Bartok Measurements

What do you think about these measurements?

I don’t think anything of them. Measurements of this kind may be of use if they reveal clearly incompetent engineering ( for those of us who have not been around this hobby for half a century or longer you might be surprised how rare that state of things is nowadays compared several decades ago). Otherwise they are just indicators of the choices made by the designer . Without his (or her) commentary they are without significance. I say “choices” as all engineering involves compromises as pointed out by Andy McHarg (dCS Tecnnical Director) in the Qobuz /dCS video ( YouTube).

I suppose that i am surprised by someone representing themselves as an expert in this field who appears to find the ultrasonic noise produced by DSD processing a novel discovery!

I am exasperated by the follow up commentator who goes on about the THD spectrum and the “brightness” of Bartok ( I am sure that everyone here finds Bartok bright, not :grin:). I suspect that if he were honest with himself he would find that he simply means that he cannot afford it. Sadly I sense one of my countrymen here - I recognise the trait.


Must be boring to only listen to 1 kHz test tones.


Jitter performance was seemingly identical on both USB and ethernet. In both cases it was ‘good’ but honestly not as good as you’d expect for this price. dCS recommends using their master clocks for best performance but it is a shame that jitter is not as good as other similar or lower cost dacs including competing products like the Rockna Wavedream (which keeps all jitter products below -160dB) or Holo May (which has no visible jitter products down to -170dB), or even many lower cost products (such as the Gustard X26 Pro which keeps all jitter products below -150dB)

Can this mean something? For example, that all dCS DACs without their own clock do not work in the best way?

Dcs claims jitter isn’t ultra important in their design. Or at least not a sensitive. Can’t imagine they couldn’t produce a sota jitter measurement if they thought it necessary.

A couple of thoughts on this;

  1. It makes sense that USB and Ethernet inputs into the Bartok would result in identical jitter performance since the packet data from both interfaces get decapsulated and emerge from the S800 compute board as I²S bitstreams into the Upsampling/DAC stage. When it’s bit perfect and identically clocked, it’s bit perfect :slight_smile:

  2. I wouldn’t worry about GoldenSound’s description of the Bartok’s jitter performance. In Stereophile’s measurement of the Bartok, the measured jitter noise floor was actually worse than whats shown in GoldenSound’s measurement, presumably because John Atkinson used the TOSLink interface, and yet his view was, its “superb”. I bet GoldenSound doesn’t even know what increased jitter actually sounds like! :laughing:


Meh. I got my dcs to listen, not measure, it. Still though, those measurements are excellent, can’t really find any practical fault.

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i think one channel performing 6db worse in all measurements is more of concern than jitter. even goldensound did not emphasize this very much. this seems to be there in stereophile measurements too. any idea why it is so ? does bartok not follow dual mono design topology ? also cross talk figures are nothing to boast about.

Rachit, welcome to the community. As you are new here and as you are voicing some criticisms of the performance figures of Bartok it would be of help to understand your position on this. Are you a Bartok or other dCS processor owner or are you looking at this from an academic perspective only?

Other than some minor channel differences at below -90dB measurements, could you point to where you’re seeing a 6dB channel difference? (Would help if you point to a specific graph numbers on Stereophile’s measurements page).

Also, channel separation is >123dB @ 1k and 100dB @ 20k (Stereophile), and >135dB @ 1k and 110dB at 20k (GoldenSound) - very respectable numbers that match the Rossini if I’m not mistaken. The similarly priced Chord Dave is >125 @ 1k and 95dB at 20k, i.e. worse than Bartok. The Holo May mentioned on GoldenSounds’s page isn’t significantly better.

So, when you say it’s “nothing to boast about”, would you care to mention which DAC you’re comparing it to, and the source of your reference?