Bought a Rossini Today!

It’s my first dCS product. I’m really excited. I’ve honestly only heard the Vivaldis at crazy audio shows plugged into stuff that makes the lights dim. I took a bit of a flyer because I found it from the right seller at the right price and I at least liked the house sound.

It will replace my Mytek Brooklyn and janky Astron laboratory power supplied I (poorly) wired to it. I was running a Bluesound Node 2i that is now for sale (anyone?). It’ll connect to a McIntosh MA252 and some Sonus Faber Olympica Nova Vs.

What should I know and expect as a new owner? Not just sound-wise but little tips or filter settings or cables or whatnot. I want to become the dCS whisperer.

Thanks in advance. To reiterate, super friggin psyched.


Hi Ben, welcome to the community! :slight_smile:

A couple of suggestions to get your started perhaps;

  • The User Manual, read it cover-to-cover - there’s lots of little bit of very good operational information in there
  • The FAQs - once again, lots of good info that gives you insight into dCS’ technology
  • dCS Ring DAC Technical Explanation series of articles - this series from James @ dCS is incredibly detailed on how the dCS Ring DAC and ancillary systems work



Hi Ben. You have done a wise thing :smile:

Is this a new purchase or a used unit? If the former it should be supplied as current specification.Here in 2023 this will be a Rossini Apex. If used you will need to find out. It will say if it is Apex on the rear panel. If it is not an Apex model you may want to find out about upgrading to Apex though this is not a cheap upgrade although it is very much worthwhile IMO.

If used you first also need to check if the firmware is up to date. you can check here :

Please also familiarise yourself with the user manual.

Many items are for you to adjust to your tastes, your type of music, the partnering equipment and your listening environment . Where such choices are given e.g. filters there is no right or wrong and what is optimum for one listener will not be so for all. However the filter section in the manual gives a very realistic idea of what to set to start. You may want to keep to these or change as you prefer over the first few weeks. The unit will remember which you prefer for each input sampling resolution so after you have become familiar and finalised your choices it is effectively set and forget.

I have looked at the specification for your McIntosh and would suggest setting the output line voltage of Rossini to 2V . If you need to change from this it will, again, depend on your circumstances but this is the most common choice.

The cable market has models at all price points including some that you may find hard to even imagine. There is much variation however all of the main brands offer wires which are electrically good…The rest is down to you and what your dealer stocks. It is no good me recommending something which you cannot buy in practice. Further my experience is that this question only provides responses that just list what the correspondent uses. So 8 answers typically = 8 different recommendations.

You don’t say what sources you will use but I am assuming that you will use dCS Mosaic for the replay of local files, online streaming services and day to day control of Rossini. If you download the Mosaic app this will be v.1.4. Mosaic is in two parts, the app and the hardware which is in Rossini. Once the app is installed you should check it to see if he Rossini needs updating to this version too ( if a used unit). If it does need updating this is straightforward and Mosaic will do it once you select the option. Just switch off the unit from the rear panel, wait a couple of minutes, switch back on then tap the upgrade option offered in Mosaic.

Unless a qualified dealer installs Rossini then you may find a couple of issues in starting from scratch but that is what we are here for.


Wow that’s a heck of an upgrade! Congratulations! The first thing you should know is that you will become clock curious within the first year of ownership and will eventually add one.

Congrats & enjoy!

Congratulations! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the responses thus far - will definitely read the manual and expect to play with the filters quite a bit. I’ll be streaming through the Mosaic app via Tidal, primarily. Never tried delving into servers and files.

This was a used purchase of the standard Rossini, without the clock or apex upgrade. I was comfortable buying the unit because I know the provenance - the seller bought it from my old dealer (before I left the area). I had pretty much settled on a Bartok but just couldn’t say no. I am of course already thinking about upgrades but will need to let the coffers refill a bit first.

I’m a digital neophyte, being mostly an analog guy. When the upgrade bug sucker-punched me this time, I delved very thoroughly (ok maybe obsessively) into the details of digital audio including the overview of the Ring DAC architecture linked above. That’s when I started to understand hz and bits and put 10 and 10 together.

Anyway, long way to go. I receive it in a couple weeks. Think the firmware is updated but that’ll be the first check.

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Start saving for a Rossini Clock. :wink:

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No need to save for a clock. It makes no difference.

Actually, be sure to demo a clock in your own home before buying one. For me it made no difference.

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Yes , I had the same impression back towards the start of the century when I tried their first clock, the Verona with the Elgar + and Purcell + processors.

I tried again some time later and realised that I had been expecting the wrong thing. The clocks do not do so much in terms of the sound of the music but an awful lot in terms of the music itself ( flow, naturalness, phrasing). As well as the Verona I have since owned Paganini and Vivaldi clocks with their matching processors.

The original Paganini clock had to be returned to the factory for upgrading to Clock 2. While it was away I found it now impossible to listen without it. Yet a year or two before I could hear no difference.


It makes a night and day difference to me.

I seriously would not have bought a Rossini without the Clock as to me the sound quality did not surpass what I had at the time.

Only with the addition of the Clock did elements in the sound stage come together to beat my old DAC.


Even with the Bartok, the Rossini Clock made an immediate difference for me., Need to know exactly what to listen out for though; specifically the top end, ambience, spatial cues, all improve with the clock, and even more so with the Clock Dither turned on.


For me the Apex upgrade was way, way bigger than the clock.
Only other advice is that now you will likely need to upgrade everything else in your system! I just got better clock cables and an ethernet cable, and they really made the Rossini more analog sounding.

I too found the Rossini clock pretty transformational. The sound of the instruments don’t change as much as the 3D nature of the soundstage and the acoustics of the room the music is being recorded in do, but it’s pretty striking and I wouldn’t want to give it up!


Thanks for all these comments. Clearly I should have persevered further with the clock, but there’s only so much one can do with a demo and I tried a variety of cables.

I could hear a difference at the dealer and although I’d call it subtle, that becomes significant when it’s heard every day. At the time I put it down to the dealer having hugely expensive gear to demonstrate the difference and my more modest setup may not be able to resolve it. I have the non Apex Rossini Player, bought only two months before the Apex was unveiled. I was debating spending the money on the Apex upgrade or the clock, but in the end and because it was spring, it was spent on a new Genoa for my boat. The benefits over the summer were much more apparent than the clock or Apex would have been. But during winter, well, the Genoa is packed in a bag and the Apex would be very nice. Perhaps I’ll start saving up for the Apex upgrade for next winter myself.


The great bit is that you can enjoy the music sounding terrific today - and have something to look forward to each time you take the next step in your journey :slight_smile:


I’ll add my (modest) grain of salt to the “clock debate”. Like a few fellow audiophiles on this forum, I went the path BartókOriginal Rossini 2Rossini Apex. As soon as I could, purely by belief and technical logic, I added a clock to the Bartók. I remember reporting elsewhere on this forum that it brought a welcome upgrade, but not a “day and night difference”. I didn’t regret the purchase. I tested the original Rossini with and without the clock. I dare to say that the difference was bigger than with the Bartók ; but the sound of the original Rossini was so much richer than Bartók’s (version 1 in those days), that I would have advised a Rossini owner to put his money first on cables, for example, and he could be very happy for some time without the clock. But now, with the Rossini Apex, I’d say it’s quite a different matter : in my system and to my ears and my brain, the difference is really substantial between “clock” and “no clock”. Sure, a Rossini Apex is a veeeeery fine machine, richer sounding in every way than the original one even with its clock. But don’t, absolutely don’t listen to it with the clock, if you’re not ready to buy one immediately. Not even 15 seconds. Maybe I’m exagerating and I’m speaking tongue in cheek. But you see my point : I have the impression that the better the DAC, the wider the gap between “clock” and “no clock”. If my logic is simply half-correct, a Vivaldi Apex without it’s dedicated clock should be kind of a nonsense and I can understand why this dedicated clock, by itself, is significantly more sophisticated, bigger and more expensive than the Rossini clock.

My two cents…


This makes a lot of sense. Thanks much for the insight - I am trying to figure out what my ideal upgrade path is. Clock vs just saving for Apex is a major question. Gives me something to do while I wait for the unit to arrive :slight_smile:

I have bought an early 2010s Blu-ray player and a couple SACDs to see if I can rip the DSD files and compare them to streaming equivalents.

I’m also, dare I say, cable curious. I have never believed much in cables. I’m running a $250 set of Transparent The Wave from maybe 7 years ago, and I picked up some Plus model interconnects from that time without noticing much difference from my blue-collar Blue Jeans cables when plugged up to my current Mytek Brooklyn.

Do dCS products tend to be cable sensitive? I planned to reuse those interconnects, and I was also considering a modest upgrade to the latest $500 Transparent MusicWave gen-6 speaker cables, where I found a reasonable used price. I have really no idea whether to budget here or if the “it’s all snake oil” crowd really do have it right. Understanding there’s no point in product recommendations I can’t try myself, maybe some general pointers on relative importance of cables and budget (with respect to remaining gear).

Oliver, thanks for the very interesting insight. I shall beware at the demo stage, clock or no clock.