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Hi everyone. I am thinking of going for a one box solution (dCS Network Bridge comes to mind) instead of SOTM trifecta's with separate linear PSU's for each component in the chain. At the moment I have the sms200Ultra going via  USB cable to a stock Singxer SU-1. I was thinking of sending my sms200Ultra over to SOTM for the switch and perhaps NUC clock modifications, but now I am holding off. I simply don't like the idea of having a million devices in the chain, as I just need a simple good looking and fine sounding Roon compatible device that goes straight into a DAC.

 

The dCS NB has 2 word clock inputs. So would adding a Mutec REF10 further elevate the performance of the dCS, has anybody tried that?  What about modifying a network switch by installing a BNC clock input (is that even possible?) so that it can accept the clock signal from the REF10?

 

This clock subject is extremely confusing to me.

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18 minutes ago, AmusedToD said:

The dCS NB has 2 word clock inputs. So would adding a Mutec REF10 further elevate the performance of the dCS, has anybody tried that?

The key is word clock- NOT 10MHz input, so not compatible unless you get a master clock with 10MHz input, then elevate that with the Mutec. I suggest the small step of getting a loan dCS network bridge, and see if it improves on the SMS-200 Ultra. If not, then going all-out assalt on the next step is a very risky and expensive exercise.

 

It is a possibility that the clocks on the Network Bridge are sufficient, judging by some other owner's listening impressions.

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4 minutes ago, AmusedToD said:

Hi everyone. I am thinking of going for a one box solution (dCS Network Bridge comes to mind) instead of SOTM trifecta's with separate linear PSU's for each component in the chain. At the moment I have the sms200Ultra going via  USB cable to a stock Singxer SU-1. I was thinking of sending my sms200Ultra over to SOTM for the switch and perhaps NUC clock modifications, but now I am holding off. I simply don't like the idea of having a million devices in the chain, as I just need a simple good looking and fine sounding Roon compatible device that goes straight into a DAC.

 

The dCS NB has 2 word clock inputs. So would adding a Mutec REF10 further elevate the performance of the dCS, has anybody tried that?  What about modifying a network switch by installing a BNC clock input (is that even possible?) so that it can accept the clock signal from the REF10?

 

This clock subject is extremely confusing to me.

This is indeed a confusing subject!  The first point here is that the Mutec REF10 is a 10MHz reference clock, so is not a word clock and it does not have a word clock output.  If my understanding is correct, you could use something like the Mutec MC3+ between the REF10 and the dCS.  The Mutec MC3+ can accept a 10MHz reference clock input and it's word clock output can then feed the dCS.  (Did you say something about not wanting multiple boxes in the chain?):/ 

 

I say in the above 'this is my understanding', the reason being is that I am pretty sure I have got this right, but there are some subtleties with synchronising clock rates and so on, so I would like confirmation that such a set up would indeed work trouble free in a practical home set up.

 

I have a reasonably local dealer that stocks dCS, the guy I know there has expressed is opinion that they have been a little disappointed with the performance of the Network Bridge but that they have achieved excellent performance using it with a an external word clock.  One suggestion he had was to use the Network Bridge with maybe a second hand dCS master clock, they appear on sale more often than you think. 

 

Of course in your case, you could go for the REF10, a Mutec MC3+USB, and use this with you existing sMS-200Ultra, with or without the clock mod.   Too many options and too many boxes however you look at this one!

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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4 minutes ago, k-man said:

The key is word clock- NOT 10MHz input, so not compatible unless you get a master clock with 10MHz input, then elevate that with the Mutec. I suggest the small step of getting a loan dCS network bridge, and see if it improves on the SMS-200 Ultra. If not, then going all-out assalt on the next step is a very risky and expensive exercise.

 

It is a possibility that the clocks on the Network Bridge are sufficient, judging by some other owner's listening impressions.

 

Not really an option in my part of the world, so I will have to rely on other people's comparisons.

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3 minutes ago, Confused said:

This is indeed a confusing subject!  The first point here is that the Mutec REF10 is a 10MHz reference clock, so is not a word clock and it does not have a word clock output.  If my understanding is correct, you could use something like the Mutec MC3+ between the REF10 and the dCS.  The Mutec MC3+ can accept a 10MHz reference clock input and it's word clock output can then feed the dCS.  (Did you say something about not wanting multiple boxes in the chain?):/ 

 

I say in the above 'this is my understanding', the reason being is that I am pretty sure I have got this right, but there are some subtleties with synchronising clock rates and so on, so I would like confirmation that such a set up would indeed work trouble free in a practical home set up.

 

I have a reasonably local dealer that stocks dCS, the guy I know there has expressed is opinion that they have been a little disappointed with the performance of the Network Bridge but that they have achieved excellent performance using it with a an external word clock.  One suggestion he had was to use the Network Bridge with maybe a second hand dCS master clock, they appear on sale more often than you think. 

 

Of course in your case, you could go for the REF10, a Mutec MC3+USB, and use this with you existing sMS-200Ultra, with or without the clock mod.   Too many options and too many boxes however you look at this one!

 

Thanks for clarifying this to me. You say they were disappointed with the performance of the Network Bridge. Why is that so, all the reviews I managed to find were more or less glowing, especially considering the price of the unit (which is very close to the Sotm trifecta + good linear PSU's). Did they compare it to another streamer and found the results underwhelming? Which master clock were they using to elevate the performance of the NB?

 

dCS produce some of the finest digital audio components in the world, I doubt they would rush such an important component to the market. 

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Just now, AmusedToD said:

 

Thanks for clarifying this to me. You say they were disappointed with the performance of the Network Bridge. Why is that so, all the reviews I managed to find were more or less glowing, especially considering the price of the unit (which is very close to the Sotm trifecta + good linear PSU's). Did they compare it to another streamer and found the results underwhelming? Which master clock were they using to elevate the performance of the NB?

 

dCS produce some of the finest digital audio components in the world, I doubt they would rush such an important component to the market. 

Well it's what one guy said, and would you trust a hifi dealer?!  What did strike me though was that he claimed they had not sold any, with customers trying the Network Bridge versus stuff like the Aurender range and opting to buy the Aurender.  Obviously the dCS and Aurender are different products in terms of functionality, but what he was saying is that the dCS was loosing out in ultimate SQ.  Don't get me wrong, I have read the reviews also and this opinion surprises me enormously.  That said, how much can you trust the reviews?  The dealer has the full dCS range, I am not sure exactly what clock(s?) they have tried it with, but I know they have the Rossini & Vivaldi clock available.  I can only assume they were trying it with the Rossini, the Vivaldi would be a little extravagant (i.e way too expensive!!) to consider mating with the Network Bridge.

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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13 minutes ago, Confused said:

Well it's what one guy said, and would you trust a hifi dealer?!  What did strike me though was that he claimed they had not sold any, with customers trying the Network Bridge versus stuff like the Aurender range and opting to buy the Aurender.  Obviously the dCS and Aurender are different products in terms of functionality, but what he was saying is that the dCS was loosing out in ultimate SQ.  Don't get me wrong, I have read the reviews also and this opinion surprises me enormously.  That said, how much can you trust the reviews?  The dealer has the full dCS range, I am not sure exactly what clock(s?) they have tried it with, but I know they have the Rossini & Vivaldi clock available.  I can only assume they were trying it with the Rossini, the Vivaldi would be a little extravagant (i.e way too expensive!!) to consider mating with the Network Bridge.

 

Intresting read. We need some qualified CA reviewers to het their hands on the dCS, I am thinking @romaz and @austinpop :)

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39 minutes ago, Confused said:

This is indeed a confusing subject!  The first point here is that the Mutec REF10 is a 10MHz reference clock, so is not a word clock and it does not have a word clock output.  If my understanding is correct, you could use something like the Mutec MC3+ between the REF10 and the dCS.  The Mutec MC3+ can accept a 10MHz reference clock input and it's word clock output can then feed the dCS.  (Did you say something about not wanting multiple boxes in the chain?):/ 

 

I say in the above 'this is my understanding', the reason being is that I am pretty sure I have got this right, but there are some subtleties with synchronising clock rates and so on, so I would like confirmation that such a set up would indeed work trouble free in a practical home set up.

 

I have a reasonably local dealer that stocks dCS, the guy I know there has expressed is opinion that they have been a little disappointed with the performance of the Network Bridge but that they have achieved excellent performance using it with a an external word clock.  One suggestion he had was to use the Network Bridge with maybe a second hand dCS master clock, they appear on sale more often than you think. 

 

Of course in your case, you could go for the REF10, a Mutec MC3+USB, and use this with you existing sMS-200Ultra, with or without the clock mod.   Too many options and too many boxes however you look at this one!

 

I have both dCS network bridge and Mutec MC3+ USB feeding it as external word clock. There is absolutely zero difference if I use the Mutec as external word clock vs using the internal clock of my dCS network bridge. Of course adding the ref 10 to the Mutec MC3+ may increase overall sound quality of my set-up but it's a pricey leap of faith.

I repeated this test at least 10 times, had other audiophile friends do it with me and no-one heard any discernible difference. 

Hope that helps.

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Just now, pam1975 said:

 

I have both dCS network bridge and Mutec MC3+ USB feeding it as external word clock. There is absolutely zero difference if I use the Mutec as external word clock vs using the internal clock of my dCS network bridge. Of course adding the ref 10 may increase overall sound quality of my set-up but it's a pricey leap of faith.

I repeated this test at least 10 times, had other audiophile friends do it with me and no-one heard any discernible difference. 

Hope that helps.

That is indeed interesting, here's hoping someone lends you a REF10 so you can try it!  What your observation suggests is that the performance of the clock Network Bridge is very similar to that in the Mutec, which would seam reasonable.  So out of interest, have you ever tried running the Netwrork Bridge to the Mutec MC3 as a 'reclocker', then to the DAC.  In a way, this is a similar concept to those that stack two or three MC3's.  It might be an interesting thing to try, and cost free if you have a spare XLR cable to hand?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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3 minutes ago, pam1975 said:

 

I have both dCS network bridge and Mutec MC3+ USB feeding it as external word clock. There is absolutely zero difference if I use the Mutec as external word clock vs using the internal clock of my dCS network bridge. Of course adding the ref 10 to the Mutec MC3+ may increase overall sound quality of my set-up but it's a pricey leap of faith.

I repeated this test at least 10 times, had other audiophile friends do it with me and no-one heard any discernible difference. 

Hope that helps.

 

I hear you :) Perhaps the clocks inside the dCS NB are very good indeed and running a highly expensive master clock would make sense in an all dCS environment. But for us looking for a one box solution with no external linear PSU's - this little thing sounds very tempting, especially in the long term, taking into account the stellar reliability reputation of dCS.

 

The main question is: how does a single dCS NB without a master clock stack against @austinpop's Ultra Trifecta. Guess we will have to wait for a proper review.

 

We went off topic here...

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2 minutes ago, Confused said:

That is indeed interesting, here's hoping someone lends you a REF10 so you can try it!  What your observation suggests is that the performance of the clock Network Bridge is very similar to that in the Mutec, which would seam reasonable.  So out of interest, have you ever tried running the Netwrork Bridge to the Mutec MC3 as a 'reclocker', then to the DAC.  In a way, this is a similar concept to those that stack two or three MC3's.  It might be an interesting thing to try, and cost free if you have a spare XLR cable to hand?

I haven't done this test yet (Mutec as reclocker) as it seemed a bit counter-intuitive to me initially but that is something I'm willing to do, I have the necessary cable for that. I'll let you know how this turns out...

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I honestly don't believe the trifecta could surpass my set-up, but it's just a belief, nothing to substantiate it. I did have a microrendu with LPS1 before, and the difference was significant.

 

What decided me for the dCS bridge: I use Tidal, Roon and...Spotify Family (nobody's perfect!) which my wife, kids and I all use for the great play-lists they have and the fantastic app.

Today Spotify isn't hi res but I'm still counting on their move in the future.

Using it with SMS 200 ultra, you'd use Librespot for Spotify which I don't trust is a sustainable solution, I insisted on having a Spotify-Connect ready solution.

