Bartok Apex Upgrade

I had a call today from my dealer about an upgrade for my Bartok to Apex. I have a recent Bartok and Rossini clock. What improvements oils I expect with this upgrade? I’ve been very happy with my Bartok but of course now I want to improve it. It’s quite expensive and I’ll be without for a few weeks.

Your dealer has likely misunderstood something, or (perhaps, but I think it’s extremely unlikely) is party to something that none of us have heard of before — as far as we’ve heard the Bartok isn’t upgradable to Apex.

(Well, without adding a bunch more money and upgrading the entire unit to a Rossini Apex or Vivaldi Apex. There’s no such thing as a Bartok Apex, in other words.)

Now I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they’d like to talk to you about going from Bartok > Rossini or Vivaldi Apex — both would be great upgrades, both for you and your dealer.


I wonder if by chance we have confirmation that Bartók will get APEX?

Obviously, one day, only for 15.000€ as the price of aluminium raises !! :scream:

Not even for a moment did I think it could be cheaper than an Apex upgrade for Vivaldi and Rossini Dac. So it can only be a rumor that such work on such an upgrade is in progress and it will be proposed at the right moment, maybe after Vivaldi and Rossini 3.0.

From what I can see, dCS try to keep their current models moving forward, however still differentiated from one another in ultimate sound quality. The Rossini and Vivaldi got an upgrade in the form of Apex and the Bartok was also upgraded, but by implementing the enhanced Rossini/Vivaldi firmware.

This suggests to me that there could be a Bartok Apex in the future, but they haven’t said anything about this possibility as yet. As of today, the only way I know of to get on the Apex train is to upgrade to the Rossini/Vivaldi, although I’d be happily proven wrong :slight_smile:

Vivaldi Apex is Vivaldi 3.0…

Chris, the version number refers to the firmware. Apex is a hardware not firmware upgrade.This remains v.2. or, more precisely, v.2.11. for Vivaldi Apex DAC. I know , it is sitting 2 metres away !

You must be right, however my Non-Apex Vivaldi Dac has a 2.11 firmware version, only the Upsampler is version 2.10.

I skip the Apex, I wait then Vivaldi 3 and Apex II :wink:

I might be wrong but tje reason for this strategy is that the feedback of Apex upgraders has been shy…Audiophile can say that a resonator or a cable has improved the sound in a way they could not have imagined, etc… But in case of the Apex upgrade no one on this forum was that hilarious after the upgrade…no one complained, hopefully…So, may be a new firmware shall raise the sound quality and make the most of the new hardware…

From my local dealer…based in Canada:

"This requires the unit to be shipped to dCS’s service engineer in Boston MA, where the Apex Ring DAC board is installed alongside upgraded DSP board. The rear panel of the unit will also be replaced with APEX labeling. Literally one third of the unit is replaced.

The cost to the client for this upgrade is $12150 plus taxes and shipping, to and from Boston."

…appears to be half the current retail price of a new unit !

…and almost certainly not an upgrade to a Bartok your dealer is talking about.

I’ve only seen official news about Apex upgrades to the Rossini and Vivaldi.

Will APEX be offered on the Bartók?

At present, we have no plans to offer APEX with the Bartók Streaming DAC or the Bartók Headphone DAC. The Ring DAC APEX is not compatible with the BHD, and the BSD remains current. We are always exploring how we can continue enhancing our systems, and Bartók customers will be notified whenever we have updates or new features to share.

From (at the end):

The quote was from my local dealer and directly references the Bartok:

"I just wanted to let you know dCS is about to launch the Bartok Apex. As you may be aware dCS launched both the Rossini and Vivaldi Apex products in the spring and summer of 2022. They have just informed me that as of late February and March 2023 the Bartok will recieve the exact same Apex DAC board as the Rossini and Vivaldi. The changes to the Bartok’s overall performance should be dramatic, as it was with Rossini and Vivaldi.

The overall warmth, musical timing and delicacy are significantly enhanced according to my trusted friends who have heard the upgrade."

That or maybe ChatGPT has taken over his email server ! Typos and all !


Interesting. Will keep an eye/ear out :+1:

If this is true, then I wonder at what price dCS will offer the Bartók Apex. Its current price as non-Apex + the price for the Apex upgrade will bring it almost on par with the current price of the Rossini DAC Apex.

Interesting point you raise…
the Bartok would never be viable with a price increase equal or close to the current Bartok plus cost of the the upgrade (currently CAD $25K + $12.5K) as it would approach the price of a Rossini (currently CAD $42K).


My dealer contacted me today with the confirmation that indeed there will be an Apex upgrade for my Bartok late February or early March. Price will be $6100 + $700 for shipping and handling for units less than 2 years old. $12150 after 2 years. It will be the exact same board as the Rossini and Vivaldi. He says 1/3 of the unit will be replaced.


Thanks John,

It looks very much like this is going to happen.

I’m doing it and will post my impressions.

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Hello John,
Did he give any justification for the tiered pricing? Was there a significant hardware revision to the Bartok two years ago? WTF