Add Rossini Clock?

OK, ok, not really a new topic, but I’ve been breaking in my new Rossini (upgrade from Bartok). Clearly, much more analog-like imho.

Given upgrade-itis, I’m thinking of adding the Rossini clock. The issue is, that the clock requires 3 cables: 2 BNC and a power cord. The cables can increase the cost by a fair amount as you all know.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, my dealer can do the clock and (2) Nordost Valhalla BNC for a bit less than the clock itself ($9000 USD). So, my question to you folks is that given that the cost of this addition with a good power cord could approach almost 50% of the Rossini, would the increase in SQ be worth it? I know, I know, an almost impossible question to answer, but subjectivity is asked for here. I’ve read all sorts of opinions that external clocks are only good when one has > 1 digital devices to sync. Not the case for me - just using Melco N1Z as UPnP. I’ve also read where the Rossini clock is vital to the Rossini dac. Alas, the reality is that I would not be able to audition a clock in my system in my room. (We do what we can with what we have…)

On another side of the coin, the MSB Premier DAC has the outboard box as a power supply and so does not need 3 more cables. Any thoughts on this vs. Rossini w. & w.o. clock? (This is for you, Pete!)

Hornps, I think you have been reading too many audio magazines or you have an unusually persuasive dealer !

Adding a Rossini Clock does not require that you spend almost same as the clock itself on cables. Yes, it would be nice but adding the clock with good but less expensive cables will still be a benefit. Yes, the clock is a great addition, its effect is essential yet still subtle IMO (a point existing owners may understand) - if affordable.

It is clear from your question that the additional cost of the cables is not immaterial to you. So why do it now? There is no reason why you should not buy cheaper but good cables now and later, when there is spare cash, add the Valhallas if you think it worthwhile then and consider the price v. performance justifiable.

I have no views on MSB products having never heard any. I can only say that they have a good reputation.


Rossini Clock definitely yes.
Use industrial type 75Ω coax with solid copper core, double screen and Neutrik Rear Twist BNC plugs (e.g. Neutrik NX0628BTGN or similar).
I never invested in expensive power cords (IMHO the alleged improvements do not justify the cost at all).


Thank you Pete and Martin.

Let me ask the question I should have asked at first. I went from the Bartok to Rossini. As I said, a noticeable difference - more analog-like. If we set that improvement at an arbitrary value, say 100%, what would you feel is the improvement by adding the clock to the Rossini?

I have two answers: when I went from the Bartok to the Rossini i noticed the depth of the soundstage, an overall better, less harsh attack of piano notes, and very nice voices. With the clock, left hand notes of the piano became much more real, there was added width, more air, more depth.
One day I was listening to music and I found it a bit dull. After fifteen minutes I started feeling fatigue. I checked for something wrong and found out that a clock cable had someway separated from the dac. Replacing the cable cured the problem. I replaced the cables with some 25$ geistnote as per advices found here and they are really very good.

I can’t give you a percentage, I can say I am glad to have the clock.


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Thanks so much! I find responses from users like you much more helpful than reviews, etc.

I am also going to resist giving a percentage improvement as I think it would be capable of misleading by suggesting that you are just getting more of what you already have across the board.

As I have written before I do not think that adding an external clock adds a great deal drawn from the usual audiophile lexicon of descriptive words - bass, dynamics, detail etc. etc. So you will not get, say, a 10% improvement of any of them. Instead it seems to me to move the experience of listening to recorded music further away from the limitations of the recording medium and hardware . The music ( note music, not sound) simply communicates better and the experience no longer needs to rely on a kind of fixed concentration. Gosh, this is hard to find the right form of words for :thinking:.

I will repeat my experience that dCS brought the original external clock (Verona) to me to try at home way, way back in time . I could not hear any difference at all. I was listening for the wrong things. A couple of years later I tried again and have never been without one since. I even ensured that the system clock was bought as a priority with my Vivaldi DAC instead of the Upsampler ( I could not afford both at the time|).

I also remember when I had to return my Paganini clock to the factory for the clock 2 upgrade. That left me without the external clock for a couple of weeks. After a day or so I went back to vinyl and radio only as my sources. Digital was no longer as satisfying as it had been and I was happy to just await the return of the wordclock.

I am trying, if poorly, to give you an idea of what the external clock experience can be like but, as I said above, the usual terms that audiophiles use are not necessarily applicable IMO.

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The words perfectly convey the thoughts / impressions. Very informative.

Thanks so much, as usual.

Just to add, I’ve recently added a Rossini clock to my Rossini player. I would not be without it.

Great to hear. Enjoy it! BTW, do you stack the DAC on top?

Thanks. No I don’t stack them. Each has its own shelf on a Stillpoints stand.

As in some of the cases above we started off with the Rossini on its own. Not long after the dealer sent us a Rossini clock to audition at home.

To echo Pete’s comment above the change was subtle. Subtle but noticeable. The acid test came when we removed the clock and almost instantly put in an order for our own.

Once in your system I doubt you’d send it back.

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Which btw should be one of the most important experiments when judging new components/cables/toys.
After a week or so listening to the new item, revert to your old setting and take another week to decide.

This is something I am going to do with all of my stuff: try to replace high cost item with good quality, ordinary cost item, and hear the difference. Just to understand what really counts in my system and what does not.


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Yes, great advice. Many thanks. Slightly off topic, but there were a few times in the last few years, though, when I put in a new item for audition and I know right away - not subtle (gobsmacked as you might say). The good: first was inserting the Bartok between an Aurender and preamp; second was upgrading Borresen 01 to 01SSE. The bad: a couple of amplifiers (one tube integrated managed to be light on bass, ok, but none of the sweet tubiness) and passive ground controls. In fairness, the latter probably required your 1-week experiment. After a couple of hours I felt the passive actually slowed the pace of the Bartok. There was maybe, maybe, a slight improvement when plugged into the preamp - perhaps placebo effect.

In my system the difference was not subtle. The few guest who experienced it were shocked. The sense of extra space is the big thing for me.


I’d suggest starting with some quality, but not necessarily ‘audiophile’ clock cables. I’m also using the Geisnote ones that others have recommended here and am quite happy with them. In my experience the clock cables have the least impact of all the cables in my system, so you’d probably be beter off spending that 9k for the Valhalla elsewhere (or not at all!).


I am a Rossini player user as well… with the Rossini clock. a decent combo setup.

I am starting with Canare for a while, still decent to use - no complaint. I upgraded to Vahalla BNC at the end. I do it step by step.

Thanks, Jeff. What I had tried to say in an earlier post was that the Rossini Clock + (2) Valhalla is slightly less than the list of the Rossini Clock. I agree, spending $9k on cables for the clock would a bit crazy.

Makes sense. Many thanks!

Best, Paul

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Definitely, the master clock add a lot to the presentation. The better the setup is, the easier is to hear what the Rossini clock do. As many know, everything influence in a high definition audio system, including room acoustic that always obscure music details. I am a Bartok-Vivaldi clock user and the addition of the clock wasn’t subtle in my setup; and I am still using the factory clock cables. However, I am using a better PC for it (and the Bartok) because it reacts favorable to better PC. As a matter of fact, the clock is the only source component not plugged to the Audioquest Niagara 5000; for some reason, it doesn’t like.
With the clock the presentation is much more organized, bigger and you can hear much better where instruments are or the intention of the recording Engineer. Singers are beautifully rendered, the bass a little more precise and a little more dynamic.
I am waiting for my Rossini now.

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