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dCS Bartok

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by tmarshl, Mar 5, 2019.
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  1. datka3
    Currently owing Focal Stellia running off Chord Dave auditioned DCS Barok . I have to say that Bartok took listening experience to another level.

    Compared only DAC portion of solution i do not think DCS is much superior compared to DAVE but what seems to have largest impact is Better Headphone amplification section as well as having network streamer \ transport on board .

    Focal Stellia + CHORD DAVE = 9 ( need very good usb cable and very good network streamer )
    Focal Stellia + DCS Bartok = 10

    I wonder how Bartok would compete with DAVE in my 2 Chanel setup but with headphones it clearly is a step up.

    ok , going to water my money tree and if Santa is reading posts here this is what i want for this year :)
  2. onlychild
    I'm going to audition the Bartok tomorrow.

    Are you running Mscaler with Dave?

    The amp is definitely influencing the final sound. Did you run the Stellia balanced or SE ? I know they are pretty efficient. Other's post of the Bartok running Susvara is what really has me interested. I have read a few mixed opinions, but majority say it is good enough, but not speaker amp good.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  3. datka3
    Single ended like Dave , no I don’t have mscaler but I have tried mscaler setup with Dave at another place and in my case I could not hear much of the difference
    What surprised me was that Transparent USB cable that dealer had worked better than my Curious USB ( but that's another subject that is not related to what we are discussing here) . On the Mscaller i used bypass switch on and off but surprising to me i did not notice much of the difference introduced by the mscaler.
    I really think that DAC on DAVE is very good could be even more superior than DSC Bartok but because amplification and netowokring is very well implementing on bartok it takes a lead in overall sound reproduction
  4. Matez
    With its headphone out? Or just as a DAC with something else on the side?
  5. tmarshl
    I used to own the DAVE, and found the dCS Bartók to be superior with fuller, more sensuous sound.
  6. onlychild
    Just auditioned it an hour ago with Empyreans using SE out and now I’m a Bartok owner....or will be in a month, yes that is the wait time currently.

    I concur with what Tmarshal just posted above.

    the fact that it sounded as good as it did without balanced out, or my Innuos Statsement and Stromtank and HFC pro power cords is what sealed the deal. Can’t wait to hear it at home with my equipment.

    Disclaimer: I don’t listen to classical or jazz so the Dave might still be better for that genre of music.
    onsionsi and snk8699 like this.
  7. onsionsi
    Congratulations for Bartok.

    And looking expectantly for your opinion when you get Bartok in your hand and compare it to DAVE\HMS in your system.
  8. Matez
    Interesting. Similarly resolving but more body than DAVE?

    Congratulations! Awesome machine that Bartók, I auditioned it in Warsaw at the local AVS show.
  9. onlychild
    Unfortunately I’ll be trading in my Dave when I pick up the Bartok. I spent some good time with the Bartok and tracks I was very familiar with. The same tracks I listened to on Dave night before looking for specific details I am familiar with. All those details were there on the Bartok, but I still think the Dave is a better dac. I’m more concerned about which one had the best headphone output, without an external amp, and that was the Bartok. I’ve read the balanced output sounds even better, but I didn’t have a balanced cable.
    onsionsi likes this.
  10. datka3
    I took my Dave with my during bartok audition and I could clearly have more enjoyable listening experience, and Agee with you 100% I think DAC FOR DAC DAVE IS not behind bartok but overall bartok sounds better, I can only speculate that having network streamer and better amplifier is what plays role here. Btw I was feeding Dave with dcs network bridge over AES DIGIAL Inout since dcs bridge has no usb that was my only option at the time . I have to add that DAVE seems to sound best when using USB to me
    onsionsi likes this.
  11. onsionsi
    Good to know, thanks.

    Will you trade-in DAVE+HMS or only DAVE?
  12. tmarshl
    I primarily listen to classical and jazz, and I prefer the Bartok over the Dave for those genres.
  13. Matez
    There's nothing unfortunate with that swap. You're shifting from one great device to another!

    This can be fixed :L3000:
  14. ZRW0

    I'm myself the new happy owner of a dCS Bartok for a couple of days.

    I use the Bartok both as a DAC for my LoudSpeaker system, but as a DAC/Headphone amp as well.
    I have the chance to own both a Sennheiser HD800S, a Kennerton Thror, and a Meze Empyrean as headphones.

    About the Bartok amp outputs, while I'm still at the burn-in stage of it, with my various headphones:
    I found the balanced/XLR4 output of the Bartok to greatly benefit the HD800S and Thror (much more details on the Thror, slamming effect on the HD800S), but not the Empyrean.
    With the Empyrean, the balanced output makes it sound "dull". Here, the unbalanced/Jack-6.35 is preferable to my taste (more dynamic and impact in basses).

    I use a same (Meze) silver plated cable XLR4 to mini XLR4 for all my headphones. I have a XLR4 to Jack-6.35 adapter to switch from balanced to unbalanced output.

    Hope this can help,


  15. simorag
    I am interested in the Bartok as well, primarily for downsizing / simplifying my digital front end (9 boxes in total with relative cables etc.).

    Only, I would regret going that route if sound quality get worse ...

    Any direct comparison between Bartok and M Scaled DAVE would be highly appreciated!

    P.s. I am visiting a dealer around Christmas to audition the Bartok myself, I will bring my Abyss with me, but I cannot bring all my digital spaghetti system there so a proper a/b will not be possible. I will report back here nonetheless
    snk8699 likes this.
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