Rossini DAC/Clock config experience and preferences, please

Parsons

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Apr 1, 2018
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I'm a new dCS Rossini DAC/Rossini Clock owner.

I feel like I dropped them into a decent supporting system (both in front and behind them), and while I'm very pleased with how the Rossini duo already sounds in my system, I'm sure it can still sound better. I have already ordered some pretty decent power cables and BNC clock cables (Shunyata Alpha en route) which I think will contribute to better sound from some experimentation I have done already with stuff I already had in other parts of my system.

Some questions I would love some experienced thoughts on:
  1. Do you have a preferred input for SQ? So far I am preferring reclocked USB slightly over the ethernet input, both of which seemed improved over spdf (RCA). I don't have a source that can support dual-AES, and I had already made significant investments in network switches, bespoke ethernet cabling, and bespoke USB and reclockers, so that may explain why I am liking those inputs the best (so far). Is there an overwhelming stand-out input type from your experience? I don't have a super high-quality AES cable to even try that as a single, as it wasn't the input I preferred in my last 2 DACs...anyone prefer that and think it's worth an investment to try?
  2. Combining the options of Roon, HQPlayer, and the DAC's internal upsampling options, in very early days, I seem to prefer to have HQPlayer output PCM 352.8kHz, then have the dCS upsample to DSD or DSDx2, while preferring Map3 and DSD filter 5. At least in early testing, that combo seems to give me the best air and the least amount of harshness in some male vocals I was picking up at very high volumes. Is there anyone who did extensive listening and has a hard-core preference for any of the zillions of combos that these tools could combine to provide?
I realize answers to these are super subjective and come down to preference and system synergy, but this forum (more than any other) tends to have folks to take the time to test various combinations in search of their preferred sound, so I'd love to know if there are any standout combos I should prioritize to try for myself?

thanks all!

Jay
 

jfrech

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I have a Vivaldi, but my preferences be of interest. I do use Map 3 and DSD filter 5. I tend to upsampled everything I can to DSD x2. But I have not done extensive a-b with DSD vs DSDx2. I just assumed (you know how that goes).

Does your Rossini clock have a dither on feature like the Vivaldi clock? I prefer dither on - more organized sound. Dither off seems more free but I prefer it on.

Have you tried the dCS Mosaic app vs Roon? dCS Mosaic app is my favorite when playing from files. Roon is easier to use...but Mosaic sounds better.

Your cabling improvements will help. And you'll notice it get's a little better after a few weeks of break in. Ditto your dCS hardware. (hopefully you know to leave in standby vs full power off-I rarely power mine off unless going on vacation or something...it's usually on or standby always).

Let us know you're thoughts as you play around more ! Congratulations !
 

Parsons

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Apr 1, 2018
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Thank you so much for that...that's exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for. Interesting that you landed on Map3 and filter 5 as well.

Yeah, the clock has 2 dithers...I will play with both and see if I prefer one, both or none. Thanks for that suggestion...I actually forgot to try those.

I presume my two units are broken in since they were in the showroom and in the dealer's home supposedly, but I do believe in settling in too, and since these were apparently in storage for a while, I plan to keep them on as you suggest.

I did play with the Mosaic app a little, and for files on my hard drive, I did feel like it was a little better than Roon, I would agree with that. But streaming through Qobuz, I actually thought it sounded worse through Mosaic, with both Roon and with HQPlayer.

I'll keep playing and report back.

I am still getting a little bit of a bright feeling, and not as smooth as I might have hoped. I hope the new cabling with help there.
 

jfrech

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I've found my Vivaldi stack takes 2-3 days powered on to sound right. And it's that little bit of brightness that fades away with some hours on the clock. Also, you should try the Hi-Fi tuning Supreme Gold fuses. They don't cost much (maybe $30 each?) and make a nice difference. Another tweak is to try the Cardas AC outlets. And make sure your DAC is on a different circuit than all your computer equipment (reclocker, NAS, etc.)

Another idea is the Transparent Ethernet Isolator. Again not pricey (~$150), you'd have to pry mine from my hands with a crowbar.

Also what is under your dCS DAC and Clock?

