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Matrix M-Stage amp review: simple, cheap, and excellent. - Page 266

post #3976 of 4888
Yep
post #3977 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

 

Well..................I actually don't like the sound of the 20 dB setting. But I'm OK with 18, 10 and 0 dB settings. If I adjust for volume, I really can't hear the difference between 18, 10 and 0 dB. But something about 20 dB of gain in the M Stage doesn't sound right to me.

BTW, changing the gain from 0 to 10 to 20 dB doesn't increase the maximum output power available from the M Stage. I only use 18 dB with my 600 Ohm headphones because I run out of volume control travel on the 10 dB setting with quiet recordings.

 

I won't even touch this one!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Change is Good View Post

 

I agree. For me, personally, I prefer 18dB for my Q701 and have kept it there since day one.


I'm on +18db too, perfect for both the He-400 & K701, but they like different opamps, for K701 - OP627BP is a killer, sounds fantastic! For the He-400 I'm running LME49710NA, it's not as perfect match as the K701 & 627, but I don't have a better option right now.

post #3978 of 4888

Just ordered the OPA627AP from coolbaby11 on Ebay for my M Stage that I am using with my HE-500, I have heard good things about changing the op-amp so I thought I would try it out but what should I really expect to be improved compared to the stock op-amp with the HE-500?

post #3979 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by spark3 View Post

Just ordered the OPA627AP from coolbaby11 on Ebay for my M Stage that I am using with my HE-500, I have heard good things about changing the op-amp so I thought I would try it out but what should I really expect to be improved compared to the stock op-amp with the HE-500?

From my experience, rolling OP-amps only brings slight changes to the sound of M-Stage. Also, it is very hard to do any AB test if you don't have two M-Stage amps. The best you can do is to not expect anything so you may be positively surprised.


Edited by muxamed - 5/18/13 at 6:25am
post #3980 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by spark3 View Post

Just ordered the OPA627AP from coolbaby11 on Ebay for my M Stage that I am using with my HE-500, I have heard good things about changing the op-amp so I thought I would try it out but what should I really expect to be improved compared to the stock op-amp with the HE-500?


My He-400 works good with 2xLME49710NA and I use 2xOPA627BP for K701, the other way around sux.

post #3981 of 4888

I've just stuck a pair of LT1028ACN8 in the M-stage. Really good, its defo helping to remove the slight veil and the sound seems to be more free. I've used this opamp before and it is very transparent and open sounding. 

post #3982 of 4888

OK, I couldn't stand it anymore, comparison time!

 

I thought I would compare the mighty Matrix M Stage to the FiiO E09K headphone amp.

disclaimer: my Matrix has an LM4562, input coupling caps are deleted, the E09K is bone stock.

DAC was either a FiiO E17 used as a DAC or an iBasso D12 used as a DAC.

Source was an iPod into a Wadia dock which outputs SPDIF to the DAC.

Phones were AKG Q701.

Levels were carefully matched using an SPL meter and pink noise.

 

And the winner?

The Matrix M Stage.

 

The amps were very close, but the Matrix showed a bit more detail, a bit more texture, a little more space, a touch less midrange fog, a bit more transparency, a bit more microdynamics.  For example, strumming of an acoustic guitar was a touch more tactile. When I switched to the FiiO I always had the feeling that I had just lost a little clarity. Even though I had carefully level matched (and re-checked it!)  the Matrix sounded slightly louder, I can only guess this is due to the slight increase in transparency.

Is the Matrix worth twice as much as the FiiO E09K?

If you are a detail and texture freak, the answer would be yes. 

But if you just want a good sounding amp without spending the money for a Matrix, get the E09K.

 

Next comparo:

Comparing the Matrix M to the headphone amp in the iBasso D12.

post #3983 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

OK, I couldn't sand it anymore, comparison time!

I thought I would compare the mighty Matrix M Stage to the FiiO E09K headphone amp.
disclaimer: my Matrix has an LM4562, input coupling caps are deleted, the E09K is bone stock.
DAC was either a FiiO E17 used as a DAC or an iBasso D12 used as a DAC.
Source was an iPod into a Wadia dock which outputs SPDIF to the DAC.
Phones were AKG Q701.
Levels were carefully matched using an SPL meter and pink noise.

