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Scarlatti DAC

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Scarlatti DAC uses state-of-the-art dCS technology including the dCS Ring DAC™ Digital Processing Platform and Clocking System so that, as the hub of a digital audio system, an array of features guarantees amazing performance from any digital source.

The unique design of the legendary dCS Ring DAC™ combines exceptional linearity with very high speed operation enabling it to deliver true 24-bit performance even at low signal levels. The powerful digital processing platform of Scarlatti DAC is based around Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chips, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) chips and a microcontroller system. All of these use code developed and maintained in the UK by dCS.

The optimised DSP filters available to Scarlatti DAC ensure you can extract every last nuance of musical detail by tuning the system to suit your personal preference.

Scarlatti DAC features standard AES3, S/PDIF and SDIF-2 inputs in addition to the recently enhanced Dual AES or IEEE 1394 interface for DSD. The digital volume control allows direct connection to a power amplifier; there is no need for a preamplifier. Maximum output can be either two or six volts to suit different amplifier and loudspeaker combinations.

The unit can be used in Master mode to provide a clock for the source or be locked to an external Word Clock signal generated by a dCS Master Clock – this produces a substantial performance improvement.

dCS pioneered the use of external clocks in digital audio systems and the multi-stage Phase-Locked-Loop (PLL) system used in Scarlatti DAC sets reference standards for accuracy and control of troublesome jitter from the incoming audio stream.

To realise the very best performance, Scarlatti DAC should be used with the matching Scarlatti Upsampler, Scarlatti CD/SACD Transport and Scarlatti Master Clock. Alternatively Scarlatti DAC can be used with any industry-standard CD transport, digital streamer or music server.

All Scarlatti products benefit from our ‘soft’ approach to programmable logic that allows new software to be loaded from a dCS update disc to add new features and adapt to changes in digital formats.

Key Features

  • Flexible output configuration can be optimised in systems with or without preamplifiers.
  • All dCS products use a sophisticated multi-mode Phase-Locked-Loop (PLL), which significantly reduces clock jitter.
  • Improved power supplies give lower running temperature and superior tolerance to AC supply variations.
  • Aerospace-grade aluminium chassis and laminated acoustic damping panels reduce magnetic effects and vibration.
  • Low-power LC display makes the user interface easier to read, keeps power requirements down and minimises electrical noise.
  • Separate power circuits for the digital and analogue sections further enhance the purity of the power supply.
  • ‘Soft’ approach to programmable logic allows new software to be loaded from a dCS update CD to add new features and adapt to changes in digital formats.


Technical Specifications

  • type

    Digital-to-Analogue Converter.

  • colour

    Silver or Black.

  • dimensions

    465mm/18.3” x 405mm/16.0” x 75mm/3.0”. Allow extra depth for cable connectors.

  • weight


  • converter type

    Proprietary dCS Ring DAC™ topology, oversampling to 5 bits at 2.822 or 3.07MS/s.

  • analogue outputs

    Output Levels: 2V rms or 6V rms on all outputs for a full-scale input, set in the menu.
    Balanced Outputs: 1 stereo pair on 2x 3-pin male XLR connectors (pin 2 = hot, pin 3 = cold). These outputs are electronically balanced and floating, the signal balance ratio at 1kHz is better than 40dB, Output impedance is 3Ω, maximum load is 600Ω (a 10kΩ load is recommended).
    Unbalanced Outputs: 1 stereo pair on 2x RCA Phono connectors. Output impedance is 52Ω, maximum load is 600Ω (a 10kΩ load is recommended).

  • digital inputs

    IEEE 1394 interface on 2x 6-way connectors. The interface accepts dCS-encrypted DSD (1 bit data at 2.822MS/s).
    2x AES/EBU on 3-pin female XLR connectors. Each will accept up to 24 bit PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 & 192kS/s and DoP DSD over PCM) OR as a Dual AES pair, 24 bit PCM data at 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8 & 384 kS/s or DoP or dCS-encrypted DSD.
    3x SPDIF on 2x RCA Phono and 1x BNC connectors. Each will accept up to 24 bit PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 & 192kS/s AND DOP (DSD over PCM).
    1x SPDIF optical on a Toslink connector, will accept up to 24 bit PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2 & 96kS/s.
    1x SDIF-2 interface on 2x BNC connectors, will accept up to 24 bit PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2 & 96kS/s or SDIF-2 DSD (auto-selected). If the unit is not in Master mode, this interface requires a compatible Word Clock input, locked to the data rate.

  • Wordclock I/Oworldclock inputs

    Word Clock input on 1x BNC connector. Accepts standard Word Clock at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 & 192kHz. The data rate can be the same as the clock rate or an exact multiple (0.5x, 1x, 2x, 4x) of the clock rate. Sensitive to TTL levels.
    Word Clock output on 1x BNC connector. In Master mode, a TTL-compatible 44.1kHz Word Clock is available.

  • residual noise

    Better than -110dB0 @ 20Hz-20kHz unweighted (6V Setting).

  • spurious responses

    Better than -100dB0 @ 20Hz-20kHz.

  • filters

    PCM mode: 4 filters give different trade-offs between the Nyquist image rejection and the phase response. 2 extra filters are available at 44.1, 176.4kS/s and 192kS/s. DSD mode: 4 filters progressively reduce out-of-audio band noise level (inherent in the 1 bit nature of DSD).

  • software updates

    Loaded from CD-R via PCM digital inputs.

  • local control

    Nevo Q50™ programmable remote control is supplied with Scarlatti Transport, or RS232.

  • power supply

    Factory set for 100, 115, 220 or 230V AC, 49-62Hz.

  • power consumption

    22 Watts typical/30 Watts maximum


  • image 1

    dCS Scarlatti: The World’s Finest, Most Complex & Best Sounding SACD Player Yet

    Stereophile Vol.32 No.8, August 2009

    Review by Michael Fremer

    Read the review

  • image 1

    Digital Record Players – dCS Scarlatti Digital Playback System

    The Absolute Sound Issue 183, July 2008

    Review by Jonathan Valin



This is the support section introduction for dCS Scarlatti Digital Playback System.  If you cannot find what you need please try the Support section or Contact Us.

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  • dCS Scarlatti-Nevo S70 Remote Config 2v20

  • dCS Scarlatti-Nevo Q50 Remote Config 2v30

  • Quick Start Guide – dCS Scarlatti Digital Playback System

  • Product Datasheet – Scarlatti CD/SACD Transport

  • Product Datasheet – Scarlatti Master Clock

  • Product Datasheet – Scarlatti Upsampler

  • Product Datasheet – Scarlatti DAC

  • User Manual – Scarlatti CD/SACD Transport v1.1x

  • User Manual – Scarlatti Master Clock

    Software v2.0x. This applies to units with serial numbers starting with SCP.

  • User Manual – Scarlatti Upsampler v1.2x

  • User Manual – Scarlatti DAC v1.3x

  • Remote Control Codes

    Last updated 11 Feb 2016.



    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      Stereophile – Digital Source of the Year 2009

      Dec 2009

    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      Absolute Sound – Product of the Year 2008

      Dec 2008

    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      Stereo Sound Japan – Grand Prix 2007

      Dec 2007