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Matrix M-Stage amp review: simple, cheap, and excellent. - Page 222

post #3316 of 4838

What is the general concensus of the DAC portion of the Matrix M-Stage USB version? How would it compare to something like, let's say, a higher-end sound card such as the HT Claro Halo?

 

I ask because I've read that the SnR of the DAC in the M-Stage USB is only around 96db, whereas something like the HT Claro Halo, has an SnR of around 120db. Does the difference in SnR make any tangible differences in sound quality? Especially with the USB version of the M-Stage?

 

Also, what is the overall sound of the M-Stage as whole, using both the AMP and DAC? I've read that it is a little warm, and since I'm considering a Sennheiser HD-650, which is also considered a little warm, would the M-Stage USB paired with the HD-650 have an overly colored sound?

 

Please let me know!


Edited by fuzzybaffy - 11/23/12 at 6:46pm
post #3317 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybaffy View Post

What is the general concensus of the DAC portion of the Matrix M-Stage USB version? How would it compare to something like, let's say, a higher-end sound card such as the HT Claro Halo?

 

I ask because I've read that the SnR of the DAC in the M-Stage USB is only around 96db, whereas something like the HT Claro Halo, has an SnR of around 120db. Does the difference in SnR make any tangible differences in sound quality? Especially with the USB version of the M-Stage?

 

You can have a look at this.

post #3318 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guess? View Post

 

You can have a look at this.

 

Thank you. The OP says the HRT Streamer II is a better DAC, than the one used in the M-Stage USB. But I've also read the ODAC is a better DAC than the HRT Streamer II.

 

So, if I were to compare the M-Stage USB with the O2 + ODAC combination, and if the ODAC is a better DAC than the one used in the M-Stage USB, would it be safe to say, on the other hand, that the M-Stage is a better amp than the O2? How do the amps compare?

 

I've also read that AMPs are more important than DACs, so would it be safe to say that the M-Stage USB, overall, will be better, than the O2 + ODAC combination (if indeed the M-Stage is a better amp than the O2), because amps are more important?

post #3319 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecansmancan View Post

sounds great. I assume it make for one insanely balanced set up. Mind if i ask what dac you paired it with?

 

Asus ST.

post #3320 of 4838

So i have a question about upgrading the m stage (yeah, i know, i dont even have it and im already trying to upgrade but hey...) . Now i found an article on headfonia about changing out the op amp. Now i have no way to solder or anything like that BUT they recommended this for those of us DIY impared. So, I'm curious what all would this take? Can i just unplug the old op amp and just stick the new modded one in place? Or do i need to do something else? thanks in advance.

post #3321 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecansmancan View Post

So i have a question about upgrading the m stage (yeah, i know, i dont even have it and im already trying to upgrade but hey...) . Now i found an article on headfonia about changing out the op amp. Now i have no way to solder or anything like that BUT they recommended this for those of us DIY impared. So, I'm curious what all would this take? Can i just unplug the old op amp and just stick the new modded one in place? Or do i need to do something else? thanks in advance.

Yup its not to hard..just find the old opamp..plug it out (use anti static gloves or something) and put the old one next to ur amp..so u know how to put the new one in biggrin.gif ..and then allign the new one correctly ( there is a point orn something to help u allign it correctly) and then carefulle plug it in..done wink.gif. Its pretty easy..no solderering needed..just patience..and then..dont forget..burn the opamp in as if u had a new amp tongue.gif have fun listening!
Edited by hifimanrookie - 11/25/12 at 12:23pm
post #3322 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecansmancan View Post

So i have a question about upgrading the m stage (yeah, i know, i dont even have it and im already trying to upgrade but hey...) . Now i found an article on headfonia about changing out the op amp. Now i have no way to solder or anything like that BUT they recommended this for those of us DIY impared. So, I'm curious what all would this take? Can i just unplug the old op amp and just stick the new modded one in place? Or do i need to do something else? thanks in advance.

