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Review and Measurements of Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 USB Converter

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#21
Can you post BADA Alpha USB measurements, just to give us some benchmark ?
 

JBNY

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#23
Thanks for reviewing this Amir. Matrix Audio explains they have a lot of regulation and power cleanup going on in this device when powered via USB, looks like they did a good job. That regulation is bypassed if you feed it with an external power source.
 

graz_lag

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#24
Are you sure Alsa doesn't simply alter volume in software before sending data to the Singxer?
Yeah, very much sure, I am very keen on my bit-perfect configuration.
The two below screen-shots show the Alsamixer for the Singxer F-1 with the XMOS chip and for my other USB interface with a C-Media chip.
The latter's volume is locked in the source, so I control it on the DAC, as always done for my other no-XMOS chip interfaces..
The XMOS lets Alsa control the volume instead, which I keep at 100 in any case, so going back to the real control of it on the DAC.
It is the 1st time I see such process, OK the Singxer F-1 is my 1st XMOS chip interface, so I am going to browse the XMOS's web site in search of information ...

Screenshot at 2019-02-03 21-58-55.png Screenshot at 2019-02-06 16-41-30.png
 

gvl

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#25
Interesting, however the benefits of an XMOS hosted volume control aren't clear to me as you're still limited to 24 bits on the SPDIF link, in the ddc case at least.
 

graz_lag

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#26
Is it perhaps related to the DSD playing capability of these XMOS XU208 series chips ?
I may open a thread on this topic, as I would like to learn more of it ...
 

Ron Texas

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#27
This product looks like it will go from USB to AES/EBU in one box. That would make it perfect for connecting to active speakers with AES/EBU input. Is that correct?
 

graz_lag

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#28
This product looks like it will go from USB to AES/EBU in one box. That would make it perfect for connecting to active speakers with AES/EBU input. Is that correct?
Which one, the Matrix USB interface ? Yes, it outputs on AES/EBU so with it you can feed powered speakers with built-in DAC.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #29
Can you post BADA Alpha USB measurements, just to give us some benchmark ?
Unfortunately my unit has been broken for a while so I can't measure it. I have been too lazy to send it for repair. :)
 

ktm777

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#30
Thanks for reviewing this Amir. Matrix Audio explains they have a lot of regulation and power cleanup going on in this device when powered via USB, looks like they did a good job. That regulation is bypassed if you feed it with an external power source.
Are you sure regulators are bypassed when powering the device from external power supply? There must be at least some step down conversion (its 6-9V dc socket), also looking at the inside pictures it looks like both USB and ext.power are regulated, but only one at the time is used with external power supply priority.
 

graz_lag

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#31
There was a time when I was searching high and low for a reliable, high quality spdif to USB converter. I can only vaguely remember why I was searching for one, but I think one reason was that USB driver support for legacy products used to be a big concern when we didn't have as much class compliant chipsets out there, and another was probably that USB input among high-end gear used to be rare. But whatever the reason, I presumed that such a converter would be quite straightforward, and remember being baffled at the lack of options out there.

As to why such a device might be necessary today, I think it's worth pointing out that not all USB implementations are equal, and it can be nice to be able to remove it from the equation when choosing a DAC (in case you missed it, there were some interesting comments in this thread regarding USB vs SPDIF differences here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ments-of-holoaudio-xeme2ve-usb-to-spdif.6386/). Also, a good USB to SPDIF interface opens up options for going with an older DAC, which could be a benefit in some instances.

As such, I'm happy to know that Amir's testing is highlighting some great options at various price points :)
You are breaking through an open door ! (We say so in France ...)
Currently, I am at my fifth USB to S/PDIF interface, I like too much the sound rendering of my HK990 integrated amplifier built-in DAC (no USB, only S/PDIF or Optical), as well as the freedom to keep the USB digital stream transfer to the most updated technology by simply replacing an interface worth in the range $50 - $200 at the most ...
My 1st interface was a Legato one, which was limited to 16/44.1, despite of that - boy the sound was magical ! :)
 

JBNY

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#32
Are you sure regulators are bypassed when powering the device from external power supply? There must be at least some step down conversion (its 6-9V dc socket), also looking at the inside pictures it looks like both USB and ext.power are regulated, but only one at the time is used with external power supply priority.
This is my unit that Amir tested. Looking at the manual again, I'm not sure if it does bypass all their filtering, I think it might just disconnect the USB power line but allow the PS to still be filtered.
 

ktm777

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#33
This is my unit that Amir tested. Looking at the manual again, I'm not sure if it does bypass all their filtering, I think it might just disconnect the USB power line but allow the PS to still be filtered.
It’s a pity, that Amir didn’t try to power it with his lab grade power supply, instead of PS-1.
 

soundwave76

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#34
This product looks like it will go from USB to AES/EBU in one box. That would make it perfect for connecting to active speakers with AES/EBU input. Is that correct?
Yes, I am using it with Genelec 8331s, the previous version though. Works like a charm.
 

jaynyc

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#35
curious. is there any chance the W4S power supply causes additional measurable noise with the XSPDIF-2 but a different power supply might not?
 

Sleepow

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#36
Hi,
I have an eXasound e22 dac fed straight from a gaming PC. I want to remove the direct PC connection but the eXasound does not work with USB steamers except their own.
By looking at forums some people are saying that using the Matrix straight of a PC is as good as going through a streamer (like uRendu) + the Matrix.
So now I am considering either to just get the Matrix between PC and DAC, or go the SPDIF allo digital signature player route.
For sound quality alone, since you have tested both, what seems better?
The allo has the disadvantage for me that as I am also contemplating a DAC upgrade, I might not need SPDIF anymore later, while the Matrix might still be useful (as I am considering a PS Audio DAC).
Cheers
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #37
Yes, Exasound has proprietary interface so you can't just plug it into something and expect it to work.

As to your question, I would get something a lot cheaper than the Matrix. There are async USB to S/PDIF converters for $50 on Amazon.
 

Sleepow

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#38
Yes, Exasound has proprietary interface so you can't just plug it into something and expect it to work.
Thanks, but I have then 2 more questions:
The reply quoted applies only to USB, right, SPDIF would work out of any converter with eXasound.

And I am trying to decide between:
PC > usb to Matrix (or other DDC) > spdif to eXasound
OR
PC > network to Allo Digital Signature > spidf to eXasound

Are you suggesting that any cheap USB SPDIF converter is better than the Allo Digital Signature?
 

Yviena

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#40
Hmm i just received my xspdif2 , i see that running it from USB power is better due to one less PSU, but if for example i use a network streamer will a lps be better there instead of a standard SMPS switcher?

I was thinking about using this one https://www.allo.com/sparky-eu/shanti.html

What do you guys think, will using this give the same worse performance as amir measured, or will it be okay as it's the same PSU powering both the network render, and the xspdif2 also it seems that my country inherently uses balanced power so ground leakage shouldn't be such a big problem right?
 
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