Esoteric N-05XD clock recommendation

Hello all,

I'm very excited to be getting next week an Esoteric N-05XD. When I auditioned it it was connected to a Master clock which convinced me that having one really enhances the sound. The only issue is that the master clock that was used (Soulnote X3) is not available to buy in the US. So I've been trying to read up on other clocks I could add to the N-05XD. My budget is not unlimited, so I've narrowed it down to a few options:

- Esoteric G02/G02X or second hand Esoteric G01
- Mutec Ref10
- Cybershaft (not sure which one)

Out of all of these, which would you say is the best for the N-05XD? And if it's the Cybershaft, which model would be most suitable?

Or maybe there's another model in a similar price range I haven't considered?



Hi @txenakis

Congrats on the N-05XD. I've been considering one for some time. Cybershaft OP21A would be a great choice, as claimed by some esoteric owners. Albeit with a long wait period after placing an order, and is expensive too. I also saw some esoteric owners claiming very good results with a Teac CG-10M. After dark also makes clocks for esoteric and Dcs. But iam not familiar with their range. You basically need a 50 ohm / 10 mhz clock ( dcs is 75 ohm / 10 mhz so won't work).


I also read that with external clocks, the three below points are important :


1. Keeping the clock always on for thermal stability and accuracy. The teac displays the oven temp on its vu meter, to show when the clock has reached optimum temperature.

2. Isolation from vibrations. So a damping stand or isolators might be a good addition. I've read that for micro vibrations at such low level, isolators with isolation balls of carbide or germanium work well. There are some from the usual companies. 

3. Decent to good quality 50 ohm cabling.


On a different question, will you be streaming via ethernet or from a streamer. Anyways, it may be a good idea to get a clock with multiple outputs to sync your network switch, transport etc. Network optimisation is the current area of focus. And clocking plays a part. For that reason alone I would choose the teac over the cybershaft. All the best 😁

I use the Teac CG-10M with a 05XD and it definitely improves the sound. I have not compared other clocks though

Interested in what you discover...

I'm considering the TEAC CG-10M for my TEAC UD-701N, myself.   I can home demo from my dealer, so no risk involved.  I'd be using the internal TEAC streamer.

A gent from another thread indicated the CG-10M was a nice improvement.

Anybody have cable recommendations?  Doesn't look like the TEAC even comes with a freebie.


Just pinged to check if your goodselves have received your N-05XD. And how are you finding it so far. Thanks


I did get the N-05XD, as well as a Mutec REF10 SE120 master clock and high end BNC cables. I posted my thoughts in another forum here's a copy/paste:

I replaced a Holo May KE with this, and while I loved the May and thought I would not get another amp after it, I recently got a Viva Egoista amp and I wanted to see if I could try a DAC that was truly worthy of this beastly amp. Esoteric is not a famous brand in the West but in Asia it’s very well known. They make some very expensive gear, actually the Esoteric, while not cheap, is kind of at the lowest end of their chain. But that doesn’t mean they cut corners on it. It actually uses a lot of similar or identical components (DAC, preamp, streamer etc) from its more expansive brothers.

So, the important question, how does it sound? In a word, flawless. While i thought and still think the May is really special, this is leagues better IMO. By comparison, the May was more relaxed but that could also come across as slight softness. And as impressive as the May was with soundstage and sound placement, this takes it to a whole other level, while never sounding too technical or fatiguing. It’s extremely easy to listen to, but at the same time technically it’s very proficient and is not lacking in anything.

Its streamer (developed with Lumin) is top notch, the preamp is among the best I’ve heard, and the HP out, while obviously not as powerful as my Viva for something like the Susvaras, it’s surprisingly capable especially for easier to drive HPs. Finally the company is really keeping the unit up to date with firmware updates, they recently added Roon-ready, and now even a Roon RAAT mode which sounds better.

So, while again I realize this is not a cheap unit, I feel that the quality of all its parts and functions make the price somewhat reasonable. If you have to pay for a top notch DAC, a streamer, a preamp and a good HP amp, you’re likely to pay as much if not more than this, without the convenience of one beautifully made unit that has it all.

And mind you, this was before i added the clock, which made it sound even better (more cohesive, much better instrument spatialization). So it's definitely in my all time favorite list of DACs and would recommend it to anyone who's looking for an awesome all in one or even just a top DAC.

PS That said, I'm always looking to try new DAC flavors. So, if anyone is interested in buying this top-notch source chain (N-05XD, Mutec clock, Etherregen w/Farad PSU and BNC cables) feel free to pm me :)

Thanks a ton for sharing your impressions @txenakis . Much appreciated sir. Ive been considering the N-05XD for some time now. The other two contendors are the Holo May KTE and the T+A Dac200. There is no dealer for any of them where I live. So it has to be a blind buy. So Iam trying to gather as much information as I can from other's user experiences. The Lampizator Baltic 4 is yet another new contender. But iam currently swaying towards the Esoteric, as Iam very impressed with their build, engineering and quality. I have a K-01 which is 10 years old now, and still never skips a beat. 


Did I try the TEAC CG-10M?

Yes indeed...brought it home for demo and it sold me right away.  I've had it in the system with the TEAC UD-701N since early APR 23 and have been enjoying digital stuff more than I ever have.  (Qobuz has grown on me, too.).  Currently using just a $50 50-ohm cable (18") I demo'ed hurry to upgrade that.  TEAC has their act together on these things.

Some more info from another thread:

"The (CG-10M) improvement is very clear and discernable with everything I’m checking out (presence, spaciousness, transient response, and bass articulation).  I was anticipating it would not change much and I was way off.  It’s a keeper for me…very nice upgrade for a relatively modest cost."