I have noticed that a significant upgrade is possible, in the areas of bass and soundstage with an external high-grade clock. I have experimented with a Rubidium Antelope clock with the Esoteric and noticed the incredible difference this can make to those two areas. The Vivace has no clock inputs, as you might expect at the price. However I’d be curious to see what an atomic clock could do with the Vivace, in terms of bass and space. I’d hazard a guess that combined with the inherent beauty of the midrange, the result would be something really special. That curiosity alone shows the DAC’s potential.
Moving to some large-scale Tchaikovsky, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as conducted by Solti [Decca], there was again that beautiful patina to the sound. The pizzicato bass notes in the strings were sonorous, but lacked some leading edge incision, the soundstage was less deep, and there was less separation between instruments, when compared to a more high-grade solution. What the Vivace did so well, though, was to bring the life and energy of Solti’s performance out, making the performance compelling to hear.
This is both a highly musical and capable DAC, which would suit in particular a classical listener with smaller speakers. It has real qualities, a beautiful midrange which sings and glows and is enticing to listen to. It can bring music to life, but may not be for someone who wants bass-driven propulsion to their listening. It represents excellent value for money and would be a significant upgrade for someone with an older CD player with a less competent DAC section to it.
Type: Solid-state high-resolution PCM
Digital Inputs: One AES/EBU, three Coaxial, 4 Toslink, and one USB 2.0 (adaptive and asynchronous)
Analogue Outputs: One stereo single‑ended (via RCA jacks), one balanced (via XLR connectors). Both outputs are configurable for fixed or variable level operation.
DAC Resolution/Supported Digital Formats: All PCM from 44.1KHz to 192KHz with word lengths up to 24-bit
Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz, ± 0.5dB
Distortion (THD + Noise): < 0.01%
Output Voltage: 4.5Vrms Analogue Balanced (XLR)
User Interface: Blue Graphic LCD128 × 64 and remote handset
Dimensions (HxWxD): 8x44.5x35cm
Manufacturer: Audio Analogue
Tel: +39 0572 030964
UK Distributor: Decent Audio
Castlegate Mill, Quayside
Stockton on Tees TS18 1BZ
Tel: +44(0)5602 054669