Vivaldi One v. Rossini Apex

I would appreciate your feedback on this:

I had a Bartok on loan (coming from Linn Klimax), I liked the Bartok presentation, though a bit rough, so I ordered a Rossini + clock.

Now my dealer has offered me an ex-demo Vivaldi One + Vivaldi Clock (around 4 years old) for a very, very good price, still more expensive than the new Rossini.

Tomorrow we will have info about the new Rossini Apex, but I guess it will take time until we have a review or forum members feedback about the actual increase in sound quality.

I have the Vivaldi now at home, and sounds way better than the Bartok, but I can’t hold my decision for a long time, take it or return it in a reasonable time lapse, likely before we have consistent data about Apex SQ.

That is why I ask for seasoned dCS users’ opinion.


I have got a Vivaldi Dac & upsampler…it is way above Rossini even with a clock…So, I would keep the Vivaldi One, enjoy it for some time, and when you are sure Apex brings something better, you can certainly upgrade to Vivaldi ONE Apex…

Vivaldi One was a limited edition product . I think the production run was limited to 300 pieces. It is no longer available and therefore has become a legacy product. It is not usual for dCS to make upgrades available for legacy items ( of course there will still be Mosaic upgrades from time to time but that is another issue). So that is the first thing for you to consider.

The second consideration is that a considerable part of Vivaldi One is devoted to silver disc replay. The transport mechanism is the very ( very) expensive Esoteric Neo. AFAIK dCS has a stock of replacement parts should anything need replacing. It is almost inevitable given a 4 year old machine that at some point the OPU will have to be replaced ( it may be the laser or a drive cog that fails but the whole OPU unit has to be replaced to fix this). Given the transport that will not be cheap.

So, do you have a sufficiently sizeable collection of CDs and SACDs of such importance to you that this is justifiable?

Finally you seem to be comparing Vivaldi to Bartok. It is not surprising that you find Vivaldi considerably superior. However Rossini and Vivaldi are far closer to each other in performance than Bartok is. And who knows what Rossini Apex v. Vivaldi will sound like? NB: as I imply above I doubt that there will be a Vivaldi One Apex upgrade. You could ask dCS once Apex is an official thing ( tomorrow?).

Only you can decide what is right for you but I hope that my comments are of use.

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Ahh…I didn’t know that Vivaldi ONE is a legacy product…then I would revise my advice…return it and wait the Apex series is available at your dealer…

My local dealer recently claimed to have sold the last one. He said (I think) that it would have been 251 (or 301 if Pete has the right number) - i.e., one more than the advertised number of the ‘limited edition’ - so they put the customer’s name on the back instead of a serial number. I’m not sure that sounds altogether plausible, but it is what I was told!

It like bespoke shoes :wink: may be Apex is custom dCS gear, you specify, they build it…and you pay the price of the quality and exclusivity…it is HiFi 3.0…if it is not for tomorrow it shall be for the next time :laughing:

It was 250 units (+1).

I don’t think it is exactly a legacy product since Vivaldi is still in production and most parts are the same, including the Esoteric Transport. I’m not worried about replacements since they are Vivaldi parts.

Regarding a potential upgrade to Apex, that could be different if dCS decides not to touch the special limited edition, so I have to decide on my purchase disregarding the Apex option. If it comes, good, but I can’t count on it.

I have around 4000 CD/SACD. Now I have an Audio Note UK CD transport + player (level 4). Temptation is to sell it and have it all in one place (Vivaldi One). If I sell, I would have the Vivaldi for the price of the Rossini + selling.

Problem is Audio Note still sounds a bit better than Vivaldi on normal CDs, though it does not play SACDs.

So, at the end of the day I would end with a better streamer and a not that good CD player. I stream more than I play CDs.

Where I get lost is on the sound quality difference Vivaldi – Rossini Apex.

I have tested Bartok and Vivaldi, but never heard a Rossini, thus my question to the community.

I have tested Vivaldi One with and without Clock, the difference is not subtle.
If in your experience Vivaldi DAC+Upsampler is way better than Rossini + Clock, then Vivaldi + Clock should be even better (even if DAC and Upsampler is in one box, same as Rossini).

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No they are not necessarily all exactly the same. As I understand it in order to squeeze 4 Vivaldi boxes ( or 3 if you don’t count the external clock as being the equivalent of the internal one ) into a single box which is only slightly bigger than the Vivaldi Transport alone means that all of the parts e.g circuit boards are not necessarily identical even if they perform similar functions. Vivaldi One is not quite Vivaldi in one box. Near, but not quite.

