dCS price increase and dilemma

My dealer has just advised me that dCS are increasing prices on 15 January 2023. The Rossini increases by 4% and the Vivaldi a whopping 16%. This is very bad timing for me as I was supposed to audition the Vivaldi vs Rossini in early February (my dealer does not normally stock the Vivaldi, hence the delay). I have been auditioning the Rossini with ATC speakers and have been very impressed but I was hoping the audition would persuade me to buy the Vivaldi 3 box system but I think a 16% increase sadly puts it out of my reach. I was facing a similar problem with ATC but they allowed me to pay a 50% deposit to hold the prices. My dealer tells me that can’t be done with dCS because their distributor won’t allow it, although I would be happy to do so and commit to buying either a Rossini or Vivaldi based on a proper audition. On the basis there must be some stock already in the distribution channel I find this difficult to understand.

I have a number of options:

(1) Go with the Rossini Apex which I have heard and will probably forever wonder what I might have missed with the Vivaldi.
(2) Take a gamble and try to order a Vivaldi now at the existing price without actually having heard it.
(3) Go with a completely different manufacturer and effectively start again.

I am so cheesed off with this I am tempted to go the third route but (and I know no one can make the decision for me) can anyone who has heard both advise whether there is significant improvement between Rossini and Vivaldi. I appreciate this is a difficult question and one probably no one can answer other than me, but unless I ditch dCS completely it seems I am not going to get to do the comparison before trying to buy one at current prices, if that is even possible at such short notice.

I will let you know how I get on and whether my membership of this forum was premature. Having looked forward to buying this system for the last two years (not possible before due to a major house refurbishment), this is beyond disappointing.


Having only recently gone from rossini Player to Apex vivaldi dac and upsampler. I can tell you the difference is real, and it’s also a very nice inpovement.
Having demoed them side by side, it took me less than a minute to decide to go vivaldi over getting my rossini apex’ed.
I demonstrated them both with the apex upgrade.

I am certain you’re money is safe in going vivaldi

Thanks, Duncan, that is reassuring, and indeed there should be difference given the price difference. Its just I would have liked to make the comparison without a gun to my head!!

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dCS only make the item once an order is received. There is no warehouse at dCS full of boxes awaiting the chance of a customer nor does the distributor carry an inventory. So most of us in the UK have to wait several weeks after our order has been made before it is delivered. There are very good business reasons for such a policy.

I appreciate your qualms and I would be pressing my nose against an impenetrable window at the new prices. However dCS have always made it their business to ensure that each step up the ladder provides unambiguous gains in sound and music quality. However I am afraid that only you can make the judgment whether the improvement equates to the additional cost. BTW, I am listening to a Vivaldi Apex 3 box ( lpus Rossini cCDSACD transport) with a metaphorical ear to ear grin. If you can stretch to the cost it is “safe” as Duncan says.


Understand and appreciate the dilemma. On a slightly positive note, at least you got the notice about the price increases in advance as opposed to prices going up with immediate effect one day. I’m only a Bartok HP user currently and considering an upgrade but have serious questions in my mind about the Vivaldi platform given it is now 10+ years old. Yes I know dCS are renowned for product longevity, and yes APEX was just added. But still … 10 years is a very long time.

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Buying vivaldi right now did also concern me slightly, as i also was thinking, is it about to be updated?
But with the latest apex upgrade having just been released, I felt happy that what i was buying into was worth the outlay, and had certainly given the boost to performance that should see it ok for many years to come. Plus you can sit on the fence waiting for the next great think to appear, and thats fine, but there will always be a next best thing coming.

Much better to get on that ladder and enjoy it all now, plus dCS has in the past looked after its owners, with upgrades, some free, and in trade in from dealer’s, when new things arrive, just like what i found going up from rossini.

So i say, if you can stretch to it, do it and enjoy what it brings, and if or when the vivaldi apex replacement comes, either upgrade or carry on with the exquisite apex vivaldi you have, as a new model doesn’t suddenly make it sound bad.

Cheers dunc


Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate only I can make the decision between Rossini and Vivaldi, and only my ears can tell if its worth it, its just a pity that can’t be made after a proper comparison of the two. However, there are many on here and elsewhere that say the difference is noticeable and worth it, and I in the fortunate position of being able to afford one at current prices, so I think I am going to have take a chance.

