To all dCS Puccini owners : sharing of experience

This is for all Puccini owners who wish to share their personal experience. For starters, I would like to say that it is the best digital I have had in my system(+Bryston 28B SST monoblocks driven direct + Vienna Acoustics The Music). I used to own Meridian, Mark Levinson, dCS Delius+Purcell, MBL, EMM Labs CDSA SE in that chronological order and now Puccini+U-clock.
I find that sometimes upconversion to DSD does not sound as it should until I go the Menu -> Setup -> PCM first then switch to DSD. I do this every time I switch on from totally OFF. Then, DSD sounds "right". Any thoughts?
No thoughts about your menu exercise, but I went from a ML390S to a P8i to a Puccini and I agree, best digital I've ever had in my system. The rest is a Nagra PLL, Ayre MX-Rs, Watt Puppy 7 all cabled w/ Golden Reference w/ Shunyata Power cords, Hydras, etc..
Hi Lenny,
Have you experimented with the Puccini direct to the Ayre MX-Rs bypassing the Nagra pre-amp? You may want to try it and tell us your preference.
I used to have an ARC Ref 3 pre-amp but bypassing it altogether enhanced clarity, transparency and resolution of the system. Having said that, there is the other camp that says that an analogue pre-amp fleshes out the sound with more dimensionality and a wider, deeper soundstage. I guess it is the type of pre-amp that would make the difference. The ARC made it sound worse.
Jon, can't help observing that you are likely another Die Muzick lover. . . I am using Mahler 1.5 right now. . . but might be able to migrate to the awesome Muzick by year end. . . never heard speakers that I love better than Vienna Die Muzick. The rest of my system is different from yours. . . TEAC Esoteric X-01 Limited CDp, Rowland Criterion pre, Rowland Model 312 amp. X-01 not having variable output, running without a pre is not an option. . . used to use ARC ref 3, but is very subtractive compared to the pres I used after it. . . Rowland Capri, and even more so Criterion. Difficult to say of course what the effect of any of my pres would be on your system. . . synergistic. . . or just introducing problems. Guido
Yes, I am an ecstatic lover of Die Muzick. Best speakers I have had in my system. They will keep anyone happy for many, many years to come. Cables are Kimber Select for analog interconnects and Tara Labs for speakers, and Shunyata power cords for the amps, MIT and Synergistic Research power cords and Hydra for the digital components.
Here's wishing that you get to experience Die Muzick in your home sooner than year end.
Cheers! Jon.
I have. I don't believe the Puccini's volume control is analog, therefore, attenuation is achieved in the digital domain which means you lose resolution. My experience with every one of my players has been that they sound better via a pre-amp.
Hi John. . . my secret hope is your good wishes about my speedier conversion to Muzick can come true (trins). . . by the way I am also a great fan of Shunyata PCs, particularly the newest King Cobra CXs. . . there is some awesomeness to them.

About your observation. . .

"I find that sometimes upconversion to DSD does not sound as it should until I go the Menu -> Setup -> PCM first then switch to DSD."

This is very interesting, and may indicate that the procedure activates a particular signal processing path not available any other way in the user interface. It may be worth while you contacting the DCS importer, or DCS UK even better. . . they might be able to create a direct shortcut to the option in a future UI firmware refresh.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It's true that with every 6dB of digital volume attenuation, there is a loss of 1 bit in resolution. But somehow with my system synergy(and maybe sheer luck), the volume is usually set at less than -6bB attenauation and it sounds great, better than through the ARC. It would appear that the Nagra does a better job as a pre-amp than the ARC.

I have emailed dCS to which they have promptly replied about a firmware update. The version I got is the latest (just purchased mine in Feb this year)and they also provided me with a key to unlock the upsampling option to DSD for the RCA inputs. My experience with the upsampling path may mean that if you power OFF, you may need to go through PCM first, then to DSD, even if you left it at DSD upsampling before switching OFF. If the unit is awakened from SLEEP, the DSD upsampling remains as is. Try this and let us know if this is the same for you too.
Your take on the King Cobras sounds tempting...hmmm. May give them a try one day. And again, may Die Muzick sing in your home soon! Viva le music! :)
i have now the brand new dcs debussy + u clock (after the puccini + u clock..)with mac server.
in my opinion this is a really great sounding device.. probabily slightly better even then the Puccini!
I use it direcly with the arc 600.. truly fantastic sound!!
Congrats on getting the new Debussy. Tell us how you connect your Mac server to the Debussy - USB or toslink? - and how you configure the Mac and itunes, and are you using Apple TV? I am thinking of doing the same with my Mac. Thanks in advance.

