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REF10 NANO

The Compact Audiophile 10 MHz Reference Master Clock

The perfect introduction to audiophile clocking – Dr. Roland Dietl, HIFISTATEMENT

The REF10 NANO is the focused version of an audiophile 10 MHz reference master clock in the superior quality you should expect from clocking specialist MUTEC. It is based on the already well-established REF10, but transfers its technology, praised by many customers and reviewers, into a new, significantly lower price range.

With the REF10 NANO, dedicated music lovers are for the first time able to significantly improve the sound performance of their home digital audio system for a moderate investment. Likewise, thanks to this MUTEC reference master clock, aspiring studio owners can guarantee their customers maximum sound quality when mastering and recording their music productions. No matter which kind of playback setup the REF10 NANO is used in, a noticeable increase in transparency, spatiality and dynamics will be clearly audible in general.

The REF10 NANO can be directly connected to up to four 10 MHz-compatible devices. D/A converters, network switches, re-clockers, clock generators, CD players, servers or streamers are perfect partners. In case these components do not have a dedicated 10 MHz input, an MC3+ or MC3+ USB interface from MUTEC provides the necessary interconnection between the REF10 NANO and the audio equipment to be synchronized. On the other hand, the REF10 NANO is the perfect partner to an existing MC3+ or MC3+ USB. Together they raise the signal’s audiophile quality – already improved and re-clocked by the MC3+/MC3+ USB interface – to an even higher level.

Take the chance and discover what your digital audio system is capable of. Entering the sound-enhancing world of 10 MHz reference master clocks has never been more affordable than with the REF10 NANO from experts MUTEC!

     
  • Audiophile 10 MHz reference master clock with extra low phase noise
  • Improves and enhances compatible D/A-converters, re-clockers, music servers, network switches, streamers, CD players
  • Handcrafted extra low phase noise OCXO Made in Germany
  • Generates a very high slew-rate square wave signal for superior lock precision
  • Four simultaneous usable reference clock outputs with 50 ohms (2x) and 75 ohms (2x) impedance for maximum compatibility
  • Galvanic isolation of the independently switchable BNC clock outputs for optimum interference immunity
  • Sub-Hz optimized, lowest noise power supplies for every section of the circuitry
  • Integrated international power supply
  • DC input for finetuning through an external power supply unit
  • Self-explanatory user interface
  • Optional mounting kit for installation in 19” studio racks (1RU)
  • Developed and manufactured in Germany

High End Audio: Direct Connection


High End Audio: Connection via MC3+ USB-Interface


Professional Audio: Digital Mastering


Professional Audio: Analog / Digital Recording


Master Clocking in MUTEC Quality starts right here

The REF10 NANO is the perfect device for all sound enthusiasts who want to get the advantages of an original MUTEC reference master clock at the lowest possible price – without making a significant trade off! This smallest 10 MHz reference master clock in the MUTEC range offers almost every of the important quality features of its big brother REF10.

For the REF10 NANO – developed by MUTEC in the expected reputable quality – the formula reads: half the size, half the price, but almost as good as the REF10! This certainly makes the REF10 NANO the best 10 MHz reference master clock currently available in its price class.


Advantage OCXO

Highly important for the performance of a reference master clock is the frequency stability of the oscillator used. This parameter is dependent, among other things, on its ambient temperature, which must remain within a precisely defined range. If this very narrowly defined frame is deviated from by a variation in the ambient temperature, the frequency stability of the oscillator is affected. This has a significant impact on the precision of the digital signal processing for connected audio devices. The German-made OCXO (Oven Controlled Quartz Oscillator) used in the REF10 NANO is permanently kept at the same ideal temperature in its dedicated heated enclosure. This sophisticated method is the best way to achieve excellent results, as it provides exceptional frequency stability. Traditional temperature-compensating quartz oscillators (TCXO) constantly readjust the deviations of the changing temperature conditions on the basis of continuos measurements. But they fall far short of the quality level of an oven-based solution. Conventional low-cost crystal oscillators without any temperature control used to ensure the timely processing of the digital data flow in common DA converters, switches, streamers and re-clockers, lack even more of the frequency stability, which is extremely relevant for uncompromising high-quality audio reproduction. Therefore, the use of an excellent OCXO is largely responsible for the outstanding quality of MUTEC's REF10 NANO.




