Invitation for other's input - journey to dCS

Some recent reading on various audio fora got me thinking. How did I end up with a DCS product, which is more expensive than anything I would have envisioned purchasing? Here is my personal journey. I wonder what others here think and how your journey was different.

1: I got to the point where I could afford more expensive products than earlier in my life. But I’m still quite frugal and deeply dislike “over-spending”, so that doesn’t quite tell the whole story

2: Well-built, well-backed, and aesthetically attractive products appeal to me. I’d rather spend once for quality than buy cheaper, more disposable, products and do the “rinse and repeat”

3: During the pandemic, music became much more important to me as did the appeal of streaming and I began looking to satisfy that urge. I love researching things before I buy – whether it’s a camera/lenses, an automobile, a mobile phone, a home, etc. As a Ph.D. engineer / business strategy advisor my research is extensive but also personally enjoyable

4: In the world of audio, I can’t say – no one can – that I’ve heard everything, and that any one product is the “best”. When I got my dCS Bartok, it was based off research & reviews (no listening, thanks to the pandemic) and while I was hopeful, I was also very relieved when it made SUCH a difference to my listening. The rest of my system is the same as before (all purchased over a decade ago) except for a Torus power unit which is also transformative in its impact.

5: Some form of music is now almost always on at home which is the most important thing I can say about it all. Thank you dCS and the progress of technology!


All of this applies to me too, Hari. I’d add one point only for my own case:

4: I needed DAC, Streamer, headphone amp…and all of the gubbins to connect it, and by the time I’d found good examples of each from different suppliers (and tuned them with power, cabling, etc.) I was well up around Bartok prices anyway. Not needing to dick around with a rat’s nest of cables and different hardware and software tweakery was a huge bonus, and worth the money to me.

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Every time I attended a hifi show, being a coincidence or not, the room/system I preferred always included dCS gear, most of the time, dCS Vivaldi…
One day I head the opportunity to compare a Rossini set up to other dac, in particular Aqua La Scala…I was disappointed, the Aqua was better !!! Well…I ordered a dCS Vivaldi DAC…a bit too expensive, but that was this dac I always appreciated every time I could listen to it.
Hopefully at that time the Network bridge was on the dCS catalog, It was then possible for me to have a dCS set up for a “reasonable” price…I would understand not everyone shall agree on that…my wife is the first one :laughing:
Recently I a replaced the NB with the Upsampler, even better, but with the NB it was already stunning…
That’s my story…

I’m also frugal and was looking for a $500 Roon endpoint to use with my headphone amp. Heard about bartok after I listened for a few minutes I bought one. Then upgraded to Rossini + clock. Now I’ve spent another $125k on “accessories” (new rack, speakers, amp, and wires) to try to hear the clock’s contribution. Then my neighbor started complaining about the “loud music” so I’m buying her home to turn it into a dedicated home theater and music room. It’s not all bad since my wife wanted a bigger home and now we’ve doubled our living space without having to move. Probably should’ve just stuck with the Bartok with headphones but here we are.

In January 2001 I read a review in Stereophile of the Perpetual Technologies P3A DAC and P1A digital processor and was intrigued about their abilities to upsample CD resolution to 24/96 at a price that I could afford. I was already using a separate CD transport and DAC so I bought the above and really enjoyed the sound quality of high res digital audio.
Later I replaced the P1A with a dCS Purcell digital processor and used that to upsample and the sound quality improved again.
Finally I bought a dCS classic combo - Verdi/Purcell/Elgar+ - and have been a happy listener ever since.
I added an external word clock, a streamer and a NAS and enjoy multiple digital audio sources including SACD and high res downloads but all going via my dCS classic system.
Thank you dCS.