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Matrix Mini-i Balanced DAC+HP amp - Page 7

post #91 of 1028
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by McInen View Post
Has anyone had the chance to compare Matrix to the Little Dot Dac 1 purely from a DAC point of view (LDot has no headamp)?

I'm looking for an affordable balanced out DAC and these two are the prime candidates in my price league! Both seem really nice.
I think HeatFan12 is the only one here with both DACs.
post #92 of 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunneebear View Post
I think HeatFan12 is the only one here with both DACs.




Quote:
Originally Posted by McInen View Post
Has anyone had the chance to compare Matrix to the Little Dot Dac 1 purely from a DAC point of view (LDot has no headamp)?

I'm looking for an affordable balanced out DAC and these two are the prime candidates in my price league! Both seem really nice.

I have not had the chance (time) to compare them head to head. However, I am very pleased with both of them. Versatility at its finest, and the sound on both is very smooth.

I moved my Matrix a couple of days ago into my speaker rig downstairs.

Matrix- I connected the RCA outs to my integrated amp and the balanced outs to a tube headamp (single-ended). Optical input to my universal player (SA-CD, DVD-A, DVD, CD etc.). With this simple move I can 1) listen to speakers, or 2) headphones via tube amp, or 3) headphones via Matrix headphone out, or 4) Listen to speakers and headphones (tube headamp) at the same time.
That's only with one input (optical) being used. I still have three more to play with if so desired.

Versatility and smooth sound...

sunneebear and myself have stated various times that the headphone out of the Matrix is not an afterthought, it really is a nice addition. It loves my Ultrasones, Denons and Grados....

You will be pleased with either of these fine DACs.

post #93 of 1028
So which one is better?
post #94 of 1028
Thanks for the comments! The versatility is very nice.

I see you also have a MF V-DAC Since V-DAC is considered "warm" sounding would you say that Matrix or DAC_I are a bit/a lot brighter/dryer sounding than V-DAC?

And one more question if you will. If you use a computer as a source do you use the USB input of the DAC or usb-spdif converter? There is very little information on the USB input quality of the Mini-I and LD DAC_I so far so I wonder will they benefit noticeably from a usb-spdif converter like hiface or musiland 01.
post #95 of 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by McInen View Post
Thanks for the comments! The versatility is very nice.

I see you also have a MF V-DAC Since V-DAC is considered "warm" sounding would you say that Matrix or DAC_I are a bit/a lot brighter/dryer sounding than V-DAC?

And one more question if you will. If you use a computer as a source do you use the USB input of the DAC or usb-spdif converter? There is very little information on the USB input quality of the Mini-I and LD DAC_I so far so I wonder will they benefit noticeably from a usb-spdif converter like hiface or musiland 01.

My pleasure McInen

In reference to the v-dac, and the warm vs. bright attributes, a couple of factors come into play- amp and headphones. That's why when I purchase a new one, I try it out with a solid state amp, to get a feel for it. More than likely, it's going to be connected to a tube amp, so I don't want too much warmth. That's why I like to use the word smooth (not too much of anything overpowering it).
If I had to choose one on warmth from the three, I'd say the Matrix edges them out slightly. Neither of them are harsh or dry.
Remember, the differences in sound between all these DACs are just that- small differences and synergy with other equipment becomes the deciding factor.
I have spent a lot of time moving equipment around between my headphone station and speaker rig trying to find synergy between components. My V-DAC and Mapletree Ear+HD with my Vistax64 desktop (all lossless) is an amazing combo and the sound is just awesome. Those two play great together...Synergy my friend.


In reference to computer as source- Yes, I use the LD DAC_I with my laptop in my headphone station. Before I moved the Matrix downstairs it was in there too. I like to use all the inputs, outputs etc...The manufacturers take time to put them there, I'm going to try them all...

To give you an idea- My DAC_I is connected to laptop via usb (hub), connected to Musiland 01USD and connected to Pop Pulse (another usb/spdif) and connected to a cd player. All inputs accounted for. My balanced XLRs to MKVII balanced amp and RCA outs to WooAudio WA2. My WA2 has a pre-out which is connected to my A5 speakers. Don't even get me started on the WA2 with 4 inputs too........
I moved the Matrix downstairs to my entertainment center/speaker rig recently and am only using optical at the moment but have tried all inputs as well.

That's why I advised in my previous post that you will be happy with either one...SMOOOOOTH AND SWEEEEET

Hope this helps you a bit and sorry for the loooooong post....
post #96 of 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post
So which one is better?

On even numbered days, I prefer the Matrix. On odd numbered days, I prefer the LD DAC_I.....

They are both solid performers...Matrix has a headphone out which is good and also digital out. I don't have a cd recorder, so the digital out has not been used.....

post #97 of 1028
That makes choosing even harder, lol.
post #98 of 1028
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post
That makes choosing even harder, lol.
Why choose. Buy both.
post #99 of 1028
My wallet says NO.
lol
post #100 of 1028
anyone compare the matix mini with other great DAC e.g. Audio GD Dac19mk3, Pico Dac, Buffalo Saber 32, Dac Magic ?
post #101 of 1028
Thread Starter 
I just heard about the pending release of the LD MKVII+. Looks like I might be having a garage sale.
post #102 of 1028
Where did you read about the new LD MKVII+? Any word on price range? I was almost decided on the matrix mini until I read this!

At this rate I'll have to just stick with my current setup
post #103 of 1028
Thread Starter 
You would still need a the DAC1 with the MKVII+. The Matrix is all in one.
post #104 of 1028
Thanks again for comments. The choice is not any easier though because both get equally high praise

You said both are smooth sounding. Let's go deeper in that - if you have the time.
- Can you pinpoint any differences at all in the soundstage or in the bass, mids and highs amount & quality?
- Is one of them more forward sounding than the other?
- Does one have better instrument separation compared to the other?
- If you listen to classical which one has more natural and airy sound?
- If rock is your game, which one has crunchier guitars and punchier bass?

I understand it's the overall synergy that counts but it's fun to discuss these things anyway!
post #105 of 1028
Lil' bump Looks like a good reasonably cheap DAC. I am planning on getting it some day, instead of spending $700 on a used Benchmark DAC 1 . Planning on the following

Coax>Little dot DAC_I>Little Dot MKVII>ALO-780 Balanced
Optical>Matrix mini-i>Little Dot MKVI>Grado HF-2/RS-1 Vintage (Balanced)

I wonder how the LD DAC_I and Matrix really compare...
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