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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

Angsty

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Back to expensive audio components for a minute. If someone spends $50K+ for an audio system it's because they want to, not because they have to. Since the days of Julian Hirsch we've known that there is a terrible price/performance correlation for most components over a certain break-point. There will always be people who spend more than they have to, simply because they can.

I'm a minor example: I have a Bryston 4B-ST amp for which I paid a few times more than my NAD C272. The two units, when in my system, are likely not reliably distinguishable in blind testing. Economic good sense might say sell the Bryston and use the proceeds to get more recordings. Yet, the Bryston sits in the rack and the NAD is on a storage shelf simply because I like the Bryston more, despite its lack of significant performance differentiation. I also have a Topping D70s in the rack that I can't reliably distinguish from my Schiit Modi 3, which is a fraction of the cost of the Topping DAC. But, I also like the Topping better.

Even if the Chord DAVE isn't your thing, somebody who can comfortably afford it buys it because they like it more. I don't fret about those guys. I worry about the one who swallows the whole million-tap thing and maxes out his credit card to buy "the best" without knowing it's less capable than my Topping. Yet swears to his grave that it has to be better because it cost so much more.
 

VQRex

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Oct 15, 2021
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Back to expensive audio components for a minute. If someone spends $50K+ for an audio system it's because they want to, not because they have to. Since the days of Julian Hirsch we've known that there is a terrible price/performance correlation for most components over a certain break-point. There will always be people who spend more than they have to, simply because they can.

I'm a minor example: I have a Bryston 4B-ST amp for which I paid a few times more than my NAD C272. The two units, when in my system, are likely not reliably distinguishable in blind testing. Economic good sense might say sell the Bryston and use the proceeds to get more recordings. Yet, the Bryston sits in the rack and the NAD is on a storage shelf simply because I like the Bryston more, despite its lack of significant performance differentiation. I also have a Topping D70s in the rack that I can't reliably distinguish from my Schiit Modi 3, which is a fraction of the cost of the Topping DAC. But, I also like the Topping better.

Even if the Chord DAVE isn't your thing, somebody who can comfortably afford it buys it because they like it more. I don't fret about those guys. I worry about the one who swallows the whole million-tap thing and maxes out his credit card to buy "the best" without knowing it's less capable than my Topping. Yet swears to his grave that it has to be better because it cost so much more.
The aesthetic and experential arguments are definitely valid. I can't fault anyone preferring good-looking or pleasing-to-use products over other products that perform about or just as good; I buy vinyl records and use a turntable all the time, and would be an absolute hypocrite when my draw to vinyl is the aesthetics (LP cover, masterings compared to digital counterparts) and the experience of carefully optimizing and playing my MCS 6602 turnable.

I know better than to claim my vinyl rig is better than digital. I will unrelunctantly admit my 2022 Sabaj A10D measures better and fully is capable with the right sources of sounding far better than vinyl equivalents.

I do still roll my eyes at people raving about the DAVE: the thing looks like a de-rotered 10 year old drone, barely used, and the unfortunate owner had to scrap after losing the remote.
 

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Jimster480

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Back to expensive audio components for a minute. If someone spends $50K+ for an audio system it's because they want to, not because they have to. Since the days of Julian Hirsch we've known that there is a terrible price/performance correlation for most components over a certain break-point. There will always be people who spend more than they have to, simply because they can.

I'm a minor example: I have a Bryston 4B-ST amp for which I paid a few times more than my NAD C272. The two units, when in my system, are likely not reliably distinguishable in blind testing. Economic good sense might say sell the Bryston and use the proceeds to get more recordings. Yet, the Bryston sits in the rack and the NAD is on a storage shelf simply because I like the Bryston more, despite its lack of significant performance differentiation. I also have a Topping D70s in the rack that I can't reliably distinguish from my Schiit Modi 3, which is a fraction of the cost of the Topping DAC. But, I also like the Topping better.

Even if the Chord DAVE isn't your thing, somebody who can comfortably afford it buys it because they like it more. I don't fret about those guys. I worry about the one who swallows the whole million-tap thing and maxes out his credit card to buy "the best" without knowing it's less capable than my Topping. Yet swears to his grave that it has to be better because it cost so much more.
I guess you have a point there. If you have a lot of money and you like to waste it then that is your prerogative as long as you understand that what you are buying is not the best thing and you only are buying it because you like it..
However for me it just seems hard to spend so much money on something you know is worse...
 
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