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Apparently the Matrix CUBE is available. - Page 3

post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post

 


 


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


What is your definition of expensive gear? Some components using the 2134 or the 5532 sell for well  under $500 or even $300, some would consider that inexpensive while others would not.

 

BTW, there is also the issue of "system price balance" some buy a $1,500 headphone and then ask for recommendations for an under $300 amp or source. Those same individuals then buy a $1,000+ set of cables for the headphone or interconnects. This makes no sense to me but to each its own.

post #32 of 83

 

Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post

What bothers me is your repetitive statements and complete attack on some items, whether you call it attack 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.


 What bothers me is your repetitive statements that crappy opamps can be awesome...my belly buton is on the inside if that matters.

 

Of course, you've compared OPA2134 to AD797B/LT1028AC? you see, it works both ways...I have(and so did Mad Max, majkel, Andrea and all the crazy rollers) and I'm quite sure you didn't, otherwise you wouldn't be advocating jellybeans opamps in +$299 audio gear.

 

There's no excuse to use those cheapies except saving money and bottlenecking the SQ on purpose. At least, swappable opamps are fine, because noone wants to pay the top parts w/ a 400% markup...I sure as hell don't. Violectric is selling 5532's to lower costs, but they're on sockets...and it's their CEO who told me so, you would think that he knows wth he's talking about when he says that he can't afford to sell top opamps in his amps, because otherwise their price would be too high due to his 4X markup.

 

Now, maybe you could roll all the opamps in your latest HLLY unit w/ AD797BRZ, and come back tell us that the SQ is identical/worse.

 

Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post


 

there is also the issue of "system price balance" some buy a $1,500 headphone and then ask for recommendations for an under $300 amp or source.


Luckily good opamps cost $10 max...there's no excuse.


Edited by leeperry - 9/6/10 at 5:59pm
post #33 of 83

I'm not completely convinced that all OPA2134 opamp based amplifiers are bad. Skylab's review of the Yulong D100 was positive, he stated that the headphone amplifier on it was pretty good despite using OPA2134.

 

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

 

I do agree that there is no reason to cheap out on opamps though, like you said a good opamp doesn't exactly cost a lot.

 

I have a Matrix M-Stage on the way, I'll be listening to how the OPA2134 sounds against dual mono OPA627's


Edited by kite7 - 9/6/10 at 6:21pm
post #34 of 83

So leeperry what are some of the low/mid-end amps you would recommend that doesn't use opa2134?

post #35 of 83

 

Originally Posted by TobaccoRoad View Post

what are some of the low/mid-end amps you would recommend that doesn't use opa2134?


Actually, it's better if it ships w/ cheapies, so you won't have to pay a 4X markup on better parts.

 

My very own checklist for a DAC is simple:

1)-a low ripple discrete linear regulated PSU, because SMPS wallwarts sound horrid...and you really wanna have the PSU discrete, for this reason. He says that he was forced to shield the PSU w/ copper foil because its PSU was acting as a microwave oven flooding the inside of the case w/ major EMI/RFI interferences: http://www.dcx2496.fr/img/P1020891.jpg

 

He says skeptics might as well "plug an oscilloscope to a piece of wire and hang it around in the case to see the horror"...you can rest assured that the Musiland Monitor 02US must suffer from the very same problem, as it's got a cheap unshielded SMPS next to the audio components...and some soldered OP275 opamps too, that sound really bad as well.

 

2)swappable opamps, with decoupling caps to improve stability...fed w/ at least ±12V.

 

3)as little active components in the audio path as possible, and the shorther the signal path the better.

 

4)no crappy endless pot that butchers the SQ...either a stepped attenuator or better: none at all.

 

5)use a galvanically isolated connection, whatever coax + pulse transformers or USB using an ADUM4160 dongle.

 

This checklist warranties that you'll end up w/ an affordable quality product, but then you'll need to get into the opamps rolling madness. It's highly rewarding, though.


Edited by leeperry - 9/7/10 at 3:56am
post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

 


Actually, it's better if it ships w/ cheapies, so you won't have to pay a 4X markup on better parts.

