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To our friends and partners

As 2020 draws to a close, we’re taking some time to reflect on the past 12 months. It’s been a challenging year professionally and personally for all of us here at dCS – and, I’m sure, all of you too – but before we wrap up for the festive break, we’d like to share some of the things that we’ve been working on and extend our thanks to everyone who’s helped us along the way.

First, thank you to our customers. We’re incredibly grateful for your support, this year and always, and hope our systems bring you many happy hours of listening. The dCS community is hugely important to us and we hope it won’t be too long before we can get out to meet with you in person.

Thanks to our partners – the retailers and distributors who’ve gone above and beyond to deliver, install and support our systems in the toughest of circumstances. We can’t wait until it is safe to travel, and we can get back to sharing music and laughter with you at shows and events across the world.

Thanks also to all the creatives involved in making music – the artists, producers, engineers and the many people working behind the scenes to bring us something to listen to. The absence of live music events has left a massive hole in our lives, but we’ve found comfort, joy and inspiration in discovering new music and revisiting old favourites during the weeks and months we’ve spent at home. We know this has been a difficult year for the music industry, but we hope there are brighter times ahead.

 

And so, on to 2020…

It’s been a busy year for the team here and, like most businesses, we’ve found ourselves facing some strange and unexpected challenges. Our offices were closed for most of April due to national lockdowns, but we’ve since reconfigured our workspace and processes to allow some of our staff to return safely and others to collaborate and work remotely. Our production team are back at the factory and have done an incredible job in making up for lost time, building record numbers of products in 2020. And while most of our R&D and marketing staff are still mainly working from home, we have been able to make the occasional trip back to dCS HQ.

Sadly, we haven’t been able to host any visitors to our factory this year, but we’re hoping to welcome many more customers and partners for tours and training in the not too distant future. In the meantime, our listening room has provided a much-needed space for our staff to relax and escape – thanks to our friends at Nordost, Transparent, Wilson Audio, D’Agostino, Constellation and Rockport for providing some fantastic equipment.

dCS Listening room

 

New starters and fond farewells

Ray Wing

We’ve welcomed several new members to the dCS team this year: John Giolas, Ady Man and Rachael Steven in sales and marketing, James Cook in technical support, Deya Sanchez and Jane Simpkins in R&D, Theresa Townsend and Mark Weedon in production, and Gerry Spencer in service. Between them, they bring a wealth of expertise, insight and new energy.

We also waved a fond farewell to Ray Wing, who retired this summer after almost 20 years at dCS. Ray wore many hats at dCS – during his time here, he was involved in Purchasing, Design, Quality Management and Health and Safety and he’ll be greatly missed by all of us. His half full mug of tea still sits on the kitchen worktop, and we’ll miss hearing about his guitars and his beloved Tottenham Hotspur, but we wish him all the best for the future and hope he enjoys some downtime.

 

dCS at CanJam

While we’ve been missing our usual trips to audio events, we had a great time meeting headphone listeners and fellow music lovers at CanJam Global in New York back in January, and have been delighted to see so many HeadFi enthusiasts enjoying our Bartók Headphone DAC. We’ll be taking part in lots more CanJam gatherings once shows are back up and running in 2021 – follow our social media pages for details and updates.

 

Playlists and podcasts

In other news, this year saw the launch of dCS Legends – a programme celebrating the outstanding efforts of an elite group of recording, mixing and mastering engineers who have strived throughout their career to deliver the finest listening experience possible.

As part of the Legends programme, we launched our first podcast series, The Other Side of the Glass, which features interviews with each Legend about their creative process and the making of GRAMMY-winning albums. It’s been humbling and inspiring to hear from the people who have worked on some of our favourite albums of all time, and we hope you’ve enjoyed listening to the podcast and playlists of their work as much as we have. If you haven’t tuned in yet, you can find the full series over at dcslegends.com.

We’ve also enjoyed bringing you an even bigger range of music recommendations. In addition to our Classical Choices series, curated by Charlotte Gardner, and our Album of the Month feature (both of which you can find here), we’ve been delving into the world of film scores and videogame soundtracks, and sharing a monthly selection of new and classic tracks selected by the dCS team. We’ll be sharing lots more great music with you next year but for now, you can find all of our playlists on Qobuz and TIDAL, or follow the dCS Facebook page for news of our latest picks.

dCS Legends Podcast

News and reviews

Thanks also to Hi-Fi+, What Hi-Fi?, Sound Stage Ultra, Audiophile Fr, Stereonet Australia & New Zealand, Part-Time Audiophile, Hi-Fi Corner, Positive Feedback, Yellowbox, Headfonics and AudioStream for their fantastic reviews of the Bartók, and to Soundstage! Network for awarding the Bartók DAC with your Outstanding Performance Award – Product of the Year 2020. It’s inspiring to see people from all corners of the world enjoying our products, both in the press and on the dCS forum, and we’ve really enjoyed reading your feedback, observations and music recommendations.

dCS products

The dCS forum

The dCS forum has gone from strength to strength this year and we’ve been delighted to see so many of our customers using it to share advice, tips and music. Thanks to our support team James Cook, Ben Ashcroft and Andrew Papanikolas for being on hand to answer questions, and thanks to everyone who’s taken part in discussions so far. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so at dcs.community.

 

Introducing dCS Expanse

Our R&D team rounded off this year with the release of Mosaic 1.1.1 – an updated version of our Mosaic platform – and an exciting new feature, dCS Expanse, available to owners of our Bartók Headphone DAC.

With Expanse, we set out to reimagine how sound is optimised for headphone listening and bring the headphone experience closer to the sound that artists and engineers hear when listening to a performance in the studio. After studying existing methods of headphone optimisation (most of which focus on using cross feed to move a perceived sound source out of a listener’s head and into the room in front of them, mirroring the effects of stereo listening), we found that none were able to optimise sound while also preserving the original reverberation in a recording. Most instead relied on using artificial reverberation – a tool we didn’t feel was appropriate for use in dCS products.

After extensive research, our R&D team used their expertise to develop an alternative approach that allows us to externalise sound without loss or damage to reverberation. This unique method means we are able to capture not just the fine details in a performance, but the overall sense of space and depth (something that is often lost when sound is translated for headphones) – providing a more immersive experience that remains faithful to the music.

Expanse is available now as part of Mosaic 1.1.1. You can find more information here, or see our technical paper for an in-depth look at Expanse. We’ve also put together a playlist with some recommended reference tracks to help you get started with Expanse, which you can find here.

dCS Expanse

 

dCS and DOSOCO

In addition to our work at dCS, we’ve been collaborating with the DOSOCO foundation, a Cambridge-based social enterprise that supports community projects using music for social good.

Alongside providing grants and technical support to DOSOCO, we teamed up with their partner organisation, We Are Sound, to support a virtual concert in aid of musicians and crews who’ve found themselves out of work due to Covid-19. The event was broadcast live on December 13 from a barn in the Suffolk countryside, and provided some welcome festive cheer, with winter-themed performances from some of the talented members of the We Are Sound band.

dosoco foundation


A final request

That’s almost it from us, but before we sign off for the holidays, we have one last request. We’ve been incredibly fortunate that, thanks to the support of our partners and friends, we’ve been able to continue manufacturing products, but there are thousands of people within the music industry who have seen their livelihoods put at risk by Covid-19 and ongoing restrictions around live events.

So please, do whatever you can to support artists, crews, venues and everyone in the industry who is struggling – whether it’s buying music or merchandise, attending a virtual gig, or making a donation to one of the many organisations working to help people and businesses affected by the pandemic. We’ve included a list of some UK organisations and fundraising campaigns below, but there are many others too that would be grateful for your support.

For now, we hope you have a restful break over the holidays and wish you all the very best for 2021.

 Regards

David Steven
Managing Director
dCS

 

Music organisations you can support

 

On December 21, we’re releasing an update for dCS Mosaic – our custom platform which allows dCS customers to access a wide range of digital music and control the settings on their dCS device.

Mosaic 1.1.1 will include a host of improvements and new features available to all dCS owners, as well as a new innovation, dCS Expanse, designed specifically for owners of our Bartók Headphone DAC.

Expanse is a custom-built processing platform, designed to deliver an enhanced headphone experience on the Bartók Headphone DAC.

Developed by dCS, it was created to address a growing imbalance in the way that sound is monitored during the recording process and how it’s experienced during playback. With most recordings still monitored on loudspeakers, and more people than ever now listening to music on headphones, we felt there was a need for a platform that could bring the headphone experience closer to the sound that artists and engineers hear when listening to a performance or mix in the studio.

Various technologies have been developed to address this imbalance over the past few decades – most of which focus on using cross feed to move a perceived sound source out of a listener’s head and into the room in front of them, mirroring the effect of listening to music on loudspeakers.

Yet after studying existing methods of cross feed and headphone optimisation, we discovered that none of them were able to optimise sound while also preserving the original reverberation in a recording. Most instead relied on adding artificial reverberation – a technique we didn’t feel was appropriate for dCS products.

