XACT S1. The music server you've been waiting for

matthias

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Mar 14, 2019
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I think it's important to develop your ideas because your first answer implied that you weren't aligned with the whole message.
With due respect I also do not share your vision about your mentioned XACT hardware solutions.
 
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Marcin_gps

VIP Donor/Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2015
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@Mentanalyste

Everything except for simultaneous multiroom playback and user profiles is already availble in the JPLAY app.

I would not recommend using a NAS with XACT S1. It will not sound as good as the S1 built-in storage and for a good reason.

I'm attaching a PDF brochure of the S1. The new dedicated XACT website will launch soon and I hope it will explain better the S1's unique proposition.


Best regards,
Marcin
 

Mentanalyste

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Jun 12, 2020
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@Mentanalyste

Everything except for simultaneous multiroom playback and user profiles is already availble in the JPLAY app.

I would not recommend using a NAS with XACT S1. It will not sound as good as the S1 built-in storage and for a good reason.

I'm attaching a PDF brochure of the S1. The new dedicated XACT website will launch soon and I hope it will explain better the S1's unique proposition.


Best regards,
Marcin

Hello Marcin,

Thanks for your feedback.

I already use the JPLAY application and it is indeed very complete. Superb application.

However, the Roon recommendations have allowed me to discover a lot of artists and tracks. I love this discovery function.

Following your comment, I'm going to use an Intel NUC for Roon (Not NAS) for storage in the XACT.

But I can't wait to switch to XACT in a few months.

Question, when is the XACT S1 EVO available for sale? Apart from the clock, have you made any other changes in this new version?

Thanks,
 
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Marcin_gps

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Jun 24, 2015
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Hello Marcin,

Thanks for your feedback.

I already use the JPLAY application and it is indeed very complete. Superb application.

However, the Roon recommendations have allowed me to discover a lot of artists and tracks. I love this discovery function.

Following your comment, I'm going to use an Intel NUC for Roon (Not NAS) for storage in the XACT.

But I can't wait to switch to XACT in a few months.

Question, when is the XACT S1 EVO available for sale? Apart from the clock, have you made any other changes in this new version?

Thanks,
We plan to show the S1 EVO during the High End in Munich in May 2024.

There will be few other improvements apart from the clock upgrade, still in R&D.

Best regards,
Marcin
 

gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
773
1,257
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Marcin,

Congratulations on your new product! 10 years of dedication to not using off the shelf parts is admirable. In the end folks must understand the time, effort to develop this product, and ultimately the SQ is what determines price. I also love the form factor and the nicely machined chassis. I view
I guess it is a matter of perspective. The chassis is wider than e.g. my $50k APL DSD-MR SE DAC.

I am not sure if you read the article or my first post. I will try to explain the unique value proposition.

First of all, I am in 'computer audio' business since 2011. My software player, JPLAY for Windows, received highest sound quality notes from various magazines and is still used around the globe. It does not have any UI, upsampling or any DSP. It does not support MQA. It sells for 149EUR. Is it a lot for such a limited functionality? Anyone can download a free trial version, listen and decide. I sell multiple licenses everyday even though the product was not updated since 2018. Why is that? Because it sounds good.

Since the very beginning of my career, I had a dream - to condense all my experiences and knowledge into a product - a box with a single 'POWER' button. So that the user does not have to know about all these matters - operating systems, drivers, formats, optimizations, etc. connect a power cord, Ethernet and USB, launch the application on the tablet and be able to focus on music.

10 years have passed from the idea to the finished product. I could have done it before based on the available components, but I didn't want to go the easy way. I wanted to do it my way, without compromise.

Anyone can build a PC-based music server. Most of the products on the market use computer motherboards, even Taiko does. XACT S1 is not a PC. The motherboard in XACT S1 is world's first motherboard running on LDOs. It is running my JPLAY software. It is controlled by JPLAY iOS app, awarded by Chris Connaker already even though it's not released yet. In my opinion, the XACT S1's price is a bargain given the cost of R&D and from pure sonic performance's perspective.

Best regards,
Marcin


View attachment 99770
Marcin, I am fascinated by your new product. I love design simplicity and the fact its hardware designed to optimize software. I'll reach out soon to discuss further and hopefully arrange a demonstration.

Several members asked the right question: It's not how the Xact's SQ compares to lower priced Lumin and Innuous products, rather how it compares with an Innuous Statement. Aurender N-20 and N-30 and importantly Taiko Extreme. I have a sense, Marcin's 10 year quest to create a compact, integrated server/streamer optimized for his software is going to surprise those already "in the deep end of the server/streamer pool"!
 
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Marcin_gps

VIP Donor/Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2015
234
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jcat.eu
Marcin,

Congratulations on your new product! 10 years of dedication to not using off the shelf parts is admirable. In the end folks must understand the time, effort to develop this product, and ultimately the SQ is what determines price. I also love the form factor and the nicely machined chassis. I view

Marcin, I am fascinated by your new product. I love design simplicity and the fact its hardware designed to optimize software. I'll reach out soon to discuss further and hopefully arrange a demonstration.

Several members asked the right question: It's not how the Xact's SQ compares to lower priced Lumin and Innuous products, rather how it compares with an Innuous Statement. Aurender N-20 and N-30 and importantly Taiko Extreme. I have a sense, Marcin's 10 year quest to create a compact, integrated server/streamer optimized for his software is going to surprise those already "in the deep end of the server/streamer pool"!
Thank you for your nice words!

There will be more reviews coming, comparisons are inevitable.

We are currently working on new products that will be released under XACT brand: USB & LAN cables, high-end footers and a dedicated network switch (N1).

Meanwhile I can say that a top-tier SACD player is still a good digital source in 2024 and a good reference point in my opinion.

L1000046.jpg

Happy New Year!

Best regards,
Marcin
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
14,618
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Thank you for your nice words!

There will be more reviews coming, comparisons are inevitable.

We are currently working on new products that will be released under XACT brand: USB & LAN cables, high-end footers and a dedicated network switch (N1).

Meanwhile I can say that a top-tier SACD player is still a good digital source in 2024 and a good reference point in my opinion.

View attachment 123072

Happy New Year!

Best regards,
Marcin
Marcin, I'm very glad you mention you rate the comparison of your player to a top-tier disc transport. Seems like you're somewhat an exception here.
 

Robert W

New Member
Jan 10, 2024
3
13
3
56
Poland
Hello everyone,

This is my first post, I usually don't participate in forums. However, after listening to and purchasing the XACT music server, I decided to post an opinion about Mr. Marcin's device because he deserves a good word for his work and effort in creating something outstanding.

My system is quite transparent, I can hear the slightest changes. For several years I have been using Taiko in combination with Horaizon, Hyperion amps and Wilson Audio XVX loudspeakers. I tested a lot of different streamers in my system.

I must admit that this XACT music server product surprised me very much. I don't know how to write reviews, but I decided to post a few words from myself because this product deserves it.

Maybe I'll start with what I compared it to and what was the reference source. My reference sound is a Techdas Air Force One with a SAT tonearm and a Etsuro Urushi Gold cartridge working with a CH precision preamplifier. I won't go into details, I will write briefly and let people who have TAIKO know how it plays. I chose TAIKO because it reflects music in a way very similar to a turntable. It is dynamic, selective, has microdynamics and differentiates recordings very nicely. If we spend enough time on refining the system with the right set of cables, we can get as close to vinyl recordings with good DSD files. Of course, please do not confuse that they are the same thing. These are slightly different sound presentations, but very similar, provided that we have good DSD files. In blind tests, less experienced people are unable to tell whether the sound is DSD or vinyl.

XACT, on the other hand, takes us to a completely different dimension. Taiko can be said to sound similarly to vinyl, and XACT goes towards mirroring the reproduction of music recorded on tape and played from a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The sound is more natural and softer, more pleasant and a little more rounded at the ends. It has more weight and mass and is meatier. This works incredibly well in Jazz recordings, both instrumental and classical music, and the vocals are lively and very emotional.

