Matrix Audio Element X2 Pure Network-Attached DAC Ringing The Changes

Ringing The Changes

The Element X2 Pure is one of the first hi-fi solutions to employ ESS's latest 'Sabre Pro' DAC, the ES9039PRO which, like its predecessors, offers designers seven alternative digital filter modes. The options are 'tweaked' in this DAC with the Brickwall filter removed and the 'Hybrid' type replaced by 'Low Dispersion' which, in practice, is a very similar hybridised minimum phase filter. With this, plus its default Minimum Phase filter, and Fast and Slow Roll-off options, the X2 Pure has four minimum phase types offering little or no (acausal) pre-ringing combined with reduced latency. The three linear phase filters (Apodising, Fast and Slow Roll-off) have pre- and post-ringing but reduced phase distortion. Once again, however, what you select from Matrix Audio's menu is not necessarily the filter you think...


Click on 'Low Dispersion' and you get the 'Apodising' filter – if you want the Low Dispersion filter then select 'Minimum Fast' instead. And if you want 'Minimum Fast', select 'Minimum Slow' (which is activated by clicking on 'Apodising'). The default 'Minimum' and 'Fast/Slow Linear' filters select the correct coefficients in the ES9039PRO! The 'real' Fast Minimum [black, inset Graph], Fast Linear and Apodising [green] all have sharp roll-offs (the Low Dispersion filter, red, has an early but steep roll-off) with good stopband rejection. By contrast, the Minimum, Slow Minimum and Slow Linear [red] filters afford gentler treble roll-offs and poorer stopband rejection. These filters come into their own with higher sample rate files. PM

Matrix Electronic Technology Co. Ltd
Supplied by: Signature Audio Systems, UK
07738 007776