So, after extensive research, our R&D team used their expertise to develop an alternative approach that allows us to externalise sound, without loss or damage to the original reverberation.

This unique method allows us to deliver a more immersive experience – one that captures not just the fine details in a musical performance, but the overall sense of space and depth, something that is often lost when sound is translated for headphone listening.

With Expanse, listeners can enjoy all of the hallmarks of dCS playback – clarity, precision and an engaging sound – and a unique experience that remains faithful to the music.

You can find out more about Expanse here.

We’ve also put together a playlist featuring some featuring some recommended reference tracks to help you discover the platform’s potential, which you can access here.


What else is new?

 Expanse is just one of several new features and updated included in Mosaic 1.1.1

Other additions include TIDAL My Mix, which provides added support for TIDAL’s autogenerated playlists, an update to our play queue feature, which allows listeners to add more tracks to a play queue or playlist, and improvements to media browsing, playback and control functions.

Mosaic 1.1.1. is available to download from 10am GMT on Monday, December 21. Further information will be shared via our website and social media pages, and on our forum,dcs.community.

If you have any questions regarding Expanse or Mosaic 1.1.1, please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you require an offline update, please contact us and provide your unit serial number. We will provide you with an update image that will only install on that unit, so it is critical that the serial number be correct. Installation instructions will be provided with the update image. This service will be available from 4th January 2021.

 

Dear friends of dCS,

During this unprecedented and challenging time, the safety and well-being of our employees remains our first priority.

Throughout the last few weeks we have followed the UK government policy which currently states that people must socially distance from each other and can only leave home for essential shopping or to travel to work if their duties cannot be performed at home. For several weeks, we’ve been adapting our business in response to the pandemic, for example implementing stricter hygiene policies, reconfiguring workspaces to ensure safe distances and introducing a work from home policy for all staff where it has been practical to do so.

At the same time, we have also been planning to temporarily close the factory part of our business as this work cannot be performed remotely. This temporary closure, effective close of business Friday 27th March 2020, will allow our Production staff to be at home and socially distance from others during a critical time for our country and its health services. We hope this temporary measure plays a very small part in helping the UK get on top of the situation and manage the spread of this virus.

Our decision to close the factory will be reviewed weekly by myself and the Directors but in the meantime myself plus our R&D, Technical Support and Marketing staff continue to work from their remote locations. Our sales team are still taking orders and assisting dealers, distributors and end users through our usual channels and our aim is for the factory to be back fully operational within 2-3 weeks.

Thank you to our valued partners in distribution and retail  for the immense effort you have expended working through these difficult times. I respect the tough decisions many of you have made to close your own businesses in order to protect the health of your staff and others.

Whilst the scale of this pandemic is unprecedented, I hope everyone of you and those close to you come through this in good health. That is all that matters.

Further updates will be provided as the situation develops and you can keep in touch with us via our social media channels where we are sharing content to lift our spirits and keep the music playing. Also, should you require technical assistance then please contact us on our community forum (https://dcs.community/) or via our website.

In the meantime, please stay safe, stay connected with loved ones and I wish you all good health.

Best

David Steven

As part of our commitment to ongoing product improvement we are releasing an update to dCS Mosaic on 30th October 2019.
This update contains new features to improve media browsing as well as a complete overhaul of the firmware update mechanism.
All changes are detailed in the release notes which can be found here https://www.dcsltd.co.uk/support/mosaic-1-0-2-release-notes/
If you require an offline update please contact us and provide your unit serial number . We will provide you with an update image that will only install on that unit so it is critical that the serial number be correct. Installation instructions will be provided with the update image.
Visit our community site for further support (https://dcs.community/).
Many Thanks for your continued support,
The dCS Team

As part of our commitment to ongoing product improvement we have updated dCS Mosaic. This update contains minor fixes and improvements that did not make it into the first Mosaic release. All changes are detailed in release notes https://www.dcsltd.co.uk/support/mosaic-1-0-1-release-notes/

The updated Mosaic Control app is available in the App Store and Google Play.

We’ve received very positive feedback so far and we will continue to update Mosaic with new features and improved functionality. We encourage you to feedback via our community site (https://dcs.community/) so we can make meaningful improvements.

dCS is excited to announce that it will be demonstrating the new Bartók network DAC with Class A headphone amplifier at the forthcoming Munich High End 2019 show between the 9th and 12th of May.

In addition to showing a range of dCS electronics – including Vivaldi and Rossini – in its usual room at Atrium 4 Room F209, the company for the first time ever has a dedicated head-fi room in Hall 4 Stand N09 for visitors to hear the new Bartók for themselves.

