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Vivaldi DAC

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Vivaldi DAC uses the latest groundbreaking dCS technology including ‘next generation’ versions of the dCS Ring DAC™, Digital Processing Platform and Clocking System so that, as the hub of a digital audio system, an array of features guarantees superlative performance from any digital source.

Vivaldi DAC features standard AES3, Dual AES, SDIF-2 and S/PDIF inputs in addition to an asynchronous USB 2.0 interface. The enhanced digital volume control allows direct connection to a power amplifier so that in the majority of systems there is no need for a separate preamplifier. Maximum output can be set any one of four levels to suit different amplifier and speaker combinations.

The unique design of the legendary dCS Ring DAC™ combines exceptional linearity with very high speed operation enabling it to deliver true 24-bit performance even at low signal levels. The latest generation of our proprietary Ring DAC™ incorporates a number of important technical advances that have resulted in enhanced dynamic range, reduced jitter, improved channel separation and greatly improved musical realism. The new double-speed mapping feature adds even more delicacy, emotion and presence to this award-winning design.

The powerful digital processing platform of Vivaldi DAC is based around Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chips, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) chips and a microcontroller system. All use code developed and maintained in the UK by dCS. Offering twice the logic capacity of previous generations, Vivaldi DAC is the current state-of-the-art in digital audio, delivering unmatched sonic and measured performance.

dCS pioneered the use of external clocks in digital audio systems, and the redesigned multi-stage Phase-Locked-Loop (PLL) system used in Vivaldi DAC sets world-beating standards for accuracy and control of troublesome jitter from the incoming audio stream.

Featuring a completely new interface designed to handle all high resolution musical formats up to DXD (24-bit data at 352.8 and 384kS/s) plus DSD/64 or DSD/128, the optimised DSP filters available to Vivaldi DAC owners will ensure you can extract every last nuance of musical detail and emotion by tuning the system to suit your personal preference.

The dCS ‘soft’ approach to programmable logic makes it extremely easy for users to update Vivaldi DAC software, whether adding new features, installing performance upgrades or adapting to changes in digital formats.

Used as a standalone DAC or as part of a complete Vivaldi digital audio playback system Vivaldi DAC gives a performance of effortless realism each and every time.

Key Features

  • Utilises the latest generation dCS Digital Processing Platform for state-of-the-art measured performance and unrivalled fidelity.
  • Designed for maximum flexibility by accepting audio data from a variety of digital sources.
  • Flexible output configuration can be optimised in systems with or without preamplifiers.
  • Comprehensive clocking architecture plus an auto-clocking mode used in the Vivaldi range improves ease-of-use and minimises jitter.
  • USB interface allows easy connection to a computer, accepting PCM data at up to 24/384 and DoP (DSD/64 or DSD/128 over PCM).
  • The interface runs in asynchronous USB mode, making the DAC immune to jitter from noisy computer master clocks.
  • Improved power supplies give lower running temperature and superior tolerance to AC supply variations.
  • Multi-stage regulation ensures sensitive analogue circuitry is unaffected by digital interference.
  • Separate power circuits for the digital and analogue sections further enhance the purity of the power supply.
  • Aerospace-grade machined aluminium chassis fitted with tuned acoustic damping panels reduces magnetic effects and vibration.
  • Features a full MQA™ decoder. This MQA™ implementation is unique, as it is the first opportunity to enable a DAC which, by providing exact rendering to beyond 16x (768 kHz), matches the desired temporal response with very low modulation noise.


Technical Specifications


  • type

    Digital-to-Analogue Converter.

  • colour

    Silver or Black.

  • dimensions

    444mm/17.5” x 435mm/17.2” x 151mm/6.0” high. Allow extra depth for cable connectors. Allow space for air flow around the unit.

  • weight


  • converter type

    dCS proprietary Ring DAC™ topology, with a choice of 3MHz or 6MHz operation.

  • analogue outputs

    Output Levels: 0.2V, 0.6V, 2V or 6V rms on all outputs for a full-scale input, set in the menu.
    Balanced Outputs: 1 stereo pair on 2x 3-pin male XLR connectors (pin 2 = hot, pin 3 = cold). These outputs are electronically balanced and floating, the signal balance ratio at 1kHz is better than 40dB, Output impedance is 3Ω, maximum load is 600Ω (a 10kΩ-100kΩ load is recommended).
    Unbalanced Outputs: 1 stereo pair on 2x RCA Phono connectors. Output impedance is 52Ω, maximum load is 600Ω (a 10kΩ-100kΩ load is recommended).

  • digital inputs

    USB 2.0 interface on a type B connector. Operates in asynchronous mode, will accept PCM data up to 24 bits at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8, 384 kS/s and DoP (DSD/64 or DSD/128 over PCM) in USB Audio Class 2 mode, can operate in Class 1.
    4x AES/EBU on 3-pin female XLR connectors. Each will accept up to 24 bit PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192kS/s & DoP/64 OR 2x Dual AES pairs at 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8, 384kS/s & DoP/64, DoP/128 plus dCS encrypted DSD.
    3x SPDIF on 2x RCA Phono and 1x BNC connectors. Each will accept up to 24 bit PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192kS/s & DoP.
    1x SPDIF optical on a Toslink connector, will accept up to 24 bit PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2 & 96kS/s.
    1x SDIF-2 interface on 2x BNC connectors, will accept up to 24 bit PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2 & 96kS/s or SDIF-2 DSD (auto-selected). This interface requires a compatible Word Clock input, locked to the data rate.

