dCS APEX: Next Gen Ring DACs

I think now is a good time to share the news about dCS’ new APEX Ring DAC. Now, because news about APEX has trickled out over a number of press releases since February and I figured it was worth waiting for the whole story.

dCS’ new APEX Ring DAC, the heart of D to A conversion in the Vivaldi DAC, Rossini DAC, and Rossini Player, is a further evolution of the company’s storied Ring DAC, which was first introduced in their model 900 ADC, released in 1989(!). You can think of the dCS Ring DAC technology as being akin to the severed Terminator arm and CPU that was reversed engineered by Dyson and Cyberdyne in Terminator 2, only instead of building AI that nearly destroys the world, the Ring DAC turns bits into music. Sweet, sweet music.

APEX models look the same as the old models from the front

The APEX models have replaced the Vivaldi DAC, Rossini DAC, and Rossini Player, with all of these models now adopting the APEX name (old models are discontinued). Owners of older DACs/Players can opt to upgrade to APEX through a dCS- or dealer/distributor-installed internal hardware swap.

I’m going to let dCS take over from here:

I find it fascinating that even in this price class, we are still talking about compromises — “The Ring DAC is a very novel architecture in that it makes a quite ingenious compromise between quantization noise and sampling jitter, which gives you excellent performance in the ways that are really important for the human ear.”

You can read much more about the APEX tech on the dCS website.


dCS Vivaldi APEX DAC: $46,500
dCS Rossini APEX DAC: $32,800
dCS Rossini APEX Player: about $36,000
Upgrade for Vivaldi DAC, Vivaldi One, Rossini DAC and Rossini Player to APEX status: “Customers are advised to contact their local dealer for pricing and details.” I’ve read the upgrade is in the $9000 ballpark.

Company Website: dCS