Headphone fans will be able to connect their own digital audio players and smartphones, choose tracks from the dCS library or stream their favourite music from TIDAL™. Listening to Bartók via a range of high end headphones will be possible including models from ABYSS, Audeze, Focal, HIFIMAN and Mr.Speakers among others. Four Bartóks will be on demonstration, to allow easy access for audition, with no appointment needed.

The special dCS head-fi room is enclosed to reduce the ambient noise of the show to a minimum, and dCS staff will be on hand to demonstrate the wide functionality of this new network DAC with headphone amplifier and to advise on headphone matters.

The cost of the headphone amplifier equipped version costs £11,999, and features a
custom designed Class A headphone stage that works extremely well with both high and low impedance headphones and IEM’s in balanced or unbalanced formats. Bartók also comes with a crossfeed option as standard.

Bartók supports all major music codecs including high resolution PCM and DSD, with
user- selectable upsampling. Great care has been taken to minimise jitter at all stages with the dCS ‘auto clocking’ architecture. The network streaming section currently runs at up to 24-bit, 384kS/s and DSD128, supporting all major lossless codecs, plus DSD in DoP
format and native DSD.

Bartók plays music through an array of industry-standard USB, AES or S/PDIF digital
inputs. It streams over Ethernet from a NAS drive or online music services, and from Apple devices via Airplay. Its network interface performs full MQA decoding and rendering. With its award-winning Ring DAC digital processing engine – shared with the flagship Vivaldi DAC – it offers unparalleled performance at its price.

Summary:

  • dCS will have a bespoke headphone listening space at Munich High End 2019
  • Four Bartóks will be installed for walk-in demonstrations, with a multitude of high end headphones
  • Headphone fans can bring their own digital audio devices, choose tracks from the dCS library or stream from TIDAL
  • The cost headphone amplifier version of the dCS Bartók is £11,999
  • Location of the headphone listening space is at Hall 4 Stand N09; the main dCS room is at Atrium 4 Room F209
  • Munich High End Show details here: highendsociety.de/index.php/en/facts.html

Contact dCS press (khamilton@dcsltd.co.uk) for details

dCS is thrilled to announce that it has won The Queens Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2019, for the technology inside its flagship Vivaldi Digital Playback System – specifically the digital processing platform, the latest version of the Ring DAC™ and its new network audio platform and control software.

dCS joins the ranks of the UK’s most prestigious, innovative and pioneering companies as a recipient of this coveted award. The highest official UK award for British business recognises outstanding achievement, and was instituted by Royal Warrant in 1965.

dCS Managing Director David Steven says, “We are truly elated. Applying for the award was an extensive, across-the-board audit of dCS as a company and the research and development journey we went through with Vivaldi. The award process made us look at every aspect of how we function as a company. This exhaustive process meant we had to detail all the investments and strategic decisions we made across the entire business from Development to Manufacturing to Supply Chain.”

“Vivaldi was a hugely important project for dCS,” says David, “because we had to look many years into the future. Back in 2010 we believed there was an unrealised demand for a solution that would provide state of the art music playback from any digital source (legacy compact disc to file playback) in a connected home. With Vivaldi our goal was to develop a number of key technologies that would take advantage of these opportunities and overcome the many technical challenges we had identified.

To win this coveted award, dCS had to demonstrate how its business impacts positively on the local community and society, its environmental impact, how its employees are supported and its ethical trading practices. The use of almost exclusively UK-sourced components, along with investment in people and customer service, made winning possible. “Winning the award has been an interesting process as it made us look closely at the journey we’ve been on, the untapped market needs we had to address and the products we developed. The success of the Vivaldi system and this award have helped us to push forward and keep innovating into the future.” says David.

Summary:

  • dCS wins The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2019
  • it goes to the technology inside the flagship Vivaldi Digital Playback system – specifically the digital audio processing platform, Ring DAC™, new network card and software
  • the highest official UK award for British business has been running since 1965
  • the Vivaldi project began as two parallel programmes: one was a technical research project to develop a state-of-the-art digital audio platform that would redefine the industry benchmark for technical performance. The second major project was to develop a user interface that could run on iOS. This entailed a significant investment in graphic design, iconography as well as software development
  • heavy investment was made in new software and hardware engineers, test and approbation specialists as well as increased customer support infrastructure
  • dCS Managing Director David Steven says, “This award would never have been possible without the amazingly talented staff we have at dCS and our committed partners who work closely with us here in the UK.”
  • contact dCS press (khamilton@dcsltd.co.uk) for details

websites:
https://www.dcsltd.co.uk
https://dcs30.com

About dCS:
Since 1987 dCS has been at the forefront of digital audio, creating world-beating,
life-enhancing products that are a unique synthesis of exact science and creative
imagination. Each of our award-winning product ranges sets the standard within its
class for technical excellence and musical performance. As a result, dCS digital
playback systems are unrivalled in their ability to make music.

All dCS products are designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom using proprietary
technology, and materials and components of the highest quality. A carefully judged
balance of our unique heritage and world-class engineering ensures there is a rich
history of ground-breaking innovation inside every dCS system.

Copyright © 2019 Data Conversion Systems Limited. All rights reserved. dCS, dCS logo, Ring DAC are trademarks
or registered trademarks of Data Conversion Systems Limited. Data Conversion Systems Limited disclaims any
proprietary interest in trademarks and trade names other than its own. All specifications are subject to change and, whilst they are checked for accuracy, no liabilities can be accepted for errors or omissions.

dCS is pleased to announce updated firmware for the Vivaldi DAC and Upsampler. This release brings to a close our ongoing project to include MQA support in all of our current products. Properly implementing MQA in the Vivaldi separates was an extremely complex undertaking and presented a number of challenges. Although this release is delayed from our original announcement, we feel that the end result is well worth the wait.
Update notes (important)
Due to the nature of this update it is critical that both the DAC and Upsampler be updated at the same time. This release changes the way in which the DAC communicates back to the Upsampler and if only one component is updated the communication between the devices will not function correctly.
Please contact your dealer to avoid any issues with the update.
We have issued release notes for this update in two separate documents. Please read these documents before starting the update process as they both contain useful information.
Release notes for the Vivaldi DAC and Upsampler can be downloaded here: dCS Vivaldi MQA Release Notes
Release notes for the associated network firmware update can be downloaded here: dCS Network Firmware [398] Release Notes

dCS proudly announces its Bartók network DAC and headphone amplifier – a single-box, state-of-the-art digital-to-analogue converter with full network streaming functionality and Class A headphone amplifier.

Retailing at £9,999 for the streaming DAC and £11,999 for the streaming DAC with integrated headphone amplifier, the new dCS Bartók DAC brings together dCS’s past, present and future.

Replacing Debussy as the most affordable DAC in the illustrious dCS range Bartók shares the same DNA as its bigger Rossini brother, featuring the Rossini Ring DAC™, custom high performance UPnP music streamer and dCS digital processing platform inside a simplified chassis that uses only one power supply. As with all dCS DACs Bartók measures best in class across all technical dimensions.

Bartók plays music through an array of industry-standard USB, AES or S/PDIF digital inputs. It can stream over Ethernet from a NAS drive or online music services such as TIDAL™ or Spotify™, and from Apple devices via Airplay™. The network interface can perform full MQA™ decoding and rendering.

The DAC section is equipped with independent balanced and unbalanced line outputs that can drive power amplifiers directly, avoiding the need for a separate preamplifier.

The Bartók Headphone DAC features a custom designed headphone amplifier that works extremely well with both high and low impedance headphones in balanced or unbalanced formats. Taking the dCS analogue output stage as a starting point Bartók maintains that level of analogue performance at the same time as being optimized for a range of headphone impedances.

Bartók supports all major codecs including high resolution PCM and DSD, with user-selectable upsampling. There is a suite of DSP filters to tailor the sound to suit individual taste, and great care has been taken to minimise jitter at all stages with the dCS ‘auto clocking’ architecture. The network streaming section currently runs at up to 24-bit, 384kS/s and DSD128, supporting all major lossless codecs, plus DSD in DoP format and native DSD.

As with all dCS products, Bartók is designed and built in Great Britain to the highest standards, with aerospace-grade machined aluminium casework damped by internal sound deadening panels to reduce resonance. Multi-stage power regulation is employed, with twin mains transformers to isolate the DAC circuitry from the headphone amplifier. A choice of silver and black finishes is offered.

Firmware can be easily updated via CD, USB or the new automated download and update facility. This lets dCS add new features and improve the performance of Bartók over its lifetime – keeping it contemporary years after its rivals have become obsolete.

Bartók delivers an immersive experience with precision and detail captured inside a panoramic soundstage. Bartók plays music from any source in a vibrant and musically engaging way, with great dynamics and inky-black silences. This open window and faithfulness to the original recording is now available to headphone lovers too.

