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Sale price£19,000.00

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Pickup also available at Doug Brady HiFi

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Black / dCS Bartók APEX DAC / Network Player

Doug Brady HiFi

Pickup also available, usually ready in 1 hour

Kingsway Studios
Kingsway North
Warrington WA1 3NU
United Kingdom


The dCS Bartók APEX is a high end DAC, Music Streamer, Upsampler, Pre-amp, and (optional) Headphone Amplifier, the Bartók APEX offers a singular experience for headphone and stereo listeners. The new APEX Ring DAC is dCS next-generation DAC hardware, who have redefined the state-of-the-art sound for digital audio. This upgrade takes the Bartók world-leading performance to a new level that provides an even more immersive musical experience.

'The performance of the Bartók is nothing short of breathtaking'

The Bartók APEX retains the original's powerful, dynamic and detailed soundscape and adds elements of resolution and refinement previously only achievable with the Rossini or Vivaldi APEX. dCS engineered Bartók APEX to inform and inspire.

APEX sets a new benchmark for transparency. It organically resolves the finest details and uncovers textures and subtleties that most systems overlook. From the broadest dynamic swings in volume to the subtlest shifts in tone, Bartók APEX reveals each aspect of a recording with a sense of effortless refinement and control.

Designed and hand-assembled at our headquarters in Cambridgeshire, England, Bartók APEX is born from meticulous craft, exhaustive development, and obsessive attention to detail—a relentless pursuit of musical purity that has inspired us to reimagine the limits of sound reproduction. 

Sharing the same electronics as our Vivaldi and Rossini systems, it features the latest generations of our pioneering Ring DAC™ APEXclocking architecture, and digital processing platform —a unique combination of hardware and software unrivalled in its sonic and technical performance.

Bartók APEX combines precision engineering with an elegant and timeless aesthetic. Standard-setting build quality means Bartók APEX withstands even the most intensive use and reliably delivers superb sound quality at all volume settings and outputs. With flexible and upgradable software and hardware, Bartók can grow and evolve, providing a state-of-the-art listening experience for years to come.


APEX is a new, enhanced version of the dCS Ring DAC: the Digital to Analogue conversion system found inside all dCS DACs. First developed for our professional audio products, this unique system has been subject to continuous development and refinement over the past three decades, and remains renowned for its technical and sonic performance.

With APEX, we've reconfigured the Ring DAC's circuit board and developed a new analogue output stage. This has allowed us to further reduce distortion, and increase linearity, resulting in a range of measured and sonic improvements - including an even greater sense of dynamic drive, detail, finesse and vitality.

High-performance streamer

Designed for ease of use and superior sound, the Bartók APEX can flex to serve whatever mood or music you ask it to. With its wide range of inputs and outputs, high-performance UPnP streamer, and extensive choice of filters, it offers limitless capabilities and an effortless listening experience.

Streaming Services

Compatible with all major file formats, it provides instant access to music from a wide range of streaming services, including Roon, TIDAL, Spotify, Qobuz, Deezer and Internet Radio. It also plays files direct from personal devices or storage drives via USB, AES or S/PDIF inputs, and from Apple devices using Apple Airplay.


Its streaming interface supports all major lossless codecs, plus DSD in native and DoP formats, and ensures true 24-bit resolution audio when streaming via Ethernet. Playback is easily managed via our Mosaic app, which allows you to access music from multiple sources and adjust the settings on your system through a single, intuitive interface.

Mosaic APP

Available on all Android and iOS devices, the Mosaic control app is supported by a powerful processing platform that runs on custom code developed by dCS. This software-driven design means its performance can be upgraded and enhanced over time, allowing us to add new streaming functionalities as platforms and services develop.

