Chord Dave: Revisited in 2022 vs Wavedream Signature

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by SoupRKnowva, Apr 12, 2022.

  1. chesebert

    chesebert Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2020
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    USA
    This impression did more to convince me to try Chord's higher tier dacs than 5000 pages on headfi. I also thought Rob came across as ...how should I put this...not the best marketing person for Chord.
     
  2. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,591
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    Home Page:
    I don't understand why M-Scaler rather than a suitable PC running HQPlayer, given this. My setup: PC running Ubuntu Server 20.04 with HQPlayer Embedded, streaming via NAA to a tiny UP Gateway, USB via Intona isolator to DAC (Holo May in my case). A lot cheaper, and much more flexible, than M-Scaler.
     
  3. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

    Staff Member Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,470
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    gone
    upsampling aside note: I don't understand why an Intona Isolator is helpful when Holo May has galvanic isolation of USB internally IIRC ?
     
  4. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,872
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Isolation aside, the intona also matches the impedance at the output. That must be worth something.
     
  5. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,591
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    Home Page:
    I had it around, so why not? In my (limited) experience, so called "galvanic isolation" is a matter of degree, not an absolute.
     
  6. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2022
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    SoCal
    Simply enough, plug and play is worth different amounts to different people. And this doesn't even take into account people using streamers that cant be hqp endpoints
     
  7. famish99

    famish99 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,589
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Streamers that can't run NAA are becoming somewhat uncommon in this day and age, but regardless you can't HQP a disc spinner. That's where M-Scaler starts to become more appealing.
     
  8. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2022
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    SoCal

    I kinda feel like people still using CDs are less common than streamers that cant do HQP tbh
     
  9. famish99

    famish99 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,589
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    You would be surprised how many here run CDTs.
     
  10. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2022
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    SoCal
    Can someone show me where the "you're probabaly right and I don't like it" version of a thumbs up is?
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Epic Epic x 1
    • List
  11. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,875
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I wasn't gonna write this as a post, started filling in comments on my profile post, and realized I needed to just post something instead. These will be more stream of consciousness style:


    The first thing I did when I got the Quest was run it USB out of the ultraRendu into Qutest, straight into my amp. I was going to use digital volume control in MPD, since the Qutest doesn't have it like all the rest of the Chord DACs. The sound was...not great. The next thing I tried was running it via dual BNC from the MScaler, still using volume control in MPD. The sound was much better, this was a good sounding DAC. But I kinda found the idea of using a 5k widget with a 2k dac ludicrous.

    This is when a friend told me that the USB in the lower end Chord DACs wasn't as good. This kinda surprised me, as the MScaler and Dave both have exemplary USB inputs, specially when used with the ultraRendu. But this made me realize, the poorness of the sound I was hearing with the uR plugged into the Qutest directly did sort of remind me of the sort of hash I had heard when I experimented with using my Pi4 as the USB source for the MScaler in the past.

    So I decided to try running optical out of the Pi2AES into the Qutest. This is also when I decided to grab a Freya S. I don't use a pre, as I find Dave direct to my amp to sound better, but I figured, for DAC comparisons, I could run the Freya S in passive mode, it has a remote and shit tons of steps.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Today I did some more comparisons. I started out comparing Dave plus MScaler vs optical into the Qutest, both running through the Freya S. I had previously been blown away at how much the MScaler improved the Qutest, but it turned out, quite a bit of that, was from not using the USB input. This thing was sounding very good. It is definitely a great introduction to the Chord DAC sound. Excellent separation, check! natural but snappy presentation, check. My disappointment had evaporated.

    The last thing I tried, and I'm happy I did, was running both DACs off of the MScaler at the same time. This was running dual BNC to the Dave, which allows up to 768KHz, but only single BNC to the Qutest, as the MScaler only has one set of dual BNC outputs, which allows up to 384KHz. This puts the Quest at a bit of a disadvantage.

    But ill be damned, if I couldn't tell the Qutest and the Dave apart in this configuration. Both are still running through the Freya S in passive mode. But I spent several hours like this, swapping back and forth, and there was nothing in it. There was honestly more of a difference when I was comparing BJC and Iconoclast RCAs a month back.

    That is not to say the Qutest is just as good, taking the Freya out of the loop with the Dave and running it direct to my amp, really brings a step up in clarity and immediacy, with additional benefits in soundstage depth and accuracy. It makes me wonder just how good Qutest could be with a built in volume control of its own...


    IMG_5793.jpg


    oh, I also very briefly added my Gungnir DS to the mix, this wasn't even a contest, the Qutest wiped the floor with it as one would expect.

    EDIT: Another thing I did do was compare them both running off the MScaler, but in bypass mode, so with no upsampling being performed. In this configuration it was easy to hear the difference between the DACs. It also makes me realize someone running MScaler with Qutest isn't as crazy as I might have thought originally. This also really helps confirm my belief that the best pre is no pre, since the Freya S in passive mode was clearly holding them both back. Maybe next weekend Ill repeat this experiment with the Freya S in 4X mode. I was just wanting to focus on the DACs at first, counting on the passive mode to be the most transparent.
     
    • Like Like x 15
    • Epic Epic x 5
    • List
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
  12. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 7, 2019
    Likes Received:
    1,478
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NY
    are you using Sbooster for power supply? I See one in pic
    How well does it scale with better power supply?
     
  13. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,875
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    That is being used for the ultraRendu, the Dave, MScaler, and Qutest are all using the stock power supplies.
     
  14. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,466
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northwest France
    cinderblock-fi. nice
     
  15. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,541
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Europe
    Came for the review, stayed for the review, got hooked on the cinderblock.

    I wasnt expecting the Qutest to be near dave, since 2Q was good but not amazing imo. That is great news, even more so for someone looking for another DAC that price range.

    I bet it was the Cinderblock that gave that last "hunf" to the sound. Patent it asap.
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    82,652
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    The Freya's passive mode for some reason doesn't sound as good as most cheap pots. This has been noted by several people who have compared various pots, passive-pres, etc. I didn't want to believe it, but after testing, it was true. The Freya passive mode sounds a bit hazy. If you only use single-ended, the Schiit Sys or JDS OL sounds better. For XLR, the JBL Nano patch or the Mackie passive.
     
  17. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,400
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NYC
    Yeah, Freya in JFET active mode is probably the only one that I could accept in terms of transparency.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
    • List
  18. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,466
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northwest France
    Man. Now people are going to source their own resistors for modding
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    82,652
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Na, roll PCB material.
     
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  20. crenca

    crenca Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    3,529
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Southern New Mexico
    @SoupRKnowva , it seems you did not try Pi2AES > BNC out (single obviously) > Qutest BNC in > pre or direct to amp

    Is that because you did not like the limitations on upsampling (384KHz) or you just did not get to it?
     

Share This Page