How is Chord Dave?

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

  1. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    Stage widens a little with DAVE and the Utopia vs. some other DACs, and DAVE's imaging with speakers is very impressive, but it doesn't suddenly turn the Utopia in HD800 or Abyss in terms of stage (using the direct headphone output).

    What does help with the Utopias stage are things like the matrix feature on the SPL Phonitor X, the 3D+ function on the iFi Pro iCAN, and various software "spatializer" tools like Waves NX.
     
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  2. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    Using the internal amp currently.
     
  3. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    In my experience, there are pros and cons to Dave's Headphone Out, as Dave's analog stage does not have a traditional amplification circuit. Volume is handled in the digital domain.

    Pros:
    - Works very well for linear-impedance, non-demanding HPs
    - Outstanding resolution, transparency, precision and plankton
    - Super black background and precise imaging

    Cons:
    - Can't handle hard-to-drive Planar HPs and doesn't have the best synergy with High-Z Dynamic HPs
    - Although the stage is very deep and in a way holographic, it still can't match the sheer size of the stage that some good desktop amps reproduce
    - Can't do bass impact like the desktop amps

    As a result, Dave's HO is not the most ideal for the popular full-size Dynamic HPs like the 800s or 650s. But I can only imagine the sheer resolution the Dave + Utopia combo can reproduce. Some of the best candidates for Dave's HO are, the easy-to-drive planar headphones like the LCD-i4, LCD-4Z, Aeons, Ethers etc.

    The tone of the HO is a bit neutral. So, people who are used to a fuller sounding mid-range, may find Dave's HO a bit on the dry side. But it's tonality and sound characteristics just work so well for classical, especially orchestral music.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    Jerry likes this.

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