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Matrix M-Stage Reviews


Oldie but goldie!


Pros: Great build and sound. Four different gain settings, easy to change op amps, great value

Cons: 5Ohms impedance is slightly high, slightly warm, physical deisgn may not appeal to everyone

The M-stage HPA-1 was purchased by me from an eBay seller about a year ago for $180 including a class A biased OPA627 op amp. The HPA-1 was the first generation in the M-stage series and have since then been followed by the HPA-2 and the quite recently released HPA-3. The HPA-1 was released back in 2010 but I still think that it offers enough interesting features to be worthy of a review in 2016. The HPA-1 came with one version without built in DAC (the one that I’ve got) and one with built in DAC. Both were available in black and silver so a total of four different offerings were available. To my understanding the original version with USB is no long available (but generation 2 and 3 is)...
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YoYo JoKeR

Matrix M-Stage HPA-3U: The Legend is Reborn


Pros: Sheer Sound Quality, Immense Output Power, Excellent Features, Amazing Synergy with HD800 & K812

Cons: Inbuilt DAC

Me: I am an amateur musician & avid admirer of music from India. I would like to call myself a music enthusiast, rather than an audiophile. I was inspired by music since childhood, and as the time passed, the passion of music grew in me, and that subsequently led me to join Head-Fi. Eventually, I found the pleasure of listening to music mainly by the HD600 and recently, by the seductive LCD2 headphones, and realized the true components of recorded music. I usually like to listen to Indian Classical Music along with Bollywood songs. My main listening genres include classical, vocal, instrumental, jazz and sometimes pop.  With time, my sonic preferences have very much grown....
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It is an amp....


Pros: Does what it needs to do effortlessly. Mult-Gain for different headphones. No hissing @ tuned volume.

Cons: Big bright shining blinding blue LED's .

WASAPI----->Bitmatched/Perfect transport----->Maverick D1 RCA SS output------>Matrix M-Stage(Stock)----->AKG K-702   I use these with my AKG K702 headphones and there really isn't much to say.  My previous amp had no problem powering these bad boys either but it hissed and popped at the volumes necessary to do so.  With the dip switch on the bottom controlling level of gain you can be assured it will power your most sensitive headphones equally to your power hungry hogs.   The volume knob is solid construction, and its potentiometer is completely linear.  Meaning you can fine tune to the perfect level of volume for detail extraction without killing your ears.  Case...
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Excellent sounding amp for a low price


Pros: Great sound, low price, rollable opamps if you are into that sort of thing

Cons: None realy.... maybe the form factor, since it doesn't match other products so can't be stacked well?

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/475618/matrix-m-stage-amp-review-simple-cheap-and-excellent   That's a link to my full review, which has become a very long thread.   In summary: The M-Stage is a clone of the Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear, which is a high end headphone amp selling for around $1k. The M-Stage matches or exceeds the real thing in every aspect. It features a socketed opamp in the output stage so you can upgrade or try different things yourself (the Lehmann does not allow this). It is built like a tank, perhaps not the most pretty thing in your audio setup but it does have a certain utilitarian charm. At this moment I think this is one of the best choices out...
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The original budget companion to the HD800


Pros: Sound quality, relatively small size, value, pre-amp

Cons: Optional DAC

Greetings, this review will be a comparison between both generations of M-Stage amps with optional DACs. It will be copied and posted to both products. First the HPA-1: Matrix M-Stage HPA-1 w/USB DAC This is the original M-Stage based on the Lehmann Black Cube Linear. It is a far cheaper version while still using high quality internal parts, and shares most of the sonic attributes of the Lehmann. It's become a popular economic amplifier that works well with all headphones, and has synergies with certain headphones that make it punch well above it's price point. As this amplifier is designed to run high impedance loads this comes as no surprise that it would favor some headphones over...
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Fantastic sound quality! Very clean, detailed and balanced sound.


Pros: Fantastic sound quality! Very clean, detailed and balanced sound. Really strong power for high impedance headphones. Best buy until US 250,00.

Cons: None, really!

Fantastic sound quality! Very clean, detailed and balanced sound. Really strong power for high impedance headphones. Best buy until US 250,00.. It can drive easily my AKG K702 (famous for being hard to drive) and my SENNHEISER HD-650 (300 ohms). Multi gain level: +0db, +10db, +18db, +20db. It can drive every kind of headphone easily!
Dave Popovich

Matrix M-Stage makes my ears happy


Pros: Fantastic sound, unbelievably quiet noise floor, ultra low distortion

Cons: Possibly not enough gain for some high impedance headphones

If you're in the market for a high quality, reasonably priced, headphone amp, start with the Matrix M-Stage (and you may never need to go any farther). I recently (April 2014) visited the AXPONA audio expo in Chicago (what a great expo!), and auditioned numerous headphones, and headphone amps. One of my favorite headphone amps was the Woo Audio WA7 Firefly. But at around $1,000 it wasn't in my budget. Which brought me to the internet, in search of a stand alone, possibly Class A operation, headphone amp, with good reviews. Something that maybe sounded just as good, or close to, the Woo Audio Firefly, but at a lower price tag. I purchased the Matrix M-Stage, and love it to death. Let's...
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As an amplifier should be


Pros: Good power, able to drive almost anything, looks nice, built like a tank, price

Cons: It doesn't make coffee

I bought this amp after reading and asking on the Head-Fi threads. And I haven't regretted a bit. This is a well-made amp, looks nice, very discrete and drives my headphones (HD650, K701 and K501) without any problem at all. The high quality is evident in both the construction and in sound. It sounds clean and effortless no matter if I use my Senn cans or any of AKGs. It is more than worth it's price and there is no more to ask from an headphone amp.

Best sounding amp bar none for the money


Pros: Almost everything

Cons: The iggy feet u loose a lot as they are badly glued!

As many said already before me...for the money u wont get better amp..and dont forget to do the class a opa627 opamp mod...as that gives him that extra! U wont regret when u buy this little baby..it even drove my he500 very well! But is best paired with a phone like the he300 or a grado..to my surprise it didnt do well with my iem the westone um3x
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