Importance of Clock Cables

Hello Greg (@PaleRider) ,

I would propose this cable as well:

The clock cable retails for around 100 Euros. Vovox is a Swiss cable manufacturer most well known for their cables geared towards the recording industry.

I improved on the cable provided by dCS with Sommer Cable. The change in sound was audible. More than I thought possible with a clock cable. Then I put in the above mentioned Vovox cable. Now I am content with what Vivaldi clock and Bartók do together. What my ears enjoy with the Vovox is the relaxed presentation, how organic the music sounds, how colorful it is, how micro timing just works. And above all else how it helps to open up the window to the intent of the musicians. When the musicians are in a playful mood and bounce sonic ideas off each other, that becomes palpable in a visceral way.

Very recently I swapped in the Van Damme assembled by Designacable in exchange for the Vovox. It went out again quite quickly. The presentation became more bloodless, more technical, more rigid. We are talking debatable changes that are also a matter of taste. The change for me was from just right to somewhat lacking. I guess it very much depends on what sonic result we optimise our systems for.

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Always good to have choices. Thanks for that info.

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Marco, thanks for your advice. I would try a sample ( clock to transport) before committing to all five required cables but they have neither UK distribution nor an online shop so it looks like they are unobtainable for me.

Incidentally you say circa 100 euro but for what length? No details of this essential parameter are given on their website.

Hello Pete (@PAR), you are most welcome. As I’m pretty new here I thank you for your very generous contributions to the forum. I have learned a lot already.

The 100 Euros is for a cable with one meter length. That’s the length I am using in my setup. The cable is available in custom lengths too and my hifi dealer who is retailing Vovox cables told me the owner of Vovox has an opinion as to minimum length. I believe his recommendation was somewhat over 1m. I could double check if you like. Standard lengths are 1m, 2m and 3.5m.

The distributor responsible for the UK is S.E.A Professional Audio Technology. They are located in Germany.

This UK online store appears to have the right product in its inventory. The 1m length is 84 GBP including VAT.

dv247 Music Store . Vovox link protect AD coaxial cable 1m

Should you try, I am very much interested in what your ears have to say - either way, whether you enjoy the slightly different presentation of music or not so much. Feedback is always useful.

Thanks Marco.

I will look into this later in the summer. S.E.A seem to be the EU distributor and their client list does not , or does not any longer, show any UK presence. dv247 are actually based in Cologne so I need to establish exactly how they supply their UK outlet . There may be problems as although you order from the UK outlet they actually ship to you from Germany as that is where stock is held. I think that this is the case here as the shipping information on their UK website refers only to shipping to the UK , not within the UK. In fact their huge automated fulfilment centre in Cologne helps to support this possibility. Another “UK” dealer for Vovox , Thomann, is also actually in Germany ( NB: they don’t appear to stock the wordclock cable),

The current difficulty, as with so much EU trade now, is what is happening with VAT. Many EU dealers have not taken any measures to deal with the fact that the UK is no longer part of the EU. The result is that they are continuing to charging VAT as before but when the consignment arrives in the UK our authorities add VAT again. And that can include charging VAT on the VAT already charged as the VAT is levied on the total value including shipping :frowning_face:. You also have to pay a customs administration fee to the carrier. As this is a flat fee it can add a significant cost in percentage terms to low value items.

Of course the German ( or a firm in any other EU country) selling to the UK can now register for VAT in the UK. However that may not necessarily absolve them from paying VAT in their country ( depends on the local tax regime and that of the EU) and creates a potential administrative nightmare . Therefore many EU traders now refuse to deal with the UK - presumably not in this case as they have a physical UK presence.

Anyway all remains to be established in due course.

Thank you too for your kind comments.

Hello Pete,

that’s a real bummer. :roll_eyes: Paying VAT on VAT makes no sense. It’s a bit hidden, but the distributor website of SEA has a UK dealer list:

https://sxpro.co.uk/

https://www.funky-junk.com/

Also, when I was looking for a Vovox Excelsus XLR cable I called the Swiss Vovox number and the owner himself was kind enough to point me to retailers.

Thanks again Marco. I will investigate those leads when I come to trying the Vovox cable. Currently all of my spare resources are devoted to a new hot water/central heating boiler and windows ( and my new discovery of acoustic glass). Those are just such boring subjects though !

Hi,

It seems that the impact of a clock cable on the sound is not questioned on the forum, while the impact of ethernet cable is heavily discussed (on another thread).
I visited Vovox web site…they make a specific “clock cable”, well, but they also make network cables. They mention that the impact on the sound, while surprising, is real…And they mention that their ethernet cables are double shielded.

So, eventually, should we trust a cable maker on what he says on on type of cable and distrust him on what he says on other type of cables ?

Chris, all audiophile cable manufacturers will say they make the best sounding cable. Just ask them. You may also find that all loudspeaker manufacturers make the best loudspeakers, all DAC manufacturers make the best DAC s, all turntable manufacturers make the best turntable, all amplifier manufacturers the best amps etc. etc. Of course you could trust them :smile:.

Also if you care to plough through that excessively long thread on ethernet cables you will find that a shielded cable ( single or double) is not the optimum choice for dCS equipment. It is a specific issue for dCS. Vovox’s double shielded ethernet cable might be advantageous in some unusual situations of abnormally high electrical noise but that is not likely to be of interest to us home users. So the Vovox statement "could "be right. But it is doubtful that the specific requirements of dCS equipment was accounted for ( unless referred to). So, putting aside my scepticism over manufacturers’ opinions on their own products, there really isn’t any real paradox to find in that statement.

Oh yes it is. I have posted on the subject several times, here is just one example:

Ironically I am in the middle of demoing a new set of clock cables, and they are a pretty obvious difference from the Cardas Clear cables I had been using.

There is a very noticeable change in presentation definition for me, sort of like the difference between a drawing done with a dull pencil and one done with a fine point pen, but never harsh or fatiguing, just more precise imaging.

As always, YMMV, so I always urge people to listen and compare for themselves.

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Hello @BillK

which clock cables are you demoing at the moment?

Without meaning to sound mysterious, I’ll get back to you on that.

Brief summary: My dealer called me and said a cable manufacturer they carry is coming out with clock cables and brought a pair in for him to try. He thought they sounded great and wanted me to give them a shot at home and tell him what I thought.

At this point I think the vendor is going to make them, but they haven’t even given them a name yet. :grin:

:sunglasses: spy stuff, neat :wink:

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As mentioned in a previous post, I recently purchased a 10ft “Transparent Premium 75 Ohm digital cable - generation 5” from a dealer via eBay at a reasonable price. It had a BNC Trompeter connector at one end and RCA at the other. I purchased this with the intention of evaluating and comparing this cable with others. I do, for some reason, have ‘brand loyalty’ with respect to cables (a weakness maybe, but have stuck with the Transparent brand for many years). Emailing Transparent attempting to obtain information on their cable brought the response of
“…Our 75-Ohm digital links use proprietary designs and geometry. I can share that it is a coaxial cable, designed and build to maintain a 75-Ohm impedance from end to end…”
My experimentation and micrometer measurements show that this cable meets approximately the RG6(U) specification/guidelines.
It is clearly a triaxial cable (thanks for connection advice @Anupc) not, I believe, as stated by Transparent a coaxial cable. I cut the cable into four lengths two at 1m and two at 0.5 metres. I silver soldered four Audio grade Furutech BNC connectors to the longer cables and four commercial grade (all eight solder/wrench connected - as in the original Trompeter), to the shorter. I really cannot hear a difference between these two cables. No electronic testing has been done.
Food for thought:

(1) Do Transparent digital cables cost substantially more because they are Triaxial (copper double, braided and insulated, as well as meeting the higher specification of RG6U? Van Den-Hull also sell a Triaxial cable (using BNC connectors).

Note (from WWW):
“Coaxial cables have an inner conductor insulated by a dielectric material and then surrounded by an outer conductor that is shielded with braid or foil. Triaxial cables add an extra layer of insulation and a second conductive sheath”.

The RG6 and RG6U are specified with a centre core of 6.9mm diameter whereas RG59 has a centre core diameter of 6.15mm.

(2) There has been little consideration in this thread with regard to the makeup of differing clock (or digital cables).

Audiophile cable prices are a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma (with apologies to Winston Churchill).

I can now reveal the cables I had for audition were from AudioQuest.

Though AudioQuest sells 75 ohm digital cables, they are now offering clock-specific digital cables in both the Wild and WEL Signature lines on a special order basis.

The cables I’ve been listening to are the WEL Signature and are substantially better than the Cardas Clear they replaced during the audition.

The AudioQuest Wild cables fall somewhere in between, much better than the Cardas but not as good as the WEL Signature, obviously.

What’s really nice is the AudioQuest BNC connectors are a very snug fit as compared to the Cardas.

Your mileage may vary of course; I would never suggest anyone purchase them without a careful audition in your system.

Again I’m shocked at what an audible difference clock cables can make.

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I’ll offer here a few observations, really just as comments on previous posts.

First, the only manufacturers’ measurements of 75 Ohm digital coax cable I’ve seen are some by Belden. They were keen to improve the performance in the GHz range, for video applications. They ended up with a silver plated solid core cable. It’s only a few dollars per metre more than their ‘standard’ cable (as sold by Blue Jeans, I think). This is probably overkill for a clock application, even allowing for the fact that a square wave contains odd multiples of the fundamental frequency (at levels that decrease, the higher the frequency). I still bought the cable though.

Second, an RG6U standard is mentioned (I had to look it up). It doesn’t seem to be hard to meet: I looked at the website of an electronics supplier and they are offering such a cable for £9.81 + VAT. That’s not per metre, it’s per reel.

Third, years ago when I had a Puccini player I auditioned a Transparent Reference clock cable versus a competitor cable from Chord in the UK. The Chord cable isn’t even 75 Ohm. At the time, and with a system rather less resolving than it is now, I couldn’t tell the difference. Since that time I’ve come around to the opinion that, for digital cables, I should stick to basic well made cables that meet the required technical spec. To depart from that, I should have a very good reason. That brings me to my last point, which is a follow-on from this one.

Fourth, when it come to the technical specs for digital cables I look closely at what the manufacturer claims (especially if it is an audiophile brand). From memory, I believe that Transparent state that their coax cables are 75 Ohm (and their AES/EBU cables 110 Ohm). However, I didn’t see any such statements on either the Audioquest or Cardas websites. Maybe I missed something? On the page for Cardas Clear Digital they say “Applied to SPDIF (75 ohm) applications you are treated to completely neutral and transparent playback.” Call me suspicious if you like, but that sentence does not say that their cable is 75 Ohms.

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Well as I mentioned in another thread, I don’t care about the why, just the audible result.

I will say I have a Canare LV-77S 75 ohm cable I once used for word clock in a professional system and I much preferred the Cardas to it.