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Apparently the Matrix CUBE is available. - Page 2

post #16 of 83

So a relative noob's question then. I'm looking for a DAC with USB and a headphone amp for the office, to drive a pair of D-2000s. Maybe ER-4Ss. Listening to all sorts of things, but in particular I want classical and jazz to sound good. What should I look at if this isn't worth it? I don't care if it's a combo or separate units. Price-wise, I can and happily will pay for quality, though of course I don't have a money tree growing in my garden.

post #17 of 83

 

Originally Posted by Trippy View Post

I'm looking for a DAC with USB and a headphone amp for the office, to drive a pair of D-2000s.


the audinst unit w/ some high end opamps(they're rollable) + an ADUM4160 dongle + a proper PSU should be right up your alley.

post #18 of 83

What about the Matrix M-Stage and Yulong D100 of which users have very postive feedback? They both use OPA2134. Is not all about chips, is it? The design also play a big role in it, right? A lot people have mentioned that gears with the same chips could sound very differently with different designs. I never heard any of them and was a bit disappointed when I see the OPA2134 as well. BUt I hope the design will make it sound good. (Am I asking too much?....lol)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

the question is: who wants to listen to OPA2134 for $299?

post #19 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by miyinan View Post

was a bit disappointed when I see the OPA2134 as well.

 

OPA2134 is a dud...and nothing's gonna change that. Look at the OP275 used in the Musiland Monitor USB soundcards, it sounds terrible...many ppl will agree, but you can read raving reviews about them. You need to train your ears and have transparent headphones to hear differences between opamps. And there's the new toy syndrome too, OPA2134 will bore you to death a few weeks along the way.

post #20 of 83

2 years ago I had the chance to listen to a Lehmann Black Cube Linear in a recording and mixing studio. For those who don't know it's considered as one of the best sounding SS amps, and has been extensively used by Sennheiser during the HD800 development.

 

It impressed me a lot: clarity and airyness, precision, detail, tightness, fastness, ultra-precise soundstage... it had everything I love. A bit analytical for some, but absolutely perfect for me. 

 

Searching the web I've just found that the Lehmann is OPA2134 based.

 

So, it may be a low-end OPA, but this is the proof it can be well implemented.What do you think about it Leeperry?

 

But, if you don't like anlalytical flavour (should I say  "neutral as dead" flavour), I can understand you don't like the Lehmann sound at all.

post #21 of 83

The previous headamp from HLLY was using a headamp design stolen from Lehmann...it was indeed based on OPA2134 and Skylab said that it was dull and boring.

 

Many high-end units such as the Benchmark DAC1 are full of 4562 and 5532..does that prove anything? you can often read that this unit is shrill and bright sounding.

 

I've listened to almost all the chips in majkel's list, OPA2134 is a dud...it's been superseded by much higher grade designs. opamps all look the same on the outside, but they're concentrated high technology...several layers, zillions of highly integrated transistors/stages, etc...look at the design of AD797, this is serious business: imagebam.com

 

and yes, AD797 kills OPA2134 like a clear night and day.

 

When I asked Lake Audio's CEO why he was selling his Violetric amps w/ cheapo 5532, he told me that a company needs to make a 400% markup to make a living...it's in noone's interest to see them shipped w/ high grade chips. Hence, the swappable sockets ;)

 

my Firestone Spitfire DAC was shipped w/ an OPA2604...the SS was amazing, but the sound was really not refined enough to my taste...I swapped it for LT1028ACN8 and we've instantly been in business ever since :p

 

Just like Ray Samuels said: http://www.sgheadphones.net/index.php?showtopic=2480

"As Mr. Samuels once remarked, the LT1028 is like putting sugar all over your sound. It has a very liquid, sweet, and warm midrange that exhibits sharp bass and treble roll off. Unlike the Analog Devices op-amps, it is not dark. In fact, low level details flow through with greater clarity and definition."


Edited by leeperry - 9/6/10 at 9:57am
post #22 of 83

another example, the reviewer calls the DacMagic the eighth world wonder: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/Cambridge-Audio-DacMagic-Review

 

and someone in the comments said:

"NE5532 op-amp is an inferior component which always sound inferior and harsh.

