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Matrix X-Sabre DAC review and impression thread - Page 45

post #661 of 1040
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post
 

 

yeah i know about the calyx. the calyx 24/192 dac also has the same 2.2V/6.8V output. i didnt know it was due to the es9018 chip because like you said many other es9018 chips have lower output levels. still it's a bit werid that the rca output is not half of xlr output. i guess they go through completely separate analog output stages/circuits?

 

and yeah as for x-sabre on powered speakers i'll just wait and see myself i guess. thanks for the help guys

 

It has to do with the way they sum the 4 DACs per channel in the ES9018 when using single ended mode. But the 6.8V output is kind of like a headphone amp centered around the TPA6120 driver chip - the specs call for 10 ohm output impedance, so that's what you'll see more often than not. But some companies (Audinst for example) use alternative methods to get the output impedance lower, which they feel is worth the trouble. 

post #662 of 1040

Just got my X-Sabre today, it's the new 2013 model with the switchable voltage on the bottom (had to switch it to 115V as it came as 230V), and man this thing is built like a tank, so heavy!! Hooked it up using USB the driver installation finished flawlessly. Initial impression vs my Bifrost Uber: warmer, but is it me or bass extension is a bit lacking compared to the Bifrost? I'm not getting some of the rumbling in the lows of certain songs that I seemed to be getting before (maybe because the bass is tighter and more controlled?).


Edited by Jd007 - 9/19/13 at 5:06pm
post #663 of 1040
Perhaps some time to get used to the new sound is in order. I upgraded from Bifrost to Gungnir to X-Sabre, and the X-Sabre was a clear step above both in all categories.
post #664 of 1040
Yeah maybe. I'm only using the RCA out of the X-Sabre also. Gonna give it some more time. The sound is definitely warmer and less harsh than the Bifrost, but not too warm IMO. No more clicking lol which is good! There is a slight delay when switching sample rate though, for the DAC to lock.
post #665 of 1040

Did anyone experience high pitching noise (well, it's straight constant note) with X-Sabre? It's slightly noticeable in quiet passages of music (and extremely annoying when there is complete silence). My problem is that once I hear it I am somehow focusing on whether I can hear it throughout whole listening session and that ruins the joy. Btw, it occurs only in left channel, right channel is fine.

 

I have confirmed it's generated in X-Sabre - when I unplugged RCAs from amp, that tone disappears (plus the intensity is "manageable" with volume control). Then I tried to disconnect USB cable from X-Sabre, to be sure it's not coming from PC and the noise was still there. I even tried to switch power cables, plugging them into different outlets in my room (I usually have them plugged in IsoTek Orion power conditioner). Hell, I even unplugged laptop adapter and monitor and still same annoying high pitch noise in left channel.

 

I think it most likely is power related thing and something in our house is making our electricity very dirty. Also one of my adapters (for laptop) is making same noise when laptop is turned off (very annoying when I go to sleep). When I leave my X-Sabre turned on and listen very closely, its power supply does the same noise in smaller degree (at least I think it's the power supply), but that is not an issue with headphones on. However, it might an issue if this is actually the noise that leaks to the left channel (the question is - if it really is, why it is present only in left channel, not in right one as well?).

post #666 of 1040
Quote:
Originally Posted by filuS View Post
 

Did anyone experience high pitching noise (well, it's straight constant note) with X-Sabre? It's slightly noticeable in quiet passages of music (and extremely annoying when there is complete silence). My problem is that once I hear it I am somehow focusing on whether I can hear it throughout whole listening session and that ruins the joy. Btw, it occurs only in left channel, right channel is fine.

 

I have confirmed it's generated in X-Sabre - when I unplugged RCAs from amp, that tone disappears (plus the intensity is "manageable" with volume control). Then I tried to disconnect USB cable from X-Sabre, to be sure it's not coming from PC and the noise was still there. I even tried to switch power cables, plugging them into different outlets in my room (I usually have them plugged in IsoTek Orion power conditioner). Hell, I even unplugged laptop adapter and monitor and still same annoying high pitch noise in left channel.

 

I think it most likely is power related thing and something in our house is making our electricity very dirty. Also one of my adapters (for laptop) is making same noise when laptop is turned off (very annoying when I go to sleep). When I leave my X-Sabre turned on and listen very closely, its power supply does the same noise in smaller degree (at least I think it's the power supply), but that is not an issue with headphones on. However, it might an issue if this is actually the noise that leaks to the left channel (the question is - if it really is, why it is present only in left channel, not in right one as well?).

 

You unplug from the amp and the noise stops. Something is causing a high frequency oscillation which is probably in both channels but better isolation in the right channel (very low level). If it doesn't see the amp load it is silent. Check for dc offset at your output. Change your cables to your amp (impedance matching could be a problem). If it is coming from your power supply then disconnecting the amp should make no difference.

post #667 of 1040
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by filuS View Post
 

Did anyone experience high pitching noise (well, it's straight constant note) with X-Sabre? It's slightly noticeable in quiet passages of music (and extremely annoying when there is complete silence). My problem is that once I hear it I am somehow focusing on whether I can hear it throughout whole listening session and that ruins the joy. Btw, it occurs only in left channel, right channel is fine.

 

I have confirmed it's generated in X-Sabre - when I unplugged RCAs from amp, that tone disappears (plus the intensity is "manageable" with volume control). Then I tried to disconnect USB cable from X-Sabre, to be sure it's not coming from PC and the noise was still there. I even tried to switch power cables, plugging them into different outlets in my room (I usually have them plugged in IsoTek Orion power conditioner). Hell, I even unplugged laptop adapter and monitor and still same annoying high pitch noise in left channel.

 

I think it most likely is power related thing and something in our house is making our electricity very dirty. Also one of my adapters (for laptop) is making same noise when laptop is turned off (very annoying when I go to sleep). When I leave my X-Sabre turned on and listen very closely, its power supply does the same noise in smaller degree (at least I think it's the power supply), but that is not an issue with headphones on. However, it might an issue if this is actually the noise that leaks to the left channel (the question is - if it really is, why it is present only in left channel, not in right one as well?).

 

Weird. Can you try it in another room somewhere? Maybe even bring it to work/neighbor/friends house and see if it persists? If so, it needs a return to fix that issue. Too annoying to have to put up with it. 

post #668 of 1040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chodi View Post
 

You unplug from the amp and the noise stops. Something is causing a high frequency oscillation which is probably in both channels but better isolation in the right channel (very low level). If it doesn't see the amp load it is silent. Check for dc offset at your output. Change your cables to your amp (impedance matching could be a problem). If it is coming from your power supply then disconnecting the amp should make no difference.

 

I unplugged RCA connection to amp just to be sure it's not amp related problem, which it clearly isn't. I don't hear a thing in right channel, even when right channel is still in. I switched to my old RCA cables (which are like 20 times cheaper than the ones I have now) and nothing changed, noise is still there. I have one spare power cable and I tried 4 different combinations and noise in left channel persisted in all occasions. I even tried switching between IsoTek Orion and direct outlet (without any filtration) without any luck. I also tried my old amp and that left channel noise is still audible, but to much smaller degree. My old amp has a lot of background noise with highly sensitive headphones and I didn't hear the high pitching noise until I was way too high with volume - on normal listening levels it wasn't there.

I will try to set X-Sabre + amp up in another room, to see (hear) if it changes...

 

I really hope it's something I could fix (or something I know I can do nothing about), I really hate the idea of returning it, I waited so long for this and it will take long time to get it back again. Another problem is - I didn't buy it directly from Matrix, I got it from a french site http://www.audiophonics.fr/ , I cannot be sure that same issue will audible in other setups (I could barely hear it when I changed the amp, and I am pretty sure very sensitive headphones are needed to hear it).

 

EDIT: I moved amp+dac into another room, no change, issue persists. But, I noticed something very strange. When there is no RCA connected to amp, there is absolutely nothing to hear, complete dark background across whole volume range (props to amp for that btw). When I connect both channel (RCA cables), issue is starting to be audible in left channel at around 8 o'clock, annoything somewhere between 9 and 10 o'clock. However, when I switch channels (only on amp - so left channel from X-Sabre goes to the right on amp and right to left), noise is not switching channels! It still persists in left channel with same intensity as if channels were correctly connected. I guess this might not be X-Sabres fault after all...


