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REF10 SE120

The Ultimate Audiophile 10 MHz Reference Master Clock

I didn't thought that the difference to my old REF10 would be so huge. A real blast! – Daniel Steinert, Habst Kabelmanufaktur, Germany

The REF10 SE120 is a special version of the successful audiophile reference clock generator REF10 that we have further enhanced in terms of signal performance. The exceptional quality of the original REF10 has been confirmed many times since its launch in 2017 – in numerous reviews from specialized magazines and through enthusiastic user feedback. A clock generator from MUTEC significantly increases the quality of digital music playback, even and especially with demanding high‑end systems and studio installations. Because it provides the foundation for perfect signal processing in a digital audio chain: the extremely low‑noise reference clock.

The "tuning" variant REF10 SE120 outperforms the original model REF10 in this regard considerably. A clearly measurable advantage is the result of a special feature of the REF10 SE120: its much more elaborately manufactured and selected oven‑controlled quartz oscillator (OCXO). This oscillator is selected according to the strictest standards in test procedures lasting many hours with the help of exceptionally precise and expensive measuring technology. The use of such an outstanding oscillator is responsible for the fact that the REF10 SE120 from MUTEC currently delivers - to our knowledge - the lowest phase noise, respectively jitter values in the industry. This outstanding technical performance has a noticeable impact on the sonic result. Precision, transparency, spatiality and dynamics of the musical presentation reach an unprecedented level and will inspire you!

Like the proven REF10, the optimized REF10 SE120 is extremely flexible. Because of its versatile connectivity this MUTEC clock generator can be successfully integrated in a wide variety of configurations while maintaining an easy way of operation. If you want to maximize the sound potential of your compatible DA converter, music server or audio re‑clocker in every respect, you need the REF10 SE120 from MUTEC!


  • 10 MHz reference master clock generator with ultimately low phase noise of ‑120 dBc at 1 Hz
  • Improves and enhances compatible DACs, audio re‑clockers, music servers and master clocks
  • Engineered around an elaborately manufactured and selected OCXO made in Germany with outstanding low noise
  • Generates a very high slew‑rate square wave signal for superior lock precision
  • Provides simultaneous reference outputs with 50 Ω and 75 Ω impedance for maximum compatibility with audio components by other manufacturers
  • Eight galvanically isolated, individually switchable BNC clock outputs
  • Sub‑Hz optimized, lowest noise power supply for every circuit section
  • Integrated highest quality international linear power supply
  • Highly efficient power line filtering
  • Intuitive user interface with noble appearance
  • Rack‑mountable for studio use with optional mounting brackets (2 RU)

The Development towards the REF10 SE120

The great success of the well‑established MUTEC REF10 has proven the extremely positive, clearly audible influence such a meticulously developed reference clock generator has on the sonic performance of a digital audio system. Despite the worldwide praise of the device by users of all kinds, MUTEC is always driven by the same question: can we do even better?

The positive answer is available in the shape of the REF10 SE120. Because already during the development of the REF10 we noticed how extremely important the selection of the central clock oscillator is. Its quality determines the technical and consequently also the acoustic result of a reference clock generator to a considerable extent. That is why the renowned German developer of the REF10 has been appointed to help improving and optimizing the production processes around the new ultra‑low phase noise oscillator to make it successfully suitable for being the heart of the REF10 SE120.

The basis for this new oscillator is naturally a SC‑cut crystal material, but here it gets very elaborately selected especially with regard to the ultra‑low phase noise specifications to be achieved. After assembling and by using specialized and cost‑intensive measurement technology, the selection of the oscillators continues with three‑stage in‑depth measurements. Thus, after the last measurements individual specimens from large production quantities can be selected successfully as the best oscillators for use in a REF10 SE120.

