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Cybershaft rubidium clock...low priced option?

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One thing that puzzles me a little about the Clock in the Cybershaft. Clocks are not cheap, and unless you buy them in the thousands, the minimum asking price by Rakon is several thousand EUR. I don't understand how the Cybershaft can sell their device at less than 2k, when the clock alone is over their MSRP.

Are they seconds or something? Would it be possible to see a photo inside showing the Rakon clock?

 

It seems that I made a mistake, stating that their OCXO Limited clock uses Rakon HSO-14 oscillator. Their site is in Japanese and I must have made a mistake in translation. The original Oscilloquartz BVA-8607 OCXO (Rakon HSO-14 predecessor) module retailed for over $10k if I'm not mistaken, so I would be surprised if HSO-14 was any cheaper. I have discovered that myself yesterday, but was waiting for a quote from Rakon on the HSO-14 OCXO module, to update my initial post (still waiting for the quote).

 

Cybershaft declined to disclose the information on what OCXO they use when I asked them yesterday, stating only that they come from Rakon.

 

The OCXO module that perfectly fits the external dimensions (which I measured on my example) and freq criteria from Rakon is their ROX5252T1 model, from their High End Telecom Discrete OCXO series:

 

Rakon - Synchronising connectivity everywhere

 

I believe they both use the same modules for both the Premium and the Limited clocks The difference beeing a better PSU in the Limited model and hand selected, best performing clocks from the lot (hence the -117dBc/Hz @ 1Hz specs for the Limited IP17 model, where Premiums only do -110dBc/Hz @ 1Hz).


Adam

 

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Here is the phase noise plot for the Rakon OCXO that is most likely used in the CyberShaft clocks:

 

Qe3OT0.gif

 

Those are close to state of the are numbers and we can assume some samples measure even better than this.


Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, Jcat Femto USB card, UpTone Audio JS-2 + 2x LPS-1.2 combo, Jcat SSD battery PSU, Jcat SATA cable, TotalDAC D1 USB cable, SOtM sMS-200, W4S Recovery USB, Jcat USB Isolator, Win 2012, AO v2.10

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Just a quick note that those who purchase a Cybershaft clock will receive a certificate of calibration with measurements that show unit purchased meets or exceeds published specs. In my case (OCXO Premium), the phase noise was measured at -111.8 dBc/Hz @ 1Hz (vs spec of -110) and -132.98 dBc/Hz @ 10Hz (vs spec of -130). Phase noise was measured on a Symmetricom TSC5115A. Values other than phase noise that were also measured and certified are Frequency value, Allan Deviation, Output Level and Harmonic Distortion. Phase Noise and Allan Deviation graphs are also provided.


Digital System: Cybershaft 10MHz OCXO clock premium>Antelope Liveclock>RedNet D16>AES Cable>Mutec MC-3+ USB​>AES Cable>Schiit Yggy

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Here is the revised clock graph from the first page. I have also added the Sforzato PMC-01 BVA clock, which is the only clock in the world based on the Oscilloquartz BVA-8607 OCXO module:

 

M5te0H.gif

 

The numbers used in this table, are based on minimum manufacturer guaranteed values. The actual samples may exceed those numbers.

 

The perofrmance of the Sforzato PMC-01 BVA clock is so good - it should be considered the curent king of the hill in clock world. No wonder there were reports people in Asia dumping the Esoteric clocks for those.

 

Antelope on the other hand, looks like a complete garbage.


Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, Jcat Femto USB card, UpTone Audio JS-2 + 2x LPS-1.2 combo, Jcat SSD battery PSU, Jcat SATA cable, TotalDAC D1 USB cable, SOtM sMS-200, W4S Recovery USB, Jcat USB Isolator, Win 2012, AO v2.10

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

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Antelope on the other hand, looks like a complete garbage.

 

Sure looks like it. But unless I am mistaken, Antelope is the only company that synthesizes 44.1, 48, etc from the 10MHz base clock? Some of us (like me!) can't use 10MHz base clocks.

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Sure looks like it. But unless I am mistaken, Antelope is the only company that synthesizes 44.1, 48, etc from the 10MHz base clock? Some of us (like me!) can't use 10MHz base clocks.

 

Both the new Antelope XM and Esoteric G-01 can do that. G-01 can output a 10 MHz clock (sine wave or square wave) as well as 22.5792 and 24.576 MHz master clocks.

 

The above data is for their oscillators only.


Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, Jcat Femto USB card, UpTone Audio JS-2 + 2x LPS-1.2 combo, Jcat SSD battery PSU, Jcat SATA cable, TotalDAC D1 USB cable, SOtM sMS-200, W4S Recovery USB, Jcat USB Isolator, Win 2012, AO v2.10

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

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A rubidium standard offers NO advantage over the very good OCXO. The rubidium standard has two systems, a rubidium oscillator, which has high jitter but very good long term stability and an OCXO with very low jitter but not as good long term stability. Some complex circuitry in side there reads both and every so often slowly tweaks the OCXO to match the long term averaged frequency of the rubidium oscillator.

 

Because the OCXO is an adjustable oscillator it actually has slightly higher jitter than the fixed OCXO. Audio could care less about absolute frequency accuracy over tens of years time frame so the rubidium version has higher jitter and costs more, not particularly a good combination for audio use. (unless it is all about bragging rights, but that is something else!)

 

The phase noise specs for those cybershaft OCXOs are actually very good for the price. The big issue with any such external frequency reference is how it gets into the DAC and what happens to it in there.

 

First off, many frequency standards are sine wave output, a lot of DACs that have external inputs want a square wave not a sine wave. Make SURE the reference and the DAC will work together before spending any money.

 

Almost no DAC or audio device uses 10MHz directly. In order to use it the frequency has to be converted. What that conversion does to the phase noise of the input can vary wildly. The absolute best systems out there are at about on par with the phase noise from the premium. So with a premium you would be getting about twice the jitter inside the DAC. With the limited the internal jitter is going to be several times higher than the reference, hence there is not going to be much of an actual difference in the DAC, for a much bigger cost.

 

The above assumes your DAC has a state of the art frequency conversion circuit, these are pretty rare and expensive but COULD exist in one or two audio devices. The problem is that any device with such a conversion circuit probably already has a REALLY good local oscillator, so using one of these OCXOs going through the conversion is not necessarily going to give you lower jitter in the DAC. It may, but it may not.

 

John S.

 

Hi John

 

Any thoughts on swapping out the XO directly on the PCB?

 

These days, some DACs seem to be encouraging this with 14/4 DIP compatible PCB lands. And in most (all?) cases there are only 3 pins to solder.

 

The top-end XO's and OCXO's seem to be around the $400 mark, which is a fair bit cheaper than these offboard clocks. (Which are admittedly much better looking than my soldering!)


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I felt fairly confident about my digital audio knowledge until I read this thread..

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I just got first feedback from a friend who tried the CyberShaft OCXO Premium clock on his Vivaldi stack. He has been very impressed - adding the master clock brings similar improvement to adding the Vivaldi clock itself. More resolution and articulation, with even greater smoothness.

 

So it seems this thing definately works - at least with dCS gear.


Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, Jcat Femto USB card, UpTone Audio JS-2 + 2x LPS-1.2 combo, Jcat SSD battery PSU, Jcat SATA cable, TotalDAC D1 USB cable, SOtM sMS-200, W4S Recovery USB, Jcat USB Isolator, Win 2012, AO v2.10

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

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I just got first feedback from a friend who tried the CyberShaft OCXO Premium clock on his Vivaldi stack. He has been very impressed - adding the master clock brings similar improvement to adding the Vivaldi clock itself. More resolution and articulation, with even greater smoothness.

 

So it seems this thing definately works - at least with dCS gear.

 

Excuse me, do you mean 3000USD Cybershaft OCXO sounds better than 20000USD Vivaldi clock in a Vivaldi system? That is really amazing.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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The CyberShaft OCXO Premium clock is $1000 shipped, not $3000.

 

The CyberShaft OCXO Premium clock outputs 10MHz signal and cannot be used directly on dCS components as dCS clock replacement, since all dCS grear requires 44.1/448kHz Word Clock signal.

 

The CyberShaft OCXO Premium clock is used ON TOP of the exisiting dCS clock - be it Vivaldi or Scarlatti - as their Master clock. dCS clocks have a suitable 10MHz Master Clock input at their back.

 

Hope this helps.


Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, Jcat Femto USB card, UpTone Audio JS-2 + 2x LPS-1.2 combo, Jcat SSD battery PSU, Jcat SATA cable, TotalDAC D1 USB cable, SOtM sMS-200, W4S Recovery USB, Jcat USB Isolator, Win 2012, AO v2.10

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Cables: AudioQuest WEL Signature IC / Shunyata Anaconda Z-Tron SC

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Here is the image of the dCS Vivaldi clock. On the left you can see the Master Clock input ('Reference IN'). This is where you connect the CyberShaft master clock.

 

dCS-Vivaldi-clock-Rear.jpg

 

I agree this is amazing $1000 clock can improve $20k dCS clock. On the other hand, if it was housed in a dCS like box via a regular dealer network, it could easily cost $15-20k, not $1k.

dCS-Vivaldi-clock-Rear.jpg


Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, Jcat Femto USB card, UpTone Audio JS-2 + 2x LPS-1.2 combo, Jcat SSD battery PSU, Jcat SATA cable, TotalDAC D1 USB cable, SOtM sMS-200, W4S Recovery USB, Jcat USB Isolator, Win 2012, AO v2.10

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Cables: AudioQuest WEL Signature IC / Shunyata Anaconda Z-Tron SC

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I just could not believe a 20K USD clock couldn't do the best job. If 1000USD clock can improve SQ of 20K dCS clock, this means dCS did really bad in clocking regards that price tag.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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I just could not believe a 20K USD clock couldn't do the best job. If 1000USD clock can improve SQ of 20K dCS clock, this means dCS did really bad in clocking regards that price tag.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

 

Not really, if you are coming from a pro audio perspective where everybody feeds things with external clocks, you just assume everyone is using a really good external clock and the internal clock is just an emergency backup if somehow the external clock breaks. In other words, if you know everyone is using an external clock, why bother with a really good internal clock?

 

That doesn't mean an external clock is the BEST way to go for home audio, just that the dictates of pro audio do it that way.

 

John S.

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Hi John

 

Any thoughts on swapping out the XO directly on the PCB?

 

These days, some DACs seem to be encouraging this with 14/4 DIP compatible PCB lands. And in most (all?) cases there are only 3 pins to solder.

 

The top-end XO's and OCXO's seem to be around the $400 mark, which is a fair bit cheaper than these offboard clocks. (Which are admittedly much better looking than my soldering!)

 

Not sure what happened to John's post as it's blank but very well said.


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Not sure what happened to John's post as it's blank but very well said.

 

Yeah, something odd has been going on today with the mobile app. I saw a bunch of blank posts (just the poster's name) in some other threads. But via a web browser they are visible.

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Comment: my understanding is that what you need in a digital audio device is high clock stability over the short term, the long term is sort of irrelevant, as audio conversion isn't a long term process. So these really expensive atomic clocks are unnecessary.


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The most important number for audio is the close-in phase noise e.g. @1hz in the above specifications

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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True. I've heard from respected digital audio designers that the most important is phase noise in the <1Hz range. Very difficult to get the XO specs down to 0.1Hz though.


Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, Jcat Femto USB card, UpTone Audio JS-2 + 2x LPS-1.2 combo, Jcat SSD battery PSU, Jcat SATA cable, TotalDAC D1 USB cable, SOtM sMS-200, W4S Recovery USB, Jcat USB Isolator, Win 2012, AO v2.10

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Cables: AudioQuest WEL Signature IC / Shunyata Anaconda Z-Tron SC

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Here is the revised clock graph from the first page. I have also added the Sforzato PMC-01 BVA clock, which is the only clock in the world based on the Oscilloquartz BVA-8607 OCXO module:

 

M5te0H.gif

 

The numbers used in this table, are based on minimum manufacturer guaranteed values. The actual samples may exceed those numbers.

 

The perofrmance of the Sforzato PMC-01 BVA clock is so good - it should be considered the curent king of the hill in clock world. No wonder there were reports people in Asia dumping the Esoteric clocks for those.

 

Antelope on the other hand, looks like a complete garbage.

 

Wow! Those are amazing specs on the Sforzato; I may have to check that out but that price point may be off the charts for a clock (for me)! The aluminum block construction and how they channeled out the interior cavities is amazing. That is one serious piece of engineering!


Legacy Audio CaliberXD custom, dual Legacy Foundation Subs with Legacy Wavelet, Esoteric P-02, D-02, C-02, and A-02, Cybershaft Custom Premium Limited OP21 10 mHz Clock, SHUNYATA TRITON v3 & TYPHON QR, Environmental Potentials EP-2050 & EP2750, CH Copper Busbar Main & GE Sub-panel, 20-amp dedicated circuits, Dual 10’ Ground Rods, CADWELD bonding, Avatar Acoustics AfterBurner8 duplexes (5), Elrod MASTER SERIES Statement Gold Powercords (4), Elrod Statement Gold Powercords (2), Elrod Statement Silver Powercords (1), Elrod Statement Gold XLR (2 pair), Shunyata SIGMA AES/EBU 110ohm (2), Shunyata SIGMA CLOCK-50 (3), Shunyata SIGMA XLR, Shunyata Anaconda Zitron XLR, B.M.C. PureUSB1, Elrod Statement Gold custom speaker cables, Elrod MASTERS SERIES SG JUMPERS (4), Adona AV45CS4, AV45, Composite Audio CF-2010, HRS DPX Damping Plates (11), Stillpoints UltraSS w/Ultra Bases

 

Computer Audio/Rip Playback: Apple MacBook Pro 15” 2019, 6-core i9, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD (Music Library, Playback S/W & O/S here), Audirvana+ v3, iTunes, etc….

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Just a quick note that those who purchase a Cybershaft clock will receive a certificate of calibration with measurements that show unit purchased meets or exceeds published specs. In my case (OCXO Premium), the phase noise was measured at -111.8 dBc/Hz @ 1Hz (vs spec of -110) and -132.98 dBc/Hz @ 10Hz (vs spec of -130). Phase noise was measured on a Symmetricom TSC5115A. Values other than phase noise that were also measured and certified are Frequency value, Allan Deviation, Output Level and Harmonic Distortion. Phase Noise and Allan Deviation graphs are also provided.

 

That's correct...mine did to (I have a dual Rb + OCXO Premium Select) so there were 2 complete sets of test data on the specific unit. Nice touch,....I've never seen any manufacturer in audio give specific test results of the exact unit purchased AND give the buyer the right to review the test results before shipment and cancel the order if not satisfied (this was my experience with Kenji at Cybershaft....)


Legacy Audio CaliberXD custom, dual Legacy Foundation Subs with Legacy Wavelet, Esoteric P-02, D-02, C-02, and A-02, Cybershaft Custom Premium Limited OP21 10 mHz Clock, SHUNYATA TRITON v3 & TYPHON QR, Environmental Potentials EP-2050 & EP2750, CH Copper Busbar Main & GE Sub-panel, 20-amp dedicated circuits, Dual 10’ Ground Rods, CADWELD bonding, Avatar Acoustics AfterBurner8 duplexes (5), Elrod MASTER SERIES Statement Gold Powercords (4), Elrod Statement Gold Powercords (2), Elrod Statement Silver Powercords (1), Elrod Statement Gold XLR (2 pair), Shunyata SIGMA AES/EBU 110ohm (2), Shunyata SIGMA CLOCK-50 (3), Shunyata SIGMA XLR, Shunyata Anaconda Zitron XLR, B.M.C. PureUSB1, Elrod Statement Gold custom speaker cables, Elrod MASTERS SERIES SG JUMPERS (4), Adona AV45CS4, AV45, Composite Audio CF-2010, HRS DPX Damping Plates (11), Stillpoints UltraSS w/Ultra Bases

 

Computer Audio/Rip Playback: Apple MacBook Pro 15” 2019, 6-core i9, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD (Music Library, Playback S/W & O/S here), Audirvana+ v3, iTunes, etc….

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It seems that I made a mistake, stating that their OCXO Limited clock uses Rakon HSO-14 oscillator. Their site is in Japanese and I must have made a mistake in translation. The original Oscilloquartz BVA-8607 OCXO (Rakon HSO-14 predecessor) module retailed for over $10k if I'm not mistaken, so I would be surprised if HSO-14 was any cheaper. I have discovered that myself yesterday, but was waiting for a quote from Rakon on the HSO-14 OCXO module, to update my initial post (still waiting for the quote).

