I haven't heard it, but I did hear the predecessor of it, the x-10D. That served to mess the sound. You are better off with modifying your cd player, buying a better interconnect (harmonich technology interconnects are normally helping you getting a fuller sound), or some vibration control devices.
I would change the MF inergrated,I think that is your week link.I own and enjoy the MF A3 24 bit cd player.GREAT stand alone player.No complains about it's sound.Then again I have a stronger pre/power amp.Never auditioned the x-10 buffer.I wouldn't spend money on such device either.Upgrade to a line stage and perhaps a tubed power amp.Conrad Johnson Mv 55 is a great amp that I use with my set-up.
Hope that helps.
I too tried the original 10XD and found that it only "smoothed" (i.e., veiled) the sound in my system. Maybe the new version is better. Dave
My experience of the new X-10v3 is very positive.
I think it is important to note at the outset that the results when used with the X-PSU (power supply) are several levels of excellence higher.
Without the X-PSU, the X-10 came across as sweet and smooth, wonderful for strident or slightly harsh CDs, but perhaps mellowing CDs that needed no such assistance. Female voice and flute seemed to benefit nicely. Transients however lost some bite. Soundstage doesn't seem to be affcted one way or the other.
However, with the X-PSU in place, the X-10 is in a different league altogether. Any "veiling" has vanished and the sound is as detailed as one could wish, but with a sweetness that is beguiling and as good as anything I have heard on CD. Absolutely lovely. and the soundstage really does snap into sharper focus and extends deeper.
As a combination, I would recommend the X-10 and X-PSU very strongly indeed. On it's own, I'm not so enthusiastic.
I have just purchased the X-DAC too. But after just a couple of days, I can't give a definitive opinion yet. Both the unit and the new digital cable need some break-in time. Let me say though, that the X-Ray player I'm using with the above units is a splendid performer in its own right, so any improvement should make it spectacular.
It's been only a few days so far. I am not sure it is all burned-in for fair audiotion. Anyhow, X10-v3 tube buffer does 'volumizing' the presentation or smooth out the texture and the details. Music is a bit slower than before. It helps certain types of recordings but they are small percentage among my CD collection. It's not my taste, at least with my current system set-up. I'll return it, if x10-v3 does not improve over the next 2 weeks. I'll post in 3 weeks.
If you hear music to relax, if might help. But, there are good CD players, cost at or lower than $400, that can do similar stuff very well (used Rega, NAD, etc.)
Note: I have not used X-PSU. My CD player is one of the top of the line Sony.
It does not work with most of the cd player amp/preamp combinations as in my opinion it smears the high frequency and robs the shimmer from the recordings, I owned it when I bought the Marantz CD-63SE with which it was a good match for some reason. After changing the CD players I kept connecting it and somehow the sound was always better without the DUFFER in between.
$400 + an ADDITIONAL interconnect is a lot of money even if it does give you a feeling it is doing something.Besides, many thought that changing the stock tube inside makes it sound even better so add that too if you have to go for it.Some serious audiophiles who are technically inclined had said that it is nothing but a noise generator and should be promptly removed from the system to whoever was using it at that time. I would simply spend on more music than on this product.
The good thing about it was that I was able to sell it at almost 80% of the originl price 2-3 years later. Never regretted the decision.
This is my sincere advice based on my personal experience with the product.
Conclusion: Sheer waste of money!
Just my 0.02 cents worth
I agree with Quadophile.
It was nothing but a noise generator.
X10-V3 tube even failed to improve $100 Sony CD Player as you and I guessed.
I returned mine.
for every system, nor will the X-10 be right for everyone's setup.
It would be beneficial to mention a couple of points.
First, the X-10 v3 does add a 1db signal boost. Having said that, I don't hear any extra noise at all.
Secondly, as I said in my original post, the X-10 v3 performs extremely well with the X-PSU, and not so noticeably well without the PSU. The same with the X-Can headphone amp.
Users might also note some difference (as I did) when using the X-10 v3 between source and pre-amp and, alternatively, between pre and power amp.
Having heard VERY pleasing musical results from the X-10 v3, I think it is worth the effort to audition it to see if it benefits individual systems. It has certainly boosted my listening enjoyment a great deal.
From my experience, I'd say anyone reporting negatively without having heard it with the X-PSU has not done it proper justice. I also suspect that some are reporting here on their experience with the old model, not the newly released and much-better v3 version.
When using the tube buffer, you enter a situation where your interconnects need to be considered. For example, many tube users use relatively bright-sounding interconnects to give some sparkle to the extra warmth of tube sound.
It figures then (generalizing for a moment of course), that those using warmer-sounding interconnects that sound great with their non-tube gear, might perceive a "deficiency" when using the tube buffer in the same setup.
The tube buffer benefits from being integrated into a system, not just thrown in and judged without due consideration to interconnects etc.
If an expensive system is already assembled, the benefits of the tube buffer are unlikely to justify many hundreds of dollars of interconnect changes, BUT, when building a new system from scratch and selecting all ancilliary items with the tube buffer in place, I suspect most users will be delighted with the results.
Well said Wrightstuff.Most folks out there have not used Musical Fidelity's X-10V3 tube buffer correctly thinking it would be the miracle box to 'transform' their system instantly.I have used it with great success in bright sounding amps like the Acurus line of amps and integrateds and has transformed these clinical sounding units into some very sweet and non fatigueing listen all day kind of amps.And to top it all I jst used regular off the shelf Radio Shack inter-connects and non of those other expensive ones some of us are so fond off.Maybe it is all about synergy and proper matchig of the front-end to pre-amp or integrated.The system sounds absolutely wonderfull with the X10V3 in it and gives the Acurus a new kind of emotion in sound. Very nice to have in bright sounding amps and totally transforms everything in my opinion.
Sumikito, do you run yours from the CD player or between the amp and pre-amp? I have one that is not in Service but I was thinking of putting it back in a second system with a mass market Sony blue ray Sacd player.
Last I used it it was great between a cheap CD player and McCormack line drive to my Acurus amp. Then I upgraded the system and it went in the basement.
CD player to buffer.Buffer output to preamp.Also connect the loop output of the buffer to an extra input on your preamp so you can A-B your buffered cd output versus a non-buffered (loop output of buffer)input.Then it would be much easier to compare at a flick of your preamp selector.Oh,one more thing,please dont use a $100 dollar CD player of ANY kind!Why anyone would even try to do that is beyond comprehension.Whew!(wipe sweat)!