Edited by filuS - 9/21/13 at 9:29am
post #669 of 1040
Quote:
Originally Posted by filuS View Post
 

 

 

 

EDIT: I moved amp+dac into another room, no change, issue persists. But, I noticed something very strange. When there is no RCA connected to amp, there is absolutely nothing to hear, complete dark background across whole volume range (props to amp for that btw). When I connect both channel (RCA cables), issue is starting to be audible in left channel at around 8 o'clock, annoything somewhere between 9 and 10 o'clock. However, when I switch channels (only on amp - so left channel from X-Sabre goes to the right on amp and right to left), noise is not switching channels! It still persists in left channel with same intensity as if channels were correctly connected. I guess this might not be X-Sabres fault after all...

Reverse the tubes in your amp (switch them in the channels) and see if the noise switches to the right channel. This is sounding like your amp is at fault. May not be the tubes but it is the easiest thing to try.

post #670 of 1040

I just confirmed that the amp is causing troubles, not X-Sabre. At first I thought I have no chance of trying any other source besides X-Sabre, but then I remembered that like 2 years I bought some sh&$ty set of audio connectors and I could actually use aux to rca splitter. So I plugged my Cowon J3 in and noise is there! It seems that as soon as there a signal on input, amp generates a noise in left channel (nothing to do with tubes - I already switched them without any change, it's still in left channel). Thanks guys for helping me out, I am glad that X-Sabre turned to be innocent in this (not so glad the amp that costs half more than X-Sabre is at fault now). That being said, I am wondering how come when I hooked my old amp in the chain, I could still hear that high pitching bs in left channel, maybe I heard only what I expected to hear (psychoacoustics in it purest form).

post #671 of 1040
Thread Starter 
Dang, not the Svetlana! Glad you isolated the problem at least. Definitely try swapping tubes from left to right, see if the problem emerges on the other channel. Also I'd say try to plug it in somewhere else (another room or ideally another house altogether) which should be easy now that you know you don't need to lug the DAC along too. I wonder if the output transformers are picking up some interference or something? Would be ideal if it was a simple tube issue though.
post #672 of 1040
Thread Starter 
Oops did not notice you already tried switching tubes. Hmmmm... After trying another wall outlet, perhaps an email to ADL is in order.

What happens if you switch cables from left channel to right - does the noise follow at all?
post #673 of 1040

I tried swapping right and left channels on input, the noise was always in left channel regardless of how cables were put in. However, I am confused right now again - I just repeated a test with Cowon J3 as source and I got something I did not expect - there was no noise this time! As soon as I plugged X-Sabre again, bam, noise kicks in. Switching back to Cowon J3 - no noise.

post #674 of 1040

question for current owners: does anybody experience very occasional stutters/skips in playback? by very occasional i mean very rarely, maybe once every half hour or so, and it's just a single stutter/skip, music plays on normally after the short stutter, and if you rewind back to the same part it plays fine. im using usb, foobar2k wasapi push output, win7 pro 64-bit with latest 1.67 drivers, mostly playing 16/44.1 files. trying to find out what's causing it and because it's so rare i can't pinpoint exactly the source. i have just switched to wasapi event output, will see the problem persists.


Edited by Jd007 - 9/30/13 at 7:02pm
post #675 of 1040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post
 

question for current owners: does anybody experience very occasional stutters/skips in playback? by very occasional i mean very rarely, maybe once every half hour or so, and it's just a single stutter/skip, music plays on normally after the short stutter, and if you rewind back to the same part it plays fine. im using usb, foobar2k wasapi push output, win7 pro 64-bit with latest 1.67 drivers, mostly playing 16/44.1 files. trying to find out what's causing it and because it's so rare i can't pinpoint exactly the source. i have just switched to wasapi event output, will see the problem persists.

 

I sometimes have these issues, but not with X-Sabre. I think it's a memory / software-related issue.

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