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Matrix M-Stage amp review: simple, cheap, and excellent. - Page 320

post #4786 of 4888

In case anyone is interested in upgrading their volume dial to a larger size, I have a spare one for sale...

post #4787 of 4888

I am very happy that the LME49710HA [that chodi recommended] is a very good op-amp. It beats all the other I've tried [stock, LM4562 and LT1364]. It is probably most similar to the 4562 [duh!] but a bit more musical and the treble is better rounded IMO. Depending on the headphone though, it's a toss up. LT1364 was the brightest IMO, then LM4562, which is a toss-up between the stock one in neutral-warm and then 49710 which is IMO warmest... But the versatility it offers is great!

post #4788 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman7 View Post

Hi, i just got a matrix m-stage to run my new fostex th-600's. I was hoping that someone could point me in the direction of the right dac to use. I have been looking and i have seen recommendations for the music streamer 2. I was wondering how this would compare to the matrix m-stage dac. I was also wondering if it is a bad thing to have a DAC run off of the power supply from my laptop through the usb compared to its own power supply. Lastly would something like the Nuforce icon hdp or the Audio GD 11.32 be a better option sound wise.

Thanks,
Zach

The m stage is a fairly colored amp and I would recommend pairing it with a neutral DAC. I think the yulong D100 mkii is one of the better neutral dacs for what they sell for used and it pairs well with the m stage. The ODAC is also a good option for a USB powered less expensive alternative that still performs very well.
Edited by nickwin - 5/12/14 at 7:12am
post #4789 of 4888

I'd wager the op-amp choice has also a lot to do with it. It can range anywhere from warm to warmish neutral, to even brighter IMO.

post #4790 of 4888
Op amp choice certainly makes a difference but imo the m stage will always be a warm amp. I went from class a bias opA627 to lm4562 and the later seemed much brighter and more neutral to me. That said in the last few days I have compared the m stage with lm4562 to the o2 amp and the shanling d100 mkii amp, both of which I know are truly neutral Because they have published measured frequency response graphs that are razor flat from below 10hz to well beyond 20k.

I'm blown away by how much more treble energy there is on both of those amps compared to the m stage. It is not a subtle difference, the m stage has a rolled of treble and a warm tonality. It's not that the other amps sound better, they are just more neutral. IMO the mids really stand out on the m stage (in a good way). The laid back treble is the reason it pairs so well with k701s ( it also made the top end of the dt990s bearable to my ears, not so much with the o2). On the flip side I think it makes my Mad Dogs overly dark compared to the shanling d100 amp which makes them sound borderline neutral.

IMO op amp changes can tweak the sound, but an m stage will always sound more like an m stage than another amp regardless of what op amp you use.

I'd really like to see some measurements of the m stage if anyone knows where I could find them.
Edited by nickwin - 5/13/14 at 7:13am
post #4791 of 4888

Hi Guys,

 

I just had a quick question about my current audio set up.

 

I am currently running an Asus Xonar ST card via optical cable to my HK AVR745 receiver which then powers my Mirsch speakers.

 

I recently purchased a Matrix M-Stage to power my new AKG K712s and noticed I can use it as a pre-amp.

 

Would I theoretically get better sound (for my speakers) running the sound card via RCA to the M-Stage and then again (via RCA) to the receiver or would the digital (optical) output from the sound card trump this setup?

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

 

Min.

 

P.S. Sorry if this is in the wrong thread.


Edited by mthucs - 5/14/14 at 12:11pm
post #4792 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

Op amp choice certainly makes a difference but imo the m stage will always be a warm amp. I went from class a bias opA627 to lm4562 and the later seemed much brighter and more neutral to me. That said in the last few days I have compared the m stage with lm4562 to the o2 amp and the shanling d100 mkii amp, both of which I know are truly neutral Because they have published measured frequency response graphs that are razor flat from below 10hz to well beyond 20k.

I'm blown away by how much more treble energy there is on both of those amps compared to the m stage. It is not a subtle difference, the m stage has a rolled of treble and a warm tonality. It's not that the other amps sound better, they are just more neutral. IMO the mids really stand out on the m stage (in a good way). The laid back treble is the reason it pairs so well with k701s ( it also made the top end of the dt990s bearable to my ears, not so much with the o2). On the flip side I think it makes my Mad Dogs overly dark compared to the shanling d100 amp which makes them sound borderline neutral.

IMO op amp changes can tweak the sound, but an m stage will always sound more like an m stage than another amp regardless of what op amp you use.

I'd really like to see some measurements of the m stage if anyone knows where I could find them.

 

Oh, nice post!  I've been using my M-stage with my Q701 and just loving the combo.  But I recently picked up a pair of Mad Dogs and they're FAR too dark with the M-stage.  I've been looking for something to maybe replace the M-stage that works well with both headphones.

 

On my short list right now are the Yulong D100 and the Audio-GD 15.x (Wolfson DAC) and 11.x (same thing but Sabre DAC).  How do you find the D100 pairs with the K701?

 

Anyone know how those three amps compare with the M-stage when it comes to bright/dark?

post #4793 of 4888
Strange I don't find the Mstage particularly warm or dark. Then again I am using it with the K612 but I tried with the X1 and MA900 and didn't find it too warm. Might be because I have the 2014's HPA-2 with the DAC module, which I use. Could be either the DAC or amp is brighter (probably DAC)...
That's also when the op-amp rolling cones into place. It audibly changes the sound IMO. You can get any flavour you want.
I owned a bunch of different components (check sig) and I did not find the Mstage out of the ordinary in terns of what I consider neutral-ish.
But again, it really is down to the opamp imo...
post #4794 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

Strange I don't find the Mstage particularly warm or dark. Then again I am using it with the K612 but I tried with the X1 and MA900 and didn't find it too warm. Might be because I have the 2014's HPA-2 with the DAC module, which I use. Could be either the DAC or amp is brighter (probably DAC)...
That's also when the op-amp rolling cones into place. It audibly changes the sound IMO. You can get any flavour you want.
I owned a bunch of different components (check sig) and I did not find the Mstage out of the ordinary in terns of what I consider neutral-ish.
But again, it really is down to the opamp imo...

Well I've got @Change is Good's old one and I know he changed the opamp, but I couldn't say what to or how it changed the sound.  It's an HPA-1 with DAC, but I don't use the DAC.  I just know that the MD's are far too dark/warm for my taste with the M-stage.  I tried them with my E11 (underpowered, I know) and I like the sound better, if you can believe that.

post #4795 of 4888
Sure I believe you smily_headphones1.gif
We all hear differently and synergy is a thing too biggrin.gif
post #4796 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

Strange I don't find the Mstage particularly warm or dark. Then again I am using it with the K612 but I tried with the X1 and MA900 and didn't find it too warm. Might be because I have the 2014's HPA-2 with the DAC module, which I use. Could be either the DAC or amp is brighter (probably DAC)...
That's also when the op-amp rolling cones into place. It audibly changes the sound IMO. You can get any flavour you want.
I owned a bunch of different components (check sig) and I did not find the Mstage out of the ordinary in terns of what I consider neutral-ish.
But again, it really is down to the opamp imo...

The hpa-2 might be different but the difference in sound between the the mstage and a really neutral amp the o2, was pretty obvious. I think most people would hear the difference. IMO the reason it is so popular with the K70x and q701 is because it has a laid back treble. Those are treble tilted headphones, they work well with warm amps.
Edited by nickwin - 5/15/14 at 9:17pm
post #4797 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post

Oh, nice post!  I've been using my M-stage with my Q701 and just loving the combo.  But I recently picked up a pair of Mad Dogs and they're FAR too dark with the M-stage.  I've been looking for something to maybe replace the M-stage that works well with both headphones.

On my short list right now are the Yulong D100 and the Audio-GD 15.x (Wolfson DAC) and 11.x (same thing but Sabre DAC).  How do you find the D100 pairs with the K701?

Anyone know how those three amps compare with the M-stage when it comes to bright/dark?

Thanks! To my ears the d100 is more neutral and extended in the highs than the mstage. To me It sounds almost identical to the o2. The bass on the mstage seems to have a little more energy but it also sounds a little less tight. The D100 also outputs 900mw at 32 ohms instead of 400 on the mstage. All these thing make it better for the mad dogs IMO. It sounds fine with the k701s except that your getting their full treble extension and personally it's just too fatiguing with 90% of the music I listen to (I have the old 7 bump version so YMMV). If you only listen to super high quality recordings it would probably be a good combo. It might be hard to find one amp that makes the best of both those cans but the mstage is considered warm and the o2 and d100 are considered fairly bright so maybe you could find something right in the middle.
Edited by nickwin - 5/15/14 at 9:16pm
post #4798 of 4888
The M Stage may also be a warmer amp as it is possible that the M Stage's output stage adds a touch of second order harmonic distortion.
Without measurements, that's just a theory!
post #4799 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by WEeziel View Post
 

Would anyone have any idea why nothing comes out of my Matrix M-Stage to my headphones? Its like it just died for some reason. Ive checked the cabels, no problems. I have set my music player to pass the music through my S/PDIF port, I have PCM enabled in the xonar dg panel, but nothing. It worked fine a week ago, but suddenly it just died overnight. Im not sure what has happend. Any ideas what to check or what to do? Headphones work fine without the amp.


Any help?

post #4800 of 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

The M Stage may also be a warmer amp as it is possible that the M Stage's output stage adds a touch of second order harmonic distortion.
Without measurements, that's just a theory!
This would make a lot of sense to me. Iv always thought the mstage was a bit euphonic. I wish we had measurments for his thing!
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