Black Lion Audio Micro Clock MK2 Word Clock Generator Details
The Black Lion Audio Micro Clock mk2 is a completely revolutionary design in external clocking from Black Lion Audio. The Micro Clock mk2 is a radical departure in design from its predecessor. It features ultra-low jitter third order crystal oscillators with a revolutionary patent-pending high current parallel drive circuit designed to increase the amount of desirable harmonics within the clockís spectral band. In addition to this, the proprietary noise reduction circuitry dramatically eliminates the unwanted switching harmonics normally found in digital signals. These are musically unrelated signals that create distortion and phase cancellation within the converted audio signal. Because of these technological advances, the Micro Clock mk2 may well be one of the best performing external word clocks within the pro audio market today.
When Black Lion introduced the MicroClock they didnít anticipate the amount of demand and controversy that managed to accompany it. External clocking is certainly a hot button issue. Some folks maintain that thereís no basis for it; that itís a sort of modern Ďemperorís new clothes.í The reasoning behind this is that the device being clocked externally will simply filter the incoming clock signal through its phase lock loop, thereby eliminating any sort of benefit associated with the superior clock. In addition, the simple act of accepting the incoming signal and creating a new signal thatís in phase will add some jitter.
The biggest problem with this theory is that we know nothing about the PLL filter in question; itís completely hypothetical. Many PLLís in pro audio are designed to filter out unwanted signals that are outside of the desired bandwidth, although some are configured to filter out unwanted harmonics that lie within the signalís frequency band. Itís incredibly rare to find one that does both at the same time. In the case of the Micro Clock mk2, there is very little undesirable in-band or out of band content (below 10 picoseconds using a Delta Sigma average). There is, however, an abundance of desirable harmonically related in-band spectral content; more so than the average internal clock. No PLL filter is designed to remove these desirable harmonics; theyíre busy trying to remove the unwanted stuff. Simply put, the Micro Clock mk2 will not only provide audible improvement to your conversion process, but it will do it as well as or better than any other external clock on the market today.
Black Lion Audio Micro Clock MK2 Word Clock Generator Specifications
- Output: 3 galvanic-isolated BNC with fixed 75 ohm terminations @ 6 volts peak to peak
- Power: 9-12 volts DC
- Sampling rates: six selectable rates, 44.1 kHz-192 kHz
- Jitter: maximum 1 pico second of intrinsic jitter, less than 10 picoseconds of accumulated jitter measured using a delta sigma averaging method.
NOTE: There are NO INPUTS on the MicroClock II (or MicroClock I for that matter) - these are MASTER WORD CLOCK GENERATORS with distribution outputs for 3 digital devices. There are no re-clocking features present on the MicroClock series.
Black Lion Audio Micro Clock MK2 Word Clock Generator Reviews
What We Think - Black Lion Audio MicroClock MK2 Review
I've put this little guy up against some of the best clocks out there and it regularly meets and often exceeds their perfomance in regards to the resulting sound quality. It's a great piece for getting up to 3 digital devices w/ BNC word clock inputs to receive clock simultaneously, but it's an even better device for making all of those devices reach their peak sonic potential. When using it with a stock Digi002r and a DigimaxFS (which has word clock I/O and I clocked the Digi002r off of the ADAT input), the resulting audio was much clearer, deeper, and wider with much more specific ability to localize placement of specific elements within the mix. I even noticed an increase in overall level due to the increased frequency response. The Micro Clock is an amazing little device that is also an incredible value.The original MicroClock, the "Mk I", put out an AC word clock signal for MOTU units, which was the only brand that BLA was modifying at that time that the MicroClock was first designed. While a lot of gear could still read that signal, there were several digital devices that could not sync to it. The new MkII puts out a DC Pulse which is what every other piece of digital gear wants to see and it's still compatible with MOTU gear.
Alan Moon - Front End Audio
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