Clock testing inbound

Well at the moment i use my apex vivaldi dac, with the upsampler clocking being controlled from the dac.
Tomorrow i am picking up a new clock to try in my system, so obviously the vivaldi clock will now be clocking the dac, and upsampler.
It will be interesting to hear what this brings over how i use them both now.
Not sure what to expect really, but we will soon find out.

Obviously i will post up more tomorrow, as picking it up in the morning.
Plus a big thumbs up to paul at hifi lounge for once again tempting me lol.

Cheers dunc


Congrats, and I look forward to hear what you think.

Not everyone is sensitive to superior clocking, but if you are, like me, then you will be very happy.

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Good stuff, Dunc. In a way I hope you notice no difference, because you’ll have more money and rack space :slight_smile:

Will be interested to hear how it goes!

(Agreed on Paul — lovely to work with.)

Well will see, i will certainly give a very honest view on it, obviously it’s only going to be my view, and for the £20k going rate, it will certainly need to be a very worthwhile upgrade in quality to make it worthwhile for me to even begin thinking about getting one.
But let’s see, open mind and all that.
Cheers dunc

Hopefully you hear no difference like what you did for NDS vs ND555 :laughing:. As I am getting the Vivaldi probably I sure hope it alone is damn good enough. Coming from Naim side it is always a power supply to upgrade streamer in order to make the real difference. I hope that is not the case in dCS clocking situation.

Unfortunately I am sorry to say……yes it is


PS - I now have Dunc’s cables and am testing Rossini direct into 500DR. Oh my…. what have I gotten myself into?

Don’t worry the vivaldi on it’s own is just simple fabulous, and i certainly enjoyed mine on it’s own. Even on it’s own it was the best dac i have had the pleasure to listen too.
It’s miles ahead off the naim ND555, with one or two power supplies, it’s not even worth mentioning it in the same conversation really.
But clocks do make a difference, more so if the same clock is clocking more than one device in the system. As i said will be interesting to see how different it all is with the clock, compared to the dac supplying the upsampler a clock feed.
Not long to find out now.

Cheers dunc

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Gregg, like the said the difference when you remove the naim 552dr is shocking, even thinking about now i still find it hard to get my head around.
The naim guy’s just don’t get it at all, but then i would also have struggled to believe it. The holy 552 being just so restricted it’s laughable really. I couldn’t wait to get rid off mine once i heard what it was doing.

Anyway enjoy your much new inpoved sound, and sorry that you now have to redesign your system, but at least you are finally getting to hear more off what the rossini is capable of doing, also you can get more as the 500dr is also holding it back, but certainly nothing like the 552dr is, but i did get other inpovements like a much bigger sound stage, better bass control when i switched out the 500 amp, plus you can take the full advantage of true balanced, if you go for the right amp.

Anyway enjoy, and like i said no rush for getting the cables back.
Cheers dunc

Well it’s in and warming up, this is a brand new unit that i am borrowing for a few weeks, so not sure if it needs time to burn in, or more warm up and settle the clocks? But it’s hear.

Having read the manual very briefly like you do, can i just check i have it set right.
Please see pics below

Cheers in advance

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The answer is yes or maybe. Maybe because I don’t know what you are trying to achieve. If it is upsampling a 44.1 KS/s source to DXDx2 then , yes. If you wanted instead some other output e.g. native, DXD etc. then , no :grinning: One unusual feature is the the 44.1 source is shown as having a bit depth of 18 bits . I don’t know what the source is of the Jeff Beck but I usually expect 16 bits natively.

Anyway the clock appears to have the wordclock group settings set properly . If the wordclock group inputs to the DAC are wrong then you get a red warning icon. I can’t see if the correct synch is selected however. My expectation is all is fine though.

As for warm up the clock’s thermometer icon indicates it is at the correct operating temperature. Burn in partly depends on the history of the unit which is unknown as it is borrowed.

Choice of filters is personal but I suggest that you try DAC filter 5 with DSD.

I will take this opportunity to repeat what I have said in the past. The wordclock is not a gimmick nor an “effects” device. For example it does not act like a bass booster or vocal exciter. It may be quite subtle BUT difficult to live without once you appreciate what it does. See how you feel after a few weeks when you remove it.

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I think Pete’s misplaced his goggles, or I’ve missed something — I see Jeff Beck at 16/44.1 only.

I’m not a Vivaldi DAC user (yet?!) but wanted to point out that it made a difference to me having dither enabled on both 44.1 and 48kHz outputs on my Vivaldi Clock. Easy to try if you’re short of weekend activities.

(Also, was it intentional to have phase inverted on the DAC?)

Ben, yes my eyesight is even worse than I thought .Oh dear.

