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Well he heard them both.
Not a lot of people here can say they auditioned a $100,000 DAC.
I also heard the MSB Select at THE Show 2019 and on multiple occasions. The point is that just because someone prefers one brand over another does not make them a “fanboy.” For example, I don’t agree with or perceive certain spatial issues of the height, width, depth of sound that are often written about a DAC like the MSB Select, Yggdrasil etc-- instead, I attribute that to my individual preferences and hearing. I don’t come on Head-Fi accusing people who hear differently to be fanboys.
OK, I stand corrected. What you did state was that the Chord chain produces sound that is "unique" and that said sound gets the toes tapping and the face smiling like no "conventional" DAC can. I'm not sure if by conventional you mean non-upsampling, but I will grant you that upsampling is a desirable quality in a DAC. That said, there are dozens of high quality DACs out there that upsample internally. Hell, you can upsample from JRiver and probably a ton of other software apps before streaming to even "conventional" DACs. Chord's implementation may be unique, but it doesn't mean it's better. Based on my few sonic encounters with the Dave, I certainly didn't hear anything groundbreaking. Their whole "mistimed transient" spiel is bogus pseudoscience, in my opinion. YMMV.
If the Chord chain floats your boat, more power to you. I just didn't like the implication that nothing else can match up to it musically speaking.
No, it's the HEK SE - a superb match with DAVE
And the cable?
I can see that it is not the stock cable.
As far as I know both HEK V2 the HEK SE and the Susvara are sold with the same type of cable.
While not the best quality build wise ,the thin rubbery stock cable which I am still using with my HEKV2 is at least good enough to make the differences in sound character clearly audible between the three imho.
But I've gone though three standard plug stock cable exchanges in three years for build quality reasons, luckily all within warranty time.
For really large dynamic range big symphonic material the HEKSE is the only one I would recommend to use directly with DAVE.
The cable is Toxic's Silver Widow 22AWG - sliver with a tiny bit of gold. Great cable that gives loads of detail and dynamics without any harshness, But sadlyToxic Cable is no more.
I reterminated it myself to fit the new 3.5mm sockets in the HEK SE .
I thought the stock rubbery hifiman cables were reasonably ok, and I've never had any reliability issues with them. But for SQ, they can definitely be beaten, with plenty of suggestions in the HEK thread.
I prefer to buy cables locally (ease of returns for retermination etc), so I'd probably go for Lavri next time - at least while UK is still in the EU .
I thought that my HEK V2 sounded great directly driven by DAVE. But the SE sounds better still, with a greater improvement than the price differential would suggest. I guess the extra 6dB efficiency makes a difference, but I'm sure it's more than that.
BTW, since getting the HMS, then Blaxius, I'm finding I can listen at least 3dB lower than I used to with solo DAVE, in order to get the same musical "hit". I guess the more lifelike and dynamic presentation, along with reduced glare, is responsible for that.
The Qutest was just lukewarm and HMS was just passed 40C, maybe 39C when played.
However, both were tightly coupled to symposium ultra platform to absorb those micro-vabriations from the two.
I assume you know that putting the HMS in the system reduces the output volume by 3dB so to get the same volume with the HMS you need to increase the volume of Dave by 3dB. Sorry if this is a Granny sucking eggs comment in which case please ignore but just wanted to make sure.
Yes, my comment was a bit ambiguous. To be more precise, my typical solo DAVE volume control setting for HEK V2 was -32dB.
HMS reduces output by 2.75dB, rounded to 3 dB for easier maths. Therefore with HMS included, I should theoretically now listen to the same track at -29dB to get the same output.
Swapping HEK V2 to SE adds 6dB efficiency (according to hifiman), so I should now be listening to the same track at -35dB.
But in practice I now listen to that track at -38dB, so it seems I can get the same musical hit with 3dB less volume.
By musical hit, I mean the tipping point at which "background listening" turns into something more like "you are there", where the focus and dynamic impact seem to all snap into place to demand my attention.
Further volume increases can further the effect, but each additional 1dB step is not as important as that initial 1dB increase. And this matters to me because I don't want to exacerbate my mild tinnitus.
That's a very low level, Attorney! My listening habits look like –27 up to –18 dB*, depending on the recording (although those are all normalized and peak-limited to –0.005 dB). This with the standard dual-BNC cables – for now.
*Actually I forgot to take my foobar/xnor equalizer into acount. Considering the exclusively negative corrections, the effective volume is about 4.5 dB lower than above values.