I recommend everyone to listen to this XACT music server, there are few devices on the market that can make such a surprise in the eyes and ears of an audiophile in his home. An even bigger surprise is its very affordable price. XACT has become a permanent fixture for me and I am very pleased with it. I recommend everyone to try it if they have the opportunity to listen to it. Please bear in mind that XACT is sensitive to power cables and selecting the right cable will depend on the rest of the components in the system, but it is worth experimenting until you achieve your dream sound.


IMG_7485.jpeg

0655AB17-68FF-40A8-826C-461F7C6A7D76_1_105_c.jpeg
 

Marcin_gps

VIP Donor/Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2015
234
166
420
jcat.eu
Hello everyone,

This is my first post, I usually don't participate in forums. However, after listening to and purchasing the XACT music server, I decided to post an opinion about Mr. Marcin's device because he deserves a good word for his work and effort in creating something outstanding.

My system is quite transparent, I can hear the slightest changes. For several years I have been using Taiko in combination with Horaizon, Hyperion amps and Wilson Audio XVX loudspeakers. I tested a lot of different streamers in my system.

I must admit that this XACT music server product surprised me very much. I don't know how to write reviews, but I decided to post a few words from myself because this product deserves it.

Maybe I'll start with what I compared it to and what was the reference source. My reference sound is a Techdas Air Force One with a SAT tonearm and a Etsuro Urushi Gold cartridge working with a CH precision preamplifier. I won't go into details, I will write briefly and let people who have TAIKO know how it plays. I chose TAIKO because it reflects music in a way very similar to a turntable. It is dynamic, selective, has microdynamics and differentiates recordings very nicely. If we spend enough time on refining the system with the right set of cables, we can get as close to vinyl recordings with good DSD files. Of course, please do not confuse that they are the same thing. These are slightly different sound presentations, but very similar, provided that we have good DSD files. In blind tests, less experienced people are unable to tell whether the sound is DSD or vinyl.

XACT, on the other hand, takes us to a completely different dimension. Taiko can be said to sound similarly to vinyl, and XACT goes towards mirroring the reproduction of music recorded on tape and played from a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The sound is more natural and softer, more pleasant and a little more rounded at the ends. It has more weight and mass and is meatier. This works incredibly well in Jazz recordings, both instrumental and classical music, and the vocals are lively and very emotional.

I recommend everyone to listen to this XACT music server, there are few devices on the market that can make such a surprise in the eyes and ears of an audiophile in his home. An even bigger surprise is its very affordable price. XACT has become a permanent fixture for me and I am very pleased with it. I recommend everyone to try it if they have the opportunity to listen to it. Please bear in mind that XACT is sensitive to power cables and selecting the right cable will depend on the rest of the components in the system, but it is worth experimenting until you achieve your dream sound.


View attachment 124952

View attachment 124953
Dear Robert,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your detailed and thoughtful review of the XACT S1 music server.

Hearing about your experience with XACT S1, especially in comparison to other high-end audio equipment in your impressive setup, is incredibly rewarding. My goal has always been to create a product that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of audiophiles like yourself, by delivering a sound quality that brings music to life in the most natural and immersive way possible.

Your comparison of XACT’s sound quality to that of music played from a reel-to-reel tape recorder is especially flattering, as it encapsulates the essence of what I aimed to achieve - a natural, soft, and emotionally engaging listening experience.

Your recommendation is highly valued, and I hope that others will be inspired by your insights to explore what XACT S1 can bring to their own listening experiences.

Warmest regards,
Marcin
 

gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
773
1,257
235
Dear Robert,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your detailed and thoughtful review of the XACT S1 music server.

Hearing about your experience with XACT S1, especially in comparison to other high-end audio equipment in your impressive setup, is incredibly rewarding. My goal has always been to create a product that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of audiophiles like yourself, by delivering a sound quality that brings music to life in the most natural and immersive way possible.

Your comparison of XACT’s sound quality to that of music played from a reel-to-reel tape recorder is especially flattering, as it encapsulates the essence of what I aimed to achieve - a natural, soft, and emotionally engaging listening experience.

Your recommendation is highly valued, and I hope that others will be inspired by your insights to explore what XACT S1 can bring to their own listening experiences.

