I want to upgrade some of my audio equipment. Some of them are my player and my sound card. After playing with PSU, opamp, capacitor, diode, etc, now it’s time to play with harder part, the clock.
Every CD/DVD Player, sound card, and similiar equipments will have something than we can call a clock generator/crystal. See photo below. The blue circle shows the standard clock generator on my DVD Player. You can see that the clock used is 27.000 MHz. Different player will have different clock. So make sure you remember this value. Replace it only with same value.
Why this mod is necessary?
Most commercial product use standar clock generator circuit. This may produce high jitter, up to 100 or maybe 200ps (ps stands for picosecond). So, what is jitter? Jitter is a big problem in digital audio system related with timing variation in variable clock position. If you have big/high jitter in your system (ADC or DAC), then the conversion process can be done either a little bit too early or too late.
See photo below. Original link comes from Stereophile. So thanks to them.
With high jitter, you can expect the conversion process may lead to “inaccurate time”, which produces “wrong result” and less musicality. With less musicality source (CD/DVD Player or even sound card), then how come you expect finest sound from your system?
At this point, I hope you understand why I want to upgrade the clock or do the reclock process 🙂
I look around the web to find the reclock module. I find some and I will share for you here. If you find other reclock module that hasn’t been listed, please inform me so I can add it.
Effective Audio Clock II
This kit comes from Singapore I guess (they sell it with Singaporean Dollar). They design the PCB with 2 layer high speed. Good quality capacitors there (Sanyo Os-con and Elna Cerafine). Some SMD capacitors found as bypass. They have optional clock divide circuit (with addition S$ 30). This clock divide option can be set to 1/2, 1/4, or 1/256. Finally, this module has 2 clock output. This reclock module specially designed for Tentlabs oscillator.
Photo above is the standard version.
Photo above is the ultimate version.
- EA Standard Clock Module + Tentlabs Oscillator + EA Standard Regulator: S$ 175
- EA Ultimate Clock Module + Tentlabs Oscillator + EA Ultimate Regulator: S$ 275
- Clock Divide Output Option: S$ 30
AudioCom Superclock 3 and 4:
One of the most popular reclock module from AudioCom. Some website already show the Superclock 4 but I find no information about this version from AudioCom website. From the board, we can see the purple capacitors (Sanyo Os-con perhaps?). AudioCom claims that this module uses unique circuit to minimize the jitter effect.
- AudioCom Superclock 3: US$ 295 (Reference Audio Mods)
- AudioCom Superclock 4: US$ 319.95 (Parts Connexion)
- AudioCom Superclock 3 Power Supply: US$ 295 (Reference Audio Mods)
LC Audio Technology LClock XO 3
LClock XO 3 provides dual clock output with UHF plugs. They use a big capacitor to delay the clock and provide a trouble free integration with most player. Output level can be choosen either 3 or 5 Volt. LClock XO 3 also uses low nouse Voltage Reference from Analog Device and ultra fast voltage comparator (5.2 ns). The PCB itself contains 4 layers to provide maximum sonic quality and over 85 SMD parts on the back side. LC Audio claims outstanding 1 ppm accuracy. Another great thing is LC Audio provide schematic for their product. So if you are a hardcore DIY, then you can build this clock yourself.
The top side from the clock. A big capacitor to provide a “delay” for trouble free integration with any player.
The bottom side contains a lot of SMD component. Shortest path means better quality.
- LClock XO3: EUR 171.57
- LClock XO3 Power Supply 230 Volt: EUR 32.08
Dexa Technologies D-Clock Master Clock
Dexa Technology or NewClassD is a new audio company. The founder is Lars Clausen (formely of LC Audio). Their latest product, the D-Clock Master Clock claims 1 ppm and 1.5 ps jitter. NewClassD uses special output configuration to provide jitter and noise free signal. They use something called “isolated clock injection point” which isolated the clock from power supply ground (free of ground loop and free of main noise injection). This can be achieved by 100 MHz micro pulse transformer. Other unique feature is protective ground plane to eliminate environment noise.
- NewClassD D-Clock kit includes cable: US$ 219.79
TentLabs XO2 and XO3 are low jitter clock upgrade for all of your CD/DVD Player. TentLabs XO2 and XO3 claims output jitter below 3 ps and 50 ppm accuracy, integrated over the whole bandwidth started from 10 Hz. Dedicated low noise power supply included to provide noise below 5 nV/Sqrt Hz or 30 times more quiet than average LM317. Dual mode power supply capable either 3.3 or 5 Volt. XO2 is intended for stand alone CD/DVD Player, contains XO module with low noise power supply. XO3 is intended to be used with external DAC. Actually XO3 is XO2 with additional reclocking circuit for SPDIF.
- XO2: EUR 91.60
- XO2 with optional divide by 2 clock output: EUR 100
- XO3: EUR 116.81
- XO3 with optional divide by 2 clock output: EUR 125.21
A DIY clock from friend at Malaysia. Easy to build clock with cheap cost (around 50 RM or US$ 15!). You can search for his thread on Google/Yahoo and most DIY forum. One of them is here and here. Schematic available also on the web or via request directly to the author. I have one but dont ask me since the author himself prefer him to be contacted directly to ask for the schematic.
- Do-It-Yourself: around US$ 15
I plan to purchase one of them to upgrade my DVD Player. Will update my result after I do the upgrade.