dCS Bartok Apex vs any similar priced DAC

I’m about to upgrade my system from scratch, the speakers will be ATC SCM50ASL Classic active. I don’t have any records, digital rips only on my Innuos Zen MINI & LPSU. 

The dCS Bartok Apex direct into the active ATC is where I want to go. Any opinions about any better matched DAC / DAC streamer/preamp combo that’s better matched to the ATC ?


Thinking WEISS 501, Esoteric N-05 XD, Chord DAVE



Honestly, if you're just running an ATC, I don't see why there's a need for a top flight DAC

Is the Esoteric N-05XD worth a look too ?

The matching Esoteric G-05 Master Clock Generator can be used as an upgrade later on. That combo should be a killer ?

Aries Cerat Helene, 40 Kg of sonic nirvana. I was only able to compare to non-Apex DCS. FWIW, DCS was very clinical and digital sounding. The AC Helene sounds like a $50K analog rig—two DACs at the opposite ends of the spectrum. 

Hello @seadog137,  I have directly compared the Dave to my Tambaqui and easily chose the Tambaqui. but it does improve with a great preamp, and I agree wholeheartedly on the Makua w onboard Tambaqui.  The volume control on the Tambaqui alone is not the best (digital).  This makes the T+A 200 or the one above it interesting if I were starting again.  I am not familiar with the Bartok Apex direct to amps.  Also, the Tambaqui benefits from a good streamer, I have the Grimm MU1, and it is great with the stand alone Tambaqui or the Makua w Tambaqui.  I do not know if the Bartok Apex needs a separate streamer to excel.