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"Can this really be digital?"


Ideon push the boundaries of digital design to the point where you question everything you thought you knew about the recorded arts

Ideon Audio Absolute Time

A masterclass in USB and SPDIF re-clocking.


Digital re-clocker, half-size, £10,000, full size, £12,000

About the Absolute Time

Ideon major on re-clocking and in the Absolute Time they take the process very seriously. The Absolute Time incorporates separate USB and SPDIF inputs and outputs. These formats are different of course, so the Absolute time process them independently. On the USB side, Ideon use the expression 'Triple Distillation' for their USB processing that comprises a proprietary three-stage noise eradication circuit that eliminates digital noise from the input signal. On the SPDIF side of things, the SPDIF circuit also includes a stabilized coax input and a proprietary, ultra-low-noise, jitter-less re-clocking platform using a 12.8MHz master clock. And of course everything is fed by massive power supplies with multi-stage regulation keeping noise to an absolute minimum. 

The Absolute Time can be used as part of a full Ideon setup, or it can be used in any other high quality system. As an upgrade stepping stone it is an unusual but surprisingly effective proposition where you might place it between a computer and a top DAC say, and the re-clocking and 'cleaning up' function will significantly enhance performance. At a later date you might replace the computer with an audiophile streamer but the Ideon re-clocking remains a core feature of your system. The bottom line is; once heard, you will probably never go back to a system without this level of re-clocking.


USB: type 2.0 hi speed: 480Mb/sec

SPDIF SAMPLE RATE: 32 -192 re-clocking

PCM, DSD Full Compatibility

OPERATING SYSTEM SEAMLESS OPERATIONWith USB Stack Support (no special drivers required)

USB POWER RAIL Switchable 5V on/offs

POWER SUPPLY Triple ultra-low noise linear power supply

OUTPUT USB 2.5A ultra low noise 5 volt USB

DISPLAY Custom discrete LED audio clock synchronous display


DIMENSIONS (W X H X D)470 x 175 x 110 mm ( (18.5 x 6.9 x 4.3 in)WEIGHT15 kg (~ 33 lbs)

Tech Insight

An interesting technical element of this design is that Ideon provide a very clean and highly regulated 5V supply on the USB output – an important consideration that often gets overlooked. Typically this 5V line is fed from a switch mode supply, with a cheap off-the-shelf 5V regulator. And although the 5V might not be used for anything significant in the receiving unit, it still needs to be there otherwise it's flagged as a fault. But Ideon's view here is we have introduced a very noisy supply in the output device, and carried that noise into our input device (right alongside our data lines) – a lot of noise that is best kept away from DAC processing!

Matching & Setup

Setup is pretty straightforward with the Absolute Time. Plumb it inbetween your data source and DAC, use good cables and make sure mains and supports are good too, and away you go. Oh, and you may need to add a shelf to your rack to acommodate the Absolute Time – don't be tempted to stack units upon each other if you can avoid it.

There are a couple of matching considerations here. One is, aim to keep the relative value of all your digital components at a similar level. Re-clocking is great but don't expect a silk purse out of a sows ear if you're using a cheap laptop as your source. Ideally a whole Ideon setup is the way to go in the end. And then there is the rest of the system capability to consider. Dynamics are going to increase significantly with Ideon re-clocking so make sure your system has the headroom and transparency to realise those gains effectively.

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