition all of them in the same place with the same system?

Secondly, before you spend another $50K on a HMS/DAVE replacement, I think you can tweak your HMS/DAVE much more to your liking.

I've sometimes heard people say that DAVE is too bright or analytical for them. But is DAVE the cause of that, or is it transparently reflecting an issue elsewhere in the system?
For example, I've previously raved over the Blaxius^2D BNC cables between my HMS and DAVE. These have 3 levels of screening and each screen can be connected to the others and to ground, at each end, in several combinations.
I've recently played about with this configurability, and found I can get my system to sound smooth&warm, or bright&dynamic, simply by making a seemingly trivial screening change.
So which is the real DAVE? The warm one or the bright one? Or is it the cable? Or is it something else in the system that is now being shown up to a greater or lesser degree by a particular HMS/Cable/DAVE combination?

I had auditioned those equipment at the shop while playing music that I am familiar with.


Thirdly, having suggested that the brightness issue may lay elsewhere, I will shortly post a suggested tweak directly to both HMS and DAVE - that I have found to increase the "weight", "solidity" and "analogueness" of the resulting sound.
And some readers will be relieved to know that it has nothing to do with cables or ferrites :).
I am having good results with Sablon Panaletta BNC digital cables between Dave and HMS.

Thus it is working fine. Another thing is I am using Line Magnetic SET amplifier fitted with NOS tubes and top new production Psavne Acme tubes.

SET amp help to make sound full and round.

I am happy with the sound. Bur frankly speaking it still fall shorts of the analog easiness of MSB Select II.
 
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Blitzula

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I've sometimes heard people say that DAVE is too bright or analytical for them. .
That concern is one of the reasons I haven't picked up a Dave yet.

I want gear that inspires emotion, not analysis. Where you just get lost in the music and aren't focused or have attention called to details and transparency.

I'd be interested in knowing folks who do/do not have that emotion with Dave (owned, auditioned, returned). The case where you just turn on whatever you want to listen to, the music just sounds right, and you let the music take you away (or not, if the music doesn't move you).
 
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thomaskong78

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That concern is one of the reasons I haven't picked up a Dave yet.

I want gear that inspires emotion, not analysis. Where you just get lost in the music and aren't focused or have attention called to details and transparency.

I'd be interested in knowing folks who do/do not have that emotion with Dave (owned, auditioned, returned). The case where you just turn on whatever you want to listen to, the music just sounds right, and you let the music take you away (or not, if the music doesn't move you).
You can tame Dave and HMS ( I do not recommend Dave without HMS) to full and round sound.

The main advantage of Dave is transparent 3D holographic soundstage.

It also works well with headphones.

The sound from Stax009s, Carbon Amp, Dave and HMS combination leave nothing to be desired with musical nuanced details and decent dynamics.

But If you are looking for rush and emotional sound, I recommend you to try Formular XHD or lower model, Lampiziatior Pacific or Golden Gate.

Those warm sounding Dac may work well with speakers but not with headphones

They can sound too soft with headphones.
 
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