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Resonessence Labs Concero discussion/review thead - Page 17

post #241 of 1711
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWahl View Post

That's strange, I thought the ES9023 wasn't DSD compatible.  Unless maybe they program the firmware to convert DSD to PCM or something like that.

mb it's bad dsd support like on audio-gd it's dont work, I do not know what to do so.wink.gif

post #242 of 1711
Nick and I spent some time comparing this DAC and the new Matrix X-Sabre last night after the Austin meet, since we happened to be staying at the same hotel. The Concero is very similar to the X-Sabre in frequency response, which it should be since they use the same chip, the 9018. There were some minor differences in overall sound giving the nod to the X-Sabre, but if judged only by sound, the Concero wins for the price. X-Sabre adds DSD/DXD and balanced output as well as another input. If you need none of these, get the Concero. It's a killer DAC for the money. If you do, the X-Sabre is one of the cheapest out there. As a standard format DAC it isn't as good of a value as the Concero, but it is still solid for it's price.
post #243 of 1711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Nick and I spent some time comparing this DAC and the new Matrix X-Sabre last night after the Austin meet, since we happened to be staying at the same hotel. The Concero is very similar to the X-Sabre in frequency response, which it should be since they use the same chip, the 9018. There were some minor differences in overall sound giving the nod to the X-Sabre, but if judged only by sound, the Concero wins for the price. X-Sabre adds DSD/DXD and balanced output as well as another input. If you need none of these, get the Concero. It's a killer DAC for the money. If you do, the X-Sabre is one of the cheapest out there. As a standard format DAC it isn't as good of a value as the Concero, but it is still solid for it's price.

 

Just a minor quibble, the Concero uses the 9023 instead of the 9018. Thanks for the comparison though Maxvla

post #244 of 1711
Hm.. I did a search before I posted and got results for Concero and 9018. Guess I should have dug deeper. In any case, I guess a Sabre is a Sabre.
post #245 of 1711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Hm.. I did a search before I posted and got results for Concero and 9018. Guess I should have dug deeper. In any case, I guess a Sabre is a Sabre.

 

Hmm, i guess Ive just been running on what was said in this thread...I havent done any independent research on the subject. But its not really that relevant I guess, its the sound that matters the most, not what chip is used.

post #246 of 1711
6moons says 9023, usually they at least get the specs right, if nothing else.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/resonessence2/1.html
post #247 of 1711
Thread Starter 

Yep, Concero is ES9023 and and X-Sabre is ES9018. And I have to say I agree with Chris - the X-Sabre is ultimately superior in sound, while Concero is definitely superior in value. Both are very good examples at their respective prices, probably the best I've heard. 

post #248 of 1711

uh... wow! The Concero will have DSD support... Thats nuts! And makes me happy.

 

As to sound advantages of the XSabre, the Concero takes the clean sound approach, is there a difference vs the XSabre.

 

As to musicality, I much prefer my Eximus DP1. I think its the chip, but I dont have that much experience. Ive heard the Minimax Plus maxed out Dexa, Concero....

 

This is my quick rundown of the sound spectrum.

The latter 2 Dacs have a tall top (highs), and that runs smoothly into bass.

The DP1 has a shorter top (highs) (But Im not speaking of extension, but allocation of sound), a mid area (not missing on Concero or Minimax, just not the focus) and a low area (more detail here).

 

So I enjoy the Concero, its just missing a certain element... I wonder if I listened to every Sabre chip if Id hear the same...

Just one freaks opinion...

And I do love the Concero.... especially good on techno and pop.

post #249 of 1711

X-Sabre is indeed better in terms of sound quality, but the difference is minor and doesn't scale anywhere near the 2x price differential. Both DAC's share the same overall character. I'd pay up to $200 more for the sonic benefit, but that's about it. I don't miss it (like I would if I owned a Bifrost instead).

