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Does Chord DAVE system need a DCC ?

  1. Astralark
    Hi, I am going to build a PC-HIFI system based on Chord DAVE. I did some researches and there are 5 options to connect PC to DAC. May I ask for you opinions which one is the best choice (or other methods to improve the sound quality)? Thanks
    (1)Macbook Pro - USB cable - iFi Audio MicroUSB3.0 - iFi Audio Gemini USB cable -  DAVE
    (2)Macbook Pro - USB cable - Weiss INT204 (wih Weiss linear power supply) - interconenct - DAVE
    (3)Macbook Pro - USB cable- Intona USB Isolator - USB cable - DAVE
    (4)Macbook Pro - Topline USB - DAVE
    (5)Macbook Pro - USB - Digital interface (introduce another power/wire system) -interconnect - DAVE
    I really don't want to choose (5) because the cable to fit DAVE is expensive and I wish to make it simple (Unless it really improve). 
  2. Hawkeye_1213
    I think Dave's built-in usb is good enough, and I've saw a user said his independent usb interface doesn't have improvement on Dave.
  3. Jawed
    [Ha, just noticed how old this thread is.]

    I suggest this USB cable, which is well made:


    and two packs of these ferrite cores:

    You clip these ferrites (all 20 of them) so that they wrap around the cable. Place them along the cable close to DAVE and then working along the cable towards your laptop. Place them so that they are all close together, do not space them out.

    These ferrites cut out high frequency noise that travels through all the conductors in the cable and ideally wouldn't be there in the first place. This high frequency noise (it's at frequencies much higher than audio) affects the performance of DAVE, sadly. You don't hear this noise directly, instead it affects the way DAVE works. By using lots of these ferrite cores you can fade out the noise. The more of these ferrites you use, the less noise.

    20 is a good starting point in my opinion. Sound quality has improved each time I added more.

    The ferrites need to have an inner diameter that's big enough to fit around the cable. The Topnisus ferrites are a tight fit for some reason, so the size I've linked is 7mm even though the cable is about 3mm. If you are in another country or buy a different brand of ferrites or a different USB cable, then you will have to work out the right size. It doesn't matter if the ferrites are a bit loose on the cable, but it is more convenient if they don't slide around. If the ferrites are loose on the cable, you could use some tape to fix the ferrite that's farthest from DAVE, and then they'll all behave!

    I have 40 ferrites on my USB cable and I can't hear a difference between the USB connection and an optical connection. So no need for me to use the kind of devices you've listed. I use 40 ferrites to "make sure".

    This setup sounds extremely good to me. The improvement on just a simple USB cable is fantastic. My computer is probably causing lots of this bad high frequency noise, which probably means I'm hearing a bigger improvement than you would hear with your laptop. Regardless, this setup is guaranteed to cut out a lot of noise that will harm the sound quality of DAVE and there's a good chance it will improve your system. I think many ferrite cores should always be used on the cable that's plugged into DAVE (except an optical cable), no matter what other equipment you have in your system.

    In the end ferrite cores attached around the USB cable is a cheap, simple and very powerful solution.

    Now playing: Zion Train - Speaker Shaker
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
    seaice, natemact, vrln and 2 others like this.
  4. jelt2359 Contributor
    Could you provide a picture by any chance? Just curious how it looks all spaced together.
  5. Jawed

    Here is a picture that shows the first 7, close to the end that plugs into DAVE. The rest are just more of the same. The few "square" ones are from my first experiments as I tested with a few I bought from a shop before buying loads from Amazon. Most of them are arranged closer together. The second one from the plug is part of the cable.
  6. jelt2359 Contributor
    Do the square and round ones sound the same?
  7. Jawed
    Quantity trumps all. I don't have enough of the square ones anyway, to even start to decide that.
  8. MacedonianHero Contributor
    The DAVE's USB is better than anything you've mentioned. It is really quite outstanding! Just invest in a good USB cable (I'm using an Audioquest Coffee) and you're good to go. :)
  9. jelt2359 Contributor
    Thank you!
    MacedonianHero likes this.
  10. MacedonianHero Contributor
    No worries.
  11. Jawed
    After you've spent £300 on that USB cable you better hope that adding £10 worth of ferrites doesn't make it sound better. You'd have got the same performance with a £5 cable and the same ferrites.
  12. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Sure. :wink:
  13. tunes
    One poster said he tried many USB cables and by far the best for him was the AQ Diamond. This cable costs $475 for just a .75 meter length. It may also have DIELECTRIC SIGNAL PROCESSOR whatever that is. Yet others use a cheap USB and 40 ferrite cores??? What length is ideal and is the expensive cable really that much better?????
  14. Jawed
    Perhaps you can go to the effort of borrowing this cable from a dealer who will let you try it. If you don't like it, it costs nothing.

    You could try 20 ferrites as I recommended earlier. That will cost you about £15, $15, 20 euros, approximately. I use 40 to make damn sure, as I found 16 weren't enough.

    Having listened to expensive Audioquest USB cables, I know that they are a waste of time. Others will try to persuade you otherwise.

    The ferrites do the job properly: they stop noise getting into DAVE, because 20 of them add up to very strong filtering. The expensive USB cable will sound worse, because it allows this noise to get through with hardly any filtering.

    Now playing: Barbara Morgenstern - Kleiner Ausschnitt
  15. tunes
    This comment was made by someone on Amazon attempting to discredit those who can tell the difference between a $500 USB cable and a $10 USB cable. “My best friend and I have invested a small fortune in audiofile equipment. My friend Roger called to tell me about the new great USB cable he bought and how it had improved his system. I thought he was kidding at first but then realized he was sincere. Told him I would be right over. Sure enough he had the cable plugged between his Mac Pro and his Esoteric DAC. I quietly listened to a few songs and then asked if he minded if we compared it with a few cable I had brought along. He was thrilled for the opportunity and wanted to see my cables. I suggested that I keep the cables hidden and see if he could tell when his Coffee USB cable was playing. He said sure. Over the next three hours, I swapped cables and played the same songs over and over again with his cable and the four cables I brought over. No volume level changes were made. He rated his coffee cable number 4. The cables I brought over were out of my junk cable bin. Cables 1 & 2 were basic free USB cables that come with components. Cable 3 was an Audioquest FOREST cable that was in my junk drawer because one of the connectors had been stepped on but still fit. Cable 5 was a $10 Monster cable.”

    Now I understand how ferrite cores around a cable can help eliminate RF noise but do not understand how a cable carrying a digital signal can really make a SQ difference. From an engineering perspective I understand how cables can alter sound in the analogue domain but in the digital domain it either works or it doesn’t.

    Can Rob chime in here. Does the DAVE really benefit from a $500 + USB cable the likes of Audioquest?
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017

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