I am thinking of pulling the trigger on an Esoteric G-0Rb clock for my system (that uses an Esoteric X-01D2 player.
Can anyone describe the benefits of adding a clock to the system? Is it a noticeable improvement? Subtle but better? Easier to listen to?
I do not see a lot os discussion or reviews of clocks, so I have to ask does adding a clock fix a problem that is not that big of a problem?

I have heard the G-0Rb clock with the P01-D01.
The clock improved the soundstage and instrument seperation.It is a nice but subtle improvement IMO.
I am not sure the change in sound is worth the cost. I also have been told the clock benefits the seperates more then the single box players.

I heard that clock with an Esoteric SA-10 and was amazed what I heard. Everything was much clearer/cleaner. I only heard it for about a min before the salesman said oops - the clock and player are out of your price.
Using a 20k clock on a 3.5k player should help it a bit I would imagine;)

I think the separate external clock/DAC/transport is an old way of solving the problem for hifi. A clock is fine in some complex recording studio situations where multiple digital systems needed to be in sync.

But I would suggest you save your money and spend it another way. The advantages like better dynamics, clearer soundstage and focus can be had for cheaper.

Just buy a computer based set up with a new top of the line firewire DAC. You will be shocked at the sound quality. All those old problems of sync will be solved in 2 purchases and for a great deal less than a brilliant but redundant external clock.

If all you are doing is playing CDs move into the 21st century. Play from cache with nice software. The sound is sublime. Playing redbook in real time will not compete. That old 1990s way of solving the problem is over and is too expensive. Been there and done it with DCS. You will never look back. You do not need to be that computer friendly. A mac of some sort will be easiest computer to set up and make sound good. Once it is set up it is done.

If you have a large selection of SACDs it is a bit of a pain, but you could still transfer SACDs to HD. Besides once you get into 24/192 downloads you will probably forget about SACDs.
I tired the cheap clock with the power supply in a few CDPs and they made a nice subtle improvement IMO as already stated above. I have not compared the more expensise replacement clocks (ultra clock) to the cheaper ones yet. I found that adding transformers in a CDP made a more significant difference in clarity, soundstage and more importantly tone. They are around $200 for a pair and if you have a local tech who knows what they are doing you can get this modification cheap.

Chadeffect; I see you have the dcs scarlatti setup. I have a silent music server with the dcs debussy usb. I was going to try the paganini master clock. Are you saying not to, waist of money? Do you not see an advantage to your clock in your system? Insight apprieciated. p.kogan

I never tried the Paganini. I went straight from the Elgar plus to the Scarlatti. I am not saying not to try the DCS clock. They make some of the finest kit in the world and their systems work beautifully. What I am saying is I got tired of having to spend so much on all these bits.

I just have not updated my page, but I have moved on system wise. The DCS with the clock/DAC/transport was amazing. I never used the Scarlatti transport though, but the old Encore. It was the finest digital playback I had heard at the time.

The problem with DACs is that they are mainly just a computer. As we all know this technology moves so quickly. So I changed my set up to a simple but complete computer based system.

With attention to each of the links in the chain I have managed to get sound at least as good if not better and put the savings in my bank. I moved to a Mac (amarra) firewire/ Weiss DAC with volume control/amp set up. It may not look as good, but hey!
Well I have added a clock. While it is not a HUGE differance, it is a sound improvement(in my opinion) worth paying for. If you love great sound quality and I do.
If using an outboard clock on a DAC makes it sound better, then somethng was broken or they didn't design it correctly to begin with.
I am using a brand new dac and clock. Neither are broken. I have read your favorite dac mps-5, which with usb has only a maximum 48khz. I use usb. My debussy usb does considerly better. I know of "playback desighn's" y and x axis theory. I have read where "playback" sees the clock as "at best a fix". Dcs has no clue about what they design. My dac and clock cost no more then you favorite Mps-5, but I believe mine does more and does it better, for certain usb. Which is what I use. If this is broken, I would LOVE to hear fixed. Either way, it sounds fantastic. Clock and all!
I just added an Esoteric G25U to my Esoteric X03SE. I am still evaluating but it does appear to be a positive effect. The real plus for me, though, is that the G25U is also an upsampler (up to 192/24) so I am upsampling my SB Touch with the G25U and sending a 176k signal into my Berkeley DAC. (Playing with 196k as well). The soundstage is much, much deeper and I have a nice layering of soundstage, which is also wider. Much larger presentation, more palpable. Just amazing. The digital sounds incredibly good.
I auditioned the GOrb for 2 weeks intensely with my new Esoteric K01 player (an absolutley superb CD player). The K01 sounds exactly the same with and without the GOrb. The GOrb will improve the sound of 2 box players (like the Esoteric P03/D03), because it synchronizes the transport and DAC clocks on one superb external clock. It will not improve the sonics of a one box player unless the player has a lousy clock. The K01 clock is very good (accurate up to 0.5PPM). The X01D2 (my old player) clock is not quite as accurate as the K01(I can't remember the exact spec on the X01d2 clock, I think it is around 1.0 PPM). I doubt that there will be a significant detectable audible improvement by adding the GOrb to the X01d2. There is no question the clock will be more accurate but the X01d2 transport and DAC run off of the same internal clock, so it is already synchronized. The improved clocking accuracy, under the circumstances, will not be audible, in my opinion.
I suggest you try the GOrb before you buy. It is a very cool piece of equipment. But, it is quite expensive. It didn't do a thing for the K01.
I think your money would be better spent by trading in the X01d2 for the K01, the improvement in sound is enormous.
Good luck!
Huntermusic - have you considered clocks by Antelope? They make pro-grear stuff which is usually as good as if not better than most audiophile stuff at less cost. Their clocks are their sweet-spot.
I'm using a Verona with my Verdi Encore/Delius. I've just acquired a Trak 8821b GPS frequency standard so next step is to set that up to take the GPS clock signal into the Verona. Anyone tried an external GPS reference into the dcs stack?
This has been a great thread for me. I have decided to buy a Esoteric K-01 to replace my X01-D2 and forego the outboard clock for now.
Matjet's pov was the deciding factor, and it was confirmed by the person from whom I have bought a great deal of my equipment, Anthony Perrotta.

I have also decided to push out of my brain the thought that it is time to move past CD to a server. Maybe next year but not now. I never thought CD/SACD would be suddenly "old school" but "Whomp, There It Is."
Back to Mozart. . . . .
Huntermusic, You will love the K-01; it is the best cd player I have ever heard. I am glad my post was helpful.
This to me is funny. Someone asks about a clock and ends up buying an antiquated devise. I mean, everyone most know that the cd player is dying fast. I am amazed. If my info is correct the k-01 lists for $22000.00. I bought a silent music server(built to the best available) a dcs debussy dac for $11500.00. Including all softwear. Added the paganini master clock and I am below $18000.00. Let see $22000 for an old out of date technology or $18000 for the latest state of the art tech using usb. I am sure that K-01 sounds great. I will bet my setup sounds at a minimum, as good, but most likely, better. Completely upgradable, with at your finger tips ease and organization. Rip once and put it away for ever or sell or trade. Back it all up on a memory stick. No sweat. I love vinyl. Will never give it up. But, cd players are gone the same way the digital casette tape players went. Extinct. Proof, they are putting them in cars for free.
Koegz, I agree, music servers are the future. I think they will also eventually replace Blue Ray disc players and DVD players as well. I have only had an opportunity to listen to a high end music server once, and it was a casual listening session. I wonder how it would compare to a high end SACD player like the K-01? It would be an interesting comparison. I've asked my audio dealer about servers a few times but don't really get a concrete reponse. I went to another well known high end dealer who had a server up and runing, but all I got was, "yes, we have it, here it is, use this remote control to acsess the music selection," and that was it; I received only a very short explanation on how to get the music online, and no explanation on how to rip cd's/sacd's or how it sounds compared to the best cd players. My questions were answered, but not well. I didn't walk away with a feeling like I had to have one of these devices. It is a completely foreign way to obtain and store music for me. I was curious, and the salesman could have sold me, but he didn't even come close to making a sale. I believe for many of us who have purchased records, cd's, sacd's at the store and online for decades, changing to a server is a major adjustment in mind set. I won't get into servers until my audio dealer responds enthusiastically to my questions and shows me a set up that is easy to use and appealing and sounds great. Also, maybe the fact that it looks like a computer rather than a beautifuly designed high end audio device has a negative subconscious influence on some of us 'older' audiophiles.
I am sure you have used a computer before. You do not need a stereo shop to help you. I am NOT computer savy. Yet I have done it. It blows cd players away. Depending on your budget there are many different routs you can take. http://www.computeraudiophile.com/ is a great place to start. This is where I bought. http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/std/sku=fanless_music_server.html I will say each time I learn/figure something out, I feel fantastic. As far as movies go, already there. There is nothing like it. I often compare the best sounding vinyl I have to it's digital version. The comparrisns have become very hard to impossible to tell which is better. Why waist your money? The future is here! I do not know what you consider older, I will be 55 in june. It has been an exciting journey to this point. There really is something to these computers!
Koegz, What site(s) do you use to down load music? Is it uncompressed? What is the cost? How long does it take?
I ripped all the cd's I had owned. I buy new and used cd's from amazon and a local store "tunes" and rip them(place in computer memory). I down load from HD tracks. There are few sites with uncompressed rock music for down load. But a ton of classical and Jazz. Although I got an email from Hd tracks that something big was coming. I like owning the cd and J Rivers media center, which is the music player(organizer,library) I use, has a built in up scaler. I use flac and windows 7 professional. All I can say is down loaded and ripped cd's sound GREAT. I recently got into some blues. Keb Mo sounds fantastic ripped from cd. Obviously the better the recording the better the sound. To me it is a no brainer. I now convert my flac to mps through jrivers on to a memory stick and take it with me in the car. It is easy once you learn how. It may sound complicated but it is not. Just a different way of looking at it.
Kroez, this is the future, no doubt. I will continue to learn more. But. I still love my K02, it sounds great, works great, looks great, and, I have no regrets. Thank you for your insight.
It is a good looking unit. I am sure it sounds great. Did not say you should regret your purchase. This thread is not about owning but about a future purchase. If cd players were a stock(nasdaq) they would be a HOLD NOT a buy!
I am fascinated by this thread. I agree with the great back and forth comments by both Koegz and Matjet. So I have this question for Koegz:
If money was not an impediment, what kind of server system would you buy? And, forgive me, what if I simply don't have the time or the desire to start ripping my substantial CD/SACD library which is probably 2500 CDs?
Additionally, what is the cost to download, oh say, 500 tracks to get me started with some of my tried and true music favorites in the highest res format.
What do I need to buy, how easy is it to buy, how easy is it to set up?
Do I need an internet connection at the music server?

I don't think I will do this music server this year but would love to know what you recommend and what is involved.


if you would like both a very good CD/SACD player and a music server the APL NWO-M player is based on Esoterics best VRDS-Neo CD/SACD mechanism but has a much more advanced Dac and music server capability. This means you can either insert an SACD or choose to play back music from your computer stored music libabry.
That is not a music server. That is a cd player as a dac. I am of the strong belief that the dac should be a seperate and external. It is very susceptible to vibration. Also there is more to a usb dac the the conector. Alot more. Huntermusic, ripping is easy and dare I say it, fun, even addictive. You rediscover music you have not listen too in years. Don't start by ripping all you have, just the core groups and build from there. As far as down loading goes it is $8 to $18 depending on bit size(16 or 25 bits). Now I could see using a highend cd transport with usb conectivity to the sever(computer). As far as what computer, I am not computer savy, just some common sence. As I said before I use windows 7. I am not an apple fan(political beliefs only).

That is not a music server. That is a cd player as a dac. I am of the strong belief that the dac should be a seperate and external. It is very susceptible to vibration.

The NWO-M is designed in a way that the VRDS transport is completely separated from the DAC circuit; the only connection is I2S type.

The proprietary AK4399 DAC module has dedicated I2S inputs selected by remote so one can select between VRDS transport, S/PDIF and USB.

There are no vibrations coming from the VRDS transport, plus it does not spin when USB or S/PDIF is used. So there are no negatives when using the NWO-M as a DAC with external digital sources.

Also there is more to a usb dac the the conector. Alot more.

True! The NWO-M optional USB input is based on M2TECH asynchronous technology and proprietary drivers. It can process 192/32. The USB hardware is extensively upgraded and runs off ultra-low-dropout, low noise linear regulators, so noisy switching PC power is unused. This said, it is extremely hard to hear a difference between USB and VRDS on a blind A-B test using the same CD.

Alex Peychev

HDTRACK adds THE ROLLING STONES to their list of available hd downloads. This may be a water shed event! Only 5 albums but a beginning. Who will be next to recognize the future and get on board? Radiohead, Springsteen, The New Pornagraphers, The Clash, REM, Bright Eyes, Phish, Dylan dare I say it The Beatles? Who will be next?
I agree that those in the market for a new CD based mechanism should consider one that has some provision for digital input, whether SPDIF or USB or firewire. Given that many audiophiles are music lovers (we hope), Esoteric probably assumes they have large libraries of CD and perhaps SACD. Having dabbled with iTunes and Olive, the importing of classical music in such a way as to keep things organized and systematic across multiple performances of multipart works is a nightmare. Independent tracks is not an issue but don't talk to me about boxed sets for opera or anything else. How the heck do you import 6 versions of La Traviata correctly? Or my 10 collections of the Beethoven sonatas? Viewing garbled or inconsistent metadata can drive you to go back and just put a disc in the tray.

On the other hand, there is one blessed soul on another forum who detailed his massive classical music collection on iTunes - he tagged each one manually so that it would show up properly. Said it only took him 12 hours a day on his free days, every free day, for half a year, to do 2500 of his 6000 CD collection. He reckoned he'd be done in another 8 months - if he could hold up. I don't have 12 hours a week to just import music....

Although people have said to me to hire someone to do it; or pay $2/disc. This is something to keep in mind in the present. In the future, metadata grabbing may improve and software may have features that offer solid relational links for classical music. If so, I may wait for that day to come.
I have a good music server (Touch, Esoteric Clock/Upsampler/Berkeley DAC) and an Esoteric X03SE and the SACD on the X03 still trumps the music server, as well as many other recordings (XRCD, DSD, etc). You can have both and I would go for the K-01 if funds currently permitted. Playing a CD while having a music server is almost like putting an LP on a turntable.
Well, I've found JRiver Media Center really easy to use (tagging is a breeze), and the audio quality together with ASIO4ALL is simply amazing, IMO!

Tried MacMini with Pure Music/iTunes. Sounds OK but, to my ears, it lacked against JRMC/ASIO4ALL, and by a good margin.

Maybe if I didn't have the upgraded Esoteric VRDS transport, I'd be perfectly content with Mac/iTunes as many are.

Alex Peychev
The esoteric is a nice clock, but if you are going to spend that kind of cash, take a look at the antelope audio atomic clock. and any decent clock will make a noticeable improvement.
Clocks are only good if the internal clock is bad. Sometimes you will not hear a difference as in the case of the k-01 and K-03. Your money would be well spent else where.Clocks for pro use are used to tie in several digital units. The Clocks in the K-01 and K-03 are excellent.
Wow, this thread sat for almost three years. There isn't many subjects in high end audio more polarizing then the clock. Well I can say in my system the clock has had a HUGE effect! I have the Esoteric G-01 sync'd with the D-02/P-02. The combo sounds fantastic as is, but the clock has widened the soundstage and added depth .The Presentation is smoother and the overall sound is more realistic.
I was not sold on the clock, until I heard it in $450,000.00 system with the K-01 as the digital source. It elevated an already excellent sound to in the room. After that, I was sold on the clock and have not regretted it.
Look at the D-02/ P-02 thread, there are several other owners of D-02/P-02s and K-01s that have clocks and have great results. For some reason, it seems, the more detailed the system, the better the effect.
Hi, I have to agree with ColeKat...clocks, even what type of clock cable are easily heard in my system...(running dCS Scarlatti Trans/dac/clock)