x10V3 Tube buffer: Class A Sound or dud?

Actually it depends is my answer.

I bought the MF Xdac v3 and X-10v3 buffer a couple of years ago. Auditioned them in the dealers listening room. The X-10 made a huge instant difference (fuller, rounder sound, more detail).

Got it home and it still made a big difference (Audio alchemy digital drive 1.1, Linn LK1/2 and Martin logan SL3).

Most recently upgraded the amplification. Rogue Perseus tube pre, Spectron Musician 3 with remote sense cable. Now the X10 makes no almost no audible difference. Both my wife and I failed to pick it out consistantly listening to classical, rockk, or female vocal.

As I understand it tube buffer is meant to provide effortless drive / load to the DAC and Amp. Would it be expected that if the amp is easy to drive, the buffer would make no difference? Is there another explnation? It was an impressive difference in contribution between installation in 2 systems.

Next for review xPSU.


The answer may be that now you have a tube preamp and it is doing pretty much what the tube buffer would do.

Regards, Rich
You have a tube buffer, but it would seem to be not a bandaid style anymore like a buffer seprate, you have the real thing due to the tube preamp, its directly in the signal just as well as a buffer would be, mostly it is for a fix on thin sounding solid state equipment, so what you are experiencing is exactly what you should be. Only other thing is that it is possible the impeadence changed with your cd using the buffer, now the preamp is already a similar impeadence signal as well..Tubes rule
exactly my experience as well. tube buffers are very good with solid state gear, but avoid them with tube amps, or tube pre.
I agree - I have an X10v3 and used it between my Sony SCD-555ES (EU not US model, which I believe are substantially different machines). It used to make a noticeable difference with my Meridian 502 pre-amp (SS), but much less after I bought a McIntosh C220 (tube). I have not used it since I bought the new pre-amp. In fact I should sell it...
... Although I have been toying with the idea of using it to connect an ipod via the Arcam R-dock to my pre-amp. Now that could be a good test for the X10v3 :)

Anybody tried this?