When it comes to digital music, there are a few key hi-fi brands that come to mind, but no.1 will almost always be dCS.
Their incredible knowledge of converting digital signals to analogue comes from their unique heritage. Originally known as Data Conversion Systems, they started out designing and manufacturing DACs and ADCs for telecommunications and military radar purposes.
In 1988, after being approached by the BBC, dCS decided to take what they had learnt in telecommunications and use it in the audio and recording industry to great effect. Their pro audio equipment was extremely successful, and went on to be used by some of the finest recording studios in the world, as well as nearly all BBC studios.
For many years, dCS remained at the forefront of the pro audio world. They started producing high-end domestic hi-fi products as well in the early 90s, which also began to be very successful, so much so that in 2006 they decided to dedicate all their resources to just the high-end home audio sector.
In this world of ever developing technology, keeping up to date with the best ways of playing hi-res digital audio can be challenging. It seems like every year there is a new and best way to listen to your digital library. This is one of the massive advantages of using a dCS system, they are always on the very cutting-edge.
dCS have been a company of many firsts in the audio world. They produced the world’s first 24 bit DAC and dCS DACs were also used to master the first ever SACD - ‘Don’t Give Me Names’ by Guano Apes.
The key reason behind this is the fact that dCS do not buy in off the shelf DAC boards from the likes of Texas Instruments, like almost every other hi-fi manufacturer. The technical brains at dCS design and build their own DAC circuitry from scratch. This gives them basically a blank slate which is completely programmable.
This has many crucial benefits. Whenever there is a new file format or platform released, dCS are simply able to add it into their software whereas most other companies will have to completely redesign their entire product every time. They are also able to design their DACs specifically for their products and not the other way round. dCS have some of the best technical engineers in the country.
A prime example of this is that you can buy a used Purcell or Elgar from 15 years ago and it will still have DSD upsampling! Whereas a lot of digital streamers can be obsolete within 5 or so years, dCS are able to make sure their products are upgradable with the latest technologies.
dCS are extremely committed to ensuring that all their products are designed and manufactured by hand in the UK. The quality of their products is always exceptional.