Bartok with Rossini or Vivaldi clock?

I’m looking for advice regarding possible upgrades.

I own a Bartok unit and I’m considering either a Rossini clock or I’ve been offered a used Vivaldi clock at roughly the same price,

Your thoughts…

Sell the Bartok, add those proceeds to the clock budget, and buy a standalone Rossini?

I am sure that the question of adding a Rossini Clock to the Bartok has been considered here before during the recent past. So it may be worth your while searching the forum on the subject.

The problem to me is that the combination of Bartok (without headphone) + Rossini Clock costs nearly the same as a Rossini DAC which would outperform the proposed combination. There is a sense of cart before the horse being put.

As for a used Vivaldi Clock v. a new Rossini one that depends upon the age and provenance of the Vivaldi clock. The accuracy of the clock degrades over time and, at some point, it will become necessary to return the clock to the factory for recalibration. I would bear in mind the possibility of that added cost especially if it is a particularly old sample. Yes the Vivaldi is a better clock in principle but would the Bartok be able to utilise that advantage and in practice could a new Rossini clock with factory spec. calibration outperform a well used elderly Vivaldi needing recalibration? I do not know the answer to those questions but they do seem pertinent.

NB: The Vivaldi’s display does indicate when it requires calibration but there is no prior warning to its appearance.


If you have a Bartok and it’s primarily used for headphones, then going to a Rossini requires you to also invest in a very good headphone amp and interconnects.

Also what does the Vivaldi clock add over the Rossini? Is it even more accurate or just has more functionality and do you need this functionality.

If you have your Bartok driving amps and speakers then the argument for going to a Rossini is a strong one.

I have a Bartok with the Rossini clock and use it only for headphones.

Thank you all for your input, I do not have the Bartok with the headphone amp and I use a preamp between my Bartok and my amplifier,

My next step will be a good listening session at my dealer to do some a/b testing between the 3 different options I foresee: One of the two clocks combined with my current unit or replacing it with a Rossini unit,

Frankly I didn’t consider replacing the Bartok, the idea of upgrading with a clock came reading my owner’s manual. From there I gave a call to my Dcs dealer who offered me the two different clock option.

I will give you feedback when I’ll be done with my listening sessions.

Again many thanks,

I’ll be very interested to read your conclusions. I bought a Bartok about 6 months ago and I’m very happy with it compared with the Linn Akurate it replaced and always had the intention of getting a Rossini Clock at some point. Same as you, read the manual. I too listen via a preamp and don’t use headphones. My dealer (who I trust after much good advice) is convincing that a Rossini clock does make a significant difference, not just a slight nuance as other contributors have written and I’m sure heard with their ears. However he said, appreciating it is a pile of money, listen to the Vivaldi clock. Although it costs more than the Bartok itself the result is phenomenal and of course opens the door to an upgrade of the DAC later should you wish to go there. I have not yet had a demo for fear of spending money I can’t afford at the moment. I need a new car! Do please update after your demo. Thanks!

Hi, i have a Bartok and had a demo of the dac with the Rossini clock. To me the difference it made was so obvious i could have stopped the demo after the first track. Instead i spent the next hour just enjoying what it did. I’m awaiting mine!!

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I had a Bartok which was initially purchased to use in a headphone only listening system in my bedroom. I was extremely impressed with its capabilities however felt that its internal headphone amp was perhaps the weak link. My Linn Klimax DS into a HeadAmp GSX Mini yielded slightly better performance. Once I bypassed the internal HA of the Bartok and connected it to the GSX Mini as an external headphone amplifier the performance of the Bartok improved so much that it was nipping on the heels of the Linn. It impressed me enough to move to a Rossini + Master Clock and use that to replace the Linn in my Naim 2 channel system. The Linn moved to headphone duties.

Both I and many of my Naim friends who have moved to dCS are all in agreement that the clock is a fundamental upgrade to the Rossini - much like power supplies are fundamental upgrades to Naim.

Based on price considerations I would consider moving to a Rossini rather than investing in a clock for the Bartok. It is significantly better - and - will allow yet further upgrades once a clock is inserted at a later point in time.


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I’ve just been spending an enjoyable weekend trying clocks with my Bartok. I only bought the Bartok about 6 months ago and have been very impressed with it through my Naim Pre/power amps, but wanted to see what a clock could add. Also I didn’t really want to trade it in yet against a Rossini as the depreciation over 6 months felt a bit painful to absorb! So I thought maybe adding a clock with a view to swapping out to a Rossini later might be a good option. (I just don’t think I’ll ever get to a Vivaldi DAC level). So I’ve been trying the Rossini and Vivaldi clocks…on the face of it seems crazy to be thinking of spending more on the clock than the Bartok, but as I say, I have an eye on the future upgrade path. Well the results are very interesting and concur very much with what I’ve read from many of Pete’s (PAR) very helpful posts…essentially with dCS you get a clear ‘improvement’, every step you take. The Rossini clock without any doubt (and as I’ve read elsewhere here, within the first 30 seconds of listening) brought something very noticeable to the Bartok but the Vivaldi clock as much again - in fact I’m pretty blown away by the sheer enjoyment of listening with the Vivaldi clock engaged. So…I think the route is clear…I can see myself ending up with a Rossini with a Vivaldi clock. First though I’m buying the new Melco N1Z/2EX to replace my QNAP NAS which I have also been trying out and totally honestly made at least as much improvement to the listening experience as adding the Rossini clock…and it’s silent as a church mouse!

So it’s been longer than expected before coming back with my conclusions and listening impressions but here I am.
The setups I compared were as follows

  1. I compared the Bartok unit with a Vivaldi clock vs a NBS with a Vivaldi Dac
  2. I couldn’t compare the Rossini unit since the dealer didn’t have any on hand
    The Bartok definitively sounded better with the clock, depth of sound stage and image solidity particularly, I didn’t find noticeable differences in resolution nor timbres improvement per say, so as a long term improvement the investment may be right but as a standalone move it may be expensive given the improvement IMO
    The NBS with the Vivaldi DAC was a large improvement in all areas; soundstage, resolution, imaging, precision, silkier timbres, so much more information…
    So my Bartok stayed at the dealer and I went for a slightly larger investment than I originally intended but since both components (Vivaldi 1 and NBS) were used it wasn’t so painful…
    I’ve been using it at home for a few weeks now and find myself smiling regularly when I rediscover old albums… excellent gear

Sorry but I’m being thick. What is an ‘NBS’ ?

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Network bridge streamer

Image solidity, depth of soundstage, resolution. But how was the music :wink:?


I had a prepared list of very eclectic choices from Japanese drum ensemble to baroque Choirs, old and recent jazz, Led Zep, female vocals… you name it !!
The Vivaldi made everything almost holographic, cleanly distinguishing everything with a very dense proposition at the same time… did not take long to figure out I was going to fall for it…
Couldn’t criticized the music since I chose it :wink:

Congrats on the new kit!

Congrats Guy :+1:

I am new to the dCS scene, so please forgive my stupid question. :grinning:
Just looked at the Vivaldi DAC spec. Unlike the Rossini and Bartók DACs, the Vivaldi DAC is not a Streaming DAC, as it has no RJ45 input. Hence your purchase of the Network Bridge. Is this Correct?

Yes you’re right on, the Bridge is a steamer that serves that purpose,

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In the Vivaldi range the Vivaldi Upsampler incorporates the network streaming board and therefore houses the RJ45 input.

Ah I see, wasn’t aware of that.