Vivaldi vs Vivaldi Apex Impressions

My friend got his Vivaldi upgraded to Apex. His first impression was, in summary: dark, dull, and with less gain.

When I got my Rossini Apex I did not perceive such differences, but I also did not pay a lot of attention to the sound until about 100 hours burn-in.

His settings were reset to factory (mine were not). So he’s looking into this.

What have been people’s impressions of the Vivaldi Apex changes?

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Thanks for an interesting question. I hope that you get more responses - my upgrade is still a few months away according to the UK dealer. Of course here in the UK AFAIK the upgrades are carried out at the dCS factory and there is apparently quite a waiting list or , in British style, queue.

The changes noted by your friend are all negative. “Gain” aside they are also not changes that I can think of being brought about by altering the settings on my v.2 Vivaldi.

I am wondering if he may have voiced his pre-existing system using amplification, cables etc,to cater for something that had been over bright and that the new circumstances result in what he reports ? Still, if it isn’t yet burned in?

The combination of Apex and dull has been reported here before:

Thx @Ermos. I had seen this and looked for it but could not find it.

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FWIW, also reported is a combination of break-in and dull:


@PaleRider - would you mind commenting on your impressions? Thx.

These are always difficult questions to answer. If I go back to my initial impressions of my Vivaldi APEX update I was very happy. More weight, better definition of instruments in space etc. i was expecting things to get even better with some break-in hours. Well, as I put more hours on the unit the less I seemed to hear that additional weight. I was less impressed by the update.

I have always believed that we often like change for change sake. We get used to our set-ups and when we insert something new it sounds different because we haven’t allowed our ears to block out nuances yet.

Ai least in my case my hearing memory sucks I now only worry about what I am hearing now, not trying to remember what something sounded like 4 months ago.

All I can say is I like what I hear everyday.

That’s the most important thing. We definitely get used to the sound over time.

In my case, I had Rossini in the same system for 5 years, 3 years of those with v2.0 software (which made a big diff). So even though I am not an aural memory savant, its sonic signature was recorded in my head. I hear a large difference, improvements all, with the update. Much more so than v1.0 → v2.0. My Rossini now has about a month of continuous play, so more than 700 hours. I would not expect it to evolve any longer.

Just few days ago I completed the up grade of my full Vivaldi system to Apex. Initially, as I mentioned to Miguel, the sound was poor, a muffled and pasty sound, also a closed sound stage, was disaster and desespérate situation. But, when my dealer changed to Apex, also changed the internal battery and all configuration were modified. Today my dealer adjusted all configuration again and … the sound was impressive.
What I can say is : 1. I am very happy with Apex, 2. I feel different tonal balance now, I can feel more emphasis in mid and bass extension, 3. the sound is more real, maybe less impressive than before but more real balanced sound. 4. The conclusion is : Apex sound is more analog than before… this is my initial impression after to listen just 2 hours…


Dante, what is the “internal battery” you referred to?

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There is no internal battery, or is this a metaphor in your description for something else, and what adjustments did the dealer performed besides settings like mapping and filtering etc etc ?

I think the internal battery might be a button cell used to keep settings in memory possibly?

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This is the changed internal battery.


The M4T28-BR12SH1 SNAPHAT top is a detachable lithium power source. The SNAPHAT top contains both the battery and crystal and is designed to be snapped on after the SOIC is surface mounted on the PC board. Thus the two piece solution prevents the battery and crystal from being exposed to the high temperatures of the surface mount process.

  • Provides battery backup power for non volatile TIMEKEEPER and supervisor devices
  • Removable battery avoids heat associated with surface mount process
  • Snaps directly onto surface mounted SNAPHAT SOIC
  • Battery capacity: 48mAh
  • Keyed insertion to ensure proper assembly
  • Removable for replacement and proper disposal


Clock & Timing, Consumer Electronics, Embedded Design & Development, Portable Devices


Here you can see it in the Vivaldi Clock (middle, right).


Some quick notes:

  1. the upgrade is more demanding from ancillaries, especially the foundation of a HiFi system: (i) power cables and (ii) vibration/resonance control; disappointing performance might be the result of the upgrade being more “revelatory”, less “forgiving”
  2. I listen almost exclusively to classical (live and at home); until I upgraded to Vivaldi Apex, I seldom listened to cd/sacd, preferring by far analogue (and of course live!); my Vivaldi stack (transport/DAC/clock) lacked naturalness, flow, air, note decay… musical emotion? After much experimentation, I finally found an unhappy compromise of maps/filters/clock settings that seemed to work… most of the time (highly source dependent, which irritates after a while)
  3. Upgrading to Apex seemed a step in the wrong direction; after burn-in of abt 100 hrs, things improved but not dramatically
  4. After burn-in AND reverting to map1/filter 1/ 44.1khz + no jitter AND installing
    Nordost QPoint under transport & DAC, magic happened; the promise of sacd (and to a great extent cd!) was finally fulfilled; the system is now on par with analogue: exceptional, effortlessly conveying all the artists’ emotions and intentions

Please note that my system (i) is loomed with Nordost Odin (ii) sits on a suspended rack where each piece of equipment is perched on Nordost TC Kones on a sound-dead A Capella base. Such ancillaries - which do not degrade with time - are very much worthwhile, especially if bought second-hand (I suspect alternatives from other brands work equally well, but I have no experience)

Post a pic of your system.

Just last week I upgraded from the Bartok to a new APEX Rossini (I already had the Rossini clock on the Bartok). And just after a few hours, still on the first day of use, it was already sounding vastly better than Bartok 2.0. Absolutely the diametrical opposite of “dull”. More refined, certainly. Digital glare and/or harshness pretty much nonexistent (recording dependant of course).

I would describe the APEX sound as vibrant, yet somehow with a touching intimacy. Plus an all-embracing sense of space around the performers, especially depth.

Loving it. For me, at any rate, no need for fancy power cords or isolators.

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It reminds me a demo I attended the last week-end…
Some sort of stabilisers…8 in total, put in different places in the listening room…what do they do ? It is where things become interesting :laughing:
Actually these stabiliser hold some water inside, and this water calm down the water molecule in the air. As the water molecule are connected to each other ( as you all know :scream:), these stabiliser can calm down water molecules everywhere in the room :joy:.
As a result the magic happened…accordingly to the guy doing the demo…for me and for all the people in the room at that time…well…nothing happened !!!

In the case you mention Nordost accessory transformed a boring Vivaldi sytem in something magical…well…I guess dCS should put one or two of these accessories in the box when they deliver their systems, it should not double the price. :laughing:


I´m using Wilson Alexx, Krell Evo 1 & 2, dcs Vivaldi system with 2 Transparent Opus Power Isolators for dcs gears. Also I´m using Transparent XL Power Isolator for Evo 2 Pre amplifiers. Also own Oppo 205. This system is also connected to Audio Note M6 Phono Pre amp for analog signal.

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