The Chord DAVE is the flagship DAC, a true reference-level product, loaded with our latest-generation FPGA technology. Put simply, it is the most advanced DAC in the world.
DAVE is the most advanced DAC that Chord have ever made. It features the very best conversion technology available, using proprietary techniques never seen before, making DAVE the most advanced DAC/preamp amplifier in the world. DAVE stands for ‘Digital to Analogue Veritas in Extremis’, a moniker that best reflects the product’s capability; a device so advanced and with so few compromises, that it is absolutely truthful in the extreme — a standard that all other DACs on the market simply cannot hope to match.
The DAC, which is also a reference-level headphone amplifier and ‘digital preamp’, distils twenty years of Chord research, development and advanced engineering into one device. At its heart lies a new version of the advanced Spartan 6 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) with 1,000x the processing power of the traditional mass-produced chip DAC. DAVE’s FPGA is loaded with over a million lines of code to confront complex timing issues head-on, with speed and precision.
The FPGA’s extraordinary capability enables a number of key sonic benefits, including significantly improved timing and the best noise-shaper performance of any known DAC. DAVE’s technology delivers music with unmatched reality and musicality, with an unrivalled timing response. The device’s lossless digital volume control outputs the signal direct to your power amplifier for the purest experience.
DAVE has a full-sized LCD display, showing input, sample frequency, volume and set-up configurations options, within Chord’s famous porthole design. On its fascia, DAVE also features a rotary encoder with a large stainless steel controller and ball buttons, enabling direct interactivity in addition to the supplied remote control.
- 4x 75Ω S/PDIF BNC Coax – 44.1kHz to 384kHz
- 1x AES XLR – 44.1kHz to 96kHz
- 2x Fibre Optic TOSLINK – 44.1kHz to 192kHz
- 1x USB Type B – 44.1kHz to 768kHz – PCM and DSD
- 1x Stereo Pair of Unbalanced RCA
- 1x Stereo Pair of Balanced XLR
- 1x ¼” TRS Jack Headphone Output
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz to 20kHz flat within +/-0.1dB (HF filter off)
THD + N: 127.5dB (AWT)
CHANNEL SEPARATION: >125dB @ 1KHz
DYNAMIC RANGE: 127.5dB (AWT)
SAMPLE FREQUENCIES: 44.1Khz – 768Khz DSD64,128,256,512 native DSD + DoP (input dependant)
Chord Custom FPGA DAC
768kHz Type B USB Input
4x 768kHz BNC Coax Inputs
2x 96kHz AES/EBU Inputs
2x 192kHz Optical Inputs
Expandable DXO Inputs
1x Unbalanced RCA Outputs
1x Balanced XLR Outputs
1x ¼” Headphone Output
Supports 800Ω Headphones
Standalone Preamp Function
Galvanically Isolated USB
Supports up to 768kHz
Native DSD Supported
DSD 512 (8x) Capable
Solid Aluminium Chassis
IR Remote Control Included
2 August 2017
Lucky enough to audition Chord DAVE in a mid priced hifi system and with Blu mk11 with SPM1050 mk11. One could easily write many positive adjectives extolling the capabilities of DAVE and make futile criticisms that have nothing to do with the purpose. One could debate the source pros and cons, vinyl vs digital; clearly no point. I don't think you could tell the difference. In any case it's all about the rendition of what the artist, producer and sound engineer intended, a faithful and musical sound reproduction to the listener. Chord DAVE makes this happen because the result is enjoyable, relaxing, emotional, exciting and entertaining which is what music is, that's why we listen to it. Chord DAVE fulfills the task of converting digital to analogue so precisely whereby it's the other components including the cabling that are vital in allowing the music to sound as intended. A superb piece of engineering that demands respect as far as the accompanying components that make up the rest of the system. Though DAVE did make a huge beneficial difference to the mid priced system. As far as the Blu mk11 and SPM1050 mk11 c/w a pair of reference studio stand mount speakers, top end subwoofer and Chord Sarum T cables audition was concerned. It was musical fun, excitement and just like the musicians were in the room with you. It's not just what you hear, it's also what you don't hear that is important. The clarity, detail, coherence, dynamics and sound stage were just outstanding to the point where a musician could recognise a Steinway or Stradivarius yet enjoyment was key to everything irrespective of what music was being played. One wasn't listening to the system at all because the sound coming out of the speakers was pure delight. I just wanted to listen to more and more music from all genres and artists. Whatever one put on the sound emanating from the speakers was the best recording I'd ever heard from Carmina Burana to Dave Brubeck, Pink Floyd, Norah Jones, Yes, Beatles and so many more. I don't think it gets much better than this wonderfully musical experience. Without doubt for great musical enjoyment it's all about striking the right Chords.