Matrix X-SPDIF 2

I explained the theory, just because you don’t understand it or just don’t want to do the reading of my explanations or the link to Analog Devices description of the problem doesn’t mean it’s unproven or dishonest.
I don’t consider that I’m working based on faith - I use science to do my work (and I think the work speaks for itself) but I don’t waste my time trying to prove to others that any of my design principles have a positive effect on sound quality. I do know that many are skeptical of many of the things I’ve tested for myself, but that doesn’t mean I work on faith or am deceiving people.


You have absolutely out done yourself with this post.


For me, this borders on being slanderous.

From their website:

“There are two types of sound-degrading influences the EtherREGEN is designed to radically decrease: Leakage—both high-impedance and low-impedance—and clock phase-noise. The clock phase-noise travels on the Ethernet signal itself and on power- and ground-planes. [Every signal edge coming out of any digital device carries the jitter/phase-noise of the clock used to “clock out” that edge; this shows up on the ground-plane and affects the threshold of chips’ clock inputs. This is an oversimplification of a complex subject; here is the link to our ‘white paper’ about the technical mechanisms (to be followed with some measurement proof of the effects).”

If these deleterious effects and attempts to attenuate their impact are fictitious, then you have a point. If they are not a crock of crappola, then I just don’t follow your thought process and can’t fathom how you concluded the manufacture is “crooked”.

For what it’s worth.


I’ll say this (I’m not well with a temperature so I may be crazy-talking here, but).
ASR make personal attacks on people whose designs they don’t understand (and probably haven’t listened to). I may have read some of their measurements before, but it was “holding my nose” to avoid the swill, and in the full knowledge that their “far-measurement” opinions are often wrong, as are probably some of their measurements.
As ever, extreme in any direction is usually the wrong direction.

Trying not to have to comb through 3300 posts in order to answer my question. :wink:

Has it been determined in this thread that the Matrix X-SPDIF makes enough of an improvement with the DirectStream DAC to justify its purchase along with an AudioQuest Carbon HDMI cable? (I have the USB cable.)

I’m currently connected directly to a Nucleus via USB.

I haven’t read through every post, but scanned most… I think yes.


For the Lumin users who have disabled volume control, if you haven’t already seen this: LUMIN firmware update: Version 13.0 (release date June 2nd 2020)

…for those who have bought, actually listened to, and appreciate the Matrix… yah. Totally.

I wouldn’t do without mine.


The theory does not natter, if it sounds better, and you enjoy what it does and you think it’s worth the investment, then that is what matters.

If I understand how it acheives that then all good and well, but it’s not important and certainly not a deal-breaker

You may get some disagreement from those who have done some extraordinary things with a USB connection but for the most part I think the answer is yes. Although your inclusion of a specific HDMI cable may be a little more difficult to affirm. I think most would agree that the X-SPDIF-2 on its own is an improvement in each’s setup. After that I think you’ll get varying opinions about what additional add-on gives the next greatest improvement. Some would argue that rather than a decent HDMI cable it’d be a Linear Power Supply (LPS) to power the X-SPDIF-2 which typically performs better than when powered by the USB connection. You may also get some varying opinions on what HDMI cable provides the greatest improvement.

Bottom line is that you’ll most likely get an improvement from an X-SPDIF-2 converting your USB to I2S (via HDMI cable) into your DS DAC.


I’m guessing this is the biggest potential for gains with this thing: I2S/HDMI and DS DAC.

I have a Mac Mini going USB to the Matrix and then either Optical or Coaxial to a TEAC UD-501 DAC. My system’s not as revealing as many here, so I’m a bit hard pressed to tell any difference.

To get the most improvement from this Matrix, you need to have the DS Sr. Or DS Jr. with the I2S inputs. It is these I2S Inputs that really shows the potentials of the Matrix. The other ingredients would be the quality of the USB and HDMI cables. I find adding a Purifier 3 inline with the USB made a very noticeable improvement. And then the power supply to the Matrix really put icing on the cake. Incredible sound when all is said and done.


The funny thing is that I’m using the Matrix to convert USB to SPDIF because the TEAC’s USB port is frustratingly fickle. Sometimes it doesn’t recognize that there’s a signal unless I leave the DAC on at all times. It’s very sensitive to bitrates from Roon/HQPlayer, too. No issues with the Coax/Toslink ports tho.

I also have a Topping D70 DAC that has I2S, but its I2S port is incompatible with the Matrix. That made me pretty crabby, trying every possible configuration and never getting it to work.

Is the I2S port a HDMI-style connector? If so, it’d be interesting to see a pinout diagram. The most common incompatibility seems to be the polarity of the data pin pair and one of the clock pin pairs. This is documented in the X-SPDIF 2 manual. One of the DIP switches on the bottom of the unit flips between these alternatives. But I assume you’ve already tried that. :yum:

The other thing is that, if memory serves, Ted Smith mentions somewhere in this topic that he prefers using the optical link between X-SPDIF 2 and DAC.

How would you describe the differences you’re hearing with the addition of the Matrix into the I2S over the standard USB connection?

I ordered an Ultra MKII 9 volt add on for my Sbooster to replace the 7.5 volt model I tried before. It is feeding my Matrix the proper 9 volts now and it sounds correct. I really like this Sbooster gear. Their website might as well be in Latin though. I cannot make sense of any of it. Fortunately Upscale Audio exists as a great source for all things Sbooster. They are such a pleasure to deal with!

And there’s zero pressure if you can visit them in person too!

I would love to visit them. Oh my goodness!

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Been there a number of times and Kevin is a joy to deal with!

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I would describe the difference as with the I2S, you hear more inner detail and dimensionality and open soundstage. Much like when you change from a patch cord to a WW Platinum cable.


Couldn’t agree more. Sbooster makes legit equipment! It’s a good thing that their technical prowess is decoupled from their digital marketing ineptness. I judged this company based on peer reviews, primarily from @cardri, as well as online reviews. Can’t stop scratching my head trying to figure out why Sbooster doesn’t invest in better translations/product description/digital presesence (including aesthetics). I seriously believe they could sell twice as much product with minimal investment.

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