How is Chord Dave?

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by mtoc, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    Makes sense, the Chord stuff has a very specific coloration that folks can latch onto. The Chord stuff definitely does some weird stuff in the spatial domain that can be pleasing to folks who aren't too concerned with hearing things rendered accurately. I can totally respect people who want a more impressionistic presentation. :)
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Why then does the Chord technology kind of suck for Hugo and Hugo TT when these DACs compare poorly to comparably priced peers some much lower priced DACs?

    Wouldn't it be more honest and a better appeal to the audience here to say you've heard them all and a simply prefer the DAVE instead of bringing up Quantum Singularities, Fluiditic Space, the Cock-Piece of Timelord Rasalon, FPGAs, Tom Waits and Sir Galahad's lonely hearts search for the original waveform, etc.?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  3. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    In which ways, exactly? Can you theorize possible technical limitations to the TotalDAC design? Please provide specific examples.
     
  4. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    Chord Mojo/Hugo was lower fidelity than the Modi 2U at recreating the panning and depth (delay) of a mix. Orchestral and string quartet recordings sucked. Basic twin guitar metal/rock (Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Slayer, etc) was only okay for the hard panned L and R guitars; separate leads, vox, and drum kit depth/panning would cause the Chord to fuck up. Only decently implemented asynchronous, exclusive mode DACs (so no chifi dongles or the ODAC) I thought were worse/equally bad at space were Wolfsons with the characteristic super thin, enveloping, and wide presentations. Even the AK4490 super widescreen stretch was better. I'm not even gonna get into the thick, honk.

    The Grace M9XX, LH Labs Action League Now Meltmen, and even the Pono all shit on the Tiger Electronics core Chord crap in similar form factors.

    If you like the Chord sound, then you like the Chord sound but don't pretend the Chord sound is high fidelity and that everyone else in the world is wrong. Some people like Grados but don't pretend that a Grado making Rush sound thin, distorted, and trebly like black metal is what Rush actually sounds like.
     
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  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Hahaha. Why I am thinking Gavin? And that "save my own ass" meltdown letter to former customers of his?

    ...

    To be fair, it's my understanding that DAVE does sound quite a bit different from the Hugo, Hugo TT, Mojo, etc. What kind of weirds me out is that Chord proponents tend to go all Jordi LaForge and Commander Data techno babble. You know how many times I've watched ST:TNG with a bottle of bourbon and said to the television: "shut the fuck up Jordi"
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  6. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    Only if you've never heard the more recent competition.

    It might have the highest BoM pricing, but it's not getting results commensurate with that cost. Other's are doing it better and cheaper. Objectively and subjectively.

    As for the amazing "measurements" for DAVE, the ones most commonly bandied about were, I thought, the result of simulation predictions not actual measurements (beyond actual and theoretical limits for measurement). And it seems some of the issues that Rob raises in his various discussions are unique to his approach and, thus, only require to be addressed in his approach.
     
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  7. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    Lets be real, Chord goes beyond Jordi and Data into Tom Clancy novel made up crap like a Chi-fi DAC maker where even if the babble made sense, it does nothing or will actually hurt the sound.
     
  8. EVOLVIST

    EVOLVIST Rob Watt's Fluffer

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    This is creeping me out that this thread is reading entirely different from the even-handed, diplomatic threads which made me want to join this forum in the first place.

    Nebulous diatribes of disconnected thought are being floated about as if someone came in and shit upon your DAC of choice, when all that was discussed was only differences in technology. I'm not sure what sacred cow was slaughtered in here today, but I don't believe I posted any psychobabble, nor psuedo-scientific claptrap that would leave anyone to believe "My opinion or no opinion."

    I like to see advances in audio technology. Also I like to see time-honored technologies upheld under the principle of "If it's not broken don't fix it."

    I don't know what this thread is, though, and how it went pear-shaped so quickly.

    There is no truth.
     
