Importance of Clock Cables

Hi, i am new here but have been lurking for a while. I have ordered a Rossini clock to go with my Bartok. How important are the clock cables seeing as they don’t carry a music signal? and what make/brand have you had good results with? I’m thinking of getting some Oyaide FTVS-510

Clock cables can alter the resulting sound that you may hear noticeably . They are important . There are several archive threads on the subject to to save repetition I suggest that you read these two:

I do make a recommendation within one of the threads and people who have followed it seem to like the result but there is good advice from others in the threads too. Several different brands are used in the community at various price points.

I will stick with my general observation that audiophile type cables asserted to be 75 ohm and intended for music signals but terminated with BNCs have been universally of poor merit when I have tried them. This lets out a lot of brands as few offer specific wordclock cables. Stick with cables intended for the purpose at least for starters. There are exceptions that prove the rule but best not to get involved just yet.

The free in the box BNC cables ( various but I seem to recall that HOSA brand are often provided) will get you going but are easily improved upon and I would only recommend them if your clock is delivered on a Saturday and it is too late to buy alternatives until Monday morning when the shops reopen :slightly_smiling_face:.

Hi Peter, thanks for the reply. I did read the first thread you mentioned but this seemed to developed more on the lines of preamps but i will reread. I don’t think i’ve seen the second one you mention so will read this with relish.

To Pete’s point, you can spend a lot if you choose. But like Pete, I also recommend improving on the OEM cables with any of the following:

  1. Van Damme from DesignACable; some models available on Amazon.
  2. The Blue Jeans 1694 BNC Cable
  3. The Geistnote Apogee Wyde Eye (can also order from Amazon).

Any of those will give you a spec-compliant cable and SQ baseline for a very reasonable price. And from there, you and your ears and wallet can experiment.

Hi Greg, thanks for the reply. Is it known who supplies the oem clock cables? i thought i read somewhere that they were van damme cables. The Wyde Eyed are on my radar.

Scott, I do not. I never even uncoiled mine. Still in the box. Pete mentioned HOSA, but I’ve never seen a reference to Van Damme as OEM. Would actually be a good move by dCS, as they would have the Abbey Road rep to create a little UK mystique.

The cable in the box currently supplied is unbranded and just shows the generic type on the sheath; RG-59U Coaxial Cable 75 ohm. That is standard 75 ohm coax cable used typically in TV installations.

Van Damme Plasma is still relatively inexpensive but nevertheless costs several times the above cable.

That supplied in the box It is just to get you started as it clearly states in the user manual.

Hi Peter thanks, not sure where i got that info from but i could have easily misinterpreted what was said. My thoughts are VD, Apogee Wyde Eyed or the Oyaide. So it’s -
Harder to get hold of
Relatively Expensive ( compared to the above)

Well I wouldn’t start with the most expensive first. See how you get on with something cheaper. Both Greg and I have so far ended up being perfectly happy with Van Damme or Blue Jeans respectively.

I do have a length or two of Wyde Eye ( the name refers to the "eye " pattern seen on an oscilloscope when testing cables, the wider the “eye” the better) somewhere in one of my boxes of disused cables. Mind you it last saw the light of day back when I had an Elgar/Purcell/Verona. So I may look it out and give it a try again with my more modern hardware given the general enthusiasm for it here.

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Leo, I agree with Pete; establishing your baseline on the cheap has many advantages. BJC has been in my system now for over two months, and nothing has made me feel like I need to go back to the others; all three are very effective, and all three allowed me to her the differences that adding a clock and a reference clock made. My dealer, and many others, have suggested trying Shunyata clock cables, but before I do, I need to get a daughter into college and another one married this fall. [You should also know that I am something of a cable skeptic when it comes to digital cables; while analogue ICs are in one form or another truly tone controls, digital cables in my mind should not be.]

FWIW, Geistnote makes their clock cables with Apogee Wyde Eye cable and Canare connectors, just like Apogee. These cables are slightly more expensive than either Van Damme or BJC. I think their construction is superb. At some point, I may put them back in the system to see if they sound any different from the BJC or VD; my initial conclusion, after living with each for 5-10 days, was that they did not.

One advantage I like of both the Van Damme and the BJC, is that they are available to order in different colors [VD even affords boot color customization]. It took me two times of disconnecting and reconnecting clock cables in and out of 4 boxes to appreciate the advantage of differentiating the cables by color.

Thanks for the responses, still a bit undecided! the most sensible plan is to get the Van Damme from designacable as that will not cost a lot. Find a dealer/supplier who offers a trial period on the oyaide (I’m quite happy to stump up for the oyaide but would want to make sure i think it’s worth it) Keep an eye out for some Wyde Eyde here in the UK as importing it adds further cost.
I’m not a cable sceptic but i’m struggling (or is that unwilling) to fully except that different correctly speced cables used for clocks can have that much of an impact on the sound.

Correct. Do it. :slightly_smiling_face:

That is simply because you haven’t yet tried.

Hi Pete, yes that’s what i will do. Sometimes one can pontificate to much!
(now just need to decide on which colour :thinking:)

Colours. You need two, one for each group of frequencies. Don’t buy the same colour for both. As Greg has pointed out life is made a lot simpler if you can easily identify which cable is which.

Thanks, now another thorny issue! what about power cables? I have two Shunyata’s to choose from. An alpha ef and a delta nr. I’m currently using the “ef” on the bartok but would this be better on the clock?

Before cables, what about the power itself? I view that as far more important. But as between the ones you have now, I would put your better one on the DAC. But that would be pretty easy to test.

A dedicated line/ring is not an option at the moment but would be considered if and when we change the flooring in the lounge. I am getting a power conditioner soon to try out and see how/if that improves things.

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I used to think that the power cables were channelled through the floor I guess because the wall boxes are positioned next to it. However in most British houses ( I believe you are in the UK, yes?) the power line distribution is in the space between the ceiling and floor above. The wires run downwards in channels routed into the walls. It’s always handy to know where these are situated if you are hanging pictures :wink:

A dedicated supply for your audio system is a good investment but - warning- it is very difficult to explain it and what you want to achieve to a bog standard sparks.

NB : don’t configure it as a ring circuit. That is one of the pains of living in Britain and is the reason why we have those strange fused 13 amp power plugs. It all came about because of a copper shortage when the solution was to use less copper by installing ring mains.

Frankly I wouldn’t worry too much about buying new cables or something like a power conditioner right away. I am known for being a sceptic about such things anyway but, putting that aside, it is a good idea to simply get used to your new equipment first. Otherwise you will be making several changes at the same time and that usually leads to confusion about what is doing what right or wrong ( in SQ terms).


That’s just delightful! :rofl:

why would a cable for the clock make a difference?
Interested physicist with hifi would like to know… :slight_smile: