romaz

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About romaz

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  1. My REF10 and Habst clock cables have arrived. The REF10 is connected to 2 SOtM sCLK-EX clock boards. These boards have been used to replace the clocks on a small mini-ITX SoC motherboard, incoming LAN adapter, outgoing SOtM tX-USBhubIN USB card and tX-USBultra. The tX-USBultra then connects directly to my Chord DAVE and so this is a straight USB setup. In the next couple of weeks, I will also have my internet modem/router/switch reclocked and so eventually, 8 clocks will all be synchronized to the REF10 and I will have no bad clocks in my direct path. It should be clear by now just how revolutionary SOtM's sCLK-EX board is. Everything is being powered by independent rails from several Paul Hynes SR7s including my SOtM clock boards. Upon first listen, I heard no difference. Nada. It sounded very good but with the REF10 activated or deactivated, I heard no change. I have to admit I was a little worried. I let things run continuously overnight and oh my, how things have opened up. I'm sure more break-in is required and sound quality will improve further and so I will wait another couple of weeks before commenting further but what I am hearing already is just breathtakingly good. The dimensionality and atmosphere of my live recordings are now at a level I have never ever heard before in my system and I have had many servers come through my system including an Aurender W20, CAD CAT, Lumin U1, Baetis Reference (original), Melco N1ZH and Antipodes DX (2nd gen), just to name a few. This list doesn't include the dozen or so servers I've built myself, a RedNet 3, and just about every USB and Ethernet gadget you can think of. The layering of detail in my orchestral tracks is just crazy good and perceptible at even whisper levels. Bass definition and dynamics, midrange texture and clarity, treble extension and air, yes, it's all there. People talk about great clocks making the biggest difference in the bass and lower midrange but I must say, I hear it's impact everywhere. Perhaps what stands out the most is how smooth and grain-free the sound is. I thought my system was already free of harshness but this level of smoothness is a whole other level. I've been listening for the last few hours and no fatigue, just amazement at how my music has taken on new life. Before this, I had a quad Ultra stack at my disposal (SOtM sMS-200ultra with Ultra reclocking switch, tX-USBultra and dX-USB HD Ultra. More recently, I added the Iso Regen and so my system is not a stranger to well-clocked components. As you would imagine, my system already sounded very very good and it was unfathomable that my previous setup could be beat so easily and yet, somehow, with this simpler setup + the REF10, I have beat it...and not by a small margin. I'm off for a much needed holiday and so I won't be reporting back for a couple of weeks nor will I be offering a response to this post anytime soon. By then, hopefully, my setup will be complete (which will include a reclocked router and a few other surprises). What I will say is don't let anyone tell you an external master clock can't make a huge difference. They have no idea.
  2. I found a few minutes today to log on and I read @hols posts with interest and I thought I’d comment. This will be my only post today and I probably won’t comment again for a couple of weeks and so forgive me if I offer no follow up to this post. I have had a well broken-in Iso Regen with USPCB in house for the past week thanks to the generosity of another CA member. It has been playing almost non-stop and it has well over 350 hours on it. During the week that I have had it, I’m not sure I have heard it change at all and so I am presuming it is pretty well broken in. With the Iso Regen, I have thus far used it exclusively with an LPS-1. At some point, I will try it with my SR7. Like the opinion of many others, my opinion is that it is a wonderful device resulting in a very smooth and refined sound, rich in tone with great bass and a denser midrange presence compared to what SOtM offers. In my system, turning GI on results in an improvement but the difference is very small. If I have one criticism, the soundstage is considerably flatter than SOtM’s offerings. It does not provide the detail delicacy or the layering of detail that the tX provides so well and so I consider it a lower resolution device. Is this a big deal? For complex orchestral music, yes, this is a big deal. For studio vocal recordings where artificial reverb is mixed in, not so much. In fact, this is the type of music where I find the Iso Regen to excel in, but that is just my opinion. If I was forced to select one USB endpoint, based on the type of music I listen to the most, I would go with the tX. Fortunately, I am not forced to choose only one. If I have a dilemma, I find the Adnaco and the Iso Regen to sound very similar. At this point, it is too soon to draw any comparative conclusions but one thing is clear, the Iso Regen is a winner. My point with this post is really about USB cables. I have been a part of several blinded USB cable shootouts over the past few years. At one point, having compared the AQ Diamond, WireWorld Silver Starlight, Synergistic Research USB Active SE, Light Harmonic LightSpeed, among nearly a dozen others, I found I had preference for the TotalDac USB and so this was my reference USB cable for nearly a year. This was eventually replaced by the Curious USB (both the 0.8m and the 0.2m Regen Link) and my favorable endorsement of this cable over the TotalDac USB is still featured on the Curious website. Like many audiophile USB cables, it turns out the Curious USB doesn’t meet USB 2.0 spec (Rob Woodland owns no measuring equipment) but still, I found it superior sounding to my TotalDac USB. Last year, during another shootout, I was surprised by how easily the Curious USB was beaten by other USB cables. I found the Curious slightly bettered by the Audience AU24SE and Transparent Premium USB but rather soundly beaten by the Clarity Cables Natural USB. This is a cable comprised of single crystal silver with a cotton dielectric. Data and power lines are separated and this cable is extremely heavily shielded. Each cable is handmade by Chris Owens, a former NASA engineer and measured to exactly 90 ohms differential impedance, something that he stated is not easy to do. What this cable brings is speed and detail without harshness or thinness and a very expansive soundstage. Not as emotive in the midrange as the Transparent Premium USB, which is my second favorite USB cable, but much more resolving. With the Clarity Cables Natural USB, I had come to the conclusion that meeting USB 2.0 spec mattered with regards to USB signal integrity. At $1k for a 0.75m length, this cable is not cheap but it has been my reference USB cable for the past year. Comparing the USPCB to various USB cables I presently have on hand, one thing is clear, USB cables can make a big difference and cable disbelievers should take note. With most cables I have on hand, the USPCB asserts its superiority. There is probably no USB cable in existence that meets USB spec as perfectly and this is as close to an invisible cable as there is, however, is it the best? This is where system needs and personal preference come into play. When directly comparing the USPCB against my Clarity Cables Natural USB, the USPCB has greater immediacy. It is more “in your face” whereas my Clarity Natural has a calmer, more relaxed presentation. The USPCB has a more commanding leading edge and crystal clear clarity that makes you take notice immediately although the Clarity Natural presents detail and delicacy every bit as well. For my Omegas, I easily prefer the USPCB but for the Voxativs I have on hand, I prefer the Clarity Natural. It just sounds more “natural.” I took notice of Hol’s comments about his new Lush USB cable and I find Peter Stordiau’s approach fascinating, that meeting USB 2.0 spec in theory results in better signal integrity but does it lead to better, more natural sound? I don’t know the answer to that but I have placed my order for a Lush USB cable and so I’ll be able to hear for myself. I have also ordered SOtM’s new USB cable. It is not yet on their website but it incorporates the exact same filter block used in the dCBL-CAT7. In the end, I suspect it will once again come down to system needs and personal preference. Regarding the rest of my system, I will comment once everything has adequately been broken in but because of other obligations, it will be a couple of weeks. My REF10 and Habst clock cables are due to arrive tomorrow. I have a couple of other unexpected surprises. I have no idea how this turns out.
  3. I have one coming in and I will compare against a Paul Hynes SR7 and LPS-1. According to Lee, who designed this SMPS, the secret sauce is "filtration." Like with his endpoints, it is all in the filtration. I had a discussion with Lee about designing an audiophile-class motherboard devoid of noisy switching regulators and while he indicated this was important, he personally felt it wasn't that important because with his endpoints, he believed he had already successfully filtered out all the bad noise that typical motherboards produce. The strategy with the sPS-500 is the same. For me, the big question is impedance.
  4. Yes, absolutely, I have my sights set on this amp.
  5. I'm well aware of the heat issue. It's one of the reasons its difficult to replace certain switching regulators with linear ones in some components -- the heat dissipation is just too great. Here's what SBooster has to say about using a low voltage vs high voltage PSU for the sMS-200 specifically with respect to SQ. Seems like a difference of opinion. Thanks for clarifying! It had never dawned on me to use 4 dCBL-CAT7s in the direct path.
  6. The Voxativ 9.87s with the upgraded AC-4X drivers actually cost $45k. Not anything I am ready for at this time but they are my dream setup. We can all dream. The Voxativs I have on loan are the entry level Hagens at about $5k and much better suited to near field listening although I am in discussions with Holger regarding a custom made set with his better drivers. If you haven't figured out by now, I have a penchant for trying things and so I have had many things come through my house including speakers from B&W, Sonus Faber, KEF, Martin Logan, Totem and Trenner & Friedl just in the past 2 years. The list of names is just as long with regards to subwoofers. Nothing against the Paradigms but just not my cup of tea. As I stated, at all the audio shows, I get to hear many things but I always find myself gravitating to the high-efficiency crossover-less widebanders that can be powered by 2-10 watt amps. They just speak to me more. In our home theater, we have a pair of Sonus Faber Cremonas powered by a 300W multichannel Classe amp and augmented by JL Audio subs. They sound great...for movies, but given the choice, when listening to music for enjoyment, I find myself almost always gravitating to my near field setup. I'm not against using other amplification having owned or demo'd a variety of tube and transistor amps and preamps over the years. With SETs, I generally prefer the delicacy of smaller tubes (45s and especially 2A3s) as opposed to the larger tubes (300Bs, 845s, 211s). With transistor amps, the 25W First Watt J2 by Nelson Pass is my favorite. However, none of them can do what my Chord DAVE can do when powering speakers directly. To borrow your own phrase, you might be surprised.
  7. Yes, I think that JCAT card (or some Ethernet card modified to audiophile standards) can enhance the Ethernet route in the same way as these specialized USB cards. The advantage of the JCAT card is that you can power it externally. Whether it is a better value than having a cheap switch reclocked is another matter. Once again, if this is the path you're set on, I wouldn't try to dissuade you. As Rajiv has suggested, I think there are compelling reasons to take either path. In my particular situation, since I am replacing the clocks on my motherboard, I am betting that a triple stack will be unnecessary. What remains a big curiosity in my mind is how the REF10 will alter all of this. How the REF10 transformed the stock Mutec MC-3+USB in Munich continues to burn strong in my mind. I was ready to accept that beautiful sound that I heard from that single upgrade and call it a day and this was using a plain Jane Mac laptop connected to the MC-3+USB via a modest USB cable. No long string of trinkets. The REF10 might show me that my replacement of 8 clocks will be serious overkill.
  8. I don't care to argue about it either but if I use the term AOIP in the future, people should understand what I mean by it, that's all. Same thing with "endpoint."
  9. A wonderfully enlightening read. A lot of hard work on both yours and Eric's part, thanks! A few comments: No question about convenience with 6.5-9V, especially for LPS-1 owners. Generally, when a component consumes a fixed amount of power (watts), the advantage of going with a higher voltage supply is that less current is drawnand to draw less current results in less noise in the ground plane. Sometimes, this is noticeable and sometimes it's not. With the mR and my SR7, I found that the mR sounded slightly better at 9V then 7V. With the sMS-200, since this device can accept anything from 6.5-12V, with my SR7, I felt it sounded best at 12V. Not a huge difference in either case but given the choice, for me, the choice was clear. With SOtM's Ultra devices, I have not personally performed this comparison testing but with the sMS-200Ultra specifically, it was Lee himself that said he felt 12V sounded better than 6.5-9V. He also said the sCLK-EX board sounds slightly better when powered at 12V. He initially sent me some mixed signals with the tX-USBultra but before I placed my order, he clarified to me that once again, he felt 12V sounded best and so the rationale for choosing 12V for me was purely SQ-based. It would seem your observations suggests this is a minor issue at best. As many know, I was underwhelmed with the contribution of the dX in my system although I initially believed it had more to do with my DAVE not sounding so great via coaxial SPDIF. I agree with your comments, there is probably more to why the SU-1 sounds good then just the clock. For starters, the XMOS USB interface used by the dX is quite old (2nd generation) while the SU-1 uses the latest version. I think this is a big deal and it sounds as if the dX is in need of a freshening up. Since it now seems SOtM is open to modifying the SU-1, it will be interesting to read people's take on whether the sCLK-EX clock will improve it further. Obviously, the sCLK-EX opens the SU-1 up to the REF10 which may be where some ultimately wish to take it. I have posted this same impression regarding the iSO-CAT6 isolator several times on this thread already and so this observation comes at no surprise. There is definitely some improvement in terms of alleviating a certain harshness but the improvement is small. I use it because I already own it and that's it. This was an ambitious move on Eric's part. When I first reported on this, the main impact of the dCBL-CAT7s were within the direct connection pathway. Similar to my reclocking switch, when placed before the server, it had only very minimal impact and so I would never have considered buying a pair of dCBL-CAT7s to place before the server. Within the "direct path" between the server and the sMS-200ultra, I did find the impact significant and worthwhile. I probably would not have spent $300 for the iSO-CAT6 isolator but I certainly would have spent $1,000 for 2 dCBL-CAT7s, one to use between the server and the switch and the second to use between the switch and the sMS-200ultra. My only complaint about this is how thick and unwieldy these CAT7 cables are. Another reason I chose to go straight USB. Yes, this has been my impression as well. Once again, well done!
  10. Only that the sCLK's internal clock performance no longer matters since that responsibility is being shifted to the REF10's OCXO.
  11. It is sometimes hard to fully convey in written words the extent of how much I like something and so I'm sure there are times when people think I like something to a greater degree than I intended. With straight USB vs the sMS-200 stack, it's not good vs horrible, it's more my personal preference as to which compromises I'm willing to live with. Having lived with your sMS-200 Ultra stack for a while now, you can attest to how wonderful it is. If I had chosen to remain with that stack, trust me, absolutely no one should feel sorry for me because that is one incredible trifecta, especially for the type of music I listen to, and so I would never discourage anyone from going down that route nor would I disparage anyone who is already there. For those who feel they want more meat on the bones on their music than what this stack provides, I would also suggest adding the IR somewhere in that chain. If there is no intention to address the motherboard, it's actually my belief that going down the sMS-200 or mR route is the better way to go. Of interest, the thing that got me looking elsewhere was the dCBL-CAT7s. I simply didn't expect it would result in such a huge difference to my ears but it also showed me that "Ethernet" doesn't provide the isolation that we think it does. If this "direct path" was now showing me that Ethernet was just as noisy as USB, why limit myself to Ethernet? Regarding "AOIP" or "Audio over IP", the definition I read states that this is the distribution of digital audio across an IP network. I know that people often refer to this term with regards to such devices like RedNet and the various Ethernet protocols that such devices use but both the mR and sMS-200 are just as much Ethernet renderers as far as I'm concerned. Devices like RedNet takes an inputs an Ethernet signal and outputs a SPDIF signal. With the sMS-200 or mR, the output has been changed to USB and that's it. Heck, even a basic Mac Mini or PC is an AOIP device as I see it. NAA or "Network Audio Adapter" as championed by HQPlayer and JPLAY is the same thing as an AOIP device as far as I can tell. The typical NAA is generally a second PC but since both the mR and sMS-200 have HQP functionality, then I think they got labeled as NAAs also. Since it was ROON that popularized the concept of the endpoint, I can see why people think of ROON Ready devices like the sMS-200 or mR as endpoints but as I see it, an endpoint is any device that directly connects to the DAC and this would include devices like the mR or sMS-200 but certainly also things like the IR, tX-USBultra, LANRover, etc.
  12. I'll see if I can find time to do it later today, Moussa.
  13. I'm not sure I fully understand what you're asking, Rajiv? I think all electronics stand to benefit from a better clock implementation although the quantitative improvement in SQ will probably be gauged on more than just the clock as you so wisely alluded to in your comparative report. My goal with the sCLK-EX was to provide any and all components in my signal path with a clean, high-performance clock signal with the hope of enhancing the performance of that component. With the REF10, instead of elevating each component to the performance characteristics of the sCLK-EX's internal clock, the goal is now to elevate it to the performance of the OCXO in the REF10. Regardless, the sCLK-EX board still plays an important role since this board is the interface that allows the REF10 to talk to my individual components.
  14. Thank you for sharing this, Moussa. I have heard from others privately of their experience with the IR and the tX-USBultra. As I suspected, personal preference and system needs seem to come into play probably more than absolute performance although I have yet to experience the IR for myself. My reviewer friend now has both the IR and the tX-USBultra in his possession. Not wanting to steal too much of his thunder as he has yet to publish his review on his site, what I will say is that he loves them both and prefers them both together just as you do although he prefers his IR after the tX-USBultra and so once again, personal preference. Despite the fact that his Chord DAVE has well-implemented galvanic isolation at its USB input, his IR sounds better to him with GI turned on. The comment I am hearing from several is that the IR is the "flatter" of the two but also brings richer tonal density whereas the tX-USBultra provides more atmosphere at the expense of a thinner midrange. I could see why someone would want both. Which has the better clock is unclear but perhaps no longer so relevant because it's how that component sounds as a whole that is important. Based on our shared experiences, it's obvious now that the difference a well-implemented clock can make in a component can be significant, however, as I posted some time ago (see my botched surgery reference), it is presently my opinion that the best that a clock can do is to cause no harm and to allow the component that it clocks to function in as timely a manner as possible. By itself, a clock offers nothing but it is amazing the damage a bad clock can cause. With better clocks, it's more a matter of "lesser damage." With regards to SOtM's tX-USBultra, this is essentially their tX-USBhubEx with a better clock. Aside from the clock and clean and tight voltage regulation, Lee told me his secret sauce is filtering. At Munich, we had a discussion about building the perfect motherboard. While he said this was important, he felt it was less important because he believed he had already effectively filtered out the negative impact of the motherboard with his USB cards. He also believes in wideband filtering, well into the gigahertz range. He felt the benefits of this filtering leads to music "opening up" resulting in more air and a greater perception of resolution. I would have to agree that this signature sound that Lee strives for is definitely evident in his products and the better the clock, the more these qualities are brought out. With the IR, besides galvanic isolation, it appears that John and Alex's goals were as much USB signal integrity. They seemed to also have fallen in love with the SQ they got from the USB 3.1 chipset they elected to use. I'm sure Alex will comment but I suspect this USB chipset has a lot to do with the smooth and rich tonal qualities that you get with the IR and the wonderful clock they chose to use only serves to bring out these qualities. Again, I cannot stress how impressed I am that they got an eye diagram of their USB output to insure the integrity of their USB output. If I find the IR adds something positive to my setup, it would be hard to ignore it. As it now seems possible that its very fine Crystek clock can be replaced by SOtM's sCLK-EX clock board and ultimately, Mutec's REF10, then color me interested because I'm pretty sure the REF10's clock will be better than either one. Combined with their USPCB adapter, it's possible that nothing provides better USB signal integrity. Of interest, with respect to my incoming mods, I elected to go with both the tX-USBhubIN (SOtM's internal version of their tX-USBultra) as well as the Adnaco S3B. This was a last minute move (very unexpected) based on some last minute observations. As I previously posted with my earlier testing, when my DFI SoC motherboard first became available, Windows Server 2016 would not recognize the dual integrated Intel I211AT LAN controllers on this motherboard and so I was unable to do any direct A/B comparisons against my sMS-200ultra in bridged LAN mode vs Adnaco S3B + tXUSBultra. Upon switching back to my Mac Mini, since it has no free PCIe slots, the Adnaco S3B was not an option but as I compared the sMS-200ultra in bridged LAN mode against the tX-USBultra connected directly to the Mac Mini's native USB port, the sMS-200ultra was easily superior. With the reclocking switch added to the mix, the gap nearly doubled. When I added SOtM's dCBL-CAT7s into the chain, it was complete annihilation. When I added the tX-USBultra to this chain immediately following the sMS-200ultra, this is where I found my very best SQ. Prior to sending SOtM my DFI motherboard for modification, 2 important things happened. First, through a hack, I was able to finally get Windows Server 2016 to recognize the integrated Intel i211AT LAN ports and this allowed me finally to directly compare the combo of sMS-200ultra (with switch) in bridged LAN mode against the combination of Adnaco S3B + tX-USBultra. Second, a SOtM tX-USBhubIN with stock clock became available for me to try. This is SOtM's internal USB card that is used by the likes of Antipodes, Baetis, and others and it gave me the opportunity to compare it directly against the Adnaco PCIe solution. As I connected the tX-USBultra to this stock SOtM USB card, I was amazed that this combination allowed me to surpass what I was getting with the sMS-200ultra + switch in bridged LAN mode. Everything that the tX-USBultra was capable of was now magnified significantly and with the further replacement of the stock clock on the tX-USBhubIN, I was confident this delta would only grow. Moving on to the combination of Adnaco + tX-USBultra, as I previously described, I considered this pairing to sound "magical" as it gave me the tX-USBultra's wonderful blend of resolution, air and depth while also providing me with the Adnaco's immediacy and richer tonality. Compared directly against the sMS-200ultra + switch, while the Adnaco definitely flattens the soundstage (a big no-no for me), I couldn't ignore the improved imaging I got from the Adnaco. While the resultant speed and air and depth from the combo of sMS-200ultra and switch provided this wonderful delicacy and layering of detail that is to die for with large orchestral music, the Adnaco combo provided this rich midrange density that was especially alluring with solo vocals. Which is better? My inclination is to have both signatures which is why I opted to have both the dX-USBhubIn and the Adnaco reclocked. People roll tubes all the time, why not roll USB output cards? I am hoping that with the replacement of the 3 clocks on the Adnaco, some of the flatness will improve. With the replacement of the clock on the dX-USBhubIN, this essentially provides me with 2 tX-USBultras in series without the negative impact of my motherboard's native USB port. And yes, this exercise further highlighted just how bad my DFI's native USB ports are (hopefully, that will change with replacement of the motherboard's system clock). With the tX-USBultra plugged directly into my motherboard's native USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port, it was easily inferior to the sMS-200ultra (without the switch but in bridged LAN mode). Furthermore, with a USB thumb drive (which contained music tracks) directly plugged into any one of my motherboard's USB ports, SQ was clean and devoid of the HF harshness of my SSD but the sound was flat and uninspiring. With the same USB thumb drive plugged either into the Adnaco or the tX-USBhubIN, it was amazing how much more the music came to life. Just as amazing, with my USB CD-ROM drive plugged into either the Adnaco or the tX-USBhubIN, my CD rips were also that much better. Regardless of whether I have my tX-USBultra plugged into the Adnaco or the tX-USBhubIN, one of them will always be free for me to plug my array of USB-based compact flash cards into. Ultimately, what this means is that I have decided to abandon the AOIP route and go straight USB. Not only is it simpler but there are other advantages. It's possible some of the improved SQ I am hearing compared against the sMS-200ultra is due to Chord's ASIO driver in Windows being superior to the stock sound driver in Linux that is used by all AOIP devices like the mR or sMS-200. For sure, I can now play even my resource-intensive DSD256 files without any dropouts, something that was never possible with either my mR or sMS-200. I also now have the ability to go to go to Core mode with Windows Server 2016 without having to worry about losing my bridged LAN connection. What is helpful is that Rajiv's and Eric's recent comparative testing showed us that there is indeed a point of diminishing return. I had begun to sense this as well when I had 4 Ultra devices in series in my chain although it wasn't clear to me if it was truly diminishing return or just my dX-USB HD Ultra underperforming with my DAVE. Even if there was no diminishing return, I knew I couldn't contend with the unwieldy mess. What @hols comments showed me that was extremely valuable is that with an even better lock (like the REF10), it's possible that replacing the clock in a single output device is all that is needed, especially if the motherboard clocks are replaced. At least, that's my hope.
  15. Thanks, Hols, This post was extremely valuable and has given me encouragement that moving forward with the REF10 will pay large dividends. At this point, I don't know just how good the clock in the sCLK-EX is nor is it that relevant to me anymore since I intend only to use this clock board as a vehicle to implement the REF10. To be able to bring REF10 level performance to 8 components while only using 2 clock outputs still boggles my mind. Of note, the REF10 has two 50-ohm outputs and six 75-ohm outputs, a seemingly large number of outputs. Whether you use the 50-ohm or 75-ohm outputs should make no difference to SQ, according to Christian Peters of Mutec, however, there are other factors to consider. With really short clock cables that are no more than 15-20cm in length, the quality of the clock cable probably doesn't matter as much but even beyond just 20cm, according to Lee of SOtM, it becomes easy to hear SQ deteriorate and it continues to deteriorate the longer the cable gets. This is where the quality of the cable becomes more and more important. Of interest, the SMB-terminated clock cables from DigiKey that May guided me to are made of silver-plated alloy of uncertain purity or quality. For the $20-30 that these cables are selling for, once you get to 50cm of length, for example, I wonder what you are losing? I say this because the 50cm Habst clock cable that Mutec had on hand in Munich was much more heavily shielded and came with a separate ground lead that occupies its own clock output from the REF10. What is telling is that Habst's 50cm length clock cable that is made of cryo'd 5N silver runs $800. Shunyata makes clock cables also and their very best Sigma clock cable (50 or 75 ohms) sells for $2k. Yes, there's big markup here but BOM is definitely going to be more than $30 and so you have to wonder what is being lost with the cheap DigiKey clock cables and so I have purchased a 50cm DigiKey clock cable and will compare against my 50cm Habst clock cable once it arrives.