Bartok reliability

Folks, Hi

I have had my Bartok (non-HA) now for less than a year, and it has regretfully had a troubled life thus far. Rather than being the bomb-proof device I expected, it has had to be returned to Oxford Audio twice and has now gone back to dCS for an extended period as problems persist. All seem baffled.

There have been various issues, including track transition jumps, device freezing in-track, device losing playback queue and other assorted nasties.

Please note I am aware of some reported ‘oversized’ album art problems affecting track transitions, but all my curated album artwork is optimally sized - I know my way around Photoshop! Moreover, my Internet (250 mbps fibre) and WiFi (Amplifi mesh system) are - frankly - damn well sorted.

So I have given my Bartok every opportunity to play nice…

Has anyone out there experienced similar persistent Bartok reliability issues? Or is just me?

Thanks, I look forward to hearing about your various experiences!

Quick addendum - yes, it has latest firmware!

I’ve had headphone-amp Bartók for about 16 months. Only complaints are that occasionally it turns itself on spontaneously and that very infrequently it is “frozen” (doesn’t respond to the Android app or even to the buttons in front). In the latter case, manual power-off via the rocker switch in the back cures the problem.

My Bartok HDAC has been very stable since I got it roughly a year ago. FWIW, I use it exclusively with Roon. So if there are bugs in Mosaic playback, I wouldn’t know about them.

Only time I do a hard power cycle is just before a firmware update, since that seems to make the firmware updates go smoother.

I can copy @cwichura 's experience, and @antognini 's occasional turn-itself-on has stopped after the previous firmware update.

Jon, I am not Bartok user so I cannot answer your question directly. However I noted that you use an Amplifi mesh system. I recall that the use of mesh systems have from time to time caused difficulties reported here. I hope that @Anupc might pick up on this as he may be able to talk you through some of its settings.

I have experienced a dCS product ( not Bartok) “freezing” but this did not occur in-track.

There is also the oft visited question of the UPnP server software. This will probably not affect the “freezing” issue but could realate to the other issues that you cite.

NB: @Ermos reports that Asset works fine as well.

Yes, I use Mosaic with MinimServer, but I cannot say it impresses me mightily. Compared with - say - Auralic’s onboard server layer, it’s a bit slow, limited and kludgy; whilst I also find Mosaic inferior in many ways to Auralic’s Lightning DS… but that’s just my individual opinion!

Same as the others, my Bartok (HA version) has been pretty rock solid since the day I got it (at launch) :crossed_fingers:t2:

You mention your unit is back at dCS for investigation, presumably there’s something off with that unit (so maybe we should be revisiting this thread after?)

That said though, you also mention Amplifi Mesh; did you mean your Bartok normally sits behind a Wireless mesh node?

Generally speaking, it’s best to connect dCS components via a wired Ethernet interface. While wireless these days can easily provide adequate bandwidth, the packet jitter and queuing could cause some odd behaviour. Also, you’ll need to ensure that the mesh nodes are able to pass multicast traffic seamlessly (specifically mDNS and SSDP broadcast). Any IGMP proxing involved will likely provoke unreliable behaviour.

Anupc Hi
I will report back on glitch causation when it comes back and dCS reports.

The Bartok is hardwired by Cat 7s Ethernet to my Synology NAS.

I only mentioned the WiFi because that seems to mediate app control, a known weak point of any streamer device - it seems to me!

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Bartók HA with about 1 1/2 years. Rock solid as well. Had the random self turn-on issue before the firmware upgrade, but solved since.

Surely dCS will get you sorted.

Oh dear, how frustrating.

No problems on my Bartók regarding artwork etc, totally rock solid although everything is streamed via Qobuz, non local.

Incidentally, my neighbour got a refund on his Auralic G2 because he couldn’t get all the track listings on his server to sync correctly. I’ll bet it was a problem that could have been sorted but he lost patience and I don’t blame him.

It seems crazy that there isn’t some sort of remote support for these issues given the costs involved.

Hope you get it sorted, I’m sure you will but might need to persevere.

Hi - thanks - very frustrating! Indeed. And I will persevere.

dCS say they can find nothing wrong with it, and have suggested mains or Internet/WiFi. issues But I’m afraid that doesn’t hold water at all, as the loaner Rossini I have had for several weeks now has been immaculate and totally glitch free. Plus no other systems or kit is affected (over 20 WiFi/Ethernet - connected kit in house, all -perfect.) Moreover, I have extensively tested my 250 mbps fibre Ethernet and 200 mbps Mesh Wifi system, and it’s as good as gold. This is becoming a real puzzler…

My sympathies to your mate with the Auralic. I must admit I had awful probs with my original Aries/Vega before they sorted Lightning DS and firmware, and I sorted the house Ethernet and WiFi. It’s now perfect - I use it for dedicated headphone listening.

Yep, I agree - remote diagnosis should be possible, everything is web-mediated isn’t it?

Very strange… if Rossini did work then….

I have my Bartok since early 2019 and works flawlessly ever since. My network at home is wifi5 Linksys velop mesh (so it’s last gen). I have one dedicated node for my Hi-Fi - this node feeds network to my Russ Andrew Switch and other peripherals are hard wired- Roon Core, Bartok, Naim Uniticore, NAS etc

Although occasionally I found in need to use the velop apps to reset the whole network manually for better network stability….about once in every 2-3 mths or so

Yes, it is definitely most unusual. Currently soak-testing an Oxford Audio dem Bartok to confirm whether it is just my Bartok or some specific interaction of Bartoks with my home environment/install. May also try bypassing my Power Wedge for mains powering the Bartok. We’ll get there!

My similar experience is in this thread. The replacement unit is fine after a few months of daily use.

Interesting. Many thanks! Mine is still with dCS, and I have an Oxford Audio dem unit to see if that parallels some of my fault conditions…


Honestly, I can’t say my Bartok is fully reliable.

It had to return dCS factory earlier this year due to this: Glitches and huge distorsion with RCA outputs on my Bartok

Now the glitch/sound issue is gone, but some instabilities on the streamer side remain: every two weeks I have either a front panel freeze, or a weird scrambled screen issue… (picture here below)

No issue at all if I stick to the USB1 input, though.



Erwan, re-reading your earlier postings and now seeing the image you have posted of a continuing fault I think this is unacceptable especially given it having been returned to dCS ( factory or your local distributor?). You appear to have suffered continuous serious issues for the 7 or 8 months that you have had it.

Personally I think that as it seems to be unfixable dCS should replace it. Anyone disagree with this?


Hello Peter,

My Bartok returned to the dCS factory in England in February this year, and was only sent back to me in late April. I live in France, and clearly the Brexit didn’t help with HUGE delays of transportations.
From what I’ve been told, given dCS already changed both the DAC board AND the Streamer board on my unit, I no longer have high expectations on the reliability side for what concerns the streamer…
I just got used rebooting the Bartok once a week…



Erwan, I am now hoping to see a posting here from Ben Bashcroft, James Cook or other dCS engineer asking you to contact him directly so that this can be sorted out finally. I do not believe that you should just accept what seems clearly to be a fundamentally faulty piece.

I undestand that cross channel transport had improved since Brexit in the first months of the year. There is now a shortage of available truck drivers here due to Covid-19 isolation. However I understand this is mainly an issue affecting internal UK logistics so fingers crossed.