Next upgrade: Clock or fancy power conditioner?

So I just received my Vivaldi dac and upsampler yesterday, which I’m enjoying, and while I’m rearranging boxes I’m wondering ahead to the next thing. So the next thing is likely the clock or a better power conditioner but I’m severely cramped, aesthetically speaking. I’ll give myself some time to live with this as is but I’m down to 3 options.

  1. the cleanest look would be to ditch my furman elite 15 conditioner for an Audioquest Niagara 1200 which can be hidden. Then maybe some play money for aes, clock, and power cables. The 1200 has some power conditioning but no power reserve.
  2. Niagara 5000 power conditioner, has reserve
  3. Vivaldi clock

With 2&3 there’s no getting around having an asymmetrical appearance and taking up space in my living room. I’ve seen folks both say a good power conditioner and the clock is like a whole new component or dac upgrade, but I can’t tell what folks like more. I’m sure this is system dependent and this is very unscientific (and in a DCS forum to boot) but am hoping for any feedback about your own systems. Oh, and I live in a 2016 condo building. I’m sure it’s well made, but there has to be a decent amount of noise in such a concentrated area.

Vivaldi Dac + upsampler
McIntosh C1100 preamp
McIntosh MC2301 tube monoblocks
Sonus Faber Stradivaris


I would suggest looking at the Shunyata 8000. IMO a more significant add than my Vivaldi clock.

Thanks Jim. Exactly the kind of anecdotal feedback I’m looking for.

Power. I am a huge clock fan, but power comes first. I like the AQ Niagara units (though not what I ultimately chose), but good power helps everything. Then, when you do add the clock, all you will need is new underwear.


I concur with Greg regarding power with, as always, the caveat that my opinion is based on my experience with my system and in my home. The improvement I obtained - which was very obvious - was with the previous generation of dCS equipment. Since that initial purchase 10 years ago I have simply kept the balanced power unit (Equi=Tech) in place and have not tried removing it.

You mention cables. It is the opinion of many here that, for digital interconnects, well made professional cables that meet the required technical specification are all that are needed. In hi-fi pricing terms, these are cheap. Whatever you decide to buy/try, make sure it has the correct impedance (75 Ohm for clock, 110 Ohm for AES). Many very expensive cables sold as digital interconnects do not meet these specifications, and the manufacturers avoid mentioning impedance in their descriptions.

I don’t have any recommendations regarding underwear…

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I use a Niagara 3000 specifically dedicated for my Rossini and its “master clock”. Nothing else on the circuit. It is a real improvement. Power supply is very important.

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My vote is for clock because clock makes it right while power conditioning will make it clean. And if I read it right, you already have Furman so, THE clock would make it a wise choice.