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dCS Bartók DAC / Headphone Amp Now On Demo!

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Hi Everyone,

So we have been waiting for some time to get our hands on the new and very exciting dCS Bartók so I am very pleased to say that our demo model arrived on Friday and already we have quite a few demo’s booked in for it which is great news and just goes to show the anticipation for this product.

There is certainly a lot of excitement around the Bartók and rightly so, for one it is built around the legendary dCS Ring DAC that is seen in the dCS Highend Vivaldi systems with it’s user selectable filters and DXD oversampling and switchable DSD upsampling all of which would have been great in itself for £9999 but it is so much more than that as it is also a streamer which can be fed from local storage such as a Melco or from streaming services such as Tidal and is full MQA Compatible, it also supports Roon which I know is a must have for a lot of our customers nowadays, it is also a pre-amp with XLR and RCA outputs and for an extra £2000 you can spec it as a Highend Headphone Amp with a 6.3mm and 4 Pin XLR outputs, I mean for £11999 in this guise it really is an incredible product, almost like a swiss army knife for Highend HiFi especially if going with the Headphone version which we have here on demo, I certainly don’t know of any product that is this complete and if like me you love your headphone listening as an all in one solution there really is nothing to compete.

As for sound quality, well we have only been playing it on headphones since it arrived and it has performed brilliantly, even headphones that are not my favourite sound great on the Bartók which is a good start, I have now moved it into one of our demo rooms to run it all week to get some hours on it to get it at it’s best before the demo’s start but I should say that until the new recent firmware came out for the Rossini the Bartók sounded very similar, so much so that dCS had to up the performance of the Rossini to make the step up more noticeable, which I should say really has taken the Rossini to another level, but considering the Rossini starts at £17,089 again this is another indicator to what great value to Bartók is. The above Rossini upgrade is also worth mentioning as this is a really big positive for dCS as when you buy a dCS product if they find a way to improve the performance and sound quality they will release new firmware for free so it is like getting a new product a few years into its life which is no bad thing.

Also if you want to get more performance from the Bartók you can also add the external Rossini clock which will take it to another level again, when adding the Clock to the Rossini it really does focus the presentation and tighten everything up, it isn’t a subtle change and is definitely worth considering, it’s like adding the Chord Electronics M Scaler to DAVE, it does a different job but the gains are equally as impressive.

Talking of DAVE, this leads me nicely into the million dollar question that I know I am going to get asked an awful lot of times going forward, what is better, Bartók or DAVE? Well the demo’s I have booked for the Bartók so far all want to compare it to Chords Brilliant DAVE and it goes without saying these 2 are going to be going head to head a lot in the future, one thing I know is that Chord and dCS approach their DAC technology in very different ways and they really do both sound quite different so without wanting to appear to be sitting on the fence it really will be down to personal preference and I can’t wait personally to start these demos’ :)

But one thing is certain the Bartók is a brilliant addition to the DAC and Headphone market and if you are looking for the ultimate one box solution for your headphone listening I would say the search is now over and I should just say that the built quality of the Bartók really is quite stunning, dCS have always been known to make beautiful equipment and it is the same with the Bartók, it just oozes quality.

A Rather Nice Headphone Setup.


I just couldn’t resist setting this up on Friday as soon as the Bartók arrived, my 2 favourite headphones fed by the Bartók, the Focal Utopia’s fed direct by the Bartók and the Stax SR-009S’s with the T8000 Energiser fed by the Bartók’s XLR outputs and the beauty is that to switch between the 2 you just press the output button on the Bartók and it switches between the headphone sockets and the analogue outputs on the rear and it remembers the volume for each output individually which just goes to show the amount of thought gone into this product.

Anyway I’ll shut up now but please find a link to the Bartók on our website and some pictures below and if you’d like to come and experience the Bartók for yourself please get in touch to arrange a demo -






Running the Bartók In with Bryston 28B3′s and the new Wilson Audio DAW’s, Not too Shabby :)



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