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Matrix Audio X-SABRE 3 Measurements (DAC & Streamer)

piaseczek

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Matrix folks, please release ess 3039 version of this whitout streamer and mqa for lower cost.
You can have 2 different versions of this with one being cheaper whitout all of the above.
I feel like you folks straying too far away to from being affordable... Not long ago Matrix x sabre costed 1600euro.

It simply won't happen, the first (without mqa) x sabre pro was cheap but it was very long time ago. Now matrix is trying to be a chinese "premium brand", like auralic or lumin. But those brands regularly provide new firmware even for old models and matrix don't.

Personally I was considering replacing x sabre pro mqa to the newest model but with a "no new firmware" policy for previous top models it won't happen, the same situation will take place with x sabre 3 in the future:

 

Arnas

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It simply won't happen, the first (without mqa) x sabre pro was cheap but it was very long time ago. Now matrix is trying to be a chinese "premium brand", like auralic or lumin. But those brands regularly provide new firmware even for old models and matrix don't.

Personally I was considering replacing x sabre pro mqa to the newest model but with a "no new firmware" policy for previous top models it won't happen, the same situation will take place with x sabre 3 in the future:

Noticed that too, more and more companies are targeting snobs these days.
Matrix is getting there also.
 

Tks

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Awesome review.

As for the unit itself. I take MA to have the best quality housing for the price in terms of audio products. The only problem with this version, is they have that glossy top section which used to be all metal in the prior version. A massive hit against what was otherwise a great device in it's prior iteration. Really can't understand why this had to happen or who thought this was a good idea >_<
 

NoGoodPoints

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Certainly impressive in terms of design, features, and specs, but is there a reason to buy this for SQ vs a 150-300 dac with similar measurements?
 

pseudoid

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but with a "no new firmware" policy for previous top models it won't happen,
For decades, I have yearned for software which requires ZERO update/upgrades, in the hopes that the software was designed correctly, during the initial design!
I am not sure if my utopian dream (about sw) is applicable to the brain-trust @Matrix Audio.
...in a perfect world, software would not require such [CONTINUOUS] 'updates', as is the case with hardware design engineering!
 

ExUnoPlura

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Certainly impressive in terms of design, features, and specs, but is there a reason to buy this for SQ vs a 150-300 dac with similar measurements?
It's a Roon Ready streamer as well, so not an SQ value proposition but an overall functionality one for me.
 
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VintageFlanker

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but is there a reason to buy this for SQ vs a 150-300 dac with similar measurements?
Not really. SQ alone is one thing. As you suggested already, when you spend that amount of money, you usually expect:
- Very attractive design.
- To get some premium build quality, outside and inside.
- Hopefully better longevity.
- Possibly new functionalities added by firmware updates.
- More features, like Roon Ready support that comes at a cost.
- As usual, to pay much more for very minor improvements under daily use. Diminishing returns...

...in a perfect world, software would not require such [CONTINUOUS] 'updates', as is the case with hardware design engineering!
You're talking about different times, that I have known, even being not that old.;)But yeah, firmware updates should ideally exist to add new things, not to fix that was supposed to work from day one.
 

Haskil

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Bravo VintageFlanker !
 

MarcosCh

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Not really. SQ alone is one thing. As you suggested already, when you spend that amount of money, you usually expect:
- Very attractive design.
- To get some premium build quality, outside and inside.
- Hopefully better longevity.
- Possibly new functionalities added by firmware updates.
- More features, like Roon Ready support that comes at a cost.
- As usual, to pay much more for very minor improvements under daily use. Diminishing returns...

These last days it was interesting to see the thread of the new RME ADI-2/4 PRO SE (2600 euros) and this one (3039 euros) running in parallel in the forum.

Definitely two very different products for very different audiences with very different needs.
 

Trell

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These last days it was interesting to see the thread of the new RME ADI-2/4 PRO SE (2600 euros) and this one (3039 euros) running in parallel in the forum.

Definitely two very different products for very different audiences with very different needs.

Guess which one will have the longest support from the manufacturer.
 

pseudoid

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You're talking about different times, that I have known, even being not that old.;)But yeah, firmware updates should ideally exist to add new things, not to fix that was supposed to work from day one.
Lol!
I gave away my age and as a further confirmation: Please visualize a McIntosh MC275 tube amp with a USB or an RJ45 interface.:cool:
 

enricoclaudio

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These last days it was interesting to see the thread of the new RME ADI-2/4 PRO SE (2600 euros) and this one (3039 euros) running in parallel in the forum.

Definitely two very different products for very different audiences with very different needs.

TOTALLY different products for sure but they can coexist in the same desk mostly if you have different applications for each of them.

RME Fireface UCX II, Apogee DUET 3 and Matrix Audio X-SABRE 3.

IMG_5439.jpeg
 

restorer-john

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@VintageFlanker What exactly is DC offset %? DC offset is measured in Volts (usually mV) right on the ouptut terminal of the device in question.
 
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VintageFlanker

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DC offset is measured in Volts (usually mV) right on the ouptut terminal of the device in question.
It is, indeed.;)

In these specific tests (DR and Noise), you just get the raw data straight from RMAA Pro. They describe it as such:
"DC offset – amount of direct current in the recorded audio signal (in per-
cents of maximal amplitude)."


Which is pointless if you ask me (not to mention it does not measure either voltage or current) : I've got 0.0% with just about any DUT so far.
 

pma

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Intermodulation Distortion

Great review! Please let me comment on DIN IMD (250Hz+8kHz, 4:1) definition

Your measurement with my comments in white:
IMD_vintageflan.png

You are saying "nothing wrong above -130dB", however, IMD is measured with respect to amplitude of the 8kHz component, which is 12dB below the 250Hz component. We measure 8kHz +/- n*250 spectral lines amplitude with respect to 8kHz amplitude.

It means:
IMD_vintageflan1.png



These IMD products are much better seen in a linear frequency scale. Let me add a measurement of another component, that shows it very clearly, what is defined as IMD:

2i2_IMD.png


Sorry for the apparent nit-picking, but as we are at ASR, which stands for "Audio Science", we have to use proper terminology.
 

Rja4000

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Please let me comment on DIN IMD (250Hz+8kHz, 4:1) definition
I think he is measuring SMPTE IMD (60Hz+7kHz 4:1), just like Amir.

Which is always a question mark for me: shouldn't we rather focus on DIN IMD in 50Hz mains countries ?
(Theoretical question. It shouldn't make any difference)

But, anyway, what you say is valid for SMPTE IMD as well.
 

pma

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I think he is measuring SMPTE IMD (60Hz+7kHz 4:1), just like Amir.
OK, but the definition is the same. IMD products are related to F2=7kHz, which is again 12dB below F1=60Hz. SMPTE IMD (60Hz+7kHz) and DIN IMD (250Hz+8kHz) usually give the same result. For 60Hz+7kHz IMD, the area near 7kHz is to be magnified, as the distortion components are at 6940Hz, 7060Hz, etc.
 
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