New kid on the block

Hi folks, greetings from sunny Stockholm!

N00b here so apologies if this is not the right place to post!

Returning dCS customer, having just become the proud owner of a Bartók (2.0 not Apex) which replaces an Ayre QX-5 Twenty which has served as the hub of my system for the last 7-or-so years.

Very much looking forward to engaging here after 17 years outside the dCS fold. I sold my Verdi/Purcell/Elgar stack when I left the UK and moved to Sweden nearly 17 years ago.

My current configuration feeds the Bartók via ethernet from a sonicTransporter via an EtherREGEN, with programme (hi- and std-res) from a Synology NAS or from Qobuz. Installing and configuring networks is a side business as well as a hobby so I have a pretty OTT network for domestic requirements. Happy to discuss networking issues!

Downstream the Bartók drives either a Nord Three Stereo amp feeding Serblin Ktêmas or a DIY Stax SRM-T2 thru either SR-007 Mk I or SR-Ω ear speakers. Also have a Sennheiser Orpheus but that is mostly gathering dust since I built my T2 so I am thinking of selling it.

Happy to be back in the dCS fold and looking forward to meeting you all!


Tjena från andra sidan jordklotet! :slight_smile:

We’ve got to have pics of these things…especially the Orpheus and the SR-Ω. Drool.

Congrats on having built a T2, also. Not easy by all accounts! (Luckily working with Kerry and the Eksonic people for mine was a pleasure.)

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Hello @struts001 and welcome to the community.

As you are someone who is professionally involved in networks if you are:

Your knowledge is likely to be called on frequently as much of the help sought here has a network solution.

You are certainly going to find using Bartok is easier than you may recall from your Verdi/Purcell/Elgar. One thing in particular is upgrading which is now available from Mosaic. If you haven’t yet found out there is a new upgrade to Mosaic ( v. 1.4.2) if you haven’t yet installed it. Not a major thing but it adds options to the radio provisions.

That sounds like a marvellous system.


Halloj därnere!

Thanks for the warm welcome Ben, really taken by the friendliness of this forum!

Yes, the T2 was a pretty epic project! Luckily I got in on the first group to build one so I could coat tail the ideas and clever solutions come up with by brilliant engineers like Kevin, Birgir and Craig. My modest contribution was managing the BoM and sleuthing sources for some of the more obscure parts. But it was a super fun project, your interest made me reread the first part of THE thread. Brought back some great memories.

Happy to take some pics when I can grab a second. I took everything out of the rack and gave it a deep spring clean in anticipation of the arrival of the Bartók so I should probably document it while it’s looking its best!

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Thanks Pete, much appreciated.

“Professional” possibly affords it a little too much dignity. It’s not my day job, more of a hobby that became a sideline when friends I had helped with their home networks started asking me to design and install networks for their businesses.

Diagnosing network problems can be insanely frustrating at the best of times and is not always possible over forum but I’ll try to help if I can. Feel free to tag me if I miss something, I don’t know how regularly I’ll be able to visit.

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Welcome back
The bartock will certainly give you many year’s off enjoyment.

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OK Ben, here you go. Apologies about the quality. I know, I’ll stick to the day job…

The bigrig. It messes badly with my OCDs that the Bartók can’t be centered in the rack but the ethernet jack is right in the middle where the rear post of the Monaco rack is and the cable is so damn stiff it won’t work any other way. Grrrrr…

T2 close-up (sorry, it’s not particularly photogenic but it does sound quite good!). Anybody recognise the EL34s? :wink:




Oh, and you didn’t ask for it but a little bonus. My record player. Currently “resting” due to the lack of a preamp, but I have plans! More on that nearer Christmas. :wink:


Sorry, just found the “Showing (off) your dCS system” thread. Should have posted these there. My bad! (Edit - realised I could at least move this to the Audio Systems category after the fact)

That’s one darn purdy system you have there @all2ofme!! Colour me jealous!

Welcome to the forum.

I headed up global IT for drug development for Astra (pre-Zeneca) and spent a lot of time in Stockholm (including wonderful Gamla Stan) and Sodertalje. Och jag talar/pratar muche lite svenska (about 50 words).

Bästa hälsningar!

Tack Nigel. Uppskattas! My father was in pharma and headed up R&D for Ferring once upon a time. That is actually what first brought me to Sweden. Small world!

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Ha! And I did some work for Ferring way back when also. Way, way after I lived on Södermalm, though. Small world :slight_smile:

Gorgeous pics, Struts.

I’d guess your EL34s are…something late 1950s or so, and made by someone special. And have frighteningly delicate bases like my Amperexes…am I close?

Spoke to Kerry about the layout, and passed on the carbuncle comment :joy:

His response was along the lines of: I didn’t think the small added distance would make a difference, and I felt that since I’d made the whole T2 that much smaller I could use some artistic licence to have the front-end tubes sitting up front where I think they look better. Overall, though, I wouldn’t have done it if I thought it made a noticeable difference.

All paraphrasing, and run through the addled brain of a non-technical NZ twit who is just happy to plug his X9000s into such a lovely piece of kit.

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Very close. They are Mullard XF1s, made in the 50s (the clue is the “big brown bases” if you know what to look for). And yes, matched quads are rarer than hens’ teeth. Amperexes are also great btw, I think my ECC 88s are Amperexes.

I hope Kerry didn’t take offence. He is a bloody good engineer. I really admire his builds.

Just had some friends round to play and have to say we had a really fun time. One is a fellow forum member and I will leave it up to them to decide if they want to come forward. When we are spread around the world as we are it is a real pleasure to discover that one lives right around the corner and we can meet IRL!

The other (will call him T) is one of my oldest audio buddies here. A retired lecturer at the Royal Musical Academy, a pianist of rank and also avid amateur recording engineer and piano tuner. I would say he has “good ears” to get the point across, but it is not his hearing that is special (although it is no doubt good for his age) but his lifetime of experience from all of the above endeavours that means he has the most discerning ear and critical listening faculty (of performance, recording and reproduction) of anyone I have ever met in many many years I this hobby.

We had enormous fun nerding out discussing music, musicians, different ‘schools’ of pianistic technique, piano construction, how different microphone configurations affect the resulting sound presentation and a thousand other things. But the main order of business was my guests playing their favourite test tracks to get a sense for and critique my system** (T knows my system and my room well from many previous visits). Happy to say it passed the eye of the needle and T confirmed that I am definitely moving in the right direction. Phew!

We also got an unexpected bonus in the form of a spontaneous tutorial in counterpoint from T (with the help of an excellent YouTube video which I can warmly recommend to those with a classical interest). While doing all of this we also shared and enjoyed tons of good music. A great time was had by all.

Wish I could do this more often!

** Just a comment about the “elephant in the room” which is the sofa in front of the rack and, partly, the speakers. Haters will hate but both measurements T and I have conducted and more importantly listening tests have shown that this actually has more positive than negative effects on the sound (believe it or not). I know some of you will find that a bit hard to swallow but to you I would say buy a ticket to Stockholm, throw me a PM, and come and listen for yourself!


PS. An embarrassingly close call. I wanted my guests to be able to try the T2 so I turned it on to warm up** while we listened through the speakers. Quite early on T found that even at full volume (i.e. -0dB) the system wasn’t driving the speakers to realistic levels and wondered if the power amp was too anaemic to drive them properly. With the ability to push 500W into 4Ω I suggested that might not be the problem and proposed we try upping the Bartók output from 2V to 6V to provide more headroom. Said and done, he cranked the system to “realistic” SPLs. It was only then I remembered the Bartók was also connected to the T2 which was switched on and the volume control was set to a “very healthy” level (based on the 2V input) from my last listening session. Now we were piling on almost 10dB more gain! :scream: I was absolutely convinced I had fried my precious SR-007 Mk Is. Happily this turned out not to be the case (not quite sure why), but too close for comfort! :hot_face: Note to self…

** And those here familiar with anything that Kevin or Birgir have had a hand in will know when I say “warm up” I’m talking about the whole building and not just the output tubes!


When listening to the line output through the bartok, doesn’t it mute the headphone output?

It probably does. In this case however I had the Bartók connected to my power amp single-ended and an external headphone amp balanced. I am new to Bartók but afaik it is not possible to switch off one or other of these outputs, they are both active simultaneously. I didn’t see anything in the control app at least. Will have a read of the manual tonight and see.

With the Bartok you can’t have both the headphone output and the line out going at the same time. it is one or the other. I.e you need to select either Headphones or Line out as the output

@Urbanluthier , I think that applies with a Bartok HP. However Struts has an external headphone amp. So his post says he has cans/HP amp connected to XLR out and his power amp to RCA out, I am not a Bartok user but it is normal dCS practice for both XLR and RCA outputs to be active simultaneously and not selectable if both are connected.So you could have one feeding e.g. pre or power amp and the other a powered subwoofer.

Indeed you are correct. I miss read above. Yes like the other dCS products both the line out and xlr are active. I really wish dCS would allow us to mute one or the other!

Hi, sorry i missed that about using both line outputs.