Best of the Best 2013: Electronics: Digital Audio: DCS Vivaldi

Photo by Michael Cameron Photography

The $108,500 DCS Vivaldi (+44.1954.233.950, www.dcsltd​.co.uk) is a four-box audio system comprising a digital-to-analog converter, an audio-signal up-sampler, a disc transport capable of CD and SACD playback, and a master clock. The system, which can handle any digital music file now available, pairs well with any Apple mobile product, bypassing that company’s low-grade internal digital-decoding circuitry for optimum playback of MP3s and other compressed music formats. The DCS Vivaldi’s master clock tethers the other three components together to maintain consistent timing and accuracy of all the digital data. To further ensure that the system is in tune with the times, it can be updated via software to be compatible with future file formats.