Matrix X-SPDIF 2

Does anyone have the denafrips yet? I’m waiting to read a review.

I am not convinced that the Denafrips is better than the Matrix with the Farad LPS.
Unless there is someone out there that has compared the two and let me know about it.


We had a A/B session with Matrix and the Hermes last week with a few friends and hands down it was no competition… Hermes was the clear winner by all of us.

Hermes review:

Thank you I just saw the thread. I missed it before thank you.

We had a A/B session with Matrix and the Hermes last week with a few friends and hands down it was no competition… Hermes was the clear winner by all of us.

Was there an external power supply used with the Matrix? The Matrix sounds way better with the tricked out Farad Super 3 LPS connected.

Yes. We used a R-core transformer / MOSFET regulated based power supply. Same type I have been using on the DSD.

All-discrete topology.
Single-pass, series regulator design.
No IC (integrated circuits) are used. This allows complete design control over all operating points and parameters for superior performance.
Low noise, high PSRR

That’s not the same as a Farad, but OK, this Hermes is interesting and may be something to look into for those with a Matrix or looking into getting a Matrix. And if it’s truly better, then it’s a no-brainer.

Having good success with this iFi iSilencer+ noise suppressor. Fairly inexpensive, but really drops the noise floor in my setup. I’ve been using Audio Station app on my Synology NAS > USB out > AQ Diamond USB > Matrix with UpTone 1.2 > AQ Thunderbird i2s > DAC. This has been a solid setup for me, but obviously quite a bit of noise comes out of that Synology NAS. This iSilencer really cleans a lot of that up. If you have already dealt with noise in your setup then this will likely do nothing for you, but if you are still dealing with noise then I highly recommend a tryout.

I think this power supply we use is superior to the Farad.

Then you should sell it and make lots of money. I presume it’s your own design.

I purchase the power supplies already made.

Ah, ok sorry, I got the wrong end of the stick!

EDIT November 20, 2021: Couple of days ago Aurender did a remote session and fixed the problem!

I borrowed a X-SPDIF 2 from a friend and it sounds amazing in my system (even without external power supply and using a Blue Jeans HDMI cable)!

I have a weird problem though. It worked for two days and then suddenly stopped working. This is my setup:
Aurender N100C → USB → Matrix → I2S → DirectStream Jr.

The DAC would lock onto the sampling rate correctly, but always shows “24 bit” even if I’m playing 16 bit files.

I know the Aurender is working because direct connection from Aurender to DAC via USB works fine.
I know the Matrix is working because connecting from the computer works fine (i.e., Computer-- USB-- Matrix-- I2S-- DAC. works fine). I tested the following configurations:
Aurender → USB → DirectStream Jr. [works]
Aurender → Coax → DirectStream Jr. [works]

Aurender → USB → Matrix → I2S → DirectStream Jr. [doesn’t work]
Aurender → USB → Matrix → Coax → DirectStream Jr. [doesn’t work]
Aurender → USB → Matrix → Coax → Burson Conductor 3 DAC/amp [doesn’t work]

Computer → USB → Matrix → I2S–> DirectStream Jr. [works]

One interesting thing happened though with this setup:
Computer → USB → Matrix with iFi iPower X → I2S–> DirectStream Jr. [doesn’t work]
But…unplugged iFi iPower X, the LED on Matrix turns off and on, and then music starts playing again.

I tried 1) restarting the Aurender, 2) shutdown Aurender wait 30 seconds and turn on, 3) factory reset Aurender without deleting content.

So I think I’ve narrowed down to some kind of compatibility issue with the Aurender and Matrix, but I don’t understand why it worked for two days and then suddenly stops working. I also don’t know how the iFi iPower X fits into all this.

I’ve sent a remote support ticket to Aurender, but if anyone had a similar problem, please let me know how you resolved it.

Sounds more like there’s something wrong with the Matrix not recognizing the signal from your Aurender. I have used my Aurender for many years with the Matrix and upgrading LPS’s and cables without any issue, so I don’t know what to tell you. When you plug in the iFi iPower X, you should lose the signal as the Matrix automatically switches power, but you should get your music back when you restart your Aurender. Did you try another USB cable between the Aurender and Matrix?

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I tried two USB cables (Amazon Basic 10ft and Nordost Heimdall 2 1m). Same effects; doesn’t work with the Aurender, but works on the computer.

Interestingly, I switched to a no-brand HDMI cable and noticed what when playing 16 bit files on the Aurender the DirectStream Jr would show 24 bit, but when I pause the music it switches back to 16 bit. This didn’t happen with the Blue Jeans cable, which stayed on 24 bit no matter what the file is playing. Not sure if this is important. I have the Audioquest Carbon (the 18Gbps one) coming soon, so I’ll try that one and report back.

I did some experiments on the computer by plugging in and pulling out the iFi iPower X when music is playing.

  • When I pull out the iPower X, music pauses for a second and then resumes automatically.
  • When I plug in the iPower X, music continues to play without any pauses.

I repeated the same experiment on the Aurender (the file is playing, just no sound. I just wanted to see if the behavior is the same as with the computer). Same behavior as the computer.

  • When I pull out the iPower X, Aurender stops playing and display the message “USB DAC ERR detected.”
  • When I plug in the iPower X, Aurender continues to play without any pauses (there might be a pause but I can’t tell because there’s no sound. I just see that the elapsed time on the track continues).

Is there a sequence I should follow? For example, plug in external power BEFORE plugging in USB? Or external power AFTER plugging in USB?

I know when we did our Matrix / Hermes shootout here the Matrix was a little flaky. We had to mess with it a bit to get it to work correctly. We had to power cycle everything to get it going. When we got it working we did not touch or mess with any connection until we were finished our comparison.
Hot plugging and unplugging can damage the units and DAC. It’s not advised to do so.

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That was one of the first things I tried; restarting the Aurender, and also shutting it down, turned off the switch in the back, and turn it back on again. I also did a power cycle (turning off the switch) with the DirectStream Jr.
Any particular sequence of power cycle you recommend? My method was just turn off everything and back on again at the same time.

Turn on the DAC first, Let it boot all the way up followed by the USB device that plugs into the matrix.

I tried that just now. Still no luck.
To be clear, here’s what I did:
Turned off DirectStream Jr. via the switch on the back and waited 30 seconds.
Shutdown and turned off Aurender via the switch on the back and waited 30 seconds.
Turned on DirectStream Jr. and let it finish bootup.
Turned on Aurender.