These oscillators reliably offer phase noise values of <‑120 dBc measured at 1 Hz offset from the carrier frequency of 10 MHz. Values like this have never been reached before! Such technical performance also positively influences the phase noise at audio-relevant measuring intervals of 10 Hz and 100 Hz. As a result, a REF10 SE120 offers uniquely low jitter measured values of an average of <15 fs in the crucial measuring range between 1-100 Hz!

Exclusive + Limited

Naturally, only a small number of oscillators complete our demanding test course for selection successfully. That is why the REF10 SE120 will only be available in small batches. The lucky owners of an exclusive REF10 SE120 will gain a fascinating experience. The musical reproduction quality of their high-class audio setup fuelled by this special edition of the REF10 rises significantly – especially in the areas of precision, transparency, spatiality and dynamics. The REF10 SE120 is currently not only the absolute top product in MUTEC's Empyreal Class, but also claiming the industry-leading position in the field of audiophile reference clock generators.

Stability Factor vs The Myth of the Atomic Clock

The so-called “atomic clock” is generally regarded as a prime example of extraordinary frequency precision. However, our research has shown that the high clock stability of atomic clocks based on a rubidium or caesium oscillator is limited to the long-term time domain. This long-term stability refers to the amount the absolute clock frequency (10 MHz, or 10 million cycles per second, in this case) drifts over time. While this long-term stability may be useful for some telecommunications applications, it is essentially irrelevant for digital audio purposes. In fact, the accuracy of the time interval from one sample to the next sample determines the sound quality, i.e. the stability viewed in a very short time range. Changes in this short-term stability are usually measured as jitter or phase noise. These are decisive for the sound quality of all digital audio devices.

In contrast to these atomic clocks the REF10 SE120 is engineered around MUTEC’s extremely elaborately selected, handcrafted, oven-controlled quartz oscillator (OCXO) made in Germany. This OCXO offers a standard-setting frequency stability in the time domain relevant for audiophile music playback.

Perfect Conditions

MUTEC has created an optimal environment for the exclusive OCXO within the REF10SE120.

It starts in an essential segment for every high-end component: the well designed main power supply. Therefore, a double linear power supply is used, based on a toroidal transformer made in Germany. It provides a dedicated transformer winding for the sensitive OCXO that is completely isolated form the surrounding circuit. Networks of lowest-ESR (equivalent series resistance) capacitors made by prestigious manufactures ensure best interference suppression for the supply voltages. Hereafter, sub-Hz optimized, lowest-noise voltage sources arranged in multiple stages independently supply every part of the circuit to avoid mutual interference.

For the heart of the REF10 SE120, the handcrafted OCXO, we went even further by developing a voltage source with exceptionally low noise. In line with this, extremely low-noise clock distribution and amplification circuits ensure that the reference signal of the quartz oscillator in the audio-relevant measuring range of 1-100 Hz distance from the carrier frequency (10 MHz) is transported loss-free (!) to the eight outputs of the REF10 SE120.

Phase noise of the REF10 SE120 as a function of frequency
Phase noise of the REF10 SE120 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 digital audio performance, the REF10 SE120 delivers square-wave signals with very high slew rate and lowest ripple at the outputs.

In contrast to the low slew-rate sine wave signals used by competing brands, this leads to superior lock precision in terms of speed and stability and therefore minimized jitter at the receiving end. This fact is i. e. largely responsible for the sound quality improvement of connected DACs and audio clock generators.

The exceptionally high slew-rate, lowest ripple square wave signal of the REF10 SE120
The exceptionally high slew-rate, lowest ripple square wave signal of the REF10 SE120

Steel Shielding

An often discussed topic among audiophiles is the negative influence of RF (radio-frequency) interference in digital audio playback. In order to shield the REF10 SE120 from such RFI and other interference we are placing the circuit boards in a 1.5 mm thick steel enclosure. In contrast to the commonly used aluminum housings, the shielding of the electronics and thus the insulation against external disturbances is significantly improved hereby. Therefore, any external high-frequency interference does not have a detrimental effect on the noise and jitter freedom of the generated clock signals.

