Bartok USB1/USB2 Input Questions?

dCS Community,
I have a Bartok Headphone DAC and need some advice. I would like to connect the following 2 sources:

  • Source A. Roon NUC Digital Music Player
  • Source B: Windows Desktop (Windows 11 Pro)

According to the Bartok User Manual (verbiage pasted below), it seems that only the USB1 “B” socket can work with these sources. If I understand correctly, both my PC and Roon Nuc+ should be connected to USB1 and run in Class 2.

Is that correct? Can either source work successfully with USB 2?

Any advice or guidance would be appreciated.


The USB1 socket is a galvanically isolated ‘B’ type socket. It accepts PCM data at up to 24 bits /
384 kS/s from a Windows™ PC, Apple Mac™, or sound server. The socket also accepts DSD/64
or DSD/128 files that are in DoP format.
The USB1 socket can operate in two audio classes:
• Class 1, which accepts files up to 96 kS/s. No additional drivers need to be installed on the connected computer.
• Class 2, which accepts files up to 384 kS/s, DSD/64 or DSD/128 in DoP format.
• On Apple desktops and notebooks running macOS 10.6.3 or later, or computers running Windows™ 10 or later, no additional driver needs to be installed.
• On computers running Windows™ 7, 8 or 8.1, the dCS USB Class 2 audio driver needs to be installed. If you require the dCS USB Class 2 audio driver, contact dCS support at [email protected].
The USB1 input has been tested with various PCM streaming programs on
Windows™ 10, Windows™ 8.1, and macOS 10.11. However, USB audio connectivity
may not be available with all devices, operating systems, or software.

The USB2 socket is an ‘A’ type socket. It can support PCM music files in formats at up to 24 bits /
384kS/s or DSD/128. The connected USB device must be both of the following:
• A USB flash drive or low-powered USB hard drive, with the suggested maximum size of
32 GB
• In FAT16, FAT32, or un-encrypted NTFS format

The USB1 and USB2 sockets work in true asynchronous USB mode, which ensures the unit is
not affected by clock jitter from connected devices.

No, it will not work. The Bartok and all other dCS devices have only ONE USB input that will work over USB. The USB A type input is for a USB stick with files. Period.

However, why not play the NUC with Roon over the network via RAAT? That is, if your NUC is connected to the network (why would it not be?) AND your Bartok is also connected to the network, then in Roon’s audio settings you can enable the Bartok over RoonReady and play to it that way.


Rossini USB 2 input is only configured for the uses given in the user manual e.g. the connection of flash drives. It will not give you a good experience if you connect a PC. An example for using USB 2 is so that a visiting friend can bring a few tracks on a flash drive. However flash drives will not provide full metadata or navigation compared to, say, Mosaic.

If you have source B run a minimserver for your audio files then both sources will be available via network for the Bartok, and sounding best.

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dCS support email had the same advice, so that is what I will do (and it is how I had it setup previously). As far as Why? I was trying to connect the NUC via USB, I guess I had it in my mind that this may deliver a cleaner signal and better sound quality, but I now think that incorrect. Thanks.

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It is unclear which would sound better.

It is generally assumed Ethernet would sound better since it is galvanically isolated. But on Ethernet you have a few more hops like the RAAT server and client, etc. And using USB with the NUC and/or Windows exposes you to electrical noise from the NUC and/or Windows machines.

So the fact of the matter is you could try to see what combination sounds best, but you have the unavoidable constraint of not being able to connect BOTH the NUC and Windows machines at the same time over USB. Cannot be done.