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Cybershaft Platinum Review (External Clock & PS)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 152 85.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 17 9.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 5 2.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 3 1.7%

  • Total voters
    177

ousi

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@amirm
I really enjoyed your review. Thank you. I read it very carefully and understood what you were doing and saying. What does 256K point FFT, 16 averages mean ? Does that mean you're plotting 256,000 fourier coefficients/points in the spectrum and doing it 16 times and averaging the results? Please explain it to a non EE person. Also, although the issue is moot, I'm wondering if a different kind of cable would have produced less jitter, better approximating the internal clock of the DAC ? and could it have even been better than the internal clock ? But even if it were, the audio listener couldn't tell the difference anyway.

I wonder if the super expensive dCs D/A converters using external clocks that they sell and that cost as much as a Porsche are just as useless ? haha
Not sure if this still applies but I had a dCS Purcell and Delius stack (ancient product) with an external word clock connected to both. I don’t hear much differences but the DAC (Delius) locks onto the signal quicker than without the word clock connected, especially when running at 24/192 (yea dated back in 1999)
 

doitttt

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thinking of 10cm bnc cable or tube with 50ohm
it must be able to reduce jitter a lot
 

doitttt

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I'm doing an experiment, with gustard u18 and
gustard c18 which i have, borrowed from buddy.
first the laptop, where I have idefender, as well as xpower 5volt.
where disconnects from the usb power, from the internal usb port.
and uses idefender with xpower, gets clean power
gustard u18 on hdmi, sounds good.
on gustard u18 there is bnc, 10mhz input 50ohm
then I put, gustard c18 on
1 meter bnc no change, in relation to gustard u18
50cm bnc, no change
25cm bnc then something happened, the sound became much, cleaner.
could think one, should go down to 10 cm bnc.
for something out of external 10mhz clock.
listening test is done, over neumann 310a studio monitor.
 

ousi

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@doitttt , on the second photo, Amir showed how short the clock signal cable is (the blue one), which is also 50ohm and likely 50cm.
 

DonR

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Over such short runs, cable induced jitter will be well below that of the clock which already has orders of magnitude less jitter than is audible by the most well-trained golden eared.
 

doitttt

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im read this
Thanks for your question. For the small vibration as above, the Giesemann Clock will stable around 3 hours without restart the power again.

For 35days, the Giesemann Clock will be in optimal status as below trends:

  • 3 hours - 85% (already outperform, better focus, wider soundstage, and remove all digital hardness when compared to other TCXO, FEMTO, other OCXO)
  • 1 days - 90% (1 day burn in, keep improving, the Giesemann clock will surprised customer with lush mid-high, airy sounding )
  • 7 days - 95%. (Customer will expected to very enjoyable and cannot live without the Giesemann Clock, improving is huge!!!)
  • 14 days - 98% (The improvement is keep on day after day, customer will be very happy and looking for upgrade of Giesemann)
  • 35 days - 99.99% (The final stage burn in, the optimised stage, customer will be very impressive, will introduce other audiophile)
  • and mutec
  • Recommendations for REF10 and REF10 SE120 To ensure a long-lasting performance with optimum clock signal quality that will best enhance your connected devices we would like to share a few recommendations for using the REF10, respectively REF10 SE120. • First customers have told us that for best sound performance of the connected devices it is useful to let the REF10, respectively REF10 SE120 burn-in for at least 14 days. Thus, we recommend to leave the unit switched on for that period of time.
 

voodooless

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uhuh...

Have any measurements to back this up? Or at least an attempt at an explanation of the physical processes behind these magical transformations?
 

BDWoody

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14 days - 98% (The improvement is keep on day after day, customer will be very happy and looking for upgrade of Giesemann)

So, it improves so much the customer will be wanting another upgrade?

This is all just wacky...

Have any measurements to back this up?

Don't start holding your breath...
 

TheBatsEar

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  • 3 hours - 85% (already outperform, better focus, wider soundstage, and remove all digital hardness when compared to other TCXO, FEMTO, other OCXO)
  • 1 days - 90% (1 day burn in, keep improving, the Giesemann clock will surprised customer with lush mid-high, airy sounding )
  • 7 days - 95%. (Customer will expected to very enjoyable and cannot live without the Giesemann Clock, improving is huge!!!)
  • 14 days - 98% (The improvement is keep on day after day, customer will be very happy and looking for upgrade of Giesemann)
  • 35 days - 99.99% (The final stage burn in, the optimised stage, customer will be very impressive, will introduce other audiophile)
1641543328743.jpg
 

doitttt

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  • and mutec
  • Recommendations for REF10 and REF10 SE120 To ensure a long-lasting performance with optimum clock signal quality that will best enhance your connected devices we would like to share a few recommendations for using the REF10, respectively REF10 SE120. • First customers have told us that for best sound performance of the connected devices it is useful to let the REF10, respectively REF10 SE120 burn-in for at least 14 days. Thus, we recommend to leave the unit switched on for that period of time
  • do not think mutec does anything half
    it comes from studiotechnicians who are used to listening to their studiemonitor
    with 14 day burnin
  • mutec REF10 and REF10 SE120 are the most used 10 mhz clock in the studio world
 

voodooless

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@doitttt, why not actually do your nickname justice and actually "do it": react to the criticism?
 

doitttt

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what i am saying here there really good 10mhz clock
so those 10mhz clock, which can be compared to snakeoil.
mutec REF10 and REF10 SE120, is the top of the pop of 10mhz clock.
cybershaft is not good, maybe snakeoil
maybe burnin, can do something, maybe not, that's the question
 

Neslo1108

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Cybershaft Platinum (Palladium) OP16 clock with its optional Ultra Pure Power Supply. It is on kind loan from a member. The clock costs US $1,457 and power supply, US $347.
View attachment 181901

While "DIY" in nature, I still like the look of these cases. Replacement spikes are provided for the feet as well as necessary cabling:
View attachment 181903

Normally audio DACs extract the DAC clock from incoming S/PDIF or Toslink inputs. But for asynchronous USB, use their own internal clock. In professional setups with many devices over large distance, a "master clock" is used to synchronize various ADC and DAC devices. At home we don't have such a use but somehow the application has morphed into "better clock" than what is inside your DAC. Some DAC companies provide their own external clocks. Here, we have an independent Japanese company providing it with various grades ("OP16" is one -- it ranges from OP11 to OP19).

I had a hard time finding reviews of this product but did run into this forum post:

View attachment 181906

I am amazed that his system was not relaxed before arrival of this unit. Wonder how he tolerated it that way....

This device was sent to me by the owner of SMSL VMV D3 so I chose to test it with that DAC.

Cybershaft Clock Measurements
Manufacturers of these clocks like to rave about the accuracy of the clocks in them. But we don't listen to clocks, we listen to analog output of the DAC and that is how I am going to test the effect of these units. Let's first test the VMV D3 with USB input and hence its own internal clock:

View attachment 181904

Now let's switch to using external Cybershaft OP16 clock:
View attachment 181905

I can't find any difference whatsoever other than minor run to run variations. Noise, distortion, etc. all seem the same. So we need a more precise test focusing on clock accuracy which is jitter. Let's again run the D3 with its internal clock:

View attachment 181907

Now let's change to Cybershaft:
View attachment 181908

As I suspected, performance gets worse, not better! We now have new jitter components we did not have before. Zooming into them we can see better:


View attachment 181909

How can this happen? Well, I don't care how good your clock is. When it has to travel over a cable and get extracted inside the DAC, it is liable to be worse than the one inside the DAC sitting close to where it is needed. Remember that I said the notion of a master clock was to get synchronization, not better fidelity and we see this here.

Discussion and Conclusions
It is amazing how our lay intuition leads of astray. We assume these clocks are like watches where more accuracy is better. Turns out we are not at all sensitive to absolute pitch as if we were, no one would be listening to analog sources! I can play my music 1% slower or faster (all the time) and you wouldn't know there is anything is wrong. What we care about is consistency of "speed" or clock. This type of variation causes jitter. So the fact that an external clock is "oven controlled," stable over time, etc. is of no value. What matters is that it doesn't vary over time. As I explained above though, best way to get consistency is with an internal clock right close to the DAC, not one across feet and meters of cabling. At best, such an external clock can match what is inside. At worst, it will make it perform worse as we see in the case of D3.

I run my jitter test in every DAC I review. Should that show clean spectrum, which it does in countless high performance DACs, then you don't need or want another clock. All you are doing is wasting money and possibly getting worse objective performance. Fortunately the levels of jitter created here is well below audibility so it doesn't do any harm other than to your pocketbook.

As to people thinking it sounds better, well, that is improper subjective testing for you. They connect the clock, focus into their music and all of a sudden hear detail they had not "heard" before. The combine it with wrong impression of what this device does to fidelity and they convince themselves of the improvement they provide. They need to do a simple AB test by switching the internal DAC and external DAC 10+ times blind and see if they get at least 8 right. Without it, they create folklore which causes people to waste money.

I should note that in the English translation of the Cybershaft webpage I did not find much of any reference to making things sound better so in that regard, I appreciated it but of course, the intent is obvious.

Needless to say, I don't recommend anyone use external clocks with their DACs unless they need synchronization with other devices.

I can't recommend the Cybershaft OP16 clock.

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Now the good reference clock have low phase jitter in the whole frequency range where standard femto clocks only performs good above 10khz. So measuring jitter at 12khz will not show any difference but try to compare jitter at 1-1000hz that where the biggest gain and sound improvements are with good clocks...
 

TheBatsEar

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BDWoody

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So measuring jitter at 12khz will not show any difference but try to compare jitter at 1-1000hz that where the biggest gain and sound improvements are with good clocks...

Do you have any evidence of sound improvements from a clock? There are lots of claims to that effect, but no actual evidence I'm aware of.

Jitter has to be pretty high before it becomes audible.
 

BDWoody

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here explanation of femto clock, and why
clock built into dac is better than external 10mhz clock.

They are pushing woo pretty hard...

I'd need to see some evidence to back these claims.

"Every time we developed a lower jitter clock, we told ourselves there would probably be no additional audible improvement–but we proved ourselves wrong with each iteration. Lowering the jitter audibly improves DAC performance in a linear fashion; there doesn’t seem to be any diminishing returns."
https://www.msbtechnology.com/dacs/clock-options/#:~:text=Every time we developed a lower jitter clock, we told ourselves there would probably be no additional audible improvement–but we proved ourselves wrong with each iteration. Lowering the jitter audibly improves DAC performance in a linear fashion; there doesn’t seem to be any diminishing returns.
 
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