Word Clock cables, what length?

I did 1.5m for mine. I remember reading somewhere—and it’s been posted here; might have been a Steve Nugent piece—that there is something to be said for that extra length.

I like my Geistnote, but I’m not running them at the moment. I also like the Van Damme BNC cables I ordered from Design-A-Cable in the UK. But I am not running them either. Right now, I am running the BJC BNC cables, because those are the last I tried. I plan to do exactly what Pete suggested in a different thread after a few more weeks: swap them out for the Geistnote, and see if I really had/have an improvement or not. So far, all three sets have produced excellent, almost indistinguishable results. Now, perhaps when I demo the Shunyata Alpha and/or Sigma, the scales will fall from my ears. Maybe. :wink:

I am not sure who has acknowledged that the Geistnote are better than the stock; has anyone at dCS said that? I don’t know if they are better than stock, because I never even took the stock out of the box. Personally, I take dCS’s general statement—that their cables are “commercial grade,” and that audiophile cables are not included with their components, because they anticipate people are going to swap them out anyway—as also silently including the phrase no matter what we include. It also relieves them of any responsibility for a third-party’s QC. And if I’ve picked up anything here from the dCS staff, it is that they sound skeptical of some of the cable claims out there. But I’ve also read at least a post or two claiming that dCS uses MIT cables, but I have yet to see that confirmed.

Anyway, the great thing about cables is . . . well, I am not sure I know what the great thing about cables is. Sometimes, they’re a real PITA.

As suggested here and elsewhere, I’d order 1.5 meter lengths assuming there are no in-between lengths such as 1.3 meters. What I do not know is whether there’s a difference for the 48kS/s versus the 44kS/s group. Back when Steve Nugent wrote that white paper, S/PDIF was primarily about 44kS/s.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.

Here is a link to Steve Nugent’s article:


Note that he is talking about maintaining 75 ohms from the source driver to the receiver in the DAC. He then lists the components in the signal chain that must retain the 75 ohm characteristics to achieve this including the wiring to the output connector and from the input connector to the PC board and the PC board traces themselves.

As those conditions are never met in practice and as one can only buy pre-made cables in a more or less standard choice of lengths based on multiples of 0.5m I would say that the answer to your question, although it may be of academic interest, would have no practical application in reality.

As an aside at least one major audiophile cable manufacturer ( Nordost) actually supplies cables ( digital and analogue) in slightly different lengths to those specified as they hold that e.g. 1.5m may not actually sound as good as, say, 1.48 or 1.54m ! You pays your money and you takes your choice ( British English idiom).

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They’re not the only ones doing that (building cables to an exact length). I remember doing listening tests for a manufacturer in Switzerland who reached the same conclusion. What you’re saying reminds me of what I’d already been wondering about back then: if the result isn’t system-dependent, i.e. inconclusive. The main reason I’m still referring to the Steve Nugent white paper is that he said something in conversation that he’d at the very least stay away from the standard 1 meter S/PDIF cable length, if not in general shorter ones than 1.5 meters, which stuck to my mind - that’s a relatively easy rule of thumb to remember. Anyone who really wants to know, I’d prefer to refer to the experts.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.

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Pete and David

Very interesting commentary. I had email communication with someone at dCS (will not say who) who said that I could actually use .5m when stacking my Rossini on top of its clock. I ordered a .5m pair of Geistnote Apogee cables last night however after some Googling this morning - prior to reading the posts above - sent them an email requesting the lengths be changed. I will most likely request 1m.

For what it is worth my reading this morning came up with a few different things. On a personal note I read the Steve Nugent article however I then noted that it was published in 2004 - the equivalent of the dawn of the Industrial Age when speaking about digital :grin: I had my first demo of a Linn Klimax DS when it was first introduced - 3 years after Nugent’s article! I think you can see where I am going with that.

The general conclusion I came to, paraphrasing one article in particular, is that 50% of electrical engineers will say to use cables of at least 1.5 m while the other 50% say to go as short as possible.

100% of the engineers say the MOST important part of the equation is a properly constructed cable presenting 75 ohms and using BNC connectors and not RCA>BNC.

My incoming Rossini will be sitting on top of its Master Clock and situated on the top shelf of a Naim Fraim rack. The ideal length for me in this situation would be .5m as it is short enough not to interfere with my Naim cabling.

I will remain of the idea to change to 1m length on the pair unless I see enough comments leading me to change my mind and increase to 1.5m.

dCS - a few FAQ articles have been recently posted. Perhaps one on this topic so we can have some definitive guidance from the mother ship? It would be appreciated.

Given the very reasonable price of the Geistnote cables in the context of a Rossini based system you could , of course, order all three lenghts , try them out and let us know :wink:

BTW, for some reason I have the impression that you may be based in the UK ( I could, of course be wrong) . If so where are you getting the Geistnote Apogee cables from as the few sources I have looked at for the UK show them as NLA?

Faithful UK HiFi Naim/Linn user (and now dCS) but no I’m located Stateside


PS - yes the cables are cheap - but no for now I’ll stick with 1m length. I have other things to do rather than auditioning clock cables :laughing:

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As i sit mine directly on top off each other, i went with the 0.5 metre, sounds fine to me and nice and neat

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Bit of a dredge up of an old thread here, but could anyone who bought the Wyde Eye cables please let us know if you get a test report with them à la Blue Jeans?

(I love that Blue Jeans provide that report.)

I have the original version from Apogee and in common with the dozens of other cables that I possess there is no test report. I would not expect the later Geistnote supplied version to have such a thing either but look forward to other contributors’ advice on this.

What does interest me is what factors Blue Jeans test? Does it come with a FR curve or measurements of impedance etc or is it more of a check list e.g. construction approved, requested length confirmed, continuity tested and so on?

The Apogee is definitely a highly recommendable cable though after a fair amount of comparison I prefer the Van Damme Pulsar. It’s a marginal thing though and I would be happy with either. From other users’ enthusiastic reports I presume I could add Blue Jeans to that collection were I to want yet another choice ( I don’t ).

I ordered the Geistnote version, and it did not come with a test report.

Same here. Great service, nicely made cable, but no test report.

Thanks, everyone. Just ordered the Neutrik-terminated Van Dammes. 1.5m. Got four, just in case I end up with a Vivaldi stack one day :slight_smile:

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:slightly_smiling_face: The full stack actually needs 5 ( one for the CD/SACD.transport) !

I hope that you enjoy them.

Ha, yes. No moving parts for me, though!

Thanks for all the info, by the way, Pete — your posts on this were very helpful indeed. Hope the blue and yellow look nice together. Will remind me of my time in Sweden :slight_smile: