Only the Music: dCS Company Tour

Enjoy this great video! One hour of touring the dCS facilities, 7th June, 2023:

00:00 Journey Begin, Cambridge, UK - Export Sales Manager - Liam Davison
00:58 The production of two channel - Production Supervisor - Daniel Thomas
15:06 The production of Head Fi
20:45 Proprietary Autotest System
22:49 Clock Calibration
23:54 Metal Parts
25:46 Managing Director - David Steven
42:37 Director of Product Development - Chris Hales
48:47 Head of Customer Service - James Cook
54:37 Demonstration Centre

9 Likes

From the interview part with David Steven:

Question: What does the future hold?

David Steven: Great question. You are always looking 3, 5, 7 years out: where is the market going? How are people listening to music? If I look back first, we can see that people are moving from silver discs, from CD and SACD, to computer based music. Initially that was connecting a computer on USB and it was streaming from a NAS drive. Now it is streaming from online services. Now it’s things like Apple Airplay. And the connect model: will you use the native app of the streaming service? And there are other pieces of software, like Roon. So for us now it’s about interoperability. Really we want ones and zeros and when we get ones and zeros and we can control the flow of those ones and zeros, we think we can do an amazing job to convert them to music, so one part of the company is focused on innovation and enhancements in user experience and interoperability and new services and making sure that we can support how people want to listen to music. The other part of the company is focused on new technologies and improvements in our own hardware and software, so that we can support new sampling rates or file formats if they come around, so that we can improve measured performance, jitter and the analogue performance and the sound. […]

We have a number of Mosaic enhancements coming to improve your UPnP playback, to add a couple of new services, to improve the user experience, and -after the APEX upgrades- maybe software improvements to the Vivaldi, Rossini and Bartók, that we are working on. So, it’s exciting, there’s always a lot happening.

9 Likes

Really looking forward to the future with dCS. UX, software and playback enhancements - very cool. The hardware platform of a dCS DAC has so much compute potential on those 3 FGPAs - they were really thinking long term when they built the latest gen architecture. The street price of those FGPAs alone cost more than may high end DACs!

3 Likes

Thanks @Ermos for these two postings.

I hope that newcomers to dCS watch and listen to the video. Aside from many things ithat t shows, the levels of QC that each unit enjoys before it is shipped is remarkable.

4 Likes

The AMD/ Xilinx Artix 7 XC7A200T FPGA costs € 515,68 a piece here.

Fun listen. Thanks

1 Like

Did someone notice the new setup in the dCS demo room? :

Wilson Alexx speakers, Constellation Hercules stereo amp, all cables from Transparent, and HRS racks.

It seems the d’Agostino amps have been swapped for the Constellation.

3 Likes

The only conclusion is that all of the products (aside from the rack ( speakers. amplifiers and wires) come from dCS’ UK distributor, Absolute Sounds. Think what you may about that.

We still have the D’Agostino amps, they’re just being upgraded currently so are out of the room. We’ve got other amps from several manufacturers.

Cables wise, we have setups from Transparent, Nordost, Shunyata and others. The Transparent are in currently, but it does change.

The goal is to be able to cater to what a visitor might be used to and prefers, so they can hear more of what the dCS front end is doing as opposed to the combination of new front end, amps, cables etc.

The rack as far as I am aware is a permanent fixture, as that would be a heck of a job to swap out, though we have other manufacturers racks around the building for different purposes.

5 Likes

Thanks James for clarifying that.

James, you do not mention that you use Chord cables. If it is the case that you do not, is the inference that the brands you mention (Transparent etc.), work better with dCS kit?

I’m asking as a Chord cable user (Sarum T/Music) who may be considering a move to another brand. My dCS equipment is a Rossini Apex DAC and Vivaldi clock.

No inference at all from brand choice, just what we have available to us currently, to give a reasonably wide choice. There is of course a limit to what we can acquire and store, so an omission of a brand from our available line-up is in no way a comment on that brand.

From our perspective we do not have a cable preference. If it meets the electrical requirements of the interface (say 110 ohm impedance for an AES cable) everything else is subjective. So, what a user prefers cable wise to match with their amps, speakers, room etc. isn’t something we would be in a position to comment on.

1 Like

Andrew, James makes it clear hat the reason why dCS use several different cable looms is:

It is not that one cable brand works better than another. They all “work” roughly the same. It is just to provide the customer with familiarity. Cables do sound a little different from one another. However an individual’s preference cannot be pre-judged so a choice is given.

The same goes for your own decision on what suits you best. You cannot assume that what sounds best to someone else is necessarily going to sound best for you. We all hear music differently. If you want to learn more about this then I recommend Dr. Susan Roger’s book:

You will find out that different structures in the brain deal with different aspects of music and that each person’s internal wiring of the structures is unique. Hence , given that the electrical specifications of the cables are reasonable, it is not possible to arrive at a “best” that is acceptable as such to all.

You can only find what is best for you by listening yourself.

4 Likes

GREAT video, THANKS!

1 Like

Hi Erno,

We do still have the D’Ags … they’re in use elsewhere since we brought them back from Munich.

Cheers

Phil

1 Like

Thanks Phil, James already clarified that :wink:

So I saw - I’ve been on holiday for the last week so just trying to catch up on what you’ve all been up to. :smiley:

BR

P

1 Like

I’ll save this video for when I get back from holiday next week. It will be nice to see the current state of affairs. Also nice to see some familiar people still around like Chris and Andy.

1 Like

I’d like to ask @James (or @Phil) to share what other amps are available in the dCS listening room beside the D’Agostino monos and the Constellation stereo Hercules

Thank you!

We have both darTZeel and VTL amps that we use in the listening room as well.

2 Likes