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-   -   dCS Bartok (

Slange00 01-23-2019 10:27 PM

dCS Bartok
I thought I'd start a thread about the new dCS Bartok, to allow AA members to share their thoughts and impressions of this new product.

I will start with my experience.

I own a PS Audio Directstream DAC w Bridge II (and snowmass firmware), which I have been happy with. My dealer got a visit by a couple folks from dCS and they brought a Bartok demo unit with them. I asked whether they would be ok to do a direct shoot out between the Bartok and the DirectStream (my hope was to prove to myself that I had reached a point of very limited returns and that differences between the two units would be incredibly minor or differences of subjective taste at best).

The setup consisted of Wilson Yvette speakers, ARC Ref6, transparent (super?) interconnects for both DACs, stock power cables on both units and the ARC REF75SE. Each DAC was fed the same songs via Roon over a locally switched ethernet connection. Each DAC's output was level matched to each other. The room was sound treated.

I played a variety of tracks from electronic music albums (Trentemoller "The Last Resort", Shpongle) to more standard classical fare( Nemanja Radulovic's recent "Journey East" , Andras Schiff Bach concertos, Hilary Hahn Mozart and Bach concertos). The rep played some Beyonce and some other tracks I didnt recognize

Overall the PS Audio Directstream comported itself pretty well, the dCS representative was kind enough to acknowledge as much :). However, and not entirely surprising given the significant difference in cost, there were definitely notable performance differences I could discern. The dCS rendered a more holographic soundstage, mid bass content was more cleanly and clearly rendered, the tails of room reverb and effects especially on high res material was more clearly represented lending the music a more lifelike, vibrant sense. Overall the presentation seemed more warm without being colored, more emotionally engaging on the dCS (I dont know the filter chosen for sure, I believe Filter 3 was engaged?)

I never thought I would spend that much on a DAC...but to me the differences in performance were enough to order a Bartok, which should get here within the next 3-4 weeks.

DVass13 01-23-2019 11:27 PM

Thanks for sharing your review. I've been waiting to hear some firsthand accounts of the Bartok. I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts once you're able to get it into your own system.

imprezap2 01-24-2019 04:54 PM

Nice DAC you have bought, I am also thinking to jump on the dCS "train", have a Rossini player DAC in my system at the moment and I don't want to take it out.

FDPDK 01-24-2019 05:20 PM

Sebastian congratulations on the Bartok

jpspock 01-24-2019 05:22 PM

Dis you upgrade your Rossini with version 2.0?

For The Love of Music 01-25-2019 09:20 AM

I have only read positive comments on the Bartok.

I too went PS early on and my experience indicated they make a good sounding DAC and Transport, a great value for the money.

Enjoy your new player!

scirica 01-27-2019 10:23 PM

I’m really thinking about selling my K-03X and getting a Bartok.

imprezap2 01-28-2019 10:16 AM


Originally Posted by jpspock (Post 950513)
Dis you upgrade your Rossini with version 2.0?

Yes I did:music:

Gerry Higgins 02-04-2019 10:50 AM

I compared a dCS Bartok with an MSB analog DAC and with a DirectStream DAC as well in my home system (Esoteric X01-XS as transport->McIntosh C22->ARCGS150->Wilson Sasha 2; power conditioner and great cables), and I thought the Bartok was better than either, although I agree that these comparisons can be subjective. The Bartok had a more "holographic" soundstage (not that different from that of the Vivaldi DAC, which I have also demoed), and I agree with that of the OP.

The midrange exhibited greater resolution, and upper bass frequencies were also notably better. I listen to mostly classical string music and opera, with some jazz and rock thrown in from my past.

Slange00 02-05-2019 08:35 PM

Here are some of the initial reviews I could find:

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