Bartok vs (Rossini + Clock) feeding Wilson Audio TuneTots

I have a Krell K-300i integrated amplifier driving a pair of Wilson Audio TuneTots in a nearfield office setup. I’ve been utilising the DAC in the digital board on the Krell to stream internet radio (I’m a subscriber to Radiotunes) and also my large collection of flac files which I’ve accumulated over the years. In addition to moving towards putting my flac collection on to a small NAS (and connecting to my network to stream), I’m also looking to upgrade to a separate DAC and use the Krell for power duties only. I have my eye on either a Bartok (without headphone amp) or a Rossini + Clock. This will be an end game purchase for me.

I listen to mostly jazz (most genres), solo piano and vocals with a smattering of old school rock thrown in for good measure. I love the TuneTots. I find them detailed but non-fatiguing and actually have them playing all day, every day.

My question is (ignoring the cost factor) whether for the TuneTots, a Rossini + Clock might be overkill for this small system in terms of sound quality - especially interms of listening for long periods of time at fairly low volume.

Hi LuceD,

Welcome to the community.

In my office, I upgraded from Bartók to Bartók + Rossini Clock, and then to Rossini + Clock. Also using nearfield office setup, this upgrade was significant for SQ, and very rewarding. Highly recommended. And certainly at low volume, but to enjoy this I added a pre amp.



I’m not familiar with the Tune Tots but photos look like standmount speakers.

One year ago I bought a Bartok and used with an Audio Research 300.2 power amp and 10 metre long Chord Epic X cables to a pair of Monitor Audio Platinum 100 standmount speakers in my small study, (all electronics in the main listening room and using RCA and Balanced outputs simultaneously to drive two power amps, with Quad ESL63s in the main room). I liked the result but found the Bartok only a limited step up from the Cambridge Audio 851N I had used previously. Two months ago I upgraded to a Rossini Player. The step up was quite noticeable and a significant improvement from the 851N, (probably what I had hoped for with the Bartok really). Even though the Rossini might be considered overkill for the Platinum 100s, they sound great and I listen to them as much as the main setup which sounds significantly better too. It’s a big step up in price however. I wish I had bought the Rossini in the first place. But you have to listen to them and decide for yourself.

Thank you Erno & Simon

This is most certainly a help to me. In a perfect world, one would want to spend sufficient time with each in one’s own system and in one’s own listening environment to evaluate. Not always easy to do. You’ve given answers which (I must admit) I was hoping for. :smile:

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Not truly a direct answer to your query but a data point.
We had, until recently, Tune Tots which we bought when moving from a single family house to a condo. We had listened quite freely in a dedicated sound room in the house, with Magico Q3’s etc…, but were concerned about neighbours and noise issues in the new place so moved to the smaller Tots.
We had the Tots on stands driven by a Barktok served by a ROON Box, into a Constellation preamp and Pass Lab amp. I believe the Tune Tots are generally underrated and wrongfully assumed to be just “desk top” speakers as in our experience, on stands, they were just wonderfully musical and engaging. I suspect your system sounds equally as good. I am convinced these speakers will rise to any level of fidelity, whether DAC, Amp or cabling, you can offer at the front end so the Rossini would be justified or, perhaps, the Bartok if interested in saving some money.
(check out the review of the Tune Tots on the Audiophile Style web site)
If in the budget I would heartily recommend the Isobase offered by Wilson if sitting on your desktop.

Fantastic! Thank you, Warren.
I have the TuneTots on their Isobases roughly 90cm from each ear. I’ve literally spent years trying to build a suitable “office” system which could find a suitable home in a larger room too. For me… the TuneTots were a wonderful find. I stumbled on to them while listening to the Wilson Audio Alexx speakers being fed by a full Vivaldi stack at a hifi show some years back. It was the non-fatiguing and totally engaging experience of the Alexx upper registers that hooked into me and stayed. In fact, I spent over 3 hours with the Wilson/dCS sound setup at the show. Didn’t want to leave. I got hold of my dealer soon after the show. He lent me a demo pair of TuneTots for a few days… and the rest is history. I’ve also recently “retired” my CD player (a Meridian Signature Reference 808 version 1) which had not seen too much use over the last few years… and so I’ve taken the decision to go purely digital (flac files, streaming & Radiotunes) and invest in a reference quality DAC. There definitely seems to be a positive synergy between dCS and the Wilsons.

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went back to Magico with a new pair of A5’s (turns out I live in a reasonably sound proofed building…ya!!!) but the Tots, as my first real longer term listen to Wilson, have convinced me of the complete delicacy and nuance that Wilsons allow.
Happy listening…envy you that Rossini.
Best from Vancouver


I agree. I’m very happy with my Rossini & clock combo, driving SabrinaX’s with a Gryphon Diablo 300.


I have a Rossini DAC at the moment, I’m waiting for the Vivaldi clock and I’m looking at the Diabolo 300. What can you say about the Diabolo? How do you like it compared to other amplifiers?

My dealer represents both Gryphon & PS Audio (plus dCS, and other brands), so I was able to have a demo of the PSA BHK Pre/300 monos/250 stereo and compare them with the Gryphon Diablo 300.

I bought the Diablo as I preferred the overall presentation, providing punchy but controlled bass with lovely mids and open highs.

It drives the SabrinaX’s with ease, producing 600W (into 4 ohms).

I listen with Dan Clark Audio Stealth headphones to a short Vivaldi stack and amplification is a Riviera Labs AIC-10 Balanced. The experience is well worth it. The upgrade from Bartók with Vivaldi clock to short Vivaldi stack was a major improvement listening to headphones only. Although the upgrade in dCS boxes necessitated many other upgrades and tweaks before it felt like the system is finished again.

I have the smaller drivers than you and the improvement is still more than worthwhile. I’d suggest going with the best dCS source you confidently want to spend money on. Assuming that a good part of your listening is dedicated listening. For mostly background music the recommendation would be different.

Thank you, Marco.

Which other headphones other than the DCA’s have you heard through the Riviera?


Just the Stealth - it is the can i settled on for all listening. If you like I can dust off the Focal Utopia and report back.

Upgrading to Vivaldi in retrospect created three bottlenecks. The headphone (then Utopia now Stealth), the digital cabling (then Oyaide now Black Cat) and finally the headphone amp (then Headamp GSX Mk II now Riviera Labs AIC-10 Balanced). Now I’m close to satisfied again. It’s strange, I was fully satisfied with the Bartók based system and here it takes a number of upgrades and tweaks to be content again. And yes, I could well live with the Bartók and Vivaldi clock as before.