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Matrix X-Sabre DAC review and impression thread - Page 43

post #631 of 1121

Another new X-Sabre owner checking in. Mine arrived Thursday. So far

I've only listened SE through GS-1 => HD800. Very nice signature, almost as

smooth as a wolfson DAC but with better detail and air. So far I'm very pleased

with the X-Sabre.


I'm traveling to home on Monday which will give me a chance to listen balanced

on some of my favorite equipment.




Originally Posted by filuS View Post


My X-Sabre has arrived, I can finally start building my whole system. I am still yet to buy HTPC, but other than that - I am ready to roll! Nice touch with 32GB flash drive from them as well :)

By the way - is X-Sabre supported on Ubuntu? I just read the manual (well, brochure) and only Windows and MacOS were mentioned there. I don't really want to spend money on Windows unless I really have to.

You should check the thumbdrive again. Mine was a 32mb, not 32gb.

Either you missread or I got shorted.:(. I haven't even looked at the flash yet,

I assume it is drivers for the X-sabre. Mine is playing fine though coax with

winxp and no drivers installed. I'd be interested to hear if Ubuntu works

well for you, I'm planning on using Ubuntu for my listening station PC.

post #632 of 1121

You are totally right, it's 32MB. I just stopped reading after 32, automatically assuming it was 32GB. I don't know if it has drivers on it, If I need them I will download 'em directly from their website (to ensure I get the latest ones).

I still didn't have the time to plug everything in, extremely busy with work. I am thinking of trying OpenELEC out, to see if I get it working for bitperfect streaming. If that won't work out, then I will move to Ubuntu. Problem is that I have few specific requirements and I am not sure if these system can satisfy them - bitperfect streaming capabilities, no problem with X-Sabre via async USB, DLNA/UPnP attached storage support, support of Intel NUC platform and being able to control everything with tablet (without any other screen plugged in). I am still in a process of buying new dedicated PC for media, but I don't know if I should wait for new Intel NUC generation or just go with what's available now.

post #633 of 1121

Hello everyone. First of all thanks to project86 for the great review and Maxvla and the other "early adopters" for sharing their impressions.


Until some days ago I was sure that I will never need a standalone DAC anymore because of my digital-amp. But then I have read about streaming DoP files via a Squeezebox Touch (with the EDO app) to a DSD/DoP-ready DAC on the Slimdevices Forum. After I calmed down from the first excitement about this genial and simple (I hope) way of playing DSD files, I was looking for a suitable DAC and found the Matrix X-Sabre in this DSD Database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgVhKcl_3lHfdFVyenBBNjNpQ2lieG81WGpqQTNfVUE#gid=0 and then this thread via Google. After reading all the 42 pages I couldn`t resist any longer to make the order.


@filuS... thank you for the audiophonics link. I guess I bought the last DAC that was on stock there at the moment.




Originally Posted by project86 View Post

It has a very small delay switching to new sample rates, with no annoying "click" sounds or any other quirks to speak of.

That was very important to read about it. I am allergic on relay clicks when the sample rate is changing. Thank you for mentioning this.


Best regards.


post #634 of 1121
Thread Starter 

Update from Matrix - the silver X-Sabre is finally available! The US distributor has the first one, and although Matrix hasn't yet done any marketing beauty shots, Arthur took a few of his own just for us. Keep in mind - these are just quick snaps, no professional camera or lighting or editing. The enclosure is solid silver though in some of these it looks dark with just a silver faceplate. That's just a lighting effect - of course, the X-Sabre doesn't even have a separate faceplate.








There's now a voltage selector switch on the bottom. Good idea!

post #635 of 1121

I still like black one more, but I am pretty sure there are many people going for lighter versions (my whole rig is dark - I really dig into dark combination with tubes, but it is a real b**ch when it comes to cleaning - little OCD-boy inside me keeps wiping dust off it like every day :D). Btw, I have version with voltage selector as well, so if it wasn't there since the beginning they updated it without announcement.


@holzohr : you're welcome, we are a friendly community here and whenever we can help, we do :)

post #636 of 1121

has anybody compared the x-sabre to the new sabre dacs from audio-gd, specifically the nfb-1.32?


also is the coax and usb inputs galvanically isolated? im afraid of ground loop noise/hum from my PC, which i have experienced before with electrical data cables, and is why i prefer optical.


rly missing toslink, if x-sabre had toslink input i would've bought it already...

Edited by Jd007 - 9/10/13 at 8:24pm
post #637 of 1121

Just talked to Arthur from Matrix USA, they carry the new 2013 models now (even though their website has not been updated to reflect this), so they come with the voltage selector. Arthur says they will update their website to show this soon.


Also he confirmed for me that the USB input of the X-Sabre is indeed completely galvanically isolated, so both the 5V hot and ground wires are not used and can be cut actually (only the 2 data wires are used). Another to thing I found out is that only products bought from the Matrix USA website is covered by the North America warranty, so don't get it from elsewhere (e.g. eBay) if you can. Matrix USA (Arthur himself actually) has very good service and responded to my questions super quick.


The lack of optical input is not really a problem for me as I found a good optical to coaxial digital converter. Can't wait to get it in my hands lol

post #638 of 1121

Hmmm... did I make my order too early? :rolleyes: I like the silver version. A silver spot in the black gear... Well, the DAC is in town. Hope the TNT man will be appearing before I have to leave to work. I feel like christmas a bit. :smile:

post #639 of 1121

Another big thank you to Project86 for the initial writeup, and everyone else who has pitched in since then. I replaced a 12 year old Perpetual Audio P3A with the X-Sabre that arrived yesterday, I know I still have more burn-in-time ahead but I already love this unit. Such a lush, rich but incredibly clear sound from all sources and formats/depths/rates it's a pure joy to listen to. The build quality is also superb, in-hand it feels like the high end it is. Arthur was also great to work with through the initial questions, transaction and suggestions. I can't recommend this enough.


I'm using JRiver from a small E-Book as the digital/USB source (with all music files on a central server). I was worried the e-book's meagre CPU wouldn't be up to DSD/DXD playback and I did run into buffering issues initially but it was just down to wifi and those high bitrates, once I copied them locally everything has been silky smooth. I still might upgrade to a better laptop later (when the wallet has recovered :) ) to play with JRive'rs realtime DSD conversion (i.e. PCM to DSD), see how that affects the end result.

post #640 of 1121

A dream came true. Streaming DSD files. So, everyone with a Squeezebox Touch, install the EDO app and try this DAC. The USB connection works "out of the box" after the reboot (of the SBT).

The next hours I will be busy with converting all my DSD files to DoP. Thank God it`s weekend! :smile:

post #641 of 1121
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by holzohr View Post

A dream came true. Streaming DSD files. So, everyone with a Squeezebox Touch, install the EDO app and try this DAC. The USB connection works "out of the box" after the reboot (of the SBT).

The next hours I will be busy with converting all my DSD files to DoP. Thank God it`s weekend! :smile:


Nice! I sold my SBT a while back, but this sounds like a great way to get an affordable DSD capable music server going. 

post #642 of 1121
A question for current owners regarding operation: is there a delay in the x-Sabre locking on to the signal (USB and coax)? My current dac takes a second to lock so I always miss the first second of a song when I use wasapi frown.gif(
post #643 of 1121
I don't have that issue. Mine locks in right away.
post #644 of 1121

The only time I've noticed a click is from DSD to PCM and vice-versa. PCM to PCM at all rates (including DXD) is flawless. JRiver has a configurable delay for hardware sync though if you do run into the issue.

post #645 of 1121

@Maxvla & Ahriakin: Thanks that's very good to hear.

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