Warmest regards,
Marcin
Wonderful write up and a beautiful system, Robert. Enjoy!
 

exupgh12

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2019
392
456
150
53
Hello everyone,

This is my first post, I usually don't participate in forums. However, after listening to and purchasing the XACT music server, I decided to post an opinion about Mr. Marcin's device because he deserves a good word for his work and effort in creating something outstanding.

My system is quite transparent, I can hear the slightest changes. For several years I have been using Taiko in combination with Horaizon, Hyperion amps and Wilson Audio XVX loudspeakers. I tested a lot of different streamers in my system.

I must admit that this XACT music server product surprised me very much. I don't know how to write reviews, but I decided to post a few words from myself because this product deserves it.

Maybe I'll start with what I compared it to and what was the reference source. My reference sound is a Techdas Air Force One with a SAT tonearm and a Etsuro Urushi Gold cartridge working with a CH precision preamplifier. I won't go into details, I will write briefly and let people who have TAIKO know how it plays. I chose TAIKO because it reflects music in a way very similar to a turntable. It is dynamic, selective, has microdynamics and differentiates recordings very nicely. If we spend enough time on refining the system with the right set of cables, we can get as close to vinyl recordings with good DSD files. Of course, please do not confuse that they are the same thing. These are slightly different sound presentations, but very similar, provided that we have good DSD files. In blind tests, less experienced people are unable to tell whether the sound is DSD or vinyl.

XACT, on the other hand, takes us to a completely different dimension. Taiko can be said to sound similarly to vinyl, and XACT goes towards mirroring the reproduction of music recorded on tape and played from a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The sound is more natural and softer, more pleasant and a little more rounded at the ends. It has more weight and mass and is meatier. This works incredibly well in Jazz recordings, both instrumental and classical music, and the vocals are lively and very emotional.

I recommend everyone to listen to this XACT music server, there are few devices on the market that can make such a surprise in the eyes and ears of an audiophile in his home. An even bigger surprise is its very affordable price. XACT has become a permanent fixture for me and I am very pleased with it. I recommend everyone to try it if they have the opportunity to listen to it. Please bear in mind that XACT is sensitive to power cables and selecting the right cable will depend on the rest of the components in the system, but it is worth experimenting until you achieve your dream sound.


View attachment 124952

View attachment 124953
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your writing, particularly the comparison between the Taiko and the XACT server. I wonder if the manufacturer has any plans to make this server Roon compatible.
 

Marcin_gps

VIP Donor/Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2015
234
166
420
jcat.eu
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your writing, particularly the comparison between the Taiko and the XACT server. I wonder if the manufacturer has any plans to make this server Roon compatible.
We are offering our own approach with JPLAY iOS app. If you haven't heard about it, please check this latest review from HFA: https://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/review/digital-reviews/audio-software-reviews/jplay-for-ios/

Best regards,
Marcin
 
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exupgh12

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Mblu

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2021
27
12
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57
.
… we can get as close to vinyl recordings with good DSD files. Of course, please do not confuse that they are the same thing. These are slightly different sound presentations, but very similar, provided that we have good DSD files. In blind tests, less experienced people are unable to tell whether the sound is DSD or vinyl.

XACT, on the other hand, takes us to a completely different dimension. Taiko can be said to sound similarly to vinyl, and XACT goes towards mirroring the reproduction of music recorded on tape and played from a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The sound is more natural and softer, more pleasant and a little more rounded at the ends. It has more weight and mass and is meatier. This works incredibly well in Jazz recordings, both instrumental and classical music, and the vocals are lively and very emotional.

Thank you Robert for your excellent feedback, and congratulations for your great system !

Somehow, even with my much more modest digital source, I find good recordings already excellent and good enough even. Can be recent recordings but also some from the 50’s or 60’s.
Where I miss vinyl mostly is when I listen to poor transcriptions from vinyls I had years ago, that I believe sounded so much better even in my modest student system. I am thinking about Tosca/Callas, Schwarzkopf/Strauss 4 letze Lieder, again Schwarzkopf/der Rosenkavalier/Karajan. Many women voices are unpleasant in digital.
How would you consider the Xact playing such bad quality digital transfers ?

Another way to ask : when streaming “randomly”, how often do you consider the sound to be so bad that you need to skip the album ?
I don’t expect all recording to sound perfect, but not to be painful to listen to.

Thank you !
 

Robert W

New Member
Jan 10, 2024
3
13
3
56
Poland
Thank you Robert for your excellent feedback, and congratulations for your great system !

Somehow, even with my much more modest digital source, I find good recordings already excellent and good enough even. Can be recent recordings but also some from the 50’s or 60’s.
Where I miss vinyl mostly is when I listen to poor transcriptions from vinyls I had years ago, that I believe sounded so much better even in my modest student system. I am thinking about Tosca/Callas, Schwarzkopf/Strauss 4 letze Lieder, again Schwarzkopf/der Rosenkavalier/Karajan. Many women voices are unpleasant in digital.
How would you consider the Xact playing such bad quality digital transfers ?

Another way to ask : when streaming “randomly”, how often do you consider the sound to be so bad that you need to skip the album ?
I don’t expect all recording to sound perfect, but not to be painful to listen to.
It all depends on how transparent your system is. The more you tighten it, the more it will show all the shortcomings in the recordings.

The XACT S1 itself doesn't play on its own and won't do miracles with bad recordings. If we give it good recordings or DSD files, there will be magic. The same comparisons can be made on Qoubuz, there are many old recorded songs and many bad XACT S1 will show such differences. This is how it should look like so as not to flatten everything into one line.

It's similar with vinyl - there are many LPs recorded very poorly. You need to look for well-recorded, undamaged ones. It's hard to buy vinyls from the 1950s and 1960s that are in perfect condition. Even current vinyl productions are of very poor quality, curves etc.

Each of us probably has such gems in our collection. It's the same with files. Regarding the stream, a very important element is the switch, router and cabling. Adding these elements makes Qobuz itself sound at a relatively acceptable level;) at least it doesn't irritate me.
You asked me how I divide it, it's very simple. If I listen to music during the day and do something at home or work on the computer, the music simply plays in the background, whether it's files or qoubuz.

However, when I sit down in silence to listen, I only use the best recordings from my collection for such relaxing listening.

Best Regards
R.
 

Mblu

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2021
27
12
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Thank you, Robert. That makes sense.
I understand the Xact brings magic on great files, not on poor ones (I would not expect that neither) and optimizing the full chain increases the average quality of Qobuz.
I don’t have vinyl anymore, and the main reason why I would unlikely restart is the difficulty to find good records, indeed.
Better put the energy in optimizing streaming in my case. I made some improvements with Plixir balanced transformer, only linear psu, a switch, some decent cables, so now I need to upgrade the streamer. Maybe the router I need to check (I use wifi netgear orbi between home router and system upstairs). I don’t find major differences between local files and Qobuz, which can be a sign that the streaming chain is still the limiting factor.
thank you !!
 

Robert W

New Member
Jan 10, 2024
3
13
3
56
Poland
Thank you, Robert. That makes sense.
I understand the Xact brings magic on great files, not on poor ones (I would not expect that neither) and optimizing the full chain increases the average quality of Qobuz.
I don’t have vinyl anymore, and the main reason why I would unlikely restart is the difficulty to find good records, indeed.
Better put the energy in optimizing streaming in my case. I made some improvements with Plixir balanced transformer, only linear psu, a switch, some decent cables, so now I need to upgrade the streamer. Maybe the router I need to check (I use wifi netgear orbi between home router and system upstairs). I don’t find major differences between local files and Qobuz, which can be a sign that the streaming chain is still the limiting factor.
thank you !!
XACT S1 makes Qobuz itself sound much better. It will not improve bad recordings. However, with files it sounds incomparably better than Qobuz.

However, if you can't hear the difference between Qobuz and the files, you definitely need to replace the streamer. The XACT S1 has a built-in 4 TB or 8 TB drive and the path the files take to play them is very short - they do not circulate on the home network, which largely improves the quality, but also limits additional servers or external drives.
Best Regrads
R.
 

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