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.
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.
I too made the decision to  go with Vivaldi v2.02 DAC, with Network Bridge, and full loom of Transparent Gen 5 ref digital and analog, and speaker cables, with Roon Nucleus + and dedicated NAS, thru a Veloce battery powered tube pre, since its used in combo 2 channel/HT rig, requires a pre...also use Shuynata Triton 3 for power conditioning with its Sigma power cord...best sounding digital I've heard, auditioned the Aurender and Berkeley, also at Shadi's place in Santa Monica, found it easier dealing with Brian at Audio Elements in Pasadena. Love listening now, off the chase of gear.
Not to throw a wrinkle, but I've also had a very positive improvement by adding the eMats under my Roon, Dac, pre, and amp..very reasonable tweak for quality improvement.
Thanks mribob, will look into eMats.  Otherwise we have very similar configurations.  Mine sounds like crap right now, so I have to remind myself that break-in is still happening while I also double check my dCS settings.  So it is reassuring the read that yours is performing well.

Shadi has just gotten too busy.  Good for him, of course, but he was going to send my a Nucleus for home trial and never did!  I think he's well intentioned but I moved on..  Though tubes will probably find their way back into my system, I REALLY want to stop thinking about gear, for a good long while.  But I am looking forward to the MQA update for the Vivaldi DAC.  Take Care!