FUN: Vivaldi Successor Rumors

Over at WBF, speculation has picked up again about Vivaldi’s successor. The original post that contains the following assertions has been deleted, but the claims have been repeated and preserved in various replies. Here is one:

The new series will be launched next year. It has a controller, a processor, two mono DAC and a clock with no transport in the beginning. Controller is a network bridge which has a smaller box. Processor is the largest which has upsampling function.

E.g., bigger, heavier, more boxes, more dinero. Additional speculation had it that the rollout was due this year, but that the pandemic may cause it to be pushed until next year. I made my Vivaldi investment knowing full well that the hardware platform was bound to be “successor-ed” before too long. So, I am not posting this with any sort of negativity. I cannot stress that enough; I absolute love my Vivaldi stack. This is all about the fun of speculating. And trust me, I know there is no way that any of our dCS colleagues here can breathe a word about this, except to comment on dCs’s engineering development and cycle processes in general. :wink:

I read that also on the WBF, and this will not come cheap, but the “Vivaldi II Network bridge” would be interesting. Using Dual DAC’s that got some benefits, but also downsides in form of timing etc, so the clock would probably be necessary to make it work.

Later on we will probably see a One unit that combining all the boxes incl. the master clock this time.

Wounder if the price will go up or down, most probably up slightly.
Interesting also on what design they are going to use, the curved/ carved CNC matte silver or curved / carved CNC brushed polished alu.

Time will tell, but always fun to speculate

Have an great evening Greg!

:rofl: Oh Fredrik, this made me laugh. I suspect this will be the Romulan Death Ray for your wallet. But yes, time will tell.

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We have to break into the bank as usual, to get hold of this new “Gen. 4 Vivaldi II or Mozart” units most probably =)=)

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It is indeed. I think we just need to wait and see. Rather than just the basic technology there is also the question of what facilities it may offer. dCS have tried to simplify the user interface over the years compared to the earlier models. That is sensible but has led to some things being discarded that have made the product of no interest to me ( e.g. the fact that upsampling cannot be defeated on Rossini).

So wait and see. Like Greg I also bought my Vivaldi in full knowledge of the fact of product cycles. History also leads me to expect a major revision of the software sometime later in any new dCS product’s lifetime so I may even wait until then if I am still around :neutral_face:.

If it exists ( and I am sure that something does somewhere) I doubt that we will hear anything concrete before next May and Munich 2021.

BTW: I find it impossible even to imagine what could be significantly better than Vivaldi v.2. Still for those that want it I would bet on DSD 256.

Best Wishes

Pete

Pete, I think you’re probably correct about Munich. And even that may be optimistic. I am also hopeful for a 2.5 or 3.0 on the firmware this year. Difficult to imagine what I hear now being better, but it sure is fun to contemplate.

I wasn’t aware of this unfortunate limitation. But is removing a ‘None’ value from the ‘Upsampling’ options really a beneficial user interface simplification? I suspect that the system always doing a minimum level of oversampling provides some sort of technical simplification. Or more cynically, it could be to push non-oversamplers to buy Vivaldi.

More back on topic: Do dCS and/or their dealers have an official upgrade policy? For example, can an owner upgrading one generation expect to receive a certain percentage of the original cost towards the new products? Or if this is handled more privately between owner/dealer/dCS, is anyone willing to divulge their general experience?

Apologies if this is already common knowledge. I did do a bit of searching, but didn’t come across any details. I’m certainly not an expert in sales and marketing, but I imagine potential customers would be attracted to buying an [expensive] product if they knew that they were not just buying that product, but were making part of an investment into a lifetime of product generations.

I cannot speak for all distributors in all countries but ,yes, over the three generations so far there has always been an upgrade policy that I have enjoyed.

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Interesting indeed! If this is accurate it sounds like the new stack could actually sit above Vivaldi in the lineup. I wonder if they would continue to sell Vivaldi alongside it?

Esoteric has had dual mono DACs in their top end models for a while now, so I guess this is not too surprising. The concept actually fits better into the dCS model where the processor is external and can take the stereo ditigal inputs and route the appropriate channel to each DAC. It does mean even more cables though!

What could the new stack offer on top of Vivaldi? It would certainly include support for higher resolution input in both PCM and DSD. Presumably some update to the Ring DACs. More powerful FPGAs for sure, to allow more processing options in the future. Perhaps direct optical input for the network interface? The controller box concept would allow even better isoaltion between the ‘computer’ part of the stack and the audio path, this makes a lot of sense.

Looking forward to see how they improve on the Vivaldi!