Summary:

  • dCS Bartók network DAC with Class A headphone output (£11,999)
  • dCS Bartók network DAC (£9,999)
  • latest generation dCS Digital Processing Platform and Ring DAC™
  • Supports UPnP™, asynchronous USB and Apple AirplayTM sources, plus AES and S/PDIF digital audio streams.
  • Class A headphone amplifier stage drives low and high impedance phones
  • Streaming services supported include TIDAL™ and Spotify Connect™
  • Built in Roon Ready™
  • multi-stage oversampling design, optional DSD upsampling; selectable filters
  • auto-clocking system improves ease of use and minimises jitter
  • Accepts encrypted SACD data from dCS Transports via Dual AES inputs.
  • multi-stage power regulation and twin mains transformers
  • firmware-upgradeable for future functionality and performance upgrades

Availability:

Late October 2018

About dCS:

Since 1987 dCS has been at the forefront of digital audio design, building world-beating hi-fi equipment in the UK to the highest possible standard. Each dCS product is first in class for technical excellence and musical performance, thanks to ground-breaking innovation. Designed like no other, dCS products deliver a natural musicality and faithfulness to the original recording.

See full product details here.

 

Copyright © 2018 Data Conversion Systems Limited. All rights reserved. dCS, dCS logo, Ring DAC are trademarks or registered trademarks of Data Conversion Systems Limited. Data Conversion Systems Limited disclaims any proprietary interest in trademarks and trade names other than its own. All specifications are subject to change and, whilst they are checked for accuracy, no liabilities can be accepted for errors or omissions.

dCS are very happy to announce the release of network firmware 373 for Network Bridge.

This update brings MQA compatibility to Network Bridge along with various bug fixes and stability improvements.

Version information:
dCS firmware version: 1.00
Network firmware: 373
iOS application: 1.4.8

To support this software release the Network Bridge iOS application has also been updated. This will update automatically (if allowed on your device) or manually updated via the App store.

We thank you for your continued support and patience.

The dCS Team
dCS are pleased to announce the availability of the MQA update for Vivaldi One Software version 1.10, network version 368, iOS application 1.4.8

Updates can be performed from the internet using the app. Tap, Configuration > Version > Check for Updates

To support this software release the Vivaldi 2.0 iOS application has also been updated. The update is automatic (if allowed on your device) or can be manually updated via the App store.

MQA update for the Network Bridge, Vivaldi DAC & Upsampler are to follow. Please bear with us.
Our development team has been hard at work on our MQA implementation for some time (as you know!). We are determined to ensure that our MQA offering is executed to the expected dCS standard. However this has caused our development efforts to take longer than initially planned. We are currently scheduling release in May 2018. This is of course tentative and subject to change.

We thank you for your continued support and patience.

The dCS Team

dCS is pleased to announce the release of software version 2.30 for the Debussy Plus USB DAC.

 The update adds DXD and DSD/128 capability to the USB and Dual AES interfaces, so that files recorded at these rates can be played directly.

The Dual AES interface will also accept dCS-encrypted DSD/64 data from dCS CD/SACD Transports, so the Debussy is now compatible with the Vivaldi Transport, as well as the final versions (v1.11) of the Scarlatti & Paganini Transports when set to “Vivaldi Mode”.    

 The update file with installation instructions may be downloaded at no charge from https://www.dcsltd.co.uk/products/debussy-dac/support and loaded from a computer via the DAC’s USB interface. As many Debussy owners have “gone disc-less”, v2.30 update discs have not been mass-produced this time. Discs can be supplied on request and will incur a service charge.

 Debussy has been in production since 2010, and was upgraded with a USB Class 2 interface in 2011. If you have the original “DDC” version (software v1.00 or 1.01), upgrades to Debussy Plus can still be arranged through your local distributor.

 We hope you enjoy the new features!

 The dCS Team

dCS proudly announces Vivaldi One – a limited edition digital music player
specially designed to mark the company’s thirtieth anniversary. Limited to just 250 uniquely numbered pieces, it puts an integral CD/SACD transport alongside the latest dCS Ring DAC in a single box, together with state-of-the-art network streaming functionality.

Vivaldi is the dCS flagship line, and the culmination of three decades of the company’s legendary expertise in music recording and playback. Having pioneered high resolution digital audio in both professional and consumer fields, championed the benefits of upsampling and clocking, and originated asynchronous USB for computer audio, dCS has an exceptional and proven track record. To commemorate this, the new Vivaldi One offers state-of-the-art technology inside, and superlative style outside…

Wholly designed and manufactured in Great Britain, Vivaldi One’s aerospace-grade aluminum casework comes in a choice of three exquisite finishes, never before seen on dCS products. The Gloss White and Piano Black versions are finished by HQ Lacquer, a family-owned British business of over three decades’ standing, famed for its high quality finishes. After meticulous paintwork, multiple lacquer coats are applied and then heat-cured for days, for glass-like smoothness. Alternatively, Vivaldi One can be supplied plated in Decoplate™ 24K Gold or other precious metal by FH Lambert Ltd., the world-renowned specialist in decorative metal plating. This highest grade of gold plate confers a lavish, opulent feel and accentuates the fascia’s subtle curves.

