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Can Lavry Gold + Apogee DA16X benefit from 10m atomic clock + Trinity?
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trustyjim
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1st March 2012
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Can Lavry Gold + Apogee DA16X benefit from 10m atomic clock + Trinity?

I do both multi-track recording and mixing at my studio. All multi-track recording goes into an Apogee AD16X. For mixes I run two DA16X's into a pair of summing boxes and recapture with the Lavry Gold. Everything is clocked to the Lavry Gold right now and I love the sound.

Really I would like to hear from people who have a 10M and Trinity, or people who have demoed them (or other really high end clocking solutions). How much do you think I would gain clocking everything to a 10M + Trinity?
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The designer of your gear, Dan Lavry, recommends never using a separate, dedicated clock in a recording setup, unless the situation requires it, so I'm sure he would recommend that for his own gear as well. I'm pretty sure the clock in his unit is among the best money can buy.
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Why don't you try it out just to be sure?

But I am almost 100% confident that clocking the system from the Lavry Gold will sound better. I am totally with Dan Lavry and his concepts here, and my own experiences with his gear (or any other converter brand, for that matter) are backing this up.

How do you transmit the clock to the other converters? This can make a huge difference as well.

I do not use word clock, I am transferring the clock via the AES connections with remarkably better sounding results and less time domain artifacts.

My comparisons (including null tests) also showed that the cables for the digital connections actually DO make a difference.
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trustyjim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airmate View Post
How do you transmit the clock to the other converters? This can make a huge difference as well.

I do not use word clock, I am transferring the clock via the AES connections with remarkably better sounding results and less time domain artifacts.
Right now I run word clock out from the Lavry Gold to the AD16X with a BNC T connector to the 1st DA16X with a BNC T connector to the 2nd DA16X.

So you are saying I could set the AD16X to use the AES input as the clock source, but then I would still need to source the DA16Xs from word clock right?

I don't necessarily expect an improvement to the sound of the Lavry Gold but was wondering how much it could improve the sound of the Apogees, and also if it could actually make the Lavry sound worse (since I have read the common wisdom that the best clock is a good internal clock).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim View Post
Right now I run word clock out from the Lavry Gold to the AD16X with a BNC T connector to the 1st DA16X with a BNC T connector to the 2nd DA16X.

So you are saying I could set the AD16X to use the AES input as the clock source, but then I would still need to source the DA16Xs from word clock right?

I don't necessarily expect an improvement to the sound of the Lavry Gold but was wondering how much it could improve the sound of the Apogees, and also if it could actually make the Lavry sound worse (since I have read the common wisdom that the best clock is a good internal clock).
What you need to understand is that external clocks can be satisfactory or not, they can't improve on an internal clock for good technical reasons. Either your clocking solution is working or it isn't.

An external clock will fix problems if you have multiple devices and you can't get them to clock properly together, from your description this isn't happening and the T connection seems to be reliable.

To improve the sound of your Appogee's you would either have to have them electronically "uprated", (I'm not sure if anyone offers mods for these) or you will have to replace them with something you consider better.
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2nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim View Post
Right now I run word clock out from the Lavry Gold to the AD16X with a BNC T connector to the 1st DA16X with a BNC T connector to the 2nd DA16X.

So you are saying I could set the AD16X to use the AES input as the clock source, but then I would still need to source the DA16Xs from word clock right?

I don't necessarily expect an improvement to the sound of the Lavry Gold but was wondering how much it could improve the sound of the Apogees, and also if it could actually make the Lavry sound worse (since I have read the common wisdom that the best clock is a good internal clock).
In my experience it is virtually impossible to predict the outcome of a clock test.
There are so many variables that I see no rules, except that in almost all cases a device sounds best (as in: lowest jitter) when it is clocked internally.
One might actually prefer a less stable clock for subjective reasons, but in my personal experience time domain artifacts are the worst nightmare to audio.

I'd say it would be worth a try to clock your system off the Lavry and distibute the clock not via BNC, but alongside the audio through the AES cables.

