APEX Upgrade

APEX Upgrade

How do you elevate an already exemplary design? This is the question our engineers asked when they embarked on a project to further refine the hardware portion of the dCS Ring DAC™ – the renowned digital-to-analogue conversion system that resides at the heart of all dCS DACs and Players.

Our investigation led us to develop a new, improved design that brings significant benefits in several key areas. This, in turn, has enabled us to further enhance the musical performance of our beloved Vivaldi, Rossini and Bartók DACs and Players.

Ring DAC APEX hardware is included with all new Vivaldi, Rossini and Bartok DACs and Players. Existing owners can also upgrade their system for an even more profound and revealing musical experience…

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"Bottom line. Is it worth it? Does the sun rise in the east and sink in the west?"

- Neil Gader – The Absolute Sound

"The dCS Bartók APEX is a significant upgrade on the original and the 2.0 versions of this world-class all-in-one integrated DAC, pre-amp and headphone amplifier. It is audibly more refined..."

- Marcus Downey – Headfonics

"The musical sounds coming out of this new Bartók APEX sound more fantastically appealing than the ones generated by my original Bartók or any other DAC l've reviewed. That's a major achievement."

- Herb Reichert – Stereophile

"The APEX upgrade delivers a vast jump in every aspect of the Vivaldi One's performance..."

- Jeff Dorgay – Tone Audio

“The changes were instantly audible ... to hear what the Vivaldi APEX can provide is mesmerizing”

- Jacob Heilbrun – The Absolute Sound

“The Rossini APEX DAC is more than another upgrade; it’s a major advance in digital sound reproduction"

- Jason Victor Serinus – Stereophile


APEX: What’s New

Our engineers have made several updates to the Ring DAC’s design and performance.

These include:

These modifications are the result of exhaustive analysis and thorough investigation. The Ring DAC APEX™ hardware has been extensively tested to ensure it delivers both real and tangible benefits. Alongside running quantitative tests using our bespoke equipment, we have carried out several rounds of subjective listening tests with music professionals and critical listening experience.

A More Profound Experience

The dCS Ring DAC was renowned for its excellent linearity as well as its world-leading noise and distortion performance. Our APEX edition reduces noise even further, and increases linearity by over 12dB.

Listeners who’ve upgraded their system have noted profound musical benefits, including:

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What listeners experience

  • "I would describe the APEX sound as vibrant, yet somehow with a touching intimacy. Plus an all-embracing sense of space around the performers, especially depth. Loving it."

    - Martin, Rossini owner
  • "The difference was noticeable. The usual words came to mind: more blackness, more focus, you know the jargon. I can best say that the placement of instruments was more robust and stable with the APEX."

    - Rene, Vivaldi owner
  • "My Rossini APEX upgrade provided a significant improvement - much more than I had expected from the demo at the dealer. This was noticeable immediately in my system and did not need hours of 'burn in'."

    - David, Rossini owner

How to upgrade

APEX upgrades are performed by our dealers and distributors. Please use our online Dealer Locator to find your nearest dCS dealer or contact us using this form if you would like support. 

Once your order is placed, you will be given a date for the upgrade. On this date, your dCS product will be collected and upgraded under strict conditions by qualified personnel with experience assembling and disassembling dCS systems. The Ring DAC circuit board inside your dCS component will be replaced with a new APEX board and the rear escutcheon replaced with a new APEX version. Once the upgrade is complete, your product will be tested and returned to you as soon as possible.