Saturday, May 07, 2005

dCS' new products

Data Conversion Systems (dCS) is one of those dedicated, engineering driven boutique HE-companies whose products I fancy to own one day (others are Halcro, LAMM and Pass Lab, just to name a few). The dCS has an impressive list of "industry firsts" (see Web-site) and has very high reputation within professional audio and audiophile communities.

The company is now offering "simplified" versions of its formidable professional products for audiophile market. The first is integrated CD/SACD player P8i with on board upsampling from CD to DSD and digital volume control (see picture below). Other products to be announced are DAC8e converter and T8e CD/SACD upsampling Transport.

Viewpoint: About cd-players incorporating analog (like Mark Levinson 390S) or digital volume control (like Wadia, dCS). Previously I was singing "lets keep signal path as short as possible" mantra. But having owned Wadia 801 and Mark Levinson 390S and running them directly to power-amps, I can tell one thing: adding active pre-amp (in particular tube pre-amp) with all necessary cabling etc. can (should I say will) result in substantial improvement in sound re-production. If you care about "rightness" of sound and final touch of realism, do yourself a favor. Listen to HE-pre-amp. I know the case where an owner of full dCS professional gear introduced Nagra PL-P tube pre-amp to his system, and after 20 minutes of listening he decided to purchase the unit.

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