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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

Peternz

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Apr 20, 2021
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And to think I once seriously considered buying this piece of under performing audio bling. I have a Topping D70S and L30 amp and that combo well and truly kicks dave ass. Thank you so much, Amir.
 

AdamG247

Strive to be Understood, rather than heard!
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Who the heck voted this as Great? Golfing Panther. Maybe a typo? Gotta be a typo….;)
 

composer

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Ear is such a stupid sense, you can fool it with buzz words (there are plenty when it comes to talk about audio devices of any kind), good looking stuff, and hence the former are done, commit it with the bias of high prices you are led to spend.

When one tosses all that money on whatever audio gear is led to hear anything good to justify it, angels singing and God whispering through music.

How stupid ear is, how stupid ear bringers may become, as well as how egregious ear cheater may become...

Sorry for unwanted philosophy
 
Last edited:

Peternz

Active Member
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Apr 20, 2021
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Ear is such a stupid sense, you can fool it with buzz words (there are plenty when it comes to talk about audio devices of any kind), good looking stuff, and hence the former are done, commit it with the bias of high prices you are lead to spend.

When one spends all that money is led to hear anything good to justify it, angels singing and God whispering through music.

How stupid ear is, and how stupid ear bringers may become, as well as how egregious ear cheater may become...

Sorry for unwanted philosophy

Your philosophy is spot on. You are not going to sink a ton of money into something and then admit that you made a mistake and the thing you got is in fact mediocre.
 

ayane

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Every time that characteristic "bulging" shows up in the headphone voltage vs impedance vs THD graph near saturation, it's a telltale sign of not having enough feedback.

Between that and the noise floor modulation, this is a poorly engineered product considering the "cost no object" price point...
 

audiotron

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Jun 26, 2022
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tumblr_nqumn4ephf1tq4of6o1_400.gifv


... for that sort of money one would expect a 100% SOTA DAC and surely a more luxurious look.

Here is under the hood;

View attachment 220047


JSmith
Uber priced garbage!
 

Digby

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Mar 12, 2021
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Is it me or does anyone else notice a vague nautical theme to this? It looks like it belongs on a ship or perhaps as part of a car gearbox. It is not my idea of attractive, but you have to give it points for being both aesthetically odd and very expensive at the same time. They must have some stellar salespeople at Chord, as I have to wonder just how many beholders find beauty in this kind of design.
 

Peternz

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Apr 20, 2021
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Is it me or does anyone else notice a vague nautical theme to this? It looks like it belongs on a ship or perhaps as part of a car gearbox. It is not my idea of attractive, but you have to give it points for being both aesthetically odd and very expensive at the same time. They must have some stellar salespeople at Chord, as I have to wonder just how many beholders find beauty in this kind of design.

Well, if you ask me it is a bold design. It is innovative, it stands out and I find it more appealing than the Fisher Price esthetic of a lot of other stuff by Chord. I do find it looks very cool with the stand but without the stand it looks a little bereft, at least it does to me.
 

nsfgp

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Dec 27, 2020
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Sorry off topic question. What kind of shipping service usually people use to ship something like this and how much it cost to ship+Insurance coverage for this thing round trip?? Next day air??
Usually a package this size is the perfect basketball-toss-entertainment substitute for postal/courier handler.
Is there an extra red shipping label saying "Update your resume before you toss/throw this box around ....".
Kudo to the kind loan of the kind forum member.
 

Somafunk

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From an industrial design perspective I quite like the look of it but ideally I’d want a floating oled display mounted in a domed sapphire crystal, keep the button layout similar but anodised titanium finish rather than the tacky chromed look, and redesign the dac/amp so it is genuinely world beating, and sell for £2k. ;)
 

C. Cook

Active Member
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Sep 21, 2021
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:) I actually used my Audioquest cable for testing.
Well therein lies the problem! You just need a more expensive set of cables. After all, what's that old "high end" audio adage? You should 'budget at least 20% of your overall system price tag for interconnects!" LOL
 

Digby

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From an industrial design perspective I quite like the look of it but ideally I’d want a floating oled display mounted in a domed sapphire crystal, keep the button layout similar but anodised titanium finish rather than the tacky chromed look, and redesign the dac/amp so it is genuinely world beating, and sell for £2k. ;)
I liked how you started out from an industrial design perspective and have, almost imperceptibly, switched to a truly Scottish perspective by the end ;).
 

NTK

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Whoever loaned this out, thank you for your bravery in shipping such an expensive item to Amir.
And sorry for the less than stellar results. :(
I suspect it may be @Jomungur's.
...
I was shocked. I’m not even upset about the money factor, because my sound system, which I thought already sounded great, sounds even better. I was even thinking about letting anyone who is in NYC come check it out, but perhaps a better direction is: if you can afford the DAVE, the Topping is a less than 1/10 of the cost. So buy it, and compare honestly and see what you think. Take the DAVE out for a couple of days and see if you miss them. Meanwhile, I sent the DAVE in for measurements and let's see what they say.
...
 
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