[time-nuts] Rb references for audiophiles?
james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Jul 4 09:49:54 EDT 2008
For your amusement...
Sitting in a waiting room yesterday, I read an article in a
very-high-end audio magazine describing a $15K Rubidium frequency
standard for providing low jitter clocks to your audio system. It has
outputs at 44.1, 48, etc. kHz, as well as a 100kHz, which the person
writing said might become a new standard (huh?)
Aside from the usual blather about how the improved clock jitter made
this album or that more open sounding and improved the auditory
experience, there were the usual gold plated connectors, etc.
Hey... here's a golden opportunity for a time nut. I suspect they
generate the various clocks using (gasp) digital dividers and such.
Now's your chance to design an incredibly complex all analog synthesis
chain with step recovery diodes, mix and add, etc. Everyone knows
that for the finest in audio, an all analog (preferably all Class A)
design is essential. Make sure that you have at least one vacuum tube
in the design, preferably two, that can be "hand selected" and mounted
so there's a little window to see the glow, and have some nice analog
meters to monitor some useless parameter (suppressor grid voltage or
I don't know where they get Rubidium, but maybe you could market a
concept of terroir (as for wine).. why, the Mark 3000 Rubidium
reference source uses Rb extracted only from the finest hand selected
ores from Canada, where they have been mined by miners with multiple
generations of experience, using trucks fueled with, etc...
Or following on the more recent discussions on the list about Cs and
NH3 references, maybe you can one-up the Rb maker with a Cs.
Or maybe GPS disciplined clock sources (you know... if the 44.1kHz
sample stream coming off the CD isn't precisely aligned on the second,
sonic quality is definitely impaired.. the only real question is
whether you should have a means of adjusting the clock rates to
accommodate small changes in the earth's rotation or relativistic
A whole magazine, 100 pages long, filled with this sort of thing (and
yes, they had the special speaker cables with the arrows to indicate
preferred direction of power flow, too....)
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