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Matrix M-Stage amp review: simple, cheap, and excellent. - Page 246

post #3676 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monir View Post

I doubt it was fake since I bought it from digikey

That virtually guarantees it is legitimate.
I suspect they get them right from National Semiconductor.
post #3677 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaVampire View Post

I was recent advised against getting a M Stage in favour of an ODAC+O2 combo as I was told the M Stage is very noisy. Is this the case or would' anyone have any opinions in relation to the M Stage vs the O2?

I briefly compared the o2 to the M-stage with the k701s and spent several hours comparing the two with dt990 250ohms.  With the AKGs my impression was that the 02 sounded a little clearer, but a little bit boring.  The o2 also seemed to have better treble and bass extension, but I just felt like it was missing some excitement that the m stage had.  The dt990s on the other hand I thought had some great synergy with the o2. I was a little concerned about the dt990s being overly fatiguing with the o2, but that wasn't the case at all.  the o2 really tightened up the dt990s bass and the treble honestly sounded great.  With the dt990s I can say I preferred the o2.  My initial impression was that I liked the m stage more for the k701s, but I would have to spend more time comparing the two amps to really say for sure.  I can say that imo the m stage was more colored than the o2

 

As far as noise goes, the o2 is dead silent and the m stage has some very minor noise.  I don't think it would be noticeable when you actually have music playing.


Edited by nickwin - 2/11/13 at 9:45am
post #3678 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post

This is the BCL:

 

 

 

And this is the original M-Stage:

 

Looking at the Board layout, they're pretty much identical.

 

However, in the past several years, the M-Stage has changed a bit (they upgrade it a bit each year):

 

However, it's still very similar.

This reminds me of something I have been wondering about for a while.  Can someone who has a good knowledge of the component parts used on these amps comment on the changes made to the various versions of the m stage?  I am no expert but the original m stage looks more similar to the BCL than the newer versions.  With the BCL being a much more expensive amp, I would expect it to have higher quality parts.  Sure the blue power transformer cover looks cool, but the transformer was clearly bigger on the original m stage (and the BCL).  On v2.1 the caps are also different, they look a little less "fancy".

 

I just have to wonder why Matrix would "improve" the original m stage that was so universally loved.  I have seen this kind of thing before in audio (especially Chinese made audio equipment) where a company will come out with a product that becomes very highly regarded.  Once the product has a good reputation the company "improves" what most people would argue didn't need improvement (AV123 MFW-15 comes to mind).  These "improvements" often are because a particular part is no longer available or something cheaper is available.  I'm not saying this is what is happening here, but as a new owner of a v2.1 I have to wonder.

 

Has anyone actually compared the original m stage side by side to any of the newer iterations?  I would be really interested in that comparison.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.jpg 257k .jpg file
Edited by nickwin - 2/11/13 at 9:23am
post #3679 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

This reminds me of something I have been wondering about for a while.  Can someone who has a good knowledge of the component parts used on these amps comment on the changes made to the various versions of the m stage?  I am no expert but the original m stage looks more similar to the BCL than the newer versions.  With the BCL being a much more expensive amp, I would expect it to have higher quality parts.  Sure the blue power transformer cover looks cool, but the transformer was clearly bigger on the original m stage (and the BCL).  On v2.1 the caps are also different, they look a little less "fancy".

 

I just have to wonder why Matrix would "improve" the original m stage that was so universally loved.  I have seen this kind of thing before in audio (especially Chinese made audio equipment) where a company will come out with a product that becomes very highly regarded.  Once the product has a good reputation the company "improves" what most people would argue didn't need improvement (AV123 MFW-15 comes to mind).  These "improvements" often are because a particular part is no longer available or something cheaper is available.  I'm not saying this is what is happening here, but as a new owner of a v2.1 I have to wonder.

 

Has anyone actually compared the original m stage side by side to any of the newer iterations?  I would be really interested in that comparison.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.jpg 257k .jpg file

There is a rumor the original mstage sounds more analog/warmer then the later versions..i loved my version 1.. It drove almost everything fine..even a he500 was no problem on gain 10db..looking at the smaller powerunit on the newer version i wonder if the power delivery was the same.

post #3680 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

There is a rumor the original mstage sounds more analog/warmer then the later versions..i loved my version 1.. It drove almost everything fine..even a he500 was no problem on gain 10db..looking at the smaller powerunit on the newer version i wonder if the power delivery was the same.

 

A quality of a transformer is not visible in outer looks. In the original version Matrix used a "generic" China made transformer (25 or 30 VA). In the new version the transformer is a high quality Talema transformer (25VA) which should be completely sufficient to drive dynamic headphones. The capacitors are, as is visible in the pictures above, exactly the same (see Nichicon in the rectifying part). The volume pot is 50k Alps in both versions.

 

The "analog" or "warm" sound can also mean "dirtier" (more distorded) sound, less clear sound and poorer resolution.

post #3681 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by muxamed View Post

 

A quality of a transformer is not visible in outer looks. In the original version Matrix used a "generic" China made transformer (25 or 30 VA). In the new version the transformer is a high quality Talema transformer (25VA) which should be completely sufficient to drive dynamic headphones. The capacitors are, as is visible in the pictures above, exactly the same (see Nichicon in the rectifying part). The volume pot is 50k Alps in both versions.

 

The "analog" or "warm" sound can also mean "dirtier" (more distorded) sound, less clear sound and poorer resolution.

  

 

 

 

v2.1 257k .jpg file

 

 

 

The caps appear to be different in the v2.1 model (look at the pic I attached), they are black instead of yellow/gold.  I know there is more than meets the eye with this kind of thing so thanks for the info, that is exactly what I was looking for.  Where did you get the info on the transformer btw?  So even though the transformer appears to be about twice as big in the original m stage, the replacement has just as much power?


Edited by nickwin - 2/11/13 at 12:04pm
post #3682 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

  

 

 

 

v2.1 257k .jpg file

 

 

 

The caps appear to be different in the v2.1 model (look at the pic I attached), they are black instead of yellow/gold.  I know there is more than meets the eye with this kind of thing so thanks for the info, that is exactly what I was looking for.  Where did you get the info on the transformer btw?  So even though the transformer appears to be about twice as big in the original m stage, the replacement has just as much power?

 

The large capacitors in the rectifying stage are Nichicon KG, both in the old and in the new versions. These are available in different colors. Some are more black, others are more gold.

 

Apropos the transformer. I found the info on the internet. I believe that "LaserCollection" uses the same transformers in the Lovely Cube. I don't believe the one in the v 2.1 has more power but it could be a bit "cleaner".

post #3683 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

  

 

 

 

v2.1 257k .jpg file

 

 

 

The caps appear to be different in the v2.1 model (look at the pic I attached), they are black instead of yellow/gold.  I know there is more than meets the eye with this kind of thing so thanks for the info, that is exactly what I was looking for.  Where did you get the info on the transformer btw?  So even though the transformer appears to be about twice as big in the original m stage, the replacement has just as much power?

The only weird thing is that there are problems with quality on the newer models as with version 1 i never ever heard of any problems..except for the switches of gain being upside down..so something changed..along the way..just my honest opinion..as i said before..i had a version 1 for more then 2 years and used it daily for hours in a row..and i understand the new owner does the same since november..and no problems whatsoever...

Dont get me wrong here..but warm sound=distorded sound and unclear??? Hello!! If thats the case the whole woo audio lineup, the bottlehead crack and my 337 are distorded.and some other top sounding amps...so i dont think u can state that...i think.the older version was just tuned for the chinese market...the newer models for the Usa market where they prefer more brighter more agressive soundsignature...as u say..more detail and more clearer sound..which in reality is just more treble..imho.

post #3684 of 4753

So, I finally got one of these little guys in. I'm pretty happy with the unit so far as a computer / side rig hooked up with my Asus ST. Quick question, since I've seen a lot of different opamps tossed around. I'm  stuck between getting an Audio-GD module or a class A biased 627. Anyone have a direct comparison? Are the opamps from Tamaudio legitimate or are they chinese knock-offs? 

post #3685 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

The only weird thing is that there are problems with quality on the newer models as with version 1 i never ever heard of any problems..except for the switches of gain being upside down..so something changed..along the way..just my honest opinion..as i said before..i had a version 1 for more then 2 years and used it daily for hours in a row..and i understand the new owner does the same since november..and no problems whatsoever...

Dont get me wrong here..but warm sound=distorded sound and unclear??? Hello!! If thats the case the whole woo audio lineup, the bottlehead crack and my 337 are distorded.and some other top sounding amps...so i dont think u can state that...i think.the older version was just tuned for the chinese market...the newer models for the Usa market where they prefer more brighter more agressive soundsignature...as u say..more detail and more clearer sound..which in reality is just more treble..imho.

One thing to keep in mind is there are simply way more of these out there now compared to the year or two following the release of v1.  I'm not disagreeing, just pointing that out.  Another thing I noticed is that a lot of people commented about v1 running hot/very warm, where as my v2.1 barely gets warm after playing for several hours at moderate volume.

post #3686 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

One thing to keep in mind is there are simply way more of these out there now compared to the year or two following the release of v1.  I'm not disagreeing, just pointing that out.  Another thing I noticed is that a lot of people commented about v1 running hot/very warm, where as my v2.1 barely gets warm after playing for several hours at moderate volume.
I am quite sure ver. 2.1 is a bit more rafined than ver. 1.
post #3687 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

So, I finally got one of these little guys in. I'm pretty happy with the unit so far as a computer / side rig hooked up with my Asus ST. Quick question, since I've seen a lot of different opamps tossed around. I'm  stuck between getting an Audio-GD module or a class A biased 627. Anyone have a direct comparison? Are the opamps from Tamaudio legitimate or are they chinese knock-offs? 

 

I've used both the Tamaudio class-A biased OPA627, and the Audio-GD OPA SUN in my M-Stage (v1). I prefer the OPA SUN as I think it provides all the best qualities of the 627 but with improved clarity and soundstage, but as far as I know, the Tamaudio opamps are all genuine.

post #3688 of 4753

One thing I notice is that when running as a headphone amp, the M-Stage barely gets warm, but when running as a preamp, it gets quite warm. Admittedly, it is on top of my power amp, but I can't imagine it making that much of a difference (especially considering that it actually runs warmer than the power amp).

post #3689 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

One thing to keep in mind is there are simply way more of these out there now compared to the year or two following the release of v1.  I'm not disagreeing, just pointing that out.  Another thing I noticed is that a lot of people commented about v1 running hot/very warm, where as my v2.1 barely gets warm after playing for several hours at moderate volume.

Yep mine got warm always also..but worked brillantly..and i. Agree..more people bought the mstage now..but still..

 

ps about tamaudio..its the real deal..i boight my opa627 class a module from them..perfect!

post #3690 of 4753
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

One thing to keep in mind is there are simply way more of these out there now compared to the year or two following the release of v1.  I'm not disagreeing, just pointing that out.  Another thing I noticed is that a lot of people commented about v1 running hot/very warm, where as my v2.1 barely gets warm after playing for several hours at moderate volume.

The v2.1 runs cooler because it has ventilation holes!
Ciao.
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