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REVIEW: Matrix Cube DAC - Page 3

post #31 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
the built in amp seems to shine with IEMs.


Not in my experience haha. Very little bass with my Westone UM3X. Night and day difference between it and my M^3 that's for sure (with UM3X, not so much with DT880). I have about 560 hours on my Cube DAC, so burn in is definitely complete. Built in head-amp probably has less than 30 hours on it, but I never planned on using that anyway. I must admit though, the headphone amp certainly isn't bad. It doesn't lack in volume at all, pretty much the same as my M^3 in terms of where I need to place the volume dial at. [Using DT880/600] Bass on my M^3 is more prominent for sure. Mids seem more prominent on the Cube's amplifier. Treble sounds cleaner and more extended and prominent on the M^3. 

post #32 of 143
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stang View Post




Not in my experience haha. Very little bass with my Westone UM3X. Night and day difference between it and my M^3 that's for sure (with UM3X, not so much with DT880). I have about 560 hours on my Cube DAC, so burn in is definitely complete. Built in head-amp probably has less than 30 hours on it, but I never planned on using that anyway. I must admit though, the headphone amp certainly isn't bad. It doesn't lack in volume at all, pretty much the same as my M^3 in terms of where I need to place the volume dial at. [Using DT880/600] Bass on my M^3 is more prominent for sure. Mids seem more prominent on the Cube's amplifier. Treble sounds cleaner and more extended and prominent on the M^3. 

Interesting, I'll have to break out my UM3X and see if I can replicate that. My LiveWires Trips customs use the same exact drivers though and I really like what I hear; the bass doesn't extend as deep as say a Graham Slee Solo, but I certainly wouldn't call it bass shy. I've also been using the Unique Melody Miracle and the bass is quite nice as well.

 

post #33 of 143

ordered from coolfungadget ...

and then a monoprice hdmi switcher/de-embedder to go with the sony bdp-s370 ... let's see if we can get the sacd digital stream out into the cube.

post #34 of 143

Hi, Excellent review, Thanks. I prefer the Matrix Cube over the CA DAC Magic, by USB the Cube is sounding really well. The Soundstage is as good as described before in the review. I bought mine from coolfungadget (Tam's Audio), excellent service.

post #35 of 143

aahhh, yes, the service ... but for some, saving $60 may be the better deal?

i know i missed out on a bargain price of $240 shipped ... still available for one who acts fast.

 

 

post #36 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by geetarman49 View Post

aahhh, yes, the service ... but for some, saving $60 may be the better deal?

i know i missed out on a bargain price of $240 shipped ... still available for one who acts fast.

 

 


Really informative review- thanks!

 

Just to be clear, the lowest prices for the Matrix cube are $300 at coolfungadget or $290 at Hilly?

 

Having trouble deciding over the Mini-i or Cube.  Has anyone compared them sonically?  Unless mistaken, the mini-i does have 24/96 USB?  It also does not have a volume control for the DAC (only the head amp), like the Cube?

 

Too many questions

post #37 of 143

Anyone?

post #38 of 143

The lowest price is the one with the lowest number

With coolfungadget you're getting top service though - many seem to have bad experiences with HLLY (wrong colour, configuration, slow postage etc.).

 

The key selling point of the Mini-i is that it provides balanced outputs, which will only be useful to you if you've got a balanced rig. The Mini-i goes up to 24/196, don't know about USB. Try reading CFG's specs on the eBay listing, that should answer most questions. Your last question, I think, is whether you can use the Mini-i as a preamp or if there's only line-out. Again, check CFG's listing.

 

No-one seems to have heard both of these yet (at least not side by side) so no, there's no solid comparison.

 

EDIT: Went and got it meself tongue.gif (for the Mini-i)

  • Up to 24Bit/192kHz sampling
  • USB input works with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7, Linux and Mac OS 10.x, no extra driver needed
  • Pre-Amp/HP-Amp and Pure DAC modes switchable

Edited by JoetheArachnid - 11/9/10 at 9:23am
post #39 of 143


& just to be clear, i stand by my initial comment that the cube was offered a few days ago at $240 delivered!  if u cannot find this, pm me since i'm sure the deal is very limited - and might be over by now.

if u don't need balanced, the cube offers some very nice advantages; primarily asrc which is reportedly a great benefit when using a lesser source -- i'll be using a budget blu-ray player.

 

i'll report back once it arrives ... sometime today, i believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainFood View Post




Really informative review- thanks!

