Chord Dave settings for best results with Naim

Hi, I am using the Chord Dave DAC with my Naim system, I use strictly lossless FLAC and DSD file formats and these are streamed via a Sonore ultraRendu device to the Chord Dave via USB.

I am curious how others on the forum that own a Chord Dave have the below three options configured for best pairing with a Naim preamp…

  • HF Filter: on or off?
  • Phase: Positive or negative?
  • Digital Preamplifier mode, or DAC mode?

In case the Dave is configured in Digital Pre mode, at what volume level do you keep it?

Thanks for any feedback…


Hi Tareq, I assume you’re using DAVE with a Naim preamp and not instead of, in which case use DAC only function. I use mine in negative phase - it sounds much better this way for reasons I’ve never established, but you must try for yourself; same for the HF filter, which in my case I leave off.

Thanks Tonym, yes I use it with a Naim preamp… I was not sure whether the digital volume control on the Dave would add or subtract anything from the equation if the Dave was set to digital preamp mode…

It is interesting just how loud the NAP500/NAC552 sound when I switched the Chord Dave to DAC-Mode… I can barely move the dial past the 8 o’clock mark while in the past I could easily listen to it at 10:00 o’clock or in cases with DSD even at 11:00 o’clock…

I used to have the Chord DAC volume set at -13dB when it was connected to my system in Premap mode based on some recommendations I read on some forums.

If it were me I’d compare DAC mode with preamp mode (setting volume on the 552 to make same sound level), and assess the sound. If the preamp mode is no different (or if better!), then use that because you can set for either greater VC range on the 552, or set to be similar level to any other sources you use for consistency when you switch sources.And if you don’t have analogue sources you could try Dave in preamp mode direct to power amp to see whether you prefer that or through the 552…

Yep, did that, didn’t like it.

When I had the Chord in pre-amp mode I had much more range in volume control on the NAC, when switched in DAC-mode my range of change is tiny… I don’t have any analog sources so I might just flip it back to pre-amp and listen in for a few more days before making a call on this… Just curious as to why it is this loud at the tiniest setting of the volume control on the NAC…

Chord Dave in Dac mode will output at 3 volts rather than the standard cd output of 2 volts

Set it up this way now… sounds pretty good.

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