Chord Dave vs. DAC-V1

I have a Chord VEE3 DIN-2-RCA cable that I used when I had the old NAC202 and I wanted to connect it to an external amp, I thought I could use the same cable to connect the Dave to the NAC552 however the pin configuration seems different and does not fit the NAC552..

well that may be a different cable then. I'm sure D Audio can lend you an audio quest RCA to DIN cable. Or you can ask them for my contact details, I can lend you one too.

RCA to DIN beats RCA to RCA hands down, I tried it many times. The level of engagement and drive goes up a notch.

Naim preamps sound much better with their DIN connector.

Thanks for the offer @analogmusic, I dug out a spare RCA-2-DIN cable that I sourced ages ago from Chord, it is also a VEE3 cable, this one has 5 pins while the older one I used with the NAC202 was a 4 pin.

Just replaced the RCA with the RCA-2-DIN cable and it worked very well... Call me delusional but I really feel the musicality is vastly better.. I lined up a playlist of my favorite classical recordings knowing that the Amati Futura shine in rendering acoustics and I was not disappointed at all, I spent 2 full hours with a vast grin on my face and for once the music was at the center and not sound quality... This NAC552 when paired with a superior source such as the Dave is smooth as butter across all ranges, the trebles are no longer harsh, the mid tones super clear and the bass tight and punchy... The major improvement from my DAC-V1 is really in the trebles, where there was slight glassy harshness now I get smooth non-aching tones... Amazing stuff.

I have a spare PowerLine which I will attach to the Dave later on to see if that makes any further improvements.. Not sure if the PowerLines work well with non-Naim gear but I will soon find out :-).

Regards,

T

thijazi posted:
 
 
.. I lined up a playlist of my favorite classical recordings knowing that the Amati Futura shine in rendering acoustics and I was not disappointed at all, I spent 2 full hours with a vast grin on my face and for once the music was at the center and not sound quality...
 

Regards,

T

Good feedback. I will arrange a listen at the dealers sometime this spring to check it out.

If you are using the USB input, DAC-V1 is good but needs some help in preventing 'noise' getting into it. If you feed it with a clean signal you will get a clean output revealing a startling level of resolution. However if DAVE is more 'musical' then that is where the story ends- must be quite a listen.

an old review of the QBD76 on tone publications says this "Though I found the Chord visceral and exciting with excellent pace, in my reference system, I could never relax and forget that I was listening to digital, as I have been able to with a few other top players.  I didn’t really see this as a negative for the QBD76, as I’ve never experienced this level of playback in any digital player below the $12k range, so it was not a disappointment."

The achievement of Dave is that is does make you relax and forget you are listening to a digital source. To be fair though, Hugo was the first of the Chord Dacs - according to Rob Watts, that cracked the secret to achieving this. 

It's a very subtle thing, but that is what separates good digital from the very best.

Ok so I have misunderstood what taps are.

The correct reply is 

 

"No taps are not additional samples - so for Dave we have a 16FS filter - so 16 new samples are created for every 44.1 k sample. Its 164,000 taps, so for each new sample it involves 164,000/16 or 10,250 multiply and adds. A tap is one sample multiplied by a coefficient and the result added to an accumulator.

 

With Blu 2 its 63,488 multiply add to create one new 16FS sample."

analogmusic posted:

an old review of the QBD76 on tone publications says this "Though I found the Chord visceral and exciting with excellent pace, in my reference system, I could never relax and forget that I was listening to digital, as I have been able to with a few other top players.  I didn’t really see this as a negative for the QBD76, as I’ve never experienced this level of playback in any digital player below the $12k range, so it was not a disappointment."

The achievement of Dave is that is does make you relax and forget you are listening to a digital source. To be fair though, Hugo was the first of the Chord Dacs - according to Rob Watts, that cracked the secret to achieving this. 

It's a very subtle thing, but that is what separates good digital from the very best.

Not my experience I'm afraid. DAVE isn't as good as my QBD76HDSD, and I recently preferred Hugo to DAVE. I'm a big vinyl fan & so far my QBD's the only DAC that I can truly relax to in the same way. Best not to place too much importance to reviews, or manufacturers, listen to things yourself & make your own mind up.

I listened to Hugo and Dave when I had them for a while together, and Dave is considerably much better than Hugo in every way.

