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Chord DAVE Review (DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 256 60.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 107 25.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 40 9.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 18 4.3%

  • Total voters
    421

Trell

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I am getting confused. I ordered the unit new near end of year 2019. Or are you talking about another unit?

Perhaps it's old stock? o_O

Just pulling your leg, and thank you for sending your Chord devices to amirm for review.
 

sarumbear

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But the point is still that the wrong capacitors was chosen along with a deficient heat management engineering. Do that competently and you have a device that can last for a very long time, barring bad batches of capacitors. For a $14 000 product that is a DAC that should be a given, don't you think?
A consumer grade electrolytic capacitor that is 10mm wide is 7,000hrs. You can use a larger diameter capacitor and achieve 10,000hrs. If a capacitor with at least twice the diameter/size than what is used here you will get longer life. Is that what you are suggesting should have been used? Or, do you expect industrial or military grade capacitors to be used, which has much longer life expectancy.

It is simple arithmetic to convert these hours to number of years. If the unit is powered 4hrs a day the 10mm capacitor may reach EOL in less than 7yrs. If the user believes in keeping devices powered on always then the EOL may be reached in less than year! If you use a much larger capacitor you may reach a ten year life span with 4hrs/day power up. However, high temperatures will reduce that down still.
 
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majingotan

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High pre and post ringings from predefined reconstruction filter on the IC sound like high frequency hash to me and I hear that as sounding “digital”.

My BullSchiit meter jumps up from this lol. How about Schiit Yggdrasil OG (it has an IC R2R chip)where every paid magazines advertises it as "analog sounding" (not that I believe in that BS either) with tons of prering and post ring (yeah it only needs 18000 taps instead of 1024768 taps to generate that impulse response).

217Schiitfig01.jpg
 

sarumbear

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I am getting confused. I ordered the unit new near end of year 2019. Or are you talking about another unit?
I’m not talking about a specific unit. I was explaining the life of electrolytic capacitors.
 

Jimbob54

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Understand. It does what it says it does. It's also not a poor performer by any objective measure.

It is clearly overpriced by 10x. So my commentary is, what should the verdict be for being completely overpriced and not worth the money? It's not snake oil, it's not great, it's not broken, and not fine. So what is the category for obsolete and overpriced?
Shrugging panther. The visual equivalent of "Meh".

I do have a question for Chord fans though. This may have been a very strong performer in 2018 or whenever, but what has Chord done since? I strongly suspect as far as DACs/ sources go they are happy to ride the gravy train from past R&D and a reputation that it seems may have been slightly unwarranted.

Am I right in thinking their last major box of tricks (the Mojo 2 is an incremental update at best, not a brave new world) is the MScaler? If so, this is not the mark of a company at the bleeding edge....
 

Trell

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A consumer grade electrolytic capacitor that is 10mm wide is 7,000hrs. You can use a larger diameter capacitor and achieve 10,000hrs. The only option which is not practical is to use a capacitor with at least twice the diameter/size than what is used here. Is that what you were saying as wrong? Or, do you expect industrial or military grade capacitors to be used?

It is simple arithmetic to convert these hours to number of years. If the unit is powered 4hrs a day the 10mm capacitor may reach EOL in less than 7yrs. If the user believes in keeping devices powered on always then the EOL may be reached in less than year!

If you use a larger capacitor you may reach a ten year life span with 4hrs/day power up. However, high temperatures will reduce that down still.

I expect Chord to select capacitors that will have a very long expected life time of use in their products, especially for a $14000 one. If the design is incompetent it probably doesn't matter if it's "industrial or military grade" either.
 

sarumbear

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I expect Chord to select capacitors that will have a very long expected life time of use in their products, especially for a $14000 one. If the design is incompetent it probably don't matter if it's "industrial or military grade".
When you put the price in the equation it’s difficult to argue. However, it’s difficult argue the value in so many ways to start with that having to replace the caps in 5-6yrs is neither here nor there for me.

We can see that the manufacturer quasi admits the issue by replacing them free of charge.

BTW, what do you expect a consumer audio device’s life time to be?
 

chesebert

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My BullSchiit meter jumps up from this lol. How about Schiit Yggdrasil OG (it has an IC R2R chip)where every paid magazines advertises it as "analog sounding" (not that I believe in that BS either) with tons of prering and post ring (yeah it only needs 18000 taps instead of 1024768 taps to generate that impulse response).

217Schiitfig01.jpg
Yaggy OG has got some problems the least of which is rolled off frequency response. You can always cover up the artifact with other distortion or altered FR.
 

Koeitje

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The user interface alone warrants a poor score. It looks like Chord is just trying to see how bad they need to make it for it to stop selling.
 

lc6

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I'm not sure if Johnson noise allows this kind of performance in room temperature. Someone with more clue than me please correct me.

Well, what's the noise floor of the AP at the same room temp, -140 dB? In some charts, I see y-axis going down to -160 dB.

On the other hand, if Johnson noise were really the performance bottleneck, then for $14k this model should have a heat pump cooling it down to sub-freezing temps. Now if that pump's heat exchanger were placed on custom-built risers and surrounded by dedicated audio crystals then such a model could sell for maybe $28k. :D
 

PeteL

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A consumer grade electrolytic capacitor that is 10mm wide is 7,000hrs. You can use a larger diameter capacitor and achieve 10,000hrs. If a capacitor with at least twice the diameter/size than what is used here you will get longer life. Is that what you are suggesting should have been used? Or, do you expect industrial or military grade capacitors to be used, which has much longer life expectancy.

It is simple arithmetic to convert these hours to number of years. If the unit is powered 4hrs a day the 10mm capacitor may reach EOL in less than 7yrs. If the user believes in keeping devices powered on always then the EOL may be reached in less than year! If you use a much larger capacitor you may reach a ten year life span with 4hrs/day power up. However, high temperatures will reduce that down still.
Normally those lifespan specs are at maximum rated temperature. Typically, if you see 7000 hours, it means 7000 hours at 105 celcius. So it's not such simple basic arithmetics. It will last 7000 hours if your system is pushed to the limit of operations all the time. It can last way more.
 

sarumbear

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Normally those lifespan specs are at maximum rated temperature. Typically, if you see 7000 hours, it means 7000 hours at 105 celcius. So it's not such simple basic arithmetics. It will last 7000 hours if your system is pushed to the limit of operations all the time. It can last way more.
Why do you then say the wrong capacitor is used? What is wrong in your view?
 

sarumbear

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YSC

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Yaggy OG has got some problems the least of which is rolled off frequency response. You can always cover up the artifact with other distortion or altered FR.
So what in your experience dac is the best you’ve heard? I think pre and post ringing are a must for oversampling which is present even in the mixing console and the recordings
 

the_brunx

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Why do you then say the wrong capacitor is used? What is wrong in your view?
It could even be that they are not the right voltage rating with enough headroom for the application, that’s why they are going out prematurely. judging by how they had wrong connectors and output voltage on their m-scaler.
 

chesebert

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So what in your experience dac is the best you’ve heard? I think pre and post ringing are a must for oversampling which is present even in the mixing console and the recordings
I like Emm Labs, MSB, Playback Designs and Linn.
 
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