Bartok RCA HUM noise

I’ve had my Bartok for about a year and I’ve been using it with XLR outputs.
I’ve recently changed my amplifier and it was recommended to use RCA for better performance.
When switching to RCA I am experiencing a buzz/hum noise on the left channel only.
I tried two differents RCA cables, same. I tried also the different inputs of the amp, same.
It seems it is coming from the Bartok.
The noise stops if I connect both the RCA and XLR at the same time, but remains with RCA alone.

Anything else I can try? Any idea what this could be?


Can you try swapping the RCA cables only (no XLR connection at the same tme) into your amplifier, left out of Bartok into right input of your amp, and right out of the Bartok into left input of your amp? Any difference?

Hi Erno,

Thanks for your suggestion.
The hum is moving from left to right.

Then either the left RCA output of the Bartok, or the left RCA cable or its connectors, has a problem.

Can you exchange the left and the right RCA cable? So, normal connections from Bartok to amp, R → R and L → L, but now use the R cable for the L connection, and L for R.

Any difference?

Tried as well, the cable is fine, the problem seems to come from the left output of the bartok.

Then it is time to contact your dealer, or get in touch with dCS support: [email protected]

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How long are your cable runs? Since they’re not balanced RCA cables are suceptible to induced noise from the environment. Are they running past any power cables/transformers? In once tried switching from XLR to RCA from my pre to amps and faced this issue. I’m running 3m cables though past to a large isolation transformer, so this is pretty much a worst case scenario. Balanced cables exist specifically to address this issue.

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It appears that your amplifier has both XLR and RCA inputs and if that is the case, did your amplifier come with any pin-shorting XLR plugs? If yes, you should use them.



I tried two pairs of cables, one I think was 1m or 1.50 and the other 2m.
I tried switching them also and I just get the issue from left side.
Everything points to an issue with the bartok.
I’d just like to maybe find a solution without having to send the unit for repair.

No, it didn’t. I will check and ask. Thanks for the suggestion

No idea if this might help as it would affect both channels but are you using 2v or 6v output?

Hi - tried both. I’m using 2V

Have you updated to 2.0 at the same time ? I have had this issue (with RCA) since I updated to 2.0…

Yes I have.
dCS support recommends sending the device for repair.


I’ve suggested getting a dealer involved to check out your Bartok and Humbolt because we’ve worked through all of the remote faultfinding that that we can do.

If a dealer checks out your Bartok and the issue is found to be with your Bartok then the issue will need to be repaired … but at this stage we don’t know whether there is an actual fault with the Bartok or not - it could just be that the RCA’s are picking up noise from somewhere externally and it’s nothing actually wrong with either the Bartok or the amplifier.

Normally if the option is there to run balanced audio then that is what we’d recommend due to its performance advantages (one being the rejection of external noise which as you’ve already found is working correctly) but it does need the setup checking over if you are wanting to use unbalanced RCA and the unbalanced RCA is picking up noise.

Best regards


“it was recommended to use RCA for better performance”

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm (or rather, lack of hum when using balanced…)

Could a factory reset (accessible in the menu) solve the problem?

Several reviewers and users clearly preferred the sound on this particular amplifier when using RCA.
Why? I don’t know but there seems to be a consensus for this.

After speaking with dCS support, they recommend sending the unit for a check up.
It seems to be hardware related.

Basically we’ve checked what we can given the available resources - there’s nothing else that we can do remotely so the only thing that I can suggest is to get someone involved who can actually check the units through properly and substitute in other cables / kit to properly isolate and identify the issue …

If it is a problem with the Bartok then there isn’t a menu setting that would cause this so a dealer would need to be involved anyway - it’s just really inconvenient in this instance given the specific circumstances. :frowning: