New to dCS - Rossini APEX

I have followed dCS for almost 20 years and am finally pulling the trigger. This community was a large part of that decision. I have learned a lot from you all - and look forward to contributing in the months and years ahead.

My current use case for a new digital front-end is to power a headphone system - the Sennheiser HE1. Whilst the inbuilt DAC has satisfied me until now, it is time to see the impact of a high-end standalone DAC.

I have a Rossini APEX DAC and Rossini Clock on order and will start the dCS journey there. I feel the HE1 will allow me to isolate the character of the DAC without having to worry about the room and other variables.

My musical tastes are very diverse - from Deadmau5 to Western Classical.

Looking forward to finding out and adding further datapoints to this community.



Welcome to the community Marc @MMF.

That’s a great start. Many might say the Rossini APEX + Clock combo is among the top 5 front ends in the world.

: )


Welcome Marc.

As a very happy owner of a Rossini Apex and Rossini clock, bias aside, I think that’s a great place to start! :grinning:


Congrats! It must sound lovely. Unfortunately I have never heard it.

I have to do with a Rossini APEX + Clock + Lina amp + Susvara and AB1266 TC.


Thank you. I purchased an ex-demo HE1 several years ago but didn’t have enough time to enjoy it - so sold it. I have been chasing that sound ever since. Actually - sound is not the correct word - ‘feeling’ is more accurate. Listening to it was a visceral experience - and my party piece at the end of the night when we had musician friends over - generally validating my impressions. Luckily, I have another unit on its way and I won’t be selling this one. I did audition the Susvaras with a Lina stack - and that was the turning point for me to take the plunge with dCS - so you have an even better set-up! I have also long admired the Abyss but sadly haven’t had the chance to listen.

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Thank you, keiserrg
I am curious about the other 4. Obviously one is the Vivaldi - and I will need to compare the Rossini APEX to the Vivaldi APEX at some point. The picture I am building from various reports is that they are quite different. I obviously hope that I prefer the Rossini APEX :smile:. I guess another is the Select II. I do actually have one available to audition. We then have the WADEX, which I have zero interest in exploring. And I can guess a few other contenders. With all this said, my money is on the dCS prevailing - especially now with the APEX upgrade - hence my decision to join the community. I feel really good about it.


Hi Marc,
We think alike and, based purely on reading and my interactions with others on this and other forums, I think the other four/five contenders are:

dCS Vivaldi
MSB Select
MSB Reference or Esoteric

I have been a dCS customer for 15+ years, and own the Rossini (APEX upgrade pending). I also have a high opinion of MSB.

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Ha! Yes - agree with the shortlist and the sentiment. As a Brit - I am passionate about supporting British audiophile brands. My first serious system was a Meridian - and I stayed loyal to them for maybe 15 years. dCS was even more aspirational (for me) - but I became a fully paid-up member of immersive audio for my main system and still am. Meridian Trifield initially, and nowadays, Trinnov (Dolby Atmos). It was only through my enjoyment of head-fi that I was eventually able to justify dCS.

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Marc, I don’t quite know how to take this. You have just ordered a Rossini Apex yet you are thinking about what to compare it with . It isn’t even delivered yet!

Unfortunately you haven’t given us any idea of your source or sources. This is very pertinent as a full comparison of Rossini and Vivaldi DAC is not possible as it would not compare like with like. Rossini is a streaming DAC which includes upsampling. Vivaldi has no upsampling nor ,particularly, streaming and therefore is, unlike Rossini, not a component that provides source material. The appropriate comparison is Rossini v. Vivaldi DAC + Vivaldi Upsampler ( the latter is also the network component.) I regularly say this but Vivaldi needs to be thought of as a system of several related units.

I don’t know enough about the components from other manufacturers but be careful you do not find yourself comparing apples with oranges.

Hi Pete,

I am still working through source options - and consider myself reasonably well informed through your posts (and those of others) over the years as to the system differences. As an example - one dilemma I am working through and hope to resolve before Monday is the following:

Should I revise my APEX order from the DAC to the Player?
I am also in touch with a Vivaldi stack owner who doesn’t use his Vivaldi player and is willing to part with it at a fraction of retail (it really is a bargain - and I consider it a future classic. But like all classics - maintenance needs to be factored-in). Should I instead put the Player/DAC delta towards this? How important is SACD to me going forwards? For dCS ‘comparisons’ - the Vivaldi player would be a ‘golden source’ - assisting with apple and orange issues. Does my budget and rack have the space for this?

