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Matrix Mini-i Pro Impressions?

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by senpai3330, Dec 19, 2013.
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  1. Juventino77
    Hi guys,
    Has anyone compared the Matrix Mini-I Pro with the Gustard DAC x12?
    Both similarly priced but the X12 has the ES9018 chip and I2S where as the PRO is the ES9016 and no I2S
    Would be interesting to have some comparisons.
    Nobody had the pleasure to compare?
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  3. kaizmak

    Should I update my unit (PRO) 2014 version to 2015 firmware ?
    Thanks for advise.
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  5. White Lotus
    This feels like a slight kick in the pants to the (now "old") Mini-i PRO owners..
  6. simig
    Yes I agree, it's a pity…  We all know the Sabre is 32 bit compatible, a firmware update should do the trick.
    I also own the very nice iFi iDSD Nano and they provided a free Xmos firmware update to their customers :  Quad-Speed DSD (DSD256, 11.2/12.4MHz)…
    Matrix really should follow their exemple.
    What i find strange is that I thought they kept the Matrix pro 24 bit, so that the use of the digital volume control doesn't damage the quality of the sound (leaving the last 8 bit/-48db for the volume)?? How does it work now?
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  8. simig
    I'm not a specialist so I may be wrong, but I checked the XMOS 6U6C5 (usb interface) datasheet and it's a f 32-bit multicore microcontroller.
    So i doubt Matrix changed the chip. It seems to be a simple matter of programing.
    As the volume control is implemented into the digital stage, the major drawback is that 1 bit of the D/A conversion is lost in every 6DB volume reduction. So, even though the built-in DA Sabre chip is 32 bit, that's why they choose to limit the input signals to 24 bit so that 8 bit remains for the digital volume, which allows 48db of attenuation without any dagradation of the sound. (beyond -48db, we loose significant bit of the signal)
    iFi choose to use a volume control in the analog domain (which I think is a better idea) so their dac was direclty 32 bit, and a simple xmos firmware update (that they were kind enough to provide freely) added DSD 256 compatibility.


  9. simig
    I really like my mini Pro, the design and the sound but there's one thing that really puzzles me :
    According to what i've read on the subject, "real native DSD playback, cannot have a digital volume control… The reason is, digital volume control works by reducing the bit depth of the digital files, and every -6dB means 1 bit of bit depth is lost…
    Given DSD is a ONE bit format, reducing it by a mere -6dB will totally turn it into, well, a big nothing. That's why you can't apply any digital volume control to DSD. If you ever see a DSD playback that offers digital volume control, it usually means the data has been internally converted to PCM, followed by the usual digital volume control, then output to hardware".
    So how come it's possible to use the Mini Pro's digital volume with DSD playback?
    Is it really native DSD playback… or is it in fact converted to PCM?
    That would be nice to have an explanation from Matrix about this.
  10. abvolt
    Great point thanks for bring that fact up, I've been wanting the X sabre but it's been out of stock for some time now and so I've looked at this dac maybe I'll just keep waiting..
  11. burdie
    Guys, the 2015 updated download is driver NOT firmware. So installing new driver will not update the firmware to old 2014 Mini-i Pro, the max damage is new driver may not compatible to old 2014 Mini-i Pro.
    I will try it tonight... using another PC.
  12. burdie
    I uninstalled the old version driver (1.67) and installed the new driver, without connecting the old 2014 Mini-i Pro.
    After reconnected the old mini-i pro, my windows tablet detect it as Mini-i Pro while searching drivers, and successfully installed as Mini-i.
    Then i reconfigured foobar, reselect mini-i pro under foo_dsd_asio and DSD Playback method selected Asio Native.
    1. Playback DSD64 dff file and the mini-i pro displayed DSD2.8M, and playback properly, everything just fine, so i assumed Asio Native worked.
    2. Playback DSD256 dff file and the mini-i pro displayed DSD5.6M, and playback properly, foobar display 11.2M (very long figure, used short form), again, Asio Native worked
    3. change DSD playback method to DoP Marker, DSD64 played properly, DSD256 unsupported sample rate.
    4. change to Asio Native, upscale DSD to DSD512, both dff files unable to play
    5. upscale to DSD256, played DSD64 file, foobar shown 11.2M but Mini-i pro still shown DSD5.6M
    I) Asio Native worked, new driver worked on old 2014 model, DSD256 supported.
    II) The display may only support max DSD5.6M, some more there is no additional space to show DSD11.2M (Can someone confirm it on their new 2015 model?)
    I didn't try digital volume, my setting always at line level.
  13. uqart
    Hey did you ever get the Apple Remote working?

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  15. burdie
    Can you kindly play DSD256 file and tell us what is the display info? DSD11.2M or DSD5.6M (the old display do not have extra space after displaying DSD5.6M)
    As I pointed out before, the 2015 new driver (again, not firmware) worked on my 2014 model. I managed to get DSD64 - DSD256 playback via Asio Native and DSD64-DSD128 playback via DoP Marker with the new 2015 driver. All scale up to DSD256 also able to play, but not on DSD512 and also the display limited to DSD5.6M.
    Apparently the new driver worked for both 2014 and 2015 model, regardless which XMOS chip (I do agreed on firmware cannot be common) was adopted.
    Will it be the marketing trick?
    Right now I am more concern on the implementation of digital volume on both 2014/2015 models. whether it involved DSD/PCM conversion internally.
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