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MC-3+ Smart Clock

Lowest-Jitter Master Clock and Audio Re-Clocker based on MUTEC's new 1G-Clock Technology

"The MC3+ Smart Clock is a very smart clock indeed, with unusually flexible configurability, excellent performance, an attractive price, and a brilliantly simple user interface. Highly recommended." – Hugh Robjohns, Sound On Sound – May 2014

The MC-3+ Smart Clock is developed to significantly improve the audiophile quality of connected digital audio devices in two ways: At first by clocking devices with ultra-low-jitter Word Clock signals and secondly by aggressively re-clocking incoming digital audio signals.

  • Incorporates MUTEC's unique 1G-Clock Technology for lowest jitter possible
  • Improves audiophile quality of any connected digital audio device
  • Re-clocks digital audio most aggressively
  • Raises clearly audible the sound quality of any DA converter
  • Eliminates digital "Clicks and Pops"
  • Enhances existing master clocks
  • Digitally-compensated clock accuracy for highest precision of the generated clocks
  • Locks to 10 MHz clock signals of so-called Atomic clocks or GPS receivers
  • Outputs clock signals fail-safe in any state of operation
  • Generates Word Clocks, Super Clocks, AES3 + S/P-DIF blanks simultaneously
  • Converts between AES3 and S/P-DIF as well as between AES11 and Word Clock
  • Generates Word Clocks up to 768.0 kHz
  • New-designed, simple user interface
  • Front panel lock-out for preventing misuse
  • Rack-space-saving 9.5" housing
  • Built-in, international power supply

Description

Enhancement of Sound Quality by high-resolution Audio Re-Clocking

It is widely known that a master clock changes the sound quality of digital audio devices more or less to a higher level. But carving out finest audio details in your recordings to reproduce individual instruments as clear as possible and to raise the precision of their positions within the spatial sound to a maximum is possible at best with high-resolution re-clocking of your digital audio material. That is what MUTEC's new audio re-clocking algorithms paired with the 1G-Clock technology perform in the MC-3+ Smart Clock. Thus, the sensing of the incoming audio is carried out with highest resolution which leads to ultimate precision during merging the audio data with the new ultra-low-jitter clock. The result is unparalleled richness of details and spatiality of the re-clocked audio material.


The real next Step in Audio Clock Generation

While others argue for their products with standardly known technical aspects, MUTEC really sets the benchmark of digital audio clocking to a higher level using the proprietary 1G-Clock technology for the first time in the MC-3+ Smart Clock. Running a frequency synthesis on a specifically calculated high clock rate, eliminates completely typical jitter inducing artifacts which are present in all standardly implemented DDS processes. Additionally, we took a look around the clock generation circuit and developed totally new ultra-low-noise power supplies and PCB design rules aligned to high-speed communication technologies to virtually eliminate all electrical noise. Thus, the new 1G-Clock technology helps you to bring jitter down to an unique low level, which leads to unprecedented transparency in your audio recordings.


Usability in Studio and Live Event Environments

The new MC-3+ Smart Clock works not only as generator, but also as clock distributor. Unlike other products, the MC-3+ effectively regenerates incoming clock signals to higher purity as the signal source. This helps to stabilize already existing clock systems and improves the level of sound reproduction quality in your studio environment. In cases when the MC-3+'s digitally-compensated clock accuracy is not sufficient, it is possible to lock the system to references of higher accuracy like so-called Atomic clocks or GPS receivers to raise the timing accuracy to the highest possible level. Additional to that, for the use during live events or in mobile trucks, the MC-3+ features anytime-fail-safe clock generation in every state of operation. Entering the hold-over-mode and re-synchronization of returning clock references is carried out so smoothly that live recordings will surely not be affected. Thus, the new MUTEC MC-3+ Smart Clock ensures flawless synchronization of connected devices at any time, while enhancing the sound of your audio production impressively.


Technical Data

Interfaces

  • 1 x BNC input for Word Clock + 10 MHz, 75 ohms termination switchable, unbalanced
  • 1 x XLR input for AES3/11, 110 ohms terminated, transformer balanced
  • 1 x Optical input for S/P-DIF, Toshiba Toslink™, EIAJ RC-5720
  • 1 x Cinch input (coaxial) for S/P-DIF, 75 ohms terminated, unbalanced
  • 6 x BNC outputs for Word Clock, terminated, unbalanced, individually buffered, adjustable in pairs
  • 1 x XLR output for AES3/11, terminated, transformer balanced, buffered
  • 1 x Cinch (coaxial) output for S/P-DIF, terminated, unbalanced, buffered
  • 1 x Optical output for S/P-DIF, Toshiba ToslinkTM, EIAJ RC-5720

Frequency Synthesis and Basis Clock Generation

  • MUTEC's proprietary, high-resolution 1G-Clock technology based on the latest and highest clocked DDS process
  • Digitally-compensated basis clock accuracy of <0.1ppm (when shipped), AES11, Grade 1
  • Operating temperature 0 °C to +50 °C

Power Supply

  • Type: Internal switching power supply
  • Input Voltage: 90 V – 260 V (automatic adjustment), 47 Hz – 440 Hz
  • Power Consumption: max. 10 W

Mechanical Details

  • Cover size/material/color: 196 x 42 x 156mm without connectors (W x H x D), 1 mm steel sheet 1 mm, black powder-coated
  • Front panel size/material/surface: 198 x 44 x 4mm (W x H x D), aluminium, anodized
  • Weight: approx. 1260 g

Generatable Word Clock (WCLK) Frequencies

WCLK BASIS ×1 ×2 ×4 ×256
32.0 kHz 32.0 kHz 64.0 kHz 128.0 kHz -
44.1 kHz 44.1 kHz 88.2 kHz 176.4 kHz 11.2896 MHz
48.0 kHz 48.0 kHz 96.0 kHz 192.0 kHz 12.2880 MHz
88.2 kHz 88.2 kHz 176.4 kHz 352.8 kHz -
96.0 kHz 96.0 kHz 192.0 kHz 384.0 kHz -
176.4 kHz 176.4 kHz 352.8 kHz 705.6 kHz -
192.0 kHz 192.0 kHz 384.0 kHz 768.0 kHz -

Generatable AES11 and S/P-DIF Frequencies

WCLK BASIS ×1 ×2 ×4
32.0 kHz 32.0 kHz 64.0 kHz 128.0 kHz
44.1 kHz 44.1 kHz 88.2 kHz 176.4 kHz
48.0 kHz 48.0 kHz 96.0 kHz 192.0 kHz
88.2 kHz 88.2 kHz 176.4 kHz 176.4 kHz
96.0 kHz 96.0 kHz 192.0 kHz 192.0 kHz
176.4 kHz 176.4 kHz 176.4 kHz 176.4 kHz
192.0 kHz 192.0 kHz 192.0 kHz 192.0 kHz

User Stories

Maor Appelbaum
  • Maor Appelbaum, Los Angeles
    "I like the way the MUTEC MC-3+ Smart Clock affects my workflow. It sounds smooth and easy on the ear, very clear and detailed, and the stereo image is wide and open. This clock impressed me after less then five minutes of testing, so I bought it on the spot. I actually keep a spare of the MC-3+ around as a backup unit just to make sure I never have to work without it."
    www.maorappelbaum.com
Peter McTaggart
  • Peter McTaggart, Switzerland
    "After having been introduced to the concept of reclocking with the MUTEC MC-3+ Smart Clock as a sound quality improving technology, and later adopting a double reclocked setup due to its clearly audible effects, I decided to try the cascaded reclocking after reading the test on MUTEC’s website. To cut to the chase: even if the whole endeavor sounds a bit crazy, I can’t help but confirm the exact results documented in the multi-reclocking test. There is absolutely no way I could go back from the four levels of reclocking with the MC-3+. I've just made it to the quad reclocking Nirvana. Pure silk!"
Chris Allen
  • Chris Allen, UK
    "I demo'ed the MC-3+ as I operate quite a complex digital studio with 5 converters (all from different manufacturers) so it seemed prudent to add a master clock to the rig. To me the MC-3+ is improving the sound of my studio right throughout the mixing process. This cumulative improvement in audio quality is making my mixes work better. I am currently mixing for artists such as Innervisions / Ame & Tale of Us [R&S records] so my clients are very discerning and I strive for absolute best sonic quality at all times. A lot of my music ends up on vinyl too - my mastering engineer & I maintain 96 kHz audio resolution all the way to final master. I mix in Protools HDX but also use Lynx, Universal Audio & RME converters."
    www.facebook.com/chris.allen.mixengineer
Dave Kutch
  • Dave Kutch, NYC
    "I've always been fascinated by the sonic difference clocking can make on a converter and at the same time frustrated by the cost of the best clocks on the market. After an extensive test of the most common and the most expensive clocks on the market I stumbled upon MUTEC MC-3+ Smart Clock. Its price and sonic claims had me intrigued. I arranged for a demo and though I went in skeptical the sonic difference was too significant to ignore. Transients were punchier in the lower and upper frequency ranges and the overall top end was smoother. It delivers all of the sonic characteristics you expect from the best clocks available but without the staggering cost. Needless to say, I sold my previous clock and switched to the MUTEC."
    www.themasteringpalace.com
Floris Becher
  • Floris Becher, Netherlands
    "It took me a while, but the MC-3+ sounds amazing. Never knew I missed out on so much details all these years: a big thank you!"
Christian Moerler
  • Christian Moerler, Germany
    "I have now integrated a third MC-3+ in my playback system and the results improve with every additional clock. I own a very high quality, super high resolution sound system (big Avantgarde Acoustic horns among other equipment) that magnifies strengths and weaknesses of all components and enables me to audibly confirm the improvements in sound quality with every added clock."
Andy Norman
  • Andy Norman, UK
    "In conclusion, having the Mutec in the chain consistently improved the sound. In its current version it could well be worth a try in higher end systems or in systems where you suspect jitter could be an issue. I'm looking forward to Mutec implementing a USB capability using this technology as that will give us a real chance to put it through its paces."
    Read the full review
Fujak
  • Fujak, Germany
    "My personal conclusion from the cascade experiment is that I now use three MUTEC MC-3+ Smart Clocks clocks in my setup - and I will get myself a better DAC in the near future. Even with the Fireface UC, I experience a previously unknown music enjoyment I no longer want to do without thanks to the MC-3+ cascade. Therefore, to conclude with a warning, re-clocking with the MC-3+ Smart Clock has a high potential for addiction!"
    Read the MC-3+ cascade article
Dan Halchak
  • Dan Halchak, United States
    "The MC-1.2 USB-Interface alone was better than any other SPDIF I was able to look at, which didn't hit the level of Berkley Alpha USB ( $1,895 USD retail), but most of the ones below. Add the MC-3+ and there was no contest the combo was hands down better."

 

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MC-3+ Manual MC-3+ Studio Magazin 11-2013
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Applications

  • Audiophile sound improvement of digital audio devices
  • Elimination of »clicks and pops« in audio recordings
  • Enhancing and stabilization of existing clock chains
  • Stellate, ultra-low-jitter clock signal supply
  • Addition of redundancy to clock chains in use
  • Increase of clock signal reliability during live events
  • Multiple clock rate synchronization