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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. STR-1
    Difficult to answer as there are a lot of system variables - e.g. speaker or headphone-based system, cables (interconnects, headphone and power), easy or difficult to drive headphones, dedicated headphone amp, power supplies to mention just a few, and then there is personal preference with different aspects of sound quality (there’s more to that than just transparency).

    As a headphone user I have DAVE, M Scaler and TT2, and when trying comparisons earlier this year, while I mostly preferred DAVE/M Scaler over TT2/M Scaler, there were times when I preferred the latter combo for the greater feeling of power and control over my Utopia and HE1000se headphones. But my system has changed since than and I’m not sure if I would feel the same way today. I’ve not directly compared TT2/M Scaler with solo DAVE.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
    Aslshark likes this.
  2. JaZZ Contributor
    Not sure – exactly undecided (between DAVE and HMS+Hugo₂).
    Paul Bjernklo likes this.
  3. ray-dude
    Dave, absolutely. There was a time I would said otherwise, but what DAVE brings to the table is magical, and I feel the loss keenly when I’m on H2 or TT2. MScaling will become cheaper and cheaper and more available to everyone, so you’ll be sure to have that or the equivalent within a couple years, but there is nothing that touches DAVE.
  4. Triode User
    It appears I am not alone in preferring solo Dave to TT2+Mscaler. So I am not as crazy as I thought I was.
    Rob Watts, Paul Bjernklo and ray-dude like this.
  5. ZappaMan
    I was thinking, my mtt2 is sounding amazing, post minor rfi mitigation. I was thinking this new insight it’s giving me into my favourite complex album (kid a), was really exciting, kind of like a Dave in a sense. There was a whole other dimensions in the production of the album that I’ve never clocked before.

    What I’m saying is, you can get a lot more “performance” out of your mtt2, without the expense of a Dave. But also, this hobby
    is a journey and it’s ok to take your time to get to the next place, no point in rushing on, unless youve only got a limited time left. And this prob applies no matter what your current setup is.

    Then to counter that, I saw another person say, the 20 element pulse array (or whatever it is in Dave), is the best value musical upgrade you can buy.
    musickid likes this.
  6. Amberlamps
    The differences between the two setups is probably minimal at best, and 99% of joe public probably couldn't discern the differences between both setups.

    Some folk here will say different, cool, but it's like every other hobby, take graphic cards for example, the epeen club will buy 2080ti's for £1200, whist those with some savvy will spend £700 and get a 2080 non ti and save £500 in the process and lose 5 frames per second bringing it down to 95fps, compared to the 2080ti's 100fps.

    All that money for so little gain.

    Conclusion, hms and tt2 gives dave a run for it's money and I wouldn't be surprised if more folk preferred TT2's sound compared to Dave's. Plus I don't like epeen's.
  7. thomaskong78
    For 2 channel audio, Dave could be better than TT2 and HMS.

    But if you use it as headphone amp, then TT2 and HMS give more power to drive some low efficiency headphone.
  8. musickid
    My PM1 is very sensitive as are most headphones i have on my shortlist for possible future purchases. Power is not an issue for me. TT2 is on low gain now.
  9. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Personally, unless we're talking about say the Susvara, LCD-4 or Phi TC, I agree that the DAVE isn't ideal on it's own...BUT, with say the GS-X mini or HPA4, I'd easily take that setup over the TT2. Though one's wallet might not agree.
  10. musickid
    do you mean adding the gsx or hpa to the dave as a third party headphone amp using dave just as a dac?
  11. thomaskong78
    I would not have bought Dave without HMS this May.

    I recommend you to go for Dave rather than TT2 and Hms.

    My Dac rating that I had auditioned for 2 years.

    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 is excellent matching MSB Select II on almost every aspects.

    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 slightly 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.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
    jacc likes this.
  12. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Correct...with only the headphones I listed (and maybe the HE-6SE). Otherwise, just use the DAVE.
  13. iDesign
    It would be hard to justify the math-to-performance ratio on your checkbook balance sheet. While I much prefer the DAVE, selling your Hugo TT2 and Hugo M Scaler to upgrade wouldn't make much sense unless you can keep the financial delta to a minimum.
    thomaskong78 likes this.
  14. kelly200269
    I'm toying with the idea of going for DAVE in the new year. All of my cans are relatively easy to drive, even the 600ohm Beyer T1.2.
    My question is: I just love my HMS/TT2 combo. HOW much better can it be??
  15. iDesign
    You should listen to any equipment you’re considering before purchasing it. No one can possibly predict how you will perceive sound and your individual preferences. This bit of advice will save you thousands. In my experience the difference is in the fluidity and holography of the sound that makes the DAVE so special.
    kelly200269 likes this.
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