dCS updates product range with MQA technology

The British high-end hi-fi brand probably won’t mind us saying it goes for quality over quantity. Its four-strong range of digital components comprises the Rossini DAC/streamer/CD transport, Vivaldi DAC/streamer/CD transport with upsampler, Debussy DAC and Network Bridge – which (save for the Debussy) will soon be compatible with MQA technology.

For the uninitiated, MQA is essentially an efficient method of encoding and transmitting high-resolution music, digitally packaging it as a file small and convenient enough to stream without the sonic sacrifices traditionally associated with compressed files.

While not necessary to play the encoded stream, an MQA decoder and renderer built into compatible products will aim to specifically match and optimise output according to that product’s integrated DAC. As dCS does not use IC converters in its DACs, however, the MQA packaging is entirely bespoke.

In the case of dCS’s Rossini, MQA founder Bob Stuart said: “the MQA and dCS teams were able to work together to develop code which accurately matched the MQA hierarchical ideal reconstruction to analogue. This MQA implementation is unique, as it is the first opportunity to enable a DAC which, by providing exact rendering to beyond 16x (768 kHz), matches the desired temporal response with very low modulation noise.”

The dCS Rossini’s update is already available, while the Vivaldi One and Network Bridge should get it some time this month. It will be rolled out to the Vivaldi DAC & Upsampler next month. We are awaiting information on the timeline for the Debussy update.

dCS owners can update their firmware via the ‘internet download and update’ functionality.


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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.