Reviewers: Marja & Henk
Financial interests: click here
Sources: PS Audio PWT; Dr. Feickert Blackbird MKII/DFA 1o5/Zu DL-103; Phasure XX-PC;
DAC: Phasure NOS1 DAC; PS Audio Direct Stream DAC [loaner]; Pink Faun DAC 2.32 [in for review]
Streaming sources: XXHighEnd; iTunes; Devialet AIR; La Rosita Beta; Qobuz Desktop,; Pink Faun AV Streamer [in for review]
Preamp/integrated/power: Audio Note Meishu with WE 300B (or AVVT, JJ, KR Audio 300B output tubes); dual Devialet D-Premier; Hypex Ncore 1200 based monoblocks; Trafomatic Kaivalya; Trafomatic Reference One; Trafomatic Reference Phono One; Music First Passive Magnetic;
Speakers: Avantgarde Acoustic Duo Omega; Arcadian Audio Pnoe; Podium Sound One; WLM Sub 12; Sounddeco Alpha F3; dual Zu Submission MKI; Soltanus Virtuoso ESL
Cables: complete loom of ASI LiveLine cables; full loom of Crystal Cable cables; full loom of Nanotec Golden Strada; Audiomica Pearl Consequence interconnect; Audiomica Pebble Consequence; PTP Audio Blok20 [in for review];
Power line conditioning: PS Audio Powerplant Premier; PS Audio Humbuster III; IsoTek Evo 3 Syncro; AudioMica Allbit Consequence
Equipment racks: Solid Tech and ASI amplifier and TT shelf
Indispensable accessories: Furutech DeMag; ClearAudio Double Matrix; Franc Audio Ceramic Disc Classic; Shakti Stones; Akiko Audio sticks; Kemp polarity checker
Online Music purveyors:,, 
Room treatment: Acoustic System International resonators, sugar cubes, diffusers
Room size: ca. 14.50 x 7.50m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls, wooden flooring upstairs, ca 7 x 5m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls and concrete floor downstairs.
Review component pricing: €2’350; €190 per adapters (pricing ex VAT)

The board inside the box.

As it does so often—hey, ours is an Internet publication—it all started off with a surprise email. "Dear Mr. Ebaen, we are a company developing high-quality 12/19V linear power supplies for multiple devices. Our latest product is the S922 sdr reclocker which exceeded all our expectations. It is possible to send a unit for a first review? If so, what needs to happen? Best regards." This was signed Joao Gracio. I heard echoes of bossa nova. Yet the actual email addy spelled it Jon Guest. Nowhere on the website did it give a physical address. I was afloat between Brazil, Portugal and potentially everywhere else. Limbo city. Not that it mattered. In today's interconnected world with so many competing shipping companies—FedEx, UPS, TNT, DHL, Schenker & Co. all know our flat real well—living where you want to live whilst enjoying access to most everything is the name of the 21st century game. So are web shops. They circumvent the entire pain of multi-tiered profit margins, middle men and limited distribution. To offset the buy-blind risk, I saw a 15-day satisfaction guarantee on Qualia Physic's legal page. Swell.