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Thanks @PaleRider to raised this topic. I’m really impatient to understand the next steps in dCS portfolio. From my side, the Vivaldi stack I invested in the past year is a kind of achievement which is probably a mistake according to the speed of changes in the digital world. Anyway, I will leave with it for years and I expect dCS would spend times in supporting some updates on this Vivaldi plateform as far the hardware is supporting.
Let’s see :slight_smile:

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Ludovic, I agree that it can be a mistake to think that one has achieved “finality” with an audio system, especially a digital one. Digital’s potential for advancement is essentially unlimited. And its speed of advancement is amazing. And it has significant engineering effects on analog as well. Look inside just about any piece of equipment other than a point-to-point SET amp, and you’ll see the impact of a digital world. It’s not hard to imagine a quantum leap forward in the future where our phantom center channel has evolved into a life-size, controllable, holographic soundstage.

But in between now and then, what are the incremental steps? I have a friend who is not a fan of MQA at all, but speculates that the technology could morph into a carrier for all sorts of information about the recording to enhance life-like reproduction. Maybe. I know this: my age affects how I see this (as well as my hearing). I’ve been an “audiophile” now for about 48 years. My sense of “finality” is probably quite different from someone who is a generation or two younger and perceives what we have now as the starting point. I am also more inclined to be satisfied for a longer period with whatever seems “end of game.” In contrast, I have another friend who is just getting into his first high end system (think Rossini level), and he is already planning his upgrade to Vivaldi’s successor. He doesn’t have his speakers yet.

What might this mean for Mozart/Dvorak/Mahler/Whatever? I think as Jeff says above, certainly a more powerful FPGA and Ring DAC, perhaps with some of that power layered beneath deeper menus, higher native DSD, higher upsampling à la Meitner, bigger buffer for complete RAM playback, even lower noise floors, optical Ethernet connection(s), perhaps an adoption of the PS Audio HDMI I2S input (though not necessarily a good thing for dCS’s own transport if there is one), even “better” clocking, whatever that might mean, perhaps a USB port as good as Ethernet, maybe provision for DSP. And yes, probably more cables. Ouch.

These would all be refinements of what we have now. And what we have now is nothing short of extraordinary. If we look around the landscape, there is no obvious “breakthrough” product or platform in what we might call the “DAC stage” between the source and the amplification. CH Precision, Meitner, MSB, Aries Cerat, Laufer Teknik, totaldac, and the super-luxury DACs are all using one or more types of current (sometimes virtually “ancient”) technology with some recipe of components and parts and circuit layout to improve isolation, the noise floor, etc. There hasn’t been anything as meaningful as an FPGA or Ring DAC in years. [This is not meant as an insult to anyone’s equipment or a company.] We’re at a place where we are refining the best we can do with 16-24 bit technology as we currently understand it.

But if we were to walk into any of our homes, no matter what the digital pieces might be, things like speakers and room acoustics are far more likely to have the most immediate effect on what we perceive. Yes, over the long haul, crummy digital devices can wear out the ears and brain. But as between a musical Bartok and a musical MSB Select II (picking a couple of extremes within the high end), we’re not going to walk into an unfamiliar room and exclaim: “Aha! Trying to slip that Bartok by me, eh?”. No, we’re just going to enjoy the music. Because the high end has gotten really good. “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

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My fear is that the transport will be abandoned. There are lots of SACDs out there, and entire labels are unavailable on the usual streaming sources. A transport should be available as a separate module, or included in an all-in-one unit like the Vivaldi One.

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dCS is really dedicated to their customers and I would be surprised if they would not keep a solution for sacd transports.

I agree that dCS really does look after its customers. I am a long time happy recipient of the highest service standards imaginable.

However when to comes to optical disc media their hands are tied as they have to rely upon the OEM provision of transport mechanisms. The Vivaldi/One Transports are based upon a Teac/Esoteric VRDS Neo mechanism that is no longer available on an OEM basis to third party manufacturers. dCS’ ability to continue manufacture of these pieces is down to the huge investment that they made some years ago in securing all of the remaining stocks of the mechanism. That is a finite resource which is depleting.

At the point of writing there are only two transports suitable for dCS’ standards. The Blue Tiger CD only drive ( Rossini Player) and the D&M CD/SACD drive ( Rossini Transport)|. You will recall that for years dCS were unable to provide SACD capability for the Rossini range until that latter mechanism surprisingly became available and D&M decided to provide it on an OEM basis.

This leaves the future of high end silver disc replay vulnerable. Only two manufacturers of the needed resource, one of whom at least (D&M) is owned by a private equity company who are normally only concerned with return on investment and whose strategies/holdings can alter rapidly . At the same time the sales of CD/SACD discs are now rapidly crashing into the realms of a niche product and viable returns on investment for anything associated may be less easy to secure.

So…we shall see :thinking:

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R.I.P. things that spin.

:rofl:

…pffff these 10 characters…as boring as a CD :slight_smile:

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:rofl: [do not read here]

In all seriousness, I think Pete’s analysis is spot on. How dCS meets this need within its customer base, and conceivably among the marginal increase of new customers as well, will be interesting. I’ve only been “in the family” for about 6 months, but I am struck by the quality of service and customer dedication the company exhibits. We shall indeed see.