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Master Clock use with CD players

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
I have read that using a master clock is more beneficial with seperate transport and DAC than with a single box CD player. Apparently this is due to improved synchronization of the transport and the DAC that occurs with an external master clock.
I plan to update my Esoteric X01D2 CD player with the new Esoteric K01. I am thinking of buying an Esoteric G-ORB to go with the new K01. Based on Robert Harley's stellar reiview of the Esoteric G-ORB and the DCS U-Clock, he apparently feels that the master clock wil improve sound significantly in both seperates and single box players.
Does anyone have any experience with this issue?
Will the G-ORB significantly improve the sound in the Esoteric K01?
post #2 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by matjet View Post

I have read that using a master clock is more beneficial with seperate transport and DAC than with a single box CD player. Apparently this is due to improved synchronization of the transport and the DAC that occurs with an external master clock.
I plan to update my Esoteric X01D2 CD player with the new Esoteric K01. I am thinking of buying an Esoteric G-ORB to go with the new K01. Based on Robert Harley's stellar reiview of the Esoteric G-ORB and the DCS U-Clock, he apparently feels that the master clock wil improve sound significantly in both seperates and single box players.
Does anyone have any experience with this issue?
Will the G-ORB significantly improve the sound in the Esoteric K01?

Actually external clock usually worsens quality of single box player. Since you can't directly use external clock due to inherently high jitter, any device needs PLL circuit to produce internal clock using external one as the reference. PLL controlled oscillators generally have higher phase noise than crystal stabilized clock.

If external DAC is used, master clock helps to synchronize source with DAC, so buffers in DAC can be smaller and thus reduce delays. This is only important in studio recording applications, where delay is critical problem. You won't have any advantage from this in playback only system.
post #3 of 48
Sound on Sound reviewed a couple of master clocks and their impact on sound quality
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun1...sterclocks.htm
post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Actually external clock usually worsens quality of single box player. Since you can't directly use external clock due to inherently high jitter, any device needs PLL circuit to produce internal clock using external one as the reference. PLL controlled oscillators generally have higher phase noise than crystal stabilized clock.

If external DAC is used, master clock helps to synchronize source with DAC, so buffers in DAC can be smaller and thus reduce delays. This is only important in studio recording applications, where delay is critical problem. You won't have any advantage from this in playback only system.

I spoke with a tech specialist at Esoteric yesterday. He said the K01 single box cd player would greatly benefit from the G-ORB. The Gorb would lock in the transport and the DAC to its clock. He has listened to the combination and feels there is significant improvement. I also spoke with a shop owner in Fla. who has also tried the G-ORB with K01 combination. He also feels it is a significant improvement, better than the P03/D03 with G-ORB combination.
post #5 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roseval View Post

Sound on Sound reviewed a couple of master clocks and their impact on sound quality
[url]http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun10/articles/masterclocks.htm[/


Roseval, Than kyou for this very interesting referrence. I will read it this evening.
post #6 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Actually external clock usually worsens quality of single box player. Since you can't directly use external clock due to inherently high jitter, any device needs PLL circuit to produce internal clock using external one as the reference. PLL controlled oscillators generally have higher phase noise than crystal stabilized clock.

If external DAC is used, master clock helps to synchronize source with DAC, so buffers in DAC can be smaller and thus reduce delays. This is only important in studio recording applications, where delay is critical problem. You won't have any advantage from this in playback only system.

Why would Esoteric and DCS create and promote single box CD players with external master clock use if it worsens the sound? These companies have top notch audio engineers, huge resources and reputations to uphold. As does Robert Harley, who has favorable reviewed master clock use with single cd players as well seperate transport/DAC.
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by matjet View Post

Why would Esoteric and DCS create and promote single box CD players with external master clock use if it worsens the sound? These companies have top notch audio engineers, huge resources and reputations to uphold. As does Robert Harley, who has favorable reviewed master clock use with single cd players as well seperate transport/DAC.

Just because they want to sell you clock generator. This is a standard market development tactic - sell you something, and then convince that unless you buy more your system is not complete.

As to reviews, most of them are actually infomercials paid for by manufacturer. How many negative reviews of high priced gear did you read? Can you believe that ALL reviewed products are excellent? Magazines won't survive without advertising dollars, and they will loose that source of revenue if they publish negative reviews.

Article from link above gave you real life examples. Even if you didn't study EE to understand WHY use of external clock is problematic in most cases, can you trust actual measurements?
post #8 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post
Just because they want to sell you clock generator. This is a standard market development tactic - sell you something, and then convince that unless you buy more your system is not complete.

As to reviews, most of them are actually infomercials paid for by manufacturer. How many negative reviews of high priced gear did you read? Can you believe that ALL reviewed products are excellent? Magazines won't survive without advertising dollars, and they will loose that source of revenue if they publish negative reviews.

Article from link above gave you real life examples. Even if you didn't study EE to understand WHY use of external clock is problematic in most cases, can you trust actual measurements?
I agree that reviews msut be treated with skepticism. But why would a companie like Esoteric and DCS, who produce the most highly regarded CD/SACD players in the high end industry (along with maybe two or three other manufacturers) go through the time and expense to develop and market the clocks if they are useless?

What do you think of Robert Harley's write up on the dCS Puccini and U-Clock in the Absolute Sound, Feb, 2010? Also on his write on the Esoteric G-ORb in the Abolute Sound, October 8, 2009? And, on his explanation of jitter and master clocks in the October 8, 2009 write up?
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by matjet View Post

I agree that reviews msut be treated with skepticism. But why would a companie like Esoteric and DCS, who produce the most highly regarded CD/SACD players in the high end industry (along with maybe two or three other manufacturers) go through the time and expense to develop and market the clocks if they are useless?

It's called making a living.

Quote:


What do you think of Robert Harley's

You won't miss anything valuable by not reading his stuff at all.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by matjet View Post

I agree that reviews msut be treated with skepticism. But why would a companie like Esoteric and DCS, who produce the most highly regarded CD/SACD players in the high end industry (along with maybe two or three other manufacturers) go through the time and expense to develop and market the clocks if they are useless?

What do you think of Robert Harley's write up on the dCS Puccini and U-Clock in the Absolute Sound, Feb, 2010? Also on his write on the Esoteric G-ORb in the Abolute Sound, October 8, 2009? And, on his explanation of jitter and master clocks in the October 8, 2009 write up?

I do not read AS. I am getting enough marketing spam for free, and have no intention to pay for an opportunity to read more of it.
post #11 of 48
I have the new K-01 and the G-0rb paired together. Let me first state that the K-01 is one of the absolute finest sounding digital players presently available. It can do things I've never experienced from digital before.

Strapping on the G-0rb takes this player to an unbelievable level of musicality, power and vividness. The sense of coherence and clarity is simply wicked.

It's too bad that this level of precision, refinement and musicality was not available prior. I personally feel that with this Esoteric combo (K-01 and G-0rb) digital audio is finally being realized.
post #12 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony007 View Post

I have the new K-01 and the G-0rb paired together. Let me first state that the K-01 is one of the absolute finest sounding digital players presently available. It can do things I've never experienced from digital before.

Strapping on the G-0rb takes this player to an unbelievable level of musicality, power and vividness. The sense of coherence and clarity is simply wicked.

It's too bad that this level of precision, refinement and musicality was not available prior. I personally feel that with this Esoteric combo (K-01 and G-0rb) digital audio is finally being realized.

Hi Tony,
Can you descirbe how the G-ORb improves the sound of the K-01?
Do you sell audio equipment?
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony007 View Post

I have the new K-01 and the G-0rb paired together. Let me first state that the K-01 is one of the absolute finest sounding digital players presently available. It can do things I've never experienced from digital before.

Strapping on the G-0rb takes this player to an unbelievable level of musicality, power and vividness. The sense of coherence and clarity is simply wicked.

It's too bad that this level of precision, refinement and musicality was not available prior. I personally feel that with this Esoteric combo (K-01 and G-0rb) digital audio is finally being realized.

oh my...
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

oh my...

I hate to think that all these years digital audio wasn't being realized, whatever that means.
post #15 of 48
^^^

that, my friend, i'm curious about as well...

not to mention the rest of it...
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by matjet View Post

Why would Esoteric and DCS create and promote single box CD players with external master clock use if it worsens the sound? These companies have top notch audio engineers, huge resources and reputations to uphold. As does Robert Harley, who has favorable reviewed master clock use with single cd players as well seperate transport/DAC.

The text provided by Ap1 says:

"The only situation where a dedicated master clock unit is truly essential is in systems that have to work with, or alongside, video, such as in music-for-picture and audio-for-video post-production applications. It's necessary here because there must be a specific integer number of samples in every video picture-frame period, and to achieve that, the audio sample rate has to be synchronised to the picture frame rate. The only practical way to achieve that is to use a master clock generator that is itself sync'ed to an external video reference, or which generates a video reference signal to which video equipment can be sync'ed."

By the way, Ap1, I am glad to see a scientific on this subject. Totally agree with your different comments.
post #17 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Sumo View Post
The text provided by Ap1 says:

"The only situation where a dedicated master clock unit is truly essential is in systems that have to work with, or alongside, video, such as in music-for-picture and audio-for-video post-production applications. It's necessary here because there must be a specific integer number of samples in every video picture-frame period, and to achieve that, the audio sample rate has to be synchronised to the picture frame rate. The only practical way to achieve that is to use a master clock generator that is itself sync'ed to an external video reference, or which generates a video reference signal to which video equipment can be sync'ed."

By the way, Ap1, I am glad to see a scientific on this subject. Totally agree with your different comments.
The question; Does using a master clock with single box CD players or with DAC and transport is a controversial subject. I have read several blogs/subjective opinions of owners on the web who feel very strongly that the sound of their high end transport/DAC and single box CD players are significantly improved by adding an external master clock. Esoteric and dCS (who are both among the best in the business in CD/SACD performance) feel strongly that use of an external master clock significantly improves the performance/sound of their single box cd players and seperate DAC/transports (as does Robert Harley) by reducing jitter. They stake their reputations on this premise.

Doesn't Harley, Esoteric and dCS have reputations to uphold? Without a stellar reputation for intellect, high quality and honesty all three would be rendered untrustworthy and doomed to fail. Are they so desperate to sell product that they would intentionally mislead the public? And why would so many owners also claim to notice significant improvement of their cd players with use of an external master clock

I have read the sound on sound paper, but I don't think this issue has been settled yet. I would like to see more well documented evidence, both objective and subjective regarding this topic. It would be nice if Harley or Esoteric and/or dCS would take part in this discussion.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post
It's called making a living.


You won't miss anything valuable by not reading his stuff at all.
Well I wouldnt go as far as that. I read his book "Introductory Guide to High-Performance Audio Systems" which taught me atleast the basics of separates/transports etc.
post #19 of 48
@matjet...

they have multiple "reputations"... one with groups that choose to believe everything they are told, and one with groups who understand how things work... robert harley is a joke...

the audio world is littered with people with "reputations" who have overactive imaginations...

it's "not decided" to you because you can't find anything with science behind it that backs up what you would like to believe... ap1 gave you the "facts"... you can choose to accept them, or you can choose to "hope differently"...

"objective evidence" is the ONLY "evidence"... "subjective evidence" is an oxymoron...
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by dear.chap View Post

Well I wouldnt go as far as that. I read his book "Introductory Guide to High-Performance Audio Systems" which taught me atleast the basics of separates/transports etc.

You can learn the basics from online forums like this one. You don't have to buy or borrow a book like that.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by matjet View Post

Hi Tony,
Can you descirbe how the G-ORb improves the sound of the K-01?
Do you sell audio equipment?

Yes I do..

As of this moment my K-01 has about 650 hrs on it now. The G-0rb has about 160hrs. It is still very premature to talk about the sound as my system is sounding considerably better every day. In fact there is so many things the G-0rb does to improve the sound of the K-01, I could write page after page.

I will try to keep it brief..

The G-0rb brings such a stability to the imaging / soundstaging it's actually startling. The tonality and timber are significantly improved on those images. The PRAT from the system is amazing and each instrument in the kit holds it's position locked in a very high degree of focus and there is no blurring or congestion. The leading edges are so clear. The notes seem to just hang there in space - forever, so tonally pure, like the way they do in real life. That damn clock just adds to the illusion of realism across the board and when I hit the button and deactivate the thing I simply do not find pleasure in listening to the system anylonger - so back on the clock goes.
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony007 View Post

I will try to keep it brief..

The G-0rb brings such a stability to the imaging / soundstaging it's actually startling. The tonality and timber are significantly improved on those images. The PRAT from the system is amazing and each instrument in the kit holds it's position locked in a very high degree of focus and there is no blurring or congestion. The leading edges are so clear. The notes seem to just hang there in space - forever, so tonally pure, like the way they do in real life. That damn clock just adds to the illusion of realism across the board and when I hit the button and deactivate the thing I simply do not find pleasure in listening to the system anylonger - so back on the clock goes.


Aww yeah, baby!
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony007 View Post
As of this moment my K-01 has about 650 hrs on it now. The G-0rb has about 160hrs. It is still very premature to talk about the sound as my system is sounding considerably better every day.
That explains why you heard all those improvements.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony007 View Post

I will try to keep it brief..

The G-0rb brings such a stability to the imaging / soundstaging it's actually startling. The tonality and timber are significantly improved on those images. The PRAT from the system is amazing and each instrument in the kit holds it's position locked in a very high degree of focus and there is no blurring or congestion. The leading edges are so clear. The notes seem to just hang there in space - forever, so tonally pure, like the way they do in real life. That damn clock just adds to the illusion of realism across the board and when I hit the button and deactivate the thing I simply do not find pleasure in listening to the system anylonger - so back on the clock goes.

Were you reading a romance novel just prior to writing that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony007 View Post

Yes I do..

That is the only thing you needed to say.
post #25 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xianthax View Post
Were you reading a romance novel just prior to writing that?



That is the only thing you needed to say.
Xianthax, geekhd, api:

Come on guys, your cynical response to Tony is not constructive.

This topic is interesting and controversial.

Are any of you aware of any other well conducted objective and subjective tests/studies regarding use of an external master clock?

The Soundonsound paper concludes that all the external clock units tested "raised the noise floor" on A to D conversion, "indicating increased jitter in the A-D and a consequent increase in distortion and noise."

He measured THD and noise, not jitter. Is the noise floor equivalent to jitter? The author assumes that the noise was caused by jitter. Is it possible that jitter was reduced, but not detected because it was not measured directly?

He did not discuss subjective evaluation by listening to the effect the clocks had on the A-D conversion. This would have been an interesting and helpful addition to the study.
post #26 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony007 View Post
Yes I do..

As of this moment my K-01 has about 650 hrs on it now. The G-0rb has about 160hrs. It is still very premature to talk about the sound as my system is sounding considerably better every day. In fact there is so many things the G-0rb does to improve the sound of the K-01, I could write page after page.

I will try to keep it brief..

The G-0rb brings such a stability to the imaging / soundstaging it's actually startling. The tonality and timber are significantly improved on those images. The PRAT from the system is amazing and each instrument in the kit holds it's position locked in a very high degree of focus and there is no blurring or congestion. The leading edges are so clear. The notes seem to just hang there in space - forever, so tonally pure, like the way they do in real life. That damn clock just adds to the illusion of realism across the board and when I hit the button and deactivate the thing I simply do not find pleasure in listening to the system anylonger - so back on the clock goes.

Tony,
You have a business relationship with Esoteric. Please call Mark at Esoteric and ask him to read the Soundonsound paper, referred to by Roseval earlier in the thread, and write a response in this thread. Also, please read it yourself and share your opinion.
I do believe you are enjoying your new equipment, don't let the cynical responses scare you away. Cynical behavior is not constructive. Those guys seem knowledgeable and could add a lot to this discussion if they stuck to the topic.
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by matjet View Post

Xianthax, geekhd, api:

Come on guys, your cynical response to Tony is not constructive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matjet View Post

I do believe you are enjoying your new equipment, don't let the cynical responses scare you away. Cynical behavior is not constructive. Those guys seem knowledgeable and could add a lot to this discussion if they stuck to the topic.

Some things are not worth spending time to explain, especially to those who sell audio gears.
post #28 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Some things are not worth spending time to explain, especially to those who sell audio gears.

Of course high end audio gear dealers are in the business to make a living. But most of the guys who sell high end audio gear do so because they love high end audio equipment. I agree sales people may have a conflict of interest when giving advice, they are trying to make a sale. But, my experience has been that most high end audio dealers (at least those I have dealt with) provide honest advice. They won't stay in business long if they mislead their customers. You treat them like they are the enemy, lighten up and focus on the topic, master clocks.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony007 View Post

As of this moment my K-01 has about 650 hrs on it now. The G-0rb has about 160hrs. It is still very premature to talk about the sound as my system is sounding considerably better every day.

Very premature. At 693 hrs and 186 hrs respectively, the sound will start to deteriorate considerably.

That's why I tend to buy gear from companies that know how to make it perform right out of the box, not companies that buy cheap components that change everytime it's fired up.
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by matjet View Post

They won't stay in business long if they mislead their customers.

They won't stay in business long if they don't know how far to mislead their customers and it varies depending on customers which has to be sensed out right away. That's what determines salesman's skill.
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