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XMOS XU208 USB BRIDGES - THE LATEST GEN HAS ARRIVED!

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by rb2013, Mar 27, 2016.
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  1. rb2013 Contributor

    Great info thanks!  I had a DAC with the Sabre 32 it had a hardness in SQ - but very detailed.  The Eastern Elec MiniMax Plus - choice of rollable opamps (socketed) and tube outputs.  No matter what I tried I could not get it tonally where I wanted and sold it.
    http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/1212/eastern_electric_minimax_dac_plus.htm
     
    MSB Tech - the R2R giants published this on the D-S 32 bit DACs -
    http://www.msbtech.com/support/What_about_32_bit_DACs.php?Page=supportHome
     
    And the issue of chip on board opamps high lighted here:
    http://funwithaudio.blogspot.com/2012/01/today-in-electronics-everything-is-made.html
     
    Alex at APL found a way to hotwire the AKM 32-bit D-S multi-segment chips and run them in series
    .
    The reason I choose the classic 24-bit R2R PCM1704UK based DAC60 to begin my mod project - the results far exceeding my expectations:
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/740362/lite-dac60-pcm1704-r2r-tubed-dac-mod-project
     
    I'm in awe of the Yggy!  That is very cool technology - and the SQ is excellent I hear. 
     
    'm a tubed DAC guy so these would be on my 'lottery money' list:
     
    APL DSD-M: http://www.aplhifi.com/products/dsd-m
    Total DAC D1 Tubed: http://www.totaldac.com/D1-tube-eng.htm
    Aqua La Scala MK2: http://www.aquahifi.com/la_scala.html
     
    Cheers!
     
  2. rb2013 Contributor
    Yes I agree feeding the clocks directly from a separate 3.3VDC source would make sense - thanks!
     
    Nice!  Well I'll be curious as to your results with the F-1
     
    Cheers!
     
  3. rb2013 Contributor
    F-1 Review Update:
     
    Ok the F-1 is at the 120hrs mark for last nights listening session - now with the W4S Recovery.  First - no unlocks again - super stable drivers and unit - same for the X-1.  Rock solid.  Sounding great!  Don't really think the Recovery made any significant improvement (over the Regen) - as least before burnin.  So we'll see.
     
    As I was listening I was re-reading the CA 15 USB/SPDIF converter shootout on my tablet.  Just a refreasher this was their ranking of DDCs:
     
    http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/15-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-spdif-converters-shootout-15327/
     
    To me ​
    Berkeley Audio Designs Alpha USB defines the current state of the art inUSB/SPDIF converters design​
    .​


    The final shootout score is as follows:​

    So it looks like the $1800 Berkeley Audio USB was the top dog - BUT then I read near the end of the comments a discussion of the PUC2/PUClite, as the new Mutec MC-3 USb entered the discussion:
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Then someone linked over to the Stereotimes Review of the PUC2 Lite:
    http://www.stereotimes.com/post/yellowtec-puc2-lite-usb-converter/
     
    Well - Does the PUC2 better the Berkeley????  Wow!  If so I would use some logic and say the F-1 (well fed) would just crush the Berkeley!!!
     
    Of course this is all system dependent - but at least in mine the F-1 is heads over the PUC2 and the Pro3a.
     
    So far no threads on CA about the F-1, X-1 or even the XMOS XU208 - interesting for a computer audio blog to not have this on their radar - at least a discussion.
     
    Bet when they stumble on to this little board - some folks there will flip out.  Of course the 'rear guard' that flame the threads there constantly (Poor REShaman) - will likely dismiss it without even hearing it saying "it can;t be any good - it doesn't cost at least a grand"

    Well who'll be the brave one to open the discussion there - better wear your flamesuit. [​IMG]
    flamesuit.jpg
     
  4. Luckbad
    One thing to note on CA and to a lesser extent HF, cost translates to audio fidelity. If something is super inexpensive, it can't be very good. People on CA make me feel poor.
     
    Other people also have very different rankings and ears. I've heard from people I trust that the M2Tech is pretty mediocre in the value department and the Audiophilleo is horrible value (like... not really better than a lot of modern USB inputs in DACs).
     
