X-RAYv8 w/ X-DACv8

Hey Gang. Happy to be on board.

This is a player I crossed off my list awhile back. There was an obvious attraction to the design ... but performance and $$$-wise , it didn't add up. I finally had the chance to see it yesterday, the X-RAY, and it was more beautiful, more proportional than I had imagined. Although I did not get to hear it.

This was the only dealer in town who had it. It was an extremely hard sell, which is why I had avoided going there. "HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO SPEND ?!". If I am aware of the units, I am aware of the prices, even if I am getting highballed.

My question is about the CD w/ the outboard DAC ..... from the spec sheet the only discernable difference is a slightly higher SNR. What are the advantages besides the extra digital inputs ?

The other question concerns upsampling, which I have not yet auditioned a player able to activate it on or off, and this one does not.

I also finally was able to ask someone about the tube inside the A5. He allayed my fears by telling me "He's got a 7 year supply !". I wasn't worried about it going out, I actually wanted to roll it. "It's soldered in !". For that matter , the tube in the XDACv8.

I really appreciate everybody here. You guys are cool. Please pardon my inane questions , I'm just a drummer. :)

(btw ... the "GAF" was very high)
I haven't heard it (the CD player) but did just trade in my top of the line muisc fidelity CD player. Reason why I am sharing this is that they use the same transport-which sucks. I have heard the dac (I have the XDac V3) and it is quite good. (I have heard the V8 dac and liked it alot) but they use the worst transports. Noisey, tempermental, don't play alot of discs and break down ALOT.
Thanks for that. That's the info that has come my way this week. It was also what I saw when I opened the tray. But not being an expert on transports ..... I might be more concerned with what happens after the disc goes in (clamping and drive mechanism).

After I posted this thread, I did a search on the unit. I found a guy in England (whathifi) posting about it this week. He found a package deal for 800 pounds. He also said ... "cd tray prob cheapest i have ever seen and opens so fast", but went on to praise it's performance.

A member here, who has an MF in the classifieds, kindly responded to a note I sent him . He essentially said the exact same thing as you. He also had good things to say about the tube output.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting here trying to find a Sirius receiver w/ a rca coax out, or a good transport. New search.

Thanks Cerrot.
My pleasure. The Music Fidelity kW SACD player actually broke my heart. It sounded awesome (tube output/redbook cd's) but it couldn't consistently play an sacd. I traded it in for an Estoeric X03-SE and it sounds as good as the prior and SACD's blew it away (The MF managed to play 2 SACD's out of 50 or so, and couldn't play one out of 50 redbooks). My dealer told me the MF was 50-50 at having defective transports (my online reserach cofirmed this). I do use a 2nd PC based system into the MF XDacV3, Monarchy DIP & Cayin Intergrated into B&W 685's and it does sound sweet (It is a $4,500 Gateway PC and I use JRiver so cost is as much as, or more than the Esoteric but the puter is used for other things as well - amaeture photographer so the high end PC was a necessity and the cost a non-issue for my purposes). I too was looking into Satelite radio to pair up with an outboard dac but research told me satelite radio still can't send a signal that a dac can handle, so do look into this before you go that route (see the reviews on the Magnum Dynalab $3,000 satelite radio receiver - it had a little to be desired).

The Esoteric transport is one of the best out there - it does clamp onto the disc, which the MF does not (the MF is also very, VERY noisey~I actually wrote a letter to Absolute Sound asking why they don't discuss CD transport noise in their reviews). Esoteric is now selling it's transports to other CD manufacturers, though not sure if MF is one of them. The $7,000 MF kW SACD with a $20 transport really made me reconsider any future MF purchase.

A squeeze box with a bel canto dac 3 could be a great option for you, unless you want to drop 7 or 8 grand on a CD player. The Bel Canto goes for $2,500 or so; squeeze box $300 and I strongly suggest upgrading the wall wart to the CI power supply. (and you still need a PC).
Hmmm. I'm sorry to hear that. I haven't ventured into SACD yet, although I've been looking at the X-05 (and even the SA-60) very keenly. That would explain my clamping comment. :)

Too bad to see the few that popped up for sale so quick(the X-05), and the so-so reviews. Although I found a thread in Japan ..... a guy who bought it said it gives "cool vocie", but really went to town w/ the right IC's. I like the black model.

Unfortunately, for the price I could buy a very nice tube integrated AND a good source. I heard the X-03SE , through the wall (it was occupied at the dealer), sounded amazing. But for that price I might as well get what I really want , the Pink Faun.

You can run Sirius out of the computer, you can even get a "cd quality"-upgrade (128), but the XDAC wouldn't accept that anyway. I'd really rather not rely on the computer, but I'd like to try it, and my gf has all her stuff on iTunes. We've got an iMac G5 (pre-Intel).

I looked at the Bel Canto. I don't think I can get her to come around to like it. It's also kind-of expensive for what I'm budgeting. The point was ..... once I finally got her attention on the MF gear,she really dug it. She's important to me.

Compared to my old studio, it's like a retirement home w/ nice wood floors. At least it's not as dusty. So I can actually think about having some nice gear finally. It's been a long time.

I'll shoot you a note when I get my new player. :)