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Matrix M-Stage (Clone) vs. Lehmann Black Cube Linear

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

My question is whether the Matrix M-Stage clone actually sounds like a Black Cube Linear in a real high-end situation. Alternatively, would anyone with some experience in electronics care to comment on the similarities of the circuit "topology". I have posted pictures of both units below.

 

I believe the Lehmann has high quality audiophile grade RCA jacks while the Matrix uses standard jacks. I'm just wondering where else Matrix cut concerns.

 

Thanks.

 Matrix M-Stage:

Matrix M-Stage Internal

 

Lehmann Black Cube:

linear.jpg

lehmann-audio-cube-black-inside-view.jpg

post #2 of 29


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackstoneJD View Post

My question is whether the Matrix M-Stage clone actually sounds like a Black Cube Linear in a real high-end situation. Alternatively, would anyone with some experience in electronics care to comment on the similarities of the circuit "topology". I have posted pictures of both units below.

 

I believe the Lehmann has high quality audiophile grade RCA jacks while the Matrix uses standard jacks. I'm just wondering where else Matrix cut concerns.

 

Thanks.

 Matrix M-Stage:

Matrix M-Stage Internal

 

Lehmann Black Cube:

linear.jpg

lehmann-audio-cube-black-inside-view.jpg

I have the Matrix and have not compared it to the Lehmann. The difference in price is staggering and I can tell the Matrix performs so well I wouldn't spend 900 more for the german amp/ There are differences I am sure but the Matrix is way underpriced for an amp of this quality.
 

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

bump

post #4 of 29

What do you have to lose for the asking price of the Matrix?

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well if it doesn't measure up I'd rather put the $300 toward a real Lehmann.
post #6 of 29

I apologize if it seems like I am over-promoting the M-Stage, but I do have some input on this matter.

 

I have to find some pictures, but from what I remember there were several places where the M-Stage has BETTER construction than the Lehmann. Specifically I remember some heatsinks on the Matrix being more robust, and also the cables that connect the rear RCA jacks to the PCB. The Lehmann appears to be directly soldered to the PCB (looks flimsy) while the Matrix uses beefy snap in connectors.

 

I highly doubt these things make a difference, just as I highly doubt the "audiophile" RCA jacks make a difference. I'm just pointing it out. In the end people will probably believe what they want based on their preconceptions, and even a direct comparison will probably not change their minds. (note that preconceptions can go either way).

post #7 of 29


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I apologize if it seems like I am over-promoting the M-Stage, but I do have some input on this matter.

 

I have to find some pictures, but from what I remember there were several places where the M-Stage has BETTER construction than the Lehmann. Specifically I remember some heatsinks on the Matrix being more robust, and also the cables that connect the rear RCA jacks to the PCB. The Lehmann appears to be directly soldered to the PCB (looks flimsy) while the Matrix uses beefy snap in connectors.

 

I highly doubt these things make a difference, just as I highly doubt the "audiophile" RCA jacks make a difference. I'm just pointing it out. In the end people will probably believe what they want based on their preconceptions, and even a direct comparison will probably not change their minds. (note that preconceptions can go either way).


I tend to believe that a good solder join is superior to a crimp, a good soldier job would not eliminate the direct contact of the wire to metal though some may get through.  A snap in connector would serve as an definitive extra connection as the signal now traverses the wire through to the crimped connector before making contact to terminals.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackstoneJD View Post

Well if it doesn't measure up I'd rather put the $300 toward a real Lehmann.


Looking at the photos the, on the German amp, care was taken to twist the transformer wires going into the PCB.  This was not done on the Chinese amp.  The twist is to reduce RMF interference, whether this makes a difference is very much debatable.  What this does show is that the German amp took the effort and this philosophy may well manifest itself in other areas of the build. 

 

This doesn't mean the BCL will sound superior - but judging by your post here, I think you are inclined to go with the security and goodwill of the Lehmann brand.  I console myself with the made in Germany label - which ultimately means very little around here.

post #8 of 29
from what I can see the design is just simple opamp with fet buffer stage. Those with some skill can take the extra cash for some exotic mod if u don't like the sound :)
post #9 of 29

Not only that, but you could put it towards an outstanding DAC, that would potentially help the sound a great deal more than the difference between the two amps, with the money you'd save going with the Matrix.

 

Just a thought.

 

Cheers,

Matt

post #10 of 29

A very good point.

post #11 of 29

For the more DIY types there is also the ebay "Lovely Cube" BCL clone, it appears to be a more strict clone of the BCL, while the M-Stage is a slightly modified version. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200482693027&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_11841wt_1055

 

lovelycube09.jpg

 

Unfortunately, the seller only has it available as a finished board and the rest of the components separately not as a finished product. Although the task of putting one together is pretty trivial if you have experience with a solder gun. I have a board on the way and will report back on how it performs. My biggest concern on a fully populated board are counterfeit and sub-par performing parts although from the pictures all the parts look quality. Personally I feel more secure getting a plain pcb and sourcing the parts locally.

 

I guess we'll see when the board comes in.

 

 

 

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by francisdemarte View Post

For the more DIY types there is also the ebay "Lovely Cube" BCL clone, it appears to be a more strict clone of the BCL, while the M-Stage is a slightly modified version. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200482693027&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_11841wt_1055

 

 

Unfortunately, the seller only has it available as a finished board and the rest of the components separately not as a finished product. Although the task of putting one together is pretty trivial if you have experience with a solder gun. I have a board on the way and will report back on how it performs. My biggest concern on a fully populated board are counterfeit and sub-par performing parts although from the pictures all the parts look quality. Personally I feel more secure getting a plain pcb and sourcing the parts locally.

 

I guess we'll see when the board comes in.

 

 

 

 

Good luck with it! I'm a total klutz with mechanical stuff so I wouldn't dare try to do anything :)
 

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post


 

I have the Matrix and have not compared it to the Lehmann. The difference in price is staggering and I can tell the Matrix performs so well I wouldn't spend 900 more for the german amp/ There are differences I am sure but the Matrix is way underpriced for an amp of this quality.
 



OR the Lehmann is grossly overpriced...but that off course is their prerrogative!

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by francisdemarte View Post

For the more DIY types there is also the ebay "Lovely Cube" BCL clone, it appears to be a more strict clone of the BCL, while the M-Stage is a slightly modified version. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200482693027&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_11841wt_1055

 

lovelycube09.jpg

 

Unfortunately, the seller only has it available as a finished board and the rest of the components separately not as a finished product. Although the task of putting one together is pretty trivial if you have experience with a solder gun. I have a board on the way and will report back on how it performs. My biggest concern on a fully populated board are counterfeit and sub-par performing parts although from the pictures all the parts look quality. Personally I feel more secure getting a plain pcb and sourcing the parts locally.

 

I guess we'll see when the board comes in.

 

 

 



I gather that you've purchased the board. Let us know what you think. I was also looking at it but the total cost involved was close to the price of the Matrix so I've decided to get one of those instead. This outfit also sells the case, transformer, upgraded ALPS, and can provide the toroid.

post #15 of 29

I haven't gotten it yet but I'll post up a detailed review once I it gets here.

 

Getting all the parts and shipping would not have been worth it. I already have most of the necessary parts lying around so the total cost to me is just the board alone.

 

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