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Matrix Mini-i Balanced DAC+HP amp - Page 66

post #976 of 1028

Hey HDMan.. I just may have to contradict myself/my last post.

I've had my Mini-i for over a year but have only used it as a DAC/Headphone AMP and not running through the outputs. Since I got my Lyr, I've been running (and burning in) the output stage and the sound to the amp is getting better and better.  Initial impressions were uninspiring. It may just require some burn in.  Give it a chance and let us know what you think.

I'm probably going to run it continuously for about 100 hours or so and do another comparison to my DLIII before I make any final decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMan View Post

Got it yesterday, inital impressions are good, nothing really different in sound quality to the A8 Realiser's onboard DAC. I do however notice the ability to push at a louder volume with less fatigue. Could be placebo, LOL.

 

All in all it sounds the same, now this begs the question, higher priced DAC or not?

 

post #977 of 1028

I returned the matrix for a refund, i found out it uses a phase splitter to convert unbalanced to balanced, essentialy it is not a true balanced DAC. This was not good news to me as I am running a high end balanced stax amp.

post #978 of 1028
Interesting. The Mini-i's description says that it's a "full balanced stereo design"; it has two Analog Devices AD1955 D/A chips with two OPA2134 chips placed at the output stage, with a separate op-amp for the headphone out (TPA6120). First I've heard of this phase splitter, where in the signal path is it located?
post #979 of 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMan View Post

I returned the matrix for a refund, i found out it uses a phase splitter to convert unbalanced to balanced, essentialy it is not a true balanced DAC. This was not good news to me as I am running a high end balanced stax amp.

 

If this is the case, then why does the balanced output sound better than the unbalanced output? Two AD1955s feeding the single ended side first sounds a bit disingenuous to say the least.

 

PA

post #980 of 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

Interesting. The Mini-i's description says that it's a "full balanced stereo design"; it has two Analog Devices AD1955 D/A chips with two OPA2134 chips placed at the output stage, with a separate op-amp for the headphone out (TPA6120). First I've heard of this phase splitter, where in the signal path is it located?

I expect it is before the D/A Chip - to route an unbalanced signal into the balanced Dac/Amp output path. 

 

In which case, it's irrelevant. Since there is no balanced source input - it must use something to split the input signal.


Edited by liamstrain - 6/8/12 at 11:27am
post #981 of 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

I expect it is before the D/A Chip - to route an unbalanced signal into the balanced Dac/Amp output path. 

 

In which case, it's irrelevant. Since there is no balanced source input - it must use something to split the input signal.


 I got it from this source, but I may be misinterpreting it: http://tamaudio.com/blog/?p=67

 

Quote: "First I compared the Mini-i with the Audiotrak Dr. DAC2 DX for its single ended DAC functions, while sending the line out signal to the TPA6120 balanced amp (which takes single ended signal and create a balanced out through a phase splitter)"

 

Anyhow, it's all the same for me becuase it did not add any improvement over my curent setup. A Buffalo DAC, Anedio D2 or NAD M51 may prove otherwise.


Edited by HDMan - 6/8/12 at 4:21pm
post #982 of 1028

I see what happened. It's the TPA6120 balanced amp that takes a single ended signal and create a balanced out through a phase splitter, not the Mini-i.

post #983 of 1028
Hi,

I may buy one of these soon. How do they compare to the DR DAC 2 and the DacMagic?

I'll be using Sennheiser 650's and a Crack.biggrin.gif

Thanks,
Ben
post #984 of 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackat View Post

Hi,
I may buy one of these soon. How do they compare to the DR DAC 2 and the DacMagic?
I'll be using Sennheiser 650's and a Crack.biggrin.gif
Thanks,
Ben


Haven't used a Dr Dac but did have a DacMagic (not the newer "plus" with a headphone amp). I sold the DacMagic and kept the Matrix Mini-i. I like the smoother sound of the Matrix and didn't like the wall-wart PS of the Cambridge unit. It seems the Matrix Mini has a stronger digital out/bypass signal as well. I use HD650s -> Matrix -> LD MKVII+

post #985 of 1028
Thanks!
post #986 of 1028

Just a heads up in case any one is interested that HLLY now sells a "Mod Version" of the Matrix Mini-i on ebay.

 

It's currently $395, $60 above the regular Matrix price, and you can pick what you want them to upgrade such as opamps or capacitors.  I had them replace the three OP275 with AD8599 with really excellent results. 

post #987 of 1028
How did the mod change the sound? I read a head to head review between dr dac, dacmagic and matrix and the dm was wider, higher detail but the matrix sounded more analog with depth. Do you agree? What mods did you order ?
post #988 of 1028

Does anyone else have problems with ground hum?

With low impedance headphones there is a noticeable 50hz hum coming out of the headphone jack, even with no sources plugged in to the amp. I also tried plugging it into another power socket, but no avail. Luckily, with my main headphones, the HD600's, the hum is not so disturbing.

I'm not very fond of sending the amp back. Even the initial shipping to Europe took over two weeks.

post #989 of 1028

Just traded my DACport with Matrix Mini-i last week, this unit is a bit underhyped today. For someone who's looking a dark, warm and musical sounds. This is definitely a strong contender under $500 mark. Will post impressions against DACport later on

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glutton View Post

Does anyone else have problems with ground hum?

With low impedance headphones there is a noticeable 50hz hum coming out of the headphone jack, even with no sources plugged in to the amp. I also tried plugging it into another power socket, but no avail. Luckily, with my main headphones, the HD600's, the hum is not so disturbing.

I'm not very fond of sending the amp back. Even the initial shipping to Europe took over two weeks.

 

Nope, i didn't notice a hum using IEMs and AD1000

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwanSong View Post

I read a head to head review between dr dac, dacmagic and matrix and the dm was wider, higher detail but the matrix sounded more analog with depth. Do you agree?

Yes

post #990 of 1028

well i just pulled the trigger on one of these to get into the realm of a balanced set up.  Ill be using my STX as transport via spdif to the mini-i/quatrro amp to my HD650's in balanced.  Hope this makes a nice difference.

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