• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Can you review a Synchro-Mesh S/PDIF re-clocker?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Frank Dernie

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
1,571
Likes
1,968
Location
Oxfordshire
Congrats!

I wonder how it measures. I tried it, but didn’t find it to give noticeably different sound than my existing digital-to-digital-box. Sighted listening only...

Mutec is well-regarded for build quality and features.
My experience too. I have one but it is in storage.
 

Krunok

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
3,479
Likes
1,793
Location
Zg, Cro
I haven't bought anything without an extended home demo for years, except speakers - getting speakers set up which weigh 300lb each isn't easily arranged.
When I first compared cables I used a Spectral SDR2000 Dac, DMC20 preamp and DMA180 power amp into Sonus Faber Extrema speakers.
The second time I used a Goldmund Mimesis 22/ Mimesis 20/ Mimesis 29.4 monoblocks, for speaker cables only.
Both these evaluations at home.

When I chose my current speakers otoh I travelled all over the place for a couple of years. By then I was using Apogee Divas and was keen to hear the original Wilson Audio WAMM and the dealer I had bought my Goldmund Reference turntable from was the French importer for so I went to Paris to listen to them.
He also had Goldmund Apologues and Analogues which I felt had a much more realistic instrumental timbre and looked much nicer.
To cut a long story short my final audition was between the Goldmund Epilog and the Bowers and Wilkins Nautilus. I chose the Epilogs even though I loved the styling of the Nautilus and have been contentedly listening to them ever since.
I used to make recordings (of classical music) too, so have several original master recordings of my own I can play.
Things I can certainly hear differences between:-
Microphones
Microphone position.
Tape recorders.
Pickup cartridges - I use an Ortofon A90 mostly but like the Decca super gold a lot - more fun than accurate...
Pickup arms
Record decks
Record deck supports, and where they are located.
Speakers.
Power amplifiers.

Things I have tested carefully and did not discern a difference on the type of music I listen to:-
Interconnects, except the ones like Goldmund and MIT with filters in.
Speaker cables - ditto
DACs, I compared a Linn Klimax, Resolution Audio Cantata, Weiss DAC202 and Metric Halo recorder. I thought there may have been a tiny bit more detail on the sound of the pianist pressing the pedals with the Cantata on one piano recording, but minimal and I am sure blind I wouldn't consistently get it right - so for me a requestably good approximation to no difference.

Things I haven't carefully tested but a quick check showed no difference:-
Preamps - I changed the Spectral DMC 20 which I loved for the Goldmund Mimesis 22 because it stacked nicely despite not hearing a difference.

I am a believer in simple recording and for me it is a fact that the recording quality makes a much bigger difference to sound quality than any change in properly engineered hifi equipment, and it is an obvious difference.

I am a music lover, had a good system for at least 5 years before I got my first car and have actually never owned a car costing as much as my hifi, ever. I own a Ferrari I bought new.

My conclusions after over 50 years as a music lover and engineer.
IMHO one can only hear difference between amps if one of them is not up to the task. :)
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
228
Likes
165
It is likely this effect if real would react differently with different DACs and software. If true the results would be chaotic from all the variables and no consensus could be achieved.
As opposed to the current situation in which audiophiles all agree about what's audible & accurate? o_O
 

Frank Dernie

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
1,571
Likes
1,968
Location
Oxfordshire
IMHO one can only hear difference between amps if one of them is not up to the task. :)
Quite so, and maybe there are fewer nowadays but when power amps were less powerful than they often are today, 25 watts was the higher end when I first compared, plenty which measured well into a 8 ohm power resistor were poor sounding with speakers. It was my first experience of something measuring well but not sounding good - because the wrong test was and, to my disgust, still is, being used for evaluation.
I am very interested in amp tests into complex loads and have almost zero interest in all the others.
 

watchnerd

Major Contributor
Beer Hero
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
4,915
Likes
1,876
Location
Seattle Area
I am a believer in simple recording and for me it is a fact that the recording quality makes a much bigger difference to sound quality than any change in properly engineered hifi equipment, and it is an obvious difference.
Totally agree. Recordings, transducers (speakers, mics, cartridges), and rooms are the biggest levers.

Switch speakers, seating positions, or cartridges, and even untrained lay people can hear differences. And this is consistent with measurements, as these devices are the most flawed, least transparent.

If I ever upgrade my current electronics (Devialet Expert 400), it will be for features, not to get closer to perfection.

On the other hand, I can fiddle with cartridge choices forever because they're all so flawed.
 
Last edited:

Krunok

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
3,479
Likes
1,793
Location
Zg, Cro
Totally agree. Recordings, transducers (speakers, mics, cartridges), and rooms are the biggest levers.

Switch speakers, seating positions, or cartridges, and even untrained lay people can hear differences. And this is consistent with measurements, as these devices are the most flawed, least transparent.

If I ever upgrade my current electronics (Devialet Expert 400), it will be for features, not to get closer to perfection.

On the other hand, I can fiddle with cartridge choices forever all because they're all so flawed.
So true.

Btw, I don't think your Devialet has any problems even with more complex loads. :D
 

watchnerd

Major Contributor
Beer Hero
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
4,915
Likes
1,876
Location
Seattle Area
So true.

Btw, I don't think your Devialet has any problems even with more complex loads. :D
I have an experiment in the works to test how they do with passive speakers with the crossovers ripped out, using the Devialet DSP, instead. Of course, ripping out the passive crossovers also removes Zobel networks and other things designed to make the load easier.
 

