We are all familiar with ASR and some of us have no use for Amir’s reviews and impressions. DACs and amps become a matter of taste over measurements even in the $100 to $200 price class. I’ve owned some stuff that tests very well (e.g., my boxed-up THX AAA 789) but still prefer things that test less well per ASR’s criteria (e.g., the Bottlehead Crack).
I listen to music with my fuzzy, imperfect, and fatigue-prone ears, not by watching tables and charts with my eyes.
While I personally don’t like the Dave or Chord’s house sound, others do. Audio product prices are driven by build quality, style/fashion, low production volumes, a snobbish sense of exclusivity, novelty, quirky personal tastes, and all sorts of factors unrelated to a random stranger’s standards for technical performance. There’s no use arguing with personal taste, or letting arbitrary standards get in the way of a sound profile (or even a living room decorator style) that you love.
It’s their money, and many products can be resold for 75% or 90% of new cost, and it’s a hobby that harms no one…
I always surprised by the cognitive dissonance of people, who un-ironically post “XYZ item is overrated/overpriced” (with a measurements/objective based reference), and then recommend something that, while a bit less expensive, is still a multi-thousand dollar device - and that performs significantly measurably worse than the item they’re posting “against”.
It’s better still when the measured performance of a $129 device crucifies the piece they ARE recommending, but that’s okay because it’s not the device that’s got them all hot and bothered.
Absent some rare or unusual must-have feature, or a specific aesthetic concern, if you’re using measurements as the basis for purchasing one DAC (etc.) vs. another, and you spend more than $200, you’ve simply lost the plot. I can’t even fathom that level of internal intellectual inconsistency.
I’m unlikely to every buy a Dave or any other Chord product, but I’ve got no problem whatsoever if @Torq ( or anyone else ) buys them and loves 'em.
I like to look at measurements, they can be helpful in this world where you can’t just go and listen for yourself at a Brick & Mortar store. But to be honest the measurement that matters is how wide the grin is on my face when I listen.
It’s a hobby, let’s enjoy it.
Whilst ASR has no doubt had an overall positive impact on the market, don’t treat ANY one source (including ASR) as gospel.
There have been instances in the past where the testing methodology has either not been sufficiently thorough, or outright flawed. This wouldn’t be an issue if constructive criticism was more accepted but unfortunately that’s not typically something that happens much on ASR. And there are still various articles up there even though people have pointed out sometimes quite glaring issues that would warrant re-testing the devices properly or showing additional data.
The MScaler is one such instance. Other measurements for example do not show the same issues Amir presented. Chord Hugo M-Scaler Measurements and Technical Evaluation - GoldenSound
I just thought I’d share all of my snake oil with you, @HEG
This might be an ASR greatest hits! Tubes (with tube dampers!), Chord DAVE + M-Scaler, expensive power cables and interconnects, and a PS Audio Power plant - OH MY!!!
I don’t know why I put myself through the torture of listening to this every day!
The only thing missing is a real-time THD and SINAD visualizer. Then, you could critique their technical failings with every note.
I pity you, @andris. I pity you. You must be suffering inside.
Don’t forget the isolation disks!!
How are you liking the tube dampers? I’m considering getting some, do they make much of a difference or take away from ‘tubiness’ or euphony?
I know they recommend location for where on the tube to put them, but I read somewhere you should put them as high up on the tube as possible without them falling off.
P.s. Love the SNAKE OIL setup, more oily the better!
I’ll try to be super brief so as not to move too far away from the purpose of this particular thread. There is a lot more discussion on this in the isolation thread.
Love the dampers. I didn’t expect much, but they actually focus the sound quite a bit; put another way, it improves the precision or “outline” of the audio image. For me, they made the biggest difference on the rectifier and input tubes, and less so on power tubes (but still a bit). However, if you’re looking for a “tubiness” and/or a bit of a resonant, reverb-y sound (which is totally fine) then the dampers might take away from what you’re looking for.
You forgot to mention isolation platforms
Edit: someone beat me to the same joke