We reflect on an incredible year for dCS, thank our supporters, and look to the future.Tags: News, Review, Technology & Innovation, Events, Design & Craft,
In this blog, we take a look back at the last twelve months of product launches, cultural highlights, events, reviews, awards & music.
In March 2022, we launched the dCS Ring DAC™ APEX. This new hardware - the result of several months of intensive research and development - allows us to deliver a range of sonic and measured improvements, and enhance the musical performance of two renowned dCS systems.
For listeners, this enhanced technical performance has resulted in a range of sonic improvements, as evidenced in our subjective listening tests.
The feedback from listening sessions with our Ring DAC APEX prototypes was hugely positive, with listeners noting enhanced resolution, dynamics, rhythm and timing, an even greater sense of ease and naturalness, more precise and tonally resolved voices, and more realistic timbral quality of strings, among other benefits.
dCS Lina Launch
In May 2022, we launched dCS Lina, a new product series from dCS, designed to meet the unique needs of headphone listeners. Featuring a Network DAC, Headphone Amplifier and Master Clock, it reimagines the dCS experience for headphone users, and combines our world-leading audio technologies with new innovations developed specifically for headphone playback.
Lina's three components can be purchased individually or as a complete system.
Despite our confidence in Lina; we were overwhelmed by the incredible response from both the headphone listening community and the audiophile community as a whole. Read on to news & awards, or visit our Product Review Page, for more info.
For all things dCS Lina, visit our dedicated product page.
The Bartók Streaming DAC and its cousin, the Bartók Headphone DAC, redefined music playback for much of the audiophile and music community and found its way into music systems across the world. Professional recordists, mastering engineers, and musicians also discovered the virtues of using Bartók in their work.
In August 2022, to inform the release of Bartók 2.0, we chose to follow some of the professionals and artists who use Bartók as a part of their workflow. A series of short films, which we’ve titled Bartók Masters, celebrates these influential music creators’ work, histories, and passions.
Our three short films, available on YouTube and at The dCS Edit, follow the lives & careers of banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck, Mastering Engineer & NYU Professor Alan Silverman, and Producer & Label Director Tariq Khan.
Make sure you're subscribed to our mailing list to stay up to date with future instalments in 2023.
Reviews & Awards
We've been blown away by the wealth of reviews & awards we've received this year. You can now navigate to our Review Page, allowing you to browse all reviews chronologically per product. The Lina Review Page even has an option to filter by component- so if you want to view only reviews for the whole system, or only reviews for example, the Master Clock: you can easily do so.
Stand out reviews for dCS Lina include Jude Mansilla at Headfi's assessment that it is 'The finest solid state headphone system I've heard to date', The Outstanding Product of the Year badge from HiFi News, and the Overall Product of the Year award from Headphone Guru.
For a comprehensive deep dive on all three Lina components, we recommend heading to Headfonics' series of online reviews.
Rossini & Vivaldi APEX also garnered an incredible response from our community. HiFi Critic declared the upgrade to Rossini 'a transformational change' with What HiFi stating that it is 'hard to imagine how it can be bettered.' The upgrade won Stereophile's Product of the Year Accolade in the Category of Digital Source Component.
HiFi News declared that the Vivaldi APEX DAC sounded 'more natural, more organic, more... human'; awarding it their Outstanding Product badge, with The Absolute Sound describing the transformative sound capabilities of the upgrade as 'mesmerising'.
Bartók 2.0 also received a wealth of impressive reviews from critics, including Headfonics ('Nothing short of breathtaking') and The Audio Beat ('Easily exceeds the performance of the original...simply brilliant').
As always, we hope to keep receiving feedback from our valued industry experts, customers & critics in 2023.
2022 saw the incredible return of live music & audio events after the uncertainty of preceding years. We were overjoyed to be able to take Vivaldi & Rossini APEX back on the road to High End Munich in May 2022, amongst over 550 exhibitors and more than 20,000 visitors. We’re already making plans for a return in 2023.
dCS Lina debuted at London CanJam in July, where we were proud to host an entirely new concept; our Lina Lounge Experience, where attendees were invited to relax & listen to Lina paired with the worlds finest headphones in our soundproof listening pods. dCS Lina was back on the road for CanJam SoCal & for a series of UK based events at some of our favourite high end audio dealerships: Oxford Audio, Oxford; Hifonix, West Midlands, HiFi Corner, Edinburgh & HiFi Lounge, Bedfordshire.
Our 2 channel systems were also firmly back on the event circuit; we demoed Rossini & Vivaldi APEX at many international events this year notably Goteborg HiFi Show, the Dutch Audio Event and Paris Audio Video Show.
New Music & Classical Choices
At The dCS Edit, we've continued to bring you an eclectic mix of New Music and Classical Choices from our resident writers: Music Journalist Sharon O'Connell & Journalist & Broadcaster specialising in Classical Music, Charlotte Gardner. You can find all of our Music Playlist blogs here at their dedicated page. All of our playlists are streamable on Qobux & TIDAL, so whenever you need inspiration, simply navigate here for a wealth of new discoveries!
The 'Classical Choices' series offers listening inspiration from across a wide range of classical disciplines, featuring up & coming artists & orchestras as well as the classical music world's biggest names. Charlotte's erudite analysis is always a pleasure to read, and her choices designed to challenge comfort zones as well as direct us to popular trends.
This year, Sharon O’Connell’s ‘New Music’ series has championed innovative releases from artists working in genres from hip hop to pop, electronica, funk, jazz, and soul. With her finger very much on the pulse, Sharon's playlists always contain some surprises as well as established favourites & it's this unpredictability which keeps her playlists fresh; we look forward to bringing them to you at the beginning of each month to set the tone for a new month of musical inspiration.
By following dCS on Qobuz & TIDAL, you can stream our regular playlists wherever & whenever you choose- as well as accessing the dCS 'Team Picks' Playlist's and one-off features such as our CanJam London 'Listen on Lina' Playlist.
Next year, we’ll be bringing you an even bigger selection of music recommendations and as always, we welcome your suggestions on the dCS forum and our social media pages.
We couldn't do what we do without your support.
A huge thank you must go out to all of our partners, friends, customers & supporters- we're excited to see what we can achieve together next year and beyond.
The dCS Team