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Chord Electronics

Chord DAVE DAC/Amp & Pre-Amplifier

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DAVE is the most advanced DAC Chord has ever made. It features the very best conversion technology available, using proprietary techniques never seen before, making DAVE one of the most advanced DAC/preamp amplifier in the world.

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Our Take

Loaded with Chords latest-generation FPGA technology DAVE is one of the most advanced DACs in the world, a true reference-level product.

The Story

A DAC Unlike Anything Else

DAVE stands for ‘Digital to Analogue Veritas in Extremis’, a moniker that best reflects the product’s capability. 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 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.

A device so advanced and with so few compromises, that it is absolutely truthful in the extreme — a standard that many other DACs on the market simply cannot hope to match.


• 164,000k tap FPGA DAC

• 768kHz Type B USB Input

• 4x 768kHz BNC Coax Inputs

• 2x 96kHz AES/EBU Inputs

• 2x 96kHz Optical Inputs

• Expandable DXO Inputs

• 1x stereo pair Unbalanced RCA Outputs

• 1x stereo pair Balanced XLR Outputs

• 1/4" Headphone Out - Supports up to 800ohm headphones

• Standalone Preamp Function

• DSD 512 and Native DSD Supported

• Galvanically Isolated USB

20hz to 20kHz flat Frequency Response withing -/= 0.1 dB (HF Filter Off)

Technical Specs

Frequency Response
20Hz to 20kHz +/- 0.1dB

Headphone Output
1% THD 6.8v RMS w/300 Ohm (154mW), 1% THD 6.8vRMS w/33 Ohm (1.4w)

-127.5dB (AWT)

Channel Separation
>125dB @ 1kHz

Output Impedance
0.055 Ohm (short circuit protected)

Dynamic Range
127.5dB (AWT)

Operating Voltage
90v AC - 250v AV auto switching 50Hz-60Hz

Signal to Noise Ratio
< 90dB

Input Impedance
40 kOhm

Dimensions (including connectors)
H3.1" x W13.2" x L6"

11 lbs


About Chord Electronics

Chord Electronics have been producing cutting-edge digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and amplifiers, using innovative techniques and methods, since their founding in England in 1989.