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Matrix M-Stage amp review: simple, cheap, and excellent. - Page 301

post #4501 of 5031

hey guys is there a mod/way to reduce the gain even more? do i add resistors? 

post #4502 of 5031
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

 

I'll definitely check this. My original M-Stage had good tracking but I've heard from others who had issues. So maybe it varies from one unit to the next? Potentiometers are all unique (even within the same batch) so it's very possible. 


mine isn't i don't like the volume controlling on the M-Stage, you tweak it a little and end up with a lot of vols or the opposite, the Pico Slim is way better at this , so far i used SRH940 and UM Miracle with the M-Stage, is the gain that make the volume controlling this bad? thats why i wanted to lower it even more, its @ 0db but still...

post #4503 of 5031
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shini44 View Post
 


mine isn't i don't like the volume controlling on the M-Stage, you tweak it a little and end up with a lot of vols or the opposite, the Pico Slim is way better at this , so far i used SRH940 and UM Miracle with the M-Stage, is the gain that make the volume controlling this bad? thats why i wanted to lower it even more, its @ 0db but still...

 

If there's too much gain even at 0db then you might accidentally have it at 20db. The sticker underneath isn't very clear with it's instruction.

 

So just reverse the switches and see if it's any quieter.

post #4504 of 5031

the stickers are fine dude don't worry, you just plug your iem/ciem there and you will end up with the same result, you will notice the different if you plugged your iem/ciem into another amp like uha6 or even WA7 which is also doing a very very nice volume control. 

 

post #4505 of 5031
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shini44 View Post
 


mine isn't i don't like the volume controlling on the M-Stage, you tweak it a little and end up with a lot of vols or the opposite, the Pico Slim is way better at this , so far i used SRH940 and UM Miracle with the M-Stage, is the gain that make the volume controlling this bad? thats why i wanted to lower it even more, its @ 0db but still...

 

If there's too much gain even at 0db then you might accidentally have it at 20db. The sticker underneath isn't very clear with it's instruction.

 

So just reverse the switches and see if it's any quieter.

 

I also find the M-stage has a lot of volume play on the lower gain settings. I would suggest Shini44 play around with the gain switches. I know the stickers are confusing, and in some earlier versions the gain switches were backwards.

post #4506 of 5031

0db is when both are pointed down :P and i did try the opposite before with TH600 to check the setting, i still think the volume of the lower gain isn't cool as the other features that the M-Stage is offering us, like being dead silent :3

also mine isn't and early version, its like two months old.

post #4507 of 5031
Thread Starter 

So I received the loaner of the new M-Stage HPA-2 with USB input. Have not had a chance to connect it yet, but wow does it look nice! Such an improvement over the original. Sorry I didn't grab any pics yet, will do that ASAP. 

 

The analogy on build quality: original M-Stage was like a muscle car. Heavy and strong, it impressed by sheer weight. The new version is much more refined, like a modern sports car. It weighs a lot less, probably due to lighter materials in the enclosure, yet has a lot more attention to detail all around. 

 

I set the new M-Stage down next to two other amps with integrated DACs on board. One cost $550, the other $750. The M-Stage ($320) did not look at all out of place among them - and maybe even looked the best of the group. 

 

Pics and listening impressions to follow. 

post #4508 of 5031
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

So I received the loaner of the new M-Stage HPA-2 with USB input. Have not had a chance to connect it yet, but wow does it look nice! Such an improvement over the original. Sorry I didn't grab any pics yet, will do that ASAP.

 

The analogy on build quality: original M-Stage was like a muscle car. Heavy and strong, it impressed by sheer weight. The new version is much more refined, like a modern sports car. It weighs a lot less, probably due to lighter materials in the enclosure, yet has a lot more attention to detail all around.

 

I set the new M-Stage down next to two other amps with integrated DACs on board. One cost $550, the other $750. The M-Stage ($320) did not look at all out of place among them - and maybe even looked the best of the group.

 

Pics and listening impressions to follow.

 

Awesome-I'm about to grab one of these myself. I'm real curious how it sounds with the HD800 compared to the original, which was fabulous. The specs listed are all identical from what I can tell, not that those mean much. Can't wait for your impressions, John.

