Empirical Audio's Pace-Car

Empirical Audio's Pace-Car Reclocker ($1100—2300, depending on number of clocks installed) is designed to reduce the jitter of any source to "inaudible levels." Empirical's Steve Nugent said the device is primarily intended for USB, WiFi, and network devices such as the Sonos and Squeezebox. "The pace-Car is inserted between source and DAC, it can either provide a master clock to the source or accept the source's data stream and 'bracket' the rate of the stream. No modifications to the source are required."

The Pace-Car uses a FIFO-buffer to store the streaming data. The clock that reads into the buffer is completely independent of the clock that reads the the data out of the buffer. The data is not modified in any way (as is common in reclockers). The Pace-Car's output can be driven by a low-jitter monolithic clock, an Audiocom Superclock4, or an Audiocom Ultraclock.

The Pace-Car is modular, so it can have inputs for S/PDIF coax, AES/EBU, Toslink, or Empirical I2S. Outputs can be S/PDIF, AES/EBU, or I2S. I2S has the lowest jitter because it has separate clock and data streams.

We noticed that the Pace-Car only listed 44.1kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz. No 88.2kHz? Nugent said, "Who even uses that?"

"Now that you can download 24-bit 88.2kHz files from Linn and a few other online sources, maybe a lot of people," we said.

"It's modular. I can add 88.2kHz and silkscreen a new faceplate. That's the beauty of bespoke audio."