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  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The problem is that after all of your posts, none of us are getting any better sense of the DAVE sounds sounds like from you. I don't know if this is beyond what you are able to do, as describing sound is difficult, especially to a group of people that you do not know well. We like to hear comparisons in the vein of X does this better than Y, but Y does that better. It seems like you have heard most of the top mentioned DACs out, but all you have to offer us is a bunch of pronouncements, seemingly written by the Chord marketing folks:
    1. Chord's FPGA approach is new - with the implication that new is superior to old DS or R2R. This problem with this line of argument is that this doesn't seem to be the case with the lower rung Chord DACs. Anyone audiophile with half a brain knows that FPGA*, DS, R2R, or whatever, are simply a means to an end, not the ends itself.
    2. Everybody else uses old technology and must resort to marketing. Everybody resorts to marketing. Chord is no exception. Schiit actually does not use R2R. They use a 2R (resister string) / R2R (ladder) hybrid.
    3. Only Robb Lowe / Chord is interested in reproducing the original waveform, before the ADC. This absolutely nonsense. While other DAC designers may have their own approaches which are different from Chord, just because they don't use an FPGA approach does not mean they do not pursue the same thing. FYI, Mike Moffat was the digital guy behind the GAIN ADC system at Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs
    4. Your statements on the sound of the DAVE are without comparing to other DACs. It would have been helpful if you described aspects of sounds reproduction to specific TotalDAC, Metrum, MSB, Schiit models. A blanket statement such as "as close as you can get to the unvarnished truth" tends to be meaningless and greeted with suspicion by the members here, as nothing sounds 100% transparent and everything has a sound. You need to establish reference points, something folks like @Torq, @jexby, @Hands, and others have done.
    5. Referrals to measurements that don't exist, or only exist in marketing materials provided by Chord.
    *Chord implements DS in FPGA? Or is the Pulse Array (DS in another name) after the FPGA chip? The interesting thing is the WTA interpolation filter. So basically Chord is still using old tech, just a customized version of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
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  10. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    How much of what Rob describes when he talks about his implementation do you actually understand?

    And I mean really understand ... as in you could do something useful with the information presented.
     
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  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    A lot of what Chord describes is super iffy and leaves a lot to the imagination. There are lot of information gaps; but the wording is good enough to fool audiophiles who have a limited understanding of how this stuff works. If the DAVE is good, it's because of a good implementation with attention paid to the power supply, USB receivers, clock, all of the little things, etc. Not because of their custom digital filter upsampler (WTA) and their Pulse Array (audio DS modulator, but with super high oversampling rate).
     
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  12. EVOLVIST

    EVOLVIST Rob Watt's Fluffer

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    Nobody else was giving X,Y,Z comparisons to other DACs. It didn't seem like that kind of thread, because it didn't start off like that kind of thread. I was just posting for the hell of it since the thread was so lean. I like my DAVE. End of story. I am, however, open to dissenting opinions, just not dismissive ones. Well, hell, I'll take those, too. It doesn't matter.

    Maybe I'd be best served as more of a reader, rather than a talker, because I didn't have anything prepared for today's assignment. Heh.
     
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  13. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    I will call B.S. on Rob Watts's "reproducing the original waveform", until he has a proper ADC designed under his belt.

    It's probably like MQA who claims they can profile the entire chain right from the ADC to the DAC.

    All fucking hand waving without any substantiation.


    Also another question... according to audio precision website, the residual THD specifications of the best analyser is only this:

    Residual THD+N (22 kHz BW)
    –117 dB + 1.0 µV
    Typically <–120 dB (1 kHz, 2.0 V)
    https://www.ap.com/analyzers-accessories/apx555/


    How the hell did Rob Watts come out with this chart? Which bottomed to -170db?
    [​IMG]

    http://www.head-fi.org/g/i/1722720/a/987937/chord-electronics-dave/sort/display_order/
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
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  14. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    FPGA is the newest audio biz meme for people to regurgitate. we've had PLDs since forever
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    There is an expectation that if you claim it's the best, you gotta back it up. Comparative DAC / digital comparisons are encouraged as part of the culture here. Parroting manufacturer claims is generally frowned upon. Here are a few examples of comparative reviews. I know there are a lot more. Gave myself a few minutes to dig some up.

    @Torq's big "life after Yggdrasil" thead of HF (or occasional extraneous comments - since he has established common reference points with most members)
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...ustics-pavane-dac-listening-impressions.2094/
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/marveys-dac-chart-of-awesomeness.63/
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...-dac-stream-of-consciousness-discussion.3092/
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...ibit-multibit-for-the-masses.2494/#post-65919
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/4-dac-shootout-low-to-high-end.3049/
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...ransport-a-gd-theta-marantz-or5-face-off.551/
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...-bifrost-multibit-subjective-comparison.1313/
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...dac-for-750-that-stomps-most-modern-dacs.508/
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/mhdt-labs-r-2r-nos-tube-dacs.1336/
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...-rambling-ridiculous-comparisons-thread.2699/
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...-usb-impressions-vs-cdp-vs-built-in-usb.2735/
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  16. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Is this another thread where Rob Watts' disciples take his mix of science and fiction and call it gospel?
     
  17. Negura

    Negura Friend

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    I for one am glad there is a space where dubios claims are being challenged, such as the reproducing the signal before ADC. Chord threads on HF surely can look like gospel reading with constant quoting back to the word of god.

    I dont know where he came from with that SNR graph (from memory it was before the product was completed for production), but the specs published on the Chord site show 127dB, barely better than Mojo (at 125dB).
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  18. EVOLVIST

    EVOLVIST Rob Watt's Fluffer

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    I understand quite a bit, though I wouldn't say that my knowledge runs the full gamut. I wouldn't know how to use my knowledge for anything useful, no. I don't see why I would need to. What's the pitch here?

    When I made my final choice of DACs, it was between the DAVE and the Metrum Pavane. I chose the DAVE because of its ability to lineate instruments very well, while I found the Pavane a bit softer, with only the slightest smear when feeding it a shit ton of instruments at once. Also, with the DAVE I felt like I no longer needed an HP amp. Straight from the spigot the DAVE gave me a remarkable sound. I had paired the Pavane with a Crayon Audio CHA-1, as well as my trusty SPL Auditor, and both HP amps served the Pavane well, allowing it to really breath. The Auditor gave it more of a wider soundstage into my HD800s, but artificially so, by my understanding of SPL's design. So, when I A/Bed with the DAVE the soundstage was every bit as good as the Crayon. Why would I need an amp like that, anymore? My thought process was, and still is, I've bought a high quality amp and DAC in one, which I ended up not spending any extra money after selling the Crayon.

    I miss a little of the analog feel of the Pavane, though. I'm still a big fan. It was a bit on the warmer side of neutral. It just sang to me. But so did the DAVE, where I'm able to pick up many more subtle musical cues than I was able to with the Pavane. Maybe the two weren't in fair competition, and granted my methods of evaluation are totally unscientific; nevertheless, I bought in and I feel good about it. I don't think there was anything wrong with my choice. People here seem to think the DAVE is crap. Well, cool. To me, I simply found a combo unit that would do what it says it would do, to my ears, and that's to process a lot of music information at once and still be clear as a bell.

    I'm going to hell.
     
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  19. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    I think we understand your perspective now, and it makes a lot of sense (at least to me). You'll have to excuse our antagonistic method but it seems to me some real understanding has come out of it.
     
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  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    We don't think DAVE is crap. (I have an opportunity to hear it, but I'm too lazy and I don't give a crap about digital anymore, as it's all shades of mediocre to me).

    What we do think is crap is the parroting of Chord's marketing as gospel when it's obvious you have no clue what Chord is talking about. In fact, no one who reads their shit can come away with a good understanding of exactly what they are doing. It's a lot of smoke and mirrors with fancy words and simulated graphs to avoid clearly explaining their sigma delta implementation with custom up sampling filter. Techno babble nonsense.
     

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