OCXO versus Atomic Clock (Rubidium/Cesium)

As an alternative to an OCXO, so-called atomic clocks are also used in advanced reference clock generators, mostly based on rubidium or cesium references. We do not think this is the way to go. Our researches have shown that the high clock stability of atomic clocks occurs in a time range that is inappropriate, therefore of no relevance for digital audio applications. Their long-term stability refers to the amount by which the absolute clock frequency drifts over a longer period of time, from a few days to several years. Although long-term stability is important for telecommunication applications, for example, it has no impact to reproduction of digital audio material. The crucial factor for sound quality is the accuracy of the time interval from one sample to the next sample, i.e. a very short time range, usually measured in time intervals between 0.01 sec. and a few seconds. Alterations of this so-called short-term stability are measured as jitter or phase noise. At this crucial point for audiophile music reproduction the OCXO-based REF10 NANO delivers the significant advantage over rubidium or cesium-based clock references.


The Power Issue

The power supply plays a significant role for the overall quality of signal processing. Due to that, the MUTEC developers have put increased effort into this area as well. Here, the oven-controlled oscillator in particular gets its ultra-low noise supply voltage completely isolated from the rest of the circuitry. In addition, sub-Hz optimized, lowest noise voltage sources supply each single part of the circuitry individually in order to avoid any mutual interferences. The extremely low noise clock distribution and amplification circuitries ensure that the OCXO's reference clock signal reaches the four outputs of the REF10 NANO with virtually no loss. For performance tuning the internal power supply can be bypassed with an externally applied 16 volt power supply. The dedicated DC input on the back of the compact 10 MHz reference master clock provides a convenient and safe way to optimize in this regard.

Phase noise, measured at REF10 NANO’s outputs
Phase noise of the REF10 NANO as a function of frequency

Based on our knowledge of the importance of a clock signal’s rise time (steepness of the edge) for the audio performance, we chose a very high slew-rate, lowest ripple square wave signal for the REF10 NANO. In contrast to the low slew-rate sine wave signals used by competing brands, this leads to superior lock precision and therefor minimized jitter at the receiving end. As a result, all devices connected to the REF10 NANO will sound even better.

The exceptionally high slew-rate, lowest ripple square wave signal of the REF10 NANO
The exceptionally high slew-rate, lowest ripple square wave signal of the REF10 NANO


Targeted Design

In order to remove jitter and phase noise from clock signals to the maximum extent possible, further manifold steps were taken. The REF10 NANO has an enclosure made of steel to protect the electronics from high frequency interferences. Compared to commonly used aluminum cases, the insulation against external interferences is considerably better. To avoid hum caused by ground loops, all output stages of the REF10 NANO are galvanically isolated. Each of the four clock outputs can be switched on and off individually so that only the required outputs are active. This helps to minimize mutual interferences in the high frequency range as best as possible. There are two pairs of outputs, each with a different termination of 50 ohms and 75 ohms. This ensures successful interaction of the REF10 NANO with a wide range of devices of other manufacturers. Operation couldn't be simpler: all you have to do is select the desired output and the NANO immediately works it`s magic.




Clear Sound Improvement

Using a reference master clock such as the affordable REF10 NANO can significantly improve the sound of a digital audio setup. This applies to the audiophile listener at home as well as to the mastering/recording engineer in a professional A/V studio environment. In every use case, there is a clear increase in audio quality. Including the REF10 NANO in your system results in higher transparency, more clearly defined bass, darker background, better instrument staging and extended imaging. The MUTEC REF10 NANO certainly takes the audio quality of compatible D/A converters, network switches, servers, streamers, CD players, clock generators and re-clockers to a new level. It is likewise the perfect upgrade for owners of an MC3+/MC3+ USB interface. In every context, the REF10 NANO 10 MHz reference master clock makes a significant contribution to fulfilling the central MUTEC promise: Perfecting Digital Audio.




10 MHz Compatible Products Currently in Production:

Manufacturer Product Impedance (Ω) Type
MUTEC MC‑3+ Smart Clock 75 Audio Re-Clocker, Clock Generator
  MC‑3+ Smart Clock USB 75 Audio Re-Clocker, Clock Generator, USB Interface
  iClock, iClock dp 75 Audio/Video Clock Generator
Abendrot Audio Colt 50 DAC
  Everest 901 50 ADC
  Hengst 50 DAC
Antelope Audio Zodiac Platinum 384 kHz 75 DAC
  Rubicon 75 DAC
  LiveClock 75 Audio Clock Generator
  Isochrone OCX, OCX HD, OCX‑V, Trinity 75 Audio/Video Clock Generator
  Pure 2 75 ADC/DAC
  Goliath 75 Audio Interface
  Goliath HD 75 Audio Interface
  Orion 32 75 Audio Interface
  Orion 32+ | GEN 3 75 Audio Interface
  Orion 32HD | GEN 3 75 Audio Interface
  Amári 75 Audio Interface
Audio Design SyncroGenius HD‑Pro 75 Audio/Video Clock Generator
Audio-gd DI-20, DI-20HE 50 USB Interface, DDC
  R-7, R-7HE (both as 2020 versions) 50 DAC
Aune S9c Pro 50 DAC
  S10N, S10 Pro 50 Network Player
Aurender N30SA 75 Music Server
  W20SE 75 Music Server
  W20 (discontinued) 75 Music Server
  N20, N200 75 Music Server
Brainstorm DCD‑12 (discontinued) 75 Audio/Video Clock Generator
  DCD‑24 75 Audio/Video Clock Generator
  DXD‑8 75 Audio/Video Clock Generator
  DXD‑16 75 Audio/Video Clock Generator
CH Precision C1 (with SNYC_IO board) 75 DAC
  D1 (with SNYC_IO board) 75 SACD Transport, DAC
  I1 (with SNYC_IO board) 75 Universal Amplifier
dCS Vivaldi Master Clock 75 Audio Clock Generator
  Paganini Master Clock, Scarlatti Master Clock (discontinued) 75 Audio Clock Generator
Esoteric Grandioso G1 50 Audio Clock Generator
  Grandioso K1 50 SACD Player
  Grandioso P1/D1 50 SACD Transport, DAC
  K1X50 SACD Player
  K‑01X, K‑03X, K‑05, K‑05X, K‑07X75 SACD Player
  P‑02X, P‑05X 50 SACD Transport
  D‑02X, D‑05X 50 DAC
  N‑01, N‑01XD 50 Network Player
  N‑05 75 Network Player
  G‑01X, G‑02X 50 Audio Clock Generator
Evertz 5601MSC N/A Audio/Video Clock Generator
Gustard DAC‑A26 50 DAC, Network Player
  DAC‑R26 50 DAC, Network Player
  DAC‑X26pro 50 DAC
  N-18Pro 50 Network Switch
  U-16 50 USB Interface, DDC
  U-18 50 USB Interface, DDC
HiFi Rose RD 160 50/75 DAC
  RS 130 50/75 Network Player
Jay`s Audio CDT-MK3 75 CD Transport
LHY Audio SW 10 50Network Switch
M2TECH EVO DAC TWO PLUS 75 DAC
  HIFACE EVO TWO N/A DAC
Melco N1 N/AMusic Server
Phasetech/PhasemationHD‑7A 50 DAC
RATOC RAL‑DSDHA2 50 DAC
Rostec ASD16HD 75 Audio/Video Clock Generator
Sforzato DSP‑00EX 50 Network Player
  DSP‑010EX, DSP‑030EX 50 Network Player, DAC
  DSP‑04EX 50 DAC
Silent Angel Bonn N8 Pro 50 Network Switch
  Munich MU 50 Network Player
Singxer SDA‑6 50/75 DAC
  SU‑2 50 DDC
S.M.S.L VMV D3 N/A DAC
  VMC D2 N/A DAC
Soul Note D‑2 50 DAC
  D‑3 50 DAC
Sound Warrior SWD‑CL10 50/75Audio Clock Generator
SOtM sMS‑1000SQ
(with sCLK‑EX Expansion)
50/75Music Server
  sMS‑200ultra
(with sCLK‑EX Expansion)
50/75Network Player
  sNH‑10G
(with sCLK‑EX Expansion)
50/75Network Switch
  tX‑USBultra
(with sCLK‑EX Expansion)
50/75USB Regenerator
SPEC RMP‑X1 50 Network Player
Studio Technologies M5401 Dante© Master Clock (discontinued) 75 Network Master Clock
Tascam CG‑1000, CG‑1800, CG‑2000 50/75Audio/Video Clock Generator
TEAC NT‑503, NT‑505, NT‑505‑X 50 Network Player, DAC
  PD‑505T 50CD Transport
  UD‑503, UD‑505, UD‑505‑X 50 DAC
  UD‑701N 50 Network Player, DAC
  VRDS‑701, VRDS‑701T 50 CD Player, CD Transport
TechDAS D‑7, D7i 50 DAC
Triode TRV‑CD6SE 50 CD Player
UpTone Audio EtherREGEN 75 Network Switch

Disclaimer: Compatibility of the REF10 NANO with the above listed products is assumed based on the specifications published by the respective manufacturers and subject to change. MUTEC is not liable for compatibility issues with third-party products operating outside of industry standards.


The Right Cables for REF10 NANO

PSC 75 BNC/BNC

The Right Cables for REF10 NANO - PSC 75 BNC/BNC

PSC 50 BNC/BNC

The Right Cables for REF10 NANO - PSC 50 BNC/BNC


Complementary Products for REF10 NANO

MC3+

Complementary Products for REF10 NANO - MC3+

MC3+ USB

Complementary Products for REF10 NANO - MC3+ USB


Interfaces

  • 2 x 10 MHz reference clock BNC output, 50 Ω terminated, unbalanced
  • 2 x 10 MHz reference clock BNC output, 75 Ω terminated, unbalanced

Signal Format of all Clock Outputs

  • Square wave, 10.000 MHz, 2 Vpp, 50:50 duty cycle

Clock Generation

  • Type: 10.000 MHz low noise oven-controlled crystal oscillator
  • FQ stability when shipped: < +/-0.01 ppm
  • FQ stability vs. temperature range: < +/-0.03 ppm within -20 °C to +70 °C (-4 °F to +158 °F)
  • Short term stability (Allan deviation) at Tau = 1 s: 2 x 10-12 (typically)
  • Aging after 10 days operation:
    < +/-0.0002 ppm (per day),
    < +/-0.03 ppm (1st year),
    < +/-0.2 ppm (10 years)
  • Warm-up time at +25 °C (+77 °F) : <5 min

Phase Noise, Measured at REF10 NANO’s Outputs

Phase noise, measured at REF10 NANO’s outputs
Phase noise, measured at REF10 NANO’s outputs

Phase noise dBc/Hz
1 Hz: ≤ -112
10 Hz: ≤ -142
100 Hz: ≤ -158
1000 Hz: ≤ -164
Noise floor: ≤ -167

Jitter Performance, Measured at REF10’s Outputs

1-100 Hz: ≈ 30 fs

Jitter performance, measured at REF10 NANO’s outputs
Jitter performance, measured at REF10 NANO’s outputs

Disclaimer: All measurement figures represent average values. Minor production related deviations will be expected.


Voltage Supply

Power Supply

  • Type: internal self-switching power supply
  • Input Voltage: 85-305 V, 50-60 Hz
  • Power Consumption: 7 W during oscillator warm-up (<10 min), 4 W nominal operation

DC Supply

  • Input Voltage: 15 V
  • Power Consumption: max. 7 W

Mechanical Details

  • Case size/material/color: 196 x 44 x 300 mm (WxHxD, without connectors and case feet), 1,5 mm steel, black powder-coated
  • Front panel size/material/surface/color: 198 x 44 x 6 mm (WxHxD), aluminium, anodized incl. anodic printing or silk screening, silver or black
  • Weight: 2070 g without packaging

Order Information

  • Front silver: Item Mo. 8015-115, EAN-Code: 4260342461242
  • Front black: Item No. 8015-116, EAN-Code: 4260342461259

