Reality is Cruel : Cybershaft new Ultimate OCXO 10M Clocks Shootout OP20 vs OP17

TLi

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2016
181
214
128
Did anyone compare the Cybershaft 21 with Mutec Ref 10, 120se ?
For someone purchesing in early 2020 an 10 mhz clock with 75 ohm exits for the network swiches
what will be the best ?
I can borrow a Mutec Ref 10 SE120 from my friend. His speaker has blown and is returned to factory for repair. Give me a week or so to report on this. I also want to know the difference between Mutec and my OP21A.
 

Kris

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2019
290
142
48
I can borrow a Mutec Ref 10 SE120 from my friend. His speaker has blown and is returned to factory for repair. Give me a week or so to report on this. I also want to know the difference between Mutec and my OP21A.
Fantastic !
Many of us will wait for your report.
what components are you clocking with your master now ?
 

TLi

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2016
181
214
128
Fantastic !
Many of us will wait for your report.
what components are you clocking with your master now ?
Mutec Ref 10 SE-120, Cybershaft OP20 Limited2, Cybershaft OP21A are all powered up. To be fair, power is from the same extension strip and all are using the same black stock cable.

Proper comparison will be made on Saturday when all clocks have two day to stabilize. I invite a few audiophiles to pop over and grade the performance of them. Stay tuned. By the way, the digital system is full stack of dCS Viviadi .
C11V5531.jpg
 

XCop5089

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2015
96
43
105
Winchester, UK
Watching with interest, as a full-stack dCS Vivaldi owner with a standard Mutec Ref10 clock!
 

Marck1973

Well-Known Member
Aug 11, 2017
25
18
68
Mutec Ref 10 SE-120, Cybershaft OP20 Limited2, Cybershaft OP21A are all powered up. To be fair, power is from the same extension strip and all are using the same black stock cable.

Proper comparison will be made on Saturday when all clocks have two day to stabilize. I invite a few audiophiles to pop over and grade the performance of them. Stay tuned. By the way, the digital system is full stack of dCS Viviadi .
View attachment 60565
Very interested to hear results. Am a full 4 stack Vivaldi owner too.
Marc
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
2,082
1,346
535
Hong Kong
Mutec Ref 10 SE-120, Cybershaft OP20 Limited2, Cybershaft OP21A are all powered up. To be fair, power is from the same extension strip and all are using the same black stock cable.

Proper comparison will be made on Saturday when all clocks have two day to stabilize. I invite a few audiophiles to pop over and grade the performance of them. Stay tuned. By the way, the digital system is full stack of dCS Viviadi .
View attachment 60565
TLi is definitely one of the most itchy audiophiles in HK.
I shall visit him tomorrow and witness the comparison.

BTW I shall share with WBF brothers the ways to tweak your older Cybershaft models such as the OP20, in case you don't want to upgrade & replace them with the newest OP20A/21A.
;)
 
Mar 8, 2015
267
114
345
59
Canada
Wow!! Very Cool.

I am the Canadian Distributor for the MUTEC line, but was a fanboy first. Can hardly wait until the REF10 120SE lands here in North America!!
 
Last edited:

TLi

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2016
181
214
128
The comparison was done carefully and systematically today with three very experienced audiophiles and myself. A cheap GPS disciplined clock (on the far right of the photo) was added as a reference.
C11V5533.jpg
All listeners took turn to sit in the best position and ran through similar routine. First without any external 10M reference clock, we were free to choose our music, then GPSD clock was added, followed by Mutec SE-120, OP20 Limited and OP21A. Finally, the 10MHz clock was removed for the last piece.

We have similar impression. GPSD clock added more life to the music, more dynamic and more focus. Considering its price, around US$120, it is a best buy.

Mutec Ref 10 SE-120 is better than GPSD clock. It has a warmer and fuller sound. Bass is clearly improved. The result is pleasing and I can live with it forever. One listener particularly likes this sound. He is the owner of the Mutec SE-120 tested.

Cybershaft OP20 Limited2 has similar level of performance as Mutec but has a different character. OP20 sounds more lively and dynamic. Bass is not as strong as Mutec. In general, it is brighter than Mutec but has better focus and soundstage.

Cybershaft OP21A has the best of both worlds. It has the warm of Mutec and dynamic of OP20. The image and details are the best in the group. The difference is easily detected, not subtle. All of us agree it is the best performer.

After listening to OP21A for a while, the 10M reference was disconnected. The sound without it is plain and flat. It is like someone cover the speaker a thick cloth.

I can't speak for other digital systems, but if you use full stack of dCS Vivaldi system, the price of OP21A is around 10% of Vivaldi system and it improves the sound by 50%. You can do the maths. In fact, even OP20 and Mutec SE-120 enhance the sound significantly, the one who doesn't use a proper 10M reference clock on his Vivaldi system is not revealing the full potential of his gear..
 

Kris

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2019
290
142
48
The comparison was done carefully and systematically today with three very experienced audiophiles and myself. A cheap GPS disciplined clock (on the far right of the photo) was added as a reference.
View attachment 60613
All listeners took turn to sit in the best position and ran through similar routine. First without any external 10M reference clock, we were free to choose our music, then GPSD clock was added, followed by Mutec SE-120, OP20 Limited and OP21A. Finally, the 10MHz clock was removed for the last piece.

We have similar impression. GPSD clock added more life to the music, more dynamic and more focus. Considering its price, around US$120, it is a best buy.

Mutec Ref 10 SE-120 is better than GPSD clock. It has a warmer and fuller sound. Bass is clearly improved. The result is pleasing and I can live with it forever. One listener particularly likes this sound. He is the owner of the Mutec SE-120 tested.

Cybershaft OP20 Limited2 has similar level of performance as Mutec but has a different character. OP20 sounds more lively and dynamic. Bass is not as strong as Mutec. In general, it is brighter than Mutec but has better focus and soundstage.

Cybershaft OP21A has the best of both worlds. It has the warm of Mutec and dynamic of OP20. The image and details are the best in the group. The difference is easily detected, not subtle. All of us agree it is the best performer.

After listening to OP21A for a while, the 10M reference was disconnected. The sound without it is plain and flat. It is like someone cover the speaker a thick cloth.

I can't speak for other digital systems, but if you use full stack of dCS Vivaldi system, the price of OP21A is around 10% of Vivaldi system and it improves the sound by 50%. You can do the maths. In fact, even OP20 and Mutec SE-120 enhance the sound significantly, the one who doesn't use a proper 10M reference clock on his Vivaldi system is not revealing the full potential of his gear..
is there a chance for you to perform the same testing when clocking 2 sotm or Eter Regen switches ?
 

TLi

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2016
181
214
128
is there a chance for you to perform the same testing when clocking 2 sotm or Eter Regen switches ?
I am using SOtM switch which has 10M reference input. Most of the comparison today was done using the switch with the reference clocks.

One output is connected to dCS Vivaldi clock and one to the switch.

The improvement in sound with good clock on switch is also very obvious. Even the cheap GPSD clock enhances the switch to a large extent. I have no access to Eter Regen switch.
 
Likes: CKKeung

Kris

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2019
290
142
48
I am using SOtM switch which has 10M reference input. Most of the comparison today was done using the switch with the reference clocks.

One output is connected to dCS Vivaldi clock and one to the switch.

The improvement in sound with good clock on switch is also very obvious. Even the cheap GPSD clock enhances the switch to a large extent. I have no access to Eter Regen switch.
Thanks
so there are 2 improvements
1 with Cyber op21 A clocking - the Vivaldi
2. with Cyber op21 A clocking Sotm switch.

do you have access to the second Sotm ?
it would be great to see if having 2 switches bith clocked with ref 10 mhz signal will
be better that single switch.
CKKeung referred it is very significant difference when adding second sotm
 

XCop5089

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2015
96
43
105
Winchester, UK
Very interesting and thank you for your analysis!

Please could you state what the rest of the system components were (preamp, if any, amplifier and speakers)?

As a UK owner of a standard Mutec Ref10 clock and dCS Vivaldi full stack, the Mutec option is of the greatest interest. I have already spoken to Christian about the upgrade path for my Ref10. Sourcing Cybershaft from Japan, is a different story for us in the UK, with import duties and VAT to consider, as well as the prospect of return carriage to Japan, in the event of a fault or future upgrade!

Mutec offer a 3-year warranty and return to the factory in Germany is a lot easier!
 

justubes

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2015
152
72
113
TLi, Thank you for your time, effort for organising and sharing such a controlled shootout.

Indeed, every clock implementation sound different.

Even, the GPSD clock likewise, where i still champion lab quality Rubidium clocks to be a very very beneficial addition and upon adding good power supplies and cabling actually sound fantastic at each relative price point and it is a no brainer addition.

I also feel you get what you pay for incrementally whether a better clock, cables and isolation is added.

The cost really add up, so for readers, eo not shy away from cheaper offerings. I would say most external clocks for instrumental, aerospace, miltary are ALL way better than even any sub 100 VCXO or TCXO No matter if they show a rather nice phase noise, like a 50 dollar crystek cchd 957 or ndks, whatever, still sound very lacking compared to external clocking.

Maybe size matters most for us clock afficianados.

I still like the Mutec, even the standard model which has a nice presentation over a very wide range of music, rock pop, electronic.

My experience with Cybershafts op17, i prefer for Audiophile , jazz type music.

And for Rubidium clocks, i found best for orchestra, instrumental music.

Interestingly, certain Rubidium clocks modules, like the Quartzlick actually also contain an OCXO inside, where the rubidium disciplines this OCXO and also sounds great.

Thanks again, maybe even though stock cords were used, you could swap them around to eliminate all parameters which could possibly influence the results.

It may be best to set total budget for the clock, pc and clock cables. They will all scale up proportionally w.r.t sound improvement i feel, up to quite an astronomical figure possibly depending on setup, especially once clocking switches cime into the picture and can be a a big rabbit hole once top notch ancillaries are taken into the consideration.

Also, of interest, which clock cable was used?
 
Last edited:
Likes: vhs

justubes

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2015
152
72
113
Thanks
so there are 2 improvements
1 with Cyber op21 A clocking - the Vivaldi
2. with Cyber op21 A clocking Sotm switch.

do you have access to the second Sotm ?
it would be great to see if having 2 switches bith clocked with ref 10 mhz signal will
be better that single switch.
CKKeung referred it is very significant difference when adding second sotm
Hi Kris,

Yes to your question, any Sotm switch with the sclk ex but with the reference 10M disconnect is immediately appearent.

Even when 1 units is running a cheap clock cable if 8 meters. I will only imagine what i am missing, but even the price of a Shuyata Alpha model, which is should be relatively cost effective, but at that lenght is too hard to swallow.
 

Kris

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2019
290
142
48
Thank you justubes
Your experience is very valuable.

but clock cables should be as short as possible for best result !
 

oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2012
170
260
295
The comparison was done carefully and systematically today with three very experienced audiophiles and myself. A cheap GPS disciplined clock (on the far right of the photo) was added as a reference.

<snip>

Cybershaft OP21A has the best of both worlds. It has the warm of Mutec and dynamic of OP20. The image and details are the best in the group. The difference is easily detected, not subtle. All of us agree it is the best performer.

After listening to OP21A for a while, the 10M reference was disconnected. The sound without it is plain and flat. It is like someone cover the speaker a thick cloth.

I can't speak for other digital systems, but if you use full stack of dCS Vivaldi system, the price of OP21A is around 10% of Vivaldi system and it improves the sound by 50%. You can do the maths. In fact, even OP20 and Mutec SE-120 enhance the sound significantly, the one who doesn't use a proper 10M reference clock on his Vivaldi system is not revealing the full potential of his gear..
Thank you for doing the comparison and posting the results. As an owner of Cybershaft OP21 reference clock being used with dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler and Vivaldi clock, I concur completely with your results. And although it is not a trivial expense I think from experience that the best clock cables possible are very important to hear the best performance from any of these reference clocks or indeed any system clock. I highly recommend Shunyata Sigma clock cables, but given Shunyata's excellent track record with their penultimate Alpha series, the Alphas are well worth considering as well.

