dCS Rossini Owners - sonic differences with and without the clock


Hi,

I'm two weeks into owning a dCS Rossini DAC, and still very much adjusting to how music is now presented by my Hifi, when compared to my previous DAC.

Curiosity is getting the better of me, and was wondering if any Rossini owners could please share their experiences of adding the Rossini Clock?

I've read all the reviews available from the Hifi mags, Sterophile, AudioStream, and so on, but wanted to get an impression from actual owners of the perceived sonic differences, and how the overall sound changes by adding the clock.
Many thanks!
thefeatherduster
@thefeatherduster said:
...and still very much adjusting to how music is now presented by my Hifi, when compared to my previous DAC. 
Adjusting to better sound or worse sound in your opinion? What was your previous DAC? 

As for external word clocks, I tend to believe the objective reviews over the subjective reviews, and therefore don’t think they add anything audible to an already well-designed DAC.

Case in point: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/auralic-leo-gx-dac-clock-review.11001/

Mytek basically says that their internal clock is the same as the external clocks only with less jitter due to the lack of a long connector. The reason for the clocks is in their view to synchronize multiple digital devices.

The measured jitter performance of a Mytek is practically the same as the dCS Bartock. Also, read what dCS says here:

https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/reviews/dcs-bartok-review-r849/

I quoteth thus:

We began to employ external master clocks due to our experience in the pro arena, where there are generally numerous clocks running simultaneously, thereby making their use mandatory; though our engineers questioned their efficacy in relatively closed consumer systems,

Which is all very scientific and proper, and then they wax poetically:

here is both objective/measured and subjective/listening evidence that they can have a profound effect on the sound
.

He doesn’t say it improves the clocking. So, have at it if you have the cash. It’s quite possible if there is a change it’s not a good one.
Thanks for the link - some pretty strong opinions on that thread!

The presentation is very different to my previous DAC, the Invicta Mirus Pro, which uses the ESS Sabre 9028 PRO chipset. The Mirus was possibly slightly more relaxed in it’s presentation, and a touch warmer. An incredibly musical and fatigue-free sound. I’m almost wishing I hadn’t sold it to be honest.

The Rossini however is one of the most revealing sources I’ve ever heard. The first week or so literally had me questioning why it was highlighting certain parts of tracks and albums that I know inside out. It has a very natural touch with instruments and vocals, in a very non-digital kind of way. I would describe it as slightly more forward in it’s presentation overall.
Which is all very scientific and proper, and then they wax poetically:

here is both objective/measured and subjective/listening evidence that they can have a profound effect on the sound
.

He doesn’t say it improves the clocking. So, have at it if you have the cash. It’s quite possible if there is a change it’s not a good one.
That's DCS literally shooting themselves in the foot, by effectively saying that you may/may not hear any differences whatsover!
literally shooting themselves in the foot

That means it actually happened, that they took a gun and put a bullet in their foot, don't you mean figuratively?

I see the comments so far have nothing to do with your request for actual user experiences, just the usual people who chime in based on what they have read elsewhere. The usual crowd who pontificate that something is or isn't worthwhile because they read a review somewhere stating that. Case in point

I tend to believe the objective reviews over the subjective reviews, and therefore don’t think they add anything audible to an already well-designed DAC.

Another way to say that is, "I don't have any actual experience with any of this so I'll just regurgitate what I read in a review. "

As for the Audio Science reviews, the guy obviously goes into them with the objective of proving what he believes to be true going in. 

I do own both and listen to them daily for extended periods. It is by far the most musical, natural sounding DAC I have heard, and as you say revealing.Better than the PS Audio Directstream or Naim NDX with external supply I've had recently. . , although my experience is early on, I would say there is a benefit to the external clock. It doesn't change the overall sound of the DAC, just makes things a bit more relaxed, a bit more transparent. At this level you are not going to get night and day as the DAC is so good by itself it would be silly to think it could be made that much better, but it is better. 

My question is, would you get the same benefit with something like an Antelope Audio OCX that does the same thing for about 1/5 the $$.

thefeatherduster

Auralic LEO GX DAC Clock Review
From Audio Science Review and Measurements
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/auralic-leo-gx-dac-clock-review.11001/

Listening Tests
I played through a few of my reference files and I was shocked to hear a bit more detail. There was more air between instruments. The bass was ever so slightly quicker. I don’t think I have ever heard a DAC sound this good before!
Of course, none of that happened. The DAC sounded just as good as it did yesterday without the external clock. I did not try to time the tracks to see if they finish more on time so maybe they did.

Cheers George
right George, that’s a quote from the same review posted in the first response. And your point is ???? The OP asked for input from people who have used a particular DAC with a particular clock and the responses are about something else. How is that relevant?

It’s no different than asking if Jiffy peanut butter is good and the response you get is that Peter Pan isn’t good with the implication that Jiffy must not be either.

so your conclusion is that since the reviewer found no difference when using a different DAC with a different clock that the DAC and clock being asked about will give the same result? From what I've seen of that web site if the guy can't measure it then he can't hear it. I don't think it works that way but many do. 


No offense to Peter Pan lovers intended, just an example.





I just auditioned a Rossini with and without the clock this past weekend and quite frankly I don't believe dCS should allow the Rossini to be sold without the clock. 
The clock literally makes a night and day difference. You could pull random people off the street and turn the clock off and on and they would be able to hear the difference in sound stage depth and presentation. It's not at all subtle.

I've heard a lot of DACs before, and without the clock the Rossini is just kind of "good." There are many others at lower price points that sound just as good.

With the Rossini clock engaged, the sound becomes transcendent, one of the best I've ever heard.
Shutting the clock back off would just make the soundstage depth collapse, the difference between hearing the studio a singer was in and thinking they were singing in a small sound booth.
What's an "Objective" revew???
I bought a Rossini and clock together.  I first only hooked up the DAC and was floored by the sound so much that I just didn't even bother with the clock and figured I'd get accustomed and then the clock would be a nice upgrade later.  I went from USB input to ethernet on the DAC which was a small improvement but easier and more convenient via ethernet.  When I added the clock I wouldn't call it night and day for me but yes it clearly gives you more of a good thing.  I don't think you want to try the clock unless you are willing to shell out the money for it, once you try you won't want to go back.  But the Rossini is really good alone and if you are enjoying immensely then just keep doing that until you are itching for more and better then get the clock.  
Why dont they just put the better clock in the rossini and charge a little more....not sure why you need good and better clock same company for same dac....let me guess the top of the line dac has option for better yet external clock?
Separate boxes in order to maintain proper temperature control for the clock is part of the reason. I own a Rossini and clock and agree the clock raises the performance of the DAC. I have found the digital BNC cable between the two to be an important link for best SQ.