 

-Daniel

post #4509 of 5031

I was planning on getting this amp for Christmas but now I'm conflicted with spending extra cash for the HPA2. So far it just looks like the new version has more pros and no cons. I'm curious to hear what you have to say project86. :)

post #4510 of 5031

Very curious about the HPA-2... Any initial updates?

post #4511 of 5031
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockah View Post

Thanks! But does anyone know how does the matrix m stage compare to a tube amp like the littledot mkiv? I intend to use either one with the Modi DAC and Senn HD600s and many reviews stated that the mkiv and HD600 have good synergy. Never really heard of people with the m stage and HD600 though.

actually for what its wrth. I find THE schiit vali to have the same but a superior sound sig when compared to the m stage. So if a lil noise n lack of gain control do not bother u... Id get the Vali over the m stage.

I never realized how warm the m stage was till i got my nfb10es2 but imo for a warm amp... the vali sounds better for less
post #4512 of 5031
Thread Starter 

I finally got the new M-Stage hooked up and playing. So far just using the line-in, but I intend to check out the new USB input in the next few days. But I like what I hear - it's still smooth, and still on the warm side, but seems pretty balanced overall. Reminds me a bit of the Lake People/Violectric sound, where there's just a  bit of warmth. I think the LM49720 was a very good choice for Matrix to include by default (note that only USB versions seem get this upgrade - non-USB models still have the OPA2134 as far as I've been told). You can scroll back through this thread and see how many people rolled opamps for a while, and settled on the LM49720 (or identical LM4562) as a solid all-around performer.

 

 

 

I'm currently feeding it with the Questyle Q192 USB DAC which at $700 is maybe not a realistic pairing for the M-Stage... But it's what I had sitting there on my desk. Later I'll throw in some more affordable DACs like maybe a Resonessence Labs Herus ($350) and an Audinst HUD-mx2 ($250). Then I'll see how closely the built-in USB section compares.

 

As of now, I'm not really able to comment on differences/improvements over the original M-Stage. Need more listening time and direct comparisons for that. But gimme a few days and I'll keep at it. 

post #4513 of 5031
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

I finally got the new M-Stage hooked up and playing. So far just using the line-in, but I intend to check out the new USB input in the next few days. But I like what I hear - it's still smooth, and still on the warm side, but seems pretty balanced overall. Reminds me a bit of the Lake People/Violectric sound, where there's just a  bit of warmth. I think the LM49720 was a very good choice for Matrix to include by default (note that only USB versions seem get this upgrade - non-USB models still have the OPA2134 as far as I've been told). You can scroll back through this thread and see how many people rolled opamps for a while, and settled on the LM49720 (or identical LM4562) as a solid all-around performer.

 

 

 

I'm currently feeding it with the Questyle Q192 USB DAC which at $700 is maybe not a realistic pairing for the M-Stage... But it's what I had sitting there on my desk. Later I'll throw in some more affordable DACs like maybe a Resonessence Labs Herus ($350) and an Audinst HUD-mx2 ($250). Then I'll see how closely the built-in USB section compares.

 

As of now, I'm not really able to comment on differences/improvements over the original M-Stage. Need more listening time and direct comparisons for that. But gimme a few days and I'll keep Xat it. 

i HAD AN LEM 42XXX AMP IN MINE AND i ENJOYED IT VERYMUCH   sorryfor caps lick, using a sluggishold Library Public pc :/ 

post #4514 of 5031
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

 

As of now, I'm not really able to comment on differences/improvements over the original M-Stage. Need more listening time and direct comparisons for that. But gimme a few days and I'll keep at it. 

 

I'll definitely be keeping up on this. Very interested in your forthcoming thoughts. Even with the recent purchase of a Schiit Vali, I find the M-stage I have to excel in enough aspects to keep it around for the vast majority of my headphones. 

post #4515 of 5031
Combined my headphone and speaker rigs using the M-Stage to bridge the gap and it is working very well in preamp duty as well as headphone duty. Makes controlling my speaker amp (no remote) a breeze since the M-Stage is on a small table next to my chair with my headphone stuff.
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