Chord DAVE: The Most Advanced DAC

DAVE is the most advanced DAC Chord Electronics has 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.

Chord DAVE DAC on desktop

THIS IS HOW A DAC SHOULD SOUND

Not all DACs are created equal. Using proprietary technologies painstakingly developed by Robert Watts over the past twenty-years, DAVE is our most advanced FPGA DAC to date.

Handling the conversion of your music with absolute precision, and exceptionally low noise, yields an organic performance that simply cannot be matched.

The DAC, which is also a reference-level headphone amplifier and ‘digital preamp’, distills 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 unrivaled timing response. The device’s lossless digital volume control outputs the signal directly 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.


Key Features

Chord Custom FPGA DAC

Chord Custom FPGA DAC

768kHz Type B USB Input

768kHz Type B USB Input

4x 768kHz BNC Coax Inputs

4x 768kHz BNC Coax Inputs

2x 96kHz AES/EBU Inputs

2x 96kHz AES/EBU Inputs

2x 192kHz Optical Inputs

2x 192kHz Optical Inputs

Expandable DXO Inputs

Expandable DXO Inputs

1x Unbalanced RCA Outputs

1x Unbalanced RCA Outputs

1x Balanced XLR Outputs

1x Balanced XLR Outputs

1x ¼ inch headphone output

1x ¼" Headphone Output

Supports 800Ω Headphones

Supports 800Ω Headphones

Configurable Crossfeed

Configurable Crossfeed

Standalone Preamp Function

Standalone Preamp Function

Galvanically Isolated USB

Galvanically Isolated USB

Supports up to 768kHz

Supports up to 768kHz

Native DSD Supported

Native DSD Supported

DSD 512 (8x) Capable

DSD 512 (8x) Capable

Solid Aluminium Chassis

Solid Aluminium Chassis

IR Remote Control Included

IR Remote Control Included

Where to Buy

The Chord DAVE is only sold in brick and mortar stores. If you're interested in buying a DAVE, contact us to schedule a private appointment in our show room.


Reviews

Stereophile Review
Stereophile

by John Atkinson
May 2017

What HiFi?Review
What HiFi?

by What HiFi?
Jun. 2016

Hifi Pig Review
Hifi Pig

by Linette Smith
Apr. 2018

Hifi Plus Review
HiFi+

by Alan Sircom
Jan. 2017

Hi-Fi World Review
Hi-Fi- World

by Jon Myles
May 2017

What Hi-Fi? Best of List
What Hi-Fi?

Best DACs of 2019
by Staff

Features

Digital Inputs
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
Analog Outputs
1x Stereo Pair of Unbalanced RCA
1x Stereo Pair of Balanced XLR
1x ¼” TRS Jack Headphone Output

Specifications

Frequency Response
20Hz to 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
THD +N
-127.5dB (AWT)
Channel Separation
>125dB @ 1kHz
Dynamic Range
127.5dB (AWT)
Headphone Output
1% THD 6.8v RMS with 300Ω (154mW)
1% THD 6.8v RMS with 33Ω (1.4w)
Output Impedance
0.055Ω (short circuit protected)
Operating voltage
90v AC – 250v AV auto switching 50Hz – 60Hz
Dimensions (including connectors)
333.5mm (W) x 71mm (H) x 154mm (D)
Weight
7kg (15.5 lbs)

Includes

  • 1.5m Type A to Type B USB Cable
  • 1.5m 10a IEC Mains Power Lead
  • Reference Dave Remote
  • Dave Owners Manual
  • 5-Year Warranty

5-year warranty