APEX Upgrades

How do you elevate an already exemplary design? This is the question our engineers asked when they embarked on a project to further refine the hardware portion of the dCS Ring DAC – the renowned digital-to-analogue conversion system that resides at the heart of all dCS DACs and Players.

Our investigation led us to develop a new, improved design that brings significant benefits in several key areas. This, in turn, has enabled us to further enhance the musical performance of our beloved Vivaldi, Rossini and Bartók DACs and Music Players.

Ring DAC APEX hardware is included with all new Vivaldi, Rossini and Bartok DACs and Players. Existing owners can also upgrade their system for an even more profound and revealing musical experience…

APEX Upgrades

"Bottom line. Is it worth it? Does the sun rise in the east and sink in the west?"

"The dCS Bartók APEX is a significant upgrade on the original and the 2.0 versions of this world-class all-in-one integrated DAC, pre-amp and headphone amplifier. It is audibly more refined..."

“The musical sounds coming out of this new Bartók APEX sound more
fantastically appealing than the ones generated by my original Bartók or any other DAC I’ve reviewed. That’s a major achievement.”

"The APEX upgrade delivers a vast jump in every aspect of the Vivaldi One's performance..."

APEX: What’s New

Our engineers have made several updates to the Ring DAC’s design and performance.

These include:

  • Modifying the reference supply that feeds the RingDAC, resulting in lower output impedance
  • Enhancing the filter, summing and output stages of the RingDAC
  • Improving the symmetry of summing stages
  • Creating an all-new output stage
  • Reconfiguring the main Ring DAC circuit board

These modifications are the result of exhaustive analysis and thorough investigation. The Ring DAC APEX hardware has been extensively tested to ensure it delivers both real and tangible benefits. Alongside running quantitative tests using our bespoke equipment, we have carried out several rounds of subjective listening tests with music professionals and critical listening expe

A More Profound Experience

The dCS Ring DAC was renowned for its excellent linearity as well as its world-leading noise and distortion performance. Our APEX edition reduces noise even further, and increases linearity by over 12dB.

Listeners who’ve upgraded their system have noted profound musical benefits, including:

  • Improved dynamics, rhythm and timing
  • Enhanced image focus and soundstaging
  • More precise and tonally resolved voices
  • An even greater sense of ease and naturalness
  • More distinct contrast between instruments and blacker backgrounds
  • "I would describe the APEX sound as vibrant, yet somehow with a touching intimacy. Plus an all-embracing sense of space around the performers, especially depth.

    Loving it."

    - Rossini Owner

  • "The difference was noticeable. The usual words came to mind: more blackness, more focus, you know the jargon. I can best say that the placement of instruments was more robust and stable with the apex."

    - Vivaldi Owner

  • "My Rossini APEX upgrade provided a significant improvement - much more than I had expected from the demo at the dealer. This was noticeable immediately in my system and did not need hours of “burn in”.

    - Rossini Owner

How to upgrade

APEX Upgrades are performed by your local distributor and dealers. Please use our Dealer Locator to find one nearest to you. If you need support in finding one near you, please contact us using this form.

You can find out more about the dCS Ring DAC™ APEX here.

We’ve also created an article providing more detailed information on the changes we’ve introduced with our new hardware, and the benefits it delivers for listeners. Click here to read the full article, which features insights from dCS Managing Director David Steven and Director of Product Development Chris Hales.