Vivaldi One features the Esoteric VRDS Neo™ SACD-capable transport, allied to the latest generation dCS Ring DAC. It first appeared in high end dCS studio equipment nearly three decades ago, and has been continually refined and improved since then. Effectively a digital signal processing computer, the dCS Ring DAC and Digital Processing Platform runs PCM up to 24-bit, 384kS/s, DSD up to DSD128 and DSD in DOP format. Vivaldi One also supports all major lossless codecs including MQA. Driven by custom-designed software running on Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chips, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) chips and a microcontroller system. Offering twice the logic capacity of previous generations, Vivaldi One houses the latest 2.0 Ring DAC with double speed mapper, making it the highest expression of the dCS art. The result is an extraordinarily translucent sound, giving an exceptionally realistic window on the music being played.

Reflecting the unique nature of Vivaldi One, each piece is personally supplied to the customer by an expert dCS engineer, who will configure it to get the best possible sound. Its extensive networking capabilities – including its ability to stream music from NAS drives and online services such as TIDAL™ and Spotify Connect™ over Ethernet, from Apple devices via Airplay™, and audio via industry-standard USB, AES and S/PDIF digital inputs – will be carefully configured to the customer’s needs.

Commemorating the company’s thirtieth anniversary, Vivaldi One also comes supplied with a specially curated music collection, reflecting the musical passions of the dCS designers, engineers and technicians who created Vivaldi One – plus an engraved plate showing its individual serial number.

Handmade in the United Kingdom, Vivaldi One embodies all that’s best about dCS in one beautifully crafted box. It is built to last, and perform to the very highest standard for many decades to come. This timeless piece retails from £55,000, and is available from June 2017.
Summary:

  • dCS Vivaldi One (£55,000); limited numbered edition of 250 pieces
  • Integral Esoteric VRDS NEO transport for CD and SACD playback
  • Latest generation dCS Ring DAC 2.0 and digital processing platform in one box
  • choice of superlative Gloss White, Piano Black and 24-carat gold finishes
  • Digital inputs include Gigabit network, asynchronous USB, AES, BNC and S/PDIF
  • Built-in Roon Ready, TIDAL, Apple Airplay and Spotify Connect functionality.
  • Vivaldi One’s control app lets listeners manage their playback from any source.
  • Network streaming section runs at up to 24-bit, 384kS/s and DSD128, supporting all major lossless codecs (including MQA), plus DSD in DoP format and native DSD.
  • multi-stage power regulation and twin mains transformers
  • firmware-upgradeable for future functionality and performance upgrades
  • specially installed for the customer by dCS engineers
  • Specially curated dCS celebratory music collection

Availability:
June 2017

About dCS:
Since 1987 dCS has been at the forefront of digital audio, creating world-beating,
life-enhancing products that are a unique synthesis of exact science and creative
imagination. Each of our award-winning product ranges sets the standard within its
class for technical excellence and musical performance. As a result, dCS digital
playback systems are unrivalled in their ability to make music.

All dCS products are designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom using proprietary
technology, and materials and components of the highest quality. A carefully judged
balance of our unique heritage and world-class engineering ensures there is a rich
history of ground-breaking innovation inside every dCS system.

dCS announces the release of a software update that provides MQA compatibility to all
current product ranges – bringing the MQA experience into what many regard as the best
digital music source in the world.

MQA, Master Quality Authenticated, provides a means to efficiently encode and transmit high
resolution audio. MQA is based on the axiom that, in audio, high resolution can be more
accurately defined in the analogue domain in terms of temporal fine structure and lack of
modulation noise, than by any description in the digital domain, particularly one that relies on
sample rate or bit depth numbers.

MQA works by converting the analogue music to digital and back to analogue again. The
conceptual framework models analogue as an infinite sample rate representation, which can be
approximated by a hierarchical chain of downward and upward splines. The MQA encoder takes
account of and corrects aspects of the original analogue-to-digital and studio preparation chain.
Although a listener can enjoy the encoded stream at CD quality without a decoder, the best
result comes with an MQA Decoder, or a combination of MQA Core Decoder and Renderer,
which reconstructs exactly what was heard in the studio.
The MQA Renderer performs sampling reconstruction under song-by-song instruction from the
encoder, while at the same time matching and optimising the attached DAC to deliver an
authenticated analogue output.

