High End Munich 2024

We didn’t have a Vivaldi-based listening station in the headphone room so Rossini was the best of the setups there…

Yes … it says that we only had room for three listening stations in the space that we had available. :smiley:



In the “main” dCS room (the one that we normally have up on the second floor in Hall 4) we had Lina DAC + Clock on a VTL S200 signature, Wilson Sabrina X’s and a pair of Wilson Loki’s.

In the Audio Reference area (our German Distributors) we had Bartok, Rossini and Vivaldi all set up in systems there.

In the “headphone” area we had three setups - all based around Lina Headphone Amp and Clock, one was with Lina DAC, One was with a Bartok (Headphone Version) and one was with Rossini … as such we could cover as three variations of DAC, let people listen to how the clock changes performance and compare the Bartok’s internal headphone amp to the Lina Headphone Amp …

The ability for people to actually do the comparisons and walk through the various levels and combinations (using the same pair of headphones to keep a level playing field) seemed to go down massively well.

We even had a couple of guys came in, one of whom had a Bartok and was very happy with it, the other of whom was interested in a Lina so wanted to listen to that, the Bartok guy had a listen to the Rossini while he was waiting for his mate to listen to the Lina, his mate ended up listening to the Bartok as well and they ended up doing a deal with each other where the Bartok guy was going to buy a Rossini and sell his Bartok down to his mate. :smiley:

So all systems were represented … no-one was left out. :slight_smile:



@struts001 i wonder if wilson audio consumers constantly obsess that the absence of the WAMM master chronosonic (at 800k) at a trade show or dagostino relentless mono amps at 350k absence at a trade show worry constantly that these pinnacles will be replaced.

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Haha, true. But I take it as a positive sign - that we lucky dCS owners simply can’t get our heads around the length of their product lifecycles for what are after all SOtA digital products.

Incidentally, the Vivaldi (11 y o) predates its exhibition dance partners by 3 years (WAMM) and 5 years (Relentless) respectively. Still going strong!

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Our German Distributor was showing the Wilson Chronosonic XVX’s with D’agastino Relentless Mono’s along with Vivaldi …

Not a great video but you get the idea… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxxp03UHkTM


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I’m a lucky boy because I was there and for those who did not have this chance I highly recommend this link:


Hey Phil. Maybe you know something that I don’t know (everybody else on the planet does so that would be no accomplishment) but I was just saying the biggest dogs don’t have to bring a gigaton thermonuclear bomb to a knife fight. Muhammed Ali never showed up to watch a 4 round bantam weight fight. With the Vivaldi being the top of the digital heap, they don’t have to bring it every time. DCS’ emphasis right now on the vivaldi appears to be where do we go next and how do we make it better… what’s wrong with that. It’s smart of your dealer to do that independently. He likely had the absolute best system there. At AXPONA in chicago in 2022, I went through all of the major parts of the show and spent time in all of the player rooms. DCS had a very nice setup. Dynaudio/Simaudio/Octave was in a gigantic ballroom. The space was addicting. The best I have heard - anywhere. It didn’t convince me that any of that gear was better than my favorites, but the room was amazing.

As far as the relentless, yes. Dan is still working to be pronounced king of the road (although he has few competitors). I believe he is happy that the relentless will be the top of his line and he will continue to upgrade it… after all, I believe it was an experiment to see what he could do…cost is no object.

As far as the XVX… that isn’t the WAMM Chronosonic but it’s baby brother at 350k but you probably already know that. It is much more recently developed by Dave Wilson’s son Darrell. My point was that DCS really doesn’t need to bring what I’m guessing is their lowest volume seller to a show to be pawed over by non buyers any more than Wilson or D’Agostino. Anyone buying in that arena likely will see it at their local dealer. Just my view


@struts001 I may be totally off base, but unless DCS comes up with something earth shattering, the Vivaldi will remain top of their heap for some time


Maybe, maybe not. I love my Vivaldi short stack, and have yet to hear a digital front end at a dealer or a show that made me think “wow, this is definitely better than what I hear at home” (although there are several contenders I have yet to hear).

However, technology marches on. USB-A/B have been superseded by USB-C (I tried to buy a USB-A memory stick and found they hardly exist any more), Toslink is now a legacy interface even on TVs and fiber connections via SFP+ are starting to become common in domestic ethernet networks as well as forming the basis for new audio interfaces such as MSB’s ProISL. Meanwhile, Dual AES looks like an anachronism from dCS’s studio past and IMO should be pensioned off as soon as possible.

Then there are other aspects such as the display/UI, and a remote designed for silver disc replay rather than streaming. Check out the latest generation of products (even dCS’s own) and you will probably agree that the Vivaldi is starting to look decidedly dated.

So yes, I believe the Vivaldi is still at or near the top of the heap sonically, but I suspect dCS will need a new model sometime in the not-too-distant future for the reasons above or sales will start drying up. If they haven’t already that is.

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As you know, Phil, I came back to that room 3 times partly looking for you and it did sound epic when the Wilson/d’Agostino/dCS system was in play.
(Next year I won’t let the massive amount of dCS branded advertising on the stairwells etc influence me regarding what is the main dCS room!)

I guess I see it differently. I see new model lines as filling a different void. Vivaldi can be updated with mkII or something if it is improved upon… unless of course the world spins off axis and there is a new technology created. then all bets are off

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The quality and upgradability of dCS is indisputable. Presumably, those are two big reasons why we are all here.

Inexplicable is the failure to add DSD256, making dCS an outlier among all other high-end DACs.

As a fan and owner, I thought we might hear about this in/from Munich…



Unfortunately I didn’t ever get to hear it - such is the reality of “doing” a show!

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Come to Hamburg with me next time we see Audio Reference, that way its the full Vivaldi/Relentless 800 or 1600 with Wamm in a really well-treated room.

It’s nothing short of glorious.

Makes coming home to my own system somewhat underwhelming


I’ve really no idea why you’ve hung onto your Vivaldi stack so long, it’s way past its best. PM me w

Luckily I was merely a bit player this year so was able to escape from our room for a little of each day. Not exactly the full-on punter experience but not your lock-in either!

I’d love to know how that sentence ends Nigel!

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…ire details and I’ll send you the $300k that it’s worth due to its recent celebrity Classical Music thread-writing ownership.”



That was a draft from some time ago which I thought I’d dumped but cunningly some kind of AI devil work resurrected it…

Ben is close in spirit but not quite as close re price :hugs:

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