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Review and Measurements of Matrix Audio Element X DAC/Streamer/Amp

amirm

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Hi Amir, did you connected element X to your wifi network successfully?
Not yet. I had gotten into another test that I have to finish to free up the bench for it.
 

Hemi-Demon

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Not yet. I had gotten into another test that I have to finish to free up the bench for it.

If you do happen to perform more testing on this device. Would you mind testing if the device "clicks" audibly, when changing bitrates, say from 16/44 to 24/88.2 to 24/192, etc. Thanks
 

amirm

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I got wifi working and updated the review:

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EDIT: I was given a youtube video that shows the wifi configuration which got me going:

Note: make sure you let the Matrix Audio APP (MA) send you to wifi settings. Otherwise its wizard will sit there waiting for you to push that button. Also, initiating the wizard is done by hitting the "+" button on top right of the MA app. As I am typing this, music is reliably streaming over Wifi from Roon player.
 

amirm

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If you do happen to perform more testing on this device. Would you mind testing if the device "clicks" audibly, when changing bitrates, say from 16/44 to 24/88.2 to 24/192, etc. Thanks
I tested this for both mechanical noise and audible ones. There is none.
 

Jim777

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This product would be a no-brainer if it had room correction. Without that, I guess I'll stick to a simpler DAC/pre-amp.

If a product is going to include both the streamer and the DAC (i.e. if the only input isn't optical+coax), I feel it should also do room correction or at least have a parametric EQ like the RME. Otherwise, I can't integrate external room correction with the product's USB/network audio sources (unless I'm missing something, correct me if I'm wrong).
 
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This product would be a no-brainer if it had room correction. Without that, I guess I'll stick to a simpler DAC/pre-amp.

If a product is going to include both the streamer and the DAC (i.e. if the only input isn't optical+coax), I feel it should also do room correction or at least have a parametric EQ like the RME. Otherwise, I can't integrate external room correction with the product's USB/network audio sources (unless I'm missing something, correct me if I'm wrong).
You can do room correction with convolution if your player supports it
 
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@amirm when the matrix sabre pro arrives, would you mind doing jitter test with async/sync, and jitter on/off, as there are still some people who say sync, jitter off sounds better without showing proof.
Though I believe when using the USB input that the only thing sync/async does is toggling between the CCHD 957 USB clock, and the CCHD 950 Sabre clock.
 

amirm

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@amirm when the matrix sabre pro arrives, would you mind doing jitter test with async/sync, and jitter on/off, as there are still some people who say sync, jitter off sounds better without showing proof.
Sure.
 

gvl

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Oh so it's not just switching the clock used?
It is switching the clock, but as the DAC now runs synchronously with the incoming data the ASRC is not needed. If you think about it sync mode is the most direct and desired mode of DAC operation, however it doesn't necessarily perform better technically as now much depends on other factors such as PCB design and what not, that's why most ESS based DACs just use a cookbook approach and have the chips run asynchronously with ASRC enabled. I think you couldn't even disable ASRC/enable sync mode on earlier ESS chips.
 
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It is switching the clock, but as the DAC now runs synchronously with the incoming data the ASRC is not needed. If you think about it sync mode is the most direct and desired mode of DAC operation, however it doesn't necessarily perform better technically as now much depends on other factors such as PCB design and what not, that's why most ESS based DACs just use a cookbook approach and have the chips run asynchronously with ASRC enabled. I think you couldn't even disable ASRC/enable sync mode on earlier ESS chips.
i see, so properly engineered there probably isn't a big difference running it in sync then.
 

mi-fu

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Hey guy, look at our official site, element M is a bit lower model, the same streamer section, but 9028 dac chip, unbalanced headphone amp, and digital volume control, etc.
We will also announce much lower streamer combo model and even stand-alone streamer model (with only digital output) in the future.
Not many Chinese manufacturers understand good industrial design. You guys clearly nailed it. Congratulations.
 
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