Hope this helps
 

Parsons

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Apr 1, 2018
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Ohio
Ahead of my Rossini is as follows:
  • SOTM switch (clocked by Mutec) -> optical -> EtherRegen (clocked by Mutec) -> Antipodes CX -> ethernet -> Antipodes EX -> SOTM usb reclocker (clocked by Mutec) -> USB -> Rossini
  • I've also got a SOTM ethernet cable from the Antipodes EX directly to the Rossini, to ensure the optical isolation from the rest of the network
  • I'm using a series of SOTM ethernet and Sablon ethernet (2020) cables throughout that whole network, as well as SOTM and Sablon clock and USB cables for the signal
I did all of these cable adds, clock adds, etc., in an additive order, and did extensive listening at each change to make sure I was getting improvements. I replaced a lot of cheap ethernet and clock cables and there were significant gains. The Sablon cables were even significant upgrades over their previous versions from a couple of years ago...I have previous USB and ethernet cables from them and the new ones are noticeably better.

I will try the fuses--that's one area I have always intended to try on many of my devices, but have not yet tried.

My dCS are stacked together on some foam/rubber footers, and they're on a dedicated walnut stand on spikes from the lower level/floor.

I do have a dedicated line for the digital side, but i have my entire digital front end on the same Adept Response (Audience) power filter, so maybe I need to get a dedicated power situation just for the DAC.
 

Parsons

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Apr 1, 2018
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@ jfrech

At the risk of taking my own thread off topic, I'm curious as to whether you got to hear the Nagra DACs in your system vs. the Vivaldis? I had a chance to hear the Nagra HD a couple years back when it came out, and I was kind of familiar with the associated equipment...the whole system sounded amazing to me, in spite of some otherwise questionable system components (most notably an Asis touchscreen all-in-one using iTunes direct-feeding USB to the Nagra HD Dac). I heard much of the same equipment weeks later in a different system, but without the Nagra DAC, and a much more dedicated Aurender server, and it sounded mediocre in comparison (again only a few weeks apart). Speakers and amps were the same, maybe even better amps on the mediocre sounding system. I got to listen to my own songs that I am very familiar with in both systems. I chalked it up to the Nagra dac, which may or may not have been the whole difference.

I then had numerous other dealers somewhat secretly telling me I really needed to try the Nagra in whatever system I chose, and then I read about their newest DAC which seems like it might be even better. So I guess in the back of my head, I've always wondered if I should be leaning in more on the Nagra digital side (or all sides?).

Was just curious as I've never heard the Vivaldis (but obviously read how great they are), and you've made a nice investment in other Nagra pieces which have similarly stellar reputations, so just thought I'd ask if you'd compared both?
 

jfrech

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My dealer is a Nagra and dCS dealer. He has the Rossini DAC and Clock as well as the Vivaldi Stack. He did have the HD DAC from Nagra awhile back and said it's seriously very good. But ultimately preferred dCS slightly. The new Nagra HD DAC X may change that equation. My dealer is a Nagra fanatic, has a lot of their gear on display and runs HD pre and HD amps in his personal system. I think at this level on digital, dCS or Nagra is great.
 

Parsons

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Apr 1, 2018
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Thanks so much for that. That actually makes me feel even more confident with my Rossini purchase--and I know they are ALL phenomenal and probably just slightly different flavors of phenomenal.

I had to travel to Phoenix and California from Ohio to hear the Nagra stuff, and I never found a dCS dealer in person, so I am having to find people whose tastes and experiences seem to match mine through their responses in forums--not ideal, but ironically I've made some pretty decent contacts (and now friends) that way.

Really, really appreciate your thoughts--thanks.
 

jfrech

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My dealer is in Austin, Tx (so am I). He carries Nagra, dCS, Rockport, Transparent, Shunyata, Grand Prix Audio and I'm sure more. Happy to connect you two up, he's a wealth of knowledge and just a good guy. He also flies around some, especially for speaker or turnable set ups.
 

Macattack

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Curious how the Alpha Clock 75 is working in your system?
Craig
 

Parsons

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Apr 1, 2018
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It sounds awesome. More nuance, more depth, more dynamics. Love it, thank you!

Just literally dropped in my brand-new Alpha NR power cables to both devices 20 minutes ago as well now. I expect them to take a few days to break in (probably longer, I know) so hopefully with some days of run-in I should be hearing the benefits of those on top of the clock cable.

As suggested, I think the Dac/Clock combo got smoother ahead of these cable changes just by being on a few days, so really looking forward to hearing these at their best shortly...
 

Macattack

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Great to hear! Enjoy in good health.
 

Parsons

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Apr 1, 2018
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I always appreciate a "closing" response from an OP in forums like this to see what they later learned or thought. Accordingly, after a few weeks of owning this thing, I feel like I owe this to future prospective Rossini owners who might stumble onto this thread.

Punchline: This DAC is absolutely amazing, and it gets even better the more you surround it with other really top gear. It responds very well to clean power, cable changes, clocks, and upstream and downstream equipment improvements. It's going to be a very long time and a lot of investment before I could possibly start to feel like this DAC solution is a weaker point in an already significantly wonderful system. After it has had some time to settle in with the right mix of cabling, its VERY hard to find ANYTHING to complain about. It just sounds right...period...and sounds incredible in sounding so RIGHT. It IS a step above many other well-reviewed DACs I have heard or have current access to (albeit at somewhat lower price points, so you could argue that it SHOULD justify the higher pricing).

I'm not going to write a review or even go deep into the comparisons that a buddy and I did for a few hours Saturday night with the Rossini and 6-7 other DACs we had on hand. None of them (new or used) cost more than 1/3 as much as a used Rossini, to be fair. The Rossini as tested included it's external clock, and all other DACs were clocked internally (because they all had to be). We didn't double-blind or even blind-test anything...we just listened to several tracks we both were very familiar with DAC after DAC, and sometimes we would go back to other DACs to make sure we were hearing things consistently a second and sometimes third time.

I should note that my buddy and I are generally skeptical of how much better equipment can be versus other semi-expensive equipment. We tend to think in "flavors" and "preferences" vs. "better" or "not as good." I KNOW my buddy wanted to just hear a little difference in the Rossini over the others, and would want to question whether it was truly that much better, and could justify what I spent (on my behalf!). I was MORE biased because I already dropped over $15K on these things, but even in my head I was prepared to go "yeah, it's a little better, but I don't care enough to justify the price difference...I'll sell it and get something cheaper and put that money somewhere else."

As you probably guessed, the Rossini was, with NO question from either of us, immediately a fair bit ahead of every other DAC we listened to, by a margin that was clear enough to both of us that once you can afford a DAC of this caliber, there is NO going back. It was clear that this single device change (well, two devices with the clock) was a MATERIAL improvement in an already great sounding system. This was clear in a matter of seconds and became more and more clear with every other great DAC we put in...they just weren't anywhere near the same level of awesome.

While all the DACs were great, there were 2-3 other DACs that were outstanding, but even these were a level down from the Rossini that was easy to verbalize with any track we played, on any musical genre. Once you heard the Rossini, as great as the rest of these DACs sounded, they were still compromised in some way. None of them were as detailed, nor as live sounding...that was immediately obvious. And to be clear, that's not to say that these other DACs weren't detailed or live sounding...the Rossini is just at another level (or two). I don't think any came close to being as dynamic--something I thought I understood before I owned the Rossini, but probably never really truly understood. Some were more rolled off on top, and some didn't do bass as well (rolled-off, boomy, bloated or weak). Some sounded dry and somewhat unemotional. We couldn't put ANY of those words on the sound of the Rossini and clock...it did everything well that each of the other DACs might have struggled a little bit with.

My friend has a Concert Fidelity that while being almost a decade old, sold for like $12-14K in it's day, and is still a phenomenal sounding DAC. I've heard it in my system twice now and I LOVE the sound of it. I have a PS Audio DS DSD, and in a previous 2-week comparison, I rated both of these DACs nearly identical in terms of musicality, sound stage, detail, and dynamics. I would have kept whichever one I owned (I owned the PS Audio). Downsides of the Concert Fidelity is that it's funky with its battery behavior (charges itself periodically, and there is a gap in playback while it switches back and forth)...and it was definitely at it's best on battery. If you're an upsampling or DSD girl/guy, then this DAC also isn't for you given it's limited to 192k. I don't care about that as much as I do sound, and the sound was outstanding...I let Roon downsample as needed. Similarly, I've lived with the PS Audio for a couple years now, and I think I got 2 software updates in the meantime. It's a phenomenal sounding DAC that I would hugely recommend to anyone looking in the $3-4K used price range. The third DAC that crept into this level was an older 47 Labs, with sample limits like the CF, and had a really musical sound in spite of maybe being a tad rolled off up top and below. The Chord Hugo 2 (wtih 2Go) and Altmann BYOB, both of which I'm a huge fan (and still am) were in the mix...both are dynamic, but not as smooth and nuanced as the Rossini.

None came even close, in spite of my still loving all the DACs I mentioned. That's how good the Rossini and clock are.

BTW, as a total aside, I'm uber-impressed with the app that comes with the dCS stuff. Truly outstanding, especially when I contrast my experience with it vs. my completely disappointing experience over the same period with my Chord Hugo 2 and 2Go software.

Hearing a DAC at this performance level is something I'm glad I did and I strongly recommend you do as well (especially if skeptical), and the investment was absolutely worth it to me. I'm also very appreciative of this forum for all the real-world advice that is available here...incredibly valuable, so thank you all.
 

jfrech

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Sep 3, 2012
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What a great follow up ! Thanks for posting ! And congratulations !

