dCS Bartók Streaming DAC + HP amp


(Chilseong Song) #62

That is a wise answer to a silly question.

we can say “愚问贤答”

I will to get two Bartok for my home and listening room.


#63

From today all support files for the dCS Bartók are available, like manuals, and a new USB 2018 driver for Windows.

See the Support section at:

https://www.dcsltd.co.uk/products/bartok-headphone-dac-amplifier/


(Sean) #64

Hi @AMP

Was “Chromecast built-in” considered? Is it still a possibility (or planned?) via future firmware update?


(Kelvin Li) #65

‘Airable’ as a feature coming soon may interest you.


(Sean) #66

@AMP Hello? :cry:


(Andrew P) #67

As a matter of practice I tend not to comment on features for which there’s no formal announcement.

Well, if you’re going to cry about it… :wink:

Yes, this was considered and no, it won’t happen in a future firmware update. This was not our choice, rather another in a never-ending series of changes in Google’s hardware requirements. We’d love to offer the feature, but we can’t without making a hardware change to the streaming interface.


(Sean) #68

Same for Network Bridge @AMP ?

While not a formal announcement, this was teased in a couple reviews (I assume they got this info from dCS?). And this was the background to my query.


(Sean) #69

Bluesound was asked the question and they imply it’s a software thing:

"GC4A is a software only (depending on processor) solution that essentially is a headless browser that carries a link to content to be played. "

But maybe their hardware (Node 2i) is already ready (ticks the boxes, like processor)

https://helpdesk.bluesound.com/discussions/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=940&sid=1a6a8bb48a888f7ce577e61b746ae8a2&start=60#p23367

Anyway this was additional background to why I asked if this could come via a firmware update.

Thanks again for the info.


(Andrew P) #70

We’ve had a lot of issues with reviews containing inaccurate information that isn’t being corrected when requested. Often times we’ll give reviewers a look at what we’re working on or remark about something we’re investigating and they mistake that for “coming soon.” Unless it’s in a dCS spec sheet (which are always subject to change) or publicly announced by a member of staff then I wouldn’t make a purchase decision on it.

Chromecast requires A LOT of resources as it effectively runs a nearly-complete version of the chrome browser on the hardware and simultaneously requires pretty deep access to the hardware itself. It’s simply not supported on our streaming interface in any of our current products.


(Miguel Barrio) #71

If someone is super interested in this, I’d suggest they get a Chromecast Audio device (it’s been discontinued, but I’m sure one can be found on ebay) and connect it over toslink to the DAC.


(Sean) #72

Chromecast Audio has well documented issues at PCM 24bit/96kHz and since the device has been discontinued, I assume Google’s motivation to fix this has diminished.

https://support.google.com/chromecast/thread/356030

There’s also a couple Roon threads on this forum about this issue.

Patiently waiting for a networked streamer that supports Airplay 2, Spotify Connect and Chromecast Built-in (up to 96kHz). And Roon Ready of course.


(Kelvin Li) #73

Is Qobuz going to be integrated anytime soon (without requiring Roon)?


(Andrew P) #74

Is answered by:

… and to address the inevitable follow-up regarding the Darko article:

If we add a feature then we will make an official announcement close to the time that feature is made generally available.


#75

I reviewed the dCS Bartok in my system, and played a number of MQA streams (from Tidal). When playing MQA, an “MQA” appeared on the screen of the Bartok. BTW, I was pleased with the Bartok and ordered one for myself.


#76

Just received my dCS Bartok with headphone amp today. Sounds great out of the box with my Focal Utopias, but I expect that to improve more with break-in. Will post a review at that time.


(Ali Fatemi) #77

Hi Andrew, My current setup consists of Mac book air with Roon installed on it; 8TB hard disk of music files connected to MBA via USB3
and Chord Qutest to its another USB. If I get Bartok, I should simply substitude Bartok with Qutest via USB? And can I conect ex. hard disk of music files directly to Bartok rather than to macbook air? THANKS


(Andrew P) #78

That will work, but performance will be better via the network interface. You’ll want to use a wired connection from your macbook to your switch as streaming high-res over wifi can be problematic.

Not if you want that music to be available via Roon. In that case the disk needs to be connected to your Roon core. The USB A interface on the Bartók was designed to allow someone to connect a small flash drive in order to have access to a small number of tracks (e.g. having a friend over). It wasn’t designed to handle the power requirements of large disks nor cataloging a large collection of content.


(Ali Fatemi) #79

Does Bartok benefit from dCS external clock?


(Andrew P) #80

It’s excellent on its own, but a master clock does offer a tangible improvement.


#81

I am enjoying my dCS Bartók headphone streaming DAC now for 3 weeks. Used through Roon, network connection Audioquest Vodka, USB Audioquest Diamond, with Simaudio Moon 330A amp and Bowers & Wilkins 805 D3 speakers, headphones Sennheiser HD 800 S and Focal Utopia. Power Audioquest Niagara 1000 and NRG10 cables, XLR Audioquest Water. Sources: Tidal, Synology NAS 1511+ 15TB, and dedicated audio Windows 10 PC, with Roon Core, with Be Quiet 1000W power supply, 2x 4 TB SSD, 32 GB RAM, 4x 6 TB Hitachi Ultrastar HD with music files in RAID 5. dCS Windows USB Class 2 Driver 2018, ASIO, better than the WASAPI Windows 10 standard usbaudio2 driver. [For reference: see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/audio/usb-2-0-audio-drivers ]

Roon: “In general, we recommend that you use WASAPI unless your device has a high-quality ASIO driver available, but since driver quality varies so much from device to device in, it’s difficult to make a general recommendation.”

My Bartók defaults to DSD upsampling, unlike the announced DXD upsampling default. I am used to DSD upsampling, so for the moment I have left it as it is, DSD, and started listening.

Here are my first observations, and comments:

  1. If a Nobel Prize for Audio Engineering would exist, it should go to the wonderful team at dCS.

I use to judge audio equipment in many ways, but the first impression is usually the final one. It happens in the first 5 seconds after hitting play. The Bartók immediately was spine-tingling to me. Directly I knew: YES!

  1. Playing through the network interface sounds even better than USB.

  2. My previous set ups were not bad at all, but now I have to listen through my entire collections again. All favourites have so much extra musical information, space and pleasure, “only the music” indeed. Placement of instruments on stage is sometimes overwhelming, exciting, sometimes frightening… where did thát sound come from, goose bumps.

  3. MQA playback unfortunately is not convincing. Good, but perhaps the sole one MQA filter settings could be improved over time. For me, so far MQA adds nothing to well recorded standard 44.1 khz/ 16 bits, or hi res.

  4. Headphones playback: very good details and stage, but the power and dynamics of my Simaudio Moon 430 HA are better. My Focal Utopias sound a bit tame, in comparison, but much more detailed.

Now girls and boys, if you like your tympana being tickled, do audition this amazing Bartók. But only if you know you can get it. There is no way back.