Rossini clock or save for Guarneri Speakers

Very happy with my Rossini DAC, but wondering what next.

Perhaps the Rossini Clock, which may improve the sound but would increase the box count.

Alternately, save for a bit and move up from my Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor M to Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition.

I’ll be keeping the Boulder 850 mono-blocks :slight_smile:


Sorry but you are going to get my stock answer to this type of question :smiley:

Speakers have the biggest effect on the sound of the music. Source components have the biggest effect on the music.

If I were to put it in a somewhat negative way, improved speakers will better enable you to hear what is missing. Speakers cannot put back what was not there in the first place.

If you were coming from a position of owning a pair of poor speakers then, yes, changing them may be logical. However you already have terrific speakers. Get the clock and find out how much better your Cremona Auditors are than you currently think.


Rossini clock is a very small box…And anyway, you will end up with that clock, so the sooner it is behind you the sooner you can save for new loudspeakers :slight_smile:



I like that argument

Ooh, for me I’d probably go the other way. I’m new to dCS But from a little time at my local dealer the clock might improve it 15%? I’d defer it to others with more experience though. The Guarneris probably bump it 25% easy to me. I’m a fan of Sonus Faber, though. I have an old pair of Amati Homage and also Guarneri Mementos in storage until I’m back in a house. My SF Stradivaris are in my condo in part because they’re not as deep and fit better, and that they are more detailed throughout the frequency range and don’t need a sub.
Amatis-the most beautiful, had a slightly muddy lower end but that was before I figured out cables matter.
Guarneri Memento - sweet sweet mids and highs. Lows are good enough for me in a small to medium room.
Strads- the most complete. More detailed, quicker, not as warm as the other two. I haven’t kept up on the new editions because I’m happy. I seem to remember SF was moving to a more detailed than the Franco Serblin (founder) sound. Not sure if that holds.
Not exactly the same but if someone offered me a Vivaldi clock for my Strads, and I have the Amatis in storage to use, I’d probably keep the Strads clockless. But I do like having one of each of Serblin’s creations before he left the company.


Me too.

I listen to mainly classical instrumental and strive for the recreation of the concert venue.

Do you find the Guarneris Image better than the Amatis?



I’ve always been intrigued by guesstimates of percentage improvement. And please don’t take this as anything other than genuine, probing conversation. But 15%, or 25%, of what? I’m guessing you’re not suggesting any sort of precision, but what is being conveyed here? Two incremental improvements, one of which is thought to be a fair bit more impactful than the other? These are truly apples and oranges comparisons. One can listen to both and try to decide which one has a greater “effect” on one’s listening experience. But predicting a percentage improvement seems a bit of a SWAG to me.

I tend to see this more the way Pete described. The Clock will improve the reproduction of the music. Better speakers will improve the sound. If one already has good speakers, I would start with the music—improving the source.

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I’m not sure I can answer that with 100% confidence but I’ll try. The short answer is I get the feeling you’d be a little happier with the Guarneris, provided you have the power and don’t need timpanis slamming from off stage left. I’d say both are musical first, imaging second. Definitely good, but not as good as the Strads with the huge caveat that the Strads have the benefit of better amps, better preamp, better digital, and better cables. I might actually say the Guarneris are a fair amount closer imaging wise in the mids to highs, but I’m comparing an homage generation Amati to the memento generation Guarneris which I believe upgraded the tweeter at minimum. So timpani slam from the left? Amatis. Oboe dancing across the stage or something as low as a bassoon, Guarneri might be your ticket. Again, if you have the power. I say that because my pairs are 88 sensitivity for the Guarneri and 90 for the Amatis. I’m more of a tube guy these days, and my 75watt / channel MC275 tube amp didn’t quite let the Guarneri sing as much as an old MC352 solid state. That’s the short answer. My longer answer with more caveats follows. It’s been so long since I’ve had them both in the same place, as I was bicoastal for 7 years before storing them both and getting the Strads. So going from memory where the Amatis were fed by the MC352 and then McIntosh Mc501 monoblocks in a ~900 sq ft “room” which had living dining and kitchen all in one. The Guarneris were in my ~250 sqft bedroom. I later had the Guarneris in a 12x20 foot room living and kitchen apartment on the other coast. Neither had the best power or interconnects, and both are sensitive to room placement in imperfect rooms. The Amatis probably being a little more forgiving as it can move more air and you get a fuller sound and concert hall dynamics easier if you’re going sub-less. I did try a room correction box (McIntosh MEN220) for awhile with the Guarneris in the 12x20 room when I tried them on the narrow end but eventually took it out as some of that sweetness disappeared. With them on the long wall it worked well without the correction.

Both Amatis and Guarneris are 4ohm, but I ran them off the McIntosh 8ohm taps for a little more oomph in the bass given the unruly rooms without subs.

My Amatis: with sound off they just win the sexy contest if you have the room to really see it from all angles and it isn’t cramped. Sound on in my setup it did sound a little congested, with subpar cables and a crazy inconvenient room with concrete floors and not enough rugs. Still though it sounded musical and smooth and easy. Jeff Buckley, while not an orchestra, had a fair amount of concert hall echo and good imaging with the drums and second guitar.

Guarneris: Flat out, I was often surprised that the sound was coming from speakers of this size. And in a way they disappear more easily because of that. Jeff Buckley’s voice sounded more there, clearer, and in the room. Could be that the room was smaller, but it wasn’t that small.

And one more time I’m sure the differences I heard were in part due to the interconnects, and the different generations of the speakers. Are you able to hear the new generation at a dealer? There’s a chance that among the same generation the mids and highs are the same with the Amatis having a fuller sound in larger rooms.


Thanks for a detailed reply

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Hoping to get a home demo of both

1000% guesstimates :slight_smile: As for 15% of what I’d go with… listener delight? In my old job as we were building software and I read up on some psychology papers as for what percentage of quantifiable difference do people start noticing one is different than the other. Quick example is if you pick up a 10 pound weight and then a 12 pound weight more often than not you can probably say which one is heavier within 10 seconds. But between 10 and 11 pounds you may even get it wrong after 10 seconds. If trying 10 and 13 pounds you start approaching an immediate identification of which one is heavier. Same can be done with time, like waiting at a stop light 3 minutes instead of 4.

Anyway, I think the paper said 18.something% of measurable difference is when humans start noticing a difference. So my group went with an even 20% goal of improvement compared to our competitors with high frequency user scenarios. I didn’t work on internet browsers, but it’s a good analogy. High frequency use cases like “search” or loading or fully we would try to be 20% faster at minimum than our competitors. For less frequent scenarios like “launch safari / internet explorer” since you do that one and done we’d be ok if we’d take 20% longer doing that. Same theory would apply to photo processing (adobe lightroom vs capture one) , etc.

So, I suppose what I’m getting at, is that I suspect the Cremona to Guarneri would sound immediately better (subjectively greater than 20% improvement) where the clock improvement I had to think a bit and wonder if it was just different or “better”. That said, I may not have had a great demo of the Rossini vs Rossini with clock before hearing the Vivaldi in the next room.


Thanks for that!

That’d be sweet. Some dealers are less eager to do home demos.

I did a quick look at the latest gen Traditions, and it appears they shrank the Guarneri bass driver and Amati midrange driver while lowering the price. I’m guessing that’s for the new beancounters in charge rather than a real improvement. There are a couple used Amati Futuras, a Serafino, and some Strads on No Guarneris at the moment. If you’re worried about shipping, I’ve shipped my Strads and Guarneris (twice) across country without incident. Well, almost. The speaker grill strings of the Guarneris loosened up in storage heat and you just have to re-knot them. Packaging for all are top notch. Just a thought, as a rossini clock + used Amatis probably better than new Amatis with smaller drivers :wink:

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One more reply. It’s been so long since I’ve looked at speakers I may be a little manic. From the second from the bottom of this thread ( I’d probably be considering the audiiogon used Amati Futuras or the used Strads over the latest gen. My old Amatis and Guarneris are the older Violin red and stunning, and I’m biased to that instead of the new red violin. On my Strads I went grey/black because it would otherwise be A LOT of orange-y violin red. The Strads probably come up for sale under 20k on occasion. Forgive my excitement, spending other people’s money is the best.

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Once again the sound of music is being confused with music . They are not the same.Oh well :neutral_face:.

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I can only speak from my “high end” experience, which was specifically: Sonus Faber Auditors to Guarneri Homage to Puccini and then Puccini U-clock. It’s a simple system power by a Jadis amplifier that is very humble compared to others on this forum.

The shift from the Auditor to Guarneri is massive. The Guarneri can fill a room in a completely different way then the diminutive Auditor (which I also loved). Its soundstage is completely different (better). It was one of those changes that you look back on and say: “Whoah, why didn’t I do this earlier”

In contrast, the upgrade resulting from adding the Puccini clock to the Puccini was very minor in comparison. It was an improvement for sure, but nothing like the speaker upgrade you are considering.

In your case, you already have one of the best DACs on the market (Rossini). The Auditors are, respectfully, not in the same league. You will see a much bigger improvement from changing the speakers at this time.



I’m an owner of the original Guarneri Homage (GH) and used to own the 1st gen Auditors at the same time… bought the auditors first and upgraded to the GH which I’m keeping till now. I did lots of comparisons then and can say that the Guarneri is a HUGE step up in detail, imaging, separation and musicality. They are of 2 different class of speakers, similar to moving up on the dCS range. Anyway, I recently bought and paired the GH with a Gryphon Diablo in my second system and the GH still sings wonderfully. Made the decision after a demo of the New Guarneri Tradition with Diablo pairing at the dealer :slight_smile:

For me, the speakers without a question…


Thanks for your reply

At least it is clear what you have to do…buy Wilson Audio, Magico, YG or Rockport :joy:

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