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Sound of Jitter

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Sound of Jitter

Post by DrWho on Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:12 pm

Sound of Jitter

Below is a small part of an article on The Future of Clocks: Clarifications in the Audio Clocking Paradigm. What is most interesting is the part on "Sound of Jitter". I have experienced hearing the "Sound of Jitter" in my course of reducing jitters in my system, such as using different clocks and cables, improved power supply, reduction of electrical noise like EMI, EMR and RF and also electro/mechanical vibrations. Enjoy.

Below is a list of the sonic qualities that one can listen for when swapping out clocks on a digital system. We generally believe that improvements in any of these dimensions likely indicate a reduction of jitter.31
Clarity – Many systems “open up,” exhibiting more sonic detail, especially in the high-end where finer sonic definition resides. Specific sounds such as ride cymbals and sibilance on a vocal can be more detailed and interesting, and the tweeters seem to reveal more. But the entire frequency spectrum will also exhibit varying levels of clarity.
Changes to Soundstage Shape – Some clocks will strengthen the center image and others will appear to widen the stereo image, bringing more impact to the sound on the far left and right of the mix. One might think of this as the soundstage having a “concave” or “convex” shape.
Front-to-Back Depth – The front-to-back depth of the sonic image can change when swapping clocks, and typically the favored clock will present more depth. Often, along with this increase in depth, is an increase in the detail of reverberated sound within the recording.
Three-Dimensionality – Highly related to soundstage shape and front-to-back depth, three-dimensionality can also be thought of as the relationship of the phantom image in the center of to the rest of the sound stage. Some people call this ‘holographic’ sound, or even ‘holosonics’ becasue the sound appears (note the visual language) to be three-dimensional.
Localization & Individuation – The ability to differentiate and locate individual sounds within the sonic image can often improve when jitter is reduced. Panoramic placement can appear more precise, and individual instruments can seem to hold a more defined location.
Low-End Focus – The tightness and focus of low end can be affected by an external clock, as well as the note differentiation of melodic low end instruments like bass guitar.
Low-End Extension – The favored clock will sometimes cause a digital system to extend its low-end performance (see below for a drastic case of this).
General Ease of Listening – For many listeners, decreased jitter can create a more relaxed feeling when listening, especially over long periods. Some will notice their bodies relaxing more when listening to one system vs. another.
Richness – A highly subjective quality, many experienced listeners will report that the quality of the sound is more “rich” when jitter is reduced. Or we might say that listening is a richer experience. We suggest that listeners make personal meaning for this term and use it as subjectively as you wish. We suspect that richness might be the sum total of improvements in many (if not all) of the above characteristics.
We have veered into the kind of descriptive language one normally hears from, or associates with, audiophiles. We suggest that recordmakers further embrace, rather than shy from, descriptive language, and even look to the vocabularies of audiophiles for linguistic innovations. Developing – and even enjoying – the language we use to describe the subtler aspects of what we hear can only help us when sharing our impressions with each other, as well as with product designers who might use our descriptions to guide their creations. Language will always be the material from which we build bridges between the subjective and objective perspectives.
But we will offer up a word of discretion: if you do not hear a difference when listening to different clocks, then that is your subjective experience. Not hearing a difference is as valid and important as hearing one, and a key aspect to becoming an expert listener is to not let the opinions of others sway you into hearing things that aren’t there. The core problem here is that that guided listening can cause confirmation bias (the tendency to seek confirmation of one’s expectations) – a colossal problem in the research sciences. We are not out to convince anyone to take on our sighted listening paradigm as scientific. Instead, we aim to clarify what that paradigm is, and how one might practice and use it.
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DrWho
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Re: Sound of Jitter

Post by DrWho on Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:58 am

A fellow audiophile brought his TEAC DAC to my house to test its compatibility with my Rubidium Clock outputting at 10 MHz. The TEAC has an external clock input feature for 10 MHz input. With the Rubidium Clock input the TEAC DAC performance was elevated to a higher level making it a formidable DAC despite its modest price.
If you have a DAC that has word clock input, go beg, steal or borrow a Rubidium Clock to try in your system. You will be glad you did.  Very Happy
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DrWho
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