Bartok with Rossini or Vivaldi clock?

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.

“Get the clock,” they said.

“It’s a matter of time before you buy the clock,” they said.

They were definitely right in my case :smiley:

I’d been loving my Bartok (with the headphone amp) for a year or so, but giving the classifieds (and dealer demo lists) plenty of side-eye, knowing that adding a Clock was likely to make a big difference.

After plenty of deliberation I ended up getting a demo Vivaldi Clock instead of a Rossini Clock, and I’m really glad I did, especially because headphone listening and a sensible(ish) box count are important to me. The only person I found who’d compared the two master clocks on a Bartok was @nickghough (in this very thread), so I gave it a go myself.

Like all of the audio purchases I make, I went into it hoping I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Turns out that the differences weren’t subtle. I agree with Nick. The Vivaldi Clock transformed the Bartok. (It was already the best DAC I’d heard.)

As @PAR has said before, it wasn’t any of the normal audiophile stuff (better bass, sparking treble, blacker background etc.), that I loved, it was that it sounded as if the people playing had been practising for longer. The music hung together better — and because it sounded like a more capable band/orchestra/rapper/electronic plip-plopper, I was more relaxed for each listening session. No tensing up for a less well-sorted bunch of musicians, if that makes sense.

My next comparisons were:

A) Bartok with Vivaldi Clock
B) Rossini with no clock
C) Bartok with Vivaldi Clock and SRS Perf 10 Reference Clock
D) Rossini with the Vivaldi Clock and SRS Perf 10 Reference Clock

No surprises that the Rossini with all the clocking was best. It should be. What a sound! (Hoping for Bartok 2.0 soon.)

What was a surprise was that I preferred the Bartok with all of the clocking to the Rossini without any external clocking. The Rossini without the Vivaldi Clock was amazing — of course it was — but it didn’t have the relaxed ease that I wrote about above, and that I can only assume comes from such wonderful clocking. That ease is addictive.

Onto another comparison, at a mate’s place:

A) His Rossini and Rossini Clock
B) His Rossini and my Vivaldi Clock (but no SRS Perf 10 — humping one large box two hours in the car was enough)

His colourful language suggested to me that he was now shopping for a Vivaldi Clock. It took all of 15 seconds for us to prefer the Vivaldi Clock.

Quite how two boxes that ensure 1s and 0s stick around for a consistent length of time can be so different, I don’t know. But I’m glad some people at a CB24 post code do.

I feel like an arse for getting someone else into shopping mode. Sorry, @magicbus. Maybe it’s just referred naughtiness — thanks for the Reference clock, @PaleRider :stuck_out_tongue:


Good stuff. At the risk of sounding like a trite, tired audiophile reviewer, better clocking is transformative. It’s like the difference between looking at the world through a lower deck porthole and up on the open air top deck.


That doesn’t surprise me at all; I think proper clocking makes a bigger difference in at least some parameters than does the difference between the Rossini and Bartok without the (in my case Rossini) clock.

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Interestingly, when I used EtherRegen with an external clock, I heard about the same effect. Although from the technical point of view, this should not be the case, since the streamer in Bartok resynchronizes all incoming data packets.

How do you live now after listening to Bartok with Vivaldi clock? In one review, they wrote that it would be difficult to live if you heard Rossini dac with a watch and then did not buy it.

3 months ago I buy a Rossini dac. Great sound (now my chord TT2 and Mscaler, after not working for 3 months, stand and are covered with dust). There is no turning back after Rossini. Now the question is haunted: Rossini clock or Vivaldi?

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I find this a very convincing argument:

Rossini Clock = £ 7,999
Vivaldi Clock = £13,999

( UK prices inc. VAT)

The reaction is instant. Like in boxing. Pleasantly. I’m more interested in sound. Is the difference in price worth it?

Ultimately only you can say.

Rossini, as a product range, is likely to have some more years to run before it is replaced. Vivaldi’s replacement has been imminently anticipated over the past year or so ( the product was announced way back in 2012 and was on sale from 2013). I suspect that it may already have occurred were it not for the pandemic and the removal of many launch opportunities ( Munich High End, RMAF etc). You may want to consider over how long for you personally that additional £6K ( or equivalent local price) would need to be amortised in performance terms as well as in purely financial ones.

My normal advice would be to buy the Vivaldi clock ONLY if using it with Rossini is a temporary measure until a Vivaldi DAC is purchased. Otherwise, sound benefit aside, it strikes me somewhat as putting the cart before the horse.


Thanks for the controversy. It seems to me that it does not matter where the horse is, it is important that it pushes the cart. Perhaps this is not rational. Yes, I admit it, but if I ever buy Vivaldi, I don’t know. Life events are unpredictable. With Vivaldi, there is another step of improvement - Reference clock, the cost of which is much less than Vivaldi dac. As I understand it is also the next step to improve the sound in my system. I would like to someday dwell on my research. Although I understand that it is very difficult to stop. All this is like in a parable: a traveler walks along the road and comes to a road near which there is a stone. It is written on the stone: if you go to the right you will get a bashing, if you go straight you will get a bashing, if you go to the right you will get a bashing. The traveler pondered, and then a voice from heaven: - Think quickly, otherwise you will get a beating now.

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All of us who own the DСS are like a traveler, and bashing is money spent.

Just wait a year or so and Vivaldi clocks will be dumped onto the market by the 1000’s.

I’ve just read this whole thread with great interest. It would be really great to hear any comments some of you have on where I have got to.

I got my Bartok six months ago. I upgraded from a Cambridge Audio 851N so the cost difference was about ten fold but the sound is great and I had expected that the Bartok would keep me content for years. As I started to read on this forum, I noticed a number of comments that after six months with a Bartok, it’s not uncommon to order a clock. Not me I said, I’ll be just fine.

So here I am reading all these comments that the clock makes all the difference. However, I’ve also seen it written that the Rossini DAC without clock is a better option than a Bartok with a Rossini clock. And then of course a Rossini clock could be added later, or a Vivaldi clock, where do you stop!

My Bartok has the headphone amp, but I don’t use that function, (in fact that is the most disappointing incremental cost I’ve spent on anything) so I would have been better to have made the step to the Rossini DAC in the first place but at least the Bartok should have a decent residual value.

My real curiosity is, would I really appreciate the step up to the Rossini DAC now, considering the cost to change? I sense that compared to many on this forum I am using more modest other equipment, so the money may be better spent elsewhere. However, I’ve also noticed comments that the benefits of a better DAC are clear irrespective of amp and speakers.

The current setup is Bartok RCA output to Quad 606 power amp and Quad ESL63 speakers, plus Bartok balanced output to Audio Research 300.2 power amp and Monitor Audio PL100 speakers which are in the adjacent but small study. Cables are Chord Signature. I’m using Tidal plus some HD Tracks on a USB and listening to jazz on the radio on Mosaic.


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Yes unless you hate hifi or love money.

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Read other recent threads here. A couple of members have recently moved from Bartok to Rossini with reaults that exeeded their expectations.

You will love it through your ESL 63s - no need to apologise for them, a classic. In due course I would look to find a preamp with balanced inputs so that you can connect the dCS XLR output even if connection from it to Quad 606 is single ended.

I have only one direct piece of advice for you. Do not audition a Rossini unless you are happy to feel that credit card in your wallet burning to escape to the outside world!