Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

The SoundStage! Network team performed a tour of the dCS factory on December 5, 2011. dCS stands for Data Conversion systems and was founded in 1987 in Cambridge, UK, the same city they remain in today. Their current factory, which they moved to in June 2010, is an 8000-square-foot facility on the edge of the city. dCS employs approximately 20 people who build the company's products entirely in the UK. For more information about dCS, visit www.dcsltd.co.uk.

Introduction

dCS began in 1987 with a group of engineers who specialized in analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) conversion systems. dCS stands for Data Conversion Systems. The original company focused on consulting, primarily for military applications, and developed state-of-the-art A/D and D/A technology applicable to other industries.

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Design and Engineering

A group of engineers started dCS, so it's not surprising to learn that the core of dCS still lies within the engineering lab. The engineers' mandate is to create products that can not only produce superb measurements but also be considered state of the art and deliver the highest level of musical reproduction. As a result, every aspect of the design is done in-house.

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Production and Shipping

dCS's production area is fairly large, well-lit, and spacious. Things like casework and board stuffing are the work of external vendors (all located in the UK), but every product dCS makes is assembled here, with most of the assembly done by hand.

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Testing and Quality Control

dCS makes high-quality, very expensive products that are widely considered to be state of the art. The company backs that up with testing and quality-control procedures that are second to none to ensure that every consumer gets a product that meets or exceeds manufacturer specifications and exacting tolerances.

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Cambridge Quick Tour Parts One and Two

dCS is located in Cambridge, UK, which is about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from London. Cambridge has a population of about 110,000 and is home to the University of Cambridge, the UK's second-oldest university. In fact, according to Wikipedia, it's the second-oldest in the English-speaking world. Oxford is the oldest. The University of Cambridge's origins date back 800 years. Among the university's many claims to fame is the fact that its graduates have received 61 Nobel Prizes to date, more than any other university in the world. It's no surprise, then, that Cambridge is considered a tech hub in the UK.

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