Glossary definition of 'CleverClox'A sophisticated digital re-clocking system designed to remove jitter from any reference sync source before it is used as a conversion timebase, so as to eliminate any audible effects of sampling jitter.
CleverClox is a trademark of Prism Media Products Ltd.
Most analogue interfaces can provide workmanlike performance when internally clocked, since this is only a matter of providing a stable clock oscillator (or range of oscillators) at a fixed frequency (or frequencies) – although even this is not always well-executed. The real problem is that in many installations the analogue interfaces can almost never operate from their own internal clocks since they must be slaved to an external reference sync, or maybe to a clock from a host computer.
The externally-clocked design challenge has traditionally been a trade-off since the more stable a clock oscillator is, the less is its range of frequency adjustment: but we would ideally like an oscillator which can operate over a wide range of sample rates, perhaps from <44.1kHz to >48kHz, plus multiples thereof. But such an oscillator would inevitably have poor stability – at least in terms of the stringent requirements for high-quality audio conversion. On the other hand, if we limit the range of rates at which the oscillator needs to operate to small ‘islands’ around the standard sample rates we could use a bank of oscillators, selecting the appropriate oscillator according to our desired sample rate. But this is expensive and, in any case, the 'pull-range' of an ordinary quartz crystal oscillator is still generally insufficient to meet the tolerance demands of the digital audio interfacing standards.
As well as a very stable clock oscillator, a good sounding converter must have a PLL (phase-locked loop) with a loop-filter which steeply attenuates incoming reference jitter towards higher frequencies. Unfortunately, even if sourcing equipment provides a reference clock with low jitter, cabling always adds unacceptable amounts, especially poor quality or high-capacitance cable, which results directly in sampling jitter in the analogue interface if jitter-filtering is inadequate.
Prism Sound's unique CleverClox technology breaks these traditional constraints, allowing a low jitter clock to be re-created from any reference sync, no matter how much jitter it has and no matter what its frequency. Jitter is removed down to sub-sonic frequencies, without the need for a narrow-band quartz VCO. CleverClox can adapt to any reference, irrespective of frequency, and regardless of how much jitter it has, derives an ultra-stable conversion timebase.