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Paganini Master Clock

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Clocking is vitally important in any digital audio system because timing errors that occur in the DAC will be converted directly into errors in the analogue output. dCS DACs can act as the system master clock, but listening tests have shown that there is no substitute for a high-quality, dedicated master clock.

Used as part of the Paganini digital audio playback system, it improves on an already spectacular sound and takes it into an entirely new domain. With a clock added to a dCS system images snap into sharper focus and the music displays a substantially greater sense of authority and power as well as offering noticeably higher resolution of detail.

Paganini Master Clock is based on our professional studio master clocks and the classic Verona clock. All dCS Master Clocks are subjected to rigorous in-house testing and the crystal oscillators are pre-aged and selected for long term stability.

An asynchronous USB input is now fitted which allows high resolution audio to be played from a computer. In this mode it synchronises the audio by providing a feedback pipe to the PC or Mac. The computer’s audio stream is effectively clocked by the Master Clock for dramatically lower jitter. Clock frequency is automatically switched to suit the incoming audio stream, resulting in extremely accurate performance.

dCS equipment is designed to generate and accept industry-standard Word Clock on 75 ohm coaxial cable. Other manufacturers’ equipment designed to accept standard Word Clock can be used with our clocks. Non-standard clock formats must be assumed to be proprietary to that manufacturer.

Key Features

  • Powerful yet simple to use Grade 1 master clock with additional USB-S/PDIF conversion based on our pioneering developments in studio and home audio.
  • Six Word Clock outputs and one S/PDIF output for transmitting high resolution audio at up to 24-bit, 192kS/s.
  • All dCS products use a sophisticated multi-mode Phase-Locked-Loop (PLL) which significantly reduces clock jitter.
  • Improved power supplies give lower running temperature and superior tolerance to AC supply variations.
  • Aerospace-grade aluminium chassis and laminated acoustic damping panels reduce magnetic effects and vibration.
  • Low-power LC display makes the user interface easier to read, keeps power requirements down and minimises electrical noise.
  • ‘Soft’ approach to programmable logic allows new software to be loaded from a dCS update CD to add new features and adapt to changes in digital formats.


Technical Specifications

  • type

    Class 1 Master Clock.

  • clock frequencies

    44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96kHz.

  • colour

    Silver or Black.

  • dimensions

    460mm/18.1” x 400mm/15.8” x 110 mm/4.4”. Allow extra depth for cable connectors.

  • weight


  • clock accuracy

    Better than +/-1ppm when shipped (guaranteed for 12 months from shipping). Typically +/-0.1ppm when shipped and stabilised.

  • digital inputs

    External Reference Input on 1x 75Ω BNC connector. Accepts Word Clock (with the Coupling menu page set to TTL) or AC coupled signals (with the Coupling menu page set to Bipolar) at 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 1MHz, 5MHz & 10MHz. Lock range is +/-300ppm. 1 x USB 2.0 interface on Type B connector.

  • Wordclock I/Oworldclock inputs

    6x Word Clock outputs, independently buffered, may be set to 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96kHz*.

  • digital outputs

    1x SPDIF on RCA Phono, carrying data from the USB input.

  • file formats

    Packetised PCM at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 176.4 & 192kS/s.

  • startup time

    Typically 1 minute to rated accuracy.

  • operating systems

    Tested on Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OSX. Operates in “Audio Class” mode. Class 1 mode (limited to 96kS/s) is available and does not require special drivers to be installed. Class 2 mode requires the dCS drivers (supplied) to be installed on Windows PCs. Not required on OSX 10.6.3 or later.

  • software updates

    Loaded from CD via reference input or PC via USB input.

  • local control

    dCS Premium remote control provided with Paganini Transport or RS232.

  • power supply

    Factory set for 100, 115, 220 or 230V AC, 49-62Hz.

  • power consumption

    11 watts typical/13 watts maximum.


  • image 1

    HiFi+ Rossini MQA Update 2018

    Review by Chris Thomas

  • image 1

    Digital Supremacy – dCS Paganini Digital Playback System

    Tone Audio,  No.33 November 2010

    Review by Jeff Dorgay

  • image 1

    Upsizing – dCS Paganini Digital Playback System

    HiFi World, April 2010

    Review by David Price

  • image 1

    Ring Tone – dCS Paganini DAC

    HiFi World, October 2009

    Review by David Price



This is the support section for dCS Paganini Digital Playback Syetem.   If you cannot find what you need please try the top menu Support section or Contact Us.

  • Windows USB Class 2 Driver 2018

    Compatible with Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7.

  • Quick Start Guide – dCS Paganini Digital Playback System

  • Product Datasheet – Paganini CD/SACD Transport

  • Product Datasheet – Paganini Master Clock

  • Product Datasheet – Paganini Upsampler

  • Product Datasheet – Paganini DAC

  • User Manual – Paganini CD/SACD Transport v1.1x

  • User Manual – Paganini Master Clock

    Software v2.0x. This applies to units with serial numbers starting with PCP.

  • User Manual – Paganini Upsampler v1.2x

  • User Manual – Paganini DAC v1.3x

  • Remote Control Codes

    Last updated 11 Feb 2016.



    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      HiFi World – Digital Source of the Year 2009

      Dec 2009

    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      Stereo Sound Japan – Grand Prix 2008

      Dec 2008