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Matrix M-Stage amp review: simple, cheap, and excellent. - Page 4

post #46 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMan007 View Post
Re heat: it looks like this unit doesn't use the chassis for a heatsink, that would explain why the outside of the unit doesn't get hot versus say Audio-gd gear that often uses the chassis for a heatsink or other stuff that has exposed heatsinks. If you feel like it, could you try running it for a while then touching the small vertical heatsinks inside it?
That just means it doesn't develop enough heat to require a larger heat sink or a chassis heat sink.

coolfungadget:
Quote:
10 pcs of 110V arrived. Another 10 pcs of 220V units will arrive early next week.
m-stage is back in stock!
Another fine product you've brought to this market Jeffrey.
post #47 of 4750
Or it could mean that the small heatsinks are just barely enough to cool the parts. In the Zero amp I once had the small heatsinks got quite warm, it's not necessarily bad but it doesn't mean it was 'cool running' either. In any case 'the chassis is cool' is meaningless when there is nothing heatsinked to the chassis
post #48 of 4750
Thread Starter 
I see your point. I doubt that is the case, as I suspect the metal chassis (which is only about an inch away from the heatshinks) would become hotter than it does. But I can certainly check when I get a moment.
post #49 of 4750
A hot heat sink would easily transfer the heat fully enclosed chassis from the buildup. I don't see vents or ports in the pictures so I really doubt this amp generates much heat.
post #50 of 4750
I'm not even saying it *is* hot-running just that touching the chassis when there's nothing heatsinked to it doesn't tell you much, even without vents...air is an insulator so anything that feels hot on the outside without chassis heatsinking is generating a lot of heat. It's not worth getting in to an argument over lol, just something I thought of when reading his review.
post #51 of 4750
NO argument at all.

Electronic parts (SS & tube) can stand high amount of heat. So a hot amp doesn't really mean much, just preference of the designer. As long as it is within temp specs. I had a Rudistor NX03 That was designed to run hot. Small on board heat sinks, enclosed chassis. OK for the designer, I didn't care for it.
post #52 of 4750
I just got my M-Stage amp in; have been listening to it for the last 30 minutes through my various headphones. This is my first headphone amp, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. My initial impression of this amp versus my Emu1820's headphone jack is that the differences are subtle, but there is a definite improvement, mostly in the lower-frequencies. From my very limited experience thus far, the lows seem tighter, more precise, and deeper. After I get some more listening on this thing, and do some A/B testing, I'll write a more thorough, though still oh so amateur, review.

Right now I'm listening to my K701s, and the M-Stage has definitely improved the bass depth and response. Sounding good so far.
post #53 of 4750
Really affordable! 175 USD if you can go to china to pick it up. cost more with shipping to the States. I shall consider this one before jump into KICAS.
post #54 of 4750
Excellent review, well done.

For a very long time I wanted a Lehmann BCL, but odds have never been in favor of that. Well my luck changed and I bought an M-stage

I've got to listen to a real BCL only briefly some 4 years ago and what I recall is anything but accurate. Still it left a strong and vivid impression.
When listening to the M-stage I can definitely recognize some of the character and qualities that made the Lehmann BCL famous and left a mark in my memory (warm, smooth with excellent dynamics and detail).

The only amp I have to compare right now is Heed Canamp and the M-stage is clearly superior in terms of , let's say, "technical" sound quality. But what's more important for me - I feel that M-stage has beaten the Heed at it's own game: matching with AKG K701's character. Many call it synergy, although I don't want to blow that horn just yet (need more listening time).

The opamp is replaceable and I've tried briefly LM4562 and AD8066 (the only chips I have left). Both sounded better than the default OPA2134, but it's too early to pick favorites.
The amp is still burning in and so am I.
post #55 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofil View Post
Excellent review, well done.

For a very long time I wanted a Lehmann BCL, but odds have never been in favor of that. Well my luck changed and I bought an M-stage

I've got to listen to a real BCL only briefly some 4 years ago and what I recall is anything but accurate. Still it left a strong and vivid impression.
When listening to the M-stage I can definitely recognize some of the character and qualities that made the Lehmann BCL famous and left a mark in my memory (warm, smooth with excellent dynamics and detail).

The only amp I have to compare right now is Heed Canamp and the M-stage is clearly superior in terms of , let's say, "technical" sound quality. But what's more important for me - I feel that M-stage has beaten the Heed at it's own game: matching with AKG K701's character. Many call it synergy, although I don't want to blow that horn just yet (need more listening time).

The opamp is replaceable and I've tried briefly LM4562 and AD8066 (the only chips I have left). Both sounded better than the default OPA2134, but it's too early to pick favorites.
The amp is still burning in and so am I.
Want to see comparison between the clone and the original if possible.
post #56 of 4750
Thread Starter 
I'm glad to hear that I'm not crazy, and that other people are enjoying this amp too! Anyone have one in silver? I'd like to see pics just for the heck of it.... I'm still undecided about which color looks better.

Audiofil brought up a good point: The opamp is in a socket rather than soldered, thus easily swappable. I'm of the opinion that the designer picks what they want and designs around that (and especially since the BCL was not a budget item so wasn't limited by that factor), but I know many people love to swap opamps and do feel they can get an improvement. So thanks for mentioning that.
post #57 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
I'm glad to hear that I'm not crazy, and that other people are enjoying this amp too! Anyone have one in silver? I'd like to see pics just for the heck of it.... I'm still undecided about which color looks better.
Mine is in silver. I wanted to be different. - Plus, it matches my desk better. I'll take some pictures and post em' here when I get off of work in the morning. I do wish the whole case would have been silver though, instead of just the face plate. Still, looks pretty good to me. Just gotta find a better place to put it, other than on a stool next to my rather small desk.
post #58 of 4750
I have the silver version as well.

In my understanding of the design topology OPA2134 serves as a buffer stage in front of the class A output transistors.
I'm not sure Lehmann intended the circuit in such a manner that would be tailored around the OPA. I think he just found it suitable to the overall design, the low price of the opamp being another advantage.
OPA2134 is not a bad opamp by any means, it's very flexible (wide range of voltage input & bandwidth) and seems to be a favorite amongst manufacturers (when they don't use the ubiquitous NE5532).
It's not particularly fast (only 20V/us) nor something to rave about, but seems to get the job done very well.

When I swapped it with LM4562 and AD8066 the improvements were rather subtle (but still obvious), which reinforces the fact that OPA2134 was a good choice for the design.
I'm sure there are many other opamps that can bring even more benefits to the amp (perhaps 2 singles on a BG adapter).
Just need to buy and try
post #59 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGould View Post
Want to see comparison between the clone and the original if possible.
I do not have access to a Lehmann BCL. The are no dealers or owners that I know of in my country.
The only time I listened to it was at a hi-fi show in Germany.

Perhaps BCL owners will get the chance at some point to listen to the M-stage and post their impressions.
post #60 of 4750
Thank you for such a thorough review. As a relative newbie to headphones this is exactly the kind of review that I need to help me make a more educated choice of amps.
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