DCS Bartok APEX or LINA and master clock

I have a DCS bartok that I can get upgraded to APEX or I can sell the Bartok and purchase a DCS Lina and Master clock.  The cost would be about the same any thoughts on which would be better.

I have a pre amp already so I don't need the Bartok preamp functionality.

Ag insider logo xs@2xefoo

Geez, some serious hate in the Bartok and dCS here. I have the Bartok (non-Apex) and Rossini Apex, and can assure you they both sound amazing, and definitely not bright. Is there more air and a little more detail in the Rossini, sure. But if you weren’t listening to them side by side, they’d both be incredible. 

What should be the expected cost (USD) to upgrade my Bartok? Purchased last Sep 22 from a dealer. I’m being quoted $5K. Is that in-line? Or is there better pricing available?

As far as I’ve read, the Lina isn’t a stripped down Bartok. It seems to be an improvement over the non Apex Bartok.

Likely not an improvement over the Apex though. But I'm not sure.

I know this is off topic but I can’t help but notice the large quantities of Bartok dacs that have been on the used market this year. Seems like a large migration away from it. Wondering if the cost of the Apex upgrade vs the Lina is driving this or have people just grown tired and are moving on?

@designsfx we can only speculate, I suspect there’s something off putting about a company coming out with an upgrade option that expensive. Same thing happened with totaldac, saw an unusual number of those on the used market, when their latest upgrades were announced (bearing in mind it’s a boutique within a boutique in terms of size of customer base)…a “night/day” upgrade makes you think, was what I had before really not all that good in the first place? Let me try something else.

Grateful that my DAC hasn’t had any upgrades for 6 yrs, though if they did announce one, I couldn’t help but me curious. A dealer once told me digital is easy these days, it’s the analog output stage that really separates brands…get something with a killer output and you’ll quickly lose any interest you may once have had keeping up with the Joneses