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dCS signature sound

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Seen a dCS front end set up in the classifieds and possibly tempted. Unfortunately it's too far away for a demo.

I'm currently running an Accuphase DP 65v through a single endsed Almarro and Art Emotion monitors. I previously had a Wadia 561 which I found to have good detail but a little 'sterile'. The Accuphase is lovely and fluid but possibly a bit on the 'laid back' side.

Has anyone here heard a dCS (Verdi and delius) front end with decent valve amplification and compared it to an Accuphase or Wadia?

Any observations welcome.

Steve.

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DCS gear is really sensitive to the equipment/supports/cables used to the point where you can get widely varying results. Some find it analogue like, colourful. laid back and enthralling.....some hear it to be sterile and bland. You really need to hear it in your own system is my advice or you can spend another fortune getting it to sound right.

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I used to have a dCS P8i and then dCS Puccini, with Leben CS660P and Nagra VPA valve power amps.

The sound, in my view, is not harsh, bright or etched at all. It's detailed, pure and clear, yet smooth. Ideal with a good valve amp in my experience.

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Thanks guys, that's interesting.

I love detail and dynamics but I used to have an Esoteric CD player and I found it extracted a forensic amount of detail but I also found it harsh and edgy. And that's my fear and what I'm trying to avoid.

Re the cables; I use Townsend Idolada interconnects and speaker cables. Replaced various Nordost cables with them and never looked back.

What cables did you use with them?

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Thanks guys, that's interesting.

I love detail and dynamics but I used to have an Esoteric CD player and I found it extracted a forensic amount of detail but I also found it harsh and edgy. And that's my fear and what I'm trying to avoid.

Re the cables; I use Townsend Idolada interconnects and speaker cables. Replaced various Nordost cables with them and never looked back.

What cables did you use with them?

Any old ones laying around really. I had some Kimber Hero with the Leben power amp and used cheap XLRs with the Nagras but later bought some Sommer Carbocab microphone cables.

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dCS gear seems to smother the music with smoothness to my ear - I've only heard the kit as Shows, but any system with dCS gear in it seems to me to be :zzzz: Big in scale but soporific in affect. Personally I wouldn't touch it, but then I like a sound that is a bit upfront and personal..

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dCS gear seems to smother the music with smoothness to my ear - I've only heard the kit as Shows, but any system with dCS gear in it seems to me to be :zzzz: Big in scale but soporific in affect. Personally I wouldn't touch it, but then I like a sound that is a bit upfront and personal..

With a clear unmuffled chain downstream of it (like my Nagra solid-state and Harbeth kit at Scalford 2013) you can get great results. Definitely splits opinion, though I wonder how many people have actually spent time with dCS gear in their systems at home as opposed to a quick blast at shows?

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I'm running dCS's entry-level Puccini and U-clock into a valve pre and single-ended monoblocks and I love it! About three years ago a group of local wammers were able to compare this to the, then, top-of-the-line Wadia and to my mind there was no contest. I found the Puccini to be much more "organic" (if that conveys anything to you) . I am occasionally tempted to upgrade to the Paganini, but I think my money would be better spent elsewhere.

My original intention was to try a Verdi etc combo, but did not manage to find one and a demo with the Puccini convinced me. More recently I have hear the Verdi etc in Martha's Dad's set-up and thought it was good. Can't compare to the Puccini as the two systems were too different.

I have also heard the Vivaldi system a few times, but I hardly ever find demos at shows etc convincing. I'd need to hear it in my own system to form a critical opinion (and that is not going to happen!). However this may be of interest; a group of localish wammers visited dCS to hear the range.

I'm not much nearer to you than France, but you would be welcome to listen if you are, or could arrange to be, passing.

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I'm running dCS's entry-level Puccini and U-clock into a valve pre and single-ended monoblocks and I love it! About three years ago a group of local wammers were able to compare this to the, then, top-of-the-line Wadia and to my mind there was no contest. I found the Puccini to be much more "organic" (if that conveys anything to you) . I am occasionally tempted to upgrade to the Paganini, but I think my money would be better spent elsewhere.

My original intention was to try a Verdi etc combo, but did not manage to find one and a demo with the Puccini convinced me. More recently I have hear the Verdi etc in Martha's Dad's set-up and thought it was good. Can't compare to the Puccini as the two systems were too different.

I have also heard the Vivaldi system a few times, but I hardly ever find demos at shows etc convincing. I'd need to hear it in my own system to form a critical opinion (and that is not going to happen!). However this may be of interest; a group of localish wammers visited dCS to hear the range.

I'm not much nearer to you than France, but you would be welcome to listen if you are, or could arrange to be, passing.

