dCS Bartók Apex: Is It a Worthy Upgrade?

dCS Bartók Apex

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The dCS Bartók was a great network streaming DAC. However, it had some lackings. And the good part is that dCS acknowledged all of them.

So, it decided to fix that by debuting the dCS Bartók Apex. No, the Bartók Apex is not just a slightly modified version of the regular model. Instead, it comes with an entirely overhauled DAC circuit. 

And according to dCS, this DAC can offer the “transparency of the highest order.” Basically, the Apex version is now a class leader in its field. But that’s just a short introduction.

dCS Bartók Apex
Source: dCS

In case you didn’t know, the regular version came out back in 2018. And it was one of the most praised network streaming DAC of that time. 

Most of the reviewers liked how well-equipped and well-capable the device was. dCS even upgraded the regular Bartók with a software update. 

And the software upgrade already made the original gain much more musical potential. It saw a massive improvement in the mapping algorithm. 

dCS Bartók Apex
Source: dCS

Also, the software update introduced new digital filters and improvements to the DSD upsampling. However, that is not the only upgrade dCS had in mind for Bartók. 

So, what exactly is new about the device? Well, the dCS Bartók Apex follows in the same footsteps of the 2018 model but revamps things to the next level.

The dCS Bartók Apex comes with advanced software and hardware. And most importantly, it now features the dCS’s Ring DAC Apex technology. 

dCS Bartók Apex
Source: dCS

dCS introduced the new technology with the Rossini and Vivaldi products back in 2022. From what the reviewers stated, the new Ring DAC technology made the Rossinin “the most capable digital-to-analog converter.”

Well, the same capabilities are now present in the dCS Bartók Apex. Along with that, there are massive changes in the reference power supply that the DAC circuitry relies on. 

You also have a reconfigured layout on the circuit board and a brand-new output stage. Even the software side of the dCS Bartók Apex sees an upgrade. So, does all of these result in a performance upgrade? 

dCS Bartók Apex
Source: dCS

In short, it does! The previous Bartók was already highly capable. And as the Bartók Apex shares the same electronics as the Vivaldi and Rossini systems, it should offer great overall real-world performance.

That said, dCS talked all about the upgrade on its site. So, if you are keen to learn more about the new technology, you can check out their page

And just in case you are interested, the dCS Bartók Apex comes in two variants. One with an integrated headphone amplifier and one without the amplifier. Both are now available for purchase!

Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.

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