External master clock enhance sound quality on network stream?

I am a Bartok owner and considering adding an external master clock. If I am only listening to network stream (Tidal, files from NAS) is that the internal clock are the best?

My understanding is using an external can help if I have other SPDIF input that can sync the clock(s) on all connected devices. However just on network, there is noting to sync. Except we consider the internal clock is not as good as the external. (Which I hope it will not stay true for dCS product).

If not, how an external clock enhance on network stream?


The network stream is buffered to RAM and that memory is then fed to the DAC based on the DAC’s clock. That RAM could be thought of as equivalent to some external source connected by S/PDIF or AES and thus it benefits from being synced to the DAC’s clock.

The clock used in the Bartók is excellent in its own right, but an external master clock provides a better reference. It’s simply a matter of improved performance rather than any sort of comment on the quality of the DAC’s clock.

Thanks for the answer and it makes me more clear about adding a master clock.

Hi Alex,

I’m listening almost exclusively through the network interface of my Bartók and I went this route — I added a Rossini Clock with Cardas Clear cables — and I can testify that it adds a lot ! Of course it’s not a “day and night” kind of improvement, but I’d say it’s “more of everything that we love” with our dCS gears : naturalness, space, instrumental colors, microdynamics, bass definition and tightness, in one word : Musicality. Especially microdynamics and bass tightness keep amazing me with every improvement of my gears : they’re not the first place where I did expect any improvement at all when changing something in the digital realm, but they’re definitely there ! And for me, as a primarily classical music lover, they make a lot of difference : double bass in orchestral works are there to be heard and microdynamics make all the difference between interpretations, they allow one to feal the phrasé [phrasing ?] of the musicans.

Wishing you all the best of enjoyment with music.

Olivier :-{)


I’m also Bartok user and want to add a clock in but it is Puccini and not Rossini. My question is whether it will be better in terms of music quality? My CD transport is Paganini.


I would echo Olivier’s assessment. I don’t own Bartok, but when I demo’ed it with and without the Rossini clock, the difference was significant. Maybe not night & day, but certainly night & dawn. :wink:

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Well in the short time i have have my rossini and clock, i have twice off an evening sat down and started to play a track, only to think that it was not quit as good as before, then i realised i hadn’t switched the clock on.
I find the clock doesn’t add extra detail or bass etc, but it makes the music more enjoyable and involving, its quite strange really but i definitely would not want to be without it once you have had one

I’m somewhat amazed by that statement.

When I auditioned a Rossini with clock, without the clock it came nowhere near to matching or beating my current DAC, a Wadia S7i.

Only with the clock did it transcend the Wadia, and then it did so by leaps and bounds.

Without the clock, it just didn’t sound good enough to me to warrant a purchase.

With the clock it was a no-brainer.

To give an example, when the clock was shut off, the entire room Frank Sinatra was in disappeared, and it was as if he was just in a small sound booth rather than a large studio (the way Frank recorded, in a large studio backed by an orchestra, all in the same room.)

slight aside, but where is good to get sensible-priced Rossini-Naim interconnects?

Depends what you mean. Are you looking for XLR to RCA? RCA to RCA? XLR To DIN? RCA to DIN? Rossini to Naim could Involve any of these combinations.

Whereabouts are you? Do you mind buying from abroad?