Scheduled APEX Upgrades

Hi Miguel - Coincidently, yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Goodwin’s High End in Waltham, MA (right outside of Boston), saying they are ready for me to bring in my Vivaldi DAC for the APEX upgrade. I gave my deposit on 2/26/2022. I imagine that most of the wait was because the announcement had just been made, and dCS had not even started creating the upgrade kits.

I put a deposit down on blind faith that dCS would only offer an upgrade that made a material difference in the SQ and that the improvement would be consistent with the brand’s sonic characteristics. From what folks say here, it sounds like it was a good bet!

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You’re in the ideal location for a quick turnaround, whether by Goodwin’s itself or via dCS’s local U.S. service provider, Fuller Sound of Waltham. Even initially, and now after about 40 hours of “burn in”, it’s quite clear you’ll be more than pleased with the APEX upgrade.

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Remember that after Apex was announced and the first deposits were placed give or take a week around the first of March it was all crickets until late May. Yes it took longer than most of us would have liked but once the first updates were happening everything moved pretty rapidly.

I am just guessing that both our individual dealers and dCS themselves had to do some prioritizing on how they needed/wanted to schedule upgrades. DCS probably allocated updates across all of their dealers and not just to the first one or two who placed orders for a number of update requests

My dealer informed me of the “reasons” why he had a couple of units updated ahead of mine.

Like Steve, I put my deposit down in the latter part of Feb.


In California they are in the avant-garde for a number of things…Polygamie is the last one…but for now it is allowed only with one wife and a stereo…let’s see the evolution in a near future :wink:

Greg, pay attention, it is not allowed with more than two clocks :laughing:

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Interestingly, this is an absolutely great simile Greg has presented us with (affirming that his Vivaldi is a “she”.) Having the APEX upgrade installed (whether in a Vivaldi or a Rossini) is akin to augmentation. And I’ll let your imaginations run from there as to the similarities, correlation and consonance.

BTW, I consider my Rossini APEX as a she also.

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I think one of the major reasons for differences in delivery timing of the APEX upgrades is when each dealer placed their order for the upgrades - not when individual owners placed their orders with the dealer.

Immediately when APEX was announced, my dealer placed an order for 10 upgrades (without even having any customer commitments), so was at the top of the list to receive them.

Anyway, it’s well worth the wait!

Hey…could’ve been worse: a lottery!

My own reaction to getting my Vivaldi APEX back into my system (a few posts I posted on another forum):

Received my Vivaldi APEX DAC upgrade on Tuesday. All I can say is this is quite a leap. There‘s a wider and more pinpoint soundstage with better timing and dynamics. This thing really swings. Have been playing Roon in radio mode to “burn in” the new analog board.

Every track brings a big smile to my face. It‘s as if I’m hearing every song anew. There’s more depth and detail, with a nearly holographic space for many songs. More air around instruments with greater realism and immersion. Initially, I was struck by the expansive and more delineated bass from the system. Just as a check, I played sources with substantial low-level bass while the amps were off to see if the subs were providing anything. Nada! It’s all in the Wilson Alexia 2’s that now bring forth all of this “new” level of sonics.

Interestingly, there’s simply more there, there. That leads to the sense that the DAC is delivering more sonic output if the source has it to offer. Consequently, I find I’m fiddling with the volume slider on my preamp more than ever. Some albums are far higher or lower than I’d experienced in the past.

And as an additional bonus, the upgrade delivers a lower noise floor. And I’ve only about 50 hours in.

I figured it would be about 100 hours to get thermal and electrical stability, with an additional period of what I would call “system level” settling in, which I’ve found particularly true of cabling. With this latter stage, I’ve usually experienced even more low-level detail and dynamics.

One thing I’ve had trouble describing with the APEX is an underlying “layering” of sound that goes towards the far more realistic sense of instruments and voices. That along with clearer separation - think spaces between musical elements, much like how the spaces between the notes can stand out. Listening to solo piano or guitar seems to be a dead giveaway to this.


Same here - I wonder if it was the same dealer.
When APEX was announced my consultant (affiliated with a dealer) contacted me and I committed immediately. I do know they preordered 10 kits prior to any customer commitments.


No no no. My Rossini is a he with or without a butt implant.

I don’t think you can do that, at least not anymore, as the serial number is required to get in the queue.

For sure I needed the serial number after I paid a deposit to my dealer. But my dealer had already reserved 10 or 20 APEX upgrades from dCS several months before that.

I doubt every dealer wanted to take the risk of ordering upgrades without customer deposits.

Who’s your dealer? Mine (JSAudio) did not seem to have done that.

Audio Element southern California. Somehow they were also able to do the upgrade on-site with no shipping involved.

Same dealer (although for me via a NY consultant) - same bulk preorder - then once clients committed to the upgrade the serial number was passed along.

I committed when I was contacted right after launch.


Dealers have the ability to do the upgrade on-site if they have trained staff and the appropriate tools and ESD-safe area to be able to perform them.

All you need for this is a reasonably competent person and an ESD strap. It’s plug and play. I could definitely do it myself.

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One thing the folks back in Waltham did was to put my Vivaldi DAC on a scope both before and after the APEX upgrade. I’ve no idea what other bits were done at the Fuller Sound location.

@Kirill I’m in Florida. Which Florida dealer did you use to upgrade your Vivaldi Apex? dCS removed the ‘Find a Dealer’ link from their website. I’d love to be able to drive it there, wait a couple hours and drive home with it.

That may be true but my dealer has a very competent tech who has worked on dCS, D’Agostino and Audio Research in the shop. I was told it is more than a normal static device that dCS suggested/required to perform the updates in house. With the approx one week turnaround my dealer didn’t think it was worth the risk.