As for it being a legacy product here is the current Vivaldi Collection:

There is no Vivaldi One listed. So even though it hasn’t yet been added to the legacy product database it is on a de facto basis.

Your silver disc collection is impressive in size and that would certainly justify the wonderful Vivaldi One Esoteric transport mechanism. But you say that the Audio Note sounds better. I know what I would choose in your situation but I am not you.

As I said earlier I would contact dCS directly and ask for their view on upgrades and support for things like if the control board fails.

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I doubt that it is. The hardware platform is thus far the same as the Vivaldi DAC and transport. If there are hardware changes with Apex, it is very likely they will be available for Vivaldi One. The One thing I don’t like about it is that it is an ENORMOUS box that is hard to place in your rack and if something breaks the ENTIRE thing needs to go back to dCS. However, if you have a substantial CD & SACD collection, I think you get basically separate performance for a great price.

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I read these threads with great interest as I like learning from the high end users on this forum, am not yet able to purchase a Vivaldi, and a move to Florida has impacted my ability to listen to my own system.

Whenever I read the transport discussions, I am thankful that I made the (then) painful decision to go completely digital and have my CD collection ripped to AIFF. To never need to worry about a transport, or the transport breaking, or the transport not supporting SACD, or disks scratching, getting lost, etc., etc., etc., and to simply plug an Ethernet cable into a NAS and to a DAC/Upsampler, simplifies life immensely.

Not even to mention the saved space, the longevity, the ease of backup, the ease of use (remote), if the house burns down your music is still in the cloud, etc., etc., etc.

: )

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The electronics may perform the same or similar functions but that does not mean that e.g. the boards in Vivaldi One are physically identical to those in the Vivaldi multi-box system. That is where the problem arises if one is dependent upon Vivaldi components fitting Vivaldi One. That is not guaranteed unless dCS say that they are physically ( not just electronically) identical which I why I suggested that Manel should ask dCS directly.

Miguel, you have such a superb system I think I should kneel!

I used to have an Audio Note DAC and transport and to this day I still think it’s the best redbook I’ve owned, but you’re correct that that’s all it does. Today, I mostly stream through the Bartok. I have an older perfectly fine CD player for the occasional CD.

I would look forward to what might be the best streaming option. Keep the AN if you can.

I’ve seen some detailed pics of the Vivaldi One, and frankly the DAC board looks the same as the DAC. Surely dCS can answer that question better than I can! :slight_smile:

Thank you for the compliments on the system, appreciate it.

I think the true measure of a DAC’s quality is how well it does redbook. Surely Audio Note does a good job. I don’t have direct long-term experience. However, I will say that Rossini does an amazing job at redbook.

I actually toyed with a CD transport for a while, thinking I would get back to playing CDs - I really enjoy physical media. I am also a Roon user and have ripped all my CDs and SACDs (into DSD files with a PS3). I also scan all album art into pdfs that I put in Roon.

Frankly, I never got into CDs. Roon is just too convenient, I have access to the album art, and the sound is basically the same - at some point I convinced myself CDs on the transport sounded better but if they to it is oh-so-marginal.

What I did get into is vinyl. I bought a turntable and I can now play all my vinyl again. Vinyl is great, it is the ultimate in inconvenience and high cost! :sweat_smile:


That last sentence…:joy::+1:

Boards look the same, and most likely are the same, also it would be too expensive to design new boards and new parts for just 250 units.

Differences are mainly in the fact that putting together the dirty part (Upsampler) and the DAC in one box affects the quality. Power supplies in another box is a good solution that dCS take one step further on Vivaldi four.

Same goes for the transport, adding vibrations to the “noise”.

dCS goes the same approach as with Rossini Player.

Masterclock must be in a separate box. Too sensible to put it in a single box with all the other components. That is why Vivaldi One is actually Vivaldi Two.

But yes, you are right, I should ask dCS for parts and for the option to upgrade to Apex Ring DAC and Analogue section (if it confirms to be the “Apex thing”).

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Just a bit better, I won’t hurry up to sell the Audio Note.

I expect to improve Vivaldi’s sound with adequate cabling and a Reference Clock feeding the Vivaldi Masterclock.

If that matches Audio Note quality, I will go for the simple two box solution. If Audio Note is not matched, I will not sell it and go the 4 box (2 AN and 2 dCS).

That would be a double problem, money and real estate.

Life is not easy in this hobby.

My next move is a TT Three AN turntable, way better than CDs :slight_smile: