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Old 02-28-2019, 11:59 PM
savakntr savakntr is offline
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Default Ed Meitner on external clocks

Strong statement from Ed Meitner on external clocks

https://www.stereophile.com/content/...-digital-audio

Quote:

JVS: You don't believe in using an external word clock. Why?

EM: Because I think this is the most stupid thing I've ever heard in the audio business. That means you have a precision clock that you have to connect to a wire to connect to a DAC, when the clock should be straight away where it belongs, inside the DAC, beside the DAC chip, if there is such a thing—not through a cable in a different box. This is so idiotic, it's not even funny. It's a money grab.

JVS: I believe one of the arguments for an external clock is that it offers better shielding from power supplies, and will thus operate better.

EM: Yeah, especially with units [that] have a separate power supply. There's a lot of shielding there. The whole thing is funny.

MP: In our DACs, the reference clock is inside the product and an inherent part of the conversion circuitry. Anything that comes from the outside world, on whatever input we select, is buffered and reclocked, so we don't have to worry about the artifacts of an external clock. Everything is reclocked to our internal reference. That's what we mean by asynchronous clock design.
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:01 AM
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Well, easy to hear his point of view
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:50 AM
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Cool little article. A true Expert's opinion is usually of interest whether or not you agree with it.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:19 AM
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Ed Meitner is the man behind the SACD realisation
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:46 PM
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I guess a lot depends on the design of the DAC itself. With an AKM/SABRE type chipset, where the internal clock is going to be crippled, a good quality external clock seems to make sense.

But with a discrete chipset, there is ample space for a good clock circuit - Ted Smith made a similar comment in designing the DirectStream (which definitely borrows a lot of ideas from Koch and Meitner).
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:07 PM
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I have a lot of respect for Ed Meitner for his accomplishments, the equipment he designs, etc...and while he was 'a man' and not 'the' only person behind SACD's success, he had a lot to do with it.

That does not make him right and everyone else wrong about clocking. His opinion may in fact be 100% correct for single-bit DACs designed to the max with high-quality in-box clocking in the way he is stating he has achieved. That however does not make him right for multi-bit DACs and everyone else's gear.

JVC (has made master clocks still used for studio purposes), Esoteric, DCS, CH, and many others including Aurender on the W20 seem to disagree. I've watched this post on another (computer) audiophile forum and a lot of the feedback is of the form that Ed said so it must be true and all the rest of us who hear a difference with external clocks plus all the manufacturers who have support for it must be wrong.

There is even a post asking how people who have invested in external clocks FEEL having read Ed Meitner's dialog with JVS on Stereophile. FEEL? SERIOUSLY? Well I feel pretty damned good that I've read EM's opinion and know that in my setup and various generations of it, plus several over at Ivan's and in many other friends' setups that external clocks do improve the sound quality and performance of the system and that I don't agree it's all bogus and a 'money grab' as he put it. Sure, it's grabs extra money but from what I've heard, external clocking, like anything else, done well, does deliver on its promises.

Sorry that this is a bit over the top passionate but I always am amazed at just how much 1 post by 1 person who happens to be an industry veteran can sway people into a frenzy.
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Last edited by SCAudiophile; 03-02-2019 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCAudiophile View Post
I have a lot of respect for Ed Meitner for his accomplishments, the equipment he designs, etc...and while he was 'a man' and not 'the' only person behind SACD's success, he had a lot to do with it.

That does not make him right and everyone else wrong about clocking. His opinion may in fact be 100% correct for single-bit DACs designed to the max with high-quality in-box clocking in the way he is stating he has achieved. That however does not make him right for multi-bit DACs and everyone else's gear.

JVC (has made master clocks still used for studio purposes), Esoteric, DCS, CH, and many others including Aurender on the W20 seem to disagree. I've watched this post generate the usual cadre of sheep and lemmings over on another (computer) audiophile forum and a lot of the feedback is of the form that Ed said so it must be true and all the rest of us who hear a difference with external clocks plus all the manufacturers who have support for it must be wrong.

There is even a post asking how people who have invested in external clocks FEEL having read Ed Meitner's dialog with JVS on Stereophile. FEEL? SERIOUSLY? Well I feel pretty damned good that I've read EM's opinion and know that in my setup and various generations of it, plus several over at Ivan's and in many other friends' setups that external clocks do improve the sound quality and performance of the system and that I don't agree it's all bogus and a 'money grab' as he put it. Sure, it's grabs extra money but from what I've heard, external clocking, like anything else, done well, does deliver on its promises.

Sorry that this is a bit over the top passionate but I always am amazed at just how much 1 post by 1 person who happens to be an industry veteran can sway people into a frenzy.
Not a lemming, Mark, just a theory I happen to agree with. Clock signals degrade the further they are generated from the DAC chip, so the logical location is right next to the DAC chip. This doesn’t mean that an external clock cannot work very well. I should know, I owned the Grandioso K1 Player and G1 Master Clock, and the G1 Clock worked excellent. But my MSB Select II DAC with Femto 33 Clock right next to the DAC Modules clearly sounds superior.

Best,
Ken
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Last edited by PlanarSpeakerFan; 03-02-2019 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:09 PM
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I have had two Esoteric disc players/DACs, K01X and K1, where adding a clock provided a substantial gain that felt worth it. I have even had the experience of getting a better clock, G-01X to G1 where there was a surprisingly large gain. Yes, it would be better if the better clock was built into the disc player. But not everyone would pay for that. And there are some benefits of separates like separate power supplies. What surprised me the most is how much of a difference the clock cable makes. This reinforces what has been said on this thread, that it is possible to degrade the clock signal on route to the DAC which is why the cable is important.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlanarSpeakerFan View Post
Not a lemming, Mark, just a theory I happen to agree with. Clock signals degrade the further they are generated from the DAC chip, so the logical location is right next to the DAC chip. This doesn’t mean that an external clock cannot work very well. I should know, I owned the Grandioso K1 Player and G1 Master Clock, and the G1 Clock worked excellent. But my MSB Select II DAC with Femto 33 Clock right next to the DAC Modules clearly sounds superior.

Best,
Ken
Ken,

Glad to hear it,...the MSB with Femto 33 is a great example of that done correctly...I have no doubt it sounds fantastic with that top of the line clock. Enjoy! My comment was about those who fall in and believe just because EM or some other industry person said so and following on to say the rest of us who have external clocks are wrong about them working well. If there was any offense taken at my post, you have an apology from me.
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Last edited by SCAudiophile; 03-03-2019 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCAudiophile View Post
Ken,

Glad to hear it,...the MSB with Femto 33 is a great example of that done correctly...I have no doubt it sounds fantastic with that top of the line clock. Enjoy! My comment was about those who fall in and believe just because EM said so and following on to say the rest of us who have external clocks are wrong about them working well...
There are certainly many digital to analog architectures out there. I give Ed credit for voicing his convictions without fear of criticism and following his beliefs through to his final designs. That said, it's not entirely fair to write off all other designs.

I recently began enjoying the benefits of Ed's approach thoroughly in the EMM DA2, but the paths that dCS, MSB and others have taken certainly can't be denied for their excellent results. The industry is fortunate to have varying approaches to advance the never ending pursuit of audio nirvana. How one mixes their audio cocktail of choice is always the fun part for me.
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