Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by mtoc, Nov 11, 2016.
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  1. DarKu
    Team X-Sabre Pro, I need your help.

    I am using an iMac via USB to my X-Sabre Pro, I'm mostly listening to Tidal HiFi and I have a problem that bothers me: it doesnt work in Exclusive Mode with my X-Sabre Pro, as I hear a very annoying noise/hiss and no music at all.
    I tried all possible combinations of these 3 settings: Exclusive Mode, Force DAC to maximum volume, disable MQA decoding, but any change I do when I engage Exclusive Mode I get lots of noise/static and no sound. Disabling Exclusive Mode makes my DAC sing again.
    Ideas what should I check?
    I have the latest firmware (1.82 I believe) and XMOS (6.60)
    PS: In MIDI Audio setup it is left at 32 bit 384 Khz integer mode.
    Any help will be much appreciated.
  2. zerstorer
    I just got X-SPDIF2 connected it in front of a microrendu with ifi and used the LPS-1 to power it.

    Using a cheap HDMI cable I hear a significant improvement in liquidity and transparency. Perhaps to a greater degree than adding a LPS-1 to a microrendu.

    Well worth the money!

    This also means that Matrix compromised on the USB input of the XSabre pro. The x-spdif2 is clearly superior.
  3. taxman2

    I know previously you've owned gustard x20 and were using it with SU-1. Can you tell if there's a noticeable difference and if so could you kindly describe it. Thank you!
    My X-Sabre PRO has been running since January this year. After the firmware update, it sounds much more precise in details. My DAC-X20 is unplugged now.
    My friend made a special re-clocking box for me, which is supposed to be used between SU-1 and X-Sabre PRO in HDMI LVDS. 22.5792MHz and 24.576MHz from a rubidium clock are given to this box. It re-clocks BCK/DSDCLK. This box has brought my X-Sabre PRO into an untimate level.
  5. taxman2
    Well, that is nice to hear, but can you tell a difference without using this re-cloacking box? Is there really a noticeable difference? Never mind DSD1024. I am good enough with DSD256.
  6. project86 Contributor
    Take this with a grain of salt, as I sent back the X-Sabre Pro loaner quite some time ago.... I'm extrapolating from my recent experience using I2S on DACs from Wyred 4 Sound and PS Audio.

    I'd say the important part is going with I2S, by any means available. Go for the X-SPDIF 2 for under $400. Or grab a Cayin iDAP-6 for a bit more to have a full-featured I2S capable transport. Spend even more on a PS Audio PerfectWave Transport (close to $1K on the used market) if you still spin discs. In all three cases, I2S over HDMI seems to have an advantage over even a well-implemented USB or SPDIF interface.

    It doesn't cost much to grab an X-SPDIF 2 or (SU-1 now that I think of it) to hear this for yourself. It would have been great if Matrix had followed through on the X-Server which featured I2S out.... that would be an ideal match for the X-Sabre Pro. Still not sure what they were thinking on that project.
  7. DarKu
    Ok guys, I have a CRAAZY question for those who own an X-Sabre Pro and a google Chromecast.

    Will Chromecast work with X-Sabre Pro via HDMI (I2s input of the X-sabre) ? If so will streaming services work (google music, spotify, tidal, etc) as well? Appreciate any input.
    I thinking of a cheap method of integrating X-Sabre Pro in the living room using Tidal streaming, any ideas besides this one?
    No, the HDMI connetor on X-Sabre PRO is for I2S/DSD LVDS and has nothing to do with the HDMI standards Chromecast follows.

    The cheapest solution for Tidal may be:
    (1) purchase Chromecast Audio (not Chromecast) and an optical cable, one side of which is a round mini plug
    (2) prepare an Android tablet or a mobile phone, install BubbleUPnP and purchase its licence
    (3) connect Chromecast Audio to X-Sabre PRO via the optical cable
    (4) choose "Chromecast Audio" as Renderer, "Local and Cloud" as Library
    (5) set up Tidal on the Android tablet and enjoy

    Up to 96kHz/24-bit, no DSD
    Using BubbleUPnP Server on a Windows PC/Linux PC/Mac makes Chromecast Audio as OpenHome Media renderer, enabling its control by OpenHome Media Control Point such as Kazoo, fidata Music App, etc.
  9. DarKu
    Super-duper great idea! Many thanks!
    I'll let you know if that worked for me.
    It should work, as it is working in my connection.
    I have to say, the sound is not "high-end" but acceptable as BGM. Use a good quality USB power input to Chromecast Audio.
    The chip inside Chromecast Audio is said to be capable of handing up to 192kHz/24-bit. It is up to Google whether 192kHz will become playable.
    The firmware update of Chromecast Audio is automatic and you do not have to be aware of it.
    If it outputs DoP64 (= PCM 176.4kHz) in WAV, then DSD64 will be able to be played, too.
  11. ArthurPower
    A big thank you to everyone who visited us at the NYC CanJam show. A few pics...



    purk likes this.
    I appreciate the authorised dealers of Matrix Audio give more information to its users.

    I missed almost eight months since the market launch of X-SPDIF 2, as nobody had told how effective the combination with X-Sabre PRO would have been. As I own SU-1, I found no necessity of adding X-SPDIF 2.

    Now I enjoy an enormous sound quality improvement by setting "sync mode," "jitter reducer off" on X-Sabre PRO, and "MCLK ON" on X-SPDIF 2. As for DoP playback, I prefer "DoP to native OFF," meaning the DoP transcoding takes place in X-Sabre PRO.

    Except X-SPDIF 2, none of other USB-DDCs (including SU-1) in the market at this moment makes the ES9038PRO chip on X-Sabre PRO run in the "synchronous mode" as defined in the chip datasheet, setting DPLL on the chip totally off to create no jitter theoretically.

    I can say that X-SPDIF 2 is a must for X-Sabre PRO owners.
  13. DarKu
    Many thanks for your impressions on X-SPDIF2 together with X-Sabre Pro!
    I think I'll order an X-SPDIF 2 very soon as well.

    Can you comment a bit on what changes did you hear more exactly (hopefully it sounds more natural this way)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    As I am not good at describing things which cannot be defined explicitly, I am not sure if the readers understand what I mean.

    I have tried several "standard" methods such as clean power supply, more expensive cables, rubidium clock, etc. Every time I did something, I recognised a positive improvement.

    But this time, the improvement does not belong to any category I have experienced so far.
    Setting to "async mode" with/without "jitter reducer" or staying in "sync mode" with a wrong MCLK setting brings the sound back to my previous stage, which is not bad at all.

    The sound in "sync mode without jitter reducer (without DPLL)" is like a perfect athlete with no extra fat. The exaggeration and richness which have been made intentionally are totally gone. One may feel like a downscaling or downgrading, if one is accustomed to hear exaggerated sound.
    For further details, experience by yourself. If you do not feel the benefit, just sell X-SPDIF 2.

    Note that this applies only to X-Sabre PRO, as it concerns the synchronous mode of the ES9038PRO chip. Other ES9038PRO DACs with HDMI LVDS input may get the same benefit in the future, if they support 128fs MCLK synchronous mode. This is a feature the ES9038PRO chip has, but it does not mean all the set DACs using ES9038PRO implement it.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  15. AlexDDD
    Hello! So your conclusion is that the best is async but jitter reducer on or off?
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