Empirical Audio

Active Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Mar 10, 2019
Messages
224
Likes
61
Location
Great Northwest, USA
I haven't bought anything without an extended home demo for years, except speakers - getting speakers set up which weigh 300lb each isn't easily arranged.
When I first compared cables I used a Spectral SDR2000 Dac, DMC20 preamp and DMA180 power amp into Sonus Faber Extrema speakers.
The second time I used a Goldmund Mimesis 22/ Mimesis 20/ Mimesis 29.4 monoblocks, for speaker cables only.
Both these evaluations at home.

When I chose my current speakers otoh I travelled all over the place for a couple of years. By then I was using Apogee Divas and was keen to hear the original Wilson Audio WAMM and the dealer I had bought my Goldmund Reference turntable from was the French importer for so I went to Paris to listen to them.
He also had Goldmund Apologues and Analogues which I felt had a much more realistic instrumental timbre and looked much nicer.
To cut a long story short my final audition was between the Goldmund Epilog and the Bowers and Wilkins Nautilus. I chose the Epilogs even though I loved the styling of the Nautilus and have been contentedly listening to them ever since.
I used to make recordings (of classical music) too, so have several original master recordings of my own I can play.
Things I can certainly hear differences between:-
Microphones
Microphone position.
Tape recorders.
Pickup cartridges - I use an Ortofon A90 mostly but like the Decca super gold a lot - more fun than accurate...
Pickup arms
Record decks
Record deck supports, and where they are located.
Speakers.
Power amplifiers.

Things I have tested carefully and did not discern a difference on the type of music I listen to:-
Interconnects, except the ones like Goldmund and MIT with filters in.
Speaker cables - ditto
DACs, I compared a Linn Klimax, Resolution Audio Cantata, Weiss DAC202 and Metric Halo recorder. I thought there may have been a tiny bit more detail on the sound of the pianist pressing the pedals with the Cantata on one piano recording, but minimal and I am sure blind I wouldn't consistently get it right - so for me a requestably good approximation to no difference.

Things I haven't carefully tested but a quick check showed no difference:-
Preamps - I changed the Spectral DMC 20 which I loved for the Goldmund Mimesis 22 because it stacked nicely despite not hearing a difference.

I am a believer in simple recording and for me it is a fact that the recording quality makes a much bigger difference to sound quality than any change in properly engineered hifi equipment, and it is an obvious difference.

I am a music lover, had a good system for at least 5 years before I got my first car and have actually never owned a car costing as much as my hifi, ever. I own a Ferrari I bought new.

My conclusions after over 50 years as a music lover and engineer.
Of course these comparisons are all system-related, but it sounds like you have tried a few things. Everyone has a different experience. What is obvious in your list is that you prefer to try name-brand products and maybe avoid the smaller companies. Most smaller companies sell direct and offer a 30-day money-back, no questions policy, like I do. You are only out the shipping cost to try things from these companies in your own system.

Several of my customers have the new Metric DACs, which are R2R based and they really like them, Since most Metric DACs have no re-clocker on the S/PDIF input, they can get the full benefits of a low-jitter source. The source will make all the difference with these DACs. That brings up this question:

What digital source did you use to audition these 4 DACs?
 

SIY

Major Contributor
Technical Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
2,665
Likes
4,544
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Which one was? The one about noise from cables? Unlike the other three that one actually seems almost possible to me! :D
It is possible. As March mentioned, triboelectric noise is a real thing. In high impedance, low level situations, it can easily be heard; a good example is guitar cords which can cause a scraping sound as they're dragged along the stage. Teflon/silver is a particularly bad combo. Wire manufacturers like Belden are aware of this and offer low-noise cable for situations like this or for high impedance instrumentation.
 

Krunok

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
3,479
Likes
1,793
Location
Zg, Cro
It is possible. As March mentioned, triboelectric noise is a real thing. In high impedance, low level situations, it can easily be heard; a good example is guitar cords which can cause a scraping sound as they're dragged along the stage. Teflon/silver is a particularly bad combo. Wire manufacturers like Belden are aware of this and offer low-noise cable for situations like this or for high impedance instrumentation.
Sure it is. My son plays electric guitar so I know how it goes. But I don't think noise is an issue today even with cheap unbalanced RCA cables.
 

SIY

Major Contributor
Technical Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
2,665
Likes
4,544
Location
Phoenix, AZ
For low impedance situations, nope, not an issue. For things like microphones, guitars, and moving magnet cartridges, it is something to pay attention to.
 

Frank Dernie

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
1,571
Likes
1,968
Location
Oxfordshire
What digital source did you use to audition these 4 DACs?
Goldmund Mimesis 36+ CD transport, Sooloos Control 15, iMac USB iirc, it was 5 or 6 years ago.
I take my hat off to you and Miska for working on making digital audio better but I am completely comfortable with the fact that the differences will not be audible though speakers with at best -60dB distortion. So for me your efforts are pointless, maybe others don't think so.
The only plausible explanation of people believing they hear differences at the -110db level and better is the placebo effect, which is real enough for those of you susceptible to it.
I could go on with more explanations about why this is the case, but it seems you are convinced one way and me the other.
I have done my tests, they are completely valid and show that items with distortion levels of -8dB (some record player bass) to -60dB (excellent speakers) are discernible. I am not sure at what point less distortion is not to me, but I don't care. I bought my hifi to listen to music not to mess around with. I can enjoy my music on it and be disappointed by the poor SQ of many recordings and rejoice in the beauty of others.
BTW I would rather listen to JS Bach on my 'phone than rap on the best hifi ever made.
 

watchnerd

Major Contributor
Beer Hero
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
4,915
Likes
1,876
Location
Seattle Area
For low impedance situations, nope, not an issue. For things like microphones, guitars, and moving magnet cartridges, it is something to pay attention to.
I've also induced it by licking the strings with my tongue on my Fender Jazz Bass when using long cables to the amp.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom