Performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker

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audioengr

Performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« on: 27 Nov 2017, 01:34 am »
After discovering a good mod for the Overdrive SX DAC, I had some free time, so I decided to try something similar on my Sychro-Mesh reclocker.  Surprised even me.  Sounds as good now as my best digital, and this is a reclocker for Pete's sake.  I always thought that there was some compromise in SQ when reclocking to 24/96, but I was wrong.  Now I don't know what to listen to:  Sonos through the SM or Jriver with my Ethernet interface....

Customer pays for shipping both ways, and I will install the mods for free.  All new Synchro-Meshes have the mods in them.  A nice Christmas present for SM owners.  SM must be received before Christmas day.  After that, the performance mod will cost $100.

Steve N.
« Last Edit: 8 Jan 2018, 06:47 pm by audioengr »

paul79

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Re: Free mod to improve Synchro-Mesh
« Reply #1 on: 27 Nov 2017, 05:46 am »
You will get me spinning CD's again with shit like this....  ;)

dpatters

Re: Free mod to improve Synchro-Mesh
« Reply #2 on: 27 Nov 2017, 10:37 am »
That's great Steve.  Nice offer.  I sent you an email

Don P.

andresz

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Re: Free performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #3 on: 18 Dec 2017, 01:40 am »
For those thinking about upgrading to newly modded Syncromesh...............absolute no brainer!

I am an audio and videophile from Australia. Been in the hobby for over twenty years. Currently enjoying live music concerts via a hybrid system that mixes high end audio with high end video. The objective has been to maximise the "you are there" experience both visually and audibly.

From an audio perspective, I run a Roku streamer with a dedicated PSU and Shunyata digital PC via Wireworld Silver Starlight split into Steve's Syncromesh (the latest update just released) into a Metrum Acoustics Adagio dac - to Nagra PLL - Nagra VPA monoblocks to Tidal Contriva Diacera speakers. Also run a parallel primare rig for HT movies where 5.1 is desired.

I wanted to comment that I have thoroughly enjoyed the purchase experience with Steve! I ordered the Mark 1 Syncromesh which sounded great out of the box and added a very noticeable uplift to the $9000 Metrum Dac (which is a phenomenal ladder dac). The day after I received it, Steve mentioned he had found a mod that took the SM to another level and would update my SM if I chose too. After having had the SM just arrive, I shipped it back to Steve and now have the modded unit playing for a few days.

"Wow!" was the first impression!. I wasn't sure how the SM could be better but it is and it isn't subtle. I thought before that with my streamer with its PSU and PC would work well into the Metrum, I wasnt prepared for the game changer SQ running through the Syncromesh Mk11. 3D, depth, organics, transients - all up a significant notch. I love it!

Apart from the obvious re lifting the bar on everything thrown at the SM, it allows me to watch and listen to Youtube's wealth of music, concerts.....anything really at the level I would expect from any audiophile source. Youtube streams in 48khz here in Australia and I suspect elsewhere too. The SM upsamples the signal to 96 khz and the dac receives an optimised signal quality. Listen to anything on Youtube that is HD - the majority of non HD recordings sound excellent but listen to HD and/or 4K audio and it is stunning.  The end result better my NAGRA CDP and that is one excellent player.

The SM would be the most cost effective and dramatic improvement to lifting the bar on SQ in my system re digital so far. Steve is an excellent guy and very helpful and knowledgable. I am nit picky with Audio and Video but the SM has been the find of the year for me.

paul79

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Re: Free performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #4 on: 4 Jan 2018, 12:29 am »
I have received my upgraded SMR, and the results are absolutely astonishing from my point of view and in my system. Not that the difference is huge, because the SMR was already fantastic. However, the upgrade is very important if that makes sense. This is because it does every single thing better and in the important musical ways that make digital sound analog. I use Steve's more affordable $250 cable (LOVE IT!) and a Paul Hynes SR5-12 Power Supply to power the SMR.

Real tight and clear focus, very ballsy in the best sense, HUGE wide sound stage with much more depth information than the previous SMR, effortless in that it is very fast sounding and delineates very good, lower noise floor, more resolving power, spookiness of really good vinyl playback (like steel guitar's ENERGY and instruments/artists in the room presence that is hard for digital to nail). This little sucker pulls this off!! Just an extremely capable source with a very refined presentation.

Here is the coolest part.
I compared CD Rips using my network playback consisting of the Totaldac Server, NAS, Router, all linear power supplies for everything, to the CD's played with a CD Transport reclocked with the SMR... The DAC is the Totaldac System Twelve. 4 total boxes with the Server. Server/Reclocker, Reclocker, and a DAC for each channel. With the SMR, that is 3 reclockers in the chain, and it is AMAZING to say the least.

On with the comparison:
CD rips depended allot on the software used for ripping. I actually prefer WAV ripped with my Mac Mini and XLD. This bests DB Poweramp with PC in my trials for some reason. Maybe better hardware, better USB Ports, who knows. Although, I have not tried the latest version of DB. It is supposed to be better.
 
At any rate, CD Rips through the server vs. CD's SMR'd, compared with the XLD rips I have of course, the SMR was just a little bit better. Ya, holy shit. A bit more weight, more speed, and more spookiness from the CD's through the SMR. Just a little of all of this, but there. There are really only 2 areas where my Server beat it, and that is sound stage depth and convenience.

Steve, try my comparison and verify if you hear the same thing. It is really really close, but the differences are there and preference leans towards the SMR overall for my tastes.

That makes the SMR a screaming bargain for CD/redbook Playback. Truly, a stupid good deal. No need to treat your CD's either. Just hook up any old crappy source you have with SPDIF output, and game over. This is an exciting upgrade and impressed the hell out of me. Nicely done Steve.
The redbook digital source to beat? YEP! Revived my CD Collection, so glad I did not sell them.

« Last Edit: 4 Jan 2018, 04:08 am by paul79 »

audioengr

Re: Free performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #5 on: 4 Jan 2018, 01:07 am »
If those CD's are ripped, you could play them through a Sonos Connect or even your server through the Synchro-Mesh.  Is that Hynes supply one that I sold you or modded?

Wait until you hear the new Reference cable.  This is where the beauty of the music starts coming out, particularly vocalists and harmonic rich instruments like harp and piano.

Steve N.

paul79

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Re: Free performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #6 on: 4 Jan 2018, 02:14 am »
It is a standard SR5, although it has the CAPBANK installed from Paul. I have the other one you modified for me, but I need to talk to you about it. It has a problem.

I cannot run the Server through the SMR without bypassing the reclocker in the Server/Reclocker chassis. I can run the SMR directly from the Server to the second reclocker though. I will try this at some point.

audioengr

Re: Free performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #7 on: 4 Jan 2018, 06:51 pm »
It is a standard SR5, although it has the CAPBANK installed from Paul. I have the other one you modified for me, but I need to talk to you about it. It has a problem.

I cannot run the Server through the SMR without bypassing the reclocker in the Server/Reclocker chassis. I can run the SMR directly from the Server to the second reclocker though. I will try this at some point.

A standard supply usually will not be fast enough.

I don't understand what this reclocker is in the Server and how it matters. The best is to have only the SM as the last reclocker before the DAC.

Steve N.

paul79

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Re: Free performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #8 on: 4 Jan 2018, 08:09 pm »
It sounds better than the wall wart in that it gives a bit more bass slam. The noise floor is also noticeably lower with the Hynes. But the wall wart is really killer good too. I will be going with the Dynamo soon though anyways.

The reclockers do no harm whatsoever. This is based on my trials with and without them. I don't know how they work, but know that they attenuate jitter. Adding the second to my digital system was a very noticeable improvement. They are transparent and will never hurt anything you put in front of them. Only improve (if improvement is needed) in my experience. That is what makes them great IMO. The sound of the digital source, server, cd transport, or whatever, is fully realized, and these reclockers have always improved every source I have put into them, but the source still matters. So I do not think they are a reclocker in the sense that your SMR is rebuilding the digital signal. They merely attenuate jitter, and will never make things worse. Hope this makes sense.

So you may be very right in that putting the SMR into the second reclocker only will also be great. I have to use this reclocker to feed my dual DAC setup, so I cannot bypass them both.

I shouldn't notice any difference with or without the extra layer of reclocking if the SMR doesn't need it. I should only realize better sounding CD Rips from my server if you are right.

audioengr

Re: Free performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #9 on: 4 Jan 2018, 09:28 pm »
It sounds better than the wall wart in that it gives a bit more bass slam. The noise floor is also noticeably lower with the Hynes. But the wall wart is really killer good too. I will be going with the Dynamo soon though anyways.

The reclockers do no harm whatsoever. This is based on my trials with and without them. I don't know how they work, but know that they attenuate jitter. Adding the second to my digital system was a very noticeable improvement. They are transparent and will never hurt anything you put in front of them. Only improve (if improvement is needed) in my experience. That is what makes them great IMO. The sound of the digital source, server, cd transport, or whatever, is fully realized, and these reclockers have always improved every source I have put into them, but the source still matters. So I do not think they are a reclocker in the sense that your SMR is rebuilding the digital signal. They merely attenuate jitter, and will never make things worse. Hope this makes sense.

So you may be very right in that putting the SMR into the second reclocker only will also be great. I have to use this reclocker to feed my dual DAC setup, so I cannot bypass them both.

I shouldn't notice any difference with or without the extra layer of reclocking if the SMR doesn't need it. I should only realize better sounding CD Rips from my server if you are right.

If you do hear any difference in sources playing the same track when the SM is the last reclocker before the DAC, let me know.

Thanks,
Steve N.

paul79

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Re: Free performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #10 on: 4 Jan 2018, 09:47 pm »
That one is simple. I can bypass the first reclocker, feeding the SMR directly into the second, taking one layer of reclocking out of the equation, and let you know. If the two reclockers together do not improve the SMR vs. just one, that will be a first in that the pair of reclockers has always been cumulative and beneficial to any digital source I have tried.

Wig

Re: Free performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #11 on: 8 Jan 2018, 01:56 pm »
Awesome and can't wait to hear this in my system!

Wig :)

mtruong34

Re: Performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #12 on: 12 Jan 2018, 08:37 pm »
I just received back my SMR which Steve added the new performance mod as well as the OTL mod which I have never had done on my original SMR. The SMR is being powered by a Dynamo PS; toslink input from an Android tv box which I use for watching movies, shows, concerts, and Spotify; SPDIF output to my DAC. Cold out of the box, the improvement is obvious, immediate and not subtle. Deeper, tighter bass and more air around the music. Less digital edge. Steve comes through again. I wish I could afford his digital cable which I suspect will take things up another notch, but that will have to wait.

--Mike

Wig

Re: Performance mod to improve Synchro-Mesh reclocker
« Reply #13 on: 15 Jan 2018, 06:33 pm »
I just received back my SMR which Steve added the new performance mod as well as the OTL mod which I have never had done on my original SMR. The SMR is being powered by a Dynamo PS; toslink input from an Android tv box which I use for watching movies, shows, concerts, and Spotify; SPDIF output to my DAC. Cold out of the box, the improvement is obvious, immediate and not subtle. Deeper, tighter bass and more air around the music. Less digital edge. Steve comes through again. I wish I could afford his digital cable which I suspect will take things up another notch, but that will have to wait.

--Mike

Mike,

Let us know how things progress as the unit burns-in and can only imagine that it will sound even better.

Thanks,
Wig