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Dave=digital audio veritas extremis


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Yesterday I had my first three hours with the demo DAVE at AV ONE in Singapore via headphones direct,either my HD800 or HE1000.

 

For about an hour before connecting DAVE I was listening to HE1000 via either my own Hugo or Mojo and found both very good indeed regarding size and cost . But after a couple of hours of listening to my hi res masterfiles ranging from 24/48 to DXD pcm and both DSD 64 and DSD 128, via DAVE it was really disappointing to go back to either of the two.

 

Yes I said I was baffled at how good little Mojo sounded on the Mojo thread.

 

But now I have to admit I was simply unprepared for the veritable MAGNITUDE of improvement via DAVE on material I both know very well live from recording sessions plus various other classical music albums like the two most recent ones from BSO LIVE,where I have never even been to Symphony Hall in Boston .But I do know very well how an orchestra sounds in a good hall.And this happens to be one of the world's best orchestras superbly recorded in one of the world's best halls.

 

I already considered both the Wagner/Sibelius 24/96 release and the most recent Schostakowich's 10th Symphony exceptionally well made recordings via my Hugo. But via DAVE I have to say that I felt almost transported/teleported to the venue. It was almost uncanny. The realism and lifelike timbre and tonality and smoothness and spatial depth was spine-tingeling to say the least.

 

To mention only two of many superb recordings I got eargasmic spine-tingeling sensations from via DAVE.

 

Without getting too longwinded ,I can safely state after only a few hours on a demo unit, that I have NEVER BEFORE heard such realistic orchestral sound from ANY other consumer DAC.And yes it is galvanically isolated and I used USB 2 on my MBP without any issues whatsoever. Pure bliss on well made recordings and bluntly revealing the shortcomings of bad ones like SONY's recent 24/192 The Marriage of Figaro which is so terribly close /spotmic'd and multimic'd that it sounds pretty horrible via DAVE and headphones.

 

 

 

With well recorded albums Mic-feed at sessions is the most relevant comparison imo.

 

 

 

My only reservation about DAVE would be:

 

OMG ,why does it have to be so b..... expensive?

 

I don't know how I will be able to buy both DAVE and the house I also need to buy this year, without absolutely ruining myself?

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I really like what Chord has been doing using FPGAs. I need to audition one of their dacs. But as you said, I wish their products werent so expensive!

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Chrille, I think Rob Watts just answered your question about cost on Head Fi forum. DAVE was designed to be the best it can be and then Chord added up the cost of the bill of materials, used their regular multipliers priced the product accordingly. Since some people seem to think DAVE (or Mojo) sounds better than some other pricier DACs, I think we should just be glad that it is not priced comparatively. I think most companies decades ago tend to price their products based on the total cost of development and manufacturing and then use a multiplier and estimate the total sales. But I suspect nowadays, a lot of companies price their products based on what comparable products are priced so they can maximize their profits. Chord hasn't done that so we should be happy about it, even if their DACs are pricey. Of course, whether you think the price is reasonable depends on whether you like the DAC and how much you're willing to pay for sound quality. But that's probably true for most luxury things we buy.

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Yup, I expect state of the art performance from DAVE, so I would suggest we are lucky it does not cost $70K USD, or more! Plenty of DACs out there cost way more than DAVE.

I would love to hear DAVE at home sometime...

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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Chrille, I think Rob Watts just answered your question about cost on Head Fi forum. DAVE was designed to be the best it can be and then Chord added up the cost of the bill of materials, used their regular multipliers priced the product accordingly. Since some people seem to think DAVE (or Mojo) sounds better than some other pricier DACs, I think we should just be glad that it is not priced comparatively. I think most companies decades ago tend to price their products based on the total cost of development and manufacturing and then use a multiplier and estimate the total sales. But I suspect nowadays, a lot of companies price their products based on what comparable products are priced so they can maximize their profits. Chord hasn't done that so we should be happy about it, even if their DACs are pricey. Of course, whether you think the price is reasonable depends on whether you like the DAC and how much you're willing to pay for sound quality. But that's probably true for most luxury things we buy.

 

My one and only "complaint" regarding DAVE was more like "thinking out loud" on a personal/private economic level.

I am aware of what's gone into this product.

And I have simply not heard anything like it in digital audio before.

I suppose I will have to make sacrifices on other less important things than music, which is my one and only religion.

A summer/autumn of oats porridge and fruit and berries free from the woods, will probably have to be strictly adhered to.

And/or I will have to buy a cheaper house than originally planned.

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