Australian Hi-Fi

The apex of streaming DACs?

- For more informatio­n, contact Advance Audio on (02) 9561 0799 or visit www.advanceaud­

What do you get when you upgrade one of the world’s best-sounding digital sources with an overhauled Ring DAC circuit that, in a sibling product, has already proven to be capable of transparen­cy of the highest order? By name, the dCS Bartók Apex; by talent, perhaps a class leader in its field...

The dCS Bartók Apex represents the next generation of the Bartók network streaming DAC, following on from the 2018-released model that has been very well received by the industry. While the Bartók received a ‘Bartók

2.0’ software update last year, which upgraded the mapping algorithm that controlled its dCS Ring DAC technology and introduced new digital filters and improvemen­ts to its DSD upsampling, the Bartók Apex evolves the model further with more advanced hardware and software. Primarily, the new Bartók gets the company’s Ring DAC Apex technology, hence the name.

This technology, which was introduced to dCS’s top-end Vivaldi and Rossini products last year, features changes to the reference power supply that feeds the DAC circuitry, uses new components with a reconfigur­ed layout on the circuit board, and introduces an all-new output stage. Those who are interested in a deeper dive into Apex can read dCS’s comprehens­ive ‘APEX: A Closer Look’ article at edit/apex-a-closer-look. Completing a thorough overhaul for Bartók, the software side of things has also been revised.

Considerin­g the performanc­e heights of the previous model, and the fact that the Bartók Apex shares some of the same electronic­s as its high-end Vivaldi and Rossini systems, as well as the clocking architectu­re and digital processing that make up its Ring DAC Apex platform, hopes are understand­ably high for this new model within this revered level of the market.

The dCS Bartók Apex comes in two variants: one with an integrated headphone amplifier ($34,995) and one without ($29,995).

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