But once people start using Chord Sarum Super Array  interconnect cables (which TonyM uses), all bets are off.

I don't like that cable with Dave, although I would concede with a NDX level of source yes that cable is quite fine 

 As far as I'm concerned, the cable killed the music with a Dave, which is what Tony found, only in my view the problem is the cable, not the Dave.

Maybe Sarum T or Chord music solve that issue. Who knows.... .  Why take such risks?

I would rather much have Superlumina/Naim cables.

analogmusic posted:

again this was on my system, maybe others get good result from Sarum cables and Chord Dave. 

Hard to generalise though, and Tony is in a minority of 1 (I had yet to hear anyone else who prefers Hugo to Dave)

I think Halloween Man reported that he preferred Hugo TT to DAVE which is reportedly similar in performance to the original Hugo.

I did though to be fair to Dave I know some of my findings were a lot to do with room acoustics. Dave emphasised the bass boom room issue as it had more low end. I also found the imaging/soundstaging with Dave to be over egged but again I suspect speaker setup and mid/high frequency reflection points around the room would not have helped. It would be interesting to hear Dave again now I have adequate room acoustic treatment and speakers with less low end which are a better match for my room.

analogmusic posted:

again this was on my system, maybe others get good result from Sarum cables and Chord Dave. 

Hard to generalise though, and Tony is in a minority of 1 (I had yet to hear anyone else who prefers Hugo to Dave)

No true. I had several very astute forum members round who concurred with my view. I do have a rather fine system, more than capable of discerning differences in components and revealing shortcomings in others. Why do you have such a problem accepting the hi-fi truth that just because something suits your system and ears it won't necessarily suit others? Just swallow it and move on...

When I compared Hugo, TT and Dave, the first time in a demo room with Mac Mini/Audirvana source, through Gustard U12 with Hugo, and listening through Bryston 4Bsst2  and PMC Fact 12, the TT sounded better than Hugo to both my and my son's ears, though not hugely, while Dave was simply astonishingly better, a real 'wow' factor, literally as I have previously described. I didn't have an opportunity to compare QBD76.

Subsequent home auditioning, same source and amp, but different speakers (PMC EB1i), the differences were the same way round, though a little less pronounced, undoubtedly due to the different speakers and room. But still marked enough for my wife in the next room, to tell me in no uncertain terms that Dave sounded better, questioning why I kept reverting to others.

Innocent Bystander posted:

When I compared Hugo, TT and Dave, the first time in a demo room with Mac Mini/Audirvana source, through Gustard U12 with Hugo, and listening through Bryston 4Bsst2  and PMC Fact 12, the TT sounded better than Hugo to both my and my son's ears, though not hugely, while Dave was simply astonishingly better, a real 'wow' factor, literally as I have previously described. I didn't have an opportunity to compare QBD76.

Subsequent home auditioning, same source and amp, but different speakers (PMC EB1i), the differences were the same way round, though a little less pronounced, undoubtedly due to the different speakers and room. But still marked enough for my wife in the next room, to tell me in no uncertain terms that Dave sounded better, questioning why I kept reverting to others. (The reason was me trying to decide if the difference was worth the price differential, or if a really great holiday's memories would provide better long-term pleasure)

 

Well, after spending a couple of weeks with Dave, I went back to DAC-V1 and I noticed many things missing from the experience I had earlier, I listened pretty much to the same tracks over and over again...  After the wife-acceptance-factor was also secured I ended up trading in my DAC-V1 and now have the Dave permanently sorted on the Fraim... I am loving the music.. Funny enough, for me the Dave fixed a lot of the bass boom I had earlier in some favourite tracks of mine, for instance I could never listen to Rebecca Pidgeon's "Spanish Harlem" the bass would rattle the false ceiling (where I live unfortunately you have gypsum false ceilings everywhere!)... The Dave renders that track without as much boom on some of the notes....

The DAC-V1 is honestly a fantastic DAC, it compared pretty well to Dave in my system except in one area where the Dave shows consistent supremacy and that is in playing back older live recordings as well as DSD playback. Had I seen any hints of a road-map for USB DACs from Naim I would have probably waited as I prefer to stick to the full stack with Naim..but oh well...

