dCS Bartòk Masters: The Outsider


Bartòk Masters: A series celebrating the work, histories & passions of music industry creators using dCS Bartòk.  Begins with The Outsider, following the world’s premier banjo virtuoso Belá Fleck. 


The Bartòk Streaming DAC and its cousin, the Bartòk Headphone DAC, redefined music playback for much of the audiophile and music community and found its way into music systems across the world. Professional recordists, mastering engineers, and musicians also discovered the virtues of using Bartòk in their work.


In conjunction with the introduction of Bartòk 2.0, we have chosen to celebrate some of the professionals and artists who use Bartòk as a part of their workflow. A new series of short films, which we’ve titled Bartòk Masters, celebrates these influential music creators’ work, histories, and passions.

Our first film, The Outsider, follows the fascinating career of Belá Fleck – the world’s premier banjo virtuoso. Like most banjo players, Belá began his career playing in bluegrass bands. But his passion for all types of music, from pop to jazz to classical, drove him to bring his beloved instrument to genres into which no banjo player had ever ventured. 




As Belá puts it, “I think I was always an outsider, somebody who is trying play music the banjo isn’t typically in.” His collaborations with Chick Correa, Edgar Meyer, Abigail Washburn, and the Flecktones span genres from jazz, classical, pop and Bluegrass. His prolific namesakes – Béla (for Bartòk), Anton (for Webern) and Leos (for Janacek) would seem to destine Fleck to compose his own classical work. In 2011, Fleck premiered the first stand-alone banjo concerto, The Impostor, with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, which commissioned the work. It has now been performed over 50 times worldwide. 
Please join us in celebrating Belá’s work. You can view his film here


When we designed the Bartòk, our goal was to incorporate as much of the technology found in our world-renowned Vivaldi and Rossini systems as possible. Bartòk shared the latest generations of our pioneering Ring DAC™, clocking architecture and digital processing platform with its larger siblings. It brought a unique combination of hardware and software unrivalled in its sonic and technical performance – housed in an elegant and timeless industrial design.

Bartòk was designed from the outset to be futureproof and updatable. With its flexible hardware and firmware, it’s a system we intended would grow and evolve – would continue delivering a state-of-the-art listening experience for years to come.

Last month we introduced a significant upgrade to the Bartòk platforms – the Bartòk 2.0. The second-generation firmware included performance upgrades, which, until now, were exclusive to the Vivaldi and Rossini platforms. 2.0 was a significant update to the mapping algorithm that controls the dCS Ring DAC. It also included improvements to DSD upsampling and added new filter options.


"Once Pro Tools came about I turned into a bit of a tech head...and ever since then I've just been into editing and mixing. I gradually started doing more and more of it and we would tweak the mixes until they were really sounding good.

That became kind of a trademark thing about The Flecktones. What I would say is that when all you have is instruments...that's all you good they sound.

When I put the headphones on and started listening to the Bartòk - all of a sudden I hear all these things in the mix I didn't know were problems I could hear clicks I could hear panning...deatils...so much going on.
I have to say it was the best headphone amplifier I had ever heard- and I started to refine things."

Belá Fleck

Discover the dCS Bartòk System at the product page here