 

Just to be clear, the lowest prices for the Matrix cube are $300 at coolfungadget or $290 at Hilly?

 

Having trouble deciding over the Mini-i or Cube.  Has anyone compared them sonically?  Unless mistaken, the mini-i does have 24/96 USB?  It also does not have a volume control for the DAC (only the head amp), like the Cube?

 

Too many questions

post #40 of 143

Yeah I saw the Cube for $240. I won mine for $178.50 brand new so it doesn't really impress me, but others should give it a go at such a good price. Fantastic little unit! Now to upgrade my transport...

 

About the Mini-i or Cube, I have heard both but the Mini-i a little while back when I did not have the Cube. I would say get the Mini-i if you think you will be able to afford a balanced rig over the coming months. The Cube's ASRC, imho, isn't something to buy the Cube for. I barely even hear a difference, some even say ASRC makes the timbre of instruments sound worse. I am happy with my purchase because of the price I paid, however, if I were looking at the Mini-i and the Cube at their relatively normal prices on ebay $320 and $300, I would get the Mini-i just because it it has XLR outputs. 


Edited by stang - 11/9/10 at 1:09pm
post #41 of 143

... then we can agree to disagree because xlr doesn't interest me at all, for the here and now ...

 

however, mine arrived a few hrs ago and i'm letting it warm up from near frozen state to room temps before i connect it up.

 

unlike project86's unit, i have to say that cosmetically this unit does not impress me ... front and back edges are not smooth but rough and coarse-looking ... somewhat reminiscent of a relatively recent grado headphone release.

on the back, there are obvious dings in the metalwork edges of the clamshell top and bottom casing.  on the front of the clamshell casing it is easy to see the manufacturing issue. the top and bottom clamshell casework is most likely sheet metal that has been cut, bent and then finished... it is apparent that the 'cutter's have been worn down and a non-uniform cut is occurring in the casework.  this defect is made worse by the choice of 'star-tone' finish; it would barely show if anodized black were offered as a finish.

it is not a deal-breaker, but highly disappointing given the speedy service by coolfungadget.  i don't blame him for this, but matrix has obviously let this go by the QA. i would suspect, given the nature of mass production, that mine is not the only unit to be thus finished.

 

look closely at the top edge & how it changes as one approaches the volume control and below the asrc switch u will see a similar demarcation of finish.

IMG_0426.JPG

 

from this angle, it is more evident - top and bottom edge

IMG_0427.JPG

 

IMG_0428.JPG

 

IMG_0429.JPG

 

here u can see that the transition along the back-top edge is not uniform. this is not a camera flash artifact.

IMG_0430.JPG

 

IMG_0431.JPG

 

and some spotty- looking finish on the sides.  i have not checked to see whether this can be removed yet & it is not visible from all angles.

also strange, dust on the bottom and side of casework.

IMG_0422.JPG

 

do i protest too much, given the pricing?  i think not considering the fit and finish of other chinese manufactured products.

 

ymmv,

post #42 of 143

That is poor and disconcerting that it passed 'quality control'.   I was about to purchase one but now am not so sure

 

post #43 of 143

well, u could direct either hlly or coolfungadget to this thread & to ship u one that doesn't look like mine 

 

i think you would either get one that is perfect or they all look more or less like mine....LOL.

 

cheers,

 

 

<edit:  my unit has been allowed to sit for > 6 hr now; i will soon begin break-in for ~50hr before i attempt any serious listening.>


Edited by geetarman49 - 11/9/10 at 6:18pm
post #44 of 143

Mine is pretty much the same actually. I couldn't care less really. It sounds fine and for the price I paid I am not expecting Woo Audio quality. 

post #45 of 143

stang:  i, too, have no regrets with this purchase wrt the sonic attributes.  both amp and dac portions are breaking in nicely and sound better and better as the hrs go by.  however, even my koss portapros display good fit and finish despite its cheap price. it's not as if this is beyond the ken of the manufacturer - we went through the same argument wrt the fit & finish of the grado hf2.  in this case, we know the manufacturer can do better (i.e. i'm not aware of this sort of cosmetic issue with the m-stage) and should do better... that is all.

 

and i'm not suggesting that people buy something else since it does sound very nice, but really ... matrix needs to step up to the bat and simply tell prospective customers that the current stock has cosmetic issues & that is reflected in the price and that future runs will show improved production quality.


Edited by geetarman49 - 11/10/10 at 12:32am
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