My apologies. You have the Esoteric front end, not the Puccini. My bad - what was I thinking? That's what happens when you get too intoxicated by music, dead drunk, that I am!
jon, I use the usb (furutech gt2 cable).. I think this is the better option.
For 192/24 there is a double spdif, and I need also a Lynx16 board or a Rme to install in the mac.( I try to understand witch of this sound's better..) I actually use pure music/amarra mini, since i-tunes doesn't sound so good... imho
Thanks, Alexis, that's a lot of hardware. May try it one day when I have the time.
Alex - Could clarify something for me.

I thought the Debussy took 24/192 on AES/EBU only....

Maybe I am misinterpreting but I take double spdif mean either RCA or AES
"That's what happens when you get too intoxicated by music,
dead drunk, that I am!"

[Hickup!. . . a little slurred. . .] Ill drink to that! G.
Jon2020 congrats on your new player.
Some tips are to use a good power cord [I use Jorma Design Prime or Stealth Dream] and good anti-vibration system or a rack I can propose Marigo labs mystery feet or place it in a rack like finite elemente's flagship and then it will sing even more.
Referencing Jon's comments I use a Shunyata Anaconda VX as a power cord and it's placed on a Gran Prix Audio Monaco rack. The power cord makes a big difference.
Thanks for the suggestions. I currently use Harmonix feet under both the Puccini and U-clock, and they do sing with these. As for power cords, I will try to get them for a home demo first. Cheers!
Harmonix feet are also very good I had very good results with them.

So try some power cords but first let it burn-in for some 500hrs or more.
500 hours burn-in for the Puccini? Well, I am barely halfway there now. This is going to be a more exciting ride than I thought. Looking very much forward to further improvement in the sound as I gradually get to 500. Tell us what you have heard improve along the way - soundstage, timbre, bass, midrange, treble, etc....
the esoteric transport needs hrs to "open"
basically is the flow of music that is blooming and this flow and life is the big difference from other similar digital products
I replaced my old MIT power cords with the PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 as I find it to be more bang for the buck than the twice as expensive Shunyata Anaconda CRZ(VX discontinued). It is 8-Gauge pure crystalline copper and it sounds great. You are so right about power cords making a big difference. Thanks for the advice. Cheers!
As per my last post, thanks for the advice too about the power cord. The Jorma is not available where I live. Cheers!
If yo're in Singapore there is one dealer listed there

why don;t you give it a try ?
strt with Super power and if you can also listn to Prime.
Thanks for the heads-up. Would you get the same level power cords for both the Puccini and U-clock, or just the Puccini? In other words, how would you prioritise - Puccini first, then U-clock or the other way around?
Puccini first.
But the funny thing and unpleasant for the pocket is that Uclock when feeded with same power cord with player the performance is optimum.
I guess any dealer could lend you 2 identical pcords to test it.
Looks like I have to go with 2 power cords of the same grade, which means more dollars out of the wallet but I guess it would be worth it. will keep you posted.
Jon2020, in general, if you ever use a Shunyata wire on Puccini, I suggest you do not adopt a VX variant. . . VX contains pellets of a FeSi filtering compound. . . it is meant to shield the system from incoming and outgoing stray high frequencies. It is my understanding that the series was developed when a lot of CDPs were supersensitive to grunge, and in turn tended to inject grunge back into the AC. Outwardly, VX does have a smoothing effect, but at least on my TEAC Esoteric X-01 Limited, it tends to lacquer away extremely fine detail, and paradoxically introduces some minor hardness in the mid treble. Puccini being in the same league as X-01 is likely to experience the same issue. The Shunyata Alpha variants and the recent CX series have no FeSi filtering and do not cause any loss of fine detail. . . on the contrary, CX is uber-scrumptious! G.
Thanks to all for your input. I shall try to get samples from Shunyata and Jorma for a home comparison with the PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 that I have just purchased. At the moment, I am extremely happy with the AC-12. The sound is beginning to bloom with more and more hours of burn-in. Will keep you guys posted.
I tried something new with the Harmonix feet today. Well, I have 2 sets of them with each set comprising 4 pieces. When the Puccini and U-clock arrived, I had to retire 2 pieces as these 2 components have only 3 footers each. But my hands got itchy today and I tried placing 1 Harmonix foot(inverted, base down) on the top centre of each of these 2 components and lo and behold!..... Instruments gain body, weight, airiness while decay of notes sounds more natural. Go figure.......
which harmonix modell you have?
The Harmonix SYN 100. Since they cost me an arm and a leg, It would be a pity to not use all of them. So there, the 4th piece sitting pretty on the source components and all is good!
Kind of off topic but do Puccini owners prefer balanced or unbalanced connections? Haven't seen this mentioned anywhere.
Interesting question.... I run the Puccini balanced directly to my Bryston 28B SST monoblocks. The balanced circuit is recommended for these amps as they are designed from the ground up as such for optimal performance. I may be wrong but I am guessing it is the same for the Puccini. I haven't made an A/B with single-ended connections because I don't have the same grade interconnects for comparison. I use Kimber Kable Select 1130 XLR interconnects and won't pay for the SE equivalent to find out if they are better and then re-sell them if they are not. If you can get home demo cables for comparison, do let us know the result. Any component that is designed truly balanced from the ground up and recommended by the designer to be played as such should probably sound better balanced.
I use both with 2 different interconnects and have 2 sounds at the same time.
Some times depending on the cable one cable favors more a music genre than the other.
[so you can have one for Rock material and one for the rest].

Of course Puccini is a fully balanced design.
Something interesting happened today. That's what I like about this hobby-there's always some new experience to share. After about 6 months enjoying the sound from the Puccini/U-clock, I start to feel that the presentation is becoming a little less involving- a little less musical with less toe-tapping and head-bobbing. So, I tried an experiment.
I switched off the U-clock to sort of reset things as I have never switched it off since Day 1. When I switched it off, I felt the sound did not change very much which means that the U-clock wasn't making much of a difference to the sound. Then I switched it on again and lo and behold!... The sound improved in every way to another level as it should and I began to start bobbing my head and tapping my toes again just as I did at the very beginning.
It would seem that switching the U-clock on and off somehow reset the internal circuits in such a way that the performance of the clock was re-optimised. That is only my theory. Any thoughts from anyone?
Yes, my theory Jon2020 is that you are hearing things that aren't there.
Good theory, Violin, as all theories should be.
interesting theory on the u clock. i'll try it and post back...i assume it's a computer so rebooting ocassionally is a good idea :)
Nice to know you are willing to experiment a bit - that's what this hobby is all about. Happy listening!
Well I just turned off my uclock for about 30 seconds (via rear panel switch). Then back on. Hmm, seems more swiching between the filters.

I'll try this again in a few week and report back....interesting
The naysayers may be negative about anything but it is not based on evidence from a truly personal listening experience. The best way to enjoy this hobby is to have an open mind about everything. Cheers!
Yes, fair enough, Jon!
I experimented a lot with the power cables on my system. I found a strange thing-when I reverses the DCS Puccini power cord L with N, my system started to sound in completely different level (in a good way). This is the opposite connection than specified by the manufacturer. It seems that Pucinni U-Clock also works better with inverted power connection. I am using Lessloss DFPC Signature power cables. I want to know about your experiences..Sorry to those who will not be able to sleep without a test :)
possible due to power phrase difference on uk device with us cable?
Vytas123 do yourself a favor and test a better power cord for your puccini player.
The one you use is throwing your digital at least 1-2 classes.
Kop,I agree with you that can be used better cables. This does not change the fact itself. I want to pay attention to the fact that the difference is audible even with a stock power cord.
may I get your advice which power cord should fit U-clock if my Puccini player has been feed with Stealth Dream v10? I simply cannot afforad a duplicate v10 combination. thanks a lot.
I just got a good silver USB cable from Oyaide to set up music via the U-clock's USB input. Using my laptop running Windows 7, setting things up wasn't as formidable as I feared it would be. I have downloaded the JRiver media player and a sample of 96/24 flac files from the HDTracks website. Compared with native Redbook, 96/24 is indeed way better. But 44/16 played back through USB is no where near the CD sound from the Puccini. I would be happy to hear from those who have compared the sound from the USB input of the U-clock with the Puccini to that of other USB-based systems.
Well, I have learnt a few unfortunate things about USB-based audio via the U-clock.
1) There is no support for the WASAPI driver which gives the best sound from a PC
2) The Puccini and U-clock do not support 192/24 files
3) For WASAPI and 192/24 support, the U-clock needs both hardware and software upgrade which is chargeable(unit needs to be shipped back to UK)
4) It would be easier to go through a Mac which with PureMusic software will let you play files up to 96/24 without need for the WASAPI upgrade
5) However,192/24 files will still need the hardware and software upgrade
Any thoughts from anyone?
then please yourself upgrade to 192k support as it is worthy enough. after the upgrade, i have found the entire analytical power even playing red book cd is better.....