MQA Decoders include a Renderer which is customised for each built-in digital-to-analogue
converter. Generally, the converter includes an integrated DAC which is not wholly configurable
and may have some performance limitations. For this reason, most MQA decoders include
precompensation
for the built-in converter.

dCS does not use IC converters in its DACs; instead the process of reconstructing analogue
from the digital stream is entirely custom, using specific software and discrete hardware to make
a DAC. However, unlike other non-integrated DACs, the dCS is still modelled on reconstruction
using oversampling, filtering and high-speed conversion.

David Steven, Managing Director, dCS states:

“The dCS and MQA teams have been in discussion, development and testing for almost a year.
This is a unique and exciting implementation made possible by the flexibility and capability of
our platform, as well as the fact that both companies have aligned philosophies, strong mutual
respect and trust.”

Bob Stuart, Founder & CTO, MQA adds:

“In the case of the dCS Rossini, the MQA and dCS teams were able to work together to develop
code which accurately matched the MQA hierarchical ideal reconstruction to analogue. This
MQA implementation is unique, as it is the first opportunity to enable a DAC which, by providing
exact rendering to beyond 16x (768 kHz), matches the desired temporal response with very low
modulation noise.”

dCS owners can update their firmware to support MQA via the ‘internet download and update’
functionality.

Availability:
dCS Rossini – October 2017
dCS Vivaldi One – November 2017
dCS Network Bridge – November 2017
dCS Vivaldi DAC & Upsampler – December 2017

dCS announces its new Vivaldi 2.0 series – bringing a comprehensive package of improvements to what many regard as the best digital music source in the world.

The original Vivaldi was launched in late 2012 to widespread critical acclaim. Music industry professionals and audiophiles alike declared it to be the finest sounding digital front end on sale.

Comprising the Vivaldi Transport, Vivaldi DAC, Vivaldi Upsampler and Vivaldi Master Clock, this cost-no-object, flagship system pushed the boundaries of what was then possible with digital replay. Vivaldi processed practically every digital format and offered a vast array of input and output configurations. At its heart was the dCS Ring DAC™, a unique, bespoke-designed digital converter that offers superlative sound quality and technical performance.

As with every dCS product, subsequent firmware updates have improved its functionality and performance. Now though, dCS has made a number of landmark hardware and software improvements to the system, warranting the 2.0 suffix. The changes are designed to make Vivaldi easier to use, more flexible and even better sounding.

The disc transport in the new dCS Rossini Player does not support the Super Audio Compact Disc format, although it does play the standard CD layer of hybrid SACDs in 16/44.1 PCM Red Book quality. Read more in the attached brieifing.

dCS is proud to announce its new Rossini series – designed to make superb sounding digital music from any source more easily accessible.

A premium-priced complete digital front end that replaces Puccini in the dCS range, it comes in two versions – the £15,000 Rossini DAC and £18,000 Rossini Player; setting the new performance standard for single-box digital systems.

Rossini DAC features an array of digital audio inputs and is able to stream music from NAS drives and streaming services such as TIDAL™, Spotify™ and Deezer™ over Ethernet, from Apple devices via Airplay™, and audio via industry-standard USB, AES and S/PDIF digital inputs. Rossini Player adds an integral, high quality Compact Disc transport for silver disc playback.

In an industry where most high end manufacturers adopt a build-by-numbers approach, using generic technology lightly repackaged to suit commercial needs, there are few companies that go their own way. Data Conversion Systems (dCS) is one. This specialist British brand stands apart because all the elements of its digital audio playback systems are designed, developed and assembled in the United Kingdom using unique proprietary technologies, accrued from twenty five years at the cutting edge of digital audio recording and playback. So, what does a dCS system sound like and why are they so remarkable?

At dCS’s facility just outside Cambridge a small team of highly skilled technicians builds a limited number of units each month. Every dCS product – whether it be a Digital Audio Converter (DAC), CD/SACD Transport, Digital to Digital Converter or Master Clock – is individually hand-assembled in a process that takes two full weeks. During that time it is subjected to a battery of extremely rigorous and demanding tests to ensure that by the time it leaves the company’s premises every single parameter of its measured performance is guaranteed to be within the very fine tolerances demanded by the company and that there is not a single blemish anywhere to spoil its beautiful finish and elegant appearance.