That's such a nice looking amp - I would pay more just for the aesthetics.
Originally Posted by mhcarlos
Off-topic: One thing I observed is that I actually sometimes prefer the Porta Corda II (got it cheaper on a Headfi group buy when I first started lurking here). It's not as "clean-sounding" as my SR-71, but it seems to make the sound fuller (especially on my Etys).
Thanks again for the feedback!
With regards to the K701 - that's the sort of issue you need to concentrate on. The Matrix will make the sound a tad fuller than all your other gear, in the process it will also sound cleaner. That is a good thing.
My tube amp will sound the most fullest in the midrange (well before the sound becomes too euphonic) and the agility is a touch behind the Matrix with clarity not being compromised. This is also a good thing
I have 3 tube flavored amps now - and the MingDa has made all others redundant. Our own Skylab ranks this amplifier far higher than Woo, DV and LD at the same price ranges - My other Tube amp is a 800 dollar Cayin HA-1A which in triode mode has been universally acclaimed for use with K701...it's good, I preferred the MingDa by a large margin.
Lets look at engineering basics. This thing can drive speakers rated at 5 watts (probably over enthusiastic estimates) - you can guarantee that if the power supply (the singular most important thing in tube amps) has the balls to drive speakers - then it is 100 percent guaranteed to be an overspec'd psu for headphone use (only the dearest of tube headamps will guarantee an overspec power supply). Being able to drive speakers means it's output impedance is guaranteed to be a very low value - meaning excellent damping factor for moderate to high ohm loads. These two factors mean that this amp is a turbo tube amp (the Cayin is definitely slower but sounds more solid state).
A tube rectifier - last time I looked - these tend to exist in higher end tube amps - what this does to sound - I don't know, other than it sounds good to be 100 percent tube with no solid state rectification - I have no Idea how this affects the sound though, I assume it is a good thing as higher end Woo amps employ tube rectification. Inexpensive EL84 and 12AX7 tubes are common and a NOS compliment will be significantly cheaper than rarer valves. The new Mapletree flagship amps now come with these same tube setups, so does my Cayin.
I did my research with tube amps before purchasing this...It was Skylabs impressions that got me interested...it was the 300 dollars delivered new that sold me.
Everything about the matrix (unbelievable value for money - China) applies to the MingDa MC84C-07. My impressions are with rubbish throwaway chinese tubes - I have no idea how some nice NOS tubes will improve this amp. You need not believe me - I had faith in Skylabs assesment and I was not let down - not for 300 bucks.