Transport connection to Bartok

Can I connect a cd/SACD transport to a Bartok Apex dac? If yes then which input would I use?

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Yes, you can and as for input to use, it depends on what digital outs you have on your transport. My order of preference would be AES, SPDIF coax and the SPDIF optical.


Guess with a standard transporter, it works only for CD resolution but not for SACD/DSD format due legal issues. F.ex. If you use a McIntosh SACD/CD transport connected to Bartok, you‘ll only get 44/16 resolution out of it via SPDIF/AES.

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I have a cd transport connected to my Bartok via AES. Wordclock set to Auto


AES ? …I think it will be connected with two XLR s ?

I’m using a non dCS CD transport, so I’m using one of the AES/EBU inputs on the Bartok - 16/44 only

CD: no problem. Bartok will accept SP/dif ( that’s the CD player’s coax output) on RCA, BNC or, if your player has the output, Toslink ior AES input connectors.

SACD. Probably not unless you have a dCS transport. Bartok input for SACD requires either DoP on AES or USB or dCS proprietary encrypted SACD input on dual AES none of which outputs will SACD players normally provide.

The new Bricasti M19 SACD transport specs indicate it can output DSD/64 in DoP format — so if the published specs are correct, it looks like it might be a candidate for getting SACD playback from a non-DCS transport through a Bartok. The Bricasti is just beginning to ship and, I believe, lists for $10k. So, not a cheap option, but it might be an option. Not sure what other transports (if any) provide this feature.

Interesting. None a far as I’m aware, at least not legall; outputting DSD unencrypted from an SACD would be a violation of Sony’s SACD playback license :thinking:

John, a stupid question…could it be that the CD redbook format is upsampled to DSD and that’s what indicates vs pure/native SACD/DSD?
(means the SACD layer is not used here, it’s the CD layer when spinning discs…)

According to the M19 instruction manual no upsampling is used. Unfortunately the literature is a bit confusing as photos show an output port labelled I2S/DSD. This is on RJ45 and seems a proprietary use of this interface. However the text says that DoP is available on single wire AES which Bartok specifications indicate is suitable for DSD64. SACD replay appears as DoP on this port.

In regard to @Anupc the Sony restriction came from their ownership of the patent which may no longer be extant. The commercial reason was presumably to attain support from the record companies then still nervous of what they may have seen as effective access to the master ( or very close) when they were still reeling from internet piracy. DoP may also be seen as some kind of restriction. Of course in major manufacturer’s and record label’s minds SACD didn’t catch on as a mass market medium and the commercial impact may now be less important anyway.

Of course although the Bricasti is cheaper than a new dCS CD/SACD transport it is still costly and used dCS may be more attainable.


does that mean one can really get SACD/DSD out in native format via AES?

No. DSD in native format is only available via that odd RJ45 interface. The AES output for DSD is in DoP format. However DoP is, of course, still DSD as the data is just packed differently.

but that means one gets highres via AES with SACD (that would be the first transporter that could do that?)

Yes, AFAIK at least if you limit the definition of high res to DSD64. Single AES on Bartok can also handle high res PCM as well <24/192.

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Pete has (unsurprisingly) very well summarized what I took away from review of the M19 manual/specs. I would have thought (but of course can’t know for sure) that Bricasti thinks it’s complying whatever continuing restrictions from Sony apply on outputting SACD data via AES/SPIDF from a transport to a dac by using DoP— if that’s right, maybe we will begin to see a generation of transports which can be used with dacs of other manufacturers and still be able to play the DSD layer of SACDs (although, of course, not too many new transports are being produced — so the product set could be quite small). This has always interested me as it would be nice to have an option of keeping your existing transport if changing to a dac of a different manufacturer as long as the dac can accept DSD over DoP via an AES/SPDIF input.

That would opens up a new source for me as well…ok, 10.000 US for a SACD transport is not cheap but - maybe over time- some chepaer gear will pop up!

If this restriction has now apparently been lifted by Sony, could older SACD transporters also play DoP over AES ?

Don’t think it’s likely to work in too many circumstances as I don’t think most transports can output DSD over DOP from their AES/SPDIF outputs. Usually, those outputs can only output PCM.

@Jbayer is correct. Incidentally the restriction has not been actively lifted. AFAIK we are just deducing that the existence of DoP and, possibly, the possible discontinuance of the patent ( patents have a time limitation) may get around it. In any case the restriction was not a gentleman’s agreement or lust a legal impediment but had a physical outcome that meant that SACD players were not equipped with digital outputs for SACD replay. To alter this would mean both hardware and software upgrades which are not going to happen to what may now be legacy products.