Curious if you ever played around with the clock dither feature? And which you prefer....
 

cuprone1

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Feb 10, 2013
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I've found my Vivaldi stack takes 2-3 days powered on to sound right. And it's that little bit of brightness that fades away with some hours on the clock. Also, you should try the Hi-Fi tuning Supreme Gold fuses. They don't cost much (maybe $30 each?) and make a nice difference. Another tweak is to try the Cardas AC outlets. And make sure your DAC is on a different circuit than all your computer equipment (reclocker, NAS, etc.)

Another idea is the Transparent Ethernet Isolator. Again not pricey (~$150), you'd have to pry mine from my hands with a crowbar.

Also what is under your dCS DAC and Clock?

Hope this helps
About fuses you are speaking about, are this https://www.analogueseduction.net/fuses/hi-fi-tuning-20mm-x-5mm-internal-fuses-f-gold.html ?
on the actual fuses in the Vivaldi stack ( except transport) there is written T1A 250V. What are corerct fuses I have to buy?
Additionaly I do not understand what is the Transparent Ethernet Isolator. Can you help me please?
Thank You
 

jfrech

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Sep 3, 2012
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I'd go for the step up, Hi Fi tuning supreme fuses. See here: https://www.analogueseduction.net/fuses/hi-fi-tuning-supreme-fuses-5-x-20mm-t.html

The Supreme Copper fuse is a little warmer sounding if you feel a hint of brightness. The fuses will sound good on first install but sound better after a few weeks. On the link I posted those are T Type fuses and order 1A. I just read page 46 of your Rossini owners manual has the exact specs.

The Ethernet Isolator is surge protection on the ethernet in event of say lightning hitting some network wiring. But it also provides a isolated ground for the ethernet cable and I've found it to sound better (surprising how much)
 

Parsons

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2018
87
49
83
Ohio
What a great follow up ! Thanks for posting ! And congratulations !

Curious if you ever played around with the clock dither feature? And which you prefer....

Thanks! I actually have been playing it with the dither "on"...I think I prefer that. I was going to turn it off for a day and see which I prefer. I did end up preferring some different filters after the first few days. I am out of town this weekend but will post back next week.
 

Parsons

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2018
87
49
83
Ohio
I'd go for the step up, Hi Fi tuning supreme fuses. See here: https://www.analogueseduction.net/fuses/hi-fi-tuning-supreme-fuses-5-x-20mm-t.html

The Supreme Copper fuse is a little warmer sounding if you feel a hint of brightness. The fuses will sound good on first install but sound better after a few weeks. On the link I posted those are T Type fuses and order 1A. I just read page 46 of your Rossini owners manual has the exact specs.

The Ethernet Isolator is surge protection on the ethernet in event of say lightning hitting some network wiring. But it also provides a isolated ground for the ethernet cable and I've found it to sound better (surprising how much)

Thank you...I will look into both!
 

MDAguy

Member
Oct 11, 2020
13
5
5
51
Welcome to the Rossini club... I too run a Rossini w/clock ... When I first got it, I had a nice conversation with John Quick (their US Director) and he recommended Map 1 or Map 3, with Filter 1 and DSD Filter 5.. been using Map 1 and that setting since I got it two months ago.

Also, I tend to mostly listen via SPDIF for CD and the onboard streamer the rest of my listening.
 

cuprone1

Well-Known Member
Feb 10, 2013
36
0
238
62
Italy
Vorrei fare il passo avanti, Hi Fi tuning micce supreme. Vedi qui: https://www.analogueseduction.net/fuses/hi-fi-tuning-supreme-fuses-5-x-20mm-t.html

Il fusibile Supreme Copper è un po 'più caldo se senti un accenno di luminosità. I fusibili suoneranno bene alla prima installazione, ma suoneranno meglio dopo alcune settimane. Sul link ho pubblicato quelli sono fusibili di tipo T e l'ordine 1A. Ho appena letto la pagina 46 del manuale del tuo proprietario Rossini ha le specifiche esatte.

L'isolatore Ethernet è una protezione contro le sovratensioni sulla rete Ethernet in caso di fulmini che colpiscono alcuni cavi di rete. Ma fornisce anche una messa a terra isolata per il cavo ethernet e ho scoperto che suona meglio (sorprendente quanto)Hi,
Hi,
Transparent PLUG-IN NETWORK PROTECTOR works only at 110 volts or it has universal voltage ( I am in Italy). Thank You
 

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