Early this month I got to visit David Steven and his son David J., Chris, Martin, Andy, Rav, and all the other wonderful folks at dCS—designers and manufacturers of the two best digital products I’ve yet heard, the three-box Scarlatti and single-box Puccini CD/SACD players—at their offices in richly historical Cambridge, England. The occasion, ostensibly, was the introduction of two new dCS products: a stand-alone Scarlatti upconverter (which allows Scarlatti transport/DAC/clock owners to also use hard-drives and servers as sources, either importing data files at their native rate into the Scarlatti chain or upconverting them to any sampling rate between 44.1 and true DSD) and an outboard dedicated U-Clock for the single-box Puccini (about which I will have more to say in Part Two of this blog).
The three small interconnected buildings, situated in a British version of an industrial park, that house dCS were a little Alice in Wonderland-like. For a stranger like me the various buildings seemed at first like a maze of staircase and portholed doors, although by the end of a couple of days I could almost find my way among the several basic subsections of the buildings: sales, R&D, parts, assembly, testing, shipping, and a high-end (Verity loudspeakers, VTL amplifiers, Nordost cable and interconnect) listening room (about which I will have more to say in Part Two).
I will also have more to say about how dCS functions--and about the Puccini clock--in my next blog. For the nonce here is a brief photographic tour of dCS’s offices, beginning with a photo of the sales and administration department (that distinguished Peter O’Toole-looking fellow is David Steven, CEO of dCS), followed by a little corner of the R&D department where Chris and Andy work, niche of the parts department, assembly station, a photo of CS product under assembly,small sampling of dCS’s sophisticated testing gear, a photo of a fully assembled Scarlatti circuit board being tested, stacks of packaged dCS products awaiting shipment, and, finally, dCS’s lovely little listening room.