Why would you even want/need their reclocker? Isn't all of that taken care of already by today's digital gear? A flip but true repartee would probably say that the better your source/DAC, the lower your neediness. EJ Sarmento's inexpensive Remedy under his Wyred4Sound brand had previously convinced me. A source as sputtery as the classic 160GB iPod, tapped via a digital dock of lesser excellence, is one of those inferior sources which respond with a thank you to external precision reclocking before even a high-quality DAC takes over. Once converters duded out with Femto clocks preceded by an Esoteric transport enter the frame, the li'l Remedy's contributions could disappear below the event horizon. How about using a PC/Mac as digital transports? Their haters call those multi-taskers devil's spawn which produce very high self noise and jitter. Their usual remedy is an audiophile computer called a dedicated server. It tends to use a very downstripped OS, linear not switching supplies, better clocks and special addresses to minimize self noise. Could a standard iMac be the perfect needer of a reclocker? Popular propaganda for the ESS Sabre chips would have us believe that they're practically immune to incoming signal jitter. Yet personal experiments with digitally tapped iPods and Sabre-fitted DACs had shown some of the latter to suffer ticks and drop-outs. Not all is at it seems on said front. Much of it is simply above my pay grade and need to know. What I do know? No computer is fitted with BNC or AES/EBU. It'd take yet another box like Audiobyte's Hydra+ to first convert USB to AES/EBU before today's box could even be used with a USB source. That'd be a lot of offboarding and serialized box-ing; far too much for my own sense of keeping the peace of keeping it simple of keeping it minimal of... you get the idea. Plus, it still remains a bit of a head twister that a superior clock followed by what we assume to be an inferior clock (in your DAC; and if it were superior, why would you bother adding one in front of it) should be efficacious. It's not as though you'd replace the inferior clock. It remains in the signal path. Is clocking the same signal more than once the ticket?

With the box set up with AES/EBU i/o exclusively, a BNC user will order these custom adaptors.

I do appreciate that recording studios create common scenarios where multiple digital gear must be sync'd to one master clock. Here the external clock notion becomes most lucid. For home hifi purposes, I'd long ago experimented with Esoteric's Rubidium clock leashed to one of their one-box players. I'd then not perceived any benefits. However, once we split transport/server and converter into two to involve an externally cabled digital link/transmission, one opens doors to possible interferences. A reclocker might just iron those out to make life easier on the DAC which thus works better? At least so my country-bumpkin attempt at a rationale speculated. To get all pretentious and big-word tekkie, I'd need help from real engineers, in this case team Qualia Physic. I'd send Joao the above and petition him to let 'er rip, also on some company background and who they are. That's called delegating because you feel on very thin ice. Crack! I also told him that I no longer did CD. I had no legacy transport on hand. I could only test their device off my iMac via Audiobyte's Hydra+. That Romanian D/D converter applies reclocking by FPGA and Femto clock to possibly make their own box redundant and ineffective. Or, I had a digital iPod dock with AES/EBU output.

Prototype experiments

If Joao was keen on a traditional setup, Marja & Henk with their PS Audio PerfectWave digital separates would have to do the honours instead; or could organize a second opinion to mine. His choice. He asked for Marja & Henk who had the same questions. "We're still puzzling over what the benefit will be to have a clock preceding another clock. The DAC already reclocks the incoming signal. Consider us daft but this magical device would only work if our DAC were clockless." Triple crack! What I wanted to learn just before signing off to get out of limbo and more grounded? Retail price and what country Qualia Physic were based out of. On behalf of our two Dutchies however who were still mulling over whether to accept the assignment in the first place, I asked Joao to also explain why multiple clocks in series were a potentially good thing if one couldn't replace an inferior clock with a better one (which would require an external clock-link port which Marja & Henk's DAC didn't have).

"Qualia Physic are a Portuguese company focussed on high-end hand-made product. Our first main market are high-quality linear power supplies for professional video broadcasting systems and post-production facilities. Our team has several years of experience in professional video which started at Panasonic Broadcast and later expanded into high-end audio and power supplies with proprietary topologies and technologies. Our products use hand-picked components sourced globally. All designs are our own, cases and electronics alike. The final price for the S922sdr isn't fixed yet but will be very soon. An external power supply will be included with the reclocker." On serial not killing but clocking, "the aim is to reduce jitter to the minimum possible at the DAC's input so there is superior D/A conversion performance. The function of the S922 sdr is to recover the error signal from the time base in real time, without any delay or FIFO. The clock generator follows the basic concept of the Clockcleaner™ which has the advantage of being very precise, exhibiting a very low error margin." Seeing how their prior exposure was in pro, I asked about consumer experience. "The final tests we're currently conducting is a set of Aurender W20 and dCS Paganini DAC with/without external clock. As soon as the results come in, we will inform you." M&H were sufficiently intrigued to sign on before that. "Never too old to learn something new" is how they put it. And so it was...