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Chord Electronics Launch New Reference DAC, Meet DAVE! - Vipers' Lotus and HiFi Blog - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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Chord Electronics Launch New Reference DAC, Meet DAVE!





Hi All,


It is that time of year again when the Munich Highend Show is on and most manufacturers launch some really exciting new products, but this is the one that has caught my eye.


I must admit I have been totally won over by Chords DAC’s recently, starting with the Hugo, then the 2Qute, then last week we got our Hugo TT, which is stunning I have to say but yesterday Chord introduced DAVE to the world, their new reference DAC which they are calling the most advanced DAC the world has ever seen, priced at £7950 it isn’t cheap but I can only imagine how good it will be.


Not only is it the most advanced DAC available but it is also a digital Preamp and also a headphone amp, could this be the best headphone amp the world has ever seen? quite possibly.


I won’t attempt to explain why this DAC is so good but please see below for Chords press release and if you’d like anymore information please don’t hesitate to get in touch -




Chord Electronics has launched its most advanced DAC to date. Given the acronym DAVE, Chord’s latest-generation digital-to-analogue convertor features the very best conversion technology available, using proprietary techniques never seen before.


DAVE is a highly advanced reference-grade DAC, digital preamp and headphone amplifier. Hand-made in Kent, DAVE is based around a proprietary FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) offering more than ten times the program capacity of its predecessor.


At its heart lies a new (and in electronics terms, huge) LX75 version of the Spartan 6 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). 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.


[b]Technology in depth: new WTA filter[/b]


Chord Electronics has implemented a brand new WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filter with 164,000 taps. WTA filtering is now up to 256 FS (that’s 256-times the sample frequency) — no other DAC has ever FIR filtered at such a high rate! In order to process signals at this unprecedented rate, DAVE has massive parallel-processing capacity with 166 separate DSP cores just for the WTA filtering alone. This enables DAVE to reproduce the original unsampled analogue signal more accurately than any other DAC.


The output stage has been advanced with a new 20-element Pulse Array DAC and a unique second-order analogue noise-shaper, which gives ultra-high-frequency linearity. Its output feeds both balanced XLR and single-ended RCA outputs, as well as an advanced headphone output with more than enough capability for the most impedance-challenging headphones.




A key benefit over its predecessor is a full-sized LCD display, showing input, sample frequency and volume, plus set-up and configuration options. The display, which sits behind the famous Chord porthole, is clearly visible from a variety of angles and retains the signature colour display for volume and sample rate as introduced by the landmark Hugo DAC/headphone amp. 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.


DAVE’s advanced technology is enshrined in Chord Electronics’ trademark casework which has been precision-milled from solid aircraft-grade aluminium to deliver functional strength and rigidity, as well as great beauty. Simply stated, DAVE is the most advanced DAC in the world, something Chord Electronics is immensely proud of.


[b]Why DAVE?[/b]


Chord has given its most advanced DAC to date 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 initially looked at using Latinised versions of the term ‘Extreme Truth’ or ‘Veritas’ in a move away from model names with simple numbers and letters. Chord eventually chose the acronym DAVE which joins Hugo and stands for Digital to Analogue Veritas in Extremis.












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