data Conversion Systems (dCS) Debussy and Network Bridge

dCS Debussy and Network Bridge

The UPS/FedEx/DHL guys are getting friendlier as the days roll past and the deliveries of heavy boxes of review gear continue to arrive.

They’ve gotten used to our guard dog and even smile now when they see me open the door after they make it past the gate… at least a slightly less terrified smile.

The latest shipment has come courtesy of John Quick, General Manager of dCS Americas, Inc. as he wanted to get a Debussy and Network Bridge into my hands to get the ball rolling here at AudioStream with some serious DAC and streaming kit.

Key features of the Debussy include:

  • Asynchronous USB input allows direct connection of a computer and supports high resolution audio up to 24-bit, 384kS/s and DSD/128 in DoP format (DSD over PCM).
  • An array of independently selectable digital inputs completes the versatility of this powerful machine, elevating the performance of Red Book CD or high resolution audio from digital streamers and servers to a new level.
  • The enhanced digital volume control allows direct connection to a power amplifier, removing the need for a separate preamplifier. Maximum output can be set at either two or six volts to suit different amplifier and loudspeaker combinations.
  • Debussy also benefits from our ‘soft’ approach to programmable logic, allowing new software to be loaded from a dCS update disc or connected computer in order to add new features and adapt to future changes in digital audio.

The Debussy has been around in its basic current guise since 2010 (the original 24/96 USB hardware was upgraded in late-2011 to the current XMOS chipset, that now, thanks to a final software version that was released in December does DSD128 and DXD) and is due for a carefully-curated refresh by dCS this summer, which Quick has been rather mum about. All I know is that it will feature significant improvements throughout the chassis and circuit-path/DAC architecture.

The Network Bridge debuted in early 2017 and is a Swiss Army knife of connectivity:

  • Streamlined FPGA-based design.
  • Accepts data from UPnP, asynchronous USB-on-the- Go and Apple Airplay.
  • Streaming services supported include TIDAL, and Spotify Connect.
  • Roon ready.
  • Optional down-sampling to match legacy DACs.
  • Auto clocking system improves ease of use and minimizes jitter.
  • Multi-stage power regulation isolates digital and sensitive clock circuitry.
  • Firmware-upgradeable from the internet for future functionality and performance upgrades.
  • MQA™ Core Decoder unfolds the MQA™ file once to deliver even higher than CD-quality. The first unfold recovers all the direct music-related information. Output is 88.2kHz or 96kHz.

I’ve heard a number of dCS systems at shows, local bricks & mortar establishments here in Vancouver and at friend’s homes and always been extremely impressed at their open, organic sound with both warmth and resolution getting equal parts play for a truly analog-sounding playback experience. Bass was always a significant “wow” factor at how much detail the lowest notes contained as well.

I’m in the middle of curating two large digital-source-based systems for review purposes, so hang in there because there is great stuff coming up, including a dCS Rossini DAC and Clock.

Data Conversion Systems Ltd.
Unit 1 Buckingway Business Park, Swavesey Cambridgeshire CB24 4AE, United Kingdom
+44 (0)1954 233950

Rafe Arnott's picture
Hi everyone,

Looking to hear from dedicated NAS users which models they feel are the best and why.

I have my own thoughts and will be acquiring some soon, but it would be great to hear from readers!

Thanks in advance.

Richard D. George's picture

I have QNAP NAS units in two places. I think they both have enterprise grade hard drives. High quality and reliable. Purchased through my local high-end A/V dealer as part of custom installations.

struts's picture

Two years in and still happy. The software is especially good with a huge variety of different utilities. I use two WD Red 6TB drives (hard drives are *not* created equal when it comes to NAS use, see here for more: which store Time Machine backups for the whole family, my photo and video archives and my music library. I can't say this is "the best" but I have been very happy with this setup which is quiet, but runs reasonably cool and has been absolutely reliable.