OK, our much vaunted, massively anticipated and itsy bit late Dave rolled up at the beginning of the week. If you don’t know, Dave is Chord Electronics’ latest, greatest and most expensive DAC to date. In the modern way, it is also an headphone amplifier and is capable of driving a power amplifier. It therefore has a volume control, remote control and a gazillion input and output options. OK, that’s maybe a bit hyperbolic . .
Anyway, we’ve warmed it up, played it a fair bit and fed it via conventional coaxial digital and, using Chord Sarum Super Aray, via USB from the Melco N1Z server / player. Basically, we’ve fallen in love with it.
The entire audio world seems to be talking about Chord these days and their DACs represent the very pinnacle of digital replay. Dave takes this to the highest level so far and is so good at digits that it sounds bewilderingly and disarmingly analogue. And this does not mean soft and fuzzy either. Serious kick, real bite, vast soundstage, stunning bass control, it is simply terrific. You don’t tend to consider matters like dynamics and timing when a band or orchestra is giving its all in front of you.
Eight grand suddenly seems remarkably modest.
The results feeding it from Melco N1Z are genuinely phenomenal and we really do look forward to playing it to you.
So, am I overstating it?
We have it on permanent demonstration. Pop on by, have a listen and feel free to comment.