dCS Apex Your Questions Answered

  • Posted on 4 March 2022

APEX: Your Questions Answered

March 4, 2022 marks the official launch of the dCS Ring DAC™ APEX and our new Rossini and Vivaldi APEX models. Here, we address some of your questions regarding upgrades, orders and our latest innovation


Over the past two weeks, we’ve been sharing a range of content celebrating the launch of the dCS Ring DAC™ APEX. We've been excited to see so many of you tuning in to watch our APEX launch film, reading our announcements on the dCS Edit, and posting your thoughts and questions on the dCS forum.

Alongside sharing more information on the creation and development of APEX, we wanted to address some of the questions you might have about our latest innovation, and the launch of our Rossini and Vivaldi APEX models, as well as our forthcoming APEX upgrade programme.

Here, we’ve put together some information that we hope will be useful to those of you who are interested in learning more.

What is APEX? 

APEX is the latest generation dCS Ring DAC™ analogue board. Following extensive research and development, we’ve made several enhancements to the Ring DAC’s hardware. The APEX board represents our latest thinking on analogue gains stages and voltage regulation, and delivers a number of sonic and measured improvements.   

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.

How do I get the Ring DAC APEX?

As of March 4, all dCS Vivaldi DACs, Rossini DACs, and Rossini Players will be fitted with the dCS Ring DAC hardware as standard.

Existing Rossini and Vivaldi owners can also purchase APEX upgrades through our upgrade programme. [See below for more information.]

How do I order an APEX edition Vivaldi DAC, Rossini DAC, or Rossini Player?

Our Vivaldi and Rossini APEX models are available through Martins Hi-Fi

If you’re having trouble finding a dCS dealer or distributor in your region, you can contact our dedicated customer service team here.

How do I arrange an audition?

We have already begun shipping demonstration units to our network of dealers and distributors. Please contact your nearest dCS retailer to arrange a demo.

What is the current lead time on orders?

The current lead time for Rossini APEX orders is around four to six weeks. If you're looking to purchase a Vivaldi APEX, we recommend contacting your dealer or distributor to find out the latest lead times.

What is the difference between a Vivaldi APEX DAC, Rossini APEX DAC and Rossini APEX Player versus older models?

Our APEX models feature the dCS Ring DAC™ APEX analogue board as standard. Older models feature our previous generation Ring DAC™ analogue board. Whilst both offer an exceptional technical and sonic performance, the Ring DAC™ APEX board reduces noise and distortion even further, and is around 12dB more linear than previous generations. These improvements in measured performance have allowed us to enhance further the musical performance of our Vivaldi and Rossini DACs, and the Rossini Player, resulting in an even more compelling and engaging experience for listeners.

Aside from the new Ring DAC APEX hardware, the Rossini and Vivaldi APEX models are identical to previous generation models. They are constructed with meticulous attention to detail, using the same high-quality parts and components, and offer all of the key features and benefits that people would expect from a dCS system.

Can I still purchase a previous generation Vivaldi or Rossini?

No. The prior model has been discontinued and replaced with our new APEX models. 

Which dCS products are eligible for an APEX upgrade?

dCS is offering APEX upgrades to existing owners of Rossini DACs and Players, Vivaldi DACs, and the Vivaldi One. Upgraded units are identical to the new APEX models. 

How do I purchase an upgrade?

Please contact yourMartins Hi-Fi for more information or to request an upgrade.

What do I get if I purchase an upgrade?

Customers who purchase an upgrade will receive the new APEX hardware, plus a new APEX escutcheon. dCS will also issue a one-year warranty on all upgraded units, free of charge.

When will APEX upgrades be available?

The upgrade programme begins in May 2022, but we are already accepting upgrade orders. We expect to start shipping in late May.

What is the cost of the upgrade?

Please contact us for individual pricing and shipping costs

Why do I have to pay for an APEX upgrade?

Whilst we regularly offer software upgrades free of charge, there is a fee for hardware upgrades. This is due to the various costs associated with delivering major hardware updates such as APEX - from research and development expenses, to the cost of manufacturing and shipping new APEX boards for upgraded units, and performing the physical upgrade itself.

How does the upgrade process work?

Once you have ordered an upgrade, you will receive a scheduled date for the upgrade to be performed. Adhering to a schedule allows dCS and our upgrade partners to minimise the length of time you are without your system.

On the specified date, your component will be shipped either to our headquarters in Cambridgeshire, England, or to one of our trusted service partners in the US and Asia, where it will be upgraded under strict conditions. All upgrades will be carried out to the highest standards by qualified personnel with extensive experience dealing in complex electronics, and assembling / disassembling dCS systems. Once upgraded, your new APEX unit will be thoroughly tested and returned to you.

Will APEX be offered on the Bartók?

At present, we have no plans to offer APEX with the Bartók Streaming DAC or the Bartók Headphone DAC. The Ring DAC APEX is not compatible with the BHD, and the BSD remains current. We are always exploring how we can continue enhancing our systems, and Bartók customers will be notified whenever we have updates or new features to share.

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