If you can not hear it, that is not my problem - I would immediately replace it with a Burr-Brown, National or Analog Devices chip made for audio and I have done so on a number of devices and even my wife immediately notices the difference though she has no clue as to what have been done!

The 5532 is a component which sounds inferior to almost anything made with audio quality in mind. The output section of the Squeezebox Classic is even worse. That is made with an opamp made for telephones and comms systems.

Also, my reaction is due to the fact that I get very disappointed when a DAC with the word MAGIC in its name in 2009 uses an opamp which I replaced the first time in 1990...

That being said, the DacMagic does not sound too bad, but why spend that kind of money on a dac, when the same (analogue) circuit can be found in a receiver which is so much more versatile - and eventhough the DAC-section is less sophisticated still sounds way better than the DacMagic when properly modified...

So you're right in recmmending people to use their ears, I've done so, and my conclusion was clear: The unit was sent back, full refund received."

 

He forgot to mention that it's using a C-Media USB chip, which is prolly one of the lousiest companies in the PC audio world.

 

Again, the Benchmark DAC1 is exclusively using 5532 in its headphones amp(and LM4562 as DAC LPF), and the manufacturer even recently said here on HF that it was the best opamp for the job, huh.

 

You can read in that shootout that the DAC1 was found to be "harsh and boring" and that the DacMagic "does not sound any better than a $99 NuForce uDAC, a disappointment": http://ravenda.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/audiogddac19/

 

Surely, there must zillions of raving reviews on google about those 2 units ;)


Edited by leeperry - 9/6/10 at 12:30pm
post #23 of 83

leeperry I know, and of course you have made it very clear you do not care for the 2134 or the 5532. There are plenty of threads you have posted your views on, that is cool because being able to openly discuss what you like or do not like should in the end benefit all the participants. However, need you continually repeat in this or other threads the same view? You have posted various times in this thread you do not care for the 2134, should you continue. Just because you or others do no care for it does not mean others share your views. Lastly I do not find it nice that at times your words can be interpreted as being a bit aggressive, for example: 

 

Quote:
If you can not hear it, that is not my problem

 

To me it is like ice cream some like chocolate and others vanilla with a few choosing strawberry. Each is right int heir own mind. Cheers.

post #24 of 83

 

Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post

leeperry I know, and of course you have made it very clear you do not care for the 2134 or the 5532.

 

I simply said "Who wants to pay $299 to listen to OPA2134?"...nothing more, I've explained my point after being asked...does that bother you so much?

 

I could only echo what that comment says in the DacMagic computeridiophile.com review, selling 5532's or 2134's for $299 is a joke.

 

And here's Skylab saying that the OPA2134 Lehmann stolen design headamp from HLLY sounds dull and boring: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/468719/review-hlly-dmk-iv-dac-headphone-amp-pre-amp

 

"The headphone out of DMK-IV, IMO, doesn’t offer competitive sound –it just doesn’t have a very musically engaging sound."

 

I hardly ever read anything negative in Skylab's reviews, and I realize you get free samples from HLLY...no hard feeling I hope ;)

 

The Meier concert headamp is based on AD797AN, it doesn't sound as good as AD797BN...but it's still a far better sounding chip than those $0.5 2134/5532/4562 jellybeans.


Edited by leeperry - 9/6/10 at 1:30pm
post #25 of 83

What I don't understand is, if the m stage/lehmann uses such a poor op amp but still sounds great, then why does it matter what op amp is used? Not saying that I like the m stage/lehmann because I haven't tried either, just saying that if a lot of people seem to think these amps sound great then they shouldn't be discounted just for having an inferior op amp. Moreover, if the m stage/lehmann can still sound decent with this op amp, then that would lead me to believe that the cube is also capable of sounding good if it was implemented correctly.

 

post #26 of 83

 

Originally Posted by clou91 View Post

What I don't understand is, if the m stage/lehmann uses such a poor op amp but still sounds great, then why does it matter what op amp is used? Not saying that I like the m stage/lehmann because I haven't tried either, just saying that if a lot of people seem to think these amps sound great then they shouldn't be discounted just for having an inferior op amp. Moreover, if the m stage/lehmann can still sound decent with this op amp, then that would lead me to believe that the cube is also capable of sounding good if it was implemented correctly.

