Right transport for Rossini DAC

I am wondering what is the right/optimal Transport for Rossini DAC.

I don’t want to go for Rossini Player as that does not play SACD.

At the same time Rossini Transport appears to me too costly (at $23k). I understand the extra support for SACD. But except that I don’t know what else one is paying for in that $23k. Is that extra thing is up-sampleing, not sure why should one pay that much for the extra up-sampling capability as Rossini DAC itself anyway does the up-sampling.

So looking for suggestions on what could be optimal approach for having SACD capability with Rossini DAC without paying for the up-sampling.


You cannot use any transport for playing SACD via a dCS DAC that is not made by dCS. In order to comply with the SACD patent and conditions the SACD stream between the two boxes has to be protected. Hence , from the earliest days of SACD via dCS, the stream is in a dCS proprietary encoded format which other makes of transport or DAC cannot access.

So the answer to your question is that you can only buy either the Rossini transport or the Vivaldi transport. Legacy dCS CD/SACD transports will work but, frankly, the newer transports are as similarly advanced as the current DACS and using one of the old dCS transports will compromise the performance of the new DAC. So you can do it but ultimately I wouldn’t advise it.

As I have recently bought a Rossini transport to replace my old Paganini ( BTW which also upsampled to DSD 64) the answer is that even a straight redbook CD, not upsampled, sounds better than an SACD played on one of the old machines. NB: I choose not to use upsampling and regard its availability in much the same way as I regard the programs that I do not use on my washing machine or the channels that I do not watch on my TV.
Whether SACD or redbook the basic performance of the Rossini transport is astonishing and that is what you pay for. The Vivaldi is, of course, even better (but at a price - especially if, like me, silver disc is now a secondary source). Sometimes the specifications do not tell you everything.

Thanks for input @PAR. I know about the restriction of the sacd format. I was thinking about old dcs transport. But as u confirmed I wont go that direction. Rather save money to buy Rossini Transport.

Also wondering the quality difference of directly playing redbook cd in Rossini Player and Rossini DAC + Rossini Transport.


The transport has advantages being in a separate chassis with its own power supply etc. The new(ish) D&M transport used in the Rossini transport is superb but the Stream Unlimited transport in the Player also has a great reputation and is now used in several top end CD players. However CD or SACD players at this level of excellence are pretty rare these days so I don’t expect to see a shoot-out between the two even if a meaningful one could be arranged.

There is another alternative here, that I think might be worth exploring. It’s the D.BOB or Digital Break Out Box by GeerFab. I do not own one, and I have not heard one. But it has been well-reviewed here and here. It delivers the digital stream from a UDP into your DAC. Now, even an excellent UDP like an Oppo 205, isn’t going to make anyone stop dreaming of a Vivaldi Transport. But it does remove the barrier to getting the DSD off your disc and into your DAC without having to rip files, while isolating the process electrically from the DAC. And you cannot beat the price. I am considerIng one for the occasions when I want to spin discs in the living room, which is slightly more than never.

Have you looked into ripping your SACDs and then playing the DSF files from a NAS?
It is quite easy if you have a Pioneer BDP-160. They can be found for a few hundred USD.

Rudi, I know you weren’t writing to me, but as someone who rips all his SACDs, and stores them along with all my other music on both an NAS and inside my Roon Nucleus+, I thought I should add a couple of comments:

  1. Yes, it is easy once you know what you are doing;
  2. It ain’t easy to learn. That Audiophile Style thread you cited is 204 pages long. And even with the curation at the beginning, it is confusing and can be quite daunting. In fact, that curation still discusses Telneting into your UDP, when none of that is necessary any more.

I started ripping SACDs back in 2012 on a firmware-limited PlayStation 3, and it has gotten easier, yes, and there are quite a few players it will work with, many more than the one Pioneer. I now rip SACDs from either my Oppo 105 or my MSB UMT (which uses an older Oppo drive) using Sonore’s ISO2DSD Java-based software. Generally takes no more than 10-15 minutes per disk. What does take time, sometimes, is getting the metadata correct.

But it’s only worth learning if you want to serve from some sort of streaming framework. Doesn’t have to be an NAS over Ethernet. It can be any file-based storage/server/streamer. I personally think it’s worth it, and I prefer it, but a lot of people just want to spin the disc.

One other solution for file ripping for people who don’t want to geek out is Golden Ear’s SACD digitizing service.

A couple of points.

As far as ripping SACD is concerned when I tried last year i found that many of the requisite executable files to either jailbreak the donor player in order to allow it to output SACD digital data or to extract it subsequently had been taken down from the internet. There was a lot of instruction text containing dead HTML links. I ended up abandoning the project.

Being in the UK I also found another difficulty. Many of the viable donor players had never been available over here anyway.