Note, I got better results from the Dave after replacing the RCA-2-RCA interconnect with an RCA-2-DIN interconnect from Chord Company... I wish Naim SuperLumina had that option for me.... Can anyone recommend comparable quality RCA-2-DIN cables?

Cheers...

thijazi posted:

Well, after spending a couple of weeks with Dave, I went back to DAC-V1 and I noticed many things missing from the experience I had earlier, I listened pretty much to the same tracks over and over again...  After the wife-acceptance-factor was also secured I ended up trading in my DAC-V1 and now have the Dave permanently sorted on the Fraim... I am loving the music.. Funny enough, for me the Dave fixed a lot of the bass boom I had earlier in some favourite tracks of mine, for instance I could never listen to Rebecca Pidgeon's "Spanish Harlem" the bass would rattle the false ceiling (where I live unfortunately you have gypsum false ceilings everywhere!)... The Dave renders that track without as much boom on some of the notes....

The DAC-V1 is honestly a fantastic DAC, it compared pretty well to Dave in my system except in one area where the Dave shows consistent supremacy and that is in playing back older live recordings as well as DSD playback. Had I seen any hints of a road-map for USB DACs from Naim I would have probably waited as I prefer to stick to the full stack with Naim..but oh well...

Note, I got better results from the Dave after replacing the RCA-2-RCA interconnect with an RCA-2-DIN interconnect from Chord Company... I wish Naim SuperLumina had that option for me.... Can anyone recommend comparable quality RCA-2-DIN cables?

Cheers...

Have you tried Dave direct to your power amp? If not it might be something interesting to try, as your profile doesn't seem to mention an analogue source.

Out of interest, what renderer do you use on the PC, and have you tried other renderers?

Tareq, you can ask D. Audio for a quote on a RCA to DIN superlumina cables, Naim do make them.

 

Innocent - you suggestion is an "innocent" one, (and I say this because you don't appear to have much experience with Naim amplifiers) you need to understand the kit that Tareq already has. a Naim 552 preamp is widely regarded as one of the best in the world, and costs around 20,000 GBP, if you understand what I mean.

With Naim power amps anyway, you need  Naim preamp to get the best performance. i've tried it and I always prefer my Nac 282 in the system, even with Dave.

Innocent Bystander posted:

Out of interest, what renderer do you use on the PC, and have you tried other renderers?

I am today mostly using Roon Server setup on an HP small HTPC running Windows 10 connected via USB to the DAC. I also occassionally use JRiver. My music sits on a Synology NAS drive and is exclusively FLAC lossless and DSD.

My next project is to move the HTPC to another room and have Sonore microRendu act as the streamer with USB to Dave, the objective being to reduce the noise from the HTPC which today is directly connected to my system.

Hi thijazi thanks for this thread it is really interesting .... you have a fantastic pre amp .... could you find time to try the Dave direct into your power amp ... I am interested to find out what you think...hope you can indulge us. By the way tried Spanish Harlem ... on my system ... I cant see how you could get boom on this track .... even with my  sub cranked up ... it is not an issue - you must live in a very fragile environment!!!  

I have a NAP 300 and it has RCA ports, I will try the Dave directly hooked to the NAP300 out of pure curiosity, I can tell you, nothing moved my music up the quality bar as much as the upgrade from the NAC282 to NAC552 did, it was crazy how much better this thing is.

 

Analogmusic, I like your idea :-)

analogmusic posted:

Tareq, you can ask D. Audio for a quote on a RCA to DIN superlumina cables, Naim do make them.

 

Innocent - you suggestion is an "innocent" one, (and I say this because you don't appear to have much experience with Naim amplifiers) you need to understand the kit that Tareq already has. a Naim 552 preamp is widely regarded as one of the best in the world, and costs around 20,000 GBP, if you understand what I mean.

With Naim power amps anyway, you need  Naim preamp to get the best performance. i've tried it and I always prefer my Nac 282 in the system, even with Dave.

My suggestion is exactly what it said: merely a suggestion that it might be interesting. I have no preconception as to which the OP will prefer, though I do expect there to be a difference, and therefore a likelihood of a preference for one or the other.

