Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Matrix Quattro DAC: Unboxing and initial impressions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Matrix Quattro DAC: Unboxing and initial impressions - Page 2

post #16 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnolfini View Post

Since this unit looks outside and very much inside close to a Benchmark dac1 pre, do you think Project86 that you will be able to compare it to a Benchmark during the course of your review?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post

The internals greatly look like the internals of the Benchmark DAC1 rolleyes.gif


 

No wonder the deja vu when I first saw the internals. biggrin.gif

 

Yes please, Project86, do compare it to the Benchmarks and see how we get on.

 

BTW, thanks for the review. Interesting new format too, although if I were you, I would put in a few "blank" posts pending updates as you progress through the rest of the review. Beats reading (and filtering) through the rest of the comments (not that the comments are no good, but they disrupt the "flow" of the article, IMO).

post #17 of 120
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9VARZ View Post



 


 

No wonder the deja vu when I first saw the internals. biggrin.gif

 

Yes please, Project86, do compare it to the Benchmarks and see how we get on.

 

BTW, thanks for the review. Interesting new format too, although if I were you, I would put in a few "blank" posts pending updates as you progress through the rest of the review. Beats reading (and filtering) through the rest of the comments (not that the comments are no good, but they disrupt the "flow" of the article, IMO).


Thanks. My plan at this point is to add updates as I go, both as a reply (like this one for example) as well as working it into the original post as an edit. That way we can have a discussion but still keep it legible for someone just coming in. We'll see how well it works.

 

By the way - someone earlier in this thread (or maybe another thread? I forget) inquired about 24/88.2 capability via USB. Yesterday I listened to "North" by Elvis Costello and "Conga Blue" by Poncho Sanchez, both 24-bit/88.2kHz albums from HDTracks. The Quattro DAC handled them beautifully over the USB connection. 

 

post #18 of 120

I don't understand "most" of the china products. It is quite funny, first Matrix looks like Bel Canto and this like Benchmark (was mention). I couldn't buy something from China. Cool imitations and nothing made properly.

post #19 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by knopi View Post

I don't understand "most" of the china products. It is quite funny, first Matrix looks like Bel Canto and this like Benchmark (was mention). I couldn't buy something from China. Cool imitations and nothing made properly.



The funny thing about Chinese products is that most Western marques actually turn to them to supply their mid-range to lower end products. (i.e. Western make goes to a Chinese OEM, commissions them to rebadge one of their existing products, brings back and mass-markets the item as their own.) It definitely sounds off putting, but that's the way the business goes (esp. for low to mid-range products).

 

Meaning to say, the Chinese themselves have already been doing this for a long time, actually. And they *probably* know very well what they are doing.

 

Although I must say, though. For the money, I was actually expecting a fully discreet circuit architecture and not something that uses op-amps. But let's see if the sound is going to be worth the price tag it commands. beyersmile.png

post #20 of 120

Interesting piece of equipment, my wallet will suffer this year...

post #21 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by knopi View Post

I don't understand "most" of the china products. It is quite funny, first Matrix looks like Bel Canto and this like Benchmark (was mention). I couldn't buy something from China. Cool imitations and nothing made properly.



How many way can you design a rectangular face with a knob, some switches, ports and indicators? Eventually they all look similar, just like you typical four door sedan.

Many things are build to a price; you can't expect the same quality for 1/3 the price, but some are not far behind. Hiring a designer to come up with a new look adds cost.

I like the looks of the Matrix Quattros better than the Benchmarks. wink_face.gif


Edited by ETAHL - 7/25/11 at 1:02pm
post #22 of 120

I do prefer the Quattro's look over the benchmarks as well, though they are pretty similar. 

Only remains to see if it actually can sound as good. 

 

My Quattro Dac is only a few days away.

post #23 of 120
Thread Starter 

Zoqi, I don't think you will be disappointed. 

 

I've been spending more time with the Quattro DAC recently, comparing it to some of my other DACs that are priced somewhat on the low side. The Quattro is clearly superior to the Matrix Cube DAC, as it should be for the price difference. But to my surprise it also seems noticeably better than my Yulong D100 which is already a very good sounding unit. I figured it would just be on the same level with extra features for the price, but it isn't turning out that way. Plugging something like an HD600 or Grado RS1 into the built in headphone amp, you get a result that is very difficult to surpass no matter how much more you spend. For very high end options like the HD800 or LCD-2, there is more improvement to be had.... but that's where the matching Quattro amp comes in.

post #24 of 120

Great to hear project86. 

 

I did a leap of faith when placing my order, and if it sounds better than the Yulong, then it seems I made the right decision.

 

Can't wait until I can order the AMP and run the 650s in balanced. 


Edited by zoqi - 7/29/11 at 8:31am
post #25 of 120

Is the asynchronous upsampling defeatable?

 

Is the USB input asynchronous?  Thanks.

post #26 of 120
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post

Is the asynchronous upsampling defeatable?

 

Is the USB input asynchronous?  Thanks.

 

There are no options for selecting upsampling. I believe everything gets resampled to 110kHz just as it does with the Yulong D100 and the Benchmark DAC 1. This is supposedly a better rate than 192kHz according to the folks at Benchmark: 

 

http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/discuss/feedback/newsletter/2010/07/1/asynchronous-upsampling-110-khz

Yulong chose this frequency for similar reasons, they use the same ASRC chip but a different DAC chip and still found 110kHz to be ideal. 

 

 

USB input is not asynchronous. It is similar to the Yulong in that it uses the TAS1020B with custom software for USB. Combined with ASRC processing, I find USB to be transparent compared to BNC, coaxial, etc. 
 

 

post #27 of 120

Got the DAC earlier today, so far I am pretty impressed. Still needs some burn in though. 

One negative thing so far is that the background is not completely black on low impedance headphones. It seems there is some noisewhen volume is getting half way.

 

Actually, slash that. Just as I were writing this the background turned completely black. Only some tiny noise on full volume. 

 

I'll update my impression once it's been running for a few more hours. 

 

 

 

post #28 of 120

Good to hear that. Your cables will be shipped early next week. Enjoy~
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoqi View Post

Got the DAC earlier today, so far I am pretty impressed. Still needs some burn in though. 

One negative thing so far is that the background is not completely black on low impedance headphones. It seems there is some noisewhen volume is getting half way.

 

Actually, slash that. Just as I were writing this the background turned completely black. Only some tiny noise on full volume. 

 

I'll update my impression once it's been running for a few more hours. 

 

 

 



 

post #29 of 120

I have well over 200 hours on my Quattro dac now, and it has continued to improve and impress.

 

The onboard headamp using K702 is digging very deep into the music and portraying nuance and intimacy, there’s no shortage of grunt and dynamic swing either where most amp’s (save for Burson 160D) simply don’t drive them to their full potential, the Quattro is allowing my K702 to go really low but with control, clarity and deft articulation.

 

It’s funny how (once properly run-in and paired with a suitable amp) the AKG's transform from thin wince inducing cans to ones with the finest (IME) cranium crunching bass - where it exists in the source material. I am delighted with this combo.

post #30 of 120
Thread Starter 

I just updated my Quattro amp thread but I'm cross posting it here, as it seems relevant. I'm pairing the Quattro DAC and amp with an LCD-2 and loving the results. This is a very high level of audio quality for just a bit over $2k. Getting a balanced cable and adapter for the headphones would make it a fully balanced system, likely sounding even better. 

 

Using just the integrated amp in the Quattro DAC, the LCD-2 still sounds pretty good. I would want to add an amp eventually to get the most out of the headphones, but I could be content using it alone short term. I agree with treehugger about the AKG K702 sounding amazing though. IEMs also sound great straight from the DAC. I've been using the Unique Melody Merlin with excellent results.

 

zoqi, how are you liking it with your Ultrasones and Sennheisers?

 

 

DSC_0465.jpg


Edited by project86 - 8/5/11 at 9:10am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Matrix Quattro DAC: Unboxing and initial impressions