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Chord Electronics

Chord DAVE

Precio habitual $14,000.00 USD
Precio habitual Precio de venta $14,000.00 USD
En oferta Agotado
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Reference-level Digital to Analogue Converter, Headphone Amplifier and Preamplifier

DAVE is our flagship DAC, a reference-level device containing the latest-generation FPGA technology. Put simply, it is the most advanced DAC in the world.




DAVE is the most advanced DAC we 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 truthful in the extreme.

DAVE, which is also a reference-level headphone amplifier and digital preamp, distils over twenty years of Chord Electronics’ research, development and advanced engineering into one device. At its heart lies the advanced Spartan 6 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) with 1,000x the processing power of a 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 large LC display, showing input, sample frequency, volume and set-up configurations options, within our 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.



  • 164k 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 Unbalanced RCA Outputs
  • 1x Balanced XLR Outputs
  • 1x ¼" Headphone Output
  • Supports 800Ω Headphones
  • Configurable Crossfeed
  • Standalone Preamp Function
  • Galvanically Isolated USB
  • Supports up to 768kHz
  • Native DSD Supported
  • DSD 512 (8x) Capable
  • Solid Aluminium Chassis
  • Roon tested



 DAVE Quickstart guide

 Safety instructions

 10A Mains IEC cable
 IR Remote control

 Type-A USB to Type-B USB cable

 Optical cable

 2x AAA batteries



Chord DAVE review

"We’re truly smitten with the DAVE. It’s not perfect, though. Some of the ergonomic decisions are pretty odd, and that stunning appearance won’t be to everyone’s tastes.

But give it high quality recordings while partnering it with a suitably talented system and we think you’ll be amazed with just how good your music sounds.

Eight grand is quite some price tag, but then the DAVE is quite some product." - What Hi-Fi?


Chord Electronics DAVE DAC

"Pop DAVE Into a great system and you will be rewarded with what I consider to be the best DAC I have ever heard. Will it shine in a less than great system, I don’t know, DAVE went in our reference system and has sat there ever since. If you have the required money DAVE is simply a no-brainer and will reward you with whatever your files are made up of for years to come. I prefer the black unit in its rack, but that is down to taste." - Linette Smith



"The Chord Dave is a remarkable piece of design that quite probably sets the benchmark for just what a DAC is capable of at present. From the quality of its handcrafted casework to the sheer engineering prowess of the proprietary electronics inside this is quite simply an outstanding product. Yes, £7950 is a decent amount of cash in anyone’s language but if you can afford it you’d be daft not to try it out. Even if you can’t, it’s still worth listening to for an indication of just how good state-of-the-art digital replay can be nowadays. And of course Chord Electronics have less expensive versions..." -  Hi-Fi Word

Chord Electronics DAVE DAC/headphone amp

"Perhaps beyond all other aspects of performance, what is so important about the Chord DAVE is that it represents a raising of the bar of what can be had from a digital device. It’s one of those rare products that throws down the gauntlet, both sonically and technologically. Yes, you can do a lot with an off-the-shelf variation on a theme of the application board that is supplied to digital engineers by the chip companies, but that only goes so far. Chord Electronics’ DAVE is one of the few devices that challenges that concept head on. And for that, I can put up with the electromorphising name. The DAVE gets the strongest recommendation we can muster!" -  Alan Sircom


Chord Electronics DAVE Review

"My final thoughts are of needs and musts, I need to have the DAVE in my system and I must have the DAVE in my system. From a reviewing perspective its an ideal product because its a perfect starting point for reviewing all other products. There is a set level of quality that will allow other products to flourish or not as the case maybe making assessments easier and more obvious. I think more importantly the DAVE sets a benchmark for other similar products to be compared against." - Terry Ellis


The Chord Dave DAC. A 2021 Review.

"With the Pontus II the details are more pushed together, a common theme. It’s not as 3D and the sound is darker and more muted. With the Bartok the sound is even larger than the Dave which is a shocker. An expansive haunting experience. Truth be told the Bartok did best here but it was just slight over the Dave. I feel the Bartok let free more of the emotions of the song. Even so, the Dave released the energy and intimacy." - Steve Huff

Chord Electronics DAVE

"A new power amp called the ‘Choral Etude’ has recently been announced by Chord with a similar case design so that it can be a potential partner for the DAVE and priced at £3,900. It will be very interesting indeed to ascertain how this power amp works with the DAVE. So, in summary, should the DAVE partner your hi-fi? Absolutely, it is incredibly talented and seriously recommended as a DAC/preamp, and it’s good value to boot." -  Simon Price

Digital to Analog Veritas in Extremis – Chord DAVE DAC Review

"If you have years of experience under your belt and you are willing to experiment with what I believe is one of the nicest D/A converter out there, only then I can recommend to you the Chord Electronics DAVE. In the end, this was the best D/A converter I tried so far and it is my pleasure awarding it with our highest, Gold Award! Congratulations to the team and I’m looking forward to Watts next!" -  Sandu Vitalie




Frequency response 20Hz to 20kHz flat within +/-0.1dB (HF filter off)
Tap length filter 164,000
THD + N 127.5dB (AWT)
Channel separation >125dB @ 1KHz
Dynamic range 127.5dB (AWT)
Sample frequencies 44.1Khz – 768Khz (16 – 32bit) and DSD64 to DSD512 native DSD + DoP (input dependant)
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 96kHz
1x USB Type B – 44.1kHz to 768kHz (16 – 32bit) – PCM and DSD
Analogue outputs 1x Stereo Pair of Unbalanced RCA
1x Stereo Pair of Balanced XLR
1x ¼” TRS Jack Headphone Output
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
Power consumption
Full power – 40 W, Standby – 10 W
Weight 5kG
Dimensions (including connectors) 7.8cm (H) 33.5cm (W) 15.2cm (D)