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Matrix M-Stage amp review: simple, cheap, and excellent. - Page 6

post #76 of 4839
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
Sure! I realize that "reference" is sort of a loaded word.... I consider my L3000 "reference" quality although they do not compete with some of my others some areas, like soundstage, midrange detail, and tippy-top high end extension. So with that definition of "reference" in mind, I'd answer:

Ernie Watts - Unity (XRCD): One of the best sounding redbook CDs I have ever heard.

FIM Audiophile Reference IV (SACD): Various artists and genres but almost all are pure gold. Of particular note is Yang City Variations by the Jing Ying Soloists, The Look of Love by Jacintha, Lover's Tear and The Swan by Theresa Perez, and Canon in D by the All Star Percussion Ensemble.

Nils Petter Molvaer – Khmer: Another of my favorite redbook discs of all time. Amazing low frequency extension and drums of all types, and of course that trumpet...

Legends of Jazz Showcase (Blu-ray): Contender for the title of best concert disc ever. Recorded in a studio, you get the best of both worlds - live performance and great recording. I neglected to mention, but rather than use my otherwise excellent sounding Samsung BD-1200 (which would limit me to the standard 640K LPCM track) I played this one on my Oppo BDP-83SE, using the lossless TrueHD track downmixed to 2 channel through the analog outs. Chris Botti, Ramsey Lewis, Chick Corea.... so many outstanding performances.

Classical Sampler (XRCD import): Can you tell I really like XRCD? This has a bit of everything from Haydn to Bach, Beethoven to Copland, and it all sounds wonderful. I've got a bunch of classical SACDs and DVD-Audio discs but I keep coming back to this lowly redbook title.

That's about it for the great sounding stuff, the rest fall somewhere between pretty good and just "meh". I hope that answers your question.
Thank you for one of the best reviews !

Similar taste about music here.

Have you tried : Dire Straits : Brothers in Arms XRCD2 especially

07 The Man's Too Strong:

guitar, bass and drum cresscendo - first at 1:20 and few times after that.

This part brings quite some amps into clipping.
Before buying an amp for HD 800, I had a chance to audition Lehmann BCL among others . The only one amp that could properly drive through was Violectric HPA V100 . So if Matrix manages this properly (try at different volume levels) it is better than Lehmann BCL (ok, this is one aspect only but still) and Matrix is a huge bang for the buck.

Thank you for your time and trouble.

Cheers
post #77 of 4839
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately I do not have that particular XRCD, so I can't help with that. I will say that if the BCL did not handle it to your liking then I really doubt that the M-Stage will perform any differently. Supposedly that Lake People/Violectric amp is really nice so it wouldn't shock me. But even my Luxman has met it's match here and there.... it happens.
post #78 of 4839
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
Unfortunately I do not have that particular XRCD, so I can't help with that. I will say that if the BCL did not handle it to your liking then I really doubt that the M-Stage will perform any differently. Supposedly that Lake People/Violectric amp is really nice so it wouldn't shock me. But even my Luxman has met it's match here and there.... it happens.
It is no need to be XRCD any red book version will do.

(if you PM me I can point you to rapidshare where you can download the file)

A question: Lehmann has dip switch gain setting (at the bottom of the box).
Does Matrix allow such a setting (sorry if you mentioned this already and I overlooked it..)

Otherwise I agree with you; again great review.
post #79 of 4839
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterlogic View Post

A question: Lehmann has dip switch gain setting (at the bottom of the box).
Does Matrix allow such a setting (sorry if you mentioned this already and I overlooked it..)

as per the pics on ebay, the matrix has 4 gain settings
post #80 of 4839
Thread Starter 
Waterlogic: OK, if any redbook will do I'll try to find one and give it a listen. To be honest I'm not a huge fan (or to be REALLY honest I've never given them much of a chance) but I'll see what I can do.

An yes, there are a total of 4 gain selections via DIP switches on the bottom: 0, 10, 18, and 20. I usually leave mine on 0 but do use 10 sometimes.
post #81 of 4839
I had some time last night so I did some A/B testing, comparing my E-MU1820 headphone out to the Matrix M-Stage. I performed this with all my current phones, DT880\250, DT990\250, and my K701. I used a FLAC rip of a few Sufjan Stevens' songs, though I can't remember the titles of them at the moment due to their crazy names - I also used a FLAC rip of Damien Rice's song "Volcano".

Honestly guys, I could tell almost no difference between the two. As far as I can make out, there could be two reasons for this.

1: Both amplification methods just sound remarkably similar.
2: The Matrix M-Stage is a very transparent amplifier, which means that using the EMU1820 as a DAC is the limiting factor.

Any thoughts? Would getting a dedicated DAC unit further improve the sound?
post #82 of 4839
Hi

Received the matrix today. I got the matrix for 165 GBP and i was lucky to escape any customs charges. I am listening to my HD600 and my source is Lavry DA10. When comparing them to my lavry DA10 headphone out, the matrix seems to remove the 'sennheiser veil' with its higher db settings. These are my initial impressions and so far i am not dissapointed.

I sold Lehmann BLC one month back and i am familiar with their synergy with HD600. The matrix is definite transparent sounding as the Lehmann but still not sure if they are in the same league as the Lehmann. I should wait and give the Matrix more time to burn and settle down. For now, i am really excited and these are definitely exceptional value for money for a UK buyer.
post #83 of 4839
Quote:
Originally Posted by niranhopper View Post
Hi

Received the matrix today. I got the matrix for 165 GBP and i was lucky to escape any customs charges. I am listening to my HD600 and my source is Lavry DA10. When comparing them to my lavry DA10 headphone out, the matrix seems to remove the 'sennheiser veil' with its higher db settings. These are my initial impressions and so far i am not dissapointed.

I sold Lehmann BLC one month back and i am familiar with their synergy with HD600. The matrix is definite transparent sounding as the Lehmann but still not sure if they are in the same league as the Lehmann. I should wait and give the Matrix more time to burn and settle down. For now, i am really excited and these are definitely exceptional value for money for a UK buyer.
IMO, 10db gain is the best for HD650/600.
post #84 of 4839
Hoo boy, REALLY tempted to pull the trigger on this for my K701s. What happened to your $150 budget, Marximus?
post #85 of 4839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marximus View Post
Hoo boy, REALLY tempted to pull the trigger on this for my K701s. What happened to your $150 budget, Marximus?
Oh, you knew better than to plan a budget! This is headfi!
post #86 of 4839
Yeah, that budget's gone now. Consider the trigger pulled. I sent coolfungadget a message mentioning the black, and the 100-120 volt version, with US power supply. That is correct, is it not?
post #87 of 4839
Does anyone know how this would compare to an Audio GD C2C? Also, any definite word how it compares to the Sheer Audio Dynalo?
post #88 of 4839
Any gain setting suggestions for AKG k701s?
post #89 of 4839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marximus View Post
Yeah, that budget's gone now. Consider the trigger pulled. I sent coolfungadget a message mentioning the black, and the 100-120 volt version, with US power supply. That is correct, is it not?
That should do it.

For the K701 settings, I use the switches on the bottom at 10db, instead of 0. You could use 18 or 20, I don't really think it makes a difference.
post #90 of 4839
Fascinating.
And rollable opamp to boot.
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