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Cheers for the reply

The clock is brand new out the box, so about 14 hours so far.
I was messing about with settings abit yesterday and somehow turned on the inverted signal, but i switched back yesterday but after i took the photo.
Both units are set to auto world clock, and they change to w1 or w2, or a mixture when playing different sample rates.

Also have dxd set to on, and dsd set to on (pass through). I was told by paul to also do this, this was from dcs. Not sure what it does but they are set to on.

Thanks Duncan.

As it turns out to be a new unit then it may be worthwhile paying attention to burn in for a bit longer. I say " may" as the wordclock has no analogue stages which tend to be more subject to burn in issues (I mean analogue as in the sense of e.g. the output stages of a DAC). The crystals are adjusted over time ( sorry for the pun) in a temperature controlled environment at the factory. Temperature is a very important factor regarding the proper operation of the clock which is why the Vivaldi unit has an icon that shows once it has stabilised. I try to steer clear of subjective opinions ( though it is not always possible) but out of interest I cannot hear any change once the correct temperature has been achieved. However others might.

Overall everything looks right from a set up view.

I am a bit concerned about this though:

These are two modes of upsampling. You cannot have both set at the same time.You either upsample to higher rates of DSD or higher rates of PCM. The former can provide upsampling to DSD 64 or at double the rate to DSD128. You can also upsample to higher PCM rates ( 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 and the rate otherwise known as DXD of 352.8). If the source has a sample rate based on 48 KS/s an upsample rate of 384 KS/s is also available.

These are mathematical increases of the rate but, essentially, do not add any further information. This is different from reproducing a native recording made at the higher rate which contains greater information than a redbook equivalent. Upsampling can move the point at which the digital filter operates to a frequency further away from the audible bandwidth and this may be beneficial. However upsampling can produce unwanted oddities and I feel ( here I go being subjective again) that when using the superb D/A conversion available to us with Vivaldi that there is little benefit gained from upsampling compared to the situation when upsampling was introduced at the turn of the century.

I can easily demonstrate the audible downside of the process and have done so to many. This is why @all2ofme can write of doubts about it after visiting me. So please only use it if you like it ( and the like may vary from track to track). It is not a foregone conclusion to leave it on permanently unless this is how you prefer it.


I must say i find parts of the manuals very confusing, and not sure if i am doing it right or wrong.
So many different settings on the vivaldi gear over the already completed rossini

Yep, I can imagine. Rest assured you’ll be going some to make it sound bad, though. Oh to have a weekend of Vivaldi tweaking ahead of me one day :slight_smile:

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Haven’t tried it yet and i can’t right now as at work.
But i take it i can just turn off the clock and the dac/upsampler will just still work, but obviously with their built in clocks like my rossini did? As then i can easily compare the difference.

Yes, it is complex and has a number of options that do not exist with models form less expensive ranges. A further spanner in the works is that you may find that your choice of options may change according to the repertoire playing or even your mood. These choices will not affect the actual operation of the units however. So if it is working ( which it appears to be) then let many of the choices that you make e.g. if you like the clock dithered , filter choices, upsampling or not etc. evolve over time. You will soon have a basic way of setting the units for these choices that will generally meet your preferences. Often there is no “right or wrong” - that is why dCS have made them user selectable.

Yes but may I suggest that brief a/b comparisons ( clock on/off) tend not to reveal a great deal in this context. This may be why listeners report " no difference". You may find that hearing improved musical phrasing or a sense of “natural” delivery require longer times. This is why I mentioned using it for some time then removing it before coming to a conclusion. As I have written I made this error and could hear no difference with Verona ( the first dCS wordclock) back many years ago and that it was only once I ran one in my system for some days that I realised it was essential to me.

One thing that may surprise you is that when you add the Wordclock you are still hearing the clocks built in to your Vivaldi DAC or Upsampler. These are not swapped out for the Wordclock and continue to function. The difference is that instead of the unit’s clock circuitry being referenced to its own crystals it is now referenced ( slaved) to the more accurate and stable Wordclock. So it is architecturally comparable to adding a rubidium master clock to the Vivaldi Wordclock which is also a matter of slaving. The latter is , however, a further step of course.

Not quite. For music reproduction, the importance of short term stability of a clock (in this case, the Vivaldi Clock) is more important than the long term stability (e.g. a rubidium master clock).

But indeed, in your comparison they are both slaved.

I found in the past i didn’t really notice the rossini when i installed it, it was if i forgot to switch it back on after standby, that i would think what’s wrong.
I have a basic idea on what the clock does, and how it works, etc. It was more a quick see if i had things sort off right, and the clock actually clocking both unit’s.

But cheers guy’s