User Stories

Dr. Roland Dietl
  • Dr. Roland Dietl, HIFISTATEMENT, Germany
    MUTEC has created a real winner with the REF10 NANO! It is the congenial playing partner for the MUTEC MC3+ USB and the perfect introduction to audiophile clocking. You can't get that much master clock for the money anywhere else at the moment.
    Read the complete review
Nick Mavridis
  • Nick Mavridis, 6moons, Ireland
    These MUTEC clocks are secret weapons on the path to audio system optimization and the perfect sound.
    Read the complete review
Jason Kennedy
  • Jason Kennedy, the ear, UK
    The REF10 NANO is the icing on the cake, and a very tasty icing it is too, bringing a refinement and precision to the result that is extremely engaging in a revealing system.
    Download the complete review (pdf)
Reinhold Hartl
  • Reinhold Hartl, Germany
    I already own a MC3+ USB. This device has made a considerable improvement to my audio chain. The sound became more airy, clearer and more precise in the bass.
    After some research and the consistently positive comments about the REF10 NANO, it was clear that it was worth trying.
    The sound has become even more spacious. Voices are better defined. The bass tones are even drier and more exact without losing substance. The staggering of the individual performers was better separated, more resolved, broader and deeper. Outstanding!
    No upgrade in my chain has ever achieved a greater increase in sound quality than these two devices. Not even the Audio Research Reference DAC, which costs almost 20.000 Euro, was able to raise the sound level to such a degree. Normally all ambitious music listeners should have these two MUTEC devices in their chain, as they improve the sound in a way that I have never heard with other, far more expensive components.
    I am incredibly delighted!!!
Jaap Veenstra
  • Jaap Veenstra, www.alpha-audio.net, Netherlands
    What a nice little device the MUTEC REF10 NANO is! It is actually plug and play with the MUTEC MC3+ USB. And it will serve fine on other devices with a 10 MHz ref clock as well. The character is smooth and the presentation is great with great insight and layering. In short: yes ... you really want this one! Alpha Approved!
    Read the complete review
Dr. Jürgen Dinger
  • Dr. Jürgen Dinger, Germany
    The REF10 NANO leads to a substantial improvement in good systems at a price that is feasible for most audiophile music listeners. To realize these improvements very expensive high end systems are not required.
    Read the full story
Ikuo Tsunoda
  • Ikuo Tsunoda, Music and Audio Critic/Sound Designer, Japan
    I tested the REF10 NANO with the 10 MHz input of the Vivaldi Clock from dCS. Immediately after the first listen, I could say the transparency and resolution of the sound had increased. In particular, the width and depth of the soundstage were reproduced well and the performance became surprisingly realistic. The REF10 NANO improves the transparency in the mid-high range, and the sound becomes brighter. It is the same feeling as when looking out of an open window instead of looking through it.
    This is the effect of MUTEC's external 10 MHz clock. In an extreme sense, REF10 NANO shows just how good high-end audio sound can be.

    Read the complete review (Japanese)
Saburo Ubukata
  • Saburo Ubukata, Composer/Recording Engineer/Audio Critic, Japan
    I connected the REF10 NANO to the 10 MHz clock input of my network player (TEAC UD-701N). The result was wonderful. The sound image was sharpened and all sounds were clearly in focus. The reverberations were more detailed, making the spatial expression even more profound. It is a pleasure to hear the volume and airiness of the performance space portrayed with even more substance.
    I felt this sense of clocked sound quality was very close to what I usually hear in a studio. I think the system's sound is very appealing as it allows professional sound quality precision to be applied to home equipment as well.
Michael Knab
  • Michael Knab, Germany
    The MUTEC MC3+ USB reclocker and the REF10 NANO 10 MHz reference master clock brought an enormous increase in resolution, emotion, spatiality and dynamics to the music performance in my system. I've never heard the high frequencies in this quality before. The bass range is reproduced much better and less bloated. Room modes are less stimulated, the low bass impulses come cleaner, faster, with more punch, so they do not mask the mid-range. This all contributes to a much improved audio resolution. The MUTEC MC3+ USB with REF10 NANO brings much more tranquillity and less noise to the sound. My CD player, D/A converter and Blu-ray player are now in a completely different league.
    I can only encourage everyone to listen to the MUTEC MC3+ USB with REF10 NANO in their own system, but I'll say right away that there's no going back from a sound quality perspective.
Fujak
  • Fujak, Germany
    The 10 MHz reference master clock REF10 NANO provides a significant benefit to the MUTEC MC3+ USB interface. While reclocking of the MC3+ USB in itself produces remarkable improvements to the digital signal, the REF10 NANO provides a further, clearly audible upgrade: The sound image becomes more detailed and spacious, smoother and more fluid. It is also noticeable that the bass sounds purer and more precise. You become increasingly involved in the musical performance.
David Barrister
  • David Barrister, UK
    The MUTEC REF10 NANO now puts the entire system into musical stratosphere. The best upgrade any Audiophile can ever make. The music is now holographic, rather than merely - I say merely - superb stereo. Detail is advanced, but there is now a (sur)real sense of concert / being there, such is the fantastic realism, spatial awareness and dynamics.

 

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Front View MC3+USB | REF10 NANO black/black Front View Rear View
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Front View Single Perspective Front silver left Single Perspective Front black left
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Double Perspective Front silver/black left Double Perspective MC3+USB | REF10 NANO black/black left Single Perspective Front black right
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Single Perspective Front silver right Closeup Front Closeup Back
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Applications

  • Significant increase in audiophile performance of compatible D/A converters, re­clockers, music servers, network switches, streamers, CD players
  • Exceptionally low­noise and stable reference clock for the entire digital signal chain at home and in the studio
  • Ideal upgrade as clock reference for MUTECs MC3+, MC3+USB, iClock/iClock dp
  • High versatility due to four independent outputs (2 x 50 Ohm, 2 x 75 Ohm)

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