Empirical Audio

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Empirical Audio Synchro-Mesh

The Synchro-Mesh provides a method to improve the sound quality of virtually any 2-channel digital audio source without needing modifications to the source device. It inserts between the source device and the DAC, SS processor or SS Receiver. An additional digital cable is required.

Devices that can benefit from this include:

  • Squeezebox, all versions
  • Sonos
  • CD Transports
  • Apple TV
  • Music Servers
  • AirPort Express
  • Mac computers with Toslink output
  • PCs with S/PDIF or Toslink output
  • iPod/Wadia iTransport
  • PC PCI cards

Audio quality is improved by reclocking or logically replacing the source clock with the clock inside the Synchro-Mesh. This clock has lower jitter than most source devices, so the result is a improved clarity, imaging, dynamics and bass impact.

Without Empirical reclocking we get a sound that’s comparatively dead behind the eyes. It walks like a zombie … It’s not just a nice-to-have addendum but a near must for serious furrowed-brow Squeezebox and Sonos owners.

John Darko, 6-Moons, May 2012

In order for the Synchro-Mesh to reclock these digital devices, it performs what is called Asynchronous Sample-Rate Conversion or “ASRC”. This means that the Synchro-Mesh re-samples the data-stream and outputs only one sample-rate. This output sample-rate can be specified at the time of ordering to be either 44.1 or 96. If you input 192 or 44.1 files to the SM, and it is set for 96, then it will always output 96, either down-sampling or up-sampling. If you input 96 to the same SM, it will output 96, but it will not be bit-perfect since it is resampled.

Typically, we recommend 96 output because most DAC digital filters for 96 sound better than the filter for 44.1. If you have an older NOS DAC that only takes 16-bit data, then 44.1 output is more compatible.

The Synchro-Mesh is essentially plug-and-play, however you can set the bit depth to 16-bit or 24-bit using a front-panel toggle. 24-bit is generally better for most DACs, but older DACs may only be compatible with 16-bit data.

It sits in my system between the SONOS as a source and the REGA DAC.
The difference it makes is rather astonishing.

JREM, May 2012

What configuration to choose

OTL option (Output TransformerLess)
This option affects the S/PDIF output only. The OTL option reduces jitter at least 50% from the standard Off-Ramp 5 by removing the transformer for the S/PDIF output and changing some associated circuitry. If you have a DAC that already has a transformer on the S/PDIF input (galvanically isolated from ground), then this is an attractive option for you. It is unneccesary to have 2 transformers in series and one at the DAC input is more optimal than one at the Off-Ramp 5.

Dynamo power supply upgrade
The Dynamo power supply is an upgrade for the standard AC adapter "wall-wart" that comes with the Synchro-Mesh. The Dynamo is a linear supply with Hynes regulation that is optimized for the Synchro-Mesh. The cabinetry matches the Synchro-Mesh, so it can be placed underneath or to the side. It comes with an umbilical cable to connect to the Synchro-Mesh. Customers have reported improved dynamics, more detail, better transparency and a greater sense of ease when using this supply with the Synchro-Mesh. "A great value". Use the configuration pull-down menu to add the Dynamo power supply to your order.

BNC-BNC 4-foot cable option
This is a 75 ohm low-loss cable that Empirical Audio makes. It has true 75 ohm BNC connectors. The 75 ohm coax cable contains a center pure silver conductor and silver-plated copper shield over foil. The dielectric is expanded Teflon. We recommend this cable to go with the OTL option. The BNC-BNC cable comes with two 75 ohm RCA adapters so you can connect to any S/PDIF coax connector.


Pace-Car User ManualDownload User Manual


  1. Toslink
  2. RCA
  3. BNC

(only one of RCA or BNC can be used at one time)


  1. Toslink
  2. RCA
  3. BNC

(only one of RCA or BNC can be used at one time)


  1. Input select - Toslink or S/PDIF (BNC or RCA)
  2. Bit depth - 16 or 24-bit


  1. Synchro-Mesh
  2. 12VDC AC Adapter

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Call Empirical Audio today to discuss your needs.
(541) 595-1001 - 10:00am to 6:00pm Pacific Time