Matrix Audio X-Sabre 3 - Audiophile Streamer DAC
After 4 years of R&D by MATRIX, It's time for the birth of a new generation of X-SABRE. Is it still the original X-SABRE? Not exactly! It comes with more powerful performance, it's easier to use, and it sounds better. It's fully networked. No longer just a DAC, Now a full featured streamer as well.
You cannot find any appearance details on X-SABRE 3 that is exactly the same as its previous generation. No matter the external lines or the internal structure, every detail has been redesigned. Compared with its previous generation, the figure of X-SABRE 3 is 10 mm wider and 2 mm lower, which makes the X-SABRE 3 looks slimmer and steadier.
The X-SABRE 3 uses a newly designed user interface. The addition of a high-resolution LCD display allows the current status of the device to be displayed better. When streaming, the album cover art can be shown while playing. The case design with sharp lines along with an improved modern UI achieves a step forward in technological thinking.
A set of 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band Wi-Fi antennas are hidden under the large piece of glass on the top of X-SABRE 3. Allowing X-SABRE 3 to receive high-speed network signals in a more elegant way. In an environment with poor wireless network coverage, you can also use Gigabit Ethernet connection to ensure the stability of high-sampling audio transfer in the local network.
X-SABRE 3 is a Roon Ready certified device, this means that it transparently discover and connect to Roon without any configuration, and bit-perfect audio is delivered from Roon to it. With the Roon app, you can control the playback, output volume and standby. With the player software which support UPnP or DLNA, you can stream audio files with the original sampling rate in the local area network to X-SABRE 3.
X-SABRE 3 is the first model including Tidal Connect and Spotify Connect in Matrix product line. You can browse the music in Tidal and Spotify apps, find and select X-SABRE 3 as the playback device, and send the audio stream to X-SABRE 3 losslessly. The playback and output volume can be controlled through these apps. AirPlay is another convenient way to push high-quality audio to X-SABRE 3.
It no longer requires complicated operations to switch the working mode of the D/A chip, and can be done through the touch panel of X-SABRE 3 conveniently. In the Async mode, the master clock of the D/A chip comes from the Crystek CCHD-950 femtosecond clock inside the X-SABRE 3, and the clock from the front-end device will be abandoned; in the Sync mode, the built-in femtosecond clock will be turned off, and the D/A chip depends on the clock of the front-end device completely. In this mode, with a high-quality digital interface, you can bypass the digital processing part of the DAC through the IIS-LVDS interface, send the digital audio stream directly to the D/A chip to achieve different experiences.
The addition of the streaming function makes the X-SABRE 3 more comfortable to use. You can wake up the X-SABRE 3 by your mobile phone in the network. The standard Trigger port enables you no need to turn on and off the power amplifier manually. When the X-SABRE 3 powered on or entered standby, it will also turn on or off the amplifier through the Trigger connection.
The digital processing part of X-SABRE 3 is more powerful. The faster processing speed and higher clock frequency mean that the high-frequency noise of the digital system will interfere more with the audio part. In order to keep the audio circuit running at a high level performance, we utilised a fully isolated design. The digital circuit part is completely separated from the D/A conversion and analog stage, the two parts are placed in two independent cavities, which ensures X-SABRE 3 superior audio specs with the more complicated digital systems.