dSc DAC and Wilson Speakers

When I read here in the forum and externally… the holy grail audiophile seems to aspire is to buy dSc DAC and Wilson speakers.

So if you are willing to spend 100K, then most common choice seems to be dSc and Wilson.

Folks who are in this 100K+ bracket audio setup, what is the big difference for example buying all the flagship PsAudio gear (600 monoblock, MK2, FR30) vs going dSc and Wilson route?

I can see PSAudio will cost 50% less than dSc and Wilson but I don’t know how the SQ looks.

Any pointers?

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When I was jn the market in March the dCS/Wilson combo didnot do it for me. Amos were Boulder, Sim Audio, and Accuphase with Transparent cables. I found the sound to be amusical and hyped. Hearing the the Wilsons with a BAT Rex driven by a Playback Designs MPD changed my mind regarding the Wilsons. The Wilsons came home with me. It comes down to personal preference. MBS DACs were nice.

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I had both psaudio (ds mkI) and dcs dacs.

Psaudio was more musical and more relaxed. Also more forgiving with bad recordings. Dcs was more precise, and with a tendency of being analytical.

From the musical enjoyment, psaudio would get the upper hand. From a high fidelity perspective, of effectively extracting every little detail, dcs hands down.

Wilson is as good as it gets for ported speakers. For me, a little too much bass. I prefer sealed boxes.

But you are right: the most common “high end setup” used to be: dcs+dagostino amps+Wilson all connected with transparent wires.

More recently, other brands are competing in this über level arena, such as estelon, Nagra, msb.

As always, you should listen first for yourself


It’s a matter of taste and $$$. Personally prefer electrostats controlled by tube gear, equipped with optimal front end. IMHO the dac, being base for pure complete signal processing, is crucial.

The MKII is a good dac and -incl. future updates- possible competitor to a dCS Bartók but absolutely falls short compared to dCS Rossini, let alone top end MSB or dCS Vivaldi (of which I’m a happy owner :smiley:).

You are using a Vivaldi? Is it the full set (upsampler, clock and dac)? That was my previous setup. Lots of joyful moments

I have owned quite a few PSA pieces. All of them good. I have also owned a Dag/DAW and dcs system. Not even close in comparison nor would I think they should be an many aspects.

I have learned no matter what you spend, its not going to be perfect. You are possibly going to have to “settle” even at 100k.

The conundrum is the limitless choices and the fact that aside from equipment, enjoyment is hopefully your end game.

Some very good manufacturers out there. I think most folks can find what they’re looking for for much less than the road to diminishing returns typically leads us to.

So to answer your question, yes they are very different. How much that difference matters is entirely up to you. Im sure the 200k system has at least one attribute the 100k does not.

And on it goes…

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I concur. I was underwhelmed by the Bartók, so I bought the Rossini and clock…
Which I’m very happy with, as I am with my Wilson Alexia V’s!

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At a shop in Chicago I listened to a full DCS stack feeding Wilson Alexx Vs. Dull Dull Dull. I don’t think the trouble was with the Wilsons.


Pointers? Yes.
Generally, it doesn’t make sense to generalize. Let your ears and your banker guide you thru this hobby.

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Agreed on Bartok vs Rossini. Another great bargin though was DeBussy. Off the used market, it was unbeatable at the price. Maybe still is at 3k or so?

My first big boy DAC was the Jr. Still i think the best product PSA ever made. MK 1 was up there too at the time.

Knowing the dCS Vivaldi Apex dac is ‘only’ part of a digital dCS front I didn’t rush for the upsampler and masterclock. Given prices these days I looked into alternate possibilities and stumbled upon an Aurender W20SE with upsampling availability, dual AES/EBU output and clocks in sync using Vivaldi’s wordclock output into Aurender’s input :point_down:

Dunno if a full dCS Vivaldi stack would outperform this solution, but -still- I don’t feel the need to figure it out, it’s that good! Anyway, with a dCS dealer nearby a listening comparison at home is on my radar in the longer term, time will tell if it’s worth the €€€…

Last but not least: Aurender’s Conductor app is fantastic!!

Obviously something in that setup was very wrong, to me you’re the first finding dCS Vivaldi sounding dull :upside_down_face:

NB: Forgot to call dCS’s Lina stack in the previous post, yet a possibly suitable solution for many…

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dcs combined with VTL tube pre and 4 VTL tube amps sounded nice driving Stenheim Reference Ultime Two speakers at Axpona

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I heard the dCS Rossini Apex with the Rossini Master Clock at the same shop, Rotated through various amplifiers and left underwhelmed at best. Spent the better part of the day with that particular audition. The Speakers were Wilson Audio Sabrina X. I left with the feeling the the synergy just wasn’t there. Just not my cup of tea. As I continued my search it occurred to me the dCS sound wasn’t for me. I can respect that others may enjoy dCS, but at the end of the audition I was stressed out by the sound, and left with ringing ears.


Great setup! From my experience: the upsampler is a solid upgrade (I even retained mine when I sold the rest). It really elevates the sound quality. The clock, not so much. It may become more important when using the CD transport. Also, it comes with the mosaic music app, that works pretty well.

Connecting the upsampler to the dac clock it would do the trick.

I don’t know the aurender, so I can’t comment on that. But for what you are saying, you can use the dual-aes do DXD and DSD128. With the upsampler you could really hear the difference, with DXD being more snappy and “fast” and a bit edgy, and DSD much more relaxed and with transients more calm.

Should you get bit by that audiophile bug, give the upsampler a listen.

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Dcs is merciless with amplification and speakers. Should anything be a little out of sinergia, it will make it scream. You have to plan carefully

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I had the dcs Rossini APEX + Clock and it was a no go for me. It is undoubtedly very high quality but at the same time very system dependent as noted.
Also there are too many things to adjust on the output side. I just want to turn it on and listen so the MPD-8 was my final choice.

Same with Wilson. I had a set of DAW’s but never could get them to sound happy. Also apparently very system dependent as they are obviously world class equipment.


If i have one pair of speakers id have back and keep , it would be Sabrina. Excellent sound and does not require a 2nd mortgage.

Next is Dyn Confidence…

Dcs worked well with Pass and Michi. Certainly the DeBussy. Bartok was great but fatiguing.

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MPD-8 is on my short list, funding being the primary barrier. My Wilson Audio SabrinaX continue to keep me in my happy place.


I am getting the Magic with Vitus amplification in an analog oriented system.


I listened to the Viivaldi stack at a dealer near me a while back. It’s at the Music Lover, and they are also a Wilson dealer. They did not use Wilson speakers, but used The Sonus Fabar Amati instead for some reson. The electronics were Audio Research Reference. While the sound had extradonary amount of resolution and detail, it lacked soul. I was not drawn into the Music like I should, and was bored and fatigued after awhile even though they played some of my favorite Bill Evans recordings. Although the PS Audio MK2 DAC is nowhere near the cost of these ultra high end gear, for me, the music is more natural and involving with the MK2 and my Wilsons, and believe me, the MK2 has plenty of resolution. But I am still waiting for the TSS.