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  • 1 month later...

just curious, is there a best practice around using a master clock like the ref10? For example I have my system setup like that now: etherregen > sotm sms200 ultra > sotm txusb ultra > mutec mc3+ before it goes into the mscaler. So the 4 devices before the mscaler are clocked by the ref 10. What happens if I drop an uptone iso regen in between the sms200 ultra and the txusb ultra in the spirit of experimentation? The iso regen obviously does not take in an external clock. Does this defeats the purpose of reclocking with the ref10?

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Hi fellows, i'm new in this forum, i'm planning to use ref10 fro my dcs bartok DAC. I know that ref10 can not connected directly to bartok word clock inputs. Bartok clock inputs only accept 44.1k and 48k freq. I have 2 plans:

 

- By connecting ref10 to mutec mc3+usb (2units) and setup 1st mc3+usb clock output 44.1k freq then 2nd mc3+usb clock output 48k, Then connect each mc3+usb to 2 bartok word clock input.

- Buying SotM sCLK-Ex board that can be customized for 2 clock output (in this case 44.1k and 48k that goes to bartok clock inputs) and 1 clock input 10MHz (connected to ref10). I can buy external alloy enclosure for SotM sCLK-EX and power it using custom LPS.

 

First option is going to cost more than second option, So I need some opinions from u guys, in term of SQ, which one is better?? If the SQ difference is subtle, Probably i gonna choose the lower cost option. I'm new to this clocking things, hopefully can improve SQ by doing it

 

Thanks in advance.

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On 10/25/2020 at 4:04 PM, Tatang said:

Hi fellows, i'm new in this forum, i'm planning to use ref10 fro my dcs bartok DAC. I know that ref10 can not connected directly to bartok word clock inputs. Bartok clock inputs only accept 44.1k and 48k freq. I have 2 plans:

 

- By connecting ref10 to mutec mc3+usb (2units) and setup 1st mc3+usb clock output 44.1k freq then 2nd mc3+usb clock output 48k, Then connect each mc3+usb to 2 bartok word clock input.

- Buying SotM sCLK-Ex board that can be customized for 2 clock output (in this case 44.1k and 48k that goes to bartok clock inputs) and 1 clock input 10MHz (connected to ref10). I can buy external alloy enclosure for SotM sCLK-EX and power it using custom LPS.

 

First option is going to cost more than second option, So I need some opinions from u guys, in term of SQ, which one is better?? If the SQ difference is subtle, Probably i gonna choose the lower cost option. I'm new to this clocking things, hopefully can improve SQ by doing it

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Option one supposes that a Mutec MC3+usb clocked itself by the ref 10 and two cables in the chain is going to be superior technically to and offer better sound reproduction than the internal dCS clock in the Bartok. If you believe this to be true, then feel free to try it if you have the buckets of cash to splash out on this expensive gear.

 

Option 2 sounds scary in terms of electronics and aesthetics.

 

I've always found that when you synchronise, say, a DAC and a streamer, with the same clock, there were audible benefits. That's already occurring in the Bartok.

 

We are only here once on this earth so if you have the cash to splash on these solutions, then you don't need anybody's approval to do so. Just do it and enjoy the fun of experimenting.

 

Regards

GG

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  • 1 month later...

I have the SE120 version of the Mutec for several days now. Very happy with it. To me it gives a stunning window into the music and a spooky "height" to the left - right stereo.

 

Only thing I can add to the connectivity questions above (which go mostly over my head) is the MC3+USB, even when eternally clocked, auto switches sample rate depending on input.    But you probably know that already....

 

 

Jules

Qobuz - Roon - Weiss 501 DAC - ADAM Audio A5X  + sub  & Meze Empyrean headphones

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

I have two REF-10, one on each of my systems. I recently moved one system to a DAC which can be fed via I2S.

 

I tried to find a way to use this input to provide a clean clock signal to my DAC. I first asked Mutec for a solution, but they could not offer anything apart from the MC-3+ USB, which is limited to PCM 24/192.

 

I tested the Audio GD DI20-HE interface and was not satisfied. On the machine I tested, I found too many distorsions to feel happy and returned it.

 

I just received a Singxer SU-2 and connected it to the REF-10 (SE120). And this was an "whaoo moment" for me: I could finally enjoy the magnificence of the upsampling of HQPlayer to DSD 256 or DSD 512, and the bass tightness, the aeration all the benefits given by this high precision clock.

