How is Chord Dave?

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

  1. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    This is my whine too- heard it in a large room, nothing sounded immediately nasty about the DAC, but it's hard to be sure when the amp was way too insipid to drive the headphones properly- and there's no way that someone would not have a better amp to use with an £8000-ish DAC.
     
  2. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    The guy who brought the Dave also brought the Utopias and he doesn't have a standalone amp. It's a pretty good pairing all things considered, though that's literally a down payment for a house and makes my head spin a little.
     
  3. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    That's wild, for less money you could have a Yggdrasil and an ECBA, and probably a much better time.
     
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  4. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Yeah, but the Dave owner was fully into the sales pitch part of it too. I think that's just part of the Chord mindset, when you read into a brand's ad copy and it's like you join the "culture" so to speak, because you're all speaking a language that no one else really understands so there's camaraderie in that.

    I should have spent some time with the Mojo, but lately I've developed an allergy to installing additional drivers on my Win7 laptop.
     
  5. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Well, his loss, I suppose. Maybe one day he'll discover the difference that a more capable amp can make. What you say makes sense though, sadly.

    Clearly there's something wrong with me, as I have owned a Mojo for a while, but I haven't become properly bug-eyed due to the the Chord RDF. It does sound nice enough driving my IEMs, and I spend an hour or two listening to it on the move on weekdays, but transubstantiation is yet to occur, and I tend to prefer my (much cheaper) Modi Multibit on the desktop. For shame!
     
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  6. jacq

    jacq Top 3 poster - friend

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    [​IMG]

    I have this in my room right now. All I can say is that I was assuming that the peak has been conquered already... I'm going to post a longer post about it but man I feel incapacitated in terms of unplugging the Dave.
     
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  7. Valolilol

    Valolilol Facebook Friend

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    @jacq I am waiting your post because that would be really nice reading statements and thoughts about somebody who did tried it :).
     
  8. EVOLVIST

    EVOLVIST Rob Watt's Fluffer

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    Say what you want about Rob Watts and his pseudo-kookishness, but one gets the strong impression that he is madly driven to perfect his design at all costs...and I do mean at ALL costs.
     
  9. Warrior

    Warrior Friend

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    @jacq You didn't tell me you have the Dave!!! I'm hurt!! Just make sure it gets to where it has to go December 3rd!!
     
  10. jacq

    jacq Top 3 poster - friend

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    It's not mine! But yeah it'll show up on December 3rd.
     
  11. Warrior

    Warrior Friend

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    Yes, I know. But you didn't tell me you actually had it. Where are your impressions? You holding it until the 3rd?
     
  12. Valolilol

    Valolilol Facebook Friend

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  13. jacq

    jacq Top 3 poster - friend

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    @Warrior Yeah Shaddy lives 5 minutes away from me so he just lent it to me for a couple of nights. Could've gone for more but I felt bad that he didn't have any gear lol.
     
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  14. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    [​IMG]

    Hey Guys,

    I got a chance to hear a piece of gear I thought I would never get my ears on today. The Chord Electronics DAVE. I’ve had both good and bad experiences with Chord, but the DAVE always fascinated me with its out there looks and the reports of awesome sound quality. My Mojo experience was both positive and negative, I really liked its sound, but the battery died, and it took me forever to get it replaced.

    I have always figured sort out the headphones first, then the amp, then the DAC. However, after having to sell all my gear recently, I have decided to go the opposite direction in terms of rebuilding a set up. I had a budget set, and had to work within it. I am in the UK currently, and figured I might as well try to find a dealer of the DAVE, so I could give it a listen. I found one an hour and a half away. I was completely honest with the shop that I wouldn’t be purchasing, I just wanted to listen. They were happy to let me listen, but tempted me with an offer of their demo model. They didn’t have a price set. I asked how much they wanted for it out of sheer curiosity, and got the reply “well how much are you willing to pay.” I threw out a nonsense number, less than units go for on the used market, and to my utter surprise, they said yes.

    To cut a long story short, I went in with an open mind, and left with an empty wallet. It has eaten up far more of my budget than I thought would go to the DAC, but…damn. I never thought I would spend this much on a DAC.

    The DAVE has detail, clarity, and definition I haven’t heard before. It is actually really impressive.

    I don’t want to comment too much on sound as I haven’t spent a very long time with it yet, and don’t have my favourite headphones at the moment (Abyss Phi.)

    So yeah, so far? DAVE gets two thumbs up :)
     
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  15. Lyer25

    Lyer25 Too sensitive for SBAF

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    @ufospls2 Do share your thoughts once you feel comfortable! Also, thanks for the tip, I'll try that next time someone offers a demo model for sale ;))
     
  16. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    You'd be surprised how often just asking around for a deal works. Sometimes it doesn't of course, but I have been lucky a few times in the past. This time was different though, like.....smoking "can't say no" deal territory.
     
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  17. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    If you want to use Dave as a preamp and have an electrostatic headphone amp (XLR) and a speaker amp (RCA), can you plug both into Dave and switch between them using the remote control, like with a conventional analog preamp? For example, regular listening with speakers but switching to headphones at night to not annoy the neighbours.
     
  18. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    Both the RCA and XLR outputs on DAVE are driven in parallel and both can be connected and used simultaneously. There's no ability to switch between which is active, so you'd have to mute/power-off your speaker amp.
     
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  19. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    Ok, so I've got about ten hours in with the DAVE, so these are very initial impressions. I always find initial impressions fairly indicative how I will enjoy a bit of gear, and as time goes on, you notice the smaller stuff that you either enjoy, or that pisses you off.

    I'm not that experienced with DACs, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I'll mostly compare the DAVE with the PS Audio Perfectwave MK1->MK2, as thats my previous desktop DAC.

    As I said in my previous post, there is detail, clarity, and definition that I haven't heard before. The DAVE is less bright than the PWD. I hate to say this, as I'm A) not that experienced with Analog and B) I don't own a turntable anymore, but this is the first time in my life where I said to myself "wow, this sounds like analog." The sound is neither bright nor dark, there is no sibilance. It is like there is more space around the individual notes than I have heard before, and I'm not sure how to describe it well. It just sounds "right." The sound is smooth, but not overly so.

    In terms of soundstage, I've always read people say "oh wow the DAVE transforms the Utopia, it gives it a huge soundstage!" I'm not buying that. I mean I'll give the DAVE a listen with a Utopia some day and find out for myself, but right now, I haven't noticed it influence soundstage either positively or negatively. It just presents the music as it is recorded. Note, I'm listening with the crossfeed turned off, as I'm trying to evaluate the DAVE in its simplest form.

    The edges of notes have this...weight(?) to them that the PWD doesn't have. Like they are less sharp, and a tiny bit rounder.

    The detail, for however cliche this might sound, is phenomenal, both micro and macro. What might be called "plankton" round these parts is also the best I have ever heard.

    So thats what I've gotten from the DAVE in the first ten hours of listening. To say it is a "...just one more song..." device is an understatement. I stayed up far too late last night listening to tunes :)
     
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  20. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    @ufospls2 Are your impressions based on using the internal amp, or with the same external amp as the PWD?
     

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