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Chord BLU Transport and DAVE.


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Ok. I am about to spend (in my budget anyway) and obscene amount of money on two chord products. The new DAC (Called DAVE) and the CD Blu Transport. I have my quote and I really like the Chord gear (I have a HUGO) so I am just about to part with my hard earned.... and then... a friend of mine comes along and berates me for wasting money on a transport... especially this particular transport that costs upwards of 14K (Australian).

I would be really interested if anybody would take the time to give honest views on this... Another Hi Fi store also said I am wasting my money buying a transport. I love the Chord gear but I guess some doubt has been cast. I am running B & W 804D's with a Musical Fidelity M6500 i (which I also love).

Another friend of mine said it would be better value just getting a decent CD Player. But I am completely sold on the DAC because of the other options it opens up (DSD) etc... Some of the other products thrown at me include Luxman, Esoteric.

I have also purchased the PS Audio Power Plant P10.

Any feedback/opinions much appreciated.

Rob

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I've heard the Dave DAC at a launch event here in Silicon Valley. It came across as providing a very accurate reproduction of whatever you fed it, and with a level of image breadth, depth and precision that I've not really heard before. Given you have a Hugo then it's clearly a significant step forwards but follows the same kind of sonic path. (There's a great thread over at Head-Fi.org in the high-end forum in which Rob Watts, the designer of Dave, has posted a lot of background info, especially regarding how Dave descends from Hugo but takes the digital-domain processing to another level.) Simply put, I'd be seriously tempted if I could afford it.

 

At the demo it was fed from a Meridian Solos server, for what that data point is worth, i.e. either FLAC files from ripping Red Book CDs or higher-resolution files, including DSD. If you want to drive Dave from a CD-based source then I'm sure the Chord one is very good; if you are driving it with digital files then I'm also sure that their streamers are top notch too. However, one of the hallmarks of a great DAC is how well it deals with multiple kinds of inputs. If you have doubts, fix on one item, Dave say, and then have the dealer demo with a range of different sources to see if you can tell much of a difference between them. One advantage with the Chord Blu is that I think it has a dual-feed output option, and that Dave can similarly take dual inputs; however, that would need to be confirmed by Chord as I don't know if Dave is exactly yet a shipping device and hence what the final production specifications are.

 

Good luck - and let us know what you decide!

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Ok. I am about to spend (in my budget anyway) and obscene amount of money on two chord products. The new DAC (Called DAVE) and the CD Blu Transport. I have my quote and I really like the Chord gear (I have a HUGO) so I am just about to part with my hard earned.... and then... a friend of mine comes along and berates me for wasting money on a transport... especially this particular transport that costs upwards of 14K (Australian).

I would be really interested if anybody would take the time to give honest views on this... Another Hi Fi store also said I am wasting my money buying a transport. I love the Chord gear but I guess some doubt has been cast. I am running B & W 804D's with a Musical Fidelity M6500 i (which I also love).

Another friend of mine said it would be better value just getting a decent CD Player. But I am completely sold on the DAC because of the other options it opens up (DSD) etc... Some of the other products thrown at me include Luxman, Esoteric.

I have also purchased the PS Audio Power Plant P10.

Any feedback/opinions much appreciated.

Rob

 

Hi Rob

 

I must admit I would struggle to justify spending any significant amount of money on a CD Transport. I, like many others on this forum, have ripped my CD collection and no longer use a transport at all. The kind of money you are looking to spend would get you a top end PC/Mac front end or a streamer (such as the ones from Auralic and Chord) which you could connect to the DAVE DAC. If I had the money I would definitely go out and try the DAVE DAC along with the PS Audio Directstream or Mytek Manhatten, EMM Labs or Meitner MA-1 etc. etc. (Un)fortunately there is a lot of choice out there.... I'm not sure what choice is available out there in Oz or what price they sell for.

 

I have owned Chord amps in the past and have always appreciated their sound and build quality.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Paul

Stereo Source: Auralic Aries + Mytek Brooklyn DAC+

Surround Source: Windows PC

Pre-amp: Mark Levinson ML380s, Anthem D2v

Speakers: ATC SCM50A (L/R/C), C4 (Sub), SCM20-2A (LR,RR)

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I have owned both a DAC64 and a Hugo and am something of a Chord fan, but if it was me I certainly wouldn't buy that combo in 2015.

 

The Dave yes, providing after at least a week on home demo I'd decided it was right for me. I'd really want to hear Dave back to back with Hugo or 2Qute in my own system to determine it was worth the massive difference in price.

 

A new Blu, no way. All that money on a product from 10 years ago that's limited to playing/upsampled CDs. Much better to spend money on a decent streamer, file player, or dedicated audio PC.

 

My Bryston BDP2 was stunning into the DAC64 for example (and if you really want cd replay you can attach an optional drive to it for memory play.

 

My advice, try at home Dave vs 2Qute, and Blu vs BDP, Aries, Aurender etc into Dave.

 

Alternatively, for the cost of Dave alone you could go with an Esoteric K05x or maybe K03x SACD player to give you

a great disc player and DSD capable DAC in one unit.

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rjb301, how are you playing music through the Hugo? Since you're at Computer Audiophile, you can see that most of us would say no CD transport. For a fraction of the price, you can probably get a phenomenonal computer-based transport to go with Chord Dave and get better performance than all-in-one CD players or CD transport + DAC. As to DACs from other brands, if you like the Hugo, you'll most likely love the Dave. But I'm biased since I own a Chord QBD76HDSD and have pre-ordered a Chord Dave even though I haven't even heard Dave or even Hugo. That said, you may get much more bang for your buck by upgrading your current computer-based audio transport for the Chord Hugo, than getting the Chord Dave. Of course, you should do both to optimize the sound. But then the upgrade path will never end. You'll find that Dave without the preamp is so transparent that you'll need to sell the M6500i and get the M8-500s amplifier to pair with the Chord Dave...

Roon (convolution filter using Acourate) > ultraRendu > Peachtree X1 (Toslink) > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Chord DAVE > Chord Etude > Dynaudio Confidence C1 Signature + Sunfire TS-EQ10 subwoofers

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Congratulations on choosing the DAVE. Sounds like it is a winner, for the $$$, only in the eyes of the beholder. Hopefully it's specs will work down to more affordable units for us lemmings. I agree, the transport is like throwing $$$ away. You can get a bigger bang for that 14k in conjunction with the DAVE. But hey, if you got the coin do it all and then some, why not.

I am also a big fan of the Hugo. Is sublime in my optimized PC system and I've yet to update my power supply to an LPS.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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