Mains Filter

RF interference can also enter the circuitry via the mains power connection. To avoid a power line interference as best as possible, we have equipped the REF10 SE120 with one of the best premium brand-name power entry modules currently available. This module offers enhanced low frequency filtering and superior EMI immunity. As part of its mechanical design there are no open unfiltered power cables inside the unit. Another aspect where the REF10 SE120 distinguishes itself from many other products on the market.

Galvanic Insulation

In order to minimize the susceptibility to hum caused by ground loops all output stages of the REF10 SE120 are galvanically isolated. Each BNC reference clock output can be switched on and off individually, so that only the required outputs have to be active. This special feature of the REF10 SE120 also helps to minimize high frequency interference as much as possible.

Reference Clock Reference

The REF10 SE120 is a reference clock that fills the term “reference” with meaning in two ways. First, because of its function: it generates an optimized master clock to which all subsequent devices in the digital audio chain refer to. Second, because of its quality: as the top product from MUTEC, the REF10 SE120 also represents a new standard in this specific category of audio components. This master clock generator sets new peak marks in the key areas of phase noise, respectively jitter.

The amazing sound performance – based on superior technology – can be easily realized in many different audio setups. Because the REF10 SE120 is straightforward and extremely flexible to use. You do not have to worry about system integration at all - instead, you can fully enjoy the best possible music playback straight away. With the help of a REF10 SE120 the audiophile sound quality of compatible D/A converters, music servers and audio re-clockers will be increased to the highest possible level.

The REF10 SE120 is the perfect match for devices with a 10 MHz input, such as MUTEC's MC3+ and MC3+USB Smart Clocks as well as the iClock and iClock dp.

Eight simultaneous available clock outputs at both 50 Ω and 75 Ω impedance allow you to use the REF10 SE120 in combination with not just MUTEC products, but also 10 MHz compatible components by other third-party manufacturers.

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
Melco N1 N/AMusic Server
Phasetech/PhasemationHD‑7A 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
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
(with sCLK‑EX Expansion)
50/75Network Player
(with sCLK‑EX Expansion)
50/75Network Switch
(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 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.

With MUTEC to "heavenly" sound!

Within the Empyreal Audio Class series, MUTEC offers special digital audio devices dedicated to the demanding users of top-quality hi-fi stereo systems. These unique products benefit from MUTEC's decades of expertise in the field of professional studio technology. This knowledge flows into the development of audiophile tools that have outstanding sonic abilities.

A MUTEC Empyreal Audio Class component always focuses on features most relevant for authentic sound reproduction in a high-end audio system. Decorative accessories or cluttered front plates are alien to these devices. Therefore, the operation is designed to be user-friendly and convenient. On the outside, the series is characterized by functionalism combined with simple elegance. Internally, the highest level of technical precision can be found based on best available materials. Both aspects support the conceptual goal of the Empyreal Audio Class: pure concentration on what is technically essential.

All MUTEC devices of the Empyreal Audio Class series represent long-term investment because of their highest quality at all levels - of course "Made In Germany".

The Right Cables for REF10 SE120


The Right Cables for REF10 SE120 - PSC 75 BNC/BNC


The Right Cables for REF10 SE120 - PSC 50 BNC/BNC

Complementary Products for REF10 SE120


Complementary Products for REF10 SE120 - MC3+


Complementary Products for REF10 SE120 - MC3+ USB


  • 2 x 10 MHz reference clock BNC output, 50 Ω terminated, unbalanced
  • 6 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 ultra-low noise oven-controlled crystal oscillator
  • FQ stability when shipped: < +/-0.01 ppm
  • FQ stability vs. temperature range: < +/-0.01 ppm within -20 °C to +70 °C (-4 °F to +158 °F)
  • Short term stability (Allan deviation) at Tau = 1 s: 2.5 x 10-13 (typically)
  • Aging after 30 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 SE120’s Outputs

Phase noise, measured at REF10 SE120’s outputs
Phase noise of the REF10 SE120 as a function of frequency

Phase noise dBc/Hz
1 Hz: ≤ -120
10 Hz: ≤ -148
100 Hz: ≤ -162
1000 Hz: ≤ -167
Noise floor: ≤ -170

Jitter Performance, Measured at REF10 SE120’s Outputs

1-100 Hz: ≈ 15 fs

Jitter performance, measured at REF10 SE120’s outputs
Jitter performance of the REF10 SE120

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

Power Supply

  • Type: internal dual linear power supply
  • Input Voltage: 90-125 V / 200-240 V, 50-60 Hz
  • Power consumption: 12 W during oscillator warm-up, 8 W nominal operation

Mechanical Details

  • Cover size/material/color: 196 x 84 x 300 mm (W x H x D, without connectors and case feet), 1,5 mm steel, black powder-coated
  • Front panel size/material/surface/color: 198 x 88 x 8 mm (W x H x D), aluminium, anodized incl. anodic printing or silk screening, aluminium- or black-colored
  • Weight: approx. 4350 g (9 lb, 9.5 oz)

REF10 SE120 Order Information

  • Front aluminum-colored: Item No. 8015-107, EAN-Code: 4260342461075
  • Front black-colored: Item No. 8015-108, EAN-Code: 4260342461082

User Stories

Alan Eichenbaum
  • Alan Eichenbaum, Scaena Loudspeakers, USA
    When we dropped the MUTEC REF10 SE120 in our company digital reference system (4 box dCS Vivaldi Apex) after several days warm up, we were very impressed with the level of improvement over the excellent REF10. It took our speaker to new levels of performance.
    It's very impressive to have this level of improvement at a reasonable cost when a system and a product is already performing at such a high level.
    Believe me, we know.
Sean Tuohy
  • Sean Tuohy, Recording Engineer, UK
    What it does that no other clock I’ve heard does is to deliver a richer/fuller/deeper/tighter and more focused sound field that both inspires me and connects me to the process of recording music in a way that feels so rewarding. What I hear inspires me to work harder and to try and deliver better work. I hear things clearer and I aim a little higher because of that.
    Read the whole story
Toshiya Nishida
  • Toshiya Nishida, Japan
    I’m listening to music with the REF10 SE 120 for over two weeks now. It exceeded my expectations.
    The sound from my audio used to be like a big pond.
    But the REF10 SE120 turned it into a very wide lake.
    When I listen to a disc with good sound quality, the lake will turn into a sea.
    Thank you for creating REF10 SE120.
  • Sniperschool,, UK
    The first thing I hear is an increased depth of field and stereo imaging that I was not expecting at all. [...] I’m suddenly working on a bigger canvas. I have more space to place the sounds and can hear further into the track. [...] Like the resolution has increased substantially. Like I’ve got better ears! If I were to use a visual analogy it’s like I finally got the glasses that I didn’t know I needed and can now see things clearly and without straining. [...] The fog has lifted and the sun is shining. [...]
    It’s a strange feeling when you get something that makes your work better. It’s not cheap and it’s not that exciting in theory compared to getting another high-end compressor or EQ. But I feel there’s no amount of new hardware processors that will give you the results that this little black box can.

