After more than two years of storing my pre/pro, I am re-arming my XMC-1 with the V4 upgrade (when my name is called) and getting the USB-B input bumped to 192/24 capability.
I can't actually test the USB playback until the upgrade is done -- sold my power amp. Will be buying an A-5175 with the upgrade.
I am interested in my fellow owners' opinion of this internal DAC for hi-res files playback. I have been using a Schitt Bifrost Multibit DAC with my AVR. It sounds really nice, especially on 44/16 files. But I would be happy to get one black box out of my kit.
If you have an opinion, I would appreciate your input.
I have done quite a bit of testing on different configurations and DACs, and I have to say, in spite of not being able to natively play DSD content, I find the XMC-1 DAC to be excellent quality. The USB receiver chip, CM6631A operates asynchronously, which coupled with the Burr-Brown 24/192 DSD1796 main zone DAC gives you excellent results with broad dynamic range.
Of course, when you talk about USB audio, you need to think about a complete system, including software. I use a dedicated fanless computer running AP-Linux 4.0 which uses a real-time kernel for bit-perfect audio. The computer runs Roon, the best player I've found when you run multiple audio endpoints and DACs in your network. The output of that goes to a Schiit Wyrd USB cleaner, which then goes to the USB input in the XMC-1. Roon will upconvert everything with less resolution to 24/192, converting DSD material also. The result is very rewarding, with a set-it-and-forget-it experience.
But about 15-20% of my music collection is DSD64 and some 128, and being the perfectionist audio geek that I am, I was bothered by not being able to decode that natively.
So I recently found a combination that gives me the best of both worlds. I'm now connecting my Wyred4Sound DAC-2v2 directly to my ATI amp, and connecting the main front L/R output of the XMC-1 to the home theater bypass input on the 2v2 DAC along with a trigger cable. With this, I get the best of both worlds. When I want to play music, I use the 2v2 DAC directly to the amp, nothing in between, for the most outstanding results. When I turn on the XMC-1, it takes over the mains and acts as usual, great for movies and such.
I found the XMC-1 in 2-channel, using its DAC's, to be every bit as good as the DC-1. I do prefer my Geek Pulse X Infinity DAC to the XMC-1 and DC-1, but I have not heard anything that tops the Geek yet.
XMC-1 DIRAC Full; Oppo 105/Roku Ultra to Panny AE4000 w/106" screen; UltraRendu to LH Labs Geek Pulse X-Infinity; nCore nc400's or Prima Luna Premium Prologue to Maggie 1.7's; Rythmik F25; XPA-5 to CC-470v3 Center/ERD-1's; Thorens TD166 MkII/Denon DL207/XPS-1; 5-zone Sonos w/Def Tech AW5500's @ deck/pool/master bath & Sony SS-MB105/Polk R10 @ great room & kitchen. Two headphone setups: Hifiberry/BasX A100 and Allo BOSS/Schiit Asgard 2 (each to Senn 600's). PC w/Airmotiv 3b's. Roon user.