 

 

Maybe coz those ppl didn't try higher grade opamps? You can find zillions of raving reviews about the DAC-1 and the DacMagic, does that prove anything? You can remove the ppl who got it for free and feel forced to say it's awesome coz they don't wanna kill the golden goose, so there's the ppl who are honest and yet ignorant...because they haven't heard better parts, and there's the ppl who use crappy phones like the Denon D2000 and their phone is such a nasty bottleneck that their opinion is pretty useless to others anyway.

 

You can ask majkel and Andrea what they think of 5532 and 2134 ^^

 

You don't know a good thing until you lose it....and if the RSA gear is so well respected, that's because he only uses top notch opamps such as AD797 and LT1028: http://www.raysamuelsaudio.com/products/hr-2

  

The HR-2 is a high resolution headphone amplifier. It incorporates two state of the art AD797 audio IC’s—the best ever made.

 

AD797B is business: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/audio-gd-discrete-op-amps-reviewed-OPA-earth-OPA-moon-OPA-sun-v-2-a-397691/

 

I'm sure that if mrarroyo was to swap the horrid OP275 opamps in his latest HLLY toy for AD797BRZ and LT1028ACN8, he would get my drift ^^

 

And last time I spoke to this headamp manufacturer, he started to play me dumb like what's written on his website: "the Goldpoint Headphone Pro sounds clearly better than most other headphone amplifiers, even those priced MUCH higher"

 

I asked him if that was a joke? And what headamps he had heard before making such a bold statement? then he told me that his $550 amp was based on a few $2 AD825 opamps off a wallwart...I'm guilty, I made fun of him ^^

 

Then, he emailed me 2 weeks later thanking me and now he's using a higher grade opamp(AD845) on a proper DPS ;)

 

Opamps are what colors the sound the most: http://forum.rightmark.org/topic.cgi?id=4:504-3

 

"Everybody -in different locations, at different times, without knowing from each other- told the same story, that they found the differences between opamps more important than the differences in dac chips."


Edited by leeperry - 9/6/10 at 5:35pm
post #27 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

 

 

I simply said "Who wants to pay $299 to listen to OPA2134?"...nothing more, I've explained my point after being asked...does that bother you so much?

 

I could only echo what that comment says in the DacMagic computeridiophile.com review, selling 5532's or 2134's for $299 is a joke.

 

And here's Skylab saying that the OPA2134 Lehmann stolen design headamp from HLLY sounds dull and boring: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/468719/review-hlly-dmk-iv-dac-headphone-amp-pre-amp

 

"The headphone out of DMK-IV, IMO, doesn’t offer competitive sound –it just doesn’t have a very musically engaging sound."

 

I hardly ever read anything negative in Skylab's reviews, and I realize you get free samples from HLLY...no hard feeling I hope ;)

 

The Meier concert headamp is based on AD797AN, it doesn't sound as good as AD797BN...but it's still a far better sounding chip than those $0.5 2134/5532/4562 jellybeans.

Here is another review by Skylab on Yulong D100 which uses opa2134 in the amp section, and he said that it's pretty good. I am not trying to argue something here. It just seems to me and the same chip could sound pretty differently in different implementation. And in fact, as I said in the pm I sent to you, I am trying decide between a couple of dac/amp combos now. From what I read, the opa2134 is pretty popular.
http://www.head-fi.org/products/yulong-d100
 

post #28 of 83

 

Originally Posted by miyinan View Post

It just seems to me and the same chip could sound pretty differently in different implementation.


It's about bottlenecks....those cheap parts act as major ones, and they color the sound to death. Dual opamps sound ugly compared to singles anyway, even TI acknowledged the problem but didn't really fix it: http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/opa1612.html

 

"The dual version features completely independent circuitry for lowest crosstalk and freedom from interactions between channels"

 

two OPA1611 still sound better than one OPA1612, 12bass and majkel confirmed the same findings in the opamp thread...dual mono or go home ;)

 

To make an analogy, listening to music via 5532/2134 would be like playing Crysis in DX7 compatibility mode...yes, it plays! but it looks horrid.


Edited by leeperry - 9/6/10 at 2:06pm
post #29 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by miyinan View Post

What about the Matrix M-Stage and Yulong D100 of which users have very postive feedback? They both use OPA2134. Is not all about chips, is it? The design also play a big role in it, right? A lot people have mentioned that gears with the same chips could sound very differently with different designs. I never heard any of them and was a bit disappointed when I see the OPA2134 as well. BUt I hope the design will make it sound good. (Am I asking too much?....lol)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by miyinan View Post

 

Here is another review by Skylab on Yulong D100 which uses opa2134 in the amp section, and he said that it's pretty good. I am not trying to argue something here. It just seems to me and the same chip could sound pretty differently in different implementation. And in fact, as I said in the pm I sent to you, I am trying decide between a couple of dac/amp combos now. From what I read, the opa2134 is pretty popular.

http://www.head-fi.org/products/yulong-d100


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clou91 View Post

What I don't understand is, if the m stage/lehmann uses such a poor op amp but still sounds great, then why does it matter what op amp is used? Not saying that I like the m stage/lehmann because I haven't tried either, just saying that if a lot of people seem to think these amps sound great then they shouldn't be discounted just for having an inferior op amp. Moreover, if the m stage/lehmann can still sound decent with this op amp, then that would lead me to believe that the cube is also capable of sounding good if it was implemented correctly.

 


OPA2134 is cheap as hell and abundant, also vastly inferior to AD797, ADA4627-1, LT1363, etc.

 

What leeperry is trying to get at is that these pieces of equipment sell for hundreds of dollars and are incorporating such poor opamps which are bottlenecks.  The same circuit accommodated to a better opamp will render a better sound.  If we are going to be spending on such expensive gear, might as well use the best components, no?  Some gear boast high-end build yet still use jellybeans like 5532, 2134, etc.  I too, find it disappointing.  Then some people mod their gear for better opamps, just look at the "'hotrodding' the X-Fi" thread.  There's an ebay seller selling 8620 opamps to replace the 5532's in the Nuforce Icon amp (search Nuforce upgrade).  Especially with more sensitive gear, you upgrade the opamps, and then you have people posting about "OMG, it is so much better!"  Just search the forums and look at threads involving gear with opamps.

 

Again, like leeperry said, it would be nice to see expensive equipment using better opamps in the first place.

Leave chips like OPA2134 to those little cmoys. 

 

Edit: inb4 "moDdiNg is jUst haLf oF tHe fuN!!!" hurrr durr


Edited by Mad Max - 9/6/10 at 3:35pm
post #30 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

 

 

I simply said "Who wants to pay $299 to listen to OPA2134?"...nothing more, I've explained my point after being asked...does that bother you so much?

 

I could only echo what that comment says in the DacMagic computeridiophile.com review, selling 5532's or 2134's for $299 is a joke.

 

And here's Skylab saying that the OPA2134 Lehmann stolen design headamp from HLLY sounds dull and boring: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/468719/review-hlly-dmk-iv-dac-headphone-amp-pre-amp

 

"The headphone out of DMK-IV, IMO, doesn’t offer competitive sound –it just doesn’t have a very musically engaging sound."

 

I hardly ever read anything negative in Skylab's reviews,

 

The Meier concert headamp is based on AD797AN, it doesn't sound as good as AD797BN...but it's still a far better sounding chip than those $0.5 2134/5532/4562 jellybeans.


What bothers me is your repetitive statements and complete attack on some items, whether you call it attack or not is irrelevant. It does not bother me if you like the OPA2134 or not, it is your ears and you should decide what you like and what you do not like. As I stated it is like ice cream some like one flavor and others another, no big deal just life.

 

Although I may or may not agree with another member's opinion with a piece of gear or not is irrelevant. I hope readers realize it is just an opinion and as such they are like belly buttons! We all have them. If you read my impressions you will also see I give thanks to David for providing me with the review sample, big deal! I did not hide that fact nor do I plan on hiding when a review sample is sent to me. So your statement of: " ... and I realize you get free samples from HLLY...no hard feeling I hope ;) ..." is at best a cheap shot to attempt at create an issue where one does not exist.

 

I wish you and others would bother to listen to a component (headphone, amp, dac, etc) before those components which have not been listened too are crucified. If you or others listen to something and you think it does not good then so be it since it is based on reality and not perception.

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