And the winner?
The Matrix M Stage.

The amps were very close, but the Matrix showed a bit more detail, a bit more texture, a little more space, a touch less midrange fog, a bit more transparency, a bit more microdynamics.  For example, strumming of an acoustic guitar was a touch more tactile. When I switched to the FiiO I always had the feeling that I had just lost a little clarity. Even though I had carefully level matched (and re-checked it!)  the Matrix sounded slightly louder, I can only guess this is due to the slight increase in transparency.
Is the Matrix worth twice as much as the FiiO E09K?
If you are a detail and texture freak, the answer would be yes. 
But if you just want a good sounding amp without spending the money for a Matrix, get the E09K.

Next comparo:
Comparing the Matrix M to the headphone amp in the iBasso D1

Thank yoo for the review. I guess this is the difference we can expect from any two amplifier designs.
post #3984 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

OK, I couldn't stand it anymore, comparison time!

 

I thought I would compare the mighty Matrix M Stage to the FiiO E09K headphone amp.

disclaimer: my Matrix has an LM4562, input coupling caps are deleted, the E09K is bone stock.

DAC was either a FiiO E17 used as a DAC or an iBasso D12 used as a DAC.

Source was an iPod into a Wadia dock which outputs SPDIF to the DAC.

Phones were AKG Q701.

Levels were carefully matched using an SPL meter and pink noise.

 

And the winner?

The Matrix M Stage.

 

The amps were very close, but the Matrix showed a bit more detail, a bit more texture, a little more space, a touch less midrange fog, a bit more transparency, a bit more microdynamics.  For example, strumming of an acoustic guitar was a touch more tactile. When I switched to the FiiO I always had the feeling that I had just lost a little clarity. Even though I had carefully level matched (and re-checked it!)  the Matrix sounded slightly louder, I can only guess this is due to the slight increase in transparency.

Is the Matrix worth twice as much as the FiiO E09K?

If you are a detail and texture freak, the answer would be yes. 

But if you just want a good sounding amp without spending the money for a Matrix, get the E09K.

 

Next comparo:

Comparing the Matrix M to the headphone amp in the iBasso D12.

 

Yeah, I also say thanks. I had the E9k before getting the M-Stage but never was able to A/B them. I always wondered if I had made the right choice. Thank you for confirming that I did.

post #3985 of 4888
Hey, thanks guys!

Comparing the Matrix M to the iBasso D12 is driving me crazy! tongue.gif
More later.

Also, I want to compare my M Stage to my FiiO E12.
post #3986 of 4888
How are you A-B comparing them? Do you have a switch or just swapping plugs around?
post #3987 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

How are you A-B comparing them? Do you have a switch or just swapping plugs around?

Driving both amps at the same time and plugging my headphones into alternating amps.

I'm not trying to be ultra scientific.
If they both sounded the same, I would just say "they both sound the same".
I'll leave the ultra scientific ABX DBT to the propellor heads in the Science Forum.
post #3988 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

How are you A-B comparing them? Do you have a switch or just swapping plugs around?

 

Didn't you mention in another forum of a Fiio product that will be releasing for things like this? What was it again??? popcorn.gif

post #3989 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Change is Good View Post

Didn't you mention in another forum of a Fiio product that will be releasing for things like this? What was it again??? popcorn.gif
Yeah, the FiiO HS2. I've got one on the way smily_headphones1.gif
post #3990 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post


Driving both amps at the same time and plugging my headphones into alternating amps.

I'm not trying to be ultra scientific.
If they both sounded the same, I would just say "they both sound the same".
I'll leave the ultra scientific ABX DBT to the propellor heads in the Science Forum.

 

I asked because I just picked up a second headphone amp and I want to compare it to the M-Stage as well.  I was wondering if you used any techniques to make it easier to compare.

popcorn.gif

 

My new amp is the iFi iCan.  I picked it up to test out its soundstage and bass enhancement features.


Edited by chicolom - 5/25/13 at 1:24am
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