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RME cards and clocks


MontyW

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Hi,

 

I'm quite interested in the RME HDSPe AIO card... and I was wondering does RME make a word clock card that will support the HDSPe AIO and clock a number of external digital pieces of kit - sort of like an internal Apogee Big Ben?

 

Cheers,

 

Monty

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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Hi Yep,

 

Sorry I should have been clearer in what I was asking. What triggered me thinking about a 'clock' was a brief article about someone using an Apogee Big Ben to clock a pair of digital monitors, digi sub and a sound card with apparently great results.

 

I was wondering if RME did an internal card that could be used to clock one of their sound cards and clock two other external devices such a digi monitors and sub.

 

My lack of knowledge does not help here :-( so can the RME TCO clock a digi monitor and sub?

 

Cheers,

 

Monty

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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I think I understand what you are asking and the whole clock bit can be confusing. You would use a 75-ohm BNC cable from the external clock output to the word clock input on the RME card which would use that clock instead of its internal one. You would not physically have a connection to the monitors and sub from the external clock. As far as available external clocks I love the Black Lion Audio Microclock Mk II. I personally own it and it is fantastic. The microclock is $425 compared to Apogee's popular Big Ben ($1345) and the Antelope Isochrone OCX ($1500). I have friends that own the Big Ben and the Microclock audibly wins in my system with some engineers saying the Big Ben has the slight edge. The microclock is quite new, uses a different approach than other clocks on the market and has under 10 picoseconds of accumulated jitter; very low. Matt Newport, the founder of Black Lion Audio has a good understanding of jitter and the importance of not only reducing the amount of jitter but also controlling unwanted phase noise or harmonics introduced from the clock's power supply and actual clock itself which can create timing variations at the D/A converter regardless of how stable the clock frequency is. The microclock introduces 1 picosecond of intrinsic jitter, again very low.

 

david is hear[br]http://www.tuniverse.tv

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Monty. It seems that this is *the* clock available for this card though. I'm fairly confident that you will be able to do most anything like this with the RME hardware, BUT I know that success for what you want to do is going to depend on whether the hardware you you want is compatible (Computer + Operating System ->RME I/O-TCO combo->DAC->Speaker subsystem *you DID say digital monitors, right?*), and will operate at the resolutions that you want with the players that you want to use (J.River/Foob/whatever). Why don't you:

 

1) hang around their forums over there and see what you can gather. I don't think they would bite your head off or anything like that, especially if you ask a well-pointed question - they are a pretty friendly bunch. But I would first ---

2) Become familiar with the hardware clocking requirements of the speakers that you want to clock to the cards.

3) Read the pertinent part(s) of the manual for the TCO module ( http://www.rme-audio.de/download/tco_e.pdf ) and the I/O card as well ( http://www.rme-audio.de/download/hdspeaio_e.pdf ).

-- at this point, Compare the data. You just MIGHT already be able to figure out if this is going to work for you. - if NOT:

4) List out what you do not understand

5) Go to your local RME dealer (or use the RME forum)- This will almost definitely be a Musician's supply store or a recording supplies store. Ask some questions there. They MIGHT even have something similar to what you are looking to do already set up in the store, albeit a studio monitoring system and not a home stereo. I'm sure they are going to be hungry for a sale & will be more than glad to help. You might get a bit less personal attention at a website, but you should still get your answer!

 

I'm an RME user (FF400) too, but don't clock speakers to my system, so let us know how it is coming along, I'm curious to know how this endeavor comes out & will be glad to help if I can.

 

- markr

 

 

 

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Guys.... thanks for the replies. I've just been reading the HDSPe AIO manual and it looks as though I need a word Clock Module (WCM)

 

http://www.rme-audio.de/en_products_hdsp_expansion_boards.php

 

I need to do a bit more research and will let you know how I get on.

 

Thanks,

 

Monty

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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Hi,

 

I've just had a nice reply from RME... basically I don't need to 'clock' the monitors. Clocking will take place via the AES/EUB signal direct from the card's clock! BRILLANT stuff.

 

Monty

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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That's a relief! I thought I had missed something: .. that there were "digital monitors' out there that I hadn't heard of somehow..

 

They ARE nice over there at RME, aren't they?

 

- good luck on your new adventure!

 

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I've just had a nice reply from RME... basically I don't need to 'clock' the monitors. Clocking will take place via the AES/EUB signal direct from the card's clock! BRILLANT stuff.

 

Maybe I have this wrong, but this is nothing special, and AES/EBU (like SPDIF) carries the clock signal itself.

I guess it depends on how you asked the question ...

 

The specialty with the RME (the Fireface at least) comes with that it reclocks the data. Thus, an incoming jittery signal is reclocked to have less jitter. I must say though that the Fireface itself doesn't do a whole world of good on it, because its internal clock has a devastating amount of ... 800ps of jitter.

 

Anyway, when the signal arrives at the other end (your monitors) it just caught jitter again under way.

A word clock is there to explicitly control that with a separate cable. I am not sure whether that will work (to the better) for audiophile playback, and this is merely used for synchronizing MIDI devices. Being 1ms off is quite allright there ...

 

Peter (hoping he has everything correct :-)

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

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markr - its dead simple in my book, the fact that RME took the time to reply and to be very helpful means I now buy one and maybe more of their products.

 

Well done RME!

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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Well I'm quite impressed about this cards spec and especially that I can clock the monitors and sub via the AES/EUB.

 

I'm more impressed that RME took the time to reply to me and answer my question.

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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Thank you Peter. Please read the thread

 

Hi Mark, but I did. The only thing is that I did not investigate the HDSPe. But does that matter somewhere ?

That can be, but I can't imagine that for principles (or theories of working).

 

If I am hopelessly wrong on things, I am sorry !

Peter

 

Edit : PS: I couldn't agree more on the helpfulness of RME. Always as fast and decent and good.

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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Just a quick update. Due to the quick reply from RME, the helpfulness of those guys and after doing some more research, today I have ordered a HDSPe AIO card.

 

The more I deal with pro audio manufacturers the more impressed I am at how quickly they are willing to help and even more impressed at the value/performance of pro kit.

 

Cheers,

 

Monty

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

 

I'd just like to let you know that yesterday morning my RME HDSPe AIO card arrived. Installation into the Mac was trouble free.

 

I played some 'tunes' via the HDSPe AIO direct to a pair Dynaudio Air monitors and I was amazed at the quality of the sound. I swapped back to the analog XLRs from my Benchmark DAC1 to the analog inputs on the monitors and I honestly could not tell any difference between the HDSPe AIO and the DAC1.

 

I know a lot of people don't like or agree with all the electronic wizardry that goes on the Dynaudio Air monitors, but all I can say is that I really really do like what the RME card/software and these monitors can achieve.

 

One very happy listener.

 

Monty

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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Hi Monty,

 

A very useful post - particularly your comments on the audio performance of the DAC on this card.

 

Have you used the ADC? For example have you digitised a signal from an audio source and played this back through the onboard DAC or your Benchmark DAC? I ask because I am considering this card for use in archiving my LPs to 24 / 192.

 

David

 

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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