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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.

Ten things about Britain’s greatest purveyor of premium digital music playback sources…

dCS’s culture of cutting-edge engineering, that is the result of its twin heritage in both defence systems and professional audio, led to a number of ‘world firsts’ in the audio field.  The company pioneered high resolution audio, developing converters capable of supporting 24/192, DSD* and DXD* audio formats. Not only were the world’s first high resolution (24/88.2) and surround Super Audio CD (SACD) recordings created using dCS technology, but the company was the first to develop outboard upsamplers and master clocks, demonstrating to music lovers worldwide the importance of these technologies and how they could get listeners much closer to the original musical performance.

dCS celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2014. It has been a remarkable quarter of a century for the Cambridge company, during which time it has changed the face of digital audio recording and playback around the world. In its twenty-fifth anniversary year, dCS is looking back at its legacy, celebrating its tradition of innovation and engineering excellence, and reviewing its many technological milestones along the way.

DOUG SCHNEIDER, Editor of Soundstage Global, visits dCS in their Cambridge home where he meets the people, learns about their special technology and manufacturing systems and processes and has a tour of this beautiful city.  Read more.