 

Cybershaft declined to disclose the information on what OCXO they use when I asked them yesterday, stating only that they come from Rakon.

 

The OCXO module that perfectly fits the external dimensions (which I measured on my example) and freq criteria from Rakon is their ROX5252T1 model, from their High End Telecom Discrete OCXO series:

 

Rakon - Synchronising connectivity everywhere

 

I believe they both use the same modules for both the Premium and the Limited clocks The difference beeing a better PSU in the Limited model and hand selected, best performing clocks from the lot (hence the -117dBc/Hz @ 1Hz specs for the Limited IP17 model, where Premiums only do -110dBc/Hz @ 1Hz).

 

The one thing I know from Cybershaft is that told me they did buy a LARGE quantity of whatever clock modules they using and that the particular ultra low-phase noise unit is extremely hard to come by. That may account for the price breaks he is giving his customers.


Legacy Audio CaliberXD custom, dual Legacy Foundation Subs with Legacy Wavelet, Esoteric P-02, D-02, C-02, and A-02, Cybershaft Custom Premium Limited OP21 10 mHz Clock, SHUNYATA TRITON v3 & TYPHON QR, Environmental Potentials EP-2050 & EP2750, CH Copper Busbar Main & GE Sub-panel, 20-amp dedicated circuits, Dual 10’ Ground Rods, CADWELD bonding, Avatar Acoustics AfterBurner8 duplexes (5), Elrod MASTER SERIES Statement Gold Powercords (4), Elrod Statement Gold Powercords (2), Elrod Statement Silver Powercords (1), Elrod Statement Gold XLR (2 pair), Shunyata SIGMA AES/EBU 110ohm (2), Shunyata SIGMA CLOCK-50 (3), Shunyata SIGMA XLR, Shunyata Anaconda Zitron XLR, B.M.C. PureUSB1, Elrod Statement Gold custom speaker cables, Elrod MASTERS SERIES SG JUMPERS (4), Adona AV45CS4, AV45, Composite Audio CF-2010, HRS DPX Damping Plates (11), Stillpoints UltraSS w/Ultra Bases

 

Computer Audio/Rip Playback: Apple MacBook Pro 15” 2019, 6-core i9, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD (Music Library, Playback S/W & O/S here), Audirvana+ v3, iTunes, etc….

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Wow! Those are amazing specs on the Sforzato; I may have to check that out but that price point may be off the charts for a clock (for me)! The aluminum block construction and how they channeled out the interior cavities is amazing. That is one serious piece of engineering!

 

Yes, but unfortunately it has 10MHz sine wave output. For me, I would need a synthesizer to generate a 44.1 or 48kHz sine wave.

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Here is the revised clock graph from the first page. I have also added the Sforzato PMC-01 BVA clock, which is the only clock in the world based on the Oscilloquartz BVA-8607 OCXO module:

 

M5te0H.gif

 

The numbers used in this table, are based on minimum manufacturer guaranteed values. The actual samples may exceed those numbers.

 

The perofrmance of the Sforzato PMC-01 BVA clock is so good - it should be considered the curent king of the hill in clock world. No wonder there were reports people in Asia dumping the Esoteric clocks for those.

 

Antelope on the other hand, looks like a complete garbage.

 

I plan shortly to install onboard the following OCXO:

 

http://www.pulsarclock.com/ds/Pulsar_Clock.pdf

 

The RMS jitter has been calculated at 20.174fs.

 

The part is about $400.

 

I'm actually very happy with the Crystek CCHD-950 which I recently installed, and is much cheaper.


Front End: Neet Airstream

Digital Processing: Chord Hugo M-Scaler

DAC: Chord Dave

Amplification: Cyrus Mono x300 Signatures

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Yes, but unfortunately it has 10MHz sine wave output. For me, I would need a synthesizer to generate a 44.1 or 48kHz sine wave.

 

Yeah, entirely unclear what the actual phase error at the DAC would be given the long journey from an external source through synthesizers etc. there are low jitter synthesizers but if PLL involved the the really close in phase noise e.g. 1hz is highly likely under the PLL corner frequency. I think $30k would be a huge waste much better spent on a DAC with a great clock if it's own.


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