I did wonder whether dCS built each unit to order and as you say, Pete, there are good reasons for that for such specialist products. I appreciate the technology is 10 years old but I am hoping the Apex upgrade provides some more longevity, as you say, Duncan, buy and enjoy now, who knows what’s round the corner and in any event life is just to short…

Yes, Andre, at least I got notification before the increase was applied but only a few days before, and I am not sure it will be enough to get an order in now at current prices. I am in discussions with my dealer to see if a Vivaldi can be ordered in the next couple of days at current prices. If so, then I will probably go ahead and suspect I won’t regret it. If not…well then its decision time.


Just to clarify . The tApex technology is more like 10 months not 10 years old.

Vivaldi was introduced in 2012 with the first deliveries to customers in 2013. in 2022 Vivaldi Apex was introduced and all Vivaldi’s made since around the first third of 2022 have been Vivaldi Apex.

Vivaldi Apex is not a tiny or a superficial upgrade. Aside from the case much of the electronics is brand new. Hence the reason much of the original cost difference between Vivaldi and Vivaldi \Apex. BTW, the case when seen in the flesh ( photos always seem to underplay it ) IMO and that of many others would be difficult to improve on at least aesthetically.

Please see the link which will give you an idea of what is different about Apex. Other manufacturers would have introduced a new product to incorporate it but in this case it is like Ford. Buy a new Fiesta in 2023 and you don’t get the MK.1 even if it bears the same name.

Historically dCS have only changed the product range name - Elgar to Scarlatti to Vivaldi when the platform changes and the new technology cannot be retrofitted.

I wish you luck in your discussions with your dealer.


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Hopefully, you will get the price. Then its just the small problem of waiting.

But really if you can stretch to the vivaldi, then its the right decision 100%. The rossini is also fantastic, but like everything in life, once you experience something better, its hard to forget.

Thanks Pete and for the link. I am aware of what the Apex upgrade is and that it is recent because I have been lurking on this forum for the best part of two years and received the benefit of much wisdom from doing so, even if I don’t always understand some of the very technical discussion. Like you I hope the Apex upgrade means the Vivaldi has some life in it yet! Duncan, I have just spoken to my dealer and an order is going in today, so fingers crossed they will keep the price as it currently is because a £12k increase is hard to bear.


Great news and you are certainly in for a treat.

Now ordered. A treat indeed, now I need to try the Vivaldi stack into some active ATC SCM200s both direct and through a preamp. When I auditioned the Rossini directly into the SCM 50s at the dealers it did not sound great until they inserted a CH Precision L1 into the chain. But having seen the various threads about the use, or not, of a preamp I will certainly ask to try the Vivaldi Apex straight into the ATCs. Who knows, it could save me quite a bit!


As I expect many people here know that I use an EAR Yoshino preamp into my SCM50ASLs. I prefer this but I expect that were I a rock music enthusiast I may well like either direct connection or using a solid state pre particularly if one likes the percussive bass that most rock fans go for ( the EAR is tube which has different qualities).

Anyway my real point is that you should not make up your mind on a quick A/B comparison. It can take more familiarity. For my part I have always enjoyed direct connection and it is only after some time that, to date, I have eventually encountered the feeling that something is missing.

Given the above I have not yet had a chance to try direct connection with the new Apex output stages and may report on this when I have the chance.

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Just been advised that Bartok Headphone is £21,500 in the UK from tomorrow :grimacing:

According to the official UK distributor’s Price List the Bartok DAC will be £15,750 and the Bartok HDAC £17,750 :

So maybe the £21,500 is for the Bartok APEX? But the Bartok HDAC was supposed not to be compatible with APEX… Very confusing. Maybe @Phil can shine a light on this?

Also looking at Vivaldi APEX stack upgrade ( DAC, clock, upsampler )

Currently have APEX Rossini with separate clock.

Just had delivered my Sonus Faber Aida 2’s for speakers. Running VAC Master -pre amp and VAC 452 IQ pair of muscbloc’s in mono with dragon bi-wire cables separate for highs and bass.