£9,999 – £12,500
The new dCS Bartók DAC brings together dCS’s past, present and future. It is first and foremost a state of the art network streaming DAC that uses technology developed for the Rossini range. With the addition of the unique headphone amplifier it brings the extraordinary dCS digital experience to both headphone and stereo listeners.
This single-box digital music player features the legendary dCS Ring DAC™ and signal processing platform, plus a custom high performance UPnP music streamer.
Bartók plays music through an array of industry-standard USB, AES or S/PDIF digital inputs. It can stream over Ethernet from a NAS drive or online music services such as TIDAL™ or Spotify™, and from Apple devices via Airplay™. The network interface can perform full MQA™ decoding and rendering.
The DAC section is equipped with independent balanced and unbalanced line outputs that can drive power amplifiers directly, avoiding the need for a separate preamplifier. The Headphone DAC features a custom designed headphone amplifier that works extremely well with both high and low impedance headphones in balanced or unbalanced formats. All of the outputs can be set to one of 4 maximum levels to enhance system compatibility.
Designed for flexibility and ease of use without compromise, Bartók uses the very latest dCS Digital Processing Platform and Ring DAC™ technology, originally developed for the Rossini series. Its single FPGA offers streamlined signal processing and superior flexibility, effectively making it future-proof.
Bartók DAC has a powerful new user interface, plus a custom control app that lets listeners manage their music playback from any source in an elegantly simple way – accessing iRadio channels, digital and UPnP sources all from one control point. The Bartók app provides easy access to the DAC settings.
Featuring DXD upsampling as standard, the multi-stage oversampling design offers optional DSD upsampling plus an extensive selection of DSP filters to suit individual taste and music choice. The network streaming functionality within Bartók is proven in terms of jitter, ease of use and sonic performance. The network interface currently runs at up to 24-bit, 384kS/s and DSD128, supporting all major lossless codecs, plus DSD in DoP format and native DSD.
Bartók supports the simple yet highly effective dCS ‘auto clocking’ architecture as used in Vivaldi, which minimises jitter and improves sound quality significantly.
Designed and made in Great Britain to the highest standards, Bartók takes its design cues from the award winning Rossini range, using aerospace-grade machined aluminium with internal acoustic damping panels to reduce sound-degrading mechanical vibration and magnetic effects. Multi-stage power regulation is employed, with twin mains transformers to isolate the DAC circuitry from the headphone amplifier.
As with all dCS products, Bartók firmware can be easily updated via CD, USB or the new automated download and update facility. This lets dCS add new features and improve the performance of Bartok over its lifetime.
Listening to digital music through a Bartók system is in some ways a staggering experience. The general hallmarks of dCS playback – precision, detail, immersive and engaging sound are all there along with a natural musicality and faithfulness to the original recording.