The X-MASS is an IDE interface for the CPC made by ToTO. The device uses the same IDE I/O ports than the Symbiface 2 and is therefore compatible with it.
The device also has a Disk-On-Module IDE device connected. It is possible to remove this and use other compatible ATA devices.
When the X-MASS is powered on the CPC is held in reset while the X-MASS communicates with the Disk-On-Module. If all is good the reset is released and the CPC starts up.
The X-MASS sets the device into 8-bit PIO mode using SET FEATURES ATA command. The X-MASS device therefore requires "newer" IDE devices which support the CFA ATA mode because the 8-bit PIO is part of that command set.
It is possible to use SET FEATURES to put the X-MASS into 16-bit mode, but then you would only read 8 of the 16-bits of data that ATA devices often use, and you would only be able to use half the capacity of the device and you would not be able to read devices formatted on the PC for example.
The I/O ports operate in a "pass-through" like mode where the registers directly reflect those of the connected ATA device.