DCS Bartok vs CHORD DAVE

I particularly dislike a particular UK based HiFi magazine for constantly claiming product A is better than product B etc. This could be very misleading for anyone relying on reviews to short list product for audition or worse, blind purchase.

No wall wart power supply with Blu2 - you get top notch Chord supply. And I use the CD player so not redundant for me. I probably would have settled on HMS if it had come out earlier. But very happy with Blu2.

Thanks - I’ve never been able to do a side by side comparison. When I bought Blu2 there was no HMS. Still I like the CDP and integral PS.

I prefer to rely on measurements rather than reviews to short list products. I know some folk don’t like that approach, but reviews are often so subjective they are no help at all.

One magizine always publishes measurements when reviewing electronics, but refuses to do the same when review expensive cables. I’ve always failed to understand this inconsistency. I have never heard the improvement magazines claim from changing from a decent quality cable to an expensive boutique one.

2 Likes

I would guess that the reviewers don;t know what to really measure, and the measurements they make may not agree with their subjective eval of cables. In fact, most manufacurers publish very little in the way of measurement data. In addition, it seems to depend on what is driving the cable and what the cable is driving. Not sure its a science yet.

Of course, the same could be said about many measurements that are published on most of our gear.

2 Likes

Yes I agree they may not, but isn’t life strange. We hear what comes out of loudspeakers, so logical if cables improve the sound then what comes out of the loudspeakers is different.

If technical reviewers use different amplifiers they’ll happily show their respective in-room response curves. They may say one sounded brighter than the other and reference the curves to add credibility to their subjectivity. I wish they’d do this for cables. My guess is digital cables won’t change the curve, whereas speakers cables might.

When I asked a hifi magazine if they could publish curves for a comparative cable review, the answer was no, they’re not a research magazine. And I’m still wondering why?

Blue Jeans Cables, Belden, Canare and Van Damme happily publish the full specification of their cables. Contrast this with boutique audiophile companies. Still I guess if you listen and buy the inds you like then that’s the best option.

1 Like

It would not be difficult to take basic measurements of cables with sweep frequencies and measured at a few different lengths. They could give basic resistance, inductive and capacitive measurements, terminated at different amplifier output resistance and loaded via perhaps two or three different reference speakers.

Cables could also be run in parallel with mains in a noisy wifi environment to check the effect of any screening and ability to reject noise.

They are not researchers but in the case of interconnects and speaker cables they need to be able to demonstrate differences by more than just opinion.

1 Like

I guess it depends what you are measuring… a lot of measurements would be rather meaningless out of context…
The effect of a cable depends on the source and sink impedances of the connected components as well as the cable itself across the audio pass band and possibly beyond as well…
That is a complex interaction, and will be only specific between two components for a particular cable for a specific frequency and possibly level.
Otherwise any such measurements are probably fairly meaningless in terms of interaction and SQ.

I understand, but are not their subjective reviews meaningless. The reviews often don’t say which kit is being used and portray the cable as making a fundamental difference. One reviewer hears things in a mix he’s never heard before every time he tries a new cable. His copy seems designed to make readers feel they are missing out by not buying the latest expensive boutique cables. He once reported common off the shelf USB cables were not made for audio & dropped the high frequency bits, which is why many folk do not enjoy USB in audio systems (he did get a few letters).

One Internet review who I do find informative produced this table

The first item is an unshielded boutique mains lead, the second a shielded boutique mains lead and the third a genetic kettle lead. He could not hear a difference. Of course, if he put the same cables in a different system, his results may have been different and he may be measuring variables that, in the case of mains leads, do not correlate with sound quality. I guess what would have been interesting would have been if one column in his table had been very different from the other two.

Yes I’m a sceptic, but I do believe when I use balanced interconnects my system sounds better.

It’d make a great PhD project …

You omitted to qualify this with ‘IMHO’ :wink:

You are absolutely right… if I could set a disclaimer that all my posts are in my honest opinion unless I am directly citing a quotable reference, or being dishonest of course…:grinning:

5 Likes

Some dealers listening rooms are not at all well set up.
In fact it seems impossible that a dealer can maintain a beautifully tuned system in their room when they are constantly moving the speakers in and out and changing cables and boxes.

Yes there is - testing the kit vs other equivalents in your listening room.

1 Like

Or Rega vs Linn…

Let’s not go there, we all reflect our own opinions and that’s as it should be. So please keep on reflecting your opinion. It’s helpful and respected, while I think we have slightly different listening preferences…, but that’s totally fine.

Indeed Jim, though these demonstrations featured well set up systems that clearly revealed any change of component while sounding excellent with the good combinations.

1 Like

Allow me a question about Chord…just reading their documents on web…is a Mscaler (more Taps) and a Hugo/Qutest better than Dave (less Taps)?

Yes IMHO - M Scaler, in my case Blu2, is one the biggest improvements I have ever heard. If it had to be a choice then I’d buy M Scaler Hugo TT2 over DAVE alone. I am very lucky to have Blu2 DAVE and it is the best digital replay I have ever achieved at home, but don’t take my word for it have a listen for yourself.

I did compare DAVE with several other high end DACs, the best alternative I found is Linn’s Katalyst DAC.

1 Like

Tiberio, I’ve also heard some of the best digital sources around and while they are good, when a Chord Dac plays the same music, even the Mojo, it sounds more clear and the beginning and ending of notes are more focused, and much better transient accuracy

In the absence of my Chord Dac sometimes, It doesn’t stop me from enjoying alternative sources though…

1 Like

Thanks, sounds interesting!!