Best regards

Steve Z IMG_1210.jpg
 
May 30, 2010
16,856
1,659
720
Portugal
(...) I can't speak for other digital systems, but if you use full stack of dCS Vivaldi system, the price of OP21A is around 10% of Vivaldi system and it improves the sound by 50%. You can do the maths. In fact, even OP20 and Mutec SE-120 enhance the sound significantly, the one who doesn't use a proper 10M reference clock on his Vivaldi system is not revealing the full potential of his gear..
Thanks for posting the review. I am too lazy to do the maths, can you tell us what is the cost of the OP21A and if it is currently available? Even with help of the google translator their site is hard to go for europeans.
 
Likes: XCop5089

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
2,082
1,346
535
Hong Kong
Thanks for posting the review. I am too lazy to do the maths, can you tell us what is the cost of the OP21A and if it is currently available? Even with help of the google translator their site is hard to go for europeans.
UPOCXO-OP20A  ¥612,500 (10% tax included)
UPOCXO-OP21A  ¥743,700 (10% tax included)


Overseas communication page in English : http://www.cybershaft.jp/overseas01.html
 
Likes: microstrip

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
2,082
1,346
535
Hong Kong
The comparison was done carefully and systematically today with three very experienced audiophiles and myself. A cheap GPS disciplined clock (on the far right of the photo) was added as a reference.
View attachment 60613
All listeners took turn to sit in the best position and ran through similar routine. First without any external 10M reference clock, we were free to choose our music, then GPSD clock was added, followed by Mutec SE-120, OP20 Limited and OP21A. Finally, the 10MHz clock was removed for the last piece.

We have similar impression. GPSD clock added more life to the music, more dynamic and more focus. Considering its price, around US$120, it is a best buy.

Mutec Ref 10 SE-120 is better than GPSD clock. It has a warmer and fuller sound. Bass is clearly improved. The result is pleasing and I can live with it forever. One listener particularly likes this sound. He is the owner of the Mutec SE-120 tested.

Cybershaft OP20 Limited2 has similar level of performance as Mutec but has a different character. OP20 sounds more lively and dynamic. Bass is not as strong as Mutec. In general, it is brighter than Mutec but has better focus and soundstage.

Cybershaft OP21A has the best of both worlds. It has the warm of Mutec and dynamic of OP20. The image and details are the best in the group. The difference is easily detected, not subtle. All of us agree it is the best performer.

After listening to OP21A for a while, the 10M reference was disconnected. The sound without it is plain and flat. It is like someone cover the speaker a thick cloth.

I can't speak for other digital systems, but if you use full stack of dCS Vivaldi system, the price of OP21A is around 10% of Vivaldi system and it improves the sound by 50%. You can do the maths. In fact, even OP20 and Mutec SE-120 enhance the sound significantly, the one who doesn't use a proper 10M reference clock on his Vivaldi system is not revealing the full potential of his gear..
I was at the gathering yesterday, with TLi and another experienced audiophile.

I agree completely with TLi's report.
The better the performance of an audio system, the more obvious of any changes/tweaks applied onto it.

The effect of the 4 diff clocks were immediately audible, NOT subtle at all.

I think not only dCS owners, but owners of all the other brands of digital frontend should consider adding an audiophile external clock as an important upgrade path.

Of course the expenditure must be proportional.

IMHO For top level digital components such as the full dCS Vivaldi system of TLi, the only choice must be the Cybershaft OP21A.
;)
 

SCAudiophile

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2010
903
101
455
Greer South Carolina (USA)
Did anyone compare the Cybershaft 21 with Mutec Ref 10, 120se ?
For someone purchesing in early 2020 an 10 mhz clock with 75 ohm exits for the network swiches
what will be the best ?
Think it will come down to Cybershaft OP21A or CH T1 or Mutec, all are fantastic options. Don't know if 'best' will
be discernible; they are all such damned good options!
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing