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Hello everybody,

 

I took home a brand new master clock from the studio for the Sunday to check on its reclocking ability in my home setup. It's the new Mutec MC-3+, probably the first one that shipped to Scotland. What can I say - it is really good.

 

Test setup:

imac -- modified Hiface2 -- Apogee Wyde Eye -- Mutec MC-3+ -- Apogee Wyde Eye -- Mytek 192 DSD

vs imac -- Mytek 192 DSD via Firewire.

 

The improvement (better bass definition..) felt quite dramatic to my ears and therefore I think the Mutec is absolutely worth the 675 pound it cost. I also attached it to my satellite receiver (optical in) and the improvement there was simply breathtaking. The Mutec also bested the Big Ben we have in the studio and btw, over here you'd get two Mutecs for the price of one Big Ben.

I was so impressed with the little Mutec that I keep thinking about getting one myself.

I only toyed around with the reclocking function, yet with the Mutec one could also clock the Hiface Evo and the Mytec and still reclock the signal.

I am not sure whether the Mutec would improve the sound of DACs of the likes of Meitner or Stagetec, but to the more affordable high-end DACs it might be an upgrade worth considering.

It is a great piece of gear.

 

MUTEC - Professional A/V and High-End Equipment - MC-3+

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Oh,

 

just found that test setup is incorrect; it should say:

imac -- modified Hiface2 -- Apogee Wyde Eye -- Mutec MC-3+ -- Apogee Wyde Eye -- Mytek 192 DSD

vs imac -- Mytek 192 DSD via Firewire.

vs imac -- modified Hiface2 -- Apogee Wyde Eye -- Mytek 192 DSD

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Hi *progear,

 

I just registered to this forum I'm watching now for quite a while.

 

What can I say - it is really good.

full ack.

 

In my setup, a DEQX acts as a digital preamp/crossover - does quite a good job. Nevertheless, the signal is easily degraded by some jitter due to the chip in use there (CS8414).

 

I had a Big Ben to better that for quite a while. Was fine with music played from a PC via an HiFace ONE (with its own clean +5V). Was not so fine with signal from the SAT receiver. I got an extra box with ASRC (SRC4192) to reduce the jitter in the SAT signal.

 

Then Mutec asked me to beta test a new box claimed to do the same as the Big Ben in my gear, but better. To make a long story short: since than I have a MC-3+ (in some development steps) in my setup. Big Ben was sold. The latest version, which now is in production, even makes my ASRC obsolet.

 

I only toyed around with the reclocking function, yet with the Mutec one could also clock the Hiface Evo and the Mytec and still reclock the signal.

The Lynx L22 gets even better when given an external sync from a MC-3+.

 

In a german forum, someone asked in a thread Mutec MC-3+ Smart Clock why not chaining two MC-3+. I was quite reluctant - for a day or so. Than I tried. Now, I've permanently two MC-3+ in my chain.

BTW: in case you can not read german and these translators don't give good enough translations, I'm happy to answer your questions. At least, I'll try ,-)

 

I am not sure whether the Mutec would improve the sound of DACs of the likes of Meitner or Stagetec, but to the more affordable high-end DACs it might be an upgrade worth considering.

Good question.

There are some reports in the german forum that MC-3+ improves SQ with various DACs (from personal experience: even with a Metrum Hex Dac fed by a Lumin the MC-3+ adds a little bit). There also few reports that MC-3+ doesn't change SQ or does some changes disliked by the user (Wadia 861 SE).

 

My lessons learned so far:

 

  • even a MC-3+ cannot completely remove any jitter from the signal
    • it remains important to deliver the most possible jitter-free signal
    • MC-3+ acts on jitter like a filter. Staging filters does increase filter slope.
      Different to audio I didn't notice anything like degradation by phase shift - if you forget about the neccessary delay my the re-clocker

     

    [*]a DAC being quite jitter tolerant will less much benefit from something like a MC-3+

    [*]cable should be respected as in important factor for being able to degrate a signal (true even with digital signals)

    The same applies to aother stuff like psu.

Would be great to get more information on that - just to gain better understanding of that topic.

 

cheers

Ulli

Edited by modmix
typo

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Hi Ulli,

 

I just skimmed through these twenty pages of the thread you quoted; quite interesting in places. Since we now do have two Mutec MC3+ (the BigBen is history) I think I could perform a cascade test in the near future. Obviously you Germans got the toy first, but I still find it amazing that the thing has not created more of a stirr on this forum.

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Hi *progear,

 

Since we now do have two Mutec MC3+ (the BigBen is history) I think I could perform a cascade test in the near future.

Hope to learn about your findings here ,-)

 

 

Obviously you Germans got the toy first,

Well, it's made in Germany...

 

What made you aware of this nice box? - just a couple of weeks after it was released here in Germany.

 

but I still find it amazing that the thing has not created more of a stirr on this forum.

Either they don't use Toslink or SPDI or AES/EBU or they don't trust us...

 

Mutec has plenty of distributors in different countries - perhaps, nobody so far did find them to ask for a test ,-)

 

cheers

Ulli

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Sadly, few here are interested in clocks. I think many are fixated on async transmission being some sort of panacea. I will be watching this product closely...

Hi Ulli,

 

I just skimmed through these twenty pages of the thread you quoted; quite interesting in places. Since we now do have two Mutec MC3+ (the BigBen is history) I think I could perform a cascade test in the near future. Obviously you Germans got the toy first, but I still find it amazing that the thing has not created more of a stirr on this forum.

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Hi Ulli,

 

I managed to kidnap the two Mutec MC3+ yesterday and put them to the test this evening.

 

test setup: modified Hiface2 -- Apogee Wyde Eye -- Mutec MC-3+-- Apogee Wyde Eye -- Mutec MC-3+ -- Apogee Wyde Eye -- Mytek 192 DSD -- ADAM S4X-H, files at different sample rates, Samplitude.

 

With the second Mutec the sound got even crisper, bass and soundstage more defined, simply brilliant. Very impressive. The Mutec is a gem.

 

What made you aware of this nice box? - just a couple of weeks after it was released here in Germany.

 

A collegue of mine surfed the Mutec page, we were in the market for another clock for a project studio, the new Mutec seemed cheap and that is why we gave it a try. Meanwhile we have sold the Big Ben, the Mutec is such a bargain...

In our studio we are quite fond of German audio gear. We love Schoeps, Brauner, Sennheiser/K&H/Neumann, Beyerdynamic, RME, SPL, KS Digital, ME Geithain, Adam…

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Hi *progear

 

Thanks for sharing your findings - another chain where one or better two MC-3+ do a good job.

 

BTW: do you plan to release the hostages?

 

 

Sadly, few here are interested in clocks.

Indeed.

Note that it's not only a clock but also a re-clocker - almost any SPDIF or AES/EBU signal will quite likely benefit from being treated by a MC-3+.

 

 

cheers

Ulli

Edited by modmix
typo

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I know I'm going to hate myself for asking, but why string two MC-3+'s together?

And how are they connected to one another?

I currently have one MC-3+ connected by USB from my Zuma.

While I've been told repeatedly about the value of going SPDIF from my server, I have two issues.

One is that my DCS Debussy will not play 24/192 and DSD from SPDIF.

The other is that I love my PPA USB card and can't imagine moving away from it.

I'll appreciate any insights any current MC-3+ users have to offer as I've been told about the benefits of re-clocking which I can't do from USB.

Thanks in advance.

Joel

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I know I'm going to hate myself for asking, but why string two MC-3+'s together?

And how are they connected to one another?

 

Hi Joel,

 

I connected the gear by SPDIF cable. Apparently the reclocking gives you a better signal and re-reclocking can improve that even further.

 

Hope that helps.

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Hi Joel,

 

I know I'm going to hate myself for asking, but why string two MC-3+'s together?

It's not for spending more money ,-)

It's simply because sound quality increases (at least in my case and in case of another guy how did a test chaining up to four MC-3+)

 

And how are they connected to one another?

AES/EBU (Refine audio) in my case, SPDIF (Wyde Eye) in case of the four MC-3+ chain.

 

I currently have one MC-3+ connected by USB from my Zuma.

How do you do that?

MC-3+ has no USB input at all...

Maybe I misunderstood you...

 

One is that my DCS Debussy will not play 24/192 and DSD from SPDIF.

Same as my DEQX ,-)

DEQX and dCS might not play in the same league, though.

I simply do not have so much 24/192 material... no problem for me...

 

The other is that I love my PPA USB card and can't imagine moving away from it.

So, why not stick with it?

 

I'll appreciate any insights any current MC-3+ users have to offer as I've been told about the benefits of re-clocking which I can't do from USB.

MC-3+ helps to overcome a problem that doesn't exist with USB: get a stable (jitter free) sample rate from a clock barried in the data stream - the ist just one signal with SPDIF and the like. Al USB receivers I've seen so far use I2S which has seperate clock signals.

side bar

there are reports that in some cases the SPDIF input feed via MC-3+ delivers better SQ compared to the USB port of the same device - it all depends on how well the stuff is made.

 

hth

Ulli

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If you want the best performance from the MC-3+, the way to go is just like for the Brainstorm DCD8, which I also have- both are designed to use a 10MHz rubidium oscillator as a word clock input to further refine the overall clocking system, and this makes a significant difference in transient definition and imaging spatiality. If you're curious about what a rubidium clock is about, go to Antelope Audio's site and read up about the Isochrone 10M.

 

You can get there for a lot less money and a little time on eBay; look for a 10MHz rubidium oscillator or GPS disciplined oscillator. You'll have to get a power supply for it to, usually adapter cables from SMA to BNC. Search for the LPFRS, this is a good unit, used Swiss make, at a reasonable price.

 

 

High Performance Rubidium LPFRS 10MHz Oscillator Low Phase Noise and Spurious | eBay

 

 

$T2eC16VHJIIE9qTYKJ1!BQ4q(L,J2w~~60_3.JPG

 

It requires a 3-1/2A 24V SMPS, I use a OMRON model, got one used on eBay, the other new on Grainger

 

OMRON Power Supply, 24VDC, Amps 3.75 - DC Power Supplies - 2REK1|S8VS-09024A - Grainger Industrial Supply

 

This may be a little too DIY for some of you, but it's certainly easier than building a DAC!

 

PowerSupply24VDCAmps375-ProductZoom_zps68a76b1b.png

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It requires a 3-1/2A 24V SMPS

Just in case you don't like any SMPS in your audio gear, there might be an option using a linear psu build by the guy who made a good one for the Lumin (posting #347).

 

hth

Ulli

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Just in case you don't like any SMPS in your audio gear, there might be an option using a linear psu build by the guy who made a good one for the Lumin (posting #347).

 

hth

Ulli

 

Naturally, but the LPFRS gas built in regulators and PS noise rejection, and the OMRON is quite low noise as SMPS goes. A friend of mine powers his 10Mz clock from batteries, but as you can imagine, that's not very convenient either.

 

Engineering an initial solution is all about determining an optimum position on the cost/performance curve.

 

IMO, next step up is a Stanford Research PRS10 clock, at about $1950 with the heatsink and interface board, with which I also have experience. My proposal here is about encouraging people to try out this studio based solution at a low to moderate cost.

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Got this info from Mutec - might be of interest for someone.

Dear MUTEC Customers and Friends,

 

herewith we want to invite all of you which come over to the
135
th
AES Convention
in NYC to meet with us and visit our booth. You can find us at:

 

Booth no. 2960

 

We will exhibiting there in conjunction with our exclusive US distribution partner
Sonic Distribution US
. Besides the presentation of our new
MC-3+ Smart Clock
and its 1G-Clock technology, we also will have the other MUTEC products on display as well as two new items! These new products are shown at AES for the first time.

 

We are looking forward to meet with you at AES in NYC!

 

Sincerely yours,

MUTEC Press Dept.

 

 

Would be great to read a report or so ,-)

Ulli

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Ulli,

 

Thanks for your detailed reply.

 

I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner but not every message on this site gets forwarded to the thread subscriber so I didn't see this post until now.

 

As I'm currently using a a Rubidium clock on my MC-3+, I'm wondering if there would still be a benefit in adding a second MC-3+ or not. Any thoughts about that?

 

As I do have quite a few DSD and higher than 24/96 files, moving away from USB on the Debussy is not a good choice for me right now unfortunately.

 

The reason why I've been wrestling with the USB input option vs. SPDIF for example, is that I've heard continually about the benefit of using the re-clocking function on the MC-3+. But again, for now, USB is just not a great option.

 

And as for your post about the new items at the AES Show, I'm anxious to learn what's coming out.

 

Whoever finds out, I hope they'll post their findings on this thread.

 

Thanks again.

 

Joel

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Bump for a great thread :)

 

Any other tries with 2 (or more) MC3+ chained ?

 

I'd like also to know if the 1st cable (drive -> Mutec) is as important as the second one (Mutec -> Dac). I read from Steve Nugent on the Empirical Audio site that any optical or low quality spdif would do the trick with a reclocker, but you have to get a very high quality spdif or AES cable between the clock/Dac to get most of the gains.

 

It's quite useful to know, because prices of high quality AES/EBU or spdif cables are not really on the cheap side...

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Any other tries with 2 (or more) MC3+ chained ?

In the german aktives-hoeren forum there is a detailed report of testing up to four chained MC-3+. His finding is summarised a table - something like SQ improves like as geometric series 97c8462a3f550584cb9a8a304a9a87b3.png with a=1 and r=50%.

 

I doubt this series lasts for ever - intrinsic jitter might be the most prominent factor beyond a given number of chained MC-3+.

 

I'd like also to know if the 1st cable (drive -> Mutec) is as important as the second one (Mutec -> Dac). I read from Steve Nugent on the Empirical Audio site that any optical or low quality spdif would do the trick with a reclocker, but you have to get a very high quality spdif or AES cable between the clock/Dac to get most of the gains.

 

It's quite useful to know, because prices of high quality AES/EBU or spdif cables are not really on the cheap side...

In an early MC-3+ test on a quite good system (Tidal) we had a cd player (to have a jittery source) feeding via the MC-3+ a Teddy Pardo DAC. We used different prototypes of Refine audio digital cable. It turned out that it makes a difference where the better rated cable is used (the better one between MC-3+ and DAC was best - if I remember correctly).

 

In my MC-3+ chain, it does make a difference which connection is used between the two MC-3+ and what cable is used there.

 

I'm afraid, it isn't much different here from the 'normal' result: better is better ,-).

 

Of course, someone may decide that a certain level is just good enough - eg. three MC-3+ in the above mentioned case or just two in my case.

 

hth

Ulli

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Thanks !!

I think I will not go over 2 Mutec chained, but I wonder if -say- I'd get better results with 2 same cables at about 200€ each (I already have a very good Vovox Vocalis in my case) or 1 at about 4-500 (Lessloss, Revelation Audio Labs or other) + 1 Canare ("cheap" at about 40€). The only way to know is to try, I believe, but if anyone tried before me, I'd like to know...

Edited by Yucca06
typo

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There are several DACs mentioned in Mutec MC-3+ Smart Clock (sorry, german only). At some point in time I stopped counting the 'positive' reports... Just one or two where no difference was heard as far as I remember - for one I them my mileages varies ,-)

Happy ears

Ulli

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Thank you. I read that these DACs seem to benefit from the Mutec MC-3+: Mytek DSD 192, T+A DAC 8, NAD M51, Musical Fidelity M6, Wired4Sound DAC2) . However, I could find no indication regarding the Benchmark DAC2. It would be interesting to know: when I tested the USB input of my Benchmark DAC2 (fed through a iUSB) against its SPDIF input fed by an Audiophilleo AP2 powered by an AQVOX, I could hear very little difference, but there was a very slight advantage in favour of USB, which suggests that the Benchmark DAC2 has very strong "de-jittering" capabilities.

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Sorry Boris - didn't see your posting...

 

I guess, there is no easy-to-use rules when it comes to USB vs. SPDIF.

A friend of mine just got an Exogal Comet. USB and SPDIF was just tied - until he put an MC-3+ into the chain (the one he used to improve the sat receiver sound). He will have to buy another MC-3+, he told me ,-)

 

So, in case you have made a test, pls, let us know about your findings.

 

Ulli

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Thank you. I read that these DACs seem to benefit from the Mutec MC-3+: Mytek DSD 192, T+A DAC 8, NAD M51, Musical Fidelity M6, Wired4Sound DAC2) . However, I could find no indication regarding the Benchmark DAC2. It would be interesting to know: when I tested the USB input of my Benchmark DAC2 (fed through a iUSB) against its SPDIF input fed by an Audiophilleo AP2 powered by an AQVOX, I could hear very little difference, but there was a very slight advantage in favour of USB, which suggests that the Benchmark DAC2 has very strong "de-jittering" capabilities.

 

well, Benchmark's classic method has been to take all inputs and resample them to one sample rate- in the DAC1, that was 110 kHz, because it was the highest rate that offered better filter coefficients and performance for the digital filters built into the Burr Brown chips. Some people feel that type of Sample Rate Conversion (SRC) has a somewhat distinctive but consistent characteristic to the sound, and don't like it compared with native rate conversion done on a high quality DAC. (I'm one of those people, and a past owner of Benchmark products).

 

Really, though, what I suggest is listening in your own system and deciding for yourself what works with what value proposition. Keep in mind if you use USB with asynchronous connection, the clock is completely derived from your local oscillators, which control the data feed from the sending USB source, and there isn't any way to use something like a Mutec in the path. Curiously, some DACs are thought to sound best with the non-USB input (AES or SPDIF) and some best with the USB input. That distinction will guide what you should do, unless you should change your DAC, I'd guess...

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