dCS Bartok
Jul 18, 2021 at 9:30 AM Post #976 of 1,285

Articnoise

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I like your "separate" analogy. The way I always understood these things is with a black box approach. A DAC device that is meant to convert D to A, is asked to output 2V (just an example) with its RCAs and 4V (oversimplification) with its XLRs. Now, how it is achieved internally, a DAC device user should not care. Some DACs will achieve it with two separate stages, one we call "D/A conversion" and another "output stage". Others, will have a "beefier" D/A conversion implementation, that already outputs those 2V (or 4V), hence no need for a separate output stage. If pre-amplification (volume knob) functionality is implemented, these two could theoretically implement it the same way (in the D/A) or if the output stage is separate, volume control could be done there. Some designers believe the output stage is more important than the D/A (or their technical expertise lies in analoge domain, like XI Audio Sagra DAC that simply uses Soekris R2R dacs), and others will implement more of this in the D/A conversion itself, like Chord does. Do you find my understanding accurate? Want to learn, thanks!

Yes that's how I know it to be.

The only thing that I would like to add is that I only know of two manufacturer that doesn't have a separate output stage and that is MSB (select ll) and Chord (more can exist, but they are very few).
 
Jul 18, 2021 at 5:55 PM Post #977 of 1,285

edwardsean

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No this is not really correct. The analoge section in all DACs is always on all the time, and without it the audio signal would be way to low to be used with any other gear. The analoge stage will therefore amplify the signal no matter if you connect an external amp or not. So double amplification also with Bartok and a external amp. The difference is that with Dave there is no separate analoge amplifying stage per se.
What you elaborated is all that I meant by saying that Chord doesn't employ a "traditional" (i.e., separate) amplification section in the signal path. I thought that the fact that without any analog section no DAC would produce a suitable audio signal was obvious. To the degree it wasn't I'm glad you clarified.

Nevertheless, I think it diverts from the point in my post. Dave's amplification integrated with the D/A pulse array and Bartok's discrete amplification are not the same. Yes, there is no avoiding any DAC's analog stage, but after that, with Bartok you can bypass its separate amplification stage by outputting to an external amp (as with an amp-less Bartok). You are not "double amping," just choosing a different amp than Bartok's native offering. With Dave, as you said, there is no separate amplification stage, so adding one is not the same lateral move. To me that is the significant difference which I would consider in my choices.

The signature strength and beauty of Dave is in a design philosophy, which strives for the most minimal signal path, from digital to analog, for the most transparent result. How well it succeeds against other strategies is up for debate, but that is the aim. I'm not a purist Dave user, at all. I do not feel that transparency is everything, and that you therefore have to keep it free from adulteration. I adulterate it plenty (please don't quote that out of context). However, I am careful to weigh what I'm gaining and losing at the system level.

All I am saying is that this calculus shifts for me in real way with the Bartok, and that difference is of help in the amp/no amp discussion.
 
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Jul 28, 2021 at 3:12 PM Post #978 of 1,285

mammal

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Just to update you all - after using Rossini clock for a while, I did not hear enough difference for my musical genres, so returned it to the dealer. I will always wonder how much it changes Rossini DAC, but for Bartok, not worth the cost for me.
 
Jul 28, 2021 at 3:54 PM Post #979 of 1,285

buzzlulu

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I will always wonder how much it changes Rossini DAC
Fundamentally

As previously stated - instead of spending money on the clock for Bartok it is better to have a Rossini for the same price
 
Jul 28, 2021 at 5:42 PM Post #981 of 1,285

Skywatcher

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I understand why, but Rossini does not have a headphone amp (yet), that's my problem.
Hmmmm... I wonder how well would a Rossini play with a good headphone amp? Maybe, I don't know, something like a Riviera AIC-10, for instance :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: . I bet it would be killer. 🤔

(I just love stirring the pot 😈)
 
Jul 28, 2021 at 6:00 PM Post #982 of 1,285

mammal

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Hmmmm... I wonder how well would a Rossini play with a good headphone amp? Maybe, I don't know, something like a Riviera AIC-10, for instance :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: . I bet it would be killer. 🤔

(I just love stirring the pot 😈)
I imagine it sounding good, but then I would lose the very transparent Bartok. So in all, would need to step up my budget to Rossini + Riviera + Viva to cover my basis, and then everyone would tell me about the clock, and the game continues 😅
 
Jul 30, 2021 at 4:28 PM Post #983 of 1,285

ThanatosVI

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I imagine it sounding good, but then I would lose the very transparent Bartok. So in all, would need to step up my budget to Rossini + Riviera + Viva to cover my basis, and then everyone would tell me about the clock, and the game continues 😅
The game never ends.
Imagine an electrostat or ribbon headphone coming out, you'd need even more addons to your gear.
 
Aug 11, 2021 at 6:00 PM Post #984 of 1,285

SuperBurrito

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I just ordered the Rossini Clock today for my Rossini DAC. I'll report back once it's in hand.

I asked the dealer what percent of Rossini owners bought the clock. He said that 90% of Rossini owners buy the DAC and clock together, the rest buy the DAC first and then the clock within the next 12 months.

One cool thing my dealer mentioned, with dCS, the worst a product will ever sound is when it is newly launched. Software upgrades will improve the sound down the road.
 
Sep 5, 2021 at 10:18 AM Post #985 of 1,285

pippen99

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This is a question for those who are using Roon and Audeze headphones. I am doing a Roon trial to check out the Audeze presets never having used EQ before. I read people prefer the Linear setting to the Low Latency setting and Audeze says it is more transparent. When I use the Linear setting my Rossini no longer is able to do a full MQA unfold being limited to 96hz. Have any experienced this issue or I am I doing something wrong? Is it something problematic between Roon and dCS?
 
Sep 5, 2021 at 10:57 PM Post #986 of 1,285

jcn3

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This is a question for those who are using Roon and Audeze headphones. I am doing a Roon trial to check out the Audeze presets never having used EQ before. I read people prefer the Linear setting to the Low Latency setting and Audeze says it is more transparent. When I use the Linear setting my Rossini no longer is able to do a full MQA unfold being limited to 96hz. Have any experienced this issue or I am I doing something wrong? Is it something problematic between Roon and dCS?

When you use the preset, you're using DPS which means the file is no longer the same - the MQA information is corrupted. Nothing is wrong with either, it's just the way it is,
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 6:49 PM Post #988 of 1,285

pippen99

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1632264575226.png
1632264575226.png
 
Sep 25, 2021 at 7:18 PM Post #989 of 1,285

llamaluv

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Just got back from the local shop (yes:point_up_2:that one), listening to the Bartok intently for about an hour through the headphone-out to the Utopia. I figure this thread seems like the best place for me to jot down some random thoughts. I'm coming from a DAVE.

There was a lot I really liked:

Treble was very, very "intelligible", detailed and smooth, and more follow-able to me than the DAVE. Not hot, though. Relatedly, air was more prominent than my DAVE setup. Decay was better. Microdetail was very, very nice. Instrument separation was great, maybe better than the DAVE, maybe just different, but probably just better. Dynamics in the midrange were very nice, and with a good sense of fluidity and nuance too, which made vocals very compelling, and more so than my day-to-day listening experience for sure. I really liked all of those characteristics.

I felt like the system conveyed a lot of emotion and 'PRaT', though this is a common reaction when hearing any very good system that one is unaccustomed to, can't lie, but nevertheless, a very, very good sign... And the longer I listened, the more compelling I found the listening experience.

Also, I could listen to the Utopia for longer at the upper-end of my volume preferences range, which I take to be a good sign as well.

What else... Piano, which is probably my favorite instrument, sounded quite a lot better than the DAVE. I'm not a big fan of how piano sounds on the DAVE, especially on the Utopia, and especially on the Utopia through the DAVE headphone out. It's too forward, overly dense, a little "metallic", and the middle and upper registers of the piano drowns out detail of the instrument as a whole. Anyway, listening to the Bartok really confirmed my opinion on that point.

However. My main negative with the Bartok (headphone-out) was with tonality.

Mids were lacking in body. I hate to use the four-letter-word starting with "T", but yea, as strongly as I liked the stuff mentioned above, I felt equally strongly that it was too thin. Lower bass was equally lacking. Aside from a reticent low-end being a deal-breaker period, it also detracted from gaining any strong sense of realism. If the headphone-out to the Utopia on this Bartok in this shop is representative of what the Bartok is like in general, it will be a no-go for me.

It was connected to a full-size Furman power conditioner, for what it's worth. Digital source was simply a USB stick plugged into the back.

I'm going to revisit the DAC in a couple days but this time will be hooking up my own amp (Bakoon AMP-R13). So... Jury's still out.
 
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Sep 25, 2021 at 7:38 PM Post #990 of 1,285

ken6217

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Just got back from the local shop (yes:point_up_2:that one), listening to the Bartok intently for about an hour through the headphone-out to the Utopia. I figure this thread seems like the best place for me to jot down some random thoughts. I'm coming from a DAVE.

There was a lot I really liked:

Treble was very, very "intelligible", detailed and smooth, and more follow-able to me than the DAVE. Not hot, though. Relatedly, air was more prominent than my DAVE setup. Decay was better. Microdetail was very, very nice. Instrument separation was great, maybe better than the DAVE, maybe just different, but probably just better. Dynamics in the midrange were very nice, and with a good sense of fluidity and nuance too, which made vocals very compelling, and more so than my day-to-day listening experience for sure. I really liked all of those characteristics.

I felt like the system conveyed a lot of emotion and 'PRaT', though this is a common reaction when hearing any very good system that one is unaccustomed to, can't lie, but nevertheless, a very, very good sign... And the longer I listened, the more compelling I found the listening experience.

Also, I could listen to the Utopia for longer at the upper-end of my volume preferences range, which I take to be a good sign as well.

What else... Piano, which is probably my favorite instrument, sounded quite a lot better than the DAVE. I'm not a big fan of how piano sounds on the DAVE, especially on the Utopia, and especially on the Utopia through the DAVE headphone out. It's too forward, overly dense, a little "metallic", and the middle and upper registers of the piano drowns out detail of the instrument as a whole. Anyway, listening to the Bartok really confirmed my opinion on that point.

However. My main negative with the Bartok (headphone-out) was with tonality.

Mids were lacking in body. I hate to use the four-letter-word starting with "T", but yea, as strongly as I liked the stuff mentioned above, I felt equally strongly that it was too thin. Lower bass was equally lacking. Aside from a reticent low-end being a deal-breaker period, it also detracted from gaining any strong sense of realism. If the headphone-out to the Utopia on this Bartok in this shop is representative of what the Bartok is like in general, it will be a no-go for me.

It was connected to a full-size Furman power conditioner, for what it's worth. Digital source was simply a USB stick plugged into the back.

I'm going to revisit the DAC in a couple days but this time will be hooking up my own amp (Bakoon AMP-R13). So... Jury's still out.
Can you bring your amp, and use the Bartok just as a DAC? I think it sounds better just using it as a DAC.
 

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