Sorry if I was a bit unclear in my comment maybe. I meant the indoor temperature in the Condo in Thailand without the A/C on!!
I often listened to music with the A/C off to avoid the noise it made.
34-35C was not the temp of HMS, it was much much hotter.
Frying eggs hot, would be a closer description of how it felt to touch.
I'll remember the "bottoms up" and try it when the need for it arises again.
This summer in Sweden my HMS which is on almost all day and night until the Telly goes on occasionally, never got more than lukewarm to touch.
The first week of July was the coldest in 40 years in parts of Sweden so no worries about overheating.
But watching Telly with the HMS on is a no go.
It disturbs reception very much making it impossible to leave on all the time both here and in the tropics with a TV in the same room.
But noise wise and SQ wise my current trial with upgrade well insulated BNC cables sure makes a very notable difference to my musical enjoyment.
Some others work with half dB volume steps which I find very useful to really fine-tune loudness levels. I don't know why Chord uses whole dB steps? To me 1 dB louder or lower can be quite a step.
But I am also finding that with the Wave Fidelity BNC cables I am trying in my system I also don't need to turn up the level as I used to have to do to hear very low level inner detail clearly.
With a calmer clearer more open window to the music I enjoy things even more than with the stock BNC.
Very OT maybe? But since you mention mild tinnitus, have you heard about the new treatment apparently helpful both against traumas and also tinnitus,with electrical stimulation at the point just above the eyebrows on the forehead?
To an old yoga freak like me, familiar with that buzzing point, it looks almost as if the third eye brain connection may just have been validated scientifically?
According to the TV documentary I saw recently ,there is even a direct nerve connection between that point on the forehead in Yoga referred to as the third eye or Agnya Chakra and deeper regions of the brain like the amygdala.
And electrical stimulation of that point on the forehead has obviously been shown to be beneficial not only for patients with lingering traumas, but also tinnitus.
PS The yoga tradition "third eye" was never mentioned in the programme that is just my own personal reflection when I saw the point where they put the plaster.
The treatment seems to be firmly based on accepted science and since I first forgot to mention where I saw this, it was in a recent episode of Mosley's "Trust me I'm a doctor" on BBC.
My wife is the youngest of my mom in law who is 88 years old.
Recently my wife is staying with her mom to take care expecting her mom can live just one more year or so.
Thus I am having happy life playing music loud even during midnight.
My house is seated on 2 acre lot so that my neighbors does not get bothered unless windows open wide.
My wife dropped at home yesterday ( She drop once a week to clean the messy kitchen while she is away. She is an angel Ha ha).
She happened to see my new headphone of Stax 009S headphone and asked its price.
I could tell her the real value ( new price 4,300$ and I got 4 months used one for 3,200$).
I did not mean to deceive her but answered it costs me 1,500$ by chance.
Then she had listened to K-Pop using both Stax 009S headphone driven by Carbon amplifier and Massdrop Empire Zeus IEM( I told her the real value as 1,000$ No lie here Hehe).
The source was Cocktail Audio X30 music server feeding Chord Dave and Mscaler ( I did not tell her how much Chord Dave and Mscaler cost, if she find out, I may have to buy her diamond necklace)
On first few songs, she prefer Empire Zeus IEM to Stax 009S headphone on lively sound of the former.
But after listening few more songs, she expressed that Stax 009S headphone sounds more natural than Empire Zeus IEM .
Whew if I had told her that I had spent 3200$ on headphone, I may have to go out to buy her something like expensive bag or clothing.
Reality is I had also spent additional 3300$ on KGSSHV Carbon headphone amplifier.
How many of you audiophile had lied to your wife or girlfriend about the cost of audio components?
I guess 98% from my 41 years of audio history.
She's a darling for having an interest in your hobby and trying out your new purchases to listen to k-pop. As for hiding the true price of gears from my wife? I would never do that. Trust/honesty is supreme in a marriage. I always ask her consent before buying. She would thank me for asking her even though it is my hobby and my money. I guess your wife could have bought a couple of expensive bags while at her mom's place and you don't know about it. Imagine her not telling you the true value when you ask.
Reminds me of the story of the husband who misinformed his partner about the true cost of an audio something. When the husband came home from a business trip, his wife informed him with a big smile on her face, that she sold the audio item on agon for more than he paid for it!
This is quote from someone else but with costly lesson.