Dumber did come to pass. I could't hear any difference vs the D300Pro, certainly no improvement. My wallet was safe. Out went the super not knee-capped flagship transport, in its lesser D100Pro mate. Whilst still rather faint, now I could hear the familiar effects already described. They were simply rather less than what Gaia slaved to T+ does downstairs. If you asked me to judge this dose upstairs, I'd invoke trace minerals to skip the earlier denizens of the pond. One must really pay attention and enjoy doing so.

For my own sensibilities—I don't consider myself a cynic, just toughened by reality—I still didn't think this effort entirely worthwhile. It wasn't even about gilding the lily, just dusting off its precarious anthers. For one G, I'd want the whole lily. You might too. Next. Time for Avatar's 41.1kHz clock input.

Avatar Plus. To leave us on a high note—just spare me a warbling soprano's high C—I'll spare you the downstairs detour whereby reclocking Gaia with T+ beat up reclocking Gaia with Terra. Alvin Chee had called it. The real extra-terra stuff happened for the Denafrips CD spinner. Now I was 'on dose' so on familiar turf. This played in a higher octave than how the already elevated SD transports had reacted. Now I was on a legitimate upgrade path. To be sure, it's still secondary to first isolating a DAC's USB feed via bridge. In a PC/streaming scheme, the external (or built-in) bridge is key. Once in place, our digital planet is ready for final terraforming. With an Avatar-type legacy transport, there's no computer. There's no router backdoor which opens worldwide to the web. Now a superior external clock usurping metronome duties from the transport's own clock can make a nice difference. No bridge is required. This held true also for CanEver's solid-state converter despite its 'Hyperstream' anti-jitter processing.

You already know what the gain was: an extra lock on image specificity. Particularly on good recordings, it also added a few extra clicks of front-to-back distinctiveness. That played to how most people understand higher resolution once we're beyond hearing detail we never heard before. That's still more basic. With a masterclock, we don't hear more stuff. The raw stuff is exactly the same. It's simply a bit… keener? I prefer higher suchness but if that's too New Age or Zen for you, keener or more sorted will do.

Terra. Keener. More sorted. In the Denafrips universe, this device aims not at the Terminators but Ares, Pontus and Venus. Via already the entry-level Iris USB bridge, it bolts on the extra reclocking of their two flagship converters. As we saw, Avatar too makes a terrific Terra candidate and particularly at digital's base rates of 44.1 and 48kHz, there must be others. In the right context then, Mr. Zhao's affordable new masterclock is an effective little add on and final polishing agent. It's amazing how comprehensive this catalogue from mainland China has grown: two preamps, two amplifiers, a headphone amplifier, a CD transport, five D/A converters, three D/D converters and now a master clock. Mr. Zhao's team clearly doesn't lack for ambition or talent. Respect!