So given my use case, the dCS bridge was perfect. Music server (Nimitra), dCS network bridge (Mutec as word clock), running directly into my Kii Three active speakers. That's it. No more DAC, preamp, amp. Just 4 boxes and the best sounding system I've ever had, by far.

 

Sorry this is a Ref 10 thread ;) back to topic now...

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2 minutes ago, pam1975 said:

I honestly don't believe the trifecta could surpass my set-up, but it's just a belief, nothing to substantiate it. I did have a microrendu with LPS1 before, and the difference was significant.

 

What decided me for the dCS bridge: I use Tidal, Roon and...Spotify Family (nobody's perfect!) which my wife, kids and I all use for the great play-lists they have and the fantastic app.

Today Spotify isn't hi res but I'm still counting on their move in the future.

Using it with SMS 200 ultra, you'd use Librespot for Spotify which I don't trust is a sustainable solution, I insisted on having a Spotify-Connect ready solution.

So given my use case, the dCS bridge was perfect. Music server (Nimitra), dCS network bridge (Mutec as word clock), running directly into my Kii Three active speakers. That's it. No more DAC, preamp, amp. Just 4 boxes and the best sounding system I've ever had, by far.

 

Sorry this is a Ref 10 thread ;) back to topic now...

 

The Trifecta sounds magnificent according to reports from reputable members, so we need an A/B in order to draw conclusions.

 

Having in mind the REF10 is not applicable by itself in this setup, we should move the discussion to the dedicated dCS NB thread.

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The whole clock topic is complex, so I am not surprised - we're all Confused.

 

5 hours ago, AmusedToD said:

Intresting read. We need some qualified CA reviewers to het their hands on the dCS, I am thinking @romaz and @austinpop :)

 

I'm Amused To D(eath) at your comment.

 

I only review things that:

  1. Interest me, in terms of areas my system is evolving, and
  2. I can afford, and choose to buy, or
  3. Kind loaners from CA'ers.

I haven't ever received demos from manufacturers directly.

 

That said, I would never say no to a Ref 10 or dCS loaner for review, but I'm not holding my breath! 9_9

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9 hours ago, Miko said:

Those cables are waaay too much money!

I settled on using 5 x Oyaide DB-510 0.7m for the clock cables.  They are 5N silver, triple shielding and were only £79 each.

 

They don't sound any better than the Belden 1694/ Canare cables (£12 each) which I know quite a few studios use for their MCs.

SOtM sMS-200ultra (12v, silver internal DC cable, 75Ω external clock input),

SOtM tX-USBultra (12v, silver internal DC cable, 75Ω external clock input),

Singxer SU-1 (7v SOtM sCLK-EX, silver internal DC cable, 75Ω external clock input),

W4S DAC2v2 SE (SOtM sCLK-EX silver internal DC cable, 75Ω external clock input),

Mutec REF 10, Bryston BP6, Trinnov Altitude 32, 9 x Bryston 7B³s, B&W 800D3s, B&W HTM1 D3, 2 x Arendal Sub 3,

SOtM dCBL-CAT7 (ISO-CAT6 SE), SOtM eABS-200 installed on all components, JCAT NET Card FEMTO, mRendu, dCS Rossini DAC, Chord Hugo 2, Schitt Yggy, Chord Qutest (ordered for home office), UpTone ISO Regen, 5 x UpTone LPS-1s, 4 x PH SR4s, 5 x UpTone LPS-1.2s

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49 minutes ago, austinpop said:

The whole clock topic is complex, so I am not surprised - we're all Confused.

 

 

I'm Amused To D(eath) at your comment.

 

I only review things that:

  1. Interest me, in terms of areas my system is evolving, and
  2. I can afford, and choose to buy, or
  3. Kind loaners from CA'ers.

I haven't ever received demos from manufacturers directly.

 

That said, I would never say no to a Ref 10 or dCS loaner for review, but I'm not holding my breath! 9_9

 

I hope someone will be kind enough to loan one :)

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On 8/20/2017 at 7:12 PM, Bamber said:

I settled on using 5 x Oyaide DB-510 0.7m for the clock cables.  They are 5N silver, triple shielding and were only £79 each.

