Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Matrix X-Sabre DAC review and impression thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Matrix X-Sabre DAC review and impression thread - Page 39

post #571 of 1070

Or just enjoy the music.

post #572 of 1070
I've tested my new X-SABRE with my USB cable which was specially hand crafted without the +5v supply line to eliminate contamination to the USB Data signals. The X-SABRE works perfectly well without the USB 5v supply in both Windows & Linux. The clarity, details & dynamics also improved with this USB cable.

IMHO, removing the cause of the contamination & interferences to the USB signals is definitely more effective than adding devices to improve the USB 5v supply for well designed DACs that doesn't require the source USB 5v supply to function.
post #573 of 1070
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girls Generation View Post

Or just enjoy the music.

 

 

NOOOO! How dare you think that way around here!!!! We must argue minutia!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcking View Post

I've tested my new X-SABRE with my USB cable which was specially hand crafted without the +5v supply line to eliminate contamination to the USB Data signals. The X-SABRE works perfectly well without the USB 5v supply in both Windows & Linux. The clarity, details & dynamics also improved with this USB cable.

IMHO, removing the cause of the contamination & interferences to the USB signals is definitely more effective than adding devices to improve the USB 5v supply for well designed DACs that doesn't require the source USB 5v supply to function.

 

So, apparently that confirms the X-Sabre draws USB power via its own power supply rather than the USB line. I still don't think it matters all that much in the grand scheme of things, but maybe that's because I'm used to clean power from my Auraliti PK90. Still, people who find this to be an important issue should be pleased to hear it, so thanks for posting.

post #574 of 1070

Are we back to enjoying the music now? tongue.gif

 

I did a comparison between the Concero and X-Sabre. Too lazy to write it up though...

post #575 of 1070
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcking View Post

I've tested my new X-SABRE with my USB cable which was specially hand crafted without the +5v supply line to eliminate contamination to the USB Data signals. The X-SABRE works perfectly well without the USB 5v supply in both Windows & Linux. The clarity, details & dynamics also improved with this USB cable.

IMHO, removing the cause of the contamination & interferences to the USB signals is definitely more effective than adding devices to improve the USB 5v supply for well designed DACs that doesn't require the source USB 5v supply to function.

 

 

Like this one:  Isolate CU / AG

 

http://www.elijahaudio.com/products.html

post #576 of 1070
Thread Starter 

I'm still not sure I see the value in that, unless maybe we are talking a 5 figure setup. Then sure, why not? In a "normal" setup, wouldn't it make more sense to spend $300 on a proper USB output card to get a quality signal right from the start? It even has a switch to turn off USB power if needed, removing the need for a special cable. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Girls Generation View Post

Are we back to enjoying the music now? tongue.gif

 

I did a comparison between the Concero and X-Sabre. Too lazy to write it up though...

 

Yes, enjoying the music again...

post #577 of 1070
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I'm still not sure I see the value in that, unless maybe we are talking a 5 figure setup. Then sure, why not? In a "normal" setup, wouldn't it make more sense to spend $300 on a proper USB output card to get a quality signal right from the start? It even has a switch to turn off USB power if needed, removing the need for a special cable. 

 

 

 

 

Yes, enjoying the music again...


Desktop computer are getting more and more rare these days to use a separate PCI USB card, but SOtMr external USB/SPDIF converter looks quite nice, never heard of it though.

post #578 of 1070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post


Desktop computer are getting more and more rare these days to use a separate PCI USB card, but SOtMr external USB/SPDIF converter looks quite nice, never heard of it though.

 

HUH?blink.gif

post #579 of 1070
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

HUH?blink.gif


With the rare exception people prefer convenience of laptops (doesn't mean there are no exceptions or special applications like hardcore gamers).

I haven't touched desktop comp for over 10 years. Recent industry trend is convertible tablets, small form factor, comparable performance and great portability. So yes, desktops are dying.

 

BTW, interesting fact, the first time laptop sales exceeded desktop sales was in 2003, i.e. 10 years ago.

http://www.geek.com/chips/laptop-sales-exceeded-desktop-sales-in-may-552696/

 

There is quite interesting interactive graph showing sales of desktop vs mobile over last years

Desktop PCs less popular than ever - USA Today


Edited by Andrew_WOT - 6/1/13 at 10:23am
post #580 of 1070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post


With the rare exception people prefer convenience of laptops (doesn't mean there are no exceptions or special applications like hardcore gamers).

I haven't touched desktop comp for over 10 years. Recent industry trend is convertible tablets, small form factor, comparable performance and great portability. So yes, desktops are dying.

 

Well,

 

I just went to a desktop for dedicated audio (C.A.P.S.) from a laptop eek.gif  Tablets for control purposes but not for playback purposes.  Mac minis are also going strong for dedicated audio playback.  

 

Laptops nor tablets can compare to the performance nor the versatility you can get from a desktop (C.A.P.S. or Mac mini) - "for audio playback"  

post #581 of 1070
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

Well,

 

I just went to a desktop for dedicated audio (C.A.P.S.) from a laptop eek.gif  Tablets for control purposes but not for playback purposes.  Mac minis are also going strong for dedicated audio playback.  

 

Laptops nor tablets can compare to the performance nor the versatility you can get from a desktop (C.A.P.S. or Mac mini) - "for audio playback"  


I don't see that as a fact for "audio playback", but that discussion should be taken outside this thread.

post #582 of 1070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post


I don't see that as a fact for "audio playback", but that discussion should be taken outside this thread.

 

Much is contributed to it to make it a fact.  However, I'm not saying it's a fact - I'm saying PCs (C.A.P.S and MAC minis) are not dying out - Again "for audio playback" 

post #583 of 1070
Thread Starter 

Meh, I say use what you can. Personally I love the Auraliti PK90 as well as the JF Digital HDM-03S, which is essentially a dedicated Linux machine. If I wasn't using those, I'd go for a C.A.P.S server or maybe the SOtM box. But if you just have a desktop and want to use that, some tweaks can be done to get the most out of it. Laptops are less tweakable, pretty much limited to software only... but if that's what you've got, then use it and be happy! I do think a basic laptop paired with a good USB DAC can easily match even an expensive CD transport. 

 

post #584 of 1070

I'm still tinkering with mine and getting it set up. It had been my initial instinct to connect with coax, and that's what I had done but I am now wondering about a few things and curious about which will produce the highest quality interface between the PC and the X-Sabre. 

 

The X-Sabre should have a 32 bit hardware bitdepth and I gather the only way to get this resolution is via the USB connection. The reason the 32 bit resolution may be advantageous is if the DAC is doing its jitter correction in a 32 bit environment. In contrast the SPDIF coax has only a 24 bit (or possibly 20 bit resolution). 

 

I suppose I'm wondering if we may have reached a point where an asynchronous USB connection is either as good or better than the traditional coax connection. Today I have been reading a few pages such as http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/Intro/SQ/USB_SPDIF.htm which do some technical comparisons and their results are interesting.

 

Of course the thing that matters most is your particular implementation and what sounds best to you. I actually don't even have a USB cable so I'm going to run out ad grab one and take a listen. 

 

I'm pretty curious what anyone who is more knowledgeable thinks about this, and whether or not they have done any listening comparisons between coax and USB on this or other 32 bit DACs. 

post #585 of 1070
Thread Starter 

You'll find all sorts of opinions on this stuff. Most audio forums claim Toslink is The Devil, but every once in a while I stumble on some isolated forum (usually from somewhere else in the world) where they all love optical connections. They point to the built-in isolation. I personally think all interfaces can sound great or terrible, and I've had examples of each.

 

I do hear a lot more variation with SPDIF sources though. USB connections, asynchronous or not, tend to sound similar no matter what computer is used as a transport, with a few outliers for extremely good or extremely bad quality signals. SPDIF signals are all over the place and transport quality matters greatly. 

 

Regarding your 32-bit idea - almost all music is 24-bit or less. So it doesn't matter how it gets sent to the DAC. Once it arrives, the Sabre can do whatever it does internally, upsampling and padding bit-depths and whatever else it wants to do. USB does have the advantage in terms of carrying higher sample rates though, where AES/EBU and Coaxial top out at 192kHz, and Toslink realistically tops out at 96kHz. USB does 384kHz. 

 

I guess some people may prefer some software based processing to achieve 32-bit prior to sending the signal to X-Sabre. In that case USB would obviously have another advantage. I haven't heard of people really caring about that but I could be wrong. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Matrix X-Sabre DAC review and impression thread