dCS Bartok DAC and Headphone Amp Review & Comments

Paul7777x

Member
Well... you’ve sold me.

In common with almost all here, the possibility of ever having that kind of cash to spend on a preamp and dac is a very malnourished thin one.

But I still feel compelled to read about them and aspire.

Great review.
 

vkvedam

Active Member
Thanks for the review @Ed Selley, appreciate it. I feel you should have compared it to DAVE though which is more apples to apples as compared to TT2 and Mscaler (Ignoring the price difference). An Msclaer with a DAVE would be about few grand less and may be more comparable if not mistaken. What are your thoughts?
 

muljao

Well-known Member
So how does it compare to the dragonfly red 😜😃


Sure it's fab but that's crazy money
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
@Ed Selley may I suggest these other items out of reach of normal people for review entertainment 😀

Moolah moolah Mola Mola Tambaqui

Bricasti M3H (H for built in headphone amp option)

T+A HA 200 (not sure you had these to demo with your Solitaire P review?)

The Mola Tambaqui upsamples all signals before converting to analogue

The ME and HA 200 both employ delta sigma for PCM and an in-house 1-Bit DAC for DSD
 

LAMitchell

Active Member
@Ed Selley may I suggest these other items out of reach of normal people for review entertainment 😀

Moolah moolah Mola Mola Tambaqui

Bricasti M3H (H for built in headphone amp option)

T+A HA 200 (not sure you had these to demo with your Solitaire P review?)

The Mola Tambaqui upsamples all signals before converting to analogue

The ME and HA 200 both employ delta sigma for PCM and an in-house 1-Bit DAC for DSD
Will you be getting a Tambaqui to review? I must say I was impressed with it but never had the opportunity to compare it with the DCS.
 

Devil On Your S

Well-known Member
A 9 for value for money. The hifi reviews here are getting more and more like What HiFi.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
A 9 for value for money. The hifi reviews here are getting more and more like What HiFi.

This is a fair point so it probably warrants a degree of clarification. You can place different value emphasis on the features, bespoke hardware and the fact it is built like a bomb shelter but on a more basic level, if you take something like the Krell K-300i and Titan 505 in combination (less, media storage, cable, supports etc) it is currently £17,500 and represents a devastating combination of kit; arguably the most potent spec and performance partnership I've tested for AVF.

Now, for a headphone user, the dCS combined with a pair of headphones at a price that gives you a similar total value but creates a system that can work in any space and type of room. The spec is also extremely comprehensive. Crucially though; the listening experience is arguably even better. I mean it when I say this is the best headphone amp I've ever tested.

Then, there's some other intangibles too. The resale on dCS is very good for example so you don't tend to lose a big chunk of value taking it out the box. This is an expensive device- that's writ large through the whole review but it's not a box of air. You can see where the money has gone.
 

HariSeldon

Well-known Member
@Ed Selley Oh god I can see more money draining out of my bank account! I've been researching what to get to extract the best from my Stellia's and this looks like the one!

Great review.
 

davenice

Active Member
@Ed Selley Oh god I can see more money draining out of my bank account! I've been researching what to get to extract the best from my Stellia's and this looks like the one!

Great review.
I use mine most days with the Focal Utopia (+ the lazuli reference XLR cable). Working from home has never sounded so good.

Be aware though, most that have heard it with the Rossini clock comment that the clock takes it to another level. ...that will be another 6,000 pounds, Sir.
 

HariSeldon

Well-known Member
I was lucky enough to hear a Verdi / Elgar / Purcell system in the late 90’s and it’s stayed within me as the most musical combo I’ve ever heard. So I can well believe that dcs are still producing digital magic.

do you have the Rossini with your Bartok?
 

davenice

Active Member
do you have the Rossini with your Bartok?

No, I don’t have the Rossini clock. I think the general consensus is that a Rossini (DAC) on its own is better than the Bartok + Rossini clock combo. Although you don’t have the option of the headphone amp on the Rossini.

i.e. Rossini (+ clock) > Rossini > Bartok (+ clock) > Bartok.

(Not to forget the Vivaldi stack / the £58k Vivaldi One)
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Will you be getting a Tambaqui to review? I must say I was impressed with it but never had the opportunity to compare it with the DCS.

That would be for @Ed Selley to answer ☺️

John Darko in his video review thought the Bartók with headphone amp option was better for headphone listening due to the crossfeed introduced in the update. I am not Darko, but my takeaway is if you are speaker listening only with no headphones then save the money and get the Tambaqui

Of course one wonders whether you can 'hear' the difference against the RME ADI 2 DAC FS / Pro
 

Evinger

Distinguished Member
I think even Boris Johnson would have second thoughts with that price!
I have heard it said that Boris Johnson never has second thoughts; second thoughts have Boris Johnson.
 

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