The Geerfab D.Bob requires a universal DVD player (which will decode SACD) with an HDMI output ( that is probably all of them these days). You can get these from the major Far Eastern marques for a couple of hundred £,$ or € . Frankly this solution strikes me as a “get a DoP stream by any means possible” strategy. It will work at a certain level but It would be interesting to compare whether or not the D.Bob at a grand plus the cost of a used Oppo or a plastic marvel from e.g. Sony can equal a current dCS transport . Anybody want to bet that it will?

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Well, as I said, I don’t think it will make anyone forsake their dCS Transport dreams, but it is a pretty reasonable alternative, especially if one has such a player already. If one gets bit-perfect files, who’s to complain? And yes, I think I would be happy to pitch the Oppo 205/D.BOB against any dCS transport in a double-blind. I’m not saying the Oppo combo would win, because the dCS rig would presumably have a significant I2S integration advantage. But it might cast that long diminishing return shadow we have all written about. :wink:

As for the file-ripping process, and the difficulty of finding many of the files and dead links, I agree; that is why I highly recommend the Sonore package. It’s all there in one download, and to your point, if one has any of the compliant players, it just works.

Everything needed for the PC side of things is there. The content of the boot media USB stick for the player can be found here.
And in case of problems, I am sure forum members can help. With a little bit of guidance, it’s really not that hard.
The most challenging thing will be to find a used BDP-160. Sony’s are easier to find, but the process is a bit more involved.

You could use any of these Bluray players:

That’s an excellent resource, and it employs the Sonore software, which makes this all very easy.

Very interesting, thanks for the pointer (somehow I missed that review on Stereophile). It actually looks like a viable backup universal-disc Transport.

My system in the study is currently without a disc transport, I’m tempted to give this box a spin and couple it with my dedicated DSD ripping Oppo UDP :grin:

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I quote:
As of October 2018, SACDExtractGUI has supplanted ISO2DSD as the state-of-the-art ripping tool, offering additional functionality, and easier troubleshooting.

Thanks for posting this. Yes, ISO2DSD is a bit long in the tooth. I looked at SACDExtractGUI about a year ago, and at the time, did not see any compelling functional reason to switch from ISO2DSD (“if it ain’t broke . . …”). The possible incremental speed improvement was not enticing enough (because the bulk of my ripping was already done); if I had to start from scratch with a couple hundred SACDs, I would probably feel different. Still, I might look again. I will also add this, though: the tick/pop problem discussed here and quite a few other places is not something I have run into with my rips.

To anyone thinking of trying this out, I would recommend picking up one of the cheap Sony players that are known to be compatible with SACDExtractGUI. They are widely available on flEabay for under $50USD.

UPDATE: Just to check, I was able to download and install SACDExtractGUI to my laptop and my desktop. Further, I was able to install the Autoscript folder on a FAT-formatted flash drive. Both my Oppo 105 and my MSB UMT respond correctly to the insertion of the thumb drive. Each is Accessible and Ping-able in the SACDExtractGUI interface. Unfortunately, when I run the app, it simply returns a message of [DONE] with no files output from any setting. I am reviewing the posts in the HiFi Haven thread [almost 90 pages there] to see if anyone reports something similar. When I run ISO2DSD from either the laptop or the desktop, well, everything just works. ISO rips and DSF rips work just fine. Sightly slower, and slightly less convenient from a file management perspective, but reliable. YMMV.

That is exactly how I have done it - and still do! I used to play my SACDs on my trusty old Marantz UD9004 but last year I wanted to put these records on my NAS as well. I found the thread about SACDExtractGUI and found a SONY bluray player with remote for maybe 50 bucks on the net. Now I use that machine (and an USB thumb drive on the back) for one purpose only: ripping SACDs. It is essential to have a working remote because there are some settings that need to be attended. And then I rip the SACD via wifi to my laptop where the SACDExtractGUI is installed. Ripping results in files i dsf form, no iso unless I specifically tell the computer to do so.
And no problems with cracks or pops so far :smiley:
I have even started buying more SACDs lately. A nice hobby in corona times!

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Happy to report two positive outcomes for me here:

  1. With the extremely friendly and quick help of @MikeyFresh at HiFi Haven, I was able to get SACDExtractGUI working.
  2. I installed the D.BOB today, and I can say it just works. One HDMI cable from the Audio Out of my Oppo 205 and one BJC Toslink to the Vivaldi DAC, and DSD just started playing. Pete, it may not be a Vivaldi or Rossini Transport, but I am betting most would have difficulty hearing the difference.
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Having just spent 17 grand on a Rossini Transport I hope you won’t expect me to agree :grin:.


As some of us say here, “yeah, no!”
But it does sound good. Here’s where I think the difference is most noticeable: clocking. I can’t clock the Oppo UDP-205. And as between disc and file playback, that’s probably one reason my Nucleus+ sounds notably better on the same tracks. If disc playback were a significant portion of my listening, I would be sorely tempted to invest in a clickable transport, and most likely a dCS Rossini or Vivaldi Transport for best integration. But it’s not, and so this solution is a decent one for me.

It is $22.5K !!!

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