Lifespan for a Vivaldi DAC with Apex board upgrade?

Hi, I’m considering buying a 2013 vintage Vivaldi DAC at an attractive price and getting the Apex upgrade.

After getting the Apex upgrade done, are there any other parts in the DAC that might degrade over time such as capacitors in the power supply, logic board potential failure, etc ?

I know there have been software revisions in the Vivaldi DAC to 2.x but have there been any hardware changes to the Vivaldi DAC ( other than the Apex board) ?

What are the opinions of people on buying a 2013 vivaldi Dac and getting the Apex upgrade ( and upgrading to the current software version) ? After the Apex upgrade does it have 15 years of life left ?

Any other factors I should consider on buying a Vivaldi DAC of this age ?



Now THERE is a rather spectacular forum name … I’m not going to ask how it was arrived at because I suspect it would be like asking a magician how a trick is done, if you know it shatters the illusion… :slight_smile:

Nope … unlike some other brands we don’t really do “service intervals” HOWEVER there is a memory backup battery in the Vivaldi that it would be worth getting changed at the same time if you’re getting the APEX upgrade done simply as a “Well if you have it on the operating table anyway…”

No … you’re good there.

I shall leave this one to the assembled wisdom of the forums to comment on but it definitely wouldn’t worry me … unless someone’s playing fast and loose with a dodgy second hand sale or it’s shipped by rodeo bull and beaten around then a unit that’s been working for ten years is UNLIKELY to take umbrage at having been passed to a new owner and suddenly decide to throw a strop or a sulk.



As @Phil has kindly covered most of the specific points I will just add that there has been a lot of research into the likelihood of failures with goods in general. The result produced a graph of a “U” or “bath” shape showing that lots of failures happen during the initial period after purchase or right at the end of the product’s intended life. Neither scenario applies here.

dCS have always appreciated that their equipment is very expensive and so it is built and purchased with a long life anticipated. They have also offered support for earlier models. You will see from these threads that many (most?) dCS Elgars are still in use from 2007 at the latest with some dating back to the final years of the last century.

Of course there is never a guarantee that nothing will go wrong and it is not possible to predict what might happen over the next 15 years. But, if the price is right and you have some idea of the provenance of the Vivaldi then it could be a good idea.

I don’'t know where you are but as you are thinking of an Apex upgrade it may be worth just checking availability with your dealer or distributor.

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@Phil and @PAR thanks for the reply.

The seller also has a 2013 Vivaldi clock for sale as well.

I know there have been software revisions to the Vivaldi clock but have there been any hardware changes to the clock ?

Any issues to consider when buying a 2013 Vivaldi clock ?

I saw @PAR mentioned in another post that the accuracy of the clock can drift over time and may need to be recalibrated.

@Phil do you know around the time frame a Vivaldi clock might need to be recalibrated? Can that be done in the USA in Waltham, MA where the Apex upgrades are performed? Any idea of around how much that would cost ?


You probably do not have to worry. Vivaldi Clock generates a red warning icon when it needs recalibration ( see p.11 User Manual). If this is not showing then all is OK. The manual says that when this happens contact the dealer or distributor to arrange the job.

In the UK the Apex upgrade is carried out by dCS at the factory. In other territories either an accredited dealer or the distributor carries it out.

No hardware updates AFAIK. Unfortunately I have no idea of costs in the USA.

I remember talking to dCS several years ago, and I think I was told that clocks started being sent in for recalibration after about 8 years of service. I would imagine that this figure varies considerably, as it must be dependent on the degree of use.

I’ve heard similar figures, but they’ll all fit around some kind of normal distribution. Now I live in NZ I’m bound to have a clock that needs a long holiday sooner rather than later :joy:

Related to that: I’m pretty sure (from a chat a while back with dCS themselves) that recalibration has to be done in the UK. Not because of anything special about Blighty (much as I love the place), but because of the rather full-on setup required. Temperature- and pressure-controlled room + lots of gear. That sort of thing. It’s not a “plug it into the calibrator” kind of job.

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I’ve had my full Vivaldi stack for just as long. It’s only ever had 1 problem, with the Transport tray mech that had to be fixed. No other issues ever (* touch-wood* :laughing:).


Absolutely correct - the clock monitors itself and checks for out of calibration as you say.

For clock calibrations they actually come back home to Blighty … it’s quite an extensive process and needs an environmental chamber which we have here on-site in Cambridge.

As always, local dealers and distributor will be able to advise on costs and procedures.




What’s the current price for re calibration?


All recalibrations are arranged through the local distributors but I just checked with our UK distributor and he said £690 … if any parts are needed when the clock is serviced during recalibration then they’d be chargeable on top.

Outside the UK that would likely be quite a bit higher as it would need to come back to the UK as recalibration needs a week with our environmental chamber…



Cheers phil for the quick info response

Is this “approximate” time frame correct?

Well we are talking about Vivaldi Wordclock. This has been in production now for 10 years. If Simon was talking with dCS " several years ago" and at that point clocks started to be sent in for recalibration after 8 years use then one must conclude that the discussion was likely related to wordclocks other than Vivaldi e.g .Scarlatti, Paganini or Verona ( they aren’t the same in different boxes).

Does it matter estimating when Vivaldi heeds attention?It will tell you by generating a red warning icon. Mine will shortly enter its seventh year. No issue so far.

In fact who here has had their Vivaldi Wordclock generate that red warning?

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Hi Guys,

There isn’t a specific ‘time’ after which a clock will require recalibration … they do self-monitor (like the ECU in your cars engine) and if there is an issue then they’ll flag up their equivalent of the engine warning light.

Like any other dCS product it’s likely that most will never be seen by us again after they leave us…


Qualität. Identität.

: )

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Hello, just found these message as I was looking for information concerning Vivaldi Clock recalibration. Coming back of 2 weeks of holidays with my Vivaldi stack completely switched off, switching on again the famous CAL logo appeared. It happens after 4 years of service where the clock is switched on 11/12 months and just « switched off » with the power button on the front face of the unit.

As I was not able to use the stack without the clock, James from dCS helped me to setup between the upsampler and the dac to use again the system.
Now that I received the quotation from the distributor, I can manage to send it back to UK.

Despite I’m quite happy to have this check for calibration, I hope it would not happen so often. To be honest, a bit surprised to see that happening after 4 years.

I doubt if there is a relatively fixed or known period when it will happen. It is going to depend on usage and environmental factors etc. In fact you are the first person I have learned of reaching the warning. As Phil said, most units are never seen again by dCS after they leave manufacture. My Vivaldi is now 6 years old with no issues of this nature. Incidentally I only switch on an hour or so before a listening session.

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Hello, this is why i described my usage and I’m trying to understand if i need to change anything in the process. I do the same for the DAC and Umpsampler (switching off with the front end power button). Any advise is more than welcome if i need to change anything.


Are there any guidelines for leaving the clock, and for that matter the DAC, powered on?
Coming from the Naim world I leave my equipment, including Rossini and Rossini Clock, powered on 24/7

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