Heard I think the same DCS set up recently and it sounded very poor. This was with Jadis DA88S and Quad 989's. It transpired the DCS was not set up right there seems to be a variety of digital settings etc to get right to get the best from it.

As others I have heard it at shows and brash and bright and in your face is how I would describe it. For whatever reason when it is being demoed the suited guys think loud faceless dirge is what everyone wants to hear. But it seems from posts above that I have never heard how good it can be. Don't think I will either as it is well beyond my price range.

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I tend to stick to upsampling to DSD for CDs and of course there are different options for digital filters, however to my ears these make only subtle differences. I had Quad ESL63s/Gradient SW63s before (fed by a Berning amp) and that sounded petty good to me- and others.

Heard I think the same DCS set up recently and it sounded very poor. This was with Jadis DA88S and Quad 989's. It transpired the DCS was not set up right there seems to be a variety of digital settings etc to get right to get the best from it.

As others I have heard it at shows and brash and bright and in your face is how I would describe it. For whatever reason when it is being demoed the suited guys think loud faceless dirge is what everyone wants to hear. But it seems from posts above that I have never heard how good it can be. Don't think I will either as it is well beyond my price range.

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Heard I think the same DCS set up recently and it sounded very poor. This was with Jadis DA88S and Quad 989's. It transpired the DCS was not set up right there seems to be a variety of digital settings etc to get right to get the best from it.

As others I have heard it at shows and brash and bright and in your face is how I would describe it. For whatever reason when it is being demoed the suited guys think loud faceless dirge is what everyone wants to hear. But it seems from posts above that I have never heard how good it can be. Don't think I will either as it is well beyond my price range.

At shows it's pretty much impossible to seperate one component from the overall sound you're hearing. A few years ago at Whittelbury I heard a system fronted by the 4-box Scarlatti stack which sounded similar to what you report. However, the room was almost totally surrounded by glass windows, had a hard floor and big Focals on the end which themselves seem to need careful set up (ahem). I read many Wammer's comments after the show saying how shit the dCS room was and pointing the finger at the Scarlatti, but the other factors I mention above are far more important but people still chose to go for the dCS' throat anyway...worth thinking about.

- - - Updated - - -

I tend to stick to upsampling to DSD for CDs and of course there are different options for digital filters, however to my ears these make only subtle differences. I had Quad ESL63s/Gradient SW63s before (fed by a Berning amp) and that sounded petty good to me- and others.

I agree. The upsampling and filters are subtle adjust-to-taste factors, they don't make or break the sound IME.

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Here is the comments from the thread

"Update on the dCS

It's looking likely that the problems we had with the dCS on Sat were indeed a settings issue. 'Dual input' option needed to be selected on the DAC as well as recommended options selected on the upsampler. With the wrong options selected it can sound very digital and grainy I'm told. We hadnt a clue what we were doing with it on Sat to be honest.

In a way I'm glad and it sort of makes sense as any of us that have heard the dCS in the past know that its a very fine player. Someone else might get a chance today to look at these settings as I no longer have the units."

What I have learned from this thread is that if one can afford it the DCS is not the brash bright digital beast of folklore. BTW Focals were used at the shows I attended also.

Something I was unaware of until recently the Meitner MA1 dac upsamples or converts playback to DSD.

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Here is the comments from the thread

"Update on the dCS

It's looking likely that the problems we had with the dCS on Sat were indeed a settings issue. 'Dual input' option needed to be selected on the DAC as well as recommended options selected on the upsampler. With the wrong options selected it can sound very digital and grainy I'm told. We hadnt a clue what we were doing with it on Sat to be honest.

In a way I'm glad and it sort of makes sense as any of us that have heard the dCS in the past know that its a very fine player. Someone else might get a chance today to look at these settings as I no longer have the units."

What I have learned from this thread is that if one can afford it the DCS is not the brash bright digital beast of folklore. BTW Focals were used at the shows I attended also.

Something I was unaware of until recently the Meitner MA1 dac upsamples or converts playback to DSD.

I've not read about the Meitner MA1 for a while but I do know that Ed's EMM Labs brand DACs and players upsample to DSD128 before D/A conversion, or they certainly used to.

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Yes, as you move up the range they do get complicated!

Here is the comments from the thread

"Update on the dCS

It's looking likely that the problems we had with the dCS on Sat were indeed a settings issue. 'Dual input' option needed to be selected on the DAC as well as recommended options selected on the upsampler. With the wrong options selected it can sound very digital and grainy I'm told. We hadnt a clue what we were doing with it on Sat to be honest.

In a way I'm glad and it sort of makes sense as any of us that have heard the dCS in the past know that its a very fine player. Someone else might get a chance today to look at these settings as I no longer have the units."

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