This is how I do it, and many comparisons and null tests convinced me that this the best sounding way to connect my setup. My tests even proved that the cables DO matter.

And pease try to keep all digital connections as short as possible...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim View Post
I do both multi-track recording and mixing at my studio. All multi-track recording goes into an Apogee AD16X. For mixes I run two DA16X's into a pair of summing boxes and recapture with the Lavry Gold. Everything is clocked to the Lavry Gold right now and I love the sound.

Really I would like to hear from people who have a 10M and Trinity, or people who have demoed them (or other really high end clocking solutions). How much do you think I would gain clocking everything to a 10M + Trinity?
I tried it when I was at my old gig... we were sent the "Atomic Clock" by the manufacturer and hooked it up. I was running a RADAR - and I did indeed hear what I considered to be a favorable difference. The difference was far larger when we hooked up to the Apogee system [2x AD-16x, 2xDA-16x].

The difference I heard was mainly in the top end - the cymbals became MUCH clearer, the size of the soundfield seemed to open up as well - giving more "space" to the audio, and sounded a bit more 3 dimensional [as in reverb trails really had their own space].

That said - I brought a co-worker at the time [known here as Roc Mixwell] and played the re-clocked system for him... changing back and forth several times. He didn't hear it. When I pointed out things to listen for he said he did... you'll have to ask him if he really did or not. Please don't get me wrong, this is not a slight of "Roc"... its an illustration that the difference isn't night and day or "huge"... and for the newer [less trained] ears in our industry I don't know if it would make enough of a difference to warrant the expense.

I hope this is of some assistance.

PS - we didn't feel it was enough of a difference to warrant the expense... and sent the unit back. That said - we did add a Grimm Audio CC-1 external clock... it made about the same amount of difference but at least at the time, was less expensive.

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2nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
That said - I brought a co-worker at the time [known here as Roc Mixwell] and played the re-clocked system for him... changing back and forth several times. He didn't hear it. When I pointed out things to listen for he said he did... you'll have to ask him if he really did or not. Please don't get me wrong, this is not a slight of "Roc"... its an illustration that the difference isn't night and day or "huge"... and for the newer [less trained] ears in our industry I don't know if it would make enough of a difference to warrant the expense.


Peace
This is too funny man, you sound like Lionel..."Now Adam, this ain't knockin you"...

I seem to recall it a lot different and I seem to remember hearing the "Atomic" box just fine, AFTER I PAYED ATTENTION for a second. Your "less trained ears" comment is complete nonsense,

There were times we had to POINT OUT to YOU, matters which you could not hear

Like that your TWEETER WAS SMOKING AND ON FIRE!?!?!?!

So don't play this TRAINED EAR hogwash with these people. I sat there for 3 days switching it on and off, and trust me, if you moved your head a couple inches your "trained ear" was gonna deceive you.

Have you ever thought about where I was sitting in the room? When you asked me what I was hearing?

I was sitting on the coach in the back, like a moron, and then I moved forward to hear it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
The difference was far larger when we hooked up to the Apogee system [2x AD-16x, 2xDA-16x].

The difference I heard was mainly in the top end - the cymbals became MUCH clearer, the size of the soundfield seemed to open up as well - giving more "space" to the audio, and sounded a bit more 3 dimensional [as in reverb trails really had their own space].
mirrors my experience..w/ the exception I'm hearing a bit of extension better focus in the lows.
[I'm running the Trinity/Atomic with 2 x AD-16X and 2x DA-16x. output to console/summing mixer]

easier to mix - less eq/ processing,elements have more room to "breath" etc.
the expense was justified..especially because I got it for a great price from a buddy.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
mirrors my experience..w/ the exception I'm hearing a bit of extension better focus in the lows.
[I'm running the Trinity/Atomic with 2 x AD-16X and 2x DA-16x. output to console/summing mixer]

easier to mix - less eq/ processing,elements have more room to "breath" etc.
the expense was justified..especially because I got it for a great price from a buddy.
I for one do not like Apogee's clock too much (neither Big Bin nor the built-in ones...), so in this case the Trinity/Rubidium thing might actually be perceived as better.

But do not forget that the OP already has a Lavry Gold at his disposal - which features one of the best clocks available today.
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Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
easier to mix - less eq/ processing,elements have more room to "breath" etc.
This is actually very important - exactly how I would describe the benefit of a well clocked system to a rig with lots of time domain artifacts.
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Nobody has ever successfully proved a reliable, subjective, difference in a double blind test with an external clock. Further to this, there are plenty of articles and posts by those far more qualified to talk, that explain why an external clock cannot perform more accurately than an internal clock. Then take it a stage further to understand why with adequate converters or the samplerate converting type (which make up the vast majority of modern designs) they are "immune" to jitter, you can further understand that the vast majority of what is being quoted is rubbish.

The terrible thing is that I am now seeing this kind of garbage being talked about in PA gear, desks sounding better externally clocked, significant differences being heard with external mic amps, different AD converters, etc..........
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Originally Posted by airmate View Post
This is actually very important - exactly how I would describe the benefit of a well clocked system to a rig with lots of time domain artifacts.
yeah like kick and bass guitar,snare and vocal not having to fight so much in the mix for their "space".
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Originally Posted by airmate View Post

My comparisons (including null tests) also showed that the cables for the digital connections actually DO make a difference.
Totally agree with you!

Digital cables indeed make a difference.

It's so pity most people on GS strictly deny this.

Wish more people would listen well and don't say it's just 1 and 0.
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I would be very worried as a competent recording engineer, if I couldn't get a digital signal to null.

Listen all you like, digital audio is a combination of 1's and 0's.

People in this forum should start reading the priceless amount of valuable information that is widely available on Gearslutz, much written by some of the greatest experts in digital audio design, rather than using their unscientific, "rule of thumb", "hi-fi", mumbo jumbo, "voo-doo in the box" theories, based on I can hear better than you p***ing contests.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim View Post
I do both multi-track recording and mixing at my studio. All multi-track recording goes into an Apogee AD16X. For mixes I run two DA16X's into a pair of summing boxes and recapture with the Lavry Gold. Everything is clocked to the Lavry Gold right now and I love the sound.

Really I would like to hear from people who have a 10M and Trinity, or people who have demoed them (or other really high end clocking solutions). How much do you think I would gain clocking everything to a 10M + Trinity?
if i paid the huge amount that a lavry gold costs and felt the clock was lacking just slightly, i would send it back immediately. i dont know the unit (just the lavry blue) but im pretty sure that there is no need for improvement.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Nobody has ever successfully proved a reliable, subjective, difference in a double blind test with an external clock. Further to this, there are plenty of articles and posts by those far more qualified to talk, that explain why an external clock cannot perform more accurately than an internal clock. Then take it a stage further to understand why with adequate converters or the samplerate converting type (which make up the vast majority of modern designs) they are "immune" to jitter, you can further understand that the vast majority of what is being quoted is rubbish.

The terrible thing is that I am now seeing this kind of garbage being talked about in PA gear, desks sounding better externally clocked, significant differences being heard with external mic amps, different AD converters, etc..........
No offense, but if you try sum signals from 2 different clock source, they don't cancel out, your left with the difference....

There are in same cases dramatic differences between different clocks.

I don't understand what you mean 'differences being heard with external mic amps...
Are you saying using external mic preamps there is no difference???,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laddie.music2 View Post
No offense, but if you try sum signals from 2 different clock source, they don't cancel out, your left with the difference....
You can only have one clock source in any system, everything else must slave. With multiple devices it is sometimes impossible to do this without using an external clock to act as a master, that is a given, but it is incorrect to explain that this can be an improvement on the internal clock.


Quote:
There are in same cases dramatic differences between different clocks.

Only if there is something wrong in the system, otherwise they just do a job.

Quote:
I don't understand what you mean 'differences being heard with external mic amps...
Are you saying using external mic preamps there is no difference???,
Not when you are listening on large scale PA systems with comb filltering like crazy, poor acoustics and distortion well in excess of 10%.

With pre's I've used and owned many of the good one's right up to FM acousitcs classamps at around £4,000 a channel. The differences between the very best and good average is far less than changes of microphones and mic positions.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
You can only have one clock source in any system, everything else must slave. With multiple devices it is sometimes impossible to do this without using an external clock to act as a master, that is a given, but it is incorrect to explain that this can be an improvement on the internal clock.





Only if there is something wrong in the system, otherwise they just do a job.



Not when you are listening on large scale PA systems with comb filltering like crazy, poor acoustics and distortion well in excess of 10%.

With pre's I've used and owned many of the good one's right up to FM acousitcs classamps at around £4,000 a channel. The differences between the very best and good average is far less than changes of microphones and mic positions.
True, I agree, I missread my oppologies, I didn't reflect you referring to PA in live sound.
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3rd March 2012
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Thank you Fletcher, Roc and Roundbadge for actually sharing your experiences with the 10M. I am really curious to hear more from people who have used it rather than idle speculation on why it simply could not change / improve the sound.

I am at the point where I can hear subtle nuances in audio that others in the general population cannot. I suspect other people who make records for a career hear these differences too. (I just got wooden beaters for the kick drum on my vintage '68 ludwig set. I can hear the difference between them and rubber ones- to me it is a large difference, but my wife can't tell at all). Everything adds up, and to those of us who hear a difference it is our job to be the caretakers of audio so that the resulting product is not just good but excellent.

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What you need to understand is that external clocks can be satisfactory or not, they can't improve on an internal clock for good technical reasons. Either your clocking solution is working or it isn't.
Sorry, but I don't agree. A clock does not simply work or not work. A Rolex keeps time, a decent quartz watch keeps better time, and the U.S. Naval Observatory atomic clock keeps the best time of all. The more accurate the timing of the device that takes snapshots of the audio signal, the more precise the digital representation of the actual sound wave will be. Different converters have different ways of handling clocking from both internal and external sources, but for you to claim boldly that no decent converter can be improved upon by an excellent external clock is like me claiming boldly that you won't like watermelon as fruit. It is based on speculation rather than experience.

So thank you very much for enlightining us with regurgitated theories and "facts" rather than your actual listening experiences.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim View Post
Thank you Fletcher, Roc and Roundbadge for actually sharing your experiences with the 10M. I am really curious to hear more from people who have used it rather than idle speculation on why it simply could not change / improve the sound.

I am at the point where I can hear subtle nuances in audio that others in the general population cannot. I suspect other people who make records for a career hear these differences too. (I just got wooden beaters for the kick drum on my vintage '68 ludwig set. I can hear the difference between them and rubber ones- to me it is a large difference, but my wife can't tell at all). Everything adds up, and to those of us who hear a difference it is our job to be the caretakers of audio so that the resulting product is not just good but excellent.
Differences in BD beaters is not exactly subtle, as an engineer if you can't hear this you shouldn't be doing the job.



Quote:
Sorry, but I don't agree. A clock does not simply work or not work. A Rolex keeps time, a decent quartz watch keeps better time, and the U.S. Naval Observatory atomic clock keeps the best time of all. The more accurate the timing of the device that takes snapshots of the audio signal, the more precise the digital representation of the actual sound wave will be. Different converters have different ways of handling clocking from both internal and external sources, but for you to claim boldly that no decent converter can be improved upon by an excellent external clock is like me claiming boldly that you won't like watermelon as fruit. It is based on speculation rather than experience.
You really need to do some reading and actually understand what is going on with clocking, your analogy is nothing to do with clocking digital audio, except that external wordclock is a pretty low res signal.

Quote:
So thank you very much for enlightining us with regurgitated theories and "facts" rather than your actual listening experiences.
This is not regurgitated theories as you might put it, I've heard the "snakeoil" demo's and don't hear the difference with wordclocks, directional cables, electronic isolation feet, uprated mains leads etc. This doesn't suprise me, because the science backs up that there isn't a difference.
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Originally Posted by Roland View Post
This is not regurgitated theories as you might put it, I've heard the "snakeoil" demo's and don't hear the difference with wordclocks, directional cables, electronic isolation feet, uprated mains leads etc. This doesn't suprise me, because the science backs up that there isn't a difference.
I agree with you 1000% on "directional cables" - "electronic isolation feet" and "uprated mains leads" -- but the wordclock thing doesn't fit into this picture. I've heard the Atomic clock change the character of the audio - I've heard the Grimm change the character of the audio - I've heard the Big Ben change the character of the audio - if you haven't experienced these units you have no platform from which to call "bullshit".

I will be the first to agree with you that there is a ton of "snake oil" bullshit in the audio world - word clocks aren't on the list.

I will also agree that a well designed internal clock is best in most applications [which is Dan Lavry's main premise]... but I've heard a difference between clocks [not always for the better] so I know it to not be complete "audiophile bullshit".

Peace
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I agree with you 1000% on "directional cables" - "electronic isolation feet" and "uprated mains leads" -- but the wordclock thing doesn't fit into this picture. I've heard the Atomic clock change the character of the audio - I've heard the Grimm change the character of the audio - I've heard the Big Ben change the character of the audio - if you haven't experienced these units you have no platform from which to call "bullshit".

I will be the first to agree with you that there is a ton of "snake oil" bullshit in the audio world - word clocks aren't on the list.

I will also agree that a well designed internal clock is best in most applications [which is Dan Lavry's main premise]... but I've heard a difference between clocks [not always for the better] so I know it to not be complete "audiophile bullshit".

Peace
I remember a time when the manufacturers of external clocks used to make "claims" as to the performance improving benefits of their clocks, this went of for some time, until the Dan Lavry's and few other lumineries of the digital audio design world called them out on their ludicrous claims. I don't see clock manufacturers making these same claims today. Being that nobody has successfully done the double blind test, I call it as I see it, another case of performance, expectation, bias.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim
Thank you Fletcher, Roc and Roundbadge for actually sharing your experiences with the 10M. I am really curious to hear more from people who have used it rather than idle speculation on why it simply could not change / improve the sound.
You would rather have idle, unscientific, speculation that it does?
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If atomic clocks actually had good jitter performance I might give the reports of improvements more credence.

They actually don't, the jitter performance of the rubidium clock source is actually worse than a decent crystal (in fact you never get the rubidium signal, that 10MHz is actually a crystal in a PLL with the rubidium)... and that's before you shove it down a cable, into the Trinity, at which point another signal is generated from it (from the blurb and considering the 10MHz fixed master frequency I have to suspect by a counting system, which seems like a rather jittery way to do things in itself).

I think there's a reason why Antelope don't publish jitter specifications, though they do publish the impressive looking but largely irrelevant frequency accuracy specs.

If you really believe an accurate external clock is the solution, get the Grimm, I doubt you'll really get an improvement, if you do I'd say you'd probaly have been better off spending the money on better converters (for reasons people have explained) but it at least is a proper low jitter design.
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Wow, not even 25 posts and SO MUCH negative energy in this discussion...

Oh, wait, we are talking about digital audio.

Back to topic: I do not have experience with the Rubidium clock at my own studio, but I have tested virtually all other clocks available, including the highly regarded Grimm. And I have just sold my external clock and returned to clocking directly from my main A/D, the lavry, because it sounded the best to me.

The mastering studio I am associated with have tested the 10M against their Lavry Gold and chosen not to buy it, because it did not improve anything. I did not screw up the sound up as much as other external clocks, but the Lavry Gold clocked internally sounded better. No surprise at all...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airmate View Post
Wow, not even 25 posts and SO MUCH negative energy in this discussion...

Oh, wait, we are talking about digital audio.

Back to topic: I do not have experience with the Rubidium clock at my own studio, but I have tested virtually all other clocks available, including the highly regarded Grimm. And I have just sold my external clock and returned to clocking directly from my main A/D, the lavry, because it sounded the best to me.

