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Digital Clocks - Which one??

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Cucco, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Okay, so I've decided to take the plunge and try a Lynx Aurora 8. But, for various reasons, I've also decided I need an external clock. (Multiple digital units and I'd rather outsource it all to a dedicated box - plus I'm hearing from a lot of sources that the Aurora benefits from external clocking.)

    All that being said, I'm looking at clocks from:
    Apogee (Big Ben)
    Aardvark (I know, out of business, but their clocks are still fine)

    Everyone seems to be singing the praises of the Big Ben, but I'm curious if it's worth the extra dough. Anyone have any input on the subject??

  2. BDFitz

    BDFitz Active Member

    I had the Big Ben but only sent it back because I needed to buy more gear to get it to work as the clock master. I opted for the Lynx Aurora 8 and am ecstatic. It has a great clock (SynchroLock) inside and definiely improves my system by reclocking all my BNC units, daisy chained.

    As a master clock I would think the Aurora would be excellent. I too have heard the Big Ben improves all coverters and the BB is probably the best pure clock out there. It also has 10 digital outs (6 BNC, 2 AES, 1 Coax, 1 Optical) and has true VSO capability (only as master) which beats out most other clocks . As for Aarvark, etc., OOB = old technology even if they are a bargain.
  3. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    i think the rosendahl nanosyncs sounds lovely
  4. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I've got an old aardsync here that I've been using for years. Seems to be fine, but with my Lynx 2 card, it isn't appreciably better. (not that it is sub standard, but the Lynx does have a pretty good clock).

    The guy that started Aardvark has a new line and a new generation of products out there. I don't know the name off hand but it shouldn't be hard to find (it was mentioned in this last months Mix I believe).

    I've also used the Rosendahl with good results.

  5. BDFitz

    BDFitz Active Member

    Antelope Isochrone. Just came across this the other day. >>>>

    Antelope introduces a new level of quality and innovation in digital audio. Over ten years ago, Antelope founder Igor Levin changed the face of digital audio technology by creating Aardvark's legendary AardSync. His unique innovations inspired a new generation of digital audio gear, and established new standards in quality and performance.

    Igor continues to innovate, and founded Antelope to take these revolutionary ideas to the next level. Twenty years experience and an unparalleled understanding of digital audio have lead to gear that trancends all expectations. Antelope proves that digital can be done better, providing the full benefits of digital technology alongside warmth and acessability typically associated with analog. With Antelope, digital is not a compromise.
  6. AB2

    AB2 Guest

    Sent some Isochrone comparison files to Cucco

    Cucco - I sent you some files of the Lynx Aurora with and without the Isochrone (recordings of grand piano). I am curious what you think.
  7. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Get the Lavry Blue A/D...for just a little more than the cost of the big ben, you get a clock as good (or possibly better), and you can think of it like you get 2 incredible A/D's thrown in for your extra $300-$400 over the cost of the big ben.

    So you would clock out of Lavry to your Lynx, do all your overdubbs with Lavry and all multiples simultaneously with Lynx and Lavry (i.e. drums), Lynx will be improved about 15-20%...you'll be in Heaven J.
  8. AB2

    AB2 Guest

    Nathan - have you tested the Aurora clocked to itself vs. clocked to the Lavry?
    Any samples?
  9. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    According to the folks from Lynx (if you check out their message board), clocking to another clock does not change the Aurora. The actual clock internally is running in what is basically a buffered state. An external clock may help with your synchronization and setting up multiple digital devices, but it should not change the sound.

  10. route909

    route909 Guest

    Fletcher of Mercenary.com reclocked the Aurora with a Big ben and found that it improved, as did the Apogee Rosetta 800. RME also states that using external clocks with their Fireface 800 doesn´t improve the sound. FWIW, I measured my Fireface 800 with internal and external clock and it actually improved a little by using an external clock (Swissonic WD 8 ).

  11. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I am aware of Fletcher's test... My point was simply to think about what you are hearing or what you may think you're hearing. If the manufacturer says it is imposible for an external clock to affect the sound, does it? OR.... Is your clock affecting some other part of the signal chain that you are listing on where it can make a difference.

    I haven't personally used this box other than just listening to a generic demo so I can't say. Many of the better A-D converters do not benefit from an external clock.

  12. AB2

    AB2 Guest

    Benjamin - I have some 24/96 wave samples of the Aurora clocked to an Isochrone with no syncrolocks on the Aurora or the Lynx Aes16.
    I also have similar samples with the Aurora as the Master and the synchrolocks on the Aurora and AES16.
    One set of samples is where I play a piano twice, trying to repeat things well enough, with same mic positions and pre. (one recorded right after another)
    The second set of samples which would be harder to argue with, is a drum machine going into the DI of an API 3124 then to the Aurora slaved to the Isochrone and later with the Aurora as master.
    If you or someone else would like me to send these, it would sure help in this discussion. I believe I hear a difference.
    (By the way, I lived near some people named Maas, not a very common name - maybe related)
  13. route909

    route909 Guest

    It was measurable. Less distortion and ringing in the hi end when I did a loopack recording of a 10 khz sine wave with the ext clock, albeit a really small difference. Dunno why it makes a difference in the system.

  14. alexaudio

    alexaudio Active Member

    There is considerable amount of tests that show that having a high quality clock (lowest amount of jittter, buffering, etc) will improve the stability and sonic character of your ADCs, etc. I remember Benchmark Media's test a few years ago that showed the extreme differences of several ADCs and their own far as clock stability. Far as manufacturers saying that their own ADC/DAC won't improve shows a bit of ignorance to test data, unless they have their own and/or another independent test to back up their word. Keep in mind, they may have run their test with a clock that has no better or worse stability than their own internal clocking. To be able to make a statement saying, our ADC/DAC won't improve, without testing their unit with the majority of higher end clock units in the market, makes that a pure subjective statement and not one of technical merit.

    I would suggest buying a clock and sync'ing all digital equipment to that unit. Also, since the clocks are becoming more and more stable ever few years, I would also budget updating/replacing your clock ever 3-5 years. That said, I have found that Lucid, the latest run of Aardvark and Apogee are pretty much in the same league. However, I have just received someone else's test data that shows that the Rosendahl Nanosync has less jitter than those formentioned.

    I currently utilize Lucid and will likely upgrade to a Rodendahl in a few months or less.
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Good info!

    The main purpose that I was/am looking for a new clock was to simply have a central clock for ALL digital devices. Many are touted as being great, but there's plenty of hype around them.

    I've never seen any reference that Lynx made regarding no use in external clocking. They do talk a lot about how their sync'ing and correction is, but that's the extent of what I've seen. Maybe Ben's seen something I haven't.

    AB2 -

    Sorry, I haven't had the opportunity to check out the files you sent yet. I was out of town and my Ipaq wouldn't play them back for me.

    I should be able to listen to them sometime this week.

    Are you somehow affiliated with Antelope??

  16. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    There was thread on the Lynx discussion forum shortly after the Aurora came out and Fletcher put his test results out... I'm sure a search could come up with the post.

  17. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    Secondededed... ed.

    My experience has been that clocks generally DO improve sonics, regardless of manufacture's claim to the contrary. Most effective when a system-wide approach is implemented.
  18. AB2

    AB2 Guest

    I have no affiliation with Antelope whatsoever. I was hoping actually that the antelope would not improve the Aurora, so I could avoid the expense of keeping it. But you listen to the samples and determine for yourself. Others have confirmed this. Even my wife will not let me sell it!
  19. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    BTW, here is the thread I was talking about:


    And echoed again here:


    to quote David Hoatson (who is one of the 2 main technical guys) after being asked about Fletcher's test:

    Now I ask... why would he lie or be mistaken about such a statement. I'm not trying to make trouble here, but rather I think explanations on how these tests are happening need to be a bit clearer. Could the clock's implementation be changing something in your monitoring chain? I really would love to get to the bottom of this...

  20. AB2

    AB2 Guest

    Benjamin - I sent you files with the Isochrone as a master and the Aurora as a master. I sent it to others that heard a difference.

    By the way, this difference is not inconsistent with the quote from the great people at Lynx, because I had the synchrolocks off on the Lynx Aurora and Lynx AES16 when I used the Isochrone as a master clock.

    Did you hear a difference?

    Since I mix out of the box, this difference does matter to me. So, if some people like an external clock and hear a difference, why should that be any bother to anyone else?

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