CHORD ELECTRONICS DAVE
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ray-dude

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Thanks. I have never heard bass with as much resolution and texture as with the Dave, Blu2 and M6. If anything, my system is too refined. Dave with the mScaler or Blu2 have very full resolved bass if the RF issue is resolved with ferrites, Wave cables or the Opto-DX.
The EtherRegen has a shockingly impactful SQ on bass resolution and speed, even through an optimized NUC and SoTM TX-Ultra with optical isolation. I'm running Voxativ 9.87's with the ultra fast and resolving Pi bass units, but with EtherRegen in the chain, I'm hearing bass detail (and indirectly, physical presence of the recording space) far more than I've heard before. Stunning with binaural recordings (Chesky, etc)
 
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HeeBroG

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The EtherRegen has a shockingly impactful SQ on bass resolution and speed, even through an optimized NUC and SoTM TX-Ultra with optical isolation. I'm running Voxativ 9.87's with the ultra fast and resolving Pi bass units, but with EtherRegen in the chain, I'm hearing bass detail (and indirectly, physical presence of the recording space) far more than I've heard before. Stunning with binaural recordings (Chesky, etc)
Hi Ray,

Does that apply to streaming/NAS or locally attached media playback?

Geoff
 
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ray-dude

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CreditingKarma

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Did you hear anything that the Dave did significantly better than the other two DACs?
Did you try seeing how the Dave fares without the MScaler against them?
The Dave while having a smaller soundstage did produce imaging where the instruments were separated from each other more than the other dacs. The stage from the Dave did not seem as deep or wide as the MSB or dCS though.

The surprise was that we seemed to prefer the Dave without the mscaler when listening to speakers. With headphones we preferred the Dave when used with the mscaler. All said I think my friend is going to be selling his Dave and mscaler and keeping the MSB. I will be keeping the Bartok and am very happy with it. Plus I can't afford the MSB right now. I think as it was spec'd it was around $35k.
 
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DaveRedRef-III

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I think Dave/M Scaler will show their superiority in any test provided the test system has its power and RFI rejection sorted properly including DC Offset. I fully believe Rob’s design-work leads the pack. It has an exactness which returns pristinely accurate instrument timbres. This is so hard to accomplish but can be fudged with with a little extra warmth imo.
 
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The Dave while having a smaller soundstage did produce imaging where the instruments were separated from each other more than the other dacs. The stage from the Dave did not seem as deep or wide as the MSB or dCS though.

The surprise was that we seemed to prefer the Dave without the mscaler when listening to speakers. With headphones we preferred the Dave when used with the mscaler. All said I think my friend is going to be selling his Dave and mscaler and keeping the MSB. I will be keeping the Bartok and am very happy with it. Plus I can't afford the MSB right now. I think as it was spec'd it was around $35k.
For me the Dave plus Mscaler (or at least Blu2 which I have in my main system) does what no other dac can do that I have heard and that is to maintain the ability to pick out every single instrument in an orchestra during the crescendo passages such as Mars from Holst’s Planet Suite. All others I have heard dissolve into just a ‘wall of sound’.
 
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ZappaMan

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I thought rob asked him not to do a review/comparison, but we were always going to get it.

everyone with a Dave, probably best to sell it and get a bartock.
 
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I thought rob asked him not to do a review/comparison, but we were always going to get it.

everyone with a Dave, probably best to sell it and get a bartock.

It is a good.thing that I don't really report or answer to Rob.:grin:

I also posted stating that we were doing a 3 way shootout of the dacs. Some one asked a question that I answered. I really enjoy trying different gear and seeing how it will sound as does my friend. I thought that there might be a few people that owned the Dave and would be interested in a few other dacs.

I would be more than happy with a Dave it is an incredible product. There really isn't much that is bad in this price range. It is for me more of a preference and system synergy. There are no absolutes in this hobby.

Ps everybody should sell everything and just get the MSB select or Vivaldi stack:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
 
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ZappaMan

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It is a good.thing that I don't really report or answer to Rob.:grin:

I also posted stating that we were doing a 3 way shootout of the dacs. Some one asked a question that I answered. I really enjoy trying different gear and seeing how it will sound as does my friend. I thought that there might be a few people that owned the Dave and would be interested in a few other dacs.

I would be more than happy with a Dave it is an incredible product. There really isn't much that is bad in this price range. It is for me more of a preference and system synergy. There are no absolutes in this hobby.

Ps everybody should sell everything and just get the MSB select or Vivaldi stack:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
I’m only saying, this always seemed the inevitable outcome, I don’t know why.
It is a free world.
 
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I’m only saying, this always seemed the inevitable outcome, I don’t know why.
It is a free world.
Fortunately it is a free country for now. I am going back to my Titties and Beer now.
 
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audio_1

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Ps everybody should sell everything and just get the MSB select or Vivaldi stack:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
Why would we sell our Dave DACs, clearly the best available and purchase products that are conceptually flawed, with short tap length filters and multiple boxes and all the compromises that this brings?
 
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Why would we sell our Dave DACs, clearly the best available and purchase products that are conceptually flawed, with short tap length filters and multiple boxes and all the compromises that this brings?
Just joking my friend. I would be be very happy with the Dave and mscaler.
 
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iDesign

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It is a good.thing that I don't really report or answer to Rob.:grin:

I also posted stating that we were doing a 3 way shootout of the dacs. Some one asked a question that I answered. I really enjoy trying different gear and seeing how it will sound as does my friend. I thought that there might be a few people that owned the Dave and would be interested in a few other dacs.

I would be more than happy with a Dave it is an incredible product. There really isn't much that is bad in this price range. It is for me more of a preference and system synergy. There are no absolutes in this hobby.

Ps everybody should sell everything and just get the MSB select or Vivaldi stack:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
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 had 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, 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 Oct 2018 to May 2019


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 (80k$)
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(50k$)
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(30k$)
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 (22k$)
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 (12k$)
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 (9k$)
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. (12k$)
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 May 2019.


Dac also depends on system matching.

If I do not use tube integrated amp (Line Magnetic 508), then I may have gone for Lamiziator Pacific Dac.
But I am afraid of too warm sound out of tube Dac and tube amp.



Dave will not go well with analytical speaker like Magico.

It is working better with my Lansche 4.1 which is kind of neutral not too warm like Harbeth or not too analytical like Magico or Wilson


After 7 months of using Dave and Mscaler, my grading of 85 points on Dave stand.

It is a pretty good Dac at the price point, but not the best Dac available now.

If I can shell out 100K$, I may go for MSB Select II.

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.
 
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Could you note the (approximate) price for each of these, @thomaskong78 ? Thanks! Excellent, excellent comparison.
 
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