  • Wordclock I/Oworldclock io

    3x Word Clock inputs on 3x BNC connectors, accept standard Word Clock at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192kHz. The data rate can be the same as the clock rate or an exact multiple (0.25x, 0.5x, 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x) of the clock rate. Sensitive to TTL levels.
    Word Clock output on 1x BNC connector. In Master mode, a TTL-compatible 44.1kHz Word Clock is available. In Universal Master Mode a 38.4kHz Word Clock is available for use with the Vivaldi Upsampler.

  • residual noise

    Better than -113dB0 @ 20Hz-20kHz unweighted (6V Setting).

  • l r crosstalk

    Better than -115dB0, 20-20kHz.

  • spurious responses

    Better than -105dB0 @ 20-20kHz.

  • filters

    PCM mode: 4 filters give different trade-offs between the Nyquist image rejection and the phase response. 2 extra filters are available at 44.1, 176.4, 192, 352.8 and 384kS/s. DSD mode: 4 filters progressively reduce out-of-audio band noise level (inherent in the 1 bit nature of DSD), plus Filter 5 which has an improved transient response.

  • software updates

    Loaded from CD-R via PCM inputs or PC via USB interface.

  • local control

    dCS Premium Remote is supplied as standard. RS232 (controlled by the Vivaldi Upsampler / app or a third party device).

  • power supply

    Factory set for 100, 115, 220 or 230V AC, 50-60Hz.

  • power consumption

    23 Watts typical/50 Watts maximum.


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    dCS Vivaldi ONE at Werner Music

    Hifi Live Magazine by Ramón Ger

    Read the full article here.

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    The Absolute Sound – dCS Vivaldi Version 2.0

    Review by Jacob Heilbrunn

    “the dCS conveyed it with a sense of weight and gravity, majesty and grandeur that I had not heretofore experienced, apart from a live performance”

    Read the full review

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    The Audio Beat – dCS Vivaldi 2.0

    Review by Marc Mickelson

    . . . the most versatile digital system I’ve used and also — by far — the most sonically complete.

    Read the full review.




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    dCS Vivaldi 2.0 digital replay system – Equipment Review

    HiFi+ , November 2016

    Review by Chris Thomas

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    Vivaldi y Rossini: de nuevo la magia de dCS

    Pocas marcas han sabido hilar tan fino a la hora de dotar de “alma” al audio digital doméstico
    como la británica dCS. ¿El motivo? Un dominio de la tecnología “pro” más avanzada cuya expresión
    más reciente la encontramos en el modelo Rossini, presentado en sociedad en el icónico loft de la
    barcelonesa Werner.

    Por Salvador Dangla

    AV Premium

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    dCS Vivaldi – System Review

    HiFiLive Magazine (available in Spanish and English)

    Review by Miguel Castro

    Read the review online

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    dCS Vivaldi DAC Review

    Ultra High End Review, June 2014

    Review by Frank Berryman

    Read the review online

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    dCS Vivaldi Digital Playback System – Equipment Review

    Stereophile, January 2014

    Review by Michael Fremer

    Read the review online

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    dCS Vivaldi System Review – Part 1&2

    HiFi Plus Issue 104 & 105,  November 2013

    Review by Chris Thomas

    Read the review online

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    Ne Plus Ultra – dCS Vivaldi Digital Playback System

    The Absolute Sound Issue 233, May 2013

    Review by Robert Harley

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    Vivaldi Sings – dCS Vivaldi Digital Playback System

    HiFi News Vol85 No.02, February 2013

    Review by Paul Miller



This is the support section for dCS Vivaldi Digital Playback System.   If you cannot find what you need please try the Support section or Contact Us.

  • Mosaic 1.1.1 Release Notes

  • Mosaic 1.0.2 Release Notes

  • User Manual – Vivaldi DAC V01

    Control software v2.1x, Mosaic Control supported

  • Mosaic 1.0.1 Release Notes

  • Windows USB Class 2 Driver 2018

    Compatible with Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7.

  • Vivaldi DAC and Upsampler Release notes

  • User Manual – Vivaldi App v2.0x

    Control app for Vivaldi Upsampler v1.20 with Network firmware v63.

  • Menu Guide – Vivaldi Digital Playback System v2.0

  • Vivaldi Transport v2.03 Update Instructions

  • dCS Vivaldi-Nevo Q50 Remote Config 3v00

  • Remote Control Codes

    Last updated 11 Feb 2016.

  • Product Datasheet – Vivaldi DAC

    Software v2.0x



    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      HiFi+ – Network Player of the Year 2016

      Dec 2016

    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      Jan 2014

    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      The Absolute Sound – Product of the Year 2013

      Jun 2013

    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      HiFi Review Hong Kong – Product of the Year 2012

      Dec 2012

    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      Stereo Sound Japan – Golden Sound Award 2012

      Dec 2012

    Others in the Vivaldi range