AURALiC Leo GX
Reference Digital Audio Clock
The AURALiC Leo GX was designed as an upgrade to the Vega G2 processor’s clocking mechanism. With the Leo GX in place, the Vega G2’s clock is bypassed entirely, and drives waveform creation directly with its signal. No more PLL, and no more limitations.
What’s New in the 2.1
The G2.1 Series casework now features a double enclosure, or “chassis-within-a-chassis,” where the outer casework is manufactured from high-grade aluminum and an additional internal enclosure is made from copper. These design revisions enhance EMI shielding, providing an audible improvement to performance. A new, sculpted metal base provides a highmass, heavyweight foundation for the G2.1/GX.1 series, bonded to the enhanced four-foot assembly. This substantial base adds overall mass to the product and further builds on AURALiC’s modest elegance and improves the sound of the product overall.
Enhanced Suspension System
The balanced weight distribution design found internally in the original G2/GX layout remains unchanged, but a newly designed suspension spike system further isolates the product from external mechanical vibration. Potentially harmful vibrations are absorbed within the six-coiled-spring, acoustically calibrated core of each foot, with each spring tuned to a different tension point, resulting in greater sound clarity and a more open sound field through vibration damping at separate frequencies, yet again providing for enhanced sonic performance.
While external changes to the series are certainly welcome, internal circuitry modification couldn’t be ignored. For the ARIES G2.1, the USB output has been
transformed into a more universal category of application, allowing for a broad level of compatibility across most manufacturers’ USB inputs. The HDD port, for local hard drive connectivity, has been given a power boost to handle a broad range of USB drives requiring higher power delivery. These optimizations have extended the potential feature sets of the products.
AURALiC’s LEO GX is a breakthrough in digital audio system clocking — the first master clock ever that can feed a DAC directly with a working signal so precise that new benchmarks to measure its performance had to be created. Experience a wider soundstage, pinpoint locational accuracy, and expanded dynamic range to name a few of the benefits you’ll hear when you implement LEO GX’s one-of-a-kind approach to clocking that literally bypasses the traditional limitations of internal DAC clocks.
Better Timing=Better Sound
As digital music formats and system components march ever forward in quality and capabilities, high-end audio systems increasingly rely on the precision of their clocks to keep the digital realm in order. The greater dynamic range of high resolution files for example is only realized with the help of modern clocks that are capable of working frequencies nearly ten times higher than what was common just a handful of years ago. However, today’s high-frequency DAC clocks are costlier and much harder to design and build than ever before.
Normally, phase-locked loop circuits (PLL) in a DAC are used to synchronize its internal working signal with the more accurate incoming signal from a reference clock. But they are noisy. And even though the working signal can be nudged a bit to match up with the reference signal, its frequency — and the precision of the analog waveform that’s based on it — is ultimately limited by the DAC’s own clock circuit.
Thanks to its unique Jitter-Free Operation, when the VEGA G2 joins forces with the LEO GX these devices accomplish something extraordinary. Instead of merely synchronizing with the LEO GX, the VEGA G2 actually uses the exceptionally high frequency incoming clock from the LEO GX directly — as its own working signal. In other words the LEO GX bypasses the internal VEGA G2 clock circuit entirely, and drives waveform creation directly with its signal. No more PLL, and no more limitations.
A New Description of Performance
The LEO GX clock is so precise that existing benchmarks aren’t detailed enough to accurately represent what it can do. Instead, we use Allan deviation to describe the resolution of the LEO GX, which is like looking at phase noise closely enough to detect shifts of +/-1Hz or even +/-0.1Hz. The Allan deviation of the LEO GX Reference Master Clock comes in at 2E-12 (at 1 second), which is equal to a 10MHz rubidium atomic clock with phase noise of +/-1Hz at -110dBc/Hz, or an amazing 500 times less jitter than an 82fs Femto clock oscillator.
LEO GX hardware starts with two temperature-controlled rubidium atomic reference clocks. Each is paired with an oscillator using stress compensated cut crystals, for thermal and mechanical resilience and low phase noise performance. The result is the LEO GX’s remarkably high signal frequencies: 90.316MHz for 44.1-based audio signals, and 98.304MHz for 48K-based signals.
We’ve gone to great lengths to reduce interference and noise in the new LEO GX, including the use of optical isolation techniques that keep systems physically separated from each other. Control signals from the processing circuit are sent to the clock circuit via fiber optic cables instead of electrical pathways, so the source of LEO GX’s impeccable timing is never disturbed.
Designed specifically for the premium lineup of AURALiC G Series devices, the Unity Chassis is machined from a single billet of aluminum that provides the LEO GX with superior shielding from EMI noise. It’s the perfect working environment to create the ultra-precise, high frequency feed that can take the performance of your G system to new heights.
LEO GX internal circuits are physically distributed to enhance overall balance and performance. And its specially designed foot spikes dampen and absorb vibrations so the operation of its internal clock always starts with a rock-steady foundation.
Dual Purer-Power Linear Power Supplies
We’ve given the LEO GX two of our ultra-quiet Purer-Power linear power supplies, galvanically isolating them from each other in the obsessive quest to reduce noise and create a pristine working environment. One Purer-Power supply feeds the LEO GX’s processing system, while the second powers the clock circuit. Interference between the areas is reduced to minimum, so there’s nothing to get in the way of LEO GX’s stellar performance.
Allan Deviation: 2E-12 (1 second)
Equivalent Jitter: 500 times less than an 82fs femto clock (1Hz-10Hz)
Equivalent Phase Noise: -110dBc/Hz@1Hz (Ref Frequency: 10MHz)
Frequency: 90.3168MHz (44.1KHz) | 98.3040MHz (48KHz)
Output Level: 3.3V CMOS (Direct-to-DAC Design)
Reference: Temperature-controlled Rubidium atomic clock
Oscillator: Temperature-controlled SC cut crystal
PCM: 44.1KHz to 384KHz in 32Bit
DSD: DSD64(2.8224MHz), DSD128(5.6448MHz), DSD256(11.2896MHz)
Switch sampling rate automatically via Lightning-Link with G2 DAC
Dual Purer-Power internal linear power supply
10uV low noise designed for audio circuits
Optical isolation between control and clock circuits
EMI-shielding Unity Chassis
Gigabit Ethernet (For firmware upgrade use)
Warmup: 30W at max
Dimensions – W x D x H
13.4 x 12.6 x 3.2 in. (34cm x 32cm x 8cm)
17.8 lbs (8.1kg)
Anodized precision-machined extrusion aluminum case in matte black
AURALiC LEO GX Reference Master Clock
Hex wrench (for use of tighten clock cable)
Basic version: High quality RF clock cable
Premium version: 60GHz aerospace grade clock cables