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"USB DACs have clearly come of age if the dCS Debussy is any guide"

Paul Miller, HiFi News

"Superlative, state of the art modern DAC with a uniquely 'undigital' sound"

David Price, HiFi World



The Debussy DAC is the future hub of your digital playback system. Debussy combines the legendary dCS Ring DAC and our patent pending (GB0817141.5) asynchronous usb technology in one box to deliver a DAC that will extract amazing performance from any digital source.

Built to the highest specifications, Debussy features a sleek solid aluminium fascia, high grade aluminium casing, all metal buttons and is powered by dCS electronics. CD or Computer Audio, Debussy will extract every last bit of detail from your music collection, bringing a reality to your music that you never heard before.

In common with our flagship Scarlatti, Paganini and Puccini ranges, Debussy uses our proprietary patented dCS Ring DAC, which oversamples all incoming data to 5 bits at 2.822 or 3.07 MS/s.

Debussy DAC features standard AES3, Dual AES and SPDIF inputs in addition to the USB2.0 interface. The digital volume control allows direct connection to a power amplifier, so often there is then no need for a preamplifier. Maximum output can be either two or six volts to suit different amp/speaker combinations.

Two DSP filters are provided offering listeners the choice between linear phase with pre-ringing or non-linear phase without pre-ringing. The optimum filter is a matter of personal preference.

When connecting a computer source Debussy DAC operates in "asynchronous" USB mode (NOT to be confused with asynchronous rate conversion), where the Debussy DAC synchronises the audio by providing a feedback pipe to the computer. The computer is then effectively locked to the audio device, which has a much more accurate clock and much lower jitter.

The PCM inputs on all our DACs are industry standard AES/EBU, SPDIF or SDIF interfaces. There should be no difficulty using them with other manufacturers' equipment, provided it also complies with industry standards.

Debussy can be locked to an external word clock signal generated by a dCS Master Clock - this produces a substantial performance improvement.

Debussy also benefits from our ‘soft' approach to programmable logic, which allows new software to be loaded from a dCS update disc or connected computer to add new features and adapt to changes in digital formats.


  • Debussy DAC uses the latest version of the patented dCS Ring DAC, which has several detail improvements over earlier versions.
  • The dCS Ring DAC is a discrete balanced design which does not use any off-the-shelf DAC chips commonly found in other manufacturer's products.
  • Our proprietary 5 bit oversampling topology produces exceptional linearity across the dynamic range.
  • All dCS products use a sophisticated multi-mode phase locked loop (PLL), which significantly reduces clock jitter.
  • Faster, 100% accurate DSPs (within the bounds of their resolution) give improved filters revealing yet more fine detail.
  • Higher capacity FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) give more logic capacity and increase the scope for additional features and enhancements.
  • Asynchronous USB mode prevents the computer source injecting jitter into DAC
  • Improved power supplies give lower running temperature and increased tolerance to AC supply variations.
  • Our ‘soft' approach to programmable logic allows dCS products to adapt to changes in digital formats and add new features by loading new software from a CD.
  • High grade aluminum chassis and laminated acoustic damping panels, reduce magnetic effects and vibration.
  • Type:
  • Digital-to-Analogue Converter
  • Finish options:
  • Silver Only
  • Dimensions
  • (W) 445mm x (D) 392mm x (H) 65mm
    (W) 17.6" x (D) 15.5" x (H) 2.6"
    Allow extra depth for cable connectors
  • Weight:
  • 8.8kg/19.4lbs.
  • CD mechanism:
  • N/A
  • Converter type:
  • Patented dCS Ring DAC topology, oversampling to 5 bits at 2.822 or 3.07 MS/s
  • Analogue outputs:
  • Output Levels: 2V rms or 6V rms on all outputs, set by the Output Level switch on the rear panel.

    Balanced Outputs - 1 stereo pair on 2x 3-pin male XLR connectors.

    These outputs are electronically balanced and floating, the signal balance ratio at 1kHz is better than 40dB Output impedance is 3Ω, maximum load is 600Ω (a 10kΩ load is recommended).

    Unbalanced Outputs - 1 stereo pair on 2x RCA Phono connectors. Output impedance is 52Ω, maximum load is 600Ω (a 10kΩ load is recommended).


  • Digital I/O:

    USB interface on a B-type connector, will accept up to 24 bit PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96kS/s. Operates in asynchronous USB mode.

    2x AES/EBU on 3-pin female XLR connectors. Each will accept up to 24 bit PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2 & 96kS/s OR as a Dual AES pair at 88.2, 96, 176.4 & 192kS/s.

    2x SPDIF on 1x RCA Phono and 1x BNC connector. Each will accept PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96kS/s up to 24 bits.

  • Word clock I/O:

    Word Clock Input on 1x BNC connector. Accepts standard word clock at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2 & 96kHz. The data rate can be the same as the clock rate or an exact multiple (0.5x, 1x, 2x, 4x) of the clock rate.
    Sensitive to TTL levels.

  • Clock frequencies:
  • N/A
  • Residual noise:
  • Better than -110dB0 @ 20Hz - 20kHz unweighted. (6V Setting).
  • Spurious responses:
  • Better than -110dB0 @ 20Hz - 20kHz unweighted.
  • Filters:
  • PCM  Mode - 2 filters on Debussy give different trade-offs between the Nyquist image rejection and the phase response.

    Filter 1 is a "Classic" sharp filter with linear phase and pre-ringing, while Filter 2 is an asymmetrical "Apodizing" filter with non-linear phase and no pre-ringing.

  • Software updates:
  • Updates loaded by CD-R or Computer via USB.
  • Software version:
  • 1.01
  • Local control:
  • dCS Premium remote control is supplied with the Debussy, or RS232.

    Media Player Transport Controls - Debussy also implements a USB HID interface. This means that not only can the user change the Debussy volume via the attached computer, but Debussy can also perform functions such as "Play/Pause"/"Media Next" / "Media Prev"/ "Media FF/RW".

  • Power supply:
  • Factory set for 100, 115, 220 or 230 V AC, 49 - 62Hz
  • Power consumption:
  • 22 Watts typical/ 30 Watts maximum.



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