dCS Steps Up Their Game | High End 2019

High-End 2019 show coverage brought to you by The LSA Group

Several sharp people told me to visit the dCS room and I finally got around to it by Sunday.  The Wilson Audio Sasha DAW speakers usually sound great.  D’Agostino amplifiers usually sound great.  dCS DACs usually sound great.  But put them all together and get the placement just-so, and oh boy, magic happens.

John Quick and Jesse Luna of dCS were on hand, as were a good number of the UK dCS team, some of whom I met in a great little “cabin” on the lower floor where the cabin walls served to create sound isolation for headphone listening, a showcase of what the amazing new Bartok could do.  But as good as that was, my favorite dCS room was upstairs where they created a resplendent sound with a dCS Rossini that took advantage of the latest firmware upgrade.

Which brings me back to the Bartok.  You see friends, the scuttlebutt is the new Bartok is so good that it got uncomfortably close to the prior version of the Rossini for a lot less money.  Well, fear not Rossini owners, dCS promptly pushed out a firmware update that moved it forward too.  And the upper level room in Halle 4 at Munich really showed what the Rossini could do.

Quite simply, this is what digital audio should sound like.  It was simply spectacular and was one of my candidates for the best room at the show.

Now fully recovered from jet lag, I am reading my listening notes from the event and they are effusive with praise for this room…

Fink’s acoustic “Pills in My Pocket” just sounded real!  The chestiness in the voice was wonderfully produced.  The guitar was spot on out of the Wilson’s.  The dCS Rossini was capturing all the string tone of the acoustic guitar.  Sublime.

There was a beautiful piano piece that I forgot to write down that was a showcase of macro and micro dynamics that sounded so natural and present.  It was full of finesse and delicate notes.

John Quick cued up the Anonymous Four’s “Gather at the River”.  Such beautiful layering of the voices!  Decay of the notes just floated off into the ether.

I would not know what the latest Vivaldi stack would be capable of but I a Rossini V2 could be endgame for me and I’m guessing many others.

Alas, the Rossini may be out of my budget.  Fortunately, I will soon be in front of the equally great sounding Bartok at the local hifibuys Guys Night Out event.  I listened to the Bartok down in the dCS “cabin” in the main hall.  It was also spectacular.

I have always been impressed by dCS gear.  To me though, this latest round has taken on a musicality that is at an even higher level.  It’s clear the digital audio quality was very high, arguably near reference but we should also comment on the Wilson Sasha DAW and Dagostino pairing.  Yet again the Sashas put out great music with a realistic soundstage front to back.  The speed and dynamics of this loudspeaker seemed to follow exquisitely the dynamics and speed the Rossini was capable of.  The Dagostino Momentum S250 amplifier with 250 watts a side and a huge 1,800 VA transformer was a perfect match.  Preamp duties were via the Rossini and cables capturing all the detail were the Nordost Valhalla 2.  Everything just worked.  A terrific system expertly set up.  Also fun were table displays around the room that had such items as awards, a gorgeously curved Vivaldi stack, and the actual circuit boards with the Ring DAC.

In addition to the wonderful sound, dCS also stepped up their streaming game with the announcement of Mosaic, a music streaming platform that allows Tidal, Qobuz, and Deezer.

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High-End 2019 show coverage brought to you by Core Power Technologies