Stereophile mistakenly writes Mytek Review as dCS


Hi Everyone,
You all know I'm a Mytek fanboy, and frugal. I just read the dCS Bartok review at Stereophile, and darned if to me this doesn't read more like a reason to buy a Mytek than a dCS!

What's your take?

https://www.stereophile.com/content/dcs-bartok-da-processorheadphone-amplifier

PS - Anyone who would like to loan me a Bartok for 3-6 months just let me know.
erik_squires
I thought something similar when I read that review. I also thought it was odd that the only DAC the reviewer chose for comparison was the Mytek Brooklyn, which is a fraction of the price. It would have been helpful to have comparisons with some more similarly priced DACs with similar functionality, such as the Ayre QX5, the Chord DAVE or even the Mytek Manhattan II.
The surprising thing (perhaps not) was how close the vastly cheaper Mytek Brooklyn came to the DCS. I wonder how the Manhattan II would have compared. Also, the statement that DAC chips are now "very good, approaching the performance of dCS's Ring-DAC technology", which is probably an understated way of saying there is little advantage to proprietary DAC topologies given how advanced modern DACs chips are.
also thought it was odd that the only DAC the reviewer chose for comparison was the Mytek Brooklyn, which is a fraction of the price.


Truly!

A review for a dCS dac deserves comparison with 2 or 3 different DACs.

If I were to get a ESS Sabre DAC it would be from these guys, There is important back history why their ESS DACs sound so great.

https://www.resonessencelabs.com/shop/invicta-mirus/

Though I am leaning towards a R2R Denafriphs Terminator DAC.
I have heard Bartók in my system and it’s a great sounding DAC and lot more. I applaud dCS to bring Ring DAC based technology to a affordable price point.

Even though reviewer makes a compelling argument about how chip based DAC are approaching the performance of dCS Ring DAC, there is still a marked gap between any chip based DAC and dCS meticulous implementation and design approach in their DAC’s.

I respectfully beg to differ with a notion that Mytek or Benchmark DAC’s sounds anything like Bartók. Measurements are important, and i understand every product must meet a minimum criteria; to me listening plays a big part. If a component is not musically engaging, rest is pretty much a mute point.


I applaud dCS to bring Ring DAC based technology to a affordable price point.


It was a lot cheaper in the ARCAM CD player though. :)

What DAC's have you auditioned recently to compare, and what do you feel was different?

Best,
E

When I read that review, I thought of the expression "damning with faint praise".

Which, given a lot of audio reviews, was kind of refreshing.
So I have heard both through a Simaudio 330A and there is a vast difference IMO. Whether its worth the vast difference in price is really in the "ear of the beholder" ... One thing to consider if you have the choice is that the Bartok DAC firmware update capabilities that should give it room to last given how quickly DACs are evolving. That said the Brooklyn is hard to beat for the money !
Presented, without comment:

Listening
Like many hi-fi reviewers, at Stereophile and elsewhere, I’m convinced that over time sonic differences can become apparent that are not audible, or not easily audible, in direct, rapid, A/B comparisons. Such distinctions can manifest themselves in our enjoyment—or not—of music. There is even evidence that our deeper mind is affected by aspects of the sound our conscious mind doesn’t register. For these reasons and others, it’s necessary not just to analyze a component but to live with it for a while, to get comfortable with it. That’s a core element of Stereophile’s review philosophy.
It was not hard to hear a difference between the Mytek and dCS DACs, although that difference was subtle enough that I doubt I would have noticed it if I had not had the ability to switch rapidly back and forth, although the effects of the difference could still have made themselves known over time.

Manufacturer’s Comment


This deficiency is especially illustrated in the listening notes. For instance, .... Later, when attempting to compare the Bartók to a different DAC, the reviewer once again spends many paragraphs discussing the test (one of which is technically flawed) rather than details of his actual impressions of the Bartók—which, in the end, are summarized as wholly positive overall.

After I’d finished with my listening, dCS alerted me to a possible error in my methodology: Grouped zones in Roon may not be bit-perfect. If the two DACs aren’t both receiving the same, unaltered data, the test is invalid. But in my case, the data apparently were bit-perfect: When I played an MQA file through each of two grouped zones to both MQA-enabled DACs, both indicated that they were decoding MQA, which, according to both Roon and MQA experts I talked to, is a clear indication of bit-perfect playback. Indeed, dCS writes in the Bartók manual, "MQA decoding is not possible if the original MQA data has been changed." Enno Vandermeer, Roon’s CEO, told me via Facebook Messenger: "It’s certainly possible" to get bit-perfect playback in grouped zones, "especially on a stable network, We just can’t guarantee that the slave zone will be bit-perfect."


+1

williamdc34 posts10-07-2019 11:23amWhen I read that review, I thought of the expression "damning with faint praise".

Which, given a lot of audio reviews, was kind of refreshing.

Diminishing returns indeed....