From the dCS press release:
CAMBRIDGE, UK: dCS proudly announces its Bartók network DAC and headphone amplifier – a singlebox, state-of-the-art digital-to-analogue converter with full network streaming functionality and Class A headphone amplifier.
Retailing at £9,999 for the streaming DAC and £11,999 for the streaming DAC with integrated headphone amplifier, the new dCS Bartók DAC brings together dCS’s past, present and future.
Replacing Debussy as the most affordable DAC in the illustrious dCS range Bartók shares the same DNA as its bigger Rossini brother, featuring the Rossini Ring DAC™, custom high-performance UPnP music streamer and dCS digital processing platform inside a simplified chassis that uses only one power supply. As with all dCS DACs Bartók measures best in class across all technical dimensions.
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 Bartók Headphone DAC features a custom designed headphone amplifier that works extremely well with both high and low impedance headphones in balanced or unbalanced formats. Taking the dCS analogue output stage as a starting point Bartók maintains that level of analogue performance at the same time as being optimised for a range of headphone impedances.
Bartók supports all major codecs including high resolution PCM and DSD, with user-selectable upsampling. There is a suite of DSP filters to tailor the sound to suit individual taste, and great care has been taken to minimise jitter at all stages with the dCS ‘auto clocking’ architecture. The network streaming section currently runs at up to 24-bit, 384kS/s and DSD128, supporting all major lossless codecs, plus DSD in DoP format and native DSD.
As with all dCS products, Bartók is designed and built in Great Britain to the highest standards, with aerospace-grade machined aluminium casework damped by internal sound deadening panels to reduce resonance. Multi-stage power regulation is employed, with twin mains transformers to isolate the DAC circuitry from the headphone amplifier. A choice of silver and black finishes is offered.
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 Bartók over its lifetime – keeping it contemporary years after its rivals have become obsolete.
Bartók delivers an immersive experience with precision and detail captured inside a panoramic soundstage. Bartók plays music from any source in a vibrant and musically engaging way, with great dynamics and inky-black silences. This open window and faithfulness to the original recording is now available to headphone lovers too.
• dCS Bartók network DAC with Class A headphone output (£11,999)
• dCS Bartók network DAC (£9,999)
• latest generation dCS Digital Processing Platform and Ring DAC™
• Supports UPnP™, asynchronous USB and Apple AirplayTM sources, plus AES
and S/PDIF digital audio streams.
• Class A headphone amplifier stage drives low and high impedance phones
• Streaming services supported include TIDAL™ and Spotify Connect™.
• multi-stage oversampling design, optional DSD upsampling; selectable filters
• auto-clocking system improves ease of use and minimises jitter
• Accepts encrypted SACD data from dCS Transports via Dual AES inputs.
• multi-stage power regulation and twin mains transformers
• firmware-upgradeable for future functionality and performance upgrades
Availability: Late October 2018