Bartók APEX DAC Key Features

  • Latest generation dCS Digital Processing Platform brings state-of-the-art signal processing and flexibility
  • dCS Ring DAC™ fitted, as used in the dCS Vivaldi digital playback system
  • High-quality streaming from TIDAL, Qobuz, Deezer and internet radio via the dCS Mosaic Control app
  • Roon Ready, AirPlay, Spotify Connect and UPnP compatible
  • USB, AES, Dual AES and S/PDIF digital audio inputs
  • Accepts encrypted SACD data from dCS Transports via Dual AES inputs
  • Multi-stage DXD oversampling design with switchable DSD upsampling; user-selectable PCM and DSD filters
  • Auto clocking system improves ease of use and minimises jitter
  • Firmware-upgradeable for future functionality and performance upgrades


Dimensions 444mm / 17.5” X 430mm / 17.0” X 115mm / 4.6“. Allow Extra Depth For Cable Connectors
Weight 16.7kg / 36.8lbs
Converter Type DCS Proprietary Ring DAC™ Topology
Digital Inputs Ethernet Network Port On RJ45 Connector, Accepts 24-Bit 44.1 – 384kS/S PCM, DSD/64 & DSD128 In DFF/DSF Format; USB 2.0 Interface On B-Type Connector, Accepts 24-Bit 44.1 – 384kS/S PCM, DSD/64 & DSD128 In DoP Format; USB On-The-Go Interface On A-Type Connector, Accepts 24-Bit 44.1 – 384kS/S PCM, DSD/64 & DSD128 In DFF/DSF Format; 2 X AES/EBU Inputs On 3-Pin Female XLR Connectors, Accepts 24-Bit 44.1 – 192kS/S PCM, DSD/64 & DSD/128 In DoP Format; 1 X Dual AES Pair, Accepts 24-Bit 88.2 – 384kS/S PCM, DSD/64 & DSD/128 In DoP Format; 1 X SPDIF On RCA Phono Connector, Accepts 24-Bit 44.1 – 192kS/S PCM & DSD/64 In DoP Format; 1 X SPDIF On BNC Connector, Accepts 24-Bit 44.1 – 192kS/S PCM & DSD/64 In DoP Format; 1 X SPDIF Optical On TOSLINK Connector, Accepts 24-Bit 44.1 – 96kS/S PCM
Analogue Output 1 X Pair Balanced Outputs On 2 X XLR Connectors. Output Levels|| 0.2V, 0.6V, 2V, 6V Rms For A Full-Scale Input, Set In The Menu. Output Impedance|| 3Ω. Maximum Load||600Ω (10k-100kΩ Is Recommended); 1 X Pair Unbalanced Outputs On 2 X RCA Connectors. Output Levels|| 0.2V, 0.6V, 2V, 6V Rms For A Full-Scale Input, Set In The Menu. Output Impedance|| 52Ω. Maximum Load|| 600Ω (10k-100kΩ Is Recommended)
Headphone Outputs 1 X Stereo Balanced Output 4-Pin Male XLR Connector; 1 X Stereo Unbalanced Output On 6.35mm (1/4”) 3-Pole Jack. Full-Scale Output Levels|| 1.4W Rms Into 33Ω, 0.15W Rms Into 300Ω. Minimum Headphone Impedance|| 33Ω
Worldclock I/O 2 X Word Clock Inputs On 2 X BNC Connectors, Accept Standard Word Clock At 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 Or 192kHz. The Data Rate Can Be The Same As The Clock Rate Or An Exact Multiple Of The Clock Rate. Sensitive To TTL Levels. 1 X Word Clock Output On 1x BNC Connector. With Sync Mode Set To Master, A TTL-Compatible Word Clock Is Output
MQA Full Decoding And Rendering Of MQA Data From The Network And USB2 Inputs. Final Rendering Of Unfolded MQA Data Only From The Other Inputs
Residual Noise 24-Bit Data|| Better Than –113dB0, 20Hz - 20kHz Unweighted (6V Output Setting)
LR Crosstalk Better Than -115dB0, 20Hz – 20kHz
Spurious Response Better Than -105dB0, 20Hz – 20kHz
Filters PCM Mode|| Up To 6 Filters Give Different Trade-Offs Between The Nyquist Image Rejection And The Phase Response. DSD Mode|| 4 Filters Progressively Reduce Out-Of-Audio Band Noise Level
Conversions DXD As Standard Or Optional DSD Upsampling
Software Updates Download And Update Functionality Available Via DCS Mosaic Control App
Local Control DCS Mosaic Control App For Unit Configuration And Playback. RS232 Interface (Controlled By A 3rd Party Automation System). DCS Universal Remote Is Available As An Optional Extra
Power Supply Factory Set To Either 100, 115/120, 220 Or 230/240V AC 50/60Hz
Power Consumptions 30 Watts Typical / 50 Watts Maximum
dCS Bartók APEX DAC Sale price£19,000.00