 

They don't sound any better than the Belden 1694/ Canare cables (£12 each) which I know quite a few studios use for their MCs.

I still haven't ordered the Ref10, but I already ordered the coax and BNC plugs that will serve as future cables.

 

NEOTECH NEI-3003 MK III Coaxial cable 75 Ohm UP-OCC Silver Plated Ø8.5mm

OYAIDE SLSB-BNC Pure Silver 4N BNC Connector 75 Ohm Ø 9mm

 

The Oyaide BNC connectors are the same as on your DB-510's and cost 57,5 euros/piece. So your cables are dirt cheap!

 

Perhaps these cables won't make any difference in the end :-(

 

The BNC plugs don't seem to be easy to solder, so I will have to ask a friend of mine to do it for me.

 

What is interesting in building your own cables, is that you can keep them as short as possible.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, SwissBear said:

A short comment on the subject of clock cables. I have been suggested to use these cables (https://www.thecableco.com/Product/S-Link) and ordered them. They seem perfect for the usage and are very reasonable in price. A warm recommendation :)

 

 

Please post some impression when you got them. I am very interested. Thank you. :)

"Its the REF clock that makes it all so good..."

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11 hours ago, Kritpoon said:

 

Please post some impression when you got them. I am very interested. Thank you. :)

 

Hi Kriptoon, I received them yesterday. They look very well manufactured. The terminations look much better than the Mogami which were really cheap. They can be locked as you would expect from BNC terminated cables. As far as sonic impressions are concerned, the Ref-10 has continued to improve. So difficult to compare. But they are certainly better. So for a very reasonable price, they look very well adapted to the task. And the service from The Cable Company is perfect !

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Hi @SwissBear thank you for your report. For alternative, I might try the cableco for my future equipment(s) that has REF clock input. As a side note, I have my REF10 for about close to three weeks now (being turn-on 24/7), and I also finds its still improving, though the improvement is not as large as the beginning. I am really like what I am hearing now and curious to see after the finished burn in how REF10 alleviate the SQ.

"Its the REF clock that makes it all so good..."

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Yes, thanks from me too @SwissBear, that is useful feedback re the cables.  I am also pleased to read that the REF10 is still improving, this is a good thing considering that you seemed quite please with it out of the box.  Have you noticed anything new sonically, or is it simply delivering slightly more of the improvements you noted earlier.  For me, I am particularly interested in your particular experience, as you know, we both share the same taste in amplification, as well as us both running a MC3+USB.  Perhaps you will check in and tell us more over at the 'other' forum some time.:)

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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Hi @Confused, thanks for your interest.

 

Not much to add for the moment as I have been away for a full week and unable to let the break in of the Ref-10 move forward during this period.

 

If I may insist on some things at this stage:

  • the Mutec MC-3+ USB is already a very good product when it comes out of the box. It improves, as you know as well as I do, a lot of listening impressions, especially the separations of instruments and voices, giving the music a very aerial taste
  • when you remove the original SPMS of this machine and replace it by the output of a Paul Hynes, it becomes a fantastic product. The experience is just enhanced and the transparency of the Mutec becomes magic.
  • so, as Waren Buffet is famous for saying: rule no1: do not loose money, rule n02: do not forget rule no1, I would like to state;
    • rule no1: get a Paul Hynes LPSU ( @paulhynes)
    • rule no2: plug your computer and your Mutec MC-3+ USB on this LPSU
    • rule no3: get a Mutec REF-10 and plug the world-clock input of the MC-3+ USB on the REF-10
    • and you will be close to haven...

Next step for me: a very kind person from the other forum has proposed to lend me his sMS-200 Ultra with external clock plus as well as a modded router. I will therefore have an sMS-200 Ultra, a modded router and the MC-3+ USB fed by the LPSU and clock-driven by the REF-10. I should receive this gear end of this week and will be happy to report if any further improvement, which I am not expecting at this stage, occurs.

 

Stay tuned ;)

 

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