Stacking Components

It’s generally recommended not to stack dCS components, yet almost every photo shows the Rossini APEX DAC/Player atop the Rossini Clock or, in the case of the Vivaldi APEX, the DAC, Upsampler and Clock (and sometimes a transport) stacked together.

This never made sense to me… just to get the components together in a cool photo?

You may also note that those photos show the units without any connecting cables. I wouldn’t try that either :wink:.


Yes, I love those artful photos of really nice systems in beautiful spaces with not a single cable in sight, not even power cables! Clearly they are using MagSafe.


I actually have a long-running joke with the social media person at Wilson Audio about their wireless models in their speaker photos. :grin:


I will be completely honest here: I moved the clock to the side of the DAC and I cannot hear a difference versus stacking. I think it looks odd too. Will probably stack them up again and move the ethernet switch to the where the clock was.

But think of the transparency to the source!

Mine are on different shelves.

I started out stacking because of a space constraint. After getting a new cabinet I was able to put the clock on a separate shelf. If there’s a difference in sound, I can’t hear it.

I also agree about looks.

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As I have also been thinking about stacking - what about setting the DAC on top of something like Stillpoints, HRS Vortex etc.?

You may well be correct.

I tried stacking the original dCS Elgar/Purcell/Verdi/Verona combination and the successor Paganini four box collection. I have not tried with the ( mostly) Vivaldi components as they are just too heavy to shift only for an experiment.

The result of where I did this was clearly audible and, as advised in the instruction manuals, separate shelves were then used.

However the audibility of what is electromagnetic interference was pretty subtle. Further it seemed to me to mainly affect the general “openess” of the system and this was particularly apparent in recordings where the environment’s acoustic had been recorded. For recordings made post roughly 1970 engineers have tended not to do this for rock/pop or jazz genres.

As someone wiser than I once pointed out, if it’s not on the record in the first place, you are not going to hear it.

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The stacking issue relates to electromagnetic interference e.g. from transformers rather than vibration so, unless very tall, such devices won’t do much.

My Rossini APEX Player and Rossini Clock are both sitting on IsoAcoustic feet.

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Similar to my past history with Naim

Does the clock have a transformer?
Is the clock subject to interference from the toroids in the DAC?

Here you find photos of the various dCS Clocks, and their respective transformers:

It is difficult to know exactly what type of transformers are used but the square blue casings suggest laminated rather then toroid designs. dCS’ suggestion to use separate shelves for multiple units implies that there could be interference from stray fields but any precise extent of this is not known to me.


Toroid it is. Look at 2:19 into this video:

Making of Vivaldi - YouTube


Ermos - eagle eyed!


I’m in the same boat – I tried 2 different Vivaldi stacking options. First, placing the clock underneath the APEX DAC and then moving that (DAC) onto its own shelf & moving the UpSampler + on top of the clock.

I settled on:

(3) Top Shelf: Rossini CD/SACD
(2) Mid Shelf: Vivaldi APEX DAC
(1) Bottom Shelf: Vivaldi Upsampler +
Vivaldi Clock

I have no intention to use any footers/isolation between the 2 components on the bottom shelf. I had Stillpoints with the Paganini and couldn’t justify their contribution & ended up selling them.

Best to all,


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For practical reasons I have my Bartok Apex stacked on my Rossini clock. My dealer said this was ok and after more than a year I haven’t noticed any ill effects.

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