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Matrix X-Sabre DAC review and impression thread - Page 40

post #586 of 1073

So even after about 10 days I still consider myself in the setup phase of ownership of this DAC and I am still testing connectivity and getting the bugs out.

 

One weird thing I had noticed was that despite using the ASIO driver the windows volume control and the volume and the mute in mixer was still active. In my experience using ASIO this should all be disabled and the only way to alter the sound is within the source application (if possible) or by the volume knob etc. If the volume can be adjusted in windows mixer then it is going via the kmixer process and it is not bit perfect.

 

So I went into the sound control panel and disabled the X-Sabre device. ASIO still works via Foobar or JRiver and the sound is audibly better.

 

Anyone else see anything like this? 

post #587 of 1073
Thread Starter 
No, I hadn't noticed that. But I've seen many DACs which end up allowing volume control through windows, despite ASIO or Wasapi etc. I'd leave it on full volume and not worry about it, or whatever you find to sound the best.
post #588 of 1073

I might be hearing things but with the device disabled in the Windows sound control panel I seem to be getting better sound via USB, a sound somewhat more like I find it has with coax.

 

If I leave it as is with the default setup I can control the sound with the Windows mixer and also hear system sounds etc. which seems unusual as compared to some of the other ASIO setups I have used. I wonder if in the default config it has some noise coming in from Windows.

 

This thing can sound absolutely gorgeous, I don't think I've heard any DAC with such a perfectly black background before.


Edited by Sanlitun - 6/6/13 at 12:39pm
post #589 of 1073
New Driver for X-Sabre available

http://matrix-digi-usa.com/download/X-SABRE%20Driver%201.67.exe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur 
It mainly address a BSOD issue that some people were having while playing DSD files. I personally experienced this a couple of times so I am glad to see this fixed. I have never had a customer contact me with any problems like this but it's a good idea for existing X-Sabre owners (who use windows) to update there driver.

Edited by Maxvla - 6/7/13 at 12:43am
post #590 of 1073
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

New Driver for X-Sabre available

http://matrix-digi-usa.com/download/X-SABRE%20Driver%201.67.exe

 

I was about to post the same but you beat me to it.

 

I personally have not had any errors or issues with the "old" drivers. But I always appreciate ongoing support. 

post #591 of 1073
So I have been a satisfied owner of this DAC for a few months now. It's one of the few things I have added to my system that I felt made a solid improvement and had no accompanying buyers remorse at all. And trust me I know what buyers remorse is all about.

After many hours of tinkering to find the best setup to my ears I am using the DAC via USB and a WASAPI connection via an Audioquest Forest USB cable.

WASAPI seems to have a slight edge over the ASIO driver in dynamics and air on my system. Just a little bit more joy and presence to the music. And despite the abilities of this unit with DXD and DSD I feel it shines brightest at 16/44 and does wonders with those old files I have in lossy formats.
post #592 of 1073
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post

So I have been a satisfied owner of this DAC for a few months now. It's one of the few things I have added to my system that I felt made a solid improvement and had no accompanying buyers remorse at all. And trust me I know what buyers remorse is all about.

After many hours of tinkering to find the best setup to my ears I am using the DAC via USB and a WASAPI connection via an Audioquest Forest USB cable.

WASAPI seems to have a slight edge over the ASIO driver in dynamics and air on my system. Just a little bit more joy and presence to the music. And despite the abilities of this unit with DXD and DSD I feel it shines brightest at 16/44 and does wonders with those old files I have in lossy formats.

 

Thanks for your impressions! I too am enjoying the heck out of this DAC.

post #593 of 1073
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

Thanks for your impressions! I too am enjoying the heck out of this DAC.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post

So I have been a satisfied owner of this DAC for a few months now. It's one of the few things I have added to my system that I felt made a solid improvement and had no accompanying buyers remorse at all. And trust me I know what buyers remorse is all about.

After many hours of tinkering to find the best setup to my ears I am using the DAC via USB and a WASAPI connection via an Audioquest Forest USB cable.

WASAPI seems to have a slight edge over the ASIO driver in dynamics and air on my system. Just a little bit more joy and presence to the music. And despite the abilities of this unit with DXD and DSD I feel it shines brightest at 16/44 and does wonders with those old files I have in lossy formats.

 

Great, mine will be arriving this week!

post #594 of 1073
Quote:
Originally Posted by ru4music View Post

 

 

Great, mine will be arriving this week!

I have a similar set up as yours so your impressions your help me decide whether or not this dac is suitable for the wa2 and hd800 combo. I was afraid this could make my hd800 too warm sounding. project86 have you tried the wa2 and hd800 before? I was thinking of getting either this or the concero as my dac but couldn't quite make out which would be more suitable for me. What I look for in dac is refinement.

post #595 of 1073
Quote:
Originally Posted by helljudgement View Post

I have a similar set up as yours so your impressions your help me decide whether or not this dac is suitable for the wa2 and hd800 combo. I was afraid this could make my hd800 too warm sounding. project86 have you tried the wa2 and hd800 before? I was thinking of getting either this or the concero as my dac but couldn't quite make out which would be more suitable for me. What I look for in dac is refinement.


Will do once I get the system setup.  I expect the overall presentation to be musical (with PRAT) and detailed (great timbre, tone extension, and sound stage etc.) as opposed to warm sounding.

post #596 of 1073
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by helljudgement View Post

I have a similar set up as yours so your impressions your help me decide whether or not this dac is suitable for the wa2 and hd800 combo. I was afraid this could make my hd800 too warm sounding. project86 have you tried the wa2 and hd800 before? I was thinking of getting either this or the concero as my dac but couldn't quite make out which would be more suitable for me. What I look for in dac is refinement.

 

I use the X-Sabre a lot with the HD800, but I don't have a WA2, sorry. I like the combo with Firestone Audio Bobby (fully balanced), and also with Icon Audio HP8 mkII (single ended). But of course many others are great as well. In fact, I don't think I have an amp around here right now which doesn't sound good with that chain. 

post #597 of 1073
ru4music very much looking forward to your impressions. @project86 thanks to you my decision becomes slightly easier. Judging from your response is it save to say you prefer the xsabre over the concero for the hd800? Between the two which has more details?
post #598 of 1073
Quote:
Originally Posted by helljudgement View Post

ru4music very much looking forward to your impressions. @project86 thanks to you my decision becomes slightly easier. Judging from your response is it save to say you prefer the xsabre over the concero for the hd800? Between the two which has more details?

 

XSabre is more detailed and performs at a higher level... but the difference isn't huge. Not worth $500 more in my opinion. Maybe $200?

 

I recommend buying the XSabre if you need balanced input/output. If not, Concero should fit the bill.

 

No idea how the Concero HD fits into all of this yet.

post #599 of 1073
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by helljudgement View Post

ru4music very much looking forward to your impressions. @project86 thanks to you my decision becomes slightly easier. Judging from your response is it save to say you prefer the xsabre over the concero for the hd800? Between the two which has more details?

 

I do prefer X-Sabre over Concero. X-Sabre has slightly better detail retrieval - not night and day, but definitely there. 

 

It would also come down to how much of the extra functionality you'd take advantage of. Does your amp sound best via balanced inputs? Then obviously X-Sabre is the best choice. Does it only feature RCA inputs? Then X-Sabre advantage is nullified. Would you be using DSD tracks? Or need more inputs like AES/EBU? Hopefully you see my point here.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post

 

XSabre is more detailed and performs at a higher level... but the difference isn't huge. Not worth $500 more in my opinion. Maybe $200?

 

I recommend buying the XSabre if you need balanced input/output. If not, Concero should fit the bill.

 

No idea how the Concero HD fits into all of this yet.

 

Just got the Concero HD and HP in for review. Haven't even had a chance to plug them in yet. Will be interesting to hear how they stack up.

 

But you have a good point - the original Concero really tops out the bang for the buck meter - it's good enough to be worth upgrading from a lot of the $300 and $400 DACs out there, and close enough to the $1k+ DACs to make you think twice before spending more. 

post #600 of 1073

X-Sabre isn't really warm-sounding, it's just that it's a bit mellower-sounding relative to other DACs which are faster and have more treble. However, just because it's laid-back and appears to have less treble doesn't mean it lacks in detail retrieval and all the goodies. I preferred the X-Sabre over the Concero and the Gungnir mostly because I just cannot stand shoutiness. Concero isn't as shouty as the gungnir but I just loved how the X-Sabre disappeared since it didn't really add or remove any effects. Also I happen to prefer jazz, vocals, and slower-type genres over death metal... 

 

And then there's the build quality and features. I will probably never be able to live with the Concero knowing that I am limited to RCA, and that it just doesn't fit on my rack anywhere because it's smaller than my hand. 

 

So far it's excellent with my speaker set up. I'll try to report findings vs. NAD M51 soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by helljudgement View Post

ru4music very much looking forward to your impressions. @project86 thanks to you my decision becomes slightly easier. Judging from your response is it save to say you prefer the xsabre over the concero for the hd800? Between the two which has more details?
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