MC-3+ Smart Clock USB
Looking to Maximize the Sound of Digital?
The MUTEC MC3+USB is a critical component in this pursuit. The MC3+USB adds depth, clarity, and presence to your digital music. The MC3+USB is a lowest jitter 1G-clock, an audiophile USB interface, and an exceptional audio re-clocker all in one small chassis.
Timing in music is what gives us that “jump factor” and reflects the excitement the artists have for playing. When the timing is even slightly off, we hear it. Instruments sound fuzzy, they’re harder to distinguish, follow, and their tonality is off. The musician or band as a whole is less engaging, lacks punch, drive, and swing. Precise timing of the digital signal is critical to creating a musically engaging sound. Imagine going to see your favorite band and they are playing slightly out-of-time. You might still appreciate their performance, but it’s not going to be deeply moving and sonically engaging.
The digital signal you send to your DAC too often is like that out-of-time band. The digital signal gets clocked many different times along its path, beginning with where the signal originates and finishing where it ends; e.g, Cloud Server (AWS) ➔ Computer/Server ➔ Streamer ➔ DAC. In an ideal world you would have a single word clock connecting all your digital devices. The MC3+USB can operate as a master clock for your digital devices that provide an external clock connection. Granted, many digital components don’t provide the provision for connecting an external clock. Don’t be discouraged, you can still use the MC3+USB between your computer, server, streamer, and your DAC. The MC3+USB in this case will re-clock the digital signal, using an extremely precise clock, and provide you with a time-aligned de-jittered digital signal. The MC3+USB is Roon Ready and plays nice with most gear.
There are many clocks along the digital path, most of them inferior, all acting as master clocks and changing the timing of the data stream. Nearly every piece of digital hardware the signal enters has its own clock, each one setting you up for a slightly or wildly out-of-time signal (depending on the precision of their clock) by the time the data stream hits your DAC.
Re-clocking the data stream and getting all the bits and your digital devices in proper time before the signal enters your DAC is the only way to ensure you’re getting the best possible sound. The MC3+USB also converts from USB to AES/EBU, S/P-DIF coaxial (RCA/BNC), or optical (Toslink).
USB interfaces are the most commonly utilized devices for connection in a computer-based audio system. But the convenience and ease of use often comes at the price of lackluster audio quality. It’s no secret that even the best D/A converters are not capable of reproducing and converting audio via USB at the highest possible level, which is why using digital audio inputs such as AES/EBU or S/P-DIF (electrical and optical) yields significantly better results and is generally preferred.
If you’re running USB from your digital input device, you can avoid the noise carried on the USB connection by running USB into the MC3+USB and converting it to another format. Don’t take our word for it, check out the User Stories section on MUTEC’s site:
One user’s review of the MC3+USB:
- Tim Howell, USA
I am using it with several different audio devices: Auralic Aries streamer, PS Audio digital phono stage, and a PS Audio DMP. The MUTEC then feeds a PS Audio Directstream DAC. The results are the BEST digital I have ever heard in my system. I have never heard better music reproduction in my system over the 40 years in this hobby! This tried and true description applies: “It’s like cleaning a dirty window…now everything is clear, detailed, 3D”…and not at the expense of any etching etc. I am blown away! Thank you MUTEC, for a great product!
The MC3+USB improves the sound substantially on its own, but can also be upgraded by connecting it to an external 5 or 10MHz master clock such as MUTEC’s REF10 or REF10 SE120.
- Unique, bit-transparent “Revive” Re-Clocking for purest sound quality
- Serves as a flexible digital input switching matrix, audio format converter and master clock
- Intuitive user interface and easy setup
- Update-capability via USB
- Galvanic isolation up to 2500 VRMS in accordance with UL1577, respectively 4242 VPK in accordance with DIN EN 60747-5-2 (VDE 0884 part 2)
- Converts DSD/DoP streams (64-256) to PCM audio with selectable output clock rate
- Transfers USB audio streams into AES3 and S/P-DIF and outputs those to five digital audio formats simultaneously
- Converts between USB PCM audio, USB DSD/DoP audio, AES3 and S/P-DIF, as well as between AES11 and Word Clock
- MAC/PC compatible
- USB audio class 2.0 driver for Windows supporting ASIO, MME, DirectSound, WASAPI, Kernel Streaming, PCM 16Bit, 24Bit, 32Bit and Float-32Bit at all clock rates between 44.1kHz and 192kHz
- Ultra-low jitter Word Clock generation with clock rates up to 1,536.0 kHz
- Scale-able to FS1x512 clock rates, 22,5792 MHz & 24,576 MHz, for e.g. high-end audio interfaces
- Locks to 10 MHz, 5 MHz, and GPS clock references
- Generates Word Clocks, Super Clocks, AES3 + S/P-DIF blanks simultaneously
- Uninterruptible, fail-safe clock generation in all operation modes
- Eliminates so-called digital “clicks and pops”
- Individual lock indicators for the clock or audio reference and the re-clock reference
- S/P-DIF interconnections via BNC, RCA and optical interfaces available as inputs and outputs
- Front panel lock-out for preventing of misuse
- Rack-space-saving 9.5″ housing, 1u rackmount kit available
- Built-in, universal power supply
- Made in Berlin, Germany
- Cover Size 196 x 42 x 156 mm w/o connectors (WxHxD), steel sheet 1mm, matte-black powder-coated
- Front Panel Size /Material 198 x 44 x 4 mm (WxHxD), aluminum, aluminum- or black-colored
- Weight ~1350 g