For Gustard R26...which bang for the buck: DDC or LHY OCK clock?

I've been enjoying this dac for several months now. I have tried USB and COAX and now I2S.

There is a noticeable improvement in each of these inputs. I have read many of the discussions here regarding both DDC and external clocks. I am wondering which of these would give more bang for the buck. The Gustard goes very well with my tube amps.

I am considering the LHY OCK 1 or 2 for clocks and undecided for the DDC.


Looks there are all sold out on Amazon for the time being.

I will explore it in the meantime. Thanks for the tip.


The ock1 was ineffective with my Audio GD DI-20he

Have heard good things about the Leo Bodnar reference.

I know some who have let their DDC go and use the Leo Bodnar clock straight into their Gustard R26 or A26 to good effect. 

I am looking at the Leo Bodnar...modest price is good. I don't see

any i2s connection. also, I have a MacBook Pro and all I can see in their

illustrations are guides for Windows. Otherwise, I wouldn't mind trying

one of these.

The Leo bodnar is a clock….not a ddc. It doesn’t have any audio inputs or outputs….it has a coax antenna input and 2 bnc clock outputs



thanks, I just actually figured this out...moving on with my search.


I have an Audio GD DI-20HE DDC. Highly recommend.

Will also try a Leo Bodnar clock in a month or two.

Or stick to USB line conditioner with reclocker. 

1. innous phoenix USB reclocker 

2. iFi iPurifier3 + iFi iDefender 5v power 



@peareye I've had the R26, the Ock-1, Zen Stream, U18 & SU6 for 6 months, and more recently got the Ock-2 and LHY SW-8 switch.

The Ock-2 is a clear step up over the Ock-1, in resolution and refinement, though the Ock-1 is warmer, smoother and perhaps more forgiving of average sources as a result. Still, the OCK-2 is the new incumbent.

My DDCs and Zen have been collecting dust for a while now TBC, I much prefer Roon/HQP via the R26's internal renderer... particularly since I've progressively improved my upstream network path. I do dust the DDCs off every now and then to recheck with new USB or power cables for eg, but there's no question in my system the internal streamer remains so much more musically engaging - more dynamic, weighty and resolving with a broader, deeper and taller soundstage and a calmer background. 

So for the R26 rather than DDCs I'd recommend an OCK-2 and a good switch like the LHY or Fibre Media convertors. 

@soix Yes i2S - a Blue Jeans Cables FE cable which although very well regarded up to say the $200 range I is likely a limiting factor vs say a Tubulus Argentus, which would cost as much again as a DDC which I’m not in a hurry to do. USB cable is an also highly rated if a bit more boutique but well priced Gothic Audio Semperfi Outsider pure silver.

@kereru How long is the Belden cable?  I’m using a cheap Monoprice HDMI cable that is only 6” in length and getting surprisingly great sound.  As you undoubtedly know, cable length is critical for i2S as it was designed as an internal connection inside pro audio components so the signal degrades quickly with cable length and most people who know more than I recommend 1 foot or less, which is why I went with a 6” cable and maybe a big reason why I’m experiencing such great sound.  I’ve also heard some people say they don’t notice much difference upgrading to a more expensive HDMI cable, which is why I’m like you and in no hurry to upgrade my current cable. If you’ve been using a longer cable and might like to try what I’m using it only costs $5.50 so what the heck?

@soix - I bought two BJC Belden FEs - a 1ft and a 2ft, TBH have only been using the 2ft one for convenience as the 1ft would be a pain. That said I'll have to give the 1ft one a go.

I've read conflicting things re optimal cable length for digital cables, though expect it depends very much on the application. The main variable I've found for clock cables at least of which I've tried five is cable quality (conductor, shielding and termination quality) rather than length per se.

I should clarify the sound via U18 via I2S gives a very good sound too, it's just that the internal renderer is even better - the differences are probably very subtle to a casual listener. They both sound great, but to me the LAN is satisfyingly better.


I am waiting for a reply from LHY as to which OCK would suit my system better. I sent in my list of equipment in my system as they requested to determine which clock (in their opinion) they would recommend. 

I am new to this part of digital and am asking what part does the switch play in the signal path. I really do prefer to use YouTube off the MacBook Pro as I like going down the rabbit hole to look for new music including a lot of covers by various unknowns. 


I've read conflicting things re optimal cable length for digital cables, though expect it depends very much on the application. The main variable I've found for clock cables at least of which I've tried five is cable quality (conductor, shielding and termination quality) rather than length per se.

@kereru Clock or other digital cables are not the same as HDMI cables for i2S as per my last post.  For example, a digital interconnect is best at 1.5m, whereas that would kill an i2S signal.  The i2S signal is a different animal entirely and extremely sensitive to cable length.  Try the 1 foot cable and see what you think, or try the 6” cable I linked above for only $5.50.  Interested in your thoughts. 

I just got the LHY OCK-2 yesterday.  I am using it with the R26 with the Sine wave output and 50 ohm cable and with the EtherREGEN with the Square wave output and a 75 ohm cable.  It is still early but I am blown away by what a significant difference the OCK-2 is making.  There are greater dynamics as well as a sense of air and separation and better placement in the soundstage. The top end is also more pronounced and detailed. Obviously, I am still in the honeymoon period and perhaps I'll find the greater level of detail fatiguing but right now I am loving it.  

@pinwa Awesome - welcome to the club! Your observations of the character of differences are consistent with mine and other users of master clocks. I find that far from being fatiguing it is less so as notes are more accurately (and naturally) rendered, losing some artificially etched edges and glare.

What brand / model cables are you using?

After doing some further exploring, I am strongly leaning to 

a good DDC to an LHY OCK-2 and a DH Labs Silver Sonic 2.1

cable to connect the clock to the Gustard R26.


@peareye Given your clarification that you predominantly listen to YT off your MacBook I agree that a USB based connection is what you'll need to use so considering DDCs to help optimise it makes sense. 

Reason being, as notwithstanding my preference for the sonics of the R26 LAN input/renderer, the R26 doesn't support any LAN streaming protocol I'm aware of that'd support YT audio. Happy to be corrected here if there's a workaround way to pipe it via UPnP but doubt it'd be easy or ideal if there's video lipsync considerations.

I also listen to and watch a bit of YT, in my case via my TV, using its optical out. I feed this to an Ifi s/pdif iPurifier 2 reclocker (a DDC) then into the R26 coax digital input. This sounds much better than going direct into the R26 optical input which doesn't do any reclocking of the jittery signal from the TV (so is thin and glare-y) and slightly better than going USB direct from my Mac Mini into my U18 DDC but not as good as the LAN for equivalent non-YT music.

That said having recently experienced a substantial improvement from inserting the Holo Audio Titanis USB regenerator/ galvanic isolator in between the Mac and the U18 I reckon that would likely now better the TV/Ifi chain for YT content. I must try it. 

Re clock cables the one you referred to looks to be an HDMI cable which could be used to carry i2S signal from a DDC to the R26, but for the external clock connections (ideally to both DDC and R26 so they're synchronized) you need a BNC-BNC terminated 50 ohm coaxial cable like the Gustard C2 or LMR400.

@kereru I am using fairly generic LMR240 50 Ohm and RG402 75 Ohm cables I bought from a chinese seller, bydpete, on ebay.  It wasn't clear to me from my reading what the best, affordable cable would be but I'm not going to spend $180 for something like the Gustard C2.

I have also ordered a couple of the Mini-Circuits BLP-10.7+ filters that the guy at EtherREGEN suggests using which are supposed to obviate the need for expensive cables etc.  Swenson's white paper is here:


yes, the dh labs was for the i2s connections...I was looking at a few

things at the same time! the bnc to bnc I was looking at was a Harmonic Tech 

Digital Copper III (50 ohm) cable. This would be the reclocker to the

bnc of the R26. I am thinking this cable doesn't have to be long. The

hdmi (i2s) cable would be 1.5 or 2 metres in length. 

I have been very happy with Youtube Music for a few months now and

don't feel any urge to change that. I actually tried Tidal last year and gave

it up in less than a month.

The hdmi (i2s) cable would be 1.5 or 2 metres in length.

You should read my post above.  HDMI i2S cables need to be as short as possible, and 1-1.5m is very suboptimal.  Most people familiar with the connection recommend 1 foot or less.  Or, you can shoot yourself in the foot and use a longer cable.  I tried. 

@soix Thanks for the recommendation of trying the shorter I2S/HDMI cable length - there was a subtle difference in favour of the shorter 1ft length vs the 2ft incumbent, though I guess if there’s such a thing as burn in for HDMI cables it might improve further. Incidentally the logic of shorter is better for I2S makes intuitive sense to me and may also help explain why the internal streamer of the R26 (and other high quality DAC/streamers) can sound very good indeed - the internal i2S connection will be extremely short - just the distance between the streamer and main DAC circuitboards essentially.

@peareye The HT DC III is an excellent cable - clearly the best one I’ve tried. HT >> LMR400 /> C2 >> Minicircuits 50ohm >> Pro audio 50 ohm > Hifi coax digital 75ohm.

Best performance/ price ratio is the LMR400 - which after a week’s burn in - and it really does take that long to sound good - it surpassed the C2 in terms of resolving power and dynamics, though the C2 was warmer and smoother so more forgiving. Downside of the LMR400 is it is really thick and rigid plastic tubing like a plastic hose so is cumbersome to use and can feel like it is putting a fair bit of lateral stress on BNC sockets.

@pinwa John Swenson certainly knows his stuff (it’s an interesting paper isn’t it) so all the best with that - should be a cost effective route to achieving a good standard for sine wave. Incidentally I’m a sine wave fan - worked best for me with the OCK 1 & 2 with the R26 with all the cables I’ve tried so far.

@kereru Yeah, my comparison of sine wave vs square wave from the OCK-2 to R26 definitely favored the sine wave.  I still think it is crazy that a timing signal can so dramatically impact the sound and is so sensitive to cables etc..  And I am on day 3 with the OCK-2 and there is no question that it has dramatically improved the sound of my system.  I spent most of this evening comparing my Rega P6 with the AT-ART9XI cartridge and Hegel V10 phono pre to the R26/OCK-2 and for most of the records I listened to I couldn't express a preference for the vinyl.  That wasn't true before the OCK-2.

Where did you buy the HT DC III?  I can't seem to find a source for that.

It's remarkable how much difference a very good clock makes isn't it. Well you'll be pleasantly surprised by the further benefits that are possible with better cables (or cable / filter combos). 

Source of the HT DC III: Audio Accessory HK - a trading/website name of Labkable an official distributor of HT cables:成品線-bnc/

You need to use Google webpage translate.

You order and pay for it then they email you afterwards to bill you separately for international shipping, total cost works out around USD150, so not cheap but a little cheaper than the C2 but with performance on another level. Its resolution and refinement is superb.

You may be able to source it in the States too but likely more expensive.

I see a dealer near me here in Ontario. I will phone tomorrow

and see what his prices are.

For a budget of around 1,000.00, I can order a OCK-2 and use

my Douk U2 Pro or 

an LHY UBT-1 (ddc) and an OCK-1


any opinions?


P.S. I ordered a .5m bnc cable off of Aliexpress.

@peareye I’d say invest in the best clock you can afford, then upgrade other stuff as and when you can afford to. The OCK-1 is great, I was very happy with it, but after 6 months temptation got the better of me and now I’ve heard the OCK-2 I can’t go back. 

What’s your network chain to your MacBook btw? As if it involves an Ethernet connection I’d strongly recommend an Ifi LAN iSilencer. For USD90 it was an excellent bang for buck upgrade to my streaming based system and I already had a  very good LHY switch.



that's the exact decision I made last night! ...and you said the same thing

as Beatechnik did! I prefer using MacBook Pro to Phasure Lush usb

to the Douk U2 Pro with Atlas Mavros Coax to the Gustard R26. I am

looking for that Harmonic Tech bnc cable still but have also ordered 

one LMR 400 from aliexpress.

@peareye Nice one. Let us know how you get on once it arrives.

Understood re your preference for using USB > DDC > R26, I was asking about how your MacBook connects to the internet as I've found that network chain improvements upstream of my Mac Mini bring clearly audible improvements irrespective of which input I use on the R26. The ifi LAN iSilemcer is one of the simplest and most effective such tweaks I've tried.



I am currently using wifi to my MacBook. Router is only about 10' away

without obstructions. It's a nice  balance between convenience and

audio quality. there's no Lan connection on this version of MacBook.

I have a Gustard A26 I’m using in a home office system consisting of TeKton Lore speakers , a 1970s refurbished Pioneer 5590 receiver and DIY server ,adding the LHY OCK 2 as described by Kereru caught my interest.

Regarding i2s cables my experience with them has been limited though I did use a silver I2s cable the North American distributor of Rockna Audio uses himself , a DIY cable his partner we’re experimenting with a 30 inches in length at the time I had the Rockna WaveDream Net server and Holo May dac .

I also used USB with both connected was able easily switch between the two cables . It is recommended i2s to be used with Rockna components and yes the i2s did sound marginally better then USB.

Anyway I don’t mean to contradict those beliefs shorter i2s cables should be used exclusively the importer of Rockna knows his product line very well he did not mention this .


I would like to add Rockna Audio do have their own i2s cable it’s responsibly priced availability found with European Rockna dealers, considering the back ground development of Rockna Audio I would think it’s worth checking out .

I have been using an Inakustik hdmi cable via i2s from ddc to R26

and it works well...silver plated copper. I also tried a brand new

fiber hdmi cable yesterday but couldn't get a signal???

I am still waiting to try a dh labs hdmi.


any suggestions why the fiber optic hdmi didn't produce a signal?