As for understanding the OP's kit, which I do, neither that, nor the extent of my experience with Naim amps, nor the cost of the 552, nor the regard in which the 552 may be held,  are of any relavance whatsoever as I am in no way suggesting anything in any way negative about it. Even if it was universally recognised as the very best preamp money can buy, it would still be an interesting comparison for someone who hasn't tried it, to compare Dave direct with the effect of the preamp - I imagine they would sound different, and I think it is entirely conceivable that some people may prefer one way and others the other, depending what in those different characteristics is of greatest importance to their enjoyment of music. And if the OP finds he prefers with the 552, which he may well do, then great: a nice little affirming diversion, and if the other way round: well the resale value of the 552 could make cash available for other things...

I would actually quite like to know what Dave sounds like through a 500 -but of course my suggestion to the OP doesn't help with that in any way, so it is likely to remain an unknown for a long time...

 

I was at my local dealer today(In Canada) and he informed me that he has placed an order for the BLU MK 11,to go with his Dave.I am not sure when he will get it,but I am definitely going to have a listen when it arrives,does anyone know when these are shipping?

Yes I do understand that, it was an  attempt at humor (maybe not a good one) - if I paid 20,000 GBP for a 552 I would not be very motivated to buy a cable to find out that a DAC/Preamp like Dave makes it redundant...

In other words, why ask Tareq to do this test, is there much point?

Anyway  it does sound tempting to think Dave into Naim power amp could save money, but I have tried this - Dave direct into Active  Linn speakers, Dave direct into my NAP 250, Hugo into NAP 100, and in every case, having a Naim (or Linn for the Linn Klimax actives) preamp there sounded better.

It doesn't have to be a 552, Dave's obvious musical talents are audible from 172 and 202 also.

Yes I know what Rob Watts says, but he didn't design Naim amplifiers, having said that they do run Dave direct into Chord power amps at hi-fi shows.

 

analogmusic posted:

Yes I do understand that, it was an  attempt at humor (maybe not a good one) - if I paid 20,000 GBP for a 552 I would not be very motivated to buy a cable to find out that a DAC/Preamp like Dave makes it redundant...

In other words, why ask Tareq to do this test, is there much point?

Anyway  it does sound tempting to think Dave into Naim power amp could save money, but I have tried this - Dave direct into Active  Linn speakers, Dave direct into my NAP 250, Hugo into NAP 100, and in every case, having a Naim (or Linn for the Linn Klimax actives) preamp there sounded better.

 

Well, I'm not sure if anyone else did, but I didn't ask him to do it, rather I asked if he had, suggesting that if he hadn't it might be interesting to try. As indeed it might, for him, and for readers of this thread. And the OP has made it apparent that he is interested in playing with various options while he had Dave on loan, so the thought makes every sense. Admittedly when making the suggestion I hadn't realised the 500 had XLR not DIN or RCA inputs, and that the XLR is not balanced - but maybe the lender of the Dave could supply a suitable cable(?).

As I also indicated, his conclusion might not necessarily be the same as yours, though of course it might very well be, depending on how Dave integrates with the 500 and, crucially, what/how he hears It, and that is precisely the point: if he has the opportunity to hear and decide, why not? Having the gear there does make it very easy to compare if only he could readily access a cable. The fact he has spent £20k on something doesn't stop him reassessing whether it is still best for him if he was to change DAC to Dave. If I had spent that amount of money on a part of my kit only to discover there is something that makes it redundant I might be annoyed that I hadn't been aware when I bought said item, but I'd happily  sell the redundant thing and put the money towards something else -maybe better speakers, or bi or tri-amping... But having asked if he had and commented that I though it would be interesting, I feel it is entirely up to the OP to decide whether he is interested enough to try it.

Richieroo posted:

Hi Thijazi any news on the Dave directly into Nap 300..... I am really interested in quality of the preamp side of the Dave ... especially against your amazing 552.....

analogmusic posted:

 

Did all of you who want this test done, get together, buy the required cable and send it to Tareq  ?

I thought the suggestion of the 300 was from Tereq himself, and not needing an additional cable?

analogmusic posted:
cat345 posted:

If Dave is that good connected to a power amp, why does Chord offer 2 preamplifiers that are far more expensive than Dave? Only for analogue sources?

Yes, and also these preamps were designed before Dave was invented.

If preamplifiers have become obsolete with today's digital sources, why is manufacturers still making them? Shouldn't all modern dacs have volume controls and a couple of analogue inputs for a few of us prehistoric audiophiles?

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