Two June FollowUp Reviews

April 8, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

The June 2021 issue of Stereophile included followup reviews of two recommended components, both which deserved further investigation of what they had to offer: the dCS Bartók D/A processor and the Schiit Audio Sol turntable.

Jim Austin reviewed the dCS Bartók in October 2019. The Bartók costs $14,500 plus $2750 for the headphone-amplifier option and is the most recent D/A processor to come from the UK company to feature its groundbreaking Ring DAC. “The Ring DAC is based on technically solid ideas, with clear, definite advantages over other DAC technologies.” Jim concluded “There is value here-absolutely-but, even though this is dCS’s least expensive component that can play music, it’s still not inexpensive.”

In his followup, Herb Reichert examined the sound quality of the Bartók’s different reconstruction filters. He also auditioned the performance with his favorite headphones, as well as trying out the “Crossfeed” feature, which compensates for the fact that with typical stereo recordings, the soundstage with headphones is painted inside the listener’s head.

Ken Micallef reviewed the Schiit Audio Sol turntable in March 2021. The Sol costs $799 with an Audio-Technica cartridge and no sooner than the ink had dried on Ken’s review than Stereophile el Jefe Jim Austin asked him to investigate how well the Sol would perform when mated with better cartridges, and preamps, etc—equipment not often paired with an entry-level turntable. You can find his conclusions here.

No sooner than the ink had dried on KM’s followup than it appeared that the Sol was going to be discontinued, due to supply problems with some of its parts, although at this point that’s far from certain. See a reader’s comment here and Jim Austin’s response, following a conversation with Schiit’s Denise Martin, here.

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