dCS Vivaldi digital playback system Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

dCS Vivaldi Upsampling SACD/CD transport: Drawer-loading, dual-laser SACD/CD transport with remote control, PCM outputs, and DXD or encrypted DSD datastream output via dual AES/EBU (XLR). Digital outputs: 3 AES/EBU (XLR), 1 BNC, 1 RCA coaxial S/PDIF; SDIF2, BNC. Word clock In/Out, SUC multipin connector for RS-232 control. Includes BNC and AES/EBU cables.
Dimensions: 17.5" (444mm) W by 7.8" (198mm) H by 17.2" (437mm) D. Weight: 51.1 lbs (23.2kg).
Serial Number of Unit Reviewed: VTT0S21C11D1S079650 (listening), VTT0S21B21D1S019174 (measuring).
Price: $39,999.

dCS Vivaldi DAC: D/A processor with 5-bit, 2.822 or 3.07MS/s oversampled, dCS-patented Ring DAC topology, switchable reconstruction filters, remote control, integral digital volume and balance controls. Inputs: 4 AES/EBU XLR, 2 RCA, 1 BNC, 1 TosLink, SDIF-2 on BNC, USB-B, 3 word clock on BNC . Digital output: word-clock BNC. Analog outputs: XLR balanced, RCA single-ended. Sample rates: 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96kHz on single-wire interfaces and SDIF-2/word-clock input, auto-selected (optical inputs not guaranteed at 96kHz, 176.4kHz, or 192kHz); 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192kHz, DSD, DXD, LPCM at 358.2 and 384kHz on dual AES interface, auto-selected. Frequency responses (filter 1): Fs=32kHz, 10Hz–15kHz, +0.1/–0.5dB; Fs=44.1 or 48kHz, 10Hz–20kHz, ±0.1dB; Fs=88.2 or 96kHz, 10Hz–20kHz, ±0.1dB; Fs=176.4 or 192kHz, 10Hz–20kHz, ±0.1dB; DSD, 10Hz–20kHz, ±0.1dB.
Dimensions: 17.5" (444mm) W by 6" (152mm) H by 17.2" (437mm) D. Weight: 35.65 lbs (16.2kg).
Serial Number of Unit Reviewed: VDC0S21C1C11D1S109659 (listening), VDC0S21B11D1S019202 (measuring).
Price: $34,999.

dCS Vivaldi Master Clock: Class 1, temperature-compensated master clock with dual VCXO. Clock frequencies: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192kHz. Clock accuracy: better than ±1ppm when shipped (guaranteed for 12 months from shipping date), typically ±0.1ppm when shipped and stabilized. Word-clock outputs: 8 in two groups of 4, independently buffered, on 75 ohm BNC connectors. Reference input: external reference input on one 75 ohm BNC connector. Accepts word-clock or AC-coupled signals at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, or 96kHz; or 1, 5, or 10MHz. Lock range: ±300ppm. Start-up time: typically 1 minute to rated accuracy.
Dimensions: 17.5" (444mm) W by 5" (127mm) H by 17.2" (437mm) D. Weight: 29.9 lbs (13.6kg).
Serial Number of Unit Reviewed: VCK0S21B21D1S019183 (listening), VCK0S21B21D1019119 (measuring).
Price: $13,499.

dCS Vivaldi Upsampler: Digital-to-digital processor with switchable upsampling filters (4), upsamples input data to high-sample-rate PCM (up to 192kHz), DSD (1-bit data at 2.822MHz), or DXD (24-bit, 352.8kHz). Inputs: asynchronous USB1, USB2.0, S/PDIF RCA (x2), S/PDIF BNC, S/PDIF TosLink optical, AES3/EBU, word-clock In/Out, SDIF-2 BNC. Outputs: AES/EBU (x2) configurable as single or dual link, S/PDIF RCA, S/PDIF BNC, SDIF-2 BNC.
Dimensions: 17.5" (444mm) W by 5" (127mm) H by 17.2" (437mm) D. Weight: 31.3 lbs (14.2kg).
Serial Number of Unit Reviewed: Not found (listening), VUP0S21B31D1019124 (measuring).
Price: $19,999.

All Four
Finishes: Silver or Black.
System Price: $108,496. Approximate number of dealers: 14. Warranty: 3 years, parts & labor, from date originally shipped from dCS, to original owner only.
Manufacturer: dCS (Data Conversion Systems), Ltd., Unit 1, Buckingway Business Park, Anderson Road, Swavesey, Cambridge CB24 4AE, England, UK. US distributor: dCS America, PO Box 544, 3057 Nutley Street, Fairfax, VA 22031. Tel: (617) 314-9296. Web: www.dcsltd.co.uk.

dCS (Data Conversion Systems), Ltd.
US distributor: dCS America
PO Box 544, 3057 Nutley Street
Fairfax, VA 22031
(617) 314-9296

wozwoz's picture

Nice review ... but one comment caught my eye:

> "dCS has configured the Vivaldi for the discless future"

The discless future???  Hmm .... according to the latest industry figures:


... downloads are already on the way down.

Current industry figures are:

* vinyl is 2% of album sales in the U.S; 

* digital albums == 40.6% of album sales

* the CD is 57.2% 

So, after 13 years of downloads, .... downloads themselves are being eaten up by even lower quality streaming, and physical formats remain dominant. 

In summary: I think dCS will get their bread and butter from selling the hi-rez SACD player here ...  Certainly, if I won the lottery, that's the component I would shoot for.

ashandger's picture

Hello Michael, many thanks for the excellent review....highly informative. Would it be possible for you to expand on the differences between the Vivaldi and the MSB Diamond system in terms of rhythm and pace, microdynamics, intrumental timbres and soundstage perspective (is one row 10 and the other row 30 for example). Look forward to hearing your thoughts. Many thanks, Ash