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Matrix X-Sabre DAC review and impression thread - Page 47

post #691 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

My X-Sabre is here and I'm very impressed!!

 

The only issue I have now is that I have too much gain on my amplifier and can't use sufficient range on the volume control. :tongue:

 

Question: has anyone found any benefits using either WASAPI or ASIO. I seem to be able to use either (I'm not using DSD), but can't tell if either is better. With ASIO I still hear sound from applications other than my player (MediaMonkey) whereas the WASAPI locks out everything else. Not sure if that means WASAPI is truly getting exclusive control and should therefore be better, but would be interested in others' experiences.

congrats! may i ask how the x-sabre compares with your AGD 5.2 or 5.32? the 5.32 was on my shortlist of dacs to get.

 

also for gain, are you using the xlr out or the rca? the xlr out is a bit hot so if you want more volume range you should switch to the rca, which is around the common 2Vrms level


Edited by Jd007 - 10/22/13 at 5:50pm
post #692 of 999

I think it's down to WASAPI being tied to the OS sound system, so in exclusive mode Windows will not play system sounds etc. but with ASIO that's not the case. The ASIO signal itself is bit-perfect but using it does not stop the std. windows sound system in any way so Direct-X/WASAPI etc. are still functioning and sending data to the device in parallel.

post #693 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post
 

congrats! may i ask how the x-sabre compares with your AGD 5.2 or 5.32? the 5.32 was on my shortlist of dacs to get.

 

also for gain, are you using the xlr out or the rca? the xlr out is a bit hot so if you want more volume range you should switch to the rca, which is around the common 2Vrms level

 

It's a definite upgrade over the AGD 5.2, but has made me realise just how good the AGD is for the money. I'm selling mine if you're interested.

 

In terms of gain I'm using the RCA which is still a bit too hot for my current setup, but I'm going to modify my amp to have a little less gain and will also create a special XLR-to-RCA cable to tame the voltage back to about 1.7V when connecting to my Bottlehead S.E.X. amp.

post #694 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

 

It's a definite upgrade over the AGD 5.2, but has made me realise just how good the AGD is for the money. I'm selling mine if you're interested.

 

In terms of gain I'm using the RCA which is still a bit too hot for my current setup, but I'm going to modify my amp to have a little less gain and will also create a special XLR-to-RCA cable to tame the voltage back to about 1.7V when connecting to my Bottlehead S.E.X. amp.

the AGD 5.2 if im not mistake is $900, and pretty much identical to the new 5.32 other than the new usb receiver? thats only $200 cheaper than the x-sabre, so i guess that means the x-sabre is also great for the money lol? in which areas would you say the x-sabre is better than the 5.2?

post #695 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post
 

the AGD 5.2 if im not mistake is $900, and pretty much identical to the new 5.32 other than the new usb receiver? thats only $200 cheaper than the x-sabre, so i guess that means the x-sabre is also great for the money lol? in which areas would you say the x-sabre is better than the 5.2?

 

I'm comparing to the older "NFB-5.2" not the "Reference 5.32". I think the NFB-5.2/5.32 has been discontinued and it's a lower level DAC (around $500 new).

 

What I can say is that the X-Sabre is beautifully detailed and articulate, but very musical. It's cleaner than the NFB-5.2, but manages to do so without becoming analytical or cold (which would have been a killer for me with the Bottlehead S.E.X. and Beyer T1s)

post #696 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

 With ASIO I still hear sound from applications other than my player.

 

This is the main reason I am using wasapi. I simply cannot believe there isn't noise coming in through the Windows mixer with the ASIO driver.

 

That said, I can't say the ASIO sounds bad at all. On my setup there is a subtle difference to the sound between ASIO and wasapi, with the wasapi having a bit more edge detail. Or perhaps I am hearing things.

 

It would be great if the Matrix guys could comment on how it is supposed to work.


Edited by Sanlitun - 10/22/13 at 9:31pm
post #697 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

 With ASIO I still hear sound from applications other than my player.

 

This is the main reason I am using wasapi. I simply cannot believe there isn't noise coming in through the Windows mixer with the ASIO driver.

 

That said, I can't say the ASIO sounds bad at all. On my setup there is a subtle difference to the sound between ASIO and wasapi, with the wasapi having a bit more edge detail. Or perhaps I am hearing things.

 

It would be great if the Matrix guys could comment on how it is supposed to work.


ASIO is more straightforward way to the driver, bypassing most of these these OS layers. WASAPI is always extra overhead. Unless you are dealing with crappy ASIO drivers, most XMOS devices use generic one from TheSycon which is pretty good, or use non exclusive mode or still have your device mapped as default, there shouldn't be any sounds leaking. I have tested WASAPI and ASIO on Auralic Vega with Exact clock which is very sensitive to the stream and ASIO always produces less drop outs.

post #698 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
 


ASIO is more straightforward way to the driver, bypassing most of these these OS layers. WASAPI is always extra overhead. Unless you are dealing with crappy ASIO drivers, most XMOS devices use generic one from TheSycon which is pretty good, or use non exclusive mode or still have your device mapped as default, there shouldn't be any sounds leaking. I have tested WASAPI and ASIO on Auralic Vega with Exact clock which is very sensitive to the stream and ASIO always produces less drop outs.

 

MediaMonkey doesn't provide a true exclusive option, but seems to sound as good as WASAPI which does provide a full exclusive option. I do know that the volume control is completely useless so I am assuming it's bit-for-bit.

post #699 of 999

Early impressions of the X-Sabre are:

 

  • Crazy detailed, but still smooth
  • Clean, clean, clean
  • Very musical and smooth (but see point 1 - no detail lost)
  • Works seamlessly with PC & Mac

 

If I had to find one complaint it would be the silver toggle switches, but I actually think they're growing on me because they're quite nice to use.

post #700 of 999
I was reading the there will be a comparison between the Concero HD and the X-Sabre. Did I miss it?

Also which of the 2 would be a better match for in nearfield environment using Mini Maggies as the speakers and a diy ICE 500W Class D amp as the amplifier.

Issue I currently have is that the lows/bass are not represented properly and are overall there is very little bass represented which are over shadowed by the highs.

Currently use the DEQ24/96 to digitally EQ my room. Found that the mini maggies with and without DEQ sounds more or less the same as they are less environment sensitive. But the bass, OMG the upper bass is so soft... Will the X-Sabre improve my music as well as the bass section?
post #701 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadenp View Post

I was reading the there will be a comparison between the Concero HD and the X-Sabre. Did I miss it?

Also which of the 2 would be a better match for in nearfield environment using Mini Maggies as the speakers and a diy ICE 500W Class D amp as the amplifier.

Issue I currently have is that the lows/bass are not represented properly and are overall there is very little bass represented which are over shadowed by the highs.

Currently use the DEQ24/96 to digitally EQ my room. Found that the mini maggies with and without DEQ sounds more or less the same as they are less environment sensitive. But the bass, OMG the upper bass is so soft... Will the X-Sabre improve my music as well as the bass section?

 

This sounds to me like a larger issue than the DAC. Are you using the bass unit with the Maggies?

post #702 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post

This sounds to me like a larger issue than the DAC. Are you using the bass unit with the Maggies?

Yupe I am using the woofer unit. Just that the near field positioning is not bass friendly and Mini Maggies are not really good at bass. Also the DEQ24/96 DAC chip, the AK4393, seems to be lacking in bass comparatively.

Am sourcing for a new DAC when I saw this thread. Is the X-Sabre bass shy? Because my whole setup is already so bass shy, i scared to add anything that removes more bass biggrin.gif
Edited by gadenp - 10/28/13 at 11:42pm
post #703 of 999
I would say it's definitely not bass shy. I can't say definitively if it adds any bass, but my system sounds better across the whole frequency range with the X-Sabre. Would love to hear others' opinions.
post #704 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post

I would say it's definitely not bass shy. I can't say definitively if it adds any bass, but my system sounds better across the whole frequency range with the X-Sabre. Would love to hear others' opinions.

 

Managed to get the X-Sabre to audition for 7 days. Just got it tonight and I can tell that is much more detailed then my old DEQ24/96 DAC section.

 

Still using my DEQ24/96 digital EQ section but bypassing the DAC section.

 

Also, my goodness the bass it back :) I have been so long without really punchy bass, I think I am getting a headache :D

 

Also trying to get the Yulong DA8 for audtion.

 

Now I need to decide to either:

1. Upgrade my DEQ24/96 DAC section from the AK4393 chip to the AK4396 dac chip (can get someone to help me mod for SGD$100)

2. Get the X-Sabre for SGD $1399

3. Get the Yulong DA8 for SGD $1590 (which I read is really similar but with additional headphone amp for $200 more)

post #705 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadenp View Post
 

 

Managed to get the X-Sabre to audition for 7 days. Just got it tonight and I can tell that is much more detailed then my old DEQ24/96 DAC section.

 

Still using my DEQ24/96 digital EQ section but bypassing the DAC section.

 

Also, my goodness the bass it back :) I have been so long without really punchy bass, I think I am getting a headache :D

 

Also trying to get the Yulong DA8 for audtion.

 

Now I need to decide to either:

1. Upgrade my DEQ24/96 DAC section from the AK4393 chip to the AK4396 dac chip (can get someone to help me mod for SGD$100)

2. Get the X-Sabre for SGD $1399

3. Get the Yulong DA8 for SGD $1590 (which I read is really similar but with additional headphone amp for $200 more)

 

Tough call.

 

I know nothing about the DEQ so won't comment on that, but would suggest that the additional headphone amp in an integrated unit like the DA8 is never as good as a stand-alone amp. I'm not commenting on the DA8 specifically, but have yet to hear or hear about an integrated system that is as good as what's possible when bypassing the DAC to a dedicated amp.

 

Convenience of a single-box solution aside, I would decide based on the quality of the DACs, not the inclusion of an integrated HP amp.

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