Chord Electronics are advocates of using switch mode power supplies and acquired ‘legend’ status for their power amplifiers some years ago. Power outputs range from the generous to terrifying and their ability to drive difficult loads yet remain light and agile gives them a unique position amongst high end products.

Their range of products is wide, covering preamplifiers, powers, CD players and DACs. Over the last decade or so, their abilities in the digital domain, particularly DAC design, has come to the fore. 

Our interest was first piqued when we had a good listen to the DSX1000 streamer / DAC driving the almost ‘entry level’ SPM1200 II power amplifier. The DSX1000 has variable output and it drives the power amplifier directly.

Here is a two box system, controllable from an iPod or iPad, with masses of power but a cultured, slightly restrained, nature that belies the watts on tap. It is resolutely neutral, very open and spacious with a great deal of resolution of both detail and timbre. This proved to be curiously addictive too, so it does something right.

Three years on, the DSX1000 remains in production. It still sounds terrific and is one of the best sounding streamers around. Ironically it has been usurped by later products containing technically more advanced DACs. And these come from Chord themselves.

These days, Chord are probably most famous for their DACs. Since the days of the seminal DAC64, they have been gracing a wide range of music systems. 

Where once these were only used to upgrade CD players, the new world of computer based or, perhaps more accurately, server based audio has generated a huge demand for DACS that can make the most of USB feeds.

Pictured here is Chord’s greatest creation. It was talked about through 2015, demonstrated at our Audio Show East and finally made it into production for 2016.

It’s called Dave.

It’s tempting to think that there’s something of a ‘boy named Sue’ shtick going on here. With names such as `Hugo’, ‘Dave’, ‘Mojo’ and ‘2Qute’, these products need to be special to stand up to the rough, tough world out there! 

As it happens, they are. More.

We could talk for days about Hi-Fi: 01394 672464 / 5 enq@signals.uk.com
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