Hardly a change in sound quality between Vivaldi and Rossini

Hi there,

Maybe somebody is able to help me out here?
I am the owner of a Rossini player/DAC and clock for a couple of years now. Playing with Dan D’Agostino Progression Pre and stereo Main, Magico M2, Nucleus Plus and Melco S100 switch.

Quite satisfied about how the set sounds, still looking for the next step (probably recognized by others as well):wink: This next step could be the Linn Klimax DSM, which I tried in my system but this didn’t work out well. In my set the dCS combination was playing more the way I like it or I was more used to.
Next step could be the Vivaldi, although it is already 10 years in production or it’s succeder if coming soon :wink:
Now friends gave me the opportunity to lend their Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler and Clock for a couple of months as they are moving. We put the set together at my place and connected the set exactly the way it was connected at their place, complete with all their connections, interlinks and power cords. When we started to play the Vivaldi set our hopes were very high…… but it sounded absolutely not correct the first 10 minutes. Switching to the Rossini my friend asked me: This is the Vivaldi, right? Nope, it’s the Rossini. OK, not a fair competition after just powered and hooked up as we saw and could hear after 15 minutes or so. The Vivaldi set started to improve at every track we played and surpassed the Rossini at ease. More tonality, a better focus, voices so beautiful. What an improvement :scream:
My friend left and when my wife came in she immediately said: This sounds so good, this is what we were missing here. We stayed up till 1.30 AM, listening to all kind of tracks as the music was playing as never before.

Now it comes…
The next morning I turned Off the displays of all 3 devices and started to play some music. Or I was getting used to the Vivaldi set that fast or…it was not playing as nice as yesterday? As the Rossini was still connected and On, I simply charged the input on the Progression at the same track. No change in sound was noticed between the Rossini and Vivaldi, several tests have been done. All settings been checked between both and the settings of the Nucleus Plus (of course turned on the displays again) but there still was no difference noticeable.
Sent the screenshots of the settings to my dealer but also they couldn’t find any mistakes. The advice, let it play for a week and compare again.
So I did and indeed it did change some in the positive for the Vivaldi but still slightly and not as a big difference as we heard the first day.

What can be wrong here and how could I identify the problem?

The first day we were so impressed and willing to take the next step but how the Vivaldi is playing right now it is not worth to take this huge step. This can’t be correct!

Anybody out there with tips and tricks?

Thanks in advance,


Hello Jeff @Jeff,

how long has the Vivaldi been warming up at your place? It takes quite a while - several days maybe even two weeks - to settle into its final form. Also if it becomes part of a new system there can be burn in time required. During those time periods systems usually fluctuate in sound quality.

Kind regards,

There are really too many potential issues here to make a really sensible comment from a distance.

However as the Vivaldi stack is a borrowed , used, item I do not think that burn in will be much of an issue EXCEPT if you are using an input on your Progression pre that you have not used before in order to make switching between Rossini and Vivaldi easy. An unused input may take time to burn in. Burn in is not often a linear process and degrees of improvement can be followed by a period of sonic degradation until the next improvement occurs and so on until the process is complete ( or at least the basic process). How to check? Swap the preamp inputs you are using for Rossini and Vivaldi.

I can guarantee that Vivaldi sounds better then Rossini :grin:.

Well Jeff that’s interesting.

I have over the years listened to the bartock, rossini and vivaldi, for sure I found the difference from Bartok to rossini to be greater than rossini to vivaldi. The rossini and clock blew me away the first time I heard it, the vivaldi stack didn’t, why was that ?
Maybe because I wasn’t expecting it with the rossini combo and with the vivaldi stack I was expecting much more, as by then I had more experience with dCS?
I would be very surprised if the differences aren’t there, but I would guess the differences aren’t very much, plus maybe the rest of the system isn’t up to showing the small differences?
Both times I have listened to a vivaldi is at a deals demo room, but in 2 very different systems, one very high end, the other a more modest amp and speaker set up.
I would say the vivaldi stack I got to listen to, was at hifi lounge, the last time on his reference set up, so very hi end, but I didn’t walk away wanting any off it and left me feeling very underwhelmed by it all.
Maybe the sound just didn’t suit me, but I much preferred the rossini and clock running through a much less expensive system in the other room and obviously didn’t get to try the rossini in that set up. But out of the two rooms, the most expensive room by a very large amount, probably well over £250k more, sounded worse to me.

Duncan, the OP says that the difference between them was, in fact, very significant to hear but somehow disappeared overnight. That is why I suggested he may be using a previously unused input where the way burn in can occur in a non linear way may provide an explanation.

Yes I see that.
We have all had that happen to us, haven’t we? Get something new to play with and straight away, feel O yes, this is much better as that is completely what you are expecting and so your brain is fooled for a time, it’s only after you settle down and really compare that the truth comes through, it may get better, but I can’t see why it’s going to, as the unit isn’t new and its been on for a while now, but then it might.
But for me, like I said, I have never been blown away with the vivaldi stack in both systems I have heard it in, obviously it sounded lovely, just no more lovely than what the rossini/clock did in the same system at the dealers and I liked it less in the reference set up.
As I said maybe I was expecting to much both times, maybe I needed more time with it, like a few weeks? But as said the rossini blew me away

To all whom replied to this typical issue,

First of all thanks to your great support in such a short period. Great! :smiley:

The Vivaldi set was playing for 1 week now but after I asked the dCS Community for help my dealer asked me or it was OK to deliver my new ordered Ethernet Cable. The Crystal Connect Monet. So he came, sat down and listened and said OK, I probably know the answer. Great, tell me. He said as the Vivaldi is from one of our other customers, all the cables it came with, were all tuned to his system. Now in your system the set is not playing as it should be, actually some parts in the music are better with the Rossini. :scream:
The fact the Vivaldi played much better the first day was probably as it was not warmed up completely but with those cables it finally doesn’t match with your system. The only cables which were the same were (for comparison only) the Audio Quest Vodka Ethernet connections from the Melco S100.
For the Vivaldi this doesn’t seems the best choice. So we put in the CC Monet Ethernet cable to my Rossini and for another customer he had another 1,5 m CC Monet cable in his trunk.
We asked for permission to use this one and we played the same tracks again. Wow… what a difference we heard. Better focused, more pressure and a tighter bass, vocals were so much better. This was step one he said but also the interlink and 2 of the 3 power cables should be replaced here. Also those power cables should be connected to your Transparence Reference Power Isolator. This will probably sounds your system to the next level as expected already.
We are sure we also have to adjust the placing of your speakers slightly because the Vivaldi gives us more and your speakers need to be adjusted.

OK, this will happen the coming weeks but I assure you all, I will continue to post my findings after every upgrade.

Thanks again for all your positive support and tips.

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Yes, I did switch the inputs and the pre amplifier but as both had been used more or less the same hours in the past. It didn’t make difference here.

I don’t post a picture but the owner and myself found out there was a temperature difference between the Rossini (in a cabinet) and the Vivaldi outside the cabinet and naked :joy: Could cause the difference. Rossini 43C and Vivaldi DAC 38C and upsampler 36,2.
So I wrapped the Vivaldi in a blanket to make sure the temperature went up. Indeed it did but the sound was still not on par. 😵‍💫

OK, ok, as it was so funny, I will add the picture with the nice fleece blanket around the Vivaldi :face_with_hand_over_mouth: No longer your imagination needed!

Have Fun



May I suggest, after seeing your placement of the Vivaldi stack, to move it away from your Magico M2?

Magnetic interference and speaker vibrations might very well negatively influence the Vivaldi’s.

Thanks Ermos,

Quite a good tip :+1:
Never thought about this but could be a good reason for the “problem”.

Will be a difficult one as there is not much place left and the length of cables is a problem as well.

Temporarily, just for testing, you could move the M2s a bit further away.

I can report a partial analogy to what your dealer states, @Jeff… And it’s somewhat related to Duncan’s @Dunc experience too.

I upgraded from Bartók + Vivaldi Clock to Vivaldi Clock + Upsampler + DAC – Too much dCS forum reading… :flushed: I had a very good sounding clock cable for the Bartók (Chord Signature) and was really happy with the sonic result of the combo. The recording studio digital cables I started out with for the Vivaldi stack (Van Damme) left me unconvinced - I was expecting a bigger improvement over Bartók from what I had read in the community about the Vivaldi stack. I put an interim solution in place for the digital cables (Oyaide clock + AES) and the improvement was already good but still not what I had expected. Now with the final choice of digital interconnects (Black Cat Tron clock + AES) the Vivaldi stack lives up to my expectation. Although it is a controversial issue, I attest to the potential that can be realized with digital interconnects. The stack went from inducing ‘And that was it?’ to ‘Yeah baby!’. Of course the whole system needs to be harmonious for the intended audiophile taste / result. Not just some cables, but we all know that. In my experience at least 50% of the maximum achievable result with any given collection of boxes is not in the boxes. It is found in the ancillary systems - cables, resonance control, power.

Love the blanket! :blush:

When I moved from Rossini with Clock to Vivaldi, Upsampler and Clock there was an improvement but I would not call it significant.

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I also think that the placement of the Vivaldi stack would negatively influence the sound. Seems way too close to the speaker in terms of vibration, and is not on any type of stand at all.

The fact that the Vivaldi components are physically stacked upon each other has a negative effect upon the sound due to electromagnetic interference ( see the User Manual).

However the main issue has little to do with anything such as positioning or components . One evening it sounded great, the next morning not. The placement of the components and the components themselves remained the same. Therefore another solution is required.

I am interested in the OP’s further opinion later in the week.

Reading this post to me has a very simple message, which has been previously recognized on this forum:

Improvement from Bartok to Rossini >
Improvement from Rossini to Vivaldi

This should not surprise anyone, as Rossini borrows much of Vivaldi’s technology (dCS’s stated approach to product design) and, as is well known, there are diminishing returns at the high end of audio reproduction

We should be thankful to be able to debate such things. Some call this a first world problem (!) :smiley:

I suspect an easier explanation:

(After too many good bottles of wine): Hey, this is amazing!

(Morning after hangover): This sounds terrible!

: )))


Is this also applicable to stacking the Rossini on top of the Rossini clock? It is frequently photographed this way.


I have heard good things about Black Cat cables. I just had a look however the TRON cable appears to be 50 ohm - 75 ohm is required for my Rossini/Rossini clock cable. There is a mini Tron cable which is 75 ohm - and more reasonably priced considering a pair is required.

What more can you tell me about these Black Cat cables?


Yes , the same. Unfortunately you cannot easily get round the basic laws of physics. See page 6 of your Rossini DAC User Manual and " Positioning the Units" where it points out that the Rossini range is designed to be placed on separate shelves and should only be stacked “if this is absolutely necessary”,

One does see the clock and DAC stacked and they look nice together and therefore make a nice photo. A bit like all of those audio ads where the components magically do not appear to need any cables :wink:.