Chord Electronics Introduces DAVE

Posted on 20th May, 2015

Chord Electronics Introduces DAVE

Dubbed “The world's most advanced digital to analogue convertor”, Chord Electronics used Munich's High End Show to unveil DAVE.

What's in a name? Apparently 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”.

John Franks and Rob Watts were on-hand to discuss intricate details to a reportedly packed room. John is the Founder and MD of the Kent (UK) based company and Rob Watts is his long term friend and colleague that is the brains behind the unique DAC technology.

Simply stated, DAVE is the most advanced DAC in the world, something Chord Electronics is immensely proud of.

DAVE is the new flagship DAC offering, and like the Hugo, Hugo TT and 2Qute DACs, DAVE utilises Watt's FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) code, rather than off the shelf processors. Watts says 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. DAVE offers more than ten times the program capacity of its predecessor.

Hand made in Kent (UK), it's not just a DAC, it's reference-grade, a digital preamp and a headphone amplifier, a statement piece. Looks alone, precision milled from solid aircraft aluminium, it's certainly a conversation piece, love it or hate it.

Chord Electronics DAVE

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) — which according to Watts, 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. 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.

New to DAVE 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. 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.

We've given our 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.

Slow down Chord Electronics, we can't keep up!

Chord Electronics' DAVE will be available in Australia in October this year for $16,700 RRP.

Chord Electronics is distributed in Australia by Radiance Audio Visual.

Marc Rushton's avatar

Marc Rushton

StereoNET’s Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Headphones
Tags: chord  dave  dac  radiance audio visual