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Empirical Audio Synchro-Mesh Reclocker Review  Print E-mail
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Written by Andre Marc   
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Article Index
Empirical Audio Synchro-Mesh Reclocker Review 
Set Up and Listening
Conclusion and Specifications

Moving on to CD rips of a more recent vintage, U.K. singer songwriter Ben Howard's debut album, Every Kingdom, is well recorded and chock full of great songs. The foundation of the album is Howard’s smooth voice and acoustic guitar. Comparing the album stream with and without the Synchro-Mesh in the signal path, was interesting and crystallized the improvements the Synchro-Mesh was providing. With the Synchro-Mesh in tow, the sound was a lusher, better rounded, and more relaxed.

In the next phase of my evaluation, I inserted the Synchro-Mesh, via coax, between the recently reviewed Music Fidelity M1 CDT CD transport and the Bryston. I heard the same improvements as noted with the Squeezebox Touch. Every disc I played sounded smoother, earthier, and easier to listen to. Robert Randolph & The Family Band’s high energy CD, Colorblind, sounded bigger and more organic with the Synchro-Mesh.  

Clearly, using the Synchro-Mesh with a CD player or transport is a great application. There is no doubt that Redbook CD sound will be improved. Of course it goes without saying that you would not mate the Synchro-Mesh with a state of the art disc player, but for more modest units, I can easily suggest trying this setup with an external DAC.

Emperical Audio Synchro-Mesh Reclocker

Conclusion

The Empirical Audio Synchro-Mesh reclocker is an easy recommendation for those looking to maximize the performance of their legacy digital source components. It is a no brainer if you have a device like an older CD player, a Sonos, an Olive, a Squeezebox Classic, or Touch.  Interestingly, Nugent says that the Synchro-Mesh can improve the sound even when coupled with DACS that upsample by default. By the way, the Synchro-Mesh can be ordered to output 44.1, 96, or 192 Khz. Empirical can advise you in what is best based on your system parameters (for example, whether or not your DAC has transformer coupled SPDIF inputs).

Aside from what is noted above, the Synchro-Mesh is really plug and play, and does exactly what it purports to do. That is, feed the DAC very low jitter information from the source. Results are clearly audible, but it will be up to every buyer whether the improvement is worth $599. Empirical has a generous 30 day in-home trial. For me, the Synchro-Mesh added a layer of refinement to my Squeezebox Touch and CD transport.

Specifications



Empirical Audio Synchro-Mesh Reclocker: $599
www.empiricalaudio.com

Inputs

  1. Toslink
  2. RCA
  3. BNC

(only one of RCA or BNC can be used at one time)

Outputs

  1. Toslink
  2. RCA
  3. BNC

(only one of RCA or BNC can be used at one time)

Controls

  1. Input select - Toslink or S/PDIF (BNC or RCA)
  2. Bit depth - 16 or 24-bit

Included

  1. Synchro-Mesh
  2. 12VDC AC Adapter

30-day money-back guarantee, less shipping and any fees.


Review System 1


CD Transport: Musical Fidelity M1 CDT
Server: Squeezebox Touch w/ CIA VDC-SB power supply
via Ethernet to MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate
external drives.
DAC: Bryston BDA-1
Headphone Amp: Pro-Ject Head Box II
Headphones: Grado SR60
Preamp: Audio Research SP16, Belles Soloist 3, C.I.A. PLC-1 MK III
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, Bob Carver Black Magic
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4, Bogdan Audio Creations Art Deco
Cables:  Stager Silver Solids,  Darwin Ascension (IC), Transparent  MM2 Super (IC), Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Shunyata Venom (AC) Element Cable Red Storm (Digital AC), DH Labs TosLink, DH Labs AES/EBU, Audioquest, Forest, WireWorld Ultraviolet, DH Labs USB(USB) DH Labs (USB)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner,Salamander rack

Review System 2


CD Player: Onkyo C7000R
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch via Ethernet to
MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate external drives.
DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, MyTek Stereo 192 DAC, CIA Transient Mk II
Integrated Amplifier: McIntosh  MA6600, NuForce DDA-100
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3, MAD 1920S
Cables: Darwin Cables Silver IC, Kimber Hero HB,  DH Labs White Lightning (IC),QED Transparent MusicWave (Speaker),PS Audio (AC), Mojo Audio (AC), DH Labs TosLink, Audioquest Forest USB, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB
Accessories:Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Sound Anchors Stands, Wiremold, KECES XPS






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