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About romaz

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  1. I am not a clock expert and so I have no choice but to accept statements made to me by clock designers and manufacturers at face value but according to Lee, SOtM's lead engineer and the gentleman responsible for the sCLK-EX clock board, the 4 clock outputs on this board are capable of independent frequencies but ultimately, the precision of their timing is "synchronized" to the performance characteristics of a single internal oscillator, an "internal master clock", if you will. A similar analogy would be a computer motherboard's system clock operating at 24.567MHz but providing timing to various buses on the motherboard via DPLL even though those buses operate at frequencies other than 24.567MHz. There is a language barrier when speaking with Lee since English is not his native language but he used the word "synchronized" repeatedly as the reason for why his clock board sounds so good and the primary reason why any audiophile should consider an external master clock. Regardless of the exact technicalities involved, what matters more to me is the resultant improvement in SQ. Isolating the impact of a clock in a component isn't always easy but with SOtM's standard endpoints, such as the sMS-200, tX-USBhubEX, or dX-USB HD and their corresponding "Ultra" versions, the only difference is the clock and so it becomes easy to appreciate the difference their new clock makes and the difference is surprisingly large with respect to increased air around voices and instruments resulting in a more 3D presentation but also resulting in the better layering of detail and discernment of subtle nuances that are easily and consistently differentiated with blind testing. Even when their new clock was applied to an inexpensive $20 network switch, the improvement was shocking and when 4 Ultra endpoints were combined in series, all I could do was shake my head in disbelief with how my music had taken on new life while sounding smoother and more grain-free. This wasn't any form of artificial romantic coloration that I could detect, it was simply realism taken to another level. Now, when I got a chance to first listen to the REF10 in Munich, I was aware of all the criticism against external master clocks by the nay-saying experts and how the long clock cables involved would surely degrade the signal and based on my mediocre experience with the dCS Vivaldi master clock last year, I was admittedly skeptical but the REF10 has completely changed my mind about how impactful a well implemented external master clock can be. In the same way that SOtM's sCLK-EX transformed their standard endpoints, the REF10 did the same with their MC-3+USB but perhaps to an even greater degree. I hope to receive my REF10 and a pair of Habst clock cables in a few short weeks and so I will get a chance to hear for myself its impact in my system. I will report my findings at that time.
  2. Not a dumb question. Your SU-1 has no master clock input option nor does its clock operate at 10MHz and so there is no direct way to associate the REF10 with the SU-1 although there is an indirect way. This is where SOtM's revolutionary new sCLK-EX board comes in but there's a catch. This new clock board has the option of a 10MHz master clock input (50 or 75ohm) and further has 4 independent (but synchronized) outputs that can be used to replace the clock of almost any component (i.e. router, switch, motherboard, LAN card, video card, USB card, etc). I know this as I have done it already and the results have been spectacularly good, so good that I have purchased a 2nd sCLK-EX board and will be replacing 4 more clocks in my chain (a total of 8 clocks) from the router all the way to my final endpoint. What this means is that I will have every clock in my audio path replaced and the REF10 will be used to synchronize all 8 clocks. Moreover, since the REF10 will be powered by its well thought out linear PSU and since each of SOtM's clock boards (and its 4 clocks) can be powered by a high quality linear PSU (in my case, my Paul Hynes SR7), regardless of the dirty environment that each clock is placed into (ie a music server), each clock will be powered very cleanly. What kind of improvement this leads to, I'm not yet sure, but thus far, the results with 4 clocks replaced have been breathtakingly good. In theory, the sCLK-EX can be used to replace the clock on the SU-1 and I'm willing to bet, based on my own experience so far and based on the comments made by others, that there will be an improvement even without the REF10 but the improvement will be even larger with the REF10. The only problem is SOtM has suggested they will not replace clocks on products made by other audio companies. Whether there are exceptions to the rule, I'm not sure. If you are interested in my further impressions of the REF10, they are posted here:
  3. Congratulations. The FC9 is a wonderful (and very attractive) chassis. I am using it for my new server.
  4. Here is a more telling review:
  5. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have included certain information although it doesn't appear I can edit my post. I obviously just cut and paste what he sent me without trying to edit it although he told me this document will be going on his new website so it doesn't appear he intended for this information to be private.
  6. Here is what Paul will be posting on his new website. Based on questions I had regarding an order for another DR SR7, he sent this to me just a few days ago: Paul Hynes Design SR Power Supplies The SR range of high performance power supplies were designed for powering both analogue and digital audio and video equipment. The same proprietary ultra low noise high performance discrete component voltage regulator circuit topology is used in the SR3, SR5 and SR7 power supplies. The SR3 uses a standard 50VA mains transformer, the SR5 uses a custom manufactured 160VA mains transformer and the SR7 uses a custom manufactured 250VA mains transformer. The SR7MR uses a custom manufactured mains transformer with up to 350VA rating depending on the overall rail requirements. The custom manufactured balanced mains transformers use oversized grain orientated silicon steel cores and are wound to avoid core saturation in use, to provide high common mode noise rejection of mains interference and leakage currents, and to operate quietly both electrically and mechanically. Schottky Barrier rectifiers are used throughout the range, as they do not generate reverse recovery transients and their associated harmonic distortions. The rectification is configured in balanced mode to take full advantage of the balanced mains transformers and to enhance common mode rejection of mains noise and leakage currents. The error amplifier used in the voltage regulator modules has the following specification :- Noise voltage < 0.5 nanovolts root Hz Operating Bandwidth > 300 Mhz Supply line rejection > 80 dB DC to 100 KHz Output impedance < 3 milliohms DC to 100 KHz Transient response and settling time < 100 nanoseconds As the SR3, SR5 and SR7 all use the same high performance regulator circuit topology they all have a similar sonic signature musically. Moving up the range allows better quality lower impedance mains transformers and up-rated rectification and regulator output stage providing a reduction in power supply output impedance, which in turn reduces interaction with the load. The increased energy storage capacitor bank also reduces rectifier ripple noise and RFI break through from the mains supply. Another benefit of the increased energy storage capacitance is with transient response and settling time. The net effect musically is to provide progressively larger, more stable and more robust soundstage particularly where large dynamic load current swings occur, as well as a lower noise floor and improved timbre and temporal accuracy. These power supplies are available with fixed voltage output from 1.6v to 30v or variable voltage output with a 10 volt span on voltage setting, within this range, using the precision adjustment potentiometer internally situated on the regulator module. Continuous power output ratings – For fixed output voltage versions the SR3 provides 25W, the SR5 provides 80W and the SR7 provides 125W and the SR7MR chassis can support up to 175W spread across the rails. The SR5 can support one 6A module and the SR7 can support one 10A module. The output voltage and output current can be specified within this power rating using the formulae :- V = W/I I = W/V Where V is output voltage, W is the available power in Watts and I is the output current in Amps. If you require help with power supply specification I will be pleased to help you. For variable output voltage versions of the power supplies, set at the maximum output voltage of the range, the SR3 provides 25W, the SR5 provides 80W and the SR7 provides 125W. Lower voltage settings than maximum will increase the voltage across the regulator output device, which will increase the heat generated in this device. To maintain safe operating temperatures and long term reliability the current rating should be de-rated by 8% per volt when reducing the output voltage level on variable output voltage versions. The SR5 and SR7 power supplies are available in Multirail versions SR5MR and SR7MR with galvanic isolation between the supply rails to avoid ground return current intermodulation (ground loops) where more than one item of equipment is powered from the same power supply. The SR5MR can support one 6A regulator module and one 3A regulator module or two 3A modules. The SR7MR can support one 10A module and up to two additional 3A modules or a 6A module and up to three additional 3A modules. XL ultra low impedance (< 1 milliohm) connectors and fine silver internal DC wiring between modules and the output connectors, can be fitted to the SR3, SR5 and SR7 power supplies. The SR3, SR5 and SR7 single rail supplies are also available in DR versions where two of the high performance voltage regulators are cascaded to a give supply line and rectification interference rejection exceeding 150 dB from DC to 100 KHz. This provides lower overall noise levels than the standard power supplies and better dynamic performance. The SR3DR, SR5DR and SR7DR can support one DR rail and the SR7DRMR2 (four regulator modules in total) can support two DR rails in the SR7MR4 chassis. Power supply dimensions are :- SR3 – W = 110mm, H = 50mm, D = 170mm SR5 – W = 224mm, H = 90mm, D = 260mm SR7, SR7MR2, SR7MR3 – W = 224mm, H = 130mm, D = 260mm SR7MR4 – W = 224mm, H = 130mm, D = 340mm Current Prices 08/06/17 SR3 £300 SR3XL £340 SR3DR £500 SR5 £600 SR5XL £678 SR5DR £800 SR5DRXL £885 SR5MR2 £800 SR5MR2XL £970 SR7 £750 SR7XL £870 SR7DR £950 SR7DRXL £1080 SR7DRMR2 £1150 SR7DRMR2XL £1480 SR7MR2 £950 SR7MR2XL £1190 SR7MR3 £1150 SR7MR3XL £1510 SR7MR4 £1350 SR7MR4XL £1830 Paul Hynes Design DC leads for PHD power supplies. Current Prices 08/06/17 All prices are for 1 metre lengths with a Switchcraft DC plug. Alternative lengths and connectors can be quoted for if required. Cable impedance reduces with higher current rating. XL ultra low impedance (< 1 milliohm) connectors can be fitted to the SR5 and SR7 DC Leads. 3A current rating :- DC3C annealed copper with Teflon insulation £050 DC3FS annealed fine silver with Teflon insulation £085 DC3FSXL annealed fine silver with Teflon insulation £125 6A current rating :- DC6C annealed copper with Teflon insulation £075 DC6FS annealed fine silver with Teflon insulation £145 DC6FSXL annealed fine silver with Teflon insulation £186 10A current rating :- DC10C annealed copper with Teflon insulation £100 DC10FS annealed fine silver with Teflon insulation £229 DC10FSXL annealed fine silver with Teflon insulation £270 Current ordering information (01/06/17) Insured carriage and packing costs will be quoted once the order specification is finalised, as this depends on parcel weight, size, total value and destination. Please supply a shipping address so I can get a quote from our parcel carriers. Please note that you are responsible for any sales and import taxes that your country imposes. I am not prepared to under value shipment documentation. All products are currently built to order. Orders are placed in the build schedule on receipt of cleared funds. The build schedule lead-time from order placement to shipping is currently estimated at approximately 15 to 20 working days for SR3 power supplies and 50 to 60 working days for SR5 and SR7 power supplies. Lead time are dynamic and can vary from day to day due to orders being added to the build schedule as they occur. Working days are Monday to Friday excluding national and personal holidays. Circumstances beyond my control, such as component sourcing problems and absence from work due to illness can affect lead times. Payment can be via PayPal by sending funds, with 4.5 % added to cover the Paypal fees, to in GBP. My paypal account is a business account and I cannot accept payment as friends/family. Please remember to include details of what you are ordering and ensure that a delivery address is also included. Alternatively I can send you a Paypal invoice that you can pay via a Paypal account or by credit or debit card. Another alternative can be by bank transfer, which is usually free in the UK. For international bank transfers add £6 for the Barclays International payment processing fee. The bank collection account details are :- Barclays Bank PLC Penrith Branch Sort Code : Account name : Account number : IBAN SWIFTBIC My worldwide guarantee covers parts and labour for three years from receipt of goods, subject to correct application, and is transferable should you decide to re-sell at a later date. If I can be of further help let me know. Regards Paul
  7. I can say that the SR7 chassis looks much better in person than in photos. I can also say that I prefer the black anodized chassis more. Regardless of how it looks, it is a very solidly constructed chassis.
  8. My guess is that people will find that the two will perform very close and one may be better than the other depending on personal tastes and your system's needs. The fact that John and Alex obtained an eye diagram for the ISO Regen and confirmed the integrity of its USB output says a lot. People assume their USB output (which includes the integrity of their USB cable) is high quality based on what they hear but to really know that your USB integrity is as good as it can be, you need to get an eye diagram of your USB signal at all the bitrates that you listen to (Redbook and higher) and so in my view, the fact that they have done this is a big deal. If price is a high priority, I doubt you can beat the value of the ISO Regen. If you are looking to clock a stack of components and desire the future option of adding a master clock, then SOtM is your only option. Regardless of which path you take, I don't see any losers here.
  9. It's not something I would attempt but if you know someone who decides to do it, I would be interested in their findings.
  10. Agreed about service in the USA but it probably won't happen as I think Lee is personally responsible for all the work that is done. The quality of his workmanship, however, is top rate. What SOtM is offering, if you think about it, is revolutionary. How many audio equipment manufacturers will perform mods like this for you? It opens up so many unique opportunities. We now have the ability to convert non-audiophile devices like switches, routers, motherboards, I/O cards, etc. into world-class audiophile devices without having to necessarily pay audiophile prices. And it's not just about replacing clocks but also replacing noisy switching regulators (for $50 a piece) and adding or upgrading capacitors (for $20 a piece) without ever getting your hands dirtry. On top of that, all work is guaranteed. With my motherboard and I/O cards, the clock board will be mounted just adjacent to my motherboard so that I can get by with short (20cm) clock cable lengths. Here is a photo:
  11. No, another CA member was going to lend me his. His unit finally arrived last week but it was DOA and so he is waiting for a replacement.
  12. I can't say for sure but I have found that low impedance devices really respond to low impedance PSUs. Any of my Ultra devices, for example, scale more noticeably to my SR7 than my server.
  13. I would suggest you consider the following scenario instead. Figure out which Ultra product you are interested in the most, a device that you would be connecting directly to your DAC, such as the sMS-200ultra or tX-USBultra, and place the sCLK-EX board in the chassis of that device. As the endpoint closest to your DAC, this unit should be considered your most important device. The benefits of having the clock board in the chassis of your most important device is you can get away with very short clock cable lengths, around 5-10cm. SOtM insists this will make a difference. As your most important component, this device also deserves your best PSU. If you do this, then your best PSU ends up powering both this clock board and your most important endpoint. I can't stress enough how this clock board scales to the quality of the PSU that is attached to it and unless you have numerous high quality PSU rails just sitting around begging to be used, both fiscally and sonically, it would make sense to do it this way. In the future, should you decide you want to clock a different device, don't worry, you won't be stuck. You can send your unit back to SOtM and for time and material, they will explant your clock board and transplant it into your next device of choice. I know because they are doing this for me now. You would need to do this anyway because whatever other device you may wish to clock down the road will likely require a different clock frequency and only SOtM can reconfigure the clock board for you. Should you decide you want to remove your reclocking switch from your chain, as an example, and instead clock a USB card, router or other device, you would need to send all involved items to SOtM. This is another reason it's a good idea to go with SOtM's suggested SMB connectors. That way, you can untether at will any other devices that may be latched to the clock board that don't have to go back. This modularity is very important if you wish to utilize all 4 clocks on the board. Should you elect to disassociate a certain device from the sCLK-EX, you can disconnect the cable but as stated by Rajiv, that device will likely no longer be functional, however, if you send this device back to SOtM, in most cases, they can revert it back to its original condition. Regarding the SMB cables that have caused some confusion, SOtM prefers to go with these cables with their mods for a variety of reasons and while they only supply 1M long cables, that doesn't mean you have to use a 1M long cable. It is definitely in your best interest to use as short a cable as possible and any 50-ohm RG316 clock cable will do provided the cable is terminated with SMB connectors on both ends. Like all cables, they come in different lengths, grades and price ranges but if you use a really short cable, you can probably get by with a fairly inexpensive cable. Here is a website that sells clock cables that you can use. You'll see that you can buy clock cables as short as 6" and as long as 5 meters. The short cables only cost about $20. to smb
  14. Yes, that's right. I'm not sure this is a feature that he ever intended to offer but when I was contemplating a way to power my HDPlex DC-ATX converter, which requires 16-24V, he kindly offered me this option to help me out. What I will say is that once you hear how much better DR sounds over SR, you won't want to give it up.
  15. Yes, the SR7MR4 chassis has the option for 4 outputs. With a 2-rail supply, you would only be using 2 of those 4 outputs.