dCS Rossini vs. Berkeley Reference dac 2

Has anyone compared the two?  I have heard the Rossini side-by-side with the Berkeley Ref. dac 1.  Long story short, the Rossini justified its higher price.  I'm now wondering if Berkeley's second try has narrowed the gap? Meanwhile, kudos to both dCS and Berkeley for striving to provide upgradeable products.
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Dear info2rdw,
You have found yourself in a common quandary, I can relate. I have not tried Vivaldi with vs. without preamp, but I have done that experiment many times in the past with other gear and always preferred having a pre in the chain. Opinions on this run the gamut, of course . I am using Ayre Twenty Series gear (not my very favorite but I had a nice opportunity) which is pretty neutral in terms of timbral coloration. With the Berkeley Ref DAC, removing the preamp was slightly more detailed but somehow lacked the full weight and body I heard with pre. As value goes, the preamp gives the least bang for buck of everything on the rack, but now that I have it, it’s going nowhere. Imgoodwithtools, who posted in this thread, drew the opposite conclusion, using the same DAC and amps that I was running! So what gives? I have not heard the Soulution products but I gather they are pretty special and you might miss it if it goes. BTW, I looked at your related posts and I certainly agree with folkfreak, cables and cords will make a bigger difference than pre vs. no pre.

I have a dCS Network Bridge and two Transparent XL digital cables arriving tomorrow and I’m looking forward to hearing the Vivaldi for the first time with proper server implementation. I am also switching from Aurender to Roon, using a Nucleus. I will probably add the clock in a year or so, when the piggybank gets bloated again. Once I’m broken in, I would be happy to repeat the experiment for you, but I’m not sure that would be worth any more than my opinion about anything else. I also noted the sources you are considering. To my ear Roon off a noisy laptop sounds better than the Aurender N10. Perhaps the W20 w/ Vivaldi and master clock would be different?

I have heard a Vivaldi vs. Rossini shootout (DAC only) and it was no contest. Since you (like me and many others) seem to have a generous budget but not an unlimited one, perhaps you might consider a Vivaldi DAC now and Transport later? I don’t have any SACDs but I am curious to know what the pending Rossini transport will offer. If that device is compatible with Vivaldi, and deemed worthy, that might be an option for both of us.

Rambling aside, I suppose if I were to just answer your question, I would much prefer to have a Vivaldi without my preamp than Rossini with? Good luck! David
Regarding the use of a preamp or not, way back when I was running Ayre equipment, I came to the conclusion that I could do without the preamp. The Berkeley driving the Ayre amps directly sounded great. I contacted Galen Carol, from whom I purchased the DAC, and at the time he was running the Berkeley direct into a pair of big Rowland amps with good results.

My system has evolved considerably over the past year. I am now running both VTL and Lamm amps. In both cases, the system sounds considerably better with a preamp in the chain, in this case a VTL TL7.5 III. I consider my preamp a cornerstone to the system, now.

So, all I can suggest is to listen to as many options as you can, and to trust your ears.
That's quite a change, good for you!  I may eventually reintroduce tubes.  I've become a fan of Nagra products, for one.   Galen Carol has been helpful to me as well and it's hard to disagree with his belief that a preamp imposes a signature of its own; you either like what it does or you don't.  I don't care about accuracy per se, I just want to be enchanted.  
Nagra. Yes! I heard a demo at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest last fall. In the Nagra suite they were playing master tapes on a reel-to-reel tape machine feeding the new HD preamp, and a pair of HD monoblocks driving Wilson Alexia 2s. Best sound of the show, IMO. Enchanting.