 

I have always been convinced that the best place to use the signal of a REF-10 was when you convert the asynchronous signal (USB in this case) into a synchronous one. The test I have been making with this new interface and the REF-10 gives me one more reason to reinforce my belief :-)

A very interesting post.  A while ago I was looking at changing my MC3+USB.  This was for a similar reason to yourself, as I was looking for something that could output DSD64.

 

I was put off the Audio GD, having seen some very poor measurements for some of their other products, plus I had seen some issues with reliability.  I also looked at the SU-2.  This was very tempting, but I found someone who had compared the MC3+USB to the SU-2, and based on his observations I decided to stick with the Mutec.  To be clear, I only found one person, and one post on anther forum comparing the SU-2 the MC3+USB, so hardly a representative sample.  In addition, this was a comparison without an external clock.

 

Your post above has brought all of this back to me, and makes me wonder if the SU-2, mindful that I would be feeding it with my REF10, might actually be a step up from the MC3+USB?

 

I know these things are difficult, but would you be able to describe the difference in sound / presentation between a REF10 fed MC3+USB versus the SU-2?

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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2 hours ago, Confused said:

A very interesting post.  A while ago I was looking at changing my MC3+USB.  This was for a similar reason to yourself, as I was looking for something that could output DSD64.

 

I was put off the Audio GD, having seen some very poor measurements for some of their other products, plus I had seen some issues with reliability.  I also looked at the SU-2.  This was very tempting, but I found someone who had compared the MC3+USB to the SU-2, and based on his observations I decided to stick with the Mutec.  To be clear, I only found one person, and one post on anther forum comparing the SU-2 the MC3+USB, so hardly a representative sample.  In addition, this was a comparison without an external clock.

 

Your post above has brought all of this back to me, and makes me wonder if the SU-2, mindful that I would be feeding it with my REF10, might actually be a step up from the MC3+USB?

 

I know these things are difficult, but would you be able to describe the difference in sound / presentation between a REF10 fed MC3+USB versus the SU-2?

Also one option to consider if you have interest to "max out": SU-2 modded with sCLK-EX board and DC-input jack for external LPS.

 

I have SU-1 with such mods. It did not have master clock input originally like the SU-2 now has, but after the mods. I have not heard SU-2 (neither DI20/HE nor MC3+USB) myself but at least the company where I had my SU-1 being modified, MagnaHifi, offers modification now for SU-2. Of course they are the source of service and business but maybe you could ask them an opinion. I have had fulfilling correspondence with them and never felt being charged for nonsense.

 

As for sound impressions, I use it sourcing from PC with JCAT USB XE with Farad3 and power the SU-1 with Farad3 also. Cheapo BG7TBL Master Clock is attached to SU-1.

The output is via I2S to Audio GD R7HE. I have also tried Schiit Bifrost 2 (from SU-1 with AES vs USB-in), Burl B2 Bomber DAC (from SU-1 with AES) and Holo May. Obviously this is just my opinion and not a absolute fact but I felt this SU-1 with sCLK-EX+external DC mod has improved every DAC I tried, even with the May albeit it's theoretical superior engineering and measurements.

I preferred having modded SU-1 in the setup with it's larger imaging and overall cleaner and punchier sound.

Some more technically and theoretically savvy users on forum have said here there is some fundamental problem with those I2S gimmicks making the clock going wrong direction or something. I have no idea how that stands out when listening. I seem to prefer such setup though.

 

As for more general impressions, I think you could say there is consensus with subjective (and experimental) part of users here that power supply quality and better timing (or lower phase noise) matters and that is something I believe matters much in my case too.

There is a topic on forum where people have tried bypassing internal SMPS even on a Chord DAVE with Uptone JS-2 and such with good outcome. Based on the theories by John Swenson, vastly reported experimental experience and my personal experiments I am not surprised if it would yield to improvement even on such high priced DAC.

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3 hours ago, Confused said:

A very interesting post.  A while ago I was looking at changing my MC3+USB.  This was for a similar reason to yourself, as I was looking for something that could output DSD64.

 

I was put off the Audio GD, having seen some very poor measurements for some of their other products, plus I had seen some issues with reliability.  I also looked at the SU-2.  This was very tempting, but I found someone who had compared the MC3+USB to the SU-2, and based on his observations I decided to stick with the Mutec.  To be clear, I only found one person, and one post on anther forum comparing the SU-2 the MC3+USB, so hardly a representative sample.  In addition, this was a comparison without an external clock.

 

Your post above has brought all of this back to me, and makes me wonder if the SU-2, mindful that I would be feeding it with my REF10, might actually be a step up from the MC3+USB?

 

I know these things are difficult, but would you be able to describe the difference in sound / presentation between a REF10 fed MC3+USB versus the SU-2?

Hi @Confused

 

How have you been doing. It's been a while since we last touched base.

I have not really compared Singxer SU-2 with Mutec MC-3+ USB a/b.

 

I have acquired a very modest DAC, a Matrix Audio x-Sabre Pro MQA. This DAC has one functionality which is outstanding for me: its clock can be configured to follow the clock included in the I2S (or SPDIF) music flow. It's called Sync mode in the user manual. In this mode, the clock of the DAC is therefore given by the clock of the SU-2, which is in fact synchronised with my Ref-10 (SE-120 as I upgraded this one). 

And the results are simply stunning in my opinion in terms of all the benefits you can get from a high precision clock.

 

So I basically replaced my D900 with this DAC and a pair of Benchmark AHB2. And I am a very happy man. In terms of expenses, we are an order of magnitude lower than my previous equipment, but I'm much more convinced with this new equipment.

The D900 sits there for its decoration purpose, and the new stuff for the music production.

 

The holographic image is much wider and stable, the level of details and the fluidity are incredible.

I am using HQPlayer to upsample to DSD-512 with a modulator which is not EC. I do not feel the need to have an EC modulator as the clock is providing most of the benefits of these modulators.

 

I would like to precise that the SU-2 seems very efficient in terms of galvanic isolation. So I just removed all the gadgets I had purchased from SOtM, including the switch. And I am not missing any of these :-)

 

Hope this helps.

Kind regards :-)

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4 hours ago, Savolax said:

Also one option to consider if you have interest to "max out": SU-2 modded with sCLK-EX board and DC-input jack for external LPS.

 

I have SU-1 with such mods. It did not have master clock input originally like the SU-2 now has, but after the mods. I have not heard SU-2 (neither DI20/HE nor MC3+USB) myself but at least the company where I had my SU-1 being modified, MagnaHifi, offers modification now for SU-2. Of course they are the source of service and business but maybe you could ask them an opinion. I have had fulfilling correspondence with them and never felt being charged for nonsense.

 

As for sound impressions, I use it sourcing from PC with JCAT USB XE with Farad3 and power the SU-1 with Farad3 also. Cheapo BG7TBL Master Clock is attached to SU-1.

The output is via I2S to Audio GD R7HE. I have also tried Schiit Bifrost 2 (from SU-1 with AES vs USB-in), Burl B2 Bomber DAC (from SU-1 with AES) and Holo May. Obviously this is just my opinion and not a absolute fact but I felt this SU-1 with sCLK-EX+external DC mod has improved every DAC I tried, even with the May albeit it's theoretical superior engineering and measurements.

I preferred having modded SU-1 in the setup with it's larger imaging and overall cleaner and punchier sound.

Some more technically and theoretically savvy users on forum have said here there is some fundamental problem with those I2S gimmicks making the clock going wrong direction or something. I have no idea how that stands out when listening. I seem to prefer such setup though.

 

As for more general impressions, I think you could say there is consensus with subjective (and experimental) part of users here that power supply quality and better timing (or lower phase noise) matters and that is something I believe matters much in my case too.

There is a topic on forum where people have tried bypassing internal SMPS even on a Chord DAVE with Uptone JS-2 and such with good outcome. Based on the theories by John Swenson, vastly reported experimental experience and my personal experiments I am not surprised if it would yield to improvement even on such high priced DAC.

I think the SU-2 already includes a linear power supply?  I guess what you are saying is that better spec external LPSU would offer an improvement?  Also, if the SU-2 has a 10MhZ clock input, I am thinking that  an sCLK-EX is surplus to requirements if you simply want to run it with an existing Mutec REF10.

 

Anyway, many thanks for the pointer to Magna Hifi.  Here in the UK I could just buy a SU-2 from Amazon, but interestingly the Magna Hifi price is considerably lower.

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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56 minutes ago, Confused said:

I think the SU-2 already includes a linear power supply?  I guess what you are saying is that better spec external LPSU would offer an improvement?  Also, if the SU-2 has a 10MhZ clock input, I am thinking that  an sCLK-EX is surplus to requirements if you simply want to run it with an existing Mutec REF10.

 

Anyway, many thanks for the pointer to Magna Hifi.  Here in the UK I could just buy a SU-2 from Amazon, but interestingly the Magna Hifi price is considerably lower.

Yes, the best spec psu you can afford. I have had good experience with "even" LPS-1.2 and Farad3. Haven't tried else, yet 😉. It was not possible to A/B due to nature of mods and I did not have surplus stock unit so I cant say for sure how much each mod mattered relatively but it was a different beast, so to say.

 

sCLK-EX is not required since the clock input is available in SU-2 and infact I noticed you have tX-USBultra so I don't how much, if any, would one do favors installed into SU-2.

And at least you have a good master clock already. Dreaming of having one in future..

 

edit: forgot to mention that they probably could do DC jack mod only and some capacitor/regulator also if preferred.

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  • 1 month later...

Folks,

My Mutec Ref10 SE120 arrived. Plugged it into the system and everything sounds great. I have not done an A-B test with mutec on and off. However, I am curious is there a way to check if the clocks are indeed working as intended, meaning, that the sotm-sms 200 ultra neo, tx-usbl ultra and sotm switch are all clocked properly and indeed the external clock is the one that is used?

 

Currently, only the sms-ultra and the tx-usb ultra are clocked with the mutec as it has only 2 50 ohm outputs. The sms-ultra is going to be sent back to change to 75 ohms. For all other components, testing is much easier, for example for tx-usb ultra, if something is not working the usb ports won't function, but how to indeed confirm if all connections are right (for example using the wrong ohm rating for cable or using a 50 ohm on a 75 ohm or even inside the unit if the clock cables are not properly connected) need some way to test. I wish the Sotms had some indicator that shows now it is using hte external clock. sorry if the topic was discussed earlier in this thread. 

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As it the MC3+ unit that will be carrying signal to your other gear - on it you can toggle between it passing the audio signal on with / without the SF120 

 

learn how to perform this “a/b” test and  you will be able to hear your system with and with out.  
 

EXT-RE CLK is the status where the SF120 clock is being passed onto your equipment. 
 

try INT - RE CLK - that’s just passing on the MC3+ reclocking. (Not the SF120)

 

EXT-RE CLK should sound best.

 

make sure you have the SF120 plugged into the TOP bnc port on the back right of the MC3+ Try using output 4 too. Copy my settings on the lower photo. 

 

 

 

 

483748D2-D1D3-40A3-8610-C3341DBEF870.jpeg

665E2E00-E324-4554-8BB3-73D734D5F731.jpeg

Jules

Qobuz - Roon - Weiss 501 DAC - ADAM Audio A5X  + sub  & Meze Empyrean headphones

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4 hours ago, jbm_2021 said:

Folks,

My Mutec Ref10 SE120 arrived. Plugged it into the system and everything sounds great. I have not done an A-B test with mutec on and off. However, I am curious is there a way to check if the clocks are indeed working as intended, meaning, that the sotm-sms 200 ultra neo, tx-usbl ultra and sotm switch are all clocked properly and indeed the external clock is the one that is used?

 

Currently, only the sms-ultra and the tx-usb ultra are clocked with the mutec as it has only 2 50 ohm outputs. The sms-ultra is going to be sent back to change to 75 ohms. For all other components, testing is much easier, for example for tx-usb ultra, if something is not working the usb ports won't function, but how to indeed confirm if all connections are right (for example using the wrong ohm rating for cable or using a 50 ohm on a 75 ohm or even inside the unit if the clock cables are not properly connected) need some way to test. I wish the Sotms had some indicator that shows now it is using hte external clock. sorry if the topic was discussed earlier in this thread. 

 

As far as I understand, the SOtM gears will need to detect if there is an external clock signal available when they boot.

So to ensure that they are using the REF-10 clock signal, you need to reboot them with the clock signal being sent, ie the cables attached and the output selected on the REF-10.

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3 hours ago, Pro Jules said:

As it the MC3+ unit that will be carrying signal to your other gear - on it you can toggle between it passing the audio signal on with / without the SF120 

 

Why would it be the case ? The SOtM gears are fed the clock signal independently of any MC-3+ unit being there AFAIK.

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39 minutes ago, SwissBear said:

 

As far as I understand, the SOtM gears will need to detect if there is an external clock signal available when they boot.

So to ensure that they are using the REF-10 clock signal, you need to reboot them with the clock signal being sent, ie the cables attached and the output selected on the REF-10.

