Cables for DCS Bartok

Hi all

It might have been asked previously however I would like some help, I am currently running Van Del Hul The Mountain XLR’s from my Bartok into my Hegel H390 - The sound is great…

But I have previously used BNC cables when I had Chord products (Wave Fidelity Storm) would BNC be better, I heard from a distibruter today that this would bypass the Bartok Dac and use the Hegel Dac? (which I wouldn’t want to do)

Any help would be appreciated - or other alternatives re cables etc

Cheers Barry

Hi Barry,

XLR cables out of your Bartók into your Hegel H390 are giving the best SQ.

BNC cables on Bartók and Hegel are input cables, not output.

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Hi Barry,

Using your XLR cables to connect your Bartók to the Hegal will yield the best results in your system. As Erno has mentioned, the Bartók does not have a digital output.

Hypothetically, if the Bartók did have a digital output, this would bypass the DAC entirely and downgrade the unit to just a music streamer.

I hope this helps.

Happy listening!



Thanks Josh for the reply - fully understand…

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Thanks Ermos

What XLR cables are y’all using with the Bartok?

Currently using Van Del Hul The Mountain but looking at other options…

Presently ChordMusic from the Chord Company (the cable manufacturer, not the DAC manufacturer of the same name). It used to connect a Bartók to a Stax headphone amplifier and now it connects the Vivaldi DAC with a Headamp headphone amplifier. I did not shop around before committing, as Chord cables have worked to my liking in the Naim system I used to own before the dCS devices. Maybe with planned upgrades to the digital cables I might revisit that choice too.

There’s a thread on XLR cables here:

and here

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Thanks. I’m currently using DNM RCA cables. They are from my previous system (Resolution Audio).

Just managed to obtain a loan of Shunyata Alpha V2 next week :slight_smile:

Well…, you can get loans of 20x XLR cables and obtain 20x different sonic results.
My suggestion is to upgrade the XLR cables as the last optimization since, in XLR format, an interconnect has a bit less influence on the sound than in RCA format.

I would suggest getting:
i) All your power cables right and final; it has a major impact on many attributes of the music reproduction.
ii) Then, the speaker cables shall be finalized.
iii) And, eventually, as the last step the interconnect choice.

If Power & Speaker cables are good and well matching the system, you will find the choice of interconnects very straightforward and you might not even need to spend a fortune on these cables, as a side benefit of the previous two steps.

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I certainly agree with you on those points. I also often suspect that the performance of “audiophile” cables is in no way related to their price. However I would not use your exact hierarchy of cable importance. More like the other way round, though admittedly in my case I have not actually used speaker cables since 1994 :grin: .

My experience is that XLR and RCA cables have a similar impact upon sonic performance. Of course XLR cables , installed as intended, will be less susceptible to picking up external RFI/EMI interference.

My point is that when power & speaker cables are really quality products matching well your system and sonic expectations, then a change of XLR interconnect will indeed also modify the sound of the system.

But, it will be more a difference (everyone has its own preferences) in sound, than saying one XLR interconnect is way better than another.

With RCA cables and the signal passing thru the ground/shield (not always, but very often), you can really experience some serious differences in quality, not only ‘preferences’.

Said differently, most XLR cables sound good, and the final interconnect choice becomes easier, even more so when the power & speaker cables have been thoroughly optimized upfront.

Using Wireworld Platinum RCAs from Bartok to Conrad-Johnson GAT preamp. Very short one half meter does it. Excellent sound. Can easily hear the difference between DCS streamer app and Roon Nucleus. DCS a bit better of course. Great sound, wish they’d upgrade the functionality a bit.