    Read the full review
Shad Uttam
  • Shad Uttam, USA
    I have been listening to the MUTEC REF10 SE120 for a few weeks now with my Melco N1–S38. I use the internal player app. The Melco uses PLL’s to clock several functions of the player. The effect of the MUTEC is very noticeable, it makes music sound and feel much more realistic.
    Basically, like real people in a real acoustic space, playing real instruments. It makes it much easier and much more realistic to hear movement of instruments and voices on the stage meaning for example the sound source gets smaller as people move away from the mic or bigger as they get closer. Similarly instruments or complex musical passages, which used to break up before now stay perfectly intelligible. Things like cymbals which have complex overtones don’t turn splashy and indistinct, nor do they congeal and compress at higher sound pressure levels in the performance, so it seems to enhance dynamic range.
Jannis Bentler
  • Jannis Bentler, Mastering Engineer @ Mahlgrad Mastering, Germany
    As soon as you work digitally it is inevitable to clock the system synchronously. For this, the REF10 SE120 is a real winner.
Fritz Schwertfeger
  • Fritz Schwertfeger,, Ireland
    The MUTEC REF10 SE120 elevates digital sources to a higher level.
    Read the full review
Zino Mikorey
  • Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, Germany
    I am really impressed with the REF10 SE120! It unleashes so much energy in the transients and enlarges the three-dimensional appearance of the recording so much that I would love to reprint all of my masters of the last years. Through the diminishing of distortion and jitter it also sounds louder which is a dream for mastering. The sound of the analogue-to-digital converter clocked with the REF10 SE120 becomes cleaner, bigger and deeper. As a result, I get where I want to go faster.
Dr. Ludwig Flich
  • Dr. Ludwig Flich, hifi & records, Germany
    In its latest selected SE120 reference version, the MUTEC REF10 clock generator, which is elaborately manufactured in Germany, provides a remarkable sonic gain in sound systems with digital components.
    Download the full review
Fritz Fey
  • Fritz Fey, Studio Magazin, Germany
    I really struggle to quantify and qualify the extent of the changes I heard, as there were always a few keys to push between with and without reference clock generator. In several runs, I heard various inconsistencies that, however, told me in their entirety, damn, I've got to have this!
    Download the full review (German only)
Dr. Roland Dietl
  • Dr. Roland Dietl, HIFISTATEMENT, Germany
    There is not the slightest doubt about the extraordinarily convincing performance of the REF10 SE120. [...] The REF10 SE120 impressively demonstrated to me how sensitively the human ear reacts to the tiniest errors in timing (jitter). [...] The REF10 is already great. But the REF10 SE120 is something very special - with it, the sound experience reaches a new level. Rarely does a clear recommendation come so easily to me!
    Download the full review
Frank Armbruster
  • Frank Armbruster, concert audio HiFi-Studio Stuttgart, Germany
    I am really surprised, I would not have imagined such a big difference with the REF10 SE120! The sound becomes once again much rounder and at the same time more delicately resolved. The last tad of harshness disappears, in addition the spatial imaging becomes deeper. My compliments, you've done a good job!
Hiroyuki Tsuji
  • Hiroyuki Tsuji, Mastering Ingenieur, King Sekiguchidai Studio Tokyo, Japan
    The unit makes a clear audible difference. What was recorded with the REF10 SE120 radiates now a high-class aura, it sounds more elaborate, more expensive. The spatiality increases to a significant degree.
Professor Ikuo Tsunoda
  • Professor Ikuo Tsunoda, Audio-Kritiker, Japan
    The reduction of phase noise has positive effects on jitter and provides a more realistic sound. With the REF10 SE120, the glossiness, resolution, signal/noise ratio and extended dynamics became more audible. The spatial imaging has increased, too. I feel that even more details of the performance become discernible.
Rajiv Arora
  • Rajiv Arora, Audiophile Style, USA
    The overarching advantage of the REF10 SE120 over its predecessor was one of tighter articulation and focus, or greater coherence and resolution. It all added up to an uptick in realism - a more palpable sense of being there, of instruments sounding more fleshed out and dimensional. To be honest, I was not expecting as big an impact as I heard.
    Rajiv Arora, Audiophile Style, USA
Hoon Cheon
  • Hoon Cheon, Sonic Mastering Studio, Korea
    When I received the newly released REF10 SE120 product, I was very impressed again at the moment of monitoring. The music is delivered more delicately, and the mid, low-end performance has been upgraded to an incredibly high degree. I have no doubt that the REF10 SE120 will play a big role in upgrading my sound to the next level.
Harald Wittig
  • Harald Wittig, FIDELITY, Germany
    This is exactly how digital audio should sound, with all the zeros and ones in perfect formation. All the digitally encoded information was decoded, producing the most wonderful sound quality. The optimized music playback achieved thanks to the expertise and skills demonstrated by the SE120 created a shift in the space-time continuum. When I found myself still sitting in front of the system the following morning, I had enjoyed a full 10 high-res albums and was still wide awake. I tip my hat to the impressive REF10. It`s a prime example of how exceptional engineering can produce top-quality music playback - and turn night into day - at the flick of a switch.
    Download the full review
Kerry Legeard
  • Kerry Legeard, Music First Distribution, Canada
    We at Music First regard the MUTEC digital re-clocking components as indispensable in any digital setup. In the show system we used two MUTEC MC3+USBs each clocked with a MUTEC REF10 120SE in a configuration we like to call The Stack. We still haven’t found a DAC or digital audio source that doesn't benefit from MUTEC components, regardless of design or cost.
Jaap Veenstra
  • Jaap Veenstra,, Netherlands
    Anyone who has a DAC with a 10 MHz clock input or a MUTEC MC3+USB can make a serious upgrade with this. This is, in effect, the ultraclock for an ultradac.
Jules Standen
  • Jules Standen,, UK
    With the REF10 SE120 the improvement was quite dramatic. I can describe it as added glory. [...] With the REF10 SE120 the sound from the speakers didn't just seem to be left and right - there seemed to be a sudden, new dimension, namely - height. It seemed to create a semi circle between the speakers that felt about 4 or 5 feet tall. It was eerie/spooky! [...] So in my listening tests albums like Roxy Music’s Avalon - which have a lot of AMS or Eventide harmonizers in use and very profound reverb - or classical choral albums recorded with a stereo pair of mics in a church, the sound was upgraded. The wide stereo/spatial elements sound more glorious and a byproduct of that is also an eerie, 3D height and aded spatial depth. You could hear the reverb cave in mixes better. It made me want to put some old Frank Sinatra on to hear the Capital Records Studio echo chamber!
    Please note: have changed their name to
    Read the full review
Eric Sabino
  • Eric Sabino,, Philippines
    Out of the box I was blown away by the lack of grain and glare, sense of air around the instruments, resolution, three dimensional soundstage and quiet noise floor. It is a great time to be in our hobby now with all the available choices we have. Our passion for music links us all together to keep on searching and improving our system to bring us closer to the real thing. With the REF10 SE120, realism was taken to another level.
Peter MacTaggart
  • Peter MacTaggart, Switzerland
    Enormous. Unheard to date depth of field and soundstage width. Absolute freedom of grain, ultra-clean presentation. 3D spacial rendering of details and distances vastly enhanced, like never ever. We often cry in front of the system from emotion. This is fully 'analogue' sound - without the analogue worries (wow, flutter, static, scratches, wear, bad channel separation, poisons in manufacturing, etc.). Ultra deep, 'black', silence, total intertransient silence. Unheard bass response. Far out... Thank you, MUTEC!
Markus Bachmann
  • Markus Bachmann, Switzerland
    The upgrade is a fabulous achievement. Whereas the original REF10 was a spatial fileting knife, the REF10 SE120 is a high-precision dissecting knife.
    What impresses me most: even plain old CDs that I stopped listening to because of presumed lack of quality are now a joy to play. They sound unstrained and honest, despite all their shortcomings in terms of performance and recording. Even my old DCS Elgar/Purcell DAC, which I was already considering replacing, now performs at a level not thought possible when synchronized by the MC3+ USB/REF10 SE120 combination. Almost unbelievable. It is a great pleasure to listen to music (even for hours)!
  • MZE, Austria

    Already after powering it up for the first time, there is a clear difference in sound compared to my previous REF10.
    With the REF10 SE120, not only are the low frequencies drawn more precisely in their depth, as can often be read, but in general the whole room with its details comes towards you. You are really immersed in the musical events and have the feeling of being in the middle of the music presentation. Such extreme resolution could not be heard with the REF10.

    My recommendation for those who are in the position to realize this is to play back their piece of music to be tested using a parallel mix. Doing this properly with the highest quality equipment reveals all the vividness that the REF10 SE120 and MC3+USB re-clocker make possible.
Rich M
  • Rich M, USA
    The resolution and holography that the REF10 SE120 brings to my system is quite stunning! Especially how it resolves special and out of phase mixed information to provide a full 180 degree sound field outside of the stereo speakers.
Jean-Luc Emanuelle
  • Jean-Luc Emanuelle, France
    The combination of the SE120 with the MC3+USB gives clearly better results. The summation of a mono signal in a classic stereo speaker configuration sounds as if there was a third one in the middle... You can't hear *any* sound from the left-right any longer. Phase coherence is clearly improved. This test carried out with ATC monitors is very representative of the quality and precision of the conversion, but also of the shaping of the signal. The precision and the localization of the stereo sources are also better with more smoothness and density of the sound mass. Hats off to you guys!
Winfried Berlenbach
  • Winfried Berlenbach, Germany
    Thank you very much for the update. There is a significant and distinct sonic improvement that covers the entire musical spectrum. Congratulations. A great new development that inspires.
Isaac Pérez Marín
  • Isaac Pérez Marín, Spain
    Thank you for your advice on the REF10 SE120! This clock generator has improved the sound of my system quite significantly! I think I can talk here about an improvement of about 25% to 30% over my original system. The bass, musical clarity and depth in my music have been more than considerably improved.
Udo C.
  • Udo C., Germany
    I can only confirm what the reviews and many user comments say. Yes, it is unbelievable how this REF10 SE120 raises the sound to a level previously thought impossible in digital audio reproduction! Congratulations, this is world class!
Guy Zilberman
  • Guy Zilberman, Thailand
    The REF10 SE120 has pushed my system to new heights. The improved sound stage stretches far beyond the speakers, and the instruments within the track are separated further apart, each easily and accurately pinpointed. Another pleasant surprise is the additional details that emerge to the fore with precision and clarity. Low frequencies couldn’t be more defined, and overall lucidity is increased. The economy is there too, as my REF10 SE120 feeds six different devices over its battery of 75 ohm outputs.
Jan Bratbak
  • Jan Bratbak, Norway
    After powering up the REF10 SE120, I let it warm up for about 30 minutes before listening to it. The first thing I noticed was that I had to lower the volume, to get the same sound pressure as without the REF10 SE120. I can’t explain why, but that is what I heard. Then it was obvious that everything got much tighter. Less glare, more room information. Blacker background. Now, this is the first impression. I would have to say that the difference appears to be substantial.
Morten Woxvold Bjønnnes
  • Morten Woxvold Bjønnnes, Norway
    This is probably one of my very best upgrades to my audio system at all. It is difficult to understand how the REF10 SE120 can provide such a great improvement in the sound, but it is very easy to hear. Thank you.
Kevin Tran
  • Kevin Tran, USA
    Congratulations to your team on an amazing design and achievement. The sound quality improvements of my digital system achieved by the REF10 SE120 has been one of the most fascinating and wonderful surprises I've ever experienced in this hobby and believe me I've been through some very expensive components. I don’t think my digital system will ever be without this clock again. It truly is the reference master conductor for my digital system.
Tom Alleman
  • Tom Alleman, USA
    Own one and LOVVVVVVEEEEEE it !!!!. As great as the REF10 was (and I had it also) the first song played thru the REF10 SE120 I knew I had something even more special. Live music in my man cave!
Ikuo Tsunoda
  • Ikuo Tsunoda,
    The most impressive component is its special oscillator, that reaches -120dB/c @1Hz – after having passed through demanding tests. The predecessor REF10 is known already for an extremely low phase noise and the stability of its clock signal provided by a remarkable discrete circuit. Now this update give us an impression of extended space and depth of the sound. It also sharpens the start of every single note. The REF10 SE120 can realize precisely how the musician does perform.
Beat Brüderlin
  • Beat Brüderlin, Germany
    With the REF10 SE120 everything sounds noticeably more detailed (a little brighter) and at the same time finer (smoother), more dynamic, more spatial. Overall, it all sounds much more real (almost tangible). I would not have expected that. What is astonishing is that with a jitter of almost -120 dB already, further improvements are still perceptible. Otherwise I would have assumed that the regular REF10 was already an overkill in terms of human perception. In my view this is therefore refuted. With the REF10 SE120 you may now have a new reference for evaluating the jitter sensitivity of the human hearing.
Detlef Bidu
  • Detlef Bidu, Germany
    It sounds exceptionally good with the REF10 SE120!
Jan Modig
  • Jan Modig, Sweden
    I have now been using the REF10 SE120 for a month now. It really started to shine after around three weeks of burn in and with constant power on. Wow! The REF10 SE120 must be counted as the best investment so far in my rig. I wasn't expecting the stunning performance I have got now. The definition of instruments, voices, their placing in the room, the rooms size, micro details. A complete new level of realm and effortlessness. The bass is now free from any boomyness. I use all dipole speakers, Quad ESL's with Gradient subwoofers. The sound is now pure realism. The REF10 SE120 is contributing with a performance lift far beyond what I could imagine. Thanks MUTEC for such a great product!
Frédéric Laglaive
  • Frédéric Laglaive, Your System Is Fantastic, France
    I listened to my upgraded REF10 and the result is amazing: the separation between instruments, harmonic richness and spatialization are much better than before. Of course, the more complex the music is (like with orchestral pieces), the more clearly audible the improvement is. Well done!
Bill Newman
  • Bill Newman, USA
    I want to thank you all at MUTEC for that product! I have made a serious investment in my audio system and the REF10 SE120 is likewise a significant investment and I can say for me it was certainly a very good choice. When we are at the high end spectrum of audio sometimes we make significant investments to gain an incremental advance in sound quality. In the case with the REF10 SE120, my sound quality has made a great leap forward ... much more than an incremental improvement!
Dr. Albert Uy
  • Dr. Albert Uy, Philippines
    The reference clock increased the depth and width of soundstage. I really like the lateral sound on the back of speaker and lateral in front of the speaker, rendering the whole soundstage more believable like live music because of the quiet noise floor. More minute sound can be heard and the old music become new to me. Even the ambience which is the fortitude of my music room is enhanced. The mid bass and low bass are also more tonal in quality. Great piece of equipment indeed!
Daniel Steinert
  • Daniel Steinert, Habst Kabelmanufaktur, Germany
    I didn't thought that the difference to my old REF10 would be so huge. A real blast!
Aldo Arrastia
  • Aldo Arrastia, USA
    Resolution is impeccable with improved clarity and resolution. I’m once again enjoying all of my music library as if I’m listening to brand new albums. An incredible and gratifying experience!


Review Review Review
Review Logo REF10 SE120 Info Sheet
Manual REF10 SE120 black/white front REF10 SE120 black/white back
REF10 SE120 black/white left REF10 SE120 black/white right REF10 SE120 black/black front
REF10 SE120 black/black left REF10 SE120 black/black right REF10 SE120 aluminium/white front
REF10 SE120 aluminium/white left REF10 SE120 aluminium/white right REF10 SE120 MC_3+USB black/white
REF10 SE120 MC_3+USB black/black REF10 SE120 MC-3Plus context I REF10 SE120 MC-3Plus context II
REF10 SE120 MC-3Plus context III


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  • Ultimate audiophile performance enhancement for compatible DACs, master clocks and re‑clockers by any other brand
  • Ultra‑low noise high stability clock reference for the entire digital audio chain at home or in the studio
  • Ideal high‑end upgrade for MUTEC’s own MC‑3+, MC‑3+USB, and iClock/iClock dp master clocks
  • Stabilization of existing audio video clock generators

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