Bartok and PCM upsamplers and filters

I’m a new Bartok owner and I have questions about the overall upsampling possibilities and filters.
I mostly listen to PCM audio files (16-44k), compact disks ripped uncompressed FLACS on my Synology NAS.

As I understand, basic PCM files are automatically upsampled to DXD format. BUT you can add a DSD upsample layer over the existing DXD format. Am I right?
Is there a preference with the experienced Bartok owners?

And for the filters. There are two banks. One bank named Filters and the other one for DSD.
What would be the best set to get the least filters applied, I mean the set with the widest bandwidth ?
Any preference?

Thanks a lot .

Bartok is a great choice!

Filter 1, both in PCM or in DSD mode got the widest bandwith

Not quite. I think you are have read the manual and are confusing upsampling with oversampling. The latter relates to part of the Ring DAC conversion process. But, yes, you can choose DSD as an alternative to DXD.

There is no concept of “least” filters. This is not like an analogue filter for removing hiss. With the PCM filter selection <4 the cut off ( Nyquist) point is moved progressively higher. The frequency response of the data remains the same e.g. 16/44.1 stays as 16/44.1 with a musical information response to 22.05kHz if that is what is being played. As the cut off moves higher aberrations in the temporal domain caused by the digital filter reduce but aliases increase. So filter 1 is what could be referred to as a conventional brick wall filter . Many will find the alternative filter settings preferable as the effect of the filter is moderated as the time domain aberrations are reduced but the aliases ( being ultra high frequency) remain, in most cases, inaudible . Other types of filter selection are available ( and for me are preferable) when playing high resolution PCM material. Unfortunately my favourite asymmetric filter is only available for 44.1 with the Vivaldi AFAIK. Absent this my personal preference has always been filter 4 for 44.1and 48 which differs from dCS’ recommendations.

For DSD filter 1 provides the widest bandwidth.

Having said the above, read the user manual. It correctly states that these are subjective choices and you should choose which you prefer ( so you may not like my preferences in practice) . Do not be hung up on numbers and that a bigger one will always sound better then a lesser one.

You are going to have so much enjoyment with your Bartok once you get used to using it and it has has had a bit of time to burn in.

Thanks Fredrik,
So, filter 1 on PCM-DXD upsampled by default and also, filter 1 on DSD if I chose to add DSD over it. Am I correct?

I think all of this will be more evident once my Bartok is totally broken in.

Thanks again.

Thanks so much Peter for your explanations, very appreciated.
Do you use the Network Bridge with your Vivaldi?

Yes either PCM Filter 1 ( Also called the Classic FIR Filter ) or Filter 6 ( Filter 6 is also called the Long Fir filter and got more taps Lengts, about 20.000 than filter 1 with an estimate with around 15.000 in tap lenght, but is otherwise vertically identical in frequency response and sharpness and slope pre - after ringing and measures the same in a electric scope.

Classic filter 1

Filter 6: Long filter

Filter 5 Asymmetrical Filter with no pre-ringing but high after ringing:


Frequency response:
Classic (left channel blue, right red), Long (left cyan, right magenta), and Asym (left green, right gray) filters (0.1dB/vertical div.).

(Taps: Is a interpolation of the wave lengths dun in the FPGA processor, in mathematics, interpolation is a method for generating new data points from a discrete set of existing data points, that is calculating function values ​​that lie between already known values.

Almost similar to interpolation in a TV with 200 fps frame update / second where the processor looks at the before and after pictures and creates own pictures in betwwen for smoother and more detailed picture from its original 50/60 fp/s )

On DSD it is the filter 1 you chould set it to for the highest bandwith. If you find it to sound to sharp for your ears use filter 2 instead. .

In my opinion DXD mode sounds best on PCM music like streamed music.


DSD Filter 1:

Frequency response DSD Filter 1:

With DSD upsampling you will get a slightly fuller sound and slight more loudness in the low end etc, but not as pinpoint fast and agile, as the DXD mode with PCM Filter 1 or 6 in my opinion.

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No, I have a Vivaldi Upsampler which incorporates similar networking facilities to the Network Bridge but provides a slightly better outcome (as you might imagine given the price differential). However I have used a Bridge happily with Vivaldi in the past.