 

Also, in my experience, the switch and the tx-USB are the most important in the clocking process. I would invite you to test with the sMS-200 not being externally clocked, while the tx-USB and the sNH-10g are.

 

Obviously, its even more important if you have a gear which is involved in the process of producing or transforming the synchronous music flow, like the MC-3+ USB, a Singxer SU-2 or a DAC itself. Bringing the precision of the REF-10 clock to the synchronous music flow gives better results IMHO. 

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1 hour ago, SwissBear said:

 

Why would it be the case ? The SOtM gears are fed the clock signal independently of any MC-3+ unit being there AFAIK.

Apologies with all the product names just a few letters and numbers I am not sure I understand what actual product the poster is trying to add clock to (!) Most converters dont have a 10M clock in.. So a MC3+ would be required. 

 

And looking up a Singxer SU-2  (what IS that?!) it does INDEED have the correct 10M input!

 

 

Jules

Qobuz - Roon - Weiss 501 DAC - ADAM Audio A5X  + sub  & Meze Empyrean headphones

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9 hours ago, jbm_2021 said:

Folks,

My Mutec Ref10 SE120 arrived. Plugged it into the system and everything sounds great. I have not done an A-B test with mutec on and off. However, I am curious is there a way to check if the clocks are indeed working as intended, meaning, that the sotm-sms 200 ultra neo, tx-usbl ultra and sotm switch are all clocked properly and indeed the external clock is the one that is used?

 

Currently, only the sms-ultra and the tx-usb ultra are clocked with the mutec as it has only 2 50 ohm outputs. The sms-ultra is going to be sent back to change to 75 ohms. For all other components, testing is much easier, for example for tx-usb ultra, if something is not working the usb ports won't function, but how to indeed confirm if all connections are right (for example using the wrong ohm rating for cable or using a 50 ohm on a 75 ohm or even inside the unit if the clock cables are not properly connected) need some way to test. I wish the Sotms had some indicator that shows now it is using hte external clock. sorry if the topic was discussed earlier in this thread. 

 

SOtM gear does not need to be rebooted to detect the external reference clock. If you peer into the box through the slats in the chassis, you'll see a flashing green LED on the sCLK-EX board. Next to it is another green LED.

  • If unlit, no external clock has been detected
  • If lit (steady green, not blinking), then the external clock has been detected.

In summary, you'll know if the external clock has been correctly detected when you see one flashing green AND one steady green LED.

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4 hours ago, Pro Jules said:

And looking up a Singxer SU-2  (what IS that?!) it does INDEED have the correct 10M input!

 

Singxer SU-2 is the next generation of MC-3+USB, ie with an I2S interface to feed modern DAC with a nicely galvanically isolated and well clocked I2S music flow. Very good product IMO :-) 

Hope Mutec will be inspired to release one such product soon.

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16 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

SOtM gear does not need to be rebooted to detect the external reference clock. If you peer into the box through the slats in the chassis, you'll see a flashing green LED on the sCLK-EX board. Next to it is another green LED.

  • If unlit, no external clock has been detected
  • If lit (steady green, not blinking), then the external clock has been detected.

In summary, you'll know if the external clock has been correctly detected when you see one flashing green AND one steady green LED.

 

Thanks for the precision :-)

Aren't you missing your Ref-10 ?

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7 hours ago, SwissBear said:

 

Also, in my experience, the switch and the tx-USB are the most important in the clocking process. I would invite you to test with the sMS-200 not being externally clocked, while the tx-USB and the sNH-10g are.

 

Obviously, its even more important if you have a gear which is involved in the process of producing or transforming the synchronous music flow, like the MC-3+ USB, a Singxer SU-2 or a DAC itself. Bringing the precision of the REF-10 clock to the synchronous music flow gives better results IMHO. 

Interesting point. I can only clock 2 right now until the 75ohm mod is done. So I will choose the tx usb and switch. 

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2 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

SOtM gear does not need to be rebooted to detect the external reference clock. If you peer into the box through the slats in the chassis, you'll see a flashing green LED on the sCLK-EX board. Next to it is another green LED.

  • If unlit, no external clock has been detected
  • If lit (steady green, not blinking), then the external clock has been detected.

In summary, you'll know if the external clock has been correctly detected when you see one flashing green AND one steady green LED.

Rajiv is right. I just tested it and May also responded yesterday. The solid green LED shows that a reboot is not needed. The mutec takes a long time to boot. About a minute I think?

 

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