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Yea, I run the Ambre with Onyx via I2S and I think it's very good. I only had the internal DAC of ROTEL 1572 and Bluesound Node 2i to compare though. I was originally going to try Aries G2, but I spoke with Anjo on Facebook and he sold me on his product.
I currently run that setup with a newly picked up Mcintosh MA6600...Amazing sound
Glad to hear you like your new rig. I almost ordered one of these. What put me off was the lack of reviews and overall information available about the Cocktail Audio brand. I called two dealers who sell their stuff online, and was surprised how little the sales people could tell me about their products. One of the dealers was Audio Advisor. I have had very good experiences with them in the past, so I was surprised how little he knew about a product line that is prominently promoted in their catalog and website. The online community seems to know very little about their products as well.
In the end I bought a Innuous Zenith Mk III. Despite the fact that the Innuous brand is not reviewed in the audio magazines, they have a fabulous reputation in the online community. Many people on this forum spoke very highly of this server. This meant a lot to me, so I pulled the trigger. The Zenith is a great server and I'm very happy. Yet, I am still intrigued by the Cocktail Audio product line. Please continue to post your impressions of your new server. Thanks
After reading a lot of reviews and comparing numerous options, finally I selected Cocktail Audio X50Pro, despite the fact I couldn’t find too many reviews. That’s why I decided to reply to this thread so those who are looking for a high end audio streamer and server could find some feedback. It was hard to find a dealer too! I am in the US, there are many audio stores in my area but none of them carries this machine. Nevertheless, I just received the unit and installed it in my movie room. I had a chance to listen to Qobuz and Tidal streaming as well as some CDs ripped to the unit’s internal HD (I separately bought 2 SSD and installed them as RAID Mirror - the installation and configuration were very easy). The sound is absolutely fantastic, even with movie room equipment - Anthem AVR and B&W speakers - which is not bad for a movie room but not exactly the best option for HiFi audio. So the main test is going to be with McIntosh integrated DAC/amp which is supposed to arrive next week, but I have no doubt the sound will be perfect.
I thought I would chime back in being I'm the OP. The X50pro is long gone. It had the potential on paper to be great music server with everything I was looking for. Here is where it fell short for me. The display is horrible, especially for a 7". The 4" on my Auralic G1 Aries was clearer and crisper. The menu's are very confusing and cumbersome to use. I really think there are way to many features in it that no one will ever use. The software was very buggy and would lock up on occasion which would require a power off/on cycle. Most importantly, the sound was not up to par for what I expected. After using for about a month or so, I thought it was ok, but decided to put back in the Metrum Ambre to see, and Wow, much better sound quality. Still using the Ambre today but looking at possibly the Aurrender.
Maybe I was a little too harsh about the X50pro. I’m sure it would be a good fit for some people that would use it with there home theater setup, that have a really big cd collection that they want to rip and would use all the bells and whistles it provides. I said the display is horrible. That’s a strong word and I’m sorry if I mislead anyone. The display is not horrible, it just is not great. For such a large 7" display, i just felt the resolution should be higher. The resolution on my 4" display on the Aries G1 was clearer.
I bought one of ron1264's X50 Pro units. He and I were kind of on the same quest for the best streamer. I had several available at the time I bought it and felt that it was the best of the ones I had. That included the Ambre, which I felt represented a good value but was not the equal of the other steamers. I agree with the software issues. I was emailing Cocktail Audio in S Korea regularly complaining about the glitches in the software and they would keep promising a firmware update. Finally in May 2019, they released one and it fixed all the issues. It now performs flawlessly and sounds great. I don't know of any other component that does everything the X50 Pro does. One of the streamers I had to compare was the X50 D. The X50 Pro is significantly better than the X50 D. I don't store my music on the 2 SSDs I installed in the X50 Pro. I have a Melco N1ZH/2 that I keep my music on and I feel that it sounds better than music stored on the internal drives of the X50 Pro. The downside is that Cocktail Audio has US dealers but no distributor, so dealing with the factory for service issues is a pain. The service tech would always respond promptly, but would make promises about the release of the firmware update that were incorrect. It took months for the problem to get resolved. In the end, it was worth it but a bit frustrating.
I listen to several brands of servers at home and had borrowed a Cocktail Audio X-50 for two weeks . First off the music management is very annoying and with Cocktails new and improved music management app , it stinks ,,,.
overall playback sound quality is mediocre at best .
Some of you here have mentioned the Innuos brand , well these products are on a completely different level of sound quality playback performance and music management options .
The comparisons have absolutely nothing to do with being subjective about it , if you know what actual music should sound like the Innuos playing into a decent dac is in a different part of the universe , listen for yourself not even close.
Completely different ? a completely different animal ? It’s been my experience along with others there is usually very similar sound quality traits a product line of components as such examples with the X-50 and X-50 pro. There could be a host of reason’s why it’s difficult to find reviews and or online chat of the Cocktail Audio product line , I’m pretty sure I know why,..
I have an X35 which uses the same everything except has a slighly lower grade ESS dac chip. It;’s far from bad. a agree with the people who disliked the old app, I find the new one just issued to be workable although not Roon like. What really makes the CA units sing is proper set up, and a good and knowledgeable dealer is worth their weight in gold. I wouldn’t call the SQ top drawer it’s far from bad and the ability to rip CDs at a very fast rate is superb. I’m thinking of swapping up to the X50 which will allow me to utilize a Brooklyn DAC.
So does anyone have first hand experience comparing the X50 PRO w/ Zenith mk3? Looks like they're both top of the line streamer/ripper/music server and reasonably close in terms of pricings. I do like the fact that X50Pro does offer additional function of radio but the SQ/ripping quality would be more important to me.