Would I benefit by adding a master clock to my Bartok

Okay you guys are great. I have a better understanding now. Let me add a twist and ask about adding an etheregen network switch. I don’t want to discuss the merits of the network switch overall. That switch has a connection for a clock. Would the etheregen get connected to a Rossini clock or this that for a different kind of clock?

The Rossini dac doesn’t offer the headphone amp right? I gotta have the headphone amp.

I too have the Bartok and have considered the Rossini clock, but have pushed out any decisions. I use the headphone amp on the Bartok - and love Expanse - so going the route of the Rossini DAC is not necessarily an option.

Perhaps the Bartok is best thought of as a single device path. If you really want a Rossini or something above that then you may not be a headphone listener, or you can always use an external headphone amp.

In any case, from what I’ve read a lot of Bartok listeners use the headphone output too (and love it). But there’s currently no dCS upgrade path for headphone listeners who want to stick with this scenario (except possibly adding the clock to the Bartok).

From a marketing and product positioning POV perhaps the Bartok will remain the only dCS product with a headphone amp. And I don’t know if it would make sense to make a separate dCS headphone amp to leverage Expanse in other dCS DACs.

Ideally, perhaps, there’s a Bartok clock, but that may not be viable as the Rossini clock would basically be that. Or they add a headphone amp to the Rossini.

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It’s a different kind of clock. Instead of the Rossini clock’s outputs of 44.1K or 48K and multiples thereof an external clock for the Etheregen switch is a 10mHz clock as per a reference clock. The two types are not interchangeable and a 10MHz clock cannot be used as a reference with the Rossini wordclock, only for the Vivaldi one.

There is no headphone amp with Rossini. In the dCS range that option is unique to Bartok.

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You are right I got them mixed up, dCS makes master clocks that outputs a wordclock.

I was as you write referring to a reference clock that you can connect to a Vivaldi clock.

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Ok I’m with you guys now. So, next question, if I’m able to find a used Rossini clock do I need to be concerned about how many hours are on it? Does the crystal wear out over time or use?

The crystals do not exactly wear out but the clock is conditioned and calibrated at the factory. Over time the calibration will drift and eventually the unit may need to be returned to the factory for recalibration. I cannot advise when this may be . The top of the range Vivaldi clock actually generates a warning display when it becomes necessary although this feature is not available with the Rossini clock.

I have been using dCS wordclocks ( three of them) since the early years of this century and have not yet had to return one to the factory for this purpose. NB: As the clocks take time to reach thermal stability from switch on mine have been/are left powered all of the time ( either full on or sleep mode).

So I think you can be fairly confident everything else being equal as at worst it won’t be broken, it just needs recalibration.

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I’ve been looking for a used Rossini clock for the last 4 months in the US and haven’t been able to find one. So a new one is on the horizon.

I see that. I did a quick search too. Nobody wants to sell them. That speaks volumes.

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If one at all would like to get rid of dCS gear, they usually would trade it in at a local dealer, which will sell it used to one of its other customers. It will not appear in the wild easily.

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This might be a shot in the dark here but, will the Paganini Master Clock | dCS work with the Bartok?

Got it, you guys are a wealth of information.

When I was considering buying a used Vivaldi clock I asked dCS how long they lasted before recalibration (hence return to the factory) was required. I think the answer was that they tended to start coming back after 8 years or so, but I assume that number depends a lot on how much use they get. Certainly PAR’s clocks seem to have had very long lives. I had a Paganini clock for about 9 years, and it appeared to be fine when I eventually traded it in.

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OK. Now I want to ask further… I am running a vivaldi transport with a paganini stack. I am clocking all components including my media server from the paganini clock. Am I using this optimally?

For clarification I have not been using three clocks for twenty odd years. Each clock has been succeeded by another. So an average to date of 7 years each ( though in reality only 4 years for the latest).

The Vivaldi transport only requires a single clock at 44.1KHz base as this serves both CD and SACD. So no practical problem involving dual clocks with using a Paganini wordclock. However the version of Paganini wordclock does make a difference in regard to streaming.

There are two versions of Paganini wordclock, one without a USB input and one with. The original Paganini stack has its wordclock input on the upsampler box but this has limited ability to process hi-res formats. The later version with the USB input on the wordclock box ( known as Wordclock 2 ) has the ability to handle a wider range of streamed digital resolutions.

Further to the above each generation of wordclock improves upon its predecessor. Vivaldi wordclock is significantly better than Paganini ( I have owned both). Your question is whether the Paganini clock is optimal with a Vivaldi transport. Sadly it is not.

Thank you. I have the second version. The only streaming that I do is from my own home media server with pag clock, upsampler and dac. It does allow the usb input. I understand that each generation of technology improvement would yield a better end product. I was asking only if I was using my existing equipment to it’s fullest capability in that I could allow the transport to clock itself (I believe) rather than have the paganini clock it. I understand that upgrading each component would yield a better result.

That is actually a slightly different question.

The Wordclock performs two tasks. One is providing a more accurate clock, The second is to synchronise processes when using more then a single digital component. In regard to the latter consideration using the Paganini wordclock to provide a single clock pulse to Vivaldi transport and Paganini DAC and Upsampler rather than letting the Vivaldi transport rely on its own clock may be preferable.

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I too have been wondering how much I would benefit from adding a clock to my system. Honestly, I’m a little afraid of the answer. I just got a Bartok last month, after putting the dealer demo in my system there was no way I could not buy it. My system has never sounded better. I use roon via ethernet connection as a single source. I’ve been reading through these forums and have seen multiple people say Rossini is better than Bartok + Rossini clock. Since the price of Rossini is similar to Bartok + Rossini clock I started to wonder, what is the point of placing a clock with the Bartok. Why bother? Why not just upgrade to Rossini. Why does the Bartok have inputs at all? Can anyone with more experience with dCS comment? I guess I should also add, I did not add the headphone amp to the Bartok. I don’t listen to headphones and never will. So maybe for people who use headphones a clock would make sense? But what about people who just prefer the plain old loudspeaker?

Two years ago I bought Bartók with HP, and half a year later added the Rossini clock, with great SQ improvement as a result. In those days, before the price hike, this combination was significantly more affordable than the Rossini.

Once I have sought out my next headphone setup, I will move to Rossini, trading in my Bartók, and of course keep the Rossini clock. In the meantime I enjoy the improvement to my Bartók setup.

I think you are right in saying that a non-HP Bartók with Rossini clock is less useful pricewise, if you can get a Rossini right away for about the same investment.

But be aware: once you have a Rossini, you will want the clock anyway, later.