There is quite a bit of path dependency with dCS gear. It’s not simple as you say. But I don’t think I would be having as much fun if it was :smile:

In this regard, you will hear from two members of the community. One group remains dedicated to spinning disks (I was in that group for 10+ years). Hence the continued availability of the Rossini and Vivaldi transports. The other group believes in digitizing everything (including the SACDs via old Blueray devices) and ditching the player.

Without passing judgement, I am now in the latter camp. As engineer, albeit a poor one, my position is simple: moving parts break and make noise.



That sums it up really well. Myself I am still in the silver disc spinning camp. It’s just so much fun these days looking for cd’s at fairs or on discogs. Not to mention they sound absolutely stunning via a dCS transport. For me the two have different goals. Streaming to discover new music mostly.
Depending on what I’m in the mood for I use the one or the other.

@MMF Whatever you decide you will be very pleased with the performance. Only you can decide whether you still place value on spinning discs. Please send me details about this Vivaldi tranport should you decide not to buy it though :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you, August - my reasons for still considering discs are very similar to those you put forward… I did revise my order to the Rossini Player (so CD is catered for) and still undecided about the Vivaldi player even though it is a (used) bargain. That said, the shelf real-estate and cabling mean it is still not a trivial investment. I also do still have a PS3 somewhere that I have used to rip SACDs before. I just haven’t evaluated those rips yet against the original. Will keep you posted on the V Player :wink:

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Thanks also to this forum - I have just canceled my Tidal subscription and have gone all-in with Qobuz Sublime. It also put me on to Soundiiz allowing me to copy my music lists across. My first downloads from Qobuz were of a bit of an exercise in frustration though (apple silicon Mac). And despite requesting WAVs, I got FLACs. And naturally that sent me down the rabbit hole of 'whats the difference in sound quality between WAVs and FLACs" - covered on this forum many, many times before. Despite having reviewed what I believe are all the previous threads on this topic - I thought dCS’s silence was curious. I understand them not wanting to opine on related ‘gear’ - but codecs? Surely there is a ‘house view’ and this has been tested ad nauseam? Happy to start a topic if others are interested in their views and think they will ‘bite’ !

One of the joys of a valid Qobuz account is that albums/tracks once bought can be re-downloaded for free in any format of choice (up to max bitrate one payed for).

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I guess that the importance of CD or SACD depends on the size of any existing. collection. I have ripped most of my CD collection using uncompressed .flac ( indistinguishable to .wav IMO). Obviously there is no saving on space but the metadata remains embedded rather than associated. However I decided not to rip large box sets as being a listener mainly to classical music and getting the metadata correct was daunting even with the help of dbpoweramp PerfectTunes. That also goes for operas where I still need access to libretti.

I found that ripping SACDs beyond my capabilities even if friends here describe it as “easy” :frowning_face:.

So far you have thought of Rossini player or a used Vivaldi should CD attract you. Just to remind you that there is also Rossini Transport. OK expensive but believe me, astounding sound.

Of course where downloaded files are concerned the flacs are compressed. So I tested files from Qobuz ; .flac v. .wav. In earlier days with Paganini , HDD storage and PC based JRiver the difference was clearly in .wav’s favour. However now with storage using Melco in NAS mode, VIvaldi ( now Apex) and Mosaic I cannot detect any difference. I expect that the same result would occur with Rossini.

One consideration is that very large downloads from Qobuz such as box sets can take a long time in .wav . So long that the download may terminate before completion. Qobuz do warn of this. In that case.flac is a wiser choice.

Yes, as @RobW points out Qobuz keeps a record of your purchases and you can refresh your downloads if there is a problem. One easy way of doing this is to sign in to Qobuz download store ( not the streaming app). It uses the same login as streaming. Go to your account and you will find your purchases should you need to do this. he operation works the same as if it is a new purchase so you can make corrections.

Make sure when downloading that you pick the correct method offered by Qobuz. One is to download to Qobuz app the other to your hard disc. Pick the latter then transfer from computer to NAS. Otherwise if you pick the wrong one you may find things a jumble. I had to deal with a complaint elsewhere that metadata from Qobuz took the user ages to correct. The need to do this was for the above reason.


Thank you, Pete - so much good information here, that will save me heaps of time.

I’ve been enjoying my Rossini Apex + Clock for a few months now. It was an upgrade from Bartok (regular). I didn’t bother tweaking with the filter options, but just last week I tried F4 instead of F1, and I like it more now. Sound is more natural and fluid. Happy Listening!


Thank you, Hong for those settings - must say, the filters do concern me from an indecision standpoint. Am waiting for delivery…

Good luck with your order. Please post your experience after you settle down with Rossini.

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