 



It's pretty easy as hifimanrookie said, you can watch this:

post #3323 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecansmancan View Post

So i have a question about upgrading the m stage (yeah, i know, i dont even have it and im already trying to upgrade but hey...) . Now i found an article on headfonia about changing out the op amp. Now i have no way to solder or anything like that BUT they recommended this for those of us DIY impared. So, I'm curious what all would this take? Can i just unplug the old op amp and just stick the new modded one in place? Or do i need to do something else? thanks in advance.

Don't expect a massive change in sound!
The Matrix will still sound like a Matrix M Stage!
post #3324 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

Don't expect a massive change in sound!
The Matrix will still sound like a Matrix M Stage!
I agree with that..but it makes the little things just a little bit better with this mod..to my ears anyway..but then again..the sound the mstage gives is special for the money it costs
Edited by hifimanrookie - 11/25/12 at 2:43pm
post #3325 of 4838

Awesome, thanks everyone. Seems like that one is so simple not even i can mess it up. Haha. I'll go ahead and order it and we'll see how it goes. Thanks again.

post #3326 of 4838

Anyone wanna answer my question on the M-Stage/O2 + ODAC comparison? =( 


Edited by fuzzybaffy - 11/25/12 at 5:44pm
post #3327 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybaffy View Post

 

Thank you. The OP says the HRT Streamer II is a better DAC, than the one used in the M-Stage USB. But I've also read the ODAC is a better DAC than the HRT Streamer II.

 

So, if I were to compare the M-Stage USB with the O2 + ODAC combination, and if the ODAC is a better DAC than the one used in the M-Stage USB, would it be safe to say, on the other hand, that the M-Stage is a better amp than the O2? How do the amps compare?

 

I've also read that AMPs are more important than DACs, so would it be safe to say that the M-Stage USB, overall, will be better, than the O2 + ODAC combination (if indeed the M-Stage is a better amp than the O2), because amps are more important?

 

The HRT and ODAC are about on par with each other IMO, but the M-stage built-in DAC has a smaller soundstage than either of them. 

 

I don't know if the M-stage AMP is better than the O2, but I think the M-stage built in DAC will bottleneck the sound a bit if you just use the M-stage USB.  Therefore I would assume the O2 + ODAC would probably be better overall for the price.

post #3328 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

The HRT and ODAC are about on par with each other IMO, but the M-stage built-in DAC has a smaller soundstage than either of them. 

I don't know if the M-stage AMP is better than the O2, but I think the M-stage built in DAC will bottleneck the sound a bit if you just use the M-stage USB.  Therefore I would assume the O2 + ODAC would probably be better overall for the price.
I didnt have the usb model and i never needed it as dac..only as a amp..and solily as a amp..and as that it excells imho...but its possible they took some shortcuts on the usb/dac part..and concentrated on the amp part and took the rest as a nice extra..like the feet..i lost those all the time..low budget feet!..as otherwise the price would be at least doubled.. I think matrix has a dedicated dac also..so mstage+ dac would be fair comparision to the o2 and odac..but as i said i never heard the o2...as i didnt need to..as the mstage gave me all i needed. biggrin.gif
post #3329 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post


I didnt have the usb model and i never needed it as dac..only as a amp..and solily as a amp..and as that it excells imho...but its possible they took some shortcuts on the usb/dac part..and concentrated on the amp part and took the rest as a nice extra..like the feet..i lost those all the time..low budget feet!..as otherwise the price would be at least doubled.. I think matrix has a dedicated dac also..so mstage+ dac would be fair comparision to the o2 and odac..but as i said i never heard the o2...as i didnt need to..as the mstage gave me all i needed. biggrin.gif

 

 

Well the M-stage USB DAC only costs ~$30, while the ODAC costs $100 for the PCB or $150 for the assembled DAC in case. 

 

I have no idea about how the full size standalone M-stage DAC is.

post #3330 of 4838
Edit: Nevermind! 

Edited by fuzzybaffy - 11/26/12 at 8:04am
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