The mastering studio I am associated with have tested the 10M against their Lavry Gold and chosen not to buy it, because it did not improve anything. I did not screw up the sound up as much as other external clocks, but the Lavry Gold clocked internally sounded better. No surprise at all...
Hey look, it's not my intention to give off "negative vibes", however, there are so many half truths and pseudo science things floating around out there that people can end up parting with serious sums of money unnecessarily. External clocks certainly do have a place in the industry, indeed there are many areas where they are the only option and in these cases people should buy one based on it providing the options they need. Buying a potentially expensive piece of kit with the idea that it's going to make your converters suddenly sound much better is folly.

Most DA's these days are very good and the latest crop of AD's are much better on the whole than those of years ago. For the cost of some wordclocks you can buy an awful lot of extra microphones or other gear that can seriously help you get a better sound.
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I did a test some time ago as I was looking for a master clock.
The difference (once boosted 50dB) between 2 different rounds of conversion using the same clock (either internal or external) was nearly noise or dither only while it was easier to hear the music, transients and stereo between external and internal, the signal was about 2dB louder.
I can't say which one is more accurate but maybe that difference on a per track basis could explain people preferences.
A.
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5th March 2012
Old 5th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_bt View Post
I did a test some time ago as I was looking for a master clock.
The difference (once boosted 50dB) between 2 different rounds of conversion using the same clock (either internal or external) was nearly noise or dither only while it was easier to hear the music, transients and stereo between external and internal, the signal was about 2dB louder.
I can't say which one is more accurate but maybe that difference on a per track basis could explain people preferences.
A.
Clocking internally vs externally, won't account for any increase in level, you must have inadvertently introduced a flaw in your test somewhere. This is the problem with so many "subjective" tests, it is all too easy for errors to creep in that can lead to erroneous conclusions.
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5th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Clocking internally vs externally, won't account for any increase in level, you must have inadvertently introduced a flaw in your test somewhere. This is the problem with so many "subjective" tests, it is all too easy for errors to creep in that can lead to erroneous conclusions.
I think you didn't get the point.
The difference between an "externally clocked" and an "internally clocked" recorded track is 2dB louder than the difference between two files with the same clock, as they don't null.
A.
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27th March 2012
Old 27th March 2012
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I should add my 2cents about issue.

SPDIF signal is an analogue signal called "digital". In fact there are 1s and 0s impulses where information can be lost or non-synchronization error accour. True digital signal is what we have on flash devices, mp3 players etc. even CD is not truly digital device in fact. Limitless copying does not affect the signal - this is data.

I am not technician in this area. But I understand it like this. When we copy/paste via windows/mac file transfer program is written to control the data loss. But in SPDIF is nothing like that created. 700mb CD is in fact 1400mb where 700mb is used for data and another 700mb for error. 4.7gb dvd is in fact 9.4gb etc. What I am trying to say if we had an option to ensure the accuracy of data trasfer between converter and DAW all word clocks and hi-end cables could be thrown from window and burned. But when we deal with real-time performance with no "cache" ofcourse this system cant work without errors. I believe Fletcher about "much better sound" with clocking externally and SOS paper graphs does not mean performance.

Digital cables does make sance. RCA cinch SPDIF was truly a big deal for me. I have issue when I use hadware sample rate convertor. I ve tested usual Alva cabels vs. custom Tasker connectors by 96 to 96 sample rate conversion. I am so sorry I cant share the test results because the album is not released yet.. But if the time would come I will. I played samples to musicians and pros.. they all heard the difference!

I strongly recommend to use short SPDIF connection. Best cable for this signal is usual TV ANTENNA cable. There was audible difference between ALVA SPDIF cable and handmade tasker cinch-antenna cable. Better instrument placement / less phase distrotion - better performance.

But after all that "monkey searching" I still had issue with quality loss when runnig spdif signal via "better" av cable. The mids are less full and precise. Audio seems to be punchier in base and ligher in his.. but in fact there is a cut (loss) in mids.

After getting optical cables I forgot about this issue. Lightpipe sounds much richer to my ears with no audible loss imho as with RCAs.

If the difference after getting top word clock is at least the same.. it makes sance for me to get one.


Sorry for very controversial post.
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