Empirical Audio Synchro-Mesh (6Moons review)

  • Steve Nugent is no Johnny-come-lately. Working under the banner of Empirical Audio since 1994 he has a solid track record in digital audio; especially with digital clocks. Nugent believes that the clock (data timing) is the most important part of getting digital audio (sounding) right. He’s been selling the Pace-Car reclocker for some years now.

    “The only way to get bit-perfect from the Pace-Car is to either tune the Pace-Car to the source or use word-clock and force the source to synchronise to the Pace-Car. Customers did not want to fool around with tuning and sending their source device to me for this.”, says Nugent.

    The Synchro-Mesh (US$599) has been created for a simpler, cheaper solution. 44.1KHz and 96KHz models are currently available – each will accept up to 24/192 and then resample the incoming data stream to either 44.1 or 96.

    “The Synchro-Mesh is even capable of outputting 24/192 if I put the right clock in it.”, continues Nugent.

    This simple black box takes a S/PDIF input (coaxial, toslink or 72 Ohm BNC), works its re-timing magic and then releases freshly clocked ones and zeroes to a S/PDIF output (again – coaxial, toslink and 72 Ohm BNC).

    Nugent elaborates: “The Synchro-Mesh is a dejitterer. If your source outputs less jitter than the SM, the SM will degrade the sound. If it outputs more, the SM will improve the sound regardless what it feeds. Call the SM almost a Pace-Car.”
    “It reduces jitter for any digital 2-channel music source device, such as CD Transport, Apple TV, Sonos, music servers etc. Reducing this jitter improves imaging, bass, focus, soundstage and slam.”

    “The Master Clock jitter in these source devices is actually more important than the quality of the DAC. You can buy the most expensive DAC in the world and it will still not sound great with your CD transport. The Synchro-Mesh makes any digital source sound great with ANY DAC.”

    This review has been sequestered. Listening impressions from a VARIETY of systems can be found over at 6Moons.

    Further Information: Empirical Audio

    UPDATE 13th May 2012: “Hi JD – the PSU I got with the Synchro-Mesh is as quiet as a mouse – I think you just got a faulty one?” – Steve Nugent

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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