 

Agreed that the primary decision driver for the X-Sabre should be for the additional input and balanced outputs. Think of the sound quality boost as a nice bonus tweak. Now... if you don't need balanced outputs and see one on the used market in the $800 range, grab it!

post #250 of 1711
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post

X-Sabre is indeed better in terms of sound quality, but the difference is minor and doesn't scale anywhere near the 2x price differential. Both DAC's share the same overall character. I'd pay up to $200 more for the sonic benefit, but that's about it. I don't miss it (like I would if I owned a Bifrost instead).

 

Agreed that the primary decision driver for the X-Sabre should be for the additional input and balanced outputs. Think of the sound quality boost as a nice bonus tweak. Now... if you don't need balanced outputs and see one on the used market in the $800 range, grab it!

 

Yep, I'd say Concero really peaks the cost-to-performance ratio. Once you surpass that level it starts getting mighty expensive, mighty quickly, for ever diminishing improvements. 

post #251 of 1711
Well put. I think that puts a nail in that upgrade path. I think I'm going to try a tube amp to warm the sound some.
post #252 of 1711

Audirvana just released an update with a new integer mode . It just says in the update that this improves SQ. You can also choose to go back to the original integer mode 2 if you like.

 

 

Heres the programmers description of the update...

 

 

Quote:
I've just released the 1.4.6 that brings the usual bug fixes:

  • Fixed stalled playback bug in iTunes integrated mode/li>
  • Fix potential crash on 32bit architectures
  • Fix truncated text in German SysOptimizer panel
  • Do not hang when iTunes (11.0.2) is exiting while playing


and the results of the tuning in sound quality that brings two possible modes for the Integer Mode streaming method. Both are selectable in the user preferences, and the Mode 1 (default) is the result of the tuning (Mode 2 is the one used in 1.4.5).

I've been able to use the test bench of the French high-end hifi magazine "Stéréo Prestige & Image" to make this tuning, even with several DACs to check for consistency of the improvement. The kind of test bench where everything is heard, from the infra-bass of a several meter diameter Japanese drum that shakes the listening room, to the faintest bird in the forest behind it... And all the subtleties of a recording.

The best results have been obtained on high-end DACs with Mountain Lion, SysOptimizer set to on, Integer Mode (it makes such a difference...), and Mode 1. All other parameters set to default value.
With some lower end DACs that sounded a bit harsh, using the upsampling (power of 2, iZotope, pre-ringing to ~0.6) helped to reduce the harshness (though not making miracles for the lack of definition vs higher end DACs).

A note on the OSes: Mountain Lion is clearly the one bringing the best transparency, sound stage depth, tone accuracy. Lion brings dynamics, but is lagging in the aforementioned.
And Snow Leopard (in its "legacy" Integer Mode) has a warm sound, less transparent, but not totally unpleasant to listen to. It's rounded, warm, nice for some vocals, but compared to Mountain Lion, lacks the "glasses" to "see the finest details".

Damien

Edited by mcullinan - 3/4/13 at 2:55pm
post #253 of 1711
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Yep, Concero is ES9023 and and X-Sabre is ES9018. And I have to say I agree with Chris - the X-Sabre is ultimately superior in sound, while Concero is definitely superior in value. Both are very good examples at their respective prices, probably the best I've heard. 

Curious where the Parasound ZDac lands among these two DACs? Is it in the same league as the Concero? ZDac seems like a lot of bang for the buck (balanced out, multiple inputs, and headphone amp). However, I'm not sure what to make of the 40ohm headphone output impedance. I see a spec like that and it makes me question ALL of their design decisions.

post #254 of 1711

I suppose the Concero doesn't work with iPad + CCK as transport without a powered hub?

post #255 of 1711

I contacted Matrix thru their site I cannot get an X Sabre now, its in production and wont be available until the end of March. It wasnt Arthur that answered  my email tho it was 'Zeng' from China. I really hope there isnt any production delays.

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