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Matrix X-Sabre DAC Reviews

project86

The new reference from Matrix

Posted

Pros: Build quality is spectacular, looks great, sounds very good as well

Cons: Lack of Toslink connection and high Vrms for XLR outputs could cause trouble in some systems

DSD is all the rage these days. Despite there not being a whole lot of music available in the format (SACDs aside), DAC makers are jumping on the feature as fast as they can. And I can't blame them - aside from our "regular" music, we all love a little ear candy to show off the capabilities of our system.    Another thing that's quite popular? The ESS Sabre DACs. These Sabre chips show up in more and more products, eclipsing the the competition from Wolfson, Cirrus, Analog Devices, and Texas Instruments in desirability and "buzz" if not sheer volume of sales. And the ES9018 is their top model. It appears in many excellent DACs including my own reference units.  ...
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Loquah

Detailed, but smooth sound from a solid block of aluminium

Posted

Pros: Build quality, sleek design, easy compatibility, sound quality and detail

Cons: High voltage output from XLRs

I've had the X-Sabre for about a week now and I'm seriously impressed. It produces fantastic detail and separation in the sound, but manages to do so with a very analogue and smooth presentation. I chose the X-Sabre because I'd heard it was a musical DAC and it hasn't disappointed.    Build Quality   Ridiculously good! It's made from a solid block of aluminium, has a sleek look with simple white LED indicators on the front panel and a smooth finish to the exterior that looks and feels very high quality. It sits on 3 feet instead of the usual 4. This means it can tilt at the back corners when you're connecting cables, but it's a minor issue.   Connectivity  ...
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