 

My very own checklist for a DAC is simple:

1)-a low ripple discrete linear regulated PSU, because SMPS wallwarts sound horrid...and you really wanna have the PSU discrete, for this reason. He says that he was forced to shield the PSU w/ copper foil because its PSU was acting as a microwave oven flooding the inside of the case w/ major EMI/RFI interferences: http://www.dcx2496.fr/img/P1020891.jpg

 

He says skeptics might as well "plug an oscilloscope to a piece of wire and hang it around in the case to see the horror"...you can rest assured that the Musiland Monitor 02US must suffer from the very same problem, as it's got a cheap unshielded SMPS next to the audio components...and some soldered OP275 opamps too, that sound really bad as well.

 

2)swappable opamps, with decoupling caps to improve stability...fed w/ at least ±12V.

 

3)as little active components in the audio path as possible, and the shorther the signal path the better.

 

4)no crappy endless pot that butchers the SQ...either a stepped attenuator or better: none at all.

 

5)use a galvanically isolated connection, whatever coax + pulse transformers or USB using an ADUM4160 dongle.

 

This checklist warranties that you'll end up w/ an affordable quality product, but then you'll need to get into the opamps rolling madness. It's highly rewarding, though.


Any particular suggestion(s)?


Edited by miyinan - 9/7/10 at 6:14am
post #37 of 83

not really...you can use a TREAD PSU and an ADUM4160 dongle, I'll let you search for a DAC w/ swappable sockets then...there's quite a lot of them around.

post #38 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

... Of course, you've compared OPA2134 to AD797B/LT1028AC? you see, it works both ways...I have(and so did Mad Max, majkel, Andrea and all the crazy rollers) and I'm quite sure you didn't, otherwise you wouldn't be advocating jellybeans opamps in +$299 audio gear.

 

...


Of course I have compared them in more than a few units, ranging from portable amps, to desktop amps, and dacs. Otherwise I would be talking without first hand knowledge as so many do here. I am not advocating anything except let the end user make an informed decision, until the user listens to a piece of gear he/she can't make an informed decision. What I like or what you like  is irrelevant to others, their ears must make that call.

post #39 of 83

 

Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post

I am not advocating anything except let the end user make an informed decision


Yes, hence the need for swappable sockets...it makes everyone happy: the end user who doesn't want to roll and the advanced user who only likes high end parts. HLLY were smart enough to put all the cheesy OP275 opamps in their latest DAC on sockets, for this very reason.


Edited by leeperry - 9/7/10 at 12:45pm
post #40 of 83

After reading this thread I checked which opamp my matrix mini-i had and of course it's the one that is being called lousy in this thread... normally these kind of opinions about something I worked hard for to own would make me enjoy it less than I think I would if I hadn't... somewhat of a placebo effect?

 

All I can say is, while I wouldn't know what something superior to the OPA2134 would sound like, I do know that I've wasted more money on PC sound cards ranging from $99-$159..$199 and none of them sounded half as good as what this Matrix Mini-i provides.

 

I bought the matrix for the usb simply because all other optical out's dissapointed me when running them to home recievers and what not and analoge pc out using 3.5mm to rca from onboard has always been lackluster.... but now since this matrix I have only used optical out on my laptop and everyday I am blown away (I have suffered from slight audio fatigue though I think? Forcing myself to listen to music even when I'm not in the mood for it?)... from song-to-song I feel as if I am listening to "reprise/revised" versions of all the music I thought I knew very well... it's like new music.

 

On another note... I usually run my laptop at work as a music server for our customers.. I'm kinda like a wannabe DJ.. bring in stuff on nights we don't have any entertainment booked... I love music more than the average man so I enjoy it..

 

well we have a pretty nice $3200 set of JBL powered speakers and matching 15" subs and I used to run my laptop from the audio out into a berhinger 24ch mixer then out with XLR into the JBLS and yea the sound always sounded like what you would expect onboard or basic XFI soundcards to sound like.. not great.. not bad.. just well mediocre! It would also sound like a mess at louder than usual volumes...

 

Well, now I run the laptop>optical>Matrix(in DAC mode)>XLR>JBLs and during 2 nights in the 1 week that Ive owned it and I kid you not I have had around 10 people randomly mention how friggin bad ass the music sounds.. none of them knew anything about a change in hardware... not once has anyone ever mentioned anything about the music prior..

 

When everyone left the bar I cranked those speakers up and played a few diff tracks that I enjoy in my own time simply because it lingers around the metal genre and damn... the difference is astonishing and for a device that cost my broke ass under $300 I am thoroughly content with what it provides, even if it doesn't compare to other DACS....

 

I'm terrible at describing music or how it sounds but all I can say is the old setup was like a  1366x768 monitor and the new setup is like a 1920x1200 monitor and it was instantly noticed by people that do not have a clue about op amps, dacs or even optical cables. . . .if you know what I mean.

 

I know you guys are audiophiles and you strive to obtain the best.. and I mean no disrespect to your opinions but I just wanted to share my experience and say that maybe perception also plays a big part in the conclusions that you've made and I say this next comment with complete neutrality, not being a prick or even trying to come across as bitter.. but just because something may not be up to your standards it doesn't mean that someone with as much knowledge as you all seem to have should go around posting negative things about a certain product because believe it or not it is people like you that will most often influence people like me to purchase a product and If I saw this thread 2 weeks ago I would have never bought the matrix mini-i with it's OPA2134 and I probably would have even spent more money on something that probably would have made me just as happy as am I now but just a little poorer.

 

I will have to agree with alot of reviews though... or maybe it's because I only own a pair of entry level HD555 headphones which  sound OK for my heavier music and pretty damn awesome for stuff like blind melon, tom petty, clapton, bob marley, rhcp, STP etc but the DAC mode with the HP amp disabled really rocked the house and is making me want to invest some money into XLR style amp'd speakers/monitors for my bedroom... after hearing the diff with and with the dac on the JBLS I really want to test the DAC on something suitable for home enjoyment

 

Thanks for reading... I'm a motormouth on tuesdays.

 

The way I expect music to sound will not always be the same as someone elses expectation... 


Edited by shevanel77 - 9/8/10 at 1:21am
post #41 of 83

two thumbs up!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shevanel77 View Post

After reading this thread I checked which opamp my matrix mini-i had and of course it's the one that is being called lousy in this thread... normally these kind of opinions about something I worked hard for to own would make me enjoy it less than I think I would if I hadn't... somewhat of a placebo effect?

 

All I can say is, while I wouldn't know what something superior to the OPA2134 would sound like, I do know that I've wasted more money on PC sound cards ranging from $99-$159..$199 and none of them sounded half as good as what this Matrix Mini-i provides.

 

I bought the matrix for the usb simply because all other optical out's dissapointed me when running them to home recievers and what not and analoge pc out using 3.5mm to rca from onboard has always been lackluster.... but now since this matrix I have only used optical out on my laptop and everyday I am blown away (I have suffered from slight audio fatigue though I think? Forcing myself to listen to music even when I'm not in the mood for it?)... from song-to-song I feel as if I am listening to "reprise/revised" versions of all the music I thought I knew very well... it's like new music.

 

On another note... I usually run my laptop at work as a music server for our customers.. I'm kinda like a wannabe DJ.. bring in stuff on nights we don't have any entertainment booked... I love music more than the average man so I enjoy it..

 

well we have a pretty nice $3200 set of JBL powered speakers and matching 15" subs and I used to run my laptop from the audio out into a berhinger 24ch mixer then out with XLR into the JBLS and yea the sound always sounded like what you would expect onboard or basic XFI soundcards to sound like.. not great.. not bad.. just well mediocre! It would also sound like a mess at louder than usual volumes...

 

Well, now I run the laptop>optical>Matrix(in DAC mode)>XLR>JBLs and during 2 nights in the 1 week that Ive owned it and I kid you not I have had around 10 people randomly mention how friggin bad ass the music sounds.. none of them knew anything about a change in hardware... not once has anyone ever mentioned anything about the music prior..

 

When everyone left the bar I cranked those speakers up and played a few diff tracks that I enjoy in my own time simply because it lingers around the metal genre and damn... the difference is astonishing and for a device that cost my broke ass under $300 I am thoroughly content with what it provides, even if it doesn't compare to other DACS....

 

I'm terrible at describing music or how it sounds but all I can say is the old setup was like a  1366x768 monitor and the new setup is like a 1920x1200 monitor and it was instantly noticed by people that do not have a clue about op amps, dacs or even optical cables. . . .if you know what I mean.

 

I know you guys are audiophiles and you strive to obtain the best.. and I mean no disrespect to your opinions but I just wanted to share my experience and say that maybe perception also plays a big part in the conclusions that you've made and I say this next comment with complete neutrality, not being a prick or even trying to come across as bitter.. but just because something may not be up to your standards it doesn't mean that someone with as much knowledge as you all seem to have should go around posting negative things about a certain product because believe it or not it is people like you that will most often influence people like me to purchase a product and If I saw this thread 2 weeks ago I would have never bought the matrix mini-i with it's OPA2134 and I probably would have even spent more money on something that probably would have made me just as happy as am I now but just a little poorer.

 

I will have to agree with alot of reviews though... or maybe it's because I only own a pair of entry level HD555 headphones which  sound OK for my heavier music and pretty damn awesome for stuff like blind melon, tom petty, clapton, bob marley, rhcp, STP etc but the DAC mode with the HP amp disabled really rocked the house and is making me want to invest some money into XLR style amp'd speakers/monitors for my bedroom... after hearing the diff with and with the dac on the JBLS I really want to test the DAC on something suitable for home enjoyment

 

Thanks for reading... I'm a motormouth on tuesdays.

 

The way I expect music to sound will not always be the same as someone elses expectation... 

post #42 of 83

 

Originally Posted by shevanel77 View Post

 

I have had around 10 people randomly mention how friggin bad ass the music sounds.. none of them knew anything [..]

 

If I saw this thread 2 weeks ago I would have never bought the matrix mini-i with it's OPA2134 and I probably would have even spent more money on something that probably would have made me just as happy as am I now but just a little poorer.

 

1) so a bunch of inexperienced ppl have told you that your OPA2134 based DAC kicked butt, is that relevant at all? Wouldn't they have said the same off a Realtek chip? I mean your speakers really seem to kick butt.

 

2) yes, it's called elitism and perfectionism...it's a nasty disease. There's no excuse for the manufacturers to solder cheap opamps this way. They can put them on sockets and increase their sales towards experienced users, at practically no additional cost..


Edited by leeperry - 9/8/10 at 8:41am
post #43 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by shevanel77 View Post

...

 

The way I expect music to sound will not always be the same as someone elses expectation... 


Only can determine if it sounds good or not,  you are the only one who has to be happy/satisfied. Based on your post you are and good for you, continue enjoying the music and forget what others (like me) say. We don't have your ears nor the rest of your gear/music. Sit back and enjoy what you have.

post #44 of 83


I  do not believe it takes years of training and knowledge to hear the difference between realtek and a DAC such as the Matrix Mini-i or anything similar...maybe  once you start to get into more expensive gear but not everyone can afford $1000-$5000 signal converters.

 

Without the Matrix the music was just sound in the air... nothing special.. with the matrix it has a "fullness" and much higher level of clarity and detail... the difference is as easy to hear as it is easy to see the difference between HDTV and SDTV...It's not rocket science and I don't think it takes an "elite perfectionist" to recognize that something is better than they way you have always experienced it before.

 

My goal was to have better sound, not the best sound money could buy.. and the fact that the people that enjoy the music with me have said it sounds "better", even without knowing I changed anything, is just icing on the cake. My goal at work is to provide atmosphere and this DAC helps me out and to me it's worth the amount of money they wanted for it.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

 

 

1) so a bunch of inexperienced ppl have told you that your OPA2134 based DAC kicked butt, is that relevant at all? Wouldn't they have said the same off a Realtek chip? I mean your speakers really seem to kick butt.

 

2) yes, it's called elitism and perfectionism...it's a nasty disease. There's no excuse for the manufacturers to solder cheap opamps this way. They can put them on sockets and increase their sales towards experienced users, at practically no additional cost..

post #45 of 83

How about you guys not derailing this thread and instead keep it on topic with the Cube Dac?


Edited by reiserFS - 9/8/10 at 11:17am
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