    I've also heard the Gustard U12 is worlds better than stock USB. I didn't hear a difference. I heard the Audio-GD DI-2014 is much better than that. No difference. Audio-GD DI-U8 is bonkers good! Okay, this one I could tell it was slightly better than pure USB. Now we're getting somewhere...
     
    CI Audio Transient MKII will do your laundry! Actually, this one is slightly better to my ears than the DI-U8, even powered by USB. Give it a nice power supply and bring its total cost to four figures, and it's probably extremely impressive.
     
    But wait, Mutec MC-1.2 is as good as the Transient and hundreds less! Guess I better listen head-to-head. Actually, yes. Power it from USB and it's slightly worse, plug in the mains and it's slightly better.
     
    Crap, am I on the USB converter train? I better try the Mutec MC-3+ Smart Clock USB. $1100? Frick... I hope it's no better than the MC-1.2.
     
    Curses. Malurses. The Mutec MC-3+ USB is clearly very good. It's the first converter I've used that made me realize things really could get better in an obvious way. Everything is the same, just better. Cleaner, clearer, better stage, better separation... 
     
    Maybe these people aren't as crazy as I thought? 
     
    Okay, I don't know why my tangent went that far. Anyway, be wary of the CA crowd. They--in a very unfair and generalized sense--translate cost to quality. In way, that happens here as well. These super cheap options are very high value, thus contribute to our perception of their quality.
     
    I'll get @rb2013 one of my Mutec MC-3+ USBs sometime soon so he can give his impressions. 
     
  5. murphythecat
    RB2013, one thing to consider is the shoot out at CA was done in 2013.
    I think the XMOS chip is really the cause of the better SQ and maybe im wrong but the units in the CA shootout are too old to use XMOS.
     
  6. rb2013 Contributor

    Great post! LOL!  But you are so right.  And there is an element of truth to money buys SQ.  The Berkeley so very well designed and using top components - same for the Mutec MC-3+ Smart Clock USB (they need a shorter name).   Have you ever heard the Berkeley USB?  I haven't and of course am curious - (hint, hint to anyone out there).
     
    Thank you for the offer to loan me that amazing unit - that's how I came on the PUC2 lite.
     
    I started this computer audio thing over 10 yrs ago - before USB 2.0 Async.  To get the thru put I needed I had to go the Pro Audio route - using the RME FireFace 800 - a $1500 solution.  It used the sota at the time higher bandwidth Firewire 1394b (same as the F-22 Raptor).  And it was pretty good.
    rme-audio-fireface-800-533258.jpg
     
     
    Fast forward to today - like a bi-plane compared to that F-22. 
     
    So at least for me and my system, and ears each step here up the USB ladder has been noticeable - the F-1 a major step up - in fact a leap up.  As I say I always use my analog system as a litmus test - reference point.  Soon it may very well go bye, bye...
     
    Cheers!
     
  7. murphythecat
    so you will try mutec mc-3? its way to rich for me but it will be great knowing how it compares to breeze, puc2, ect!!!
     
    thanks for your dedication rb2013
     
  8. rb2013 Contributor

    Well that's a good point and it was updated from time to time - the Berkeley is based on the XMOS - so maybe a ground breaker back then.
     
    I laugh - the iCore 7 4790 12GB DDR3 mem that I bought at Costco for $450 - would smoke the best $2000 PC from 2013.  In fact would smoke the best supercomputer from 1980.
     
    Like CPU technology - this DDC stuff is moving very fast.  As admitted to me recently  - the Audio Mag reviewers can not keep pace.
     
    alphausb1.jpg
     
  9. rb2013 Contributor

    Yes by @Luckbad's good graces...Once the Q1-S arrives and is burnt in I will do a shootout between the F-1, X-1, Mutec, QS-1.
     
    I would rate the F-1 right now heads above, at a clear #1, over the PUC2 lite with a subjective score of 150+.  It's that good.  The X-1 tie with the PUC2 at 130ish.  It's $59.
     
    BTW the CA thread post above mentioned the Soulution 590 and the poster liked the Berkeley better.
     
    The 590 is $4000!
    http://www.stereophile.com/content/soulution-590#GwRZqbqSi5K4IeaR.97
     
  10. hugoboss
    i read ca several times they quick with dac technology news
    but usb technology not quite fast compare to headfi , it's the regen and the ifi iusb 3.0 that got hot at there.
     
    f1 xmos xcore 200 never mentioned at there (this is exclusive product from taobao china mainland)
    no even one distributor yet at euro, us,uk. so it wil never got popular at ca.
    also the price of simple unfinished is $150.
    i think it will never popular at ca.
    only aune (their cheap tube dac very popular) , audiogd (their dac even their power amp), cayin (tube amp very popular) brand that got a reputation in euro/ us/ uk as far as i remember till now.
    but if euro or us or uk brand got this x core 200 in their new product  line it will be a different story
     
     
    BUT If the rave keep going just like your post update everyday.
    i think the f1 seller at china will got BOOM sales.
    iam also ordered 1 already that little f1 still curious how will it compared to my ifi iusb 3 .
    i already very impressed with the ifi micro iusb 3.0.
    if they join force . that ifi iusb 3 plus dual head usb cable with separate power and data, plus f1 . i cant imagine the sound
     
  11. Caper
     
    My config will be as follow:
     
    Intel NUC with a Sbooster Vbus2 isolator connected at USB port, totally disconnects the USB train from dirty 5v.
    https://www.sbooster.com/sbooster-tweaks/sbooster-vbus-isolator
     
    El cheapo USB cable for data transport.
     
    Aqvox USB PSU
    http://www.aqvox.de/usb-power_en.html
     
    Intona USB Isolator powered by the Aqvox.
     
    Supra USB cable to the F1 DDC.
     
    And finally Oehlbach coax cable from the F1 to my Hegels coax input.
     
    This should be a good solution and the final step in upgrading for now.
    But I have an eye open for the Pro4A also when it´s available in about two weeks.
     
    If this doesn´t play with better SQ than the old Pioneer DVD player over coax I will be dissapointed.
     
  12. rb2013 Contributor

    You are spot on!  They are simply hyper ventilating over the intona, before it was the Regen - at least for now.
     
    The curated Recovery thread was going well - until the thread flamers started in - chased old REShaman into seclusion.  Got to have a thick skin in this blogging game.  Since he left the thread has devolved into another intona thread - like my old U12 thread did.  Oh well it was time for that one to close-up - too many pages became to unwieldy.  Just re-hashing the same stuff. 
     
    So with these new guys - a perfect opportunity to start fresh.  You are right on these being a naked boards, but they are plug and play ready - just need a case - and a i2s socket if that's your poison.  Unlike some true DIY boards like the excellent Luckit WaveIO. http://luckit.biz
     
    The Gustard U12 did get a mention and a thread.  But you would think the XMOS 200 series update would be discussed? 
     
    Well maye the turn key Singxer SU-1 coming out in May will gain some attention.  For 300$ pretty sweet.  I do prefer the F-1, as it's power supply is more flexible and so can be upgraded easily, if not inexpensively.  Modding the SU-1 will likely require heavy duty PS mods like Alex did on the Melodious MX-U8.  But at least it has the Cyrstek CCHD clocks as std. - that's a PIA mod.
     
    TB2rcXflVXXXXaLXXXXXXXXXXXX_156213177.jpg
     
    Your iFi iUSB 3.0 and dual head USB cable should be a great match for the F-1.
    Cheers!
     
  13. rb2013 Contributor

    Nice!  I would consider a VBUS Blocker as well - Sbooster make a good one cheap.
     
    It should blow the DVD away!  Report what you find.
     
    Cheers
    [​IMG] 
     
    PS It's looks like you have the VBUS blocker - just called it an isolator..
     
  14. Caper
    Yeah,VBUS blocker already on the way and will be here tomorrow.
    I wrote that but you propably just missed it.
     
    Will report my findings when I get the F1.
    If this setup doesn´t blow that DVD away I guess I have to take a look at W10, maybe driven from USB stick or USB HDD.
    Currenty using W7 MCE.
    I really don´t want to mess with a Dual Boot.
    Or maybe go wild and try Hackintosh on my NUC [​IMG]
     
     
    Thanks!
     
  15. rb2013 Contributor

    Well if not there is always the 'gizmo' parade...Regen, Regen w/LPS, Recovery. Recovery w/LPS, Jitterbug, DC iPurifier, iPurifier2, iUSB 3.0, Schiit Wyred, Audience Rp1a, JS-2 LPS, etc...[​IMG][​IMG]
     
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