Well I have now had the X45 Pro for several weeks in my system that comprises the following equipment Audio Analogue Maestro Stereo line SE Preamp, pair of AA Class A SE Power Amps, AA Ver 1 & 2 CD Players, Amphion Krypton 2 Speakers, Amphion Argon 2 Anniversary Speakers, 2 of Shunyata Hydra V-Ray Power Conditioners BCD cables and Interdyn interconnects mounted on Solid Steel racks.
First impressions of the X45 Pro very well made and finished nice large front screen quality feel to all the switches and dials with solid mounting of all connectors on the rear panel, unit came with a 2TD 7200 HDD and with a rudimentary read of the manual was quite easy to setup. I purchased the unit from Tivoli Hifi and James had already loaded a cd onto the drive to test and load latest firmware prior to delivery, sitting back for an initial listen I was to be honest underwhelmed by what I was hearing. To be fair the system had only been on for around an hour so this was to be expected as the amps especially take several hours to warm-up and make any listenable sounds.
In the following hours I started loading CD's onto the drive in Flac format with a very rare Hybrid copy of Elton Johns first album. At the same time I purchased the X45 Pro I also bought from James a pair of Stax SRL-007 Mk 2 head phones and a Stax SRM-007t11 driver unit as I am a long time owner of Stax equipment with two other pair. Later that night I settled back for a decent listen both through the speakers and headphones and what a difference a few hours makes, I consider my CD' players to be pretty decent units with a smooth detailed sound the best of the around eight different players I have accumulated.
The difference is not subtle and if I am honest I really didn't know what to expect with the X45 Pro but thought the performance would be comparable (did not audition the unit prior) to my Ver 2 AA Player but the reality is it just blows it away in every respect. There is far greater depth, width, height, separation and dynamics on all the tracks I played it was easy to hear the considerable additional information the ripping process imparted to the music when played back. I found myself hearing many things on well know CD's that I have never heard before and it is very dynamic but not in your face or fatiguing and very much surprised me to be honest.
I understand the comments about the GUI, it is functional but clumsy but I will integrate ROON to fix this as the next step in the process. listening through the Stax head phones is an experience making on some tracks the hairs on my arms and neck stand up it was really that good. I have noticed that with continued use it is getting better, listening extensively everyday at the moment. I admit to being a streaming skeptic previously and really looked at this step as a convenience for my extensive CD collection I have yet to try ripping any LP's to file as my turntable (a Luxman PD-310) needs some work done on the speed control so can't comment on this aspect of the X45 Pro's performance.
I can see this unit being the centerpiece of my system in the future with any new music being ripped first before a listen, it really is that good and integrating ROON functionality will only make this better so at this stage I am very happy with this excellent sounding product but this is just my opinion.