dCS introduces Bartók, a network streaming DAC and headphone amplifier

Replacing the five-star Debussy as the most affordable model in dCS’s DAC range, the Bartók (presumably a tribute to the late Hungarian composer) shares the same DAC architecture (the Rossini Ring DAC) as the Rossini model (£17,090) we not long ago awarded a five-star review to, as well as the same UPnP music streamer and the company’s latest-gen digital processing platform.

In addition to featuring asynchronous USB, AES and coaxial inputs, the Bartók can stream from a NAS drive, from music services such as Tidal and Spotify, and from Apple devices over Airplay - all over an Ethernet connection. 

 Supported file formats for streaming include PCM up to 24-bit/384kHz and DSD128, plus DSD in DoP format. The network interface can perform full MQA decoding and rendering, and in addition to user-selectable upsampling are several filters.

The DAC feeds balanced and unbalanced line outputs that can drive power amplifiers directly, negating the need for a separate preamp. And dCS has designed the Class A headphone amplifier, which dCS to work with both high and low